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Nepal

Nepal’s Situation & the Maoist Approach

Present political situation is marked by various twists and turns and ups and downs. After the abolition of autocratic monarchy ruling over Nepal since last two and a half centuries, the contradictions of Nepalese are in the process of changing. This change in the contradiction has brought some new changes in political alliances and new conflicts. The political parties which made repeated commitments before the people of Nepal and at the international sphere, proved futile when the tenure of the Constituent Assembly(CA) nearly ended without accomplishing its job of writing a new constitution.

Though the term of CA has been extended for another one year, making new constitution is still a tuff job, because the diff erences among the major political parties remain unresolved and new issues of diff erences have cropped up regarding many questions related and unrelated to the constitution. This article has been prepared based on such political circumstances.

Why the Constituent Assembly ?

Though the slogan of Constituent Assembly was first coined by then Nepali Congress during 1950’s when it was leading anti-Rana mass movement, but it was completely left out for the last half a century. This slogan was raised by C P N (Maoist), but at the different circumstances. The party identified the existing monarchy as the main obstacle for the development of the Nepalese society and worked out a tactical line of making alliance with all the political forces who wanted to get rid of the monarchy. Major slogan to forge such an alliance was Constituent Assembly.

The slogan of Constituent Assembly was coined by the party in its National Conference held in 2001. Efforts were made to forge alliance with the parliamentary parties. It did not materialize, because the parliamentary parties were moving around the king and vying to get better portfolios in the king’s cabinet. These parties had the policy of making united front with the king and wipe out the Maoists.

The coup staged by king Gyanendra in February 2005, in which he declared emergency and became head of the government, caused a new political situation. Many leaders of the main stream political parties were either imprisoned or under the house arrest. So the parties were compelled to struggle against the monarchy. India, which was main external support to the monarchy to fight against the Maoist led People’s War was not happy with the latest step of the then king directed also against its allies, the parliamentary political parties.

The other point that caused anger to the Indian government was that the Gyanendra regime bought arms with China which India conceived as a challenge to its authority and gross violation of the tradition of making arms deal only with India.

Our party, the CPN(Maoist) using these newly emerged contradictions as opportunity to forge alliance with the parliamentary parties against the monarchy which was the representative institution of feudalism, bureaucratic and comprador capitalists and the party took initiative to achieve this aim. It was thus finally materialized with 12 point agreements between Maoist party and seven parties.

Differences crop up

The autocratic monarchy ruling over Nepal for the last two and a half decades formally came to an end when first meeting of the constituent assembly declared Nepal a Federal Democratic Republic with almost unanimous vote on May 28, 2008.

The king and the parliamentary parties represented the interest of almost the same classes. In absence of the monarchy these parliamentary parties started to play leading role in fulfilling the interest of these classes which was reflected in all spheres– politics, making alliance, formation of the government etc.

The exploiting classes are always dependent on international forces of their character. In this era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the exploiting classes such as comprador and bureaucratic capitalists and feudals are dependent on imperialist and expansionist forces or both. In case of Nepal, India is the external power which interferes in Nepal in many areas like—politics, economics, culture, territory etc.

This is the reason why it is considered as expansionism. India’s role as expansionist power has been more expressed during last couple of years. It is known to many people in Nepal that India creates parties, India causes splits in the parties, India makes accesses in parties and makes them unable to implement their own line and plan, India plays determining role in making, sustaining and bringing down governments. Therefore Nepal is considered as a semi-colonial country.

Many agreements, understandings, negotiations have taken place among seven parties versus Maoist party in the past. In the election of constituent assembly held in 2008, the UCPN(Maoist) has emerged as the single largest party securing majority (123 seats out of 240 total seats of the CA) NC and UML have been reduced to second and third ranking parties. All these parties were co travelers during anti-king mass movements. When the monarchy came to an end the political chemistry has been changed. NC and major section of UML represent the interest of comprador, bureaucratic capitalist class and remnants of feudalism. So they are unable to go beyond statusquo.

They are against bringing about fundamental and revolutionary transformation in the society. They collaborate with Indian expansionism and contribute in continuing the semi-colonial character of the country. Thus their role especially after the abolition of monarchy has been changed.

Because of the class nature of NC and UML as mentioned above they are bound to confront with the agenda put forward by Maoist party for the qualitative transformation of the Nepalese society. In this way contradiction between Maoist party and mainly with other two parties, NC and UML is sure to come up. In course of time this contradiction can even be sharper in the future.

Practice of the last two years has clearly indicated that the NC and major portion of UML are not going to soften their stand, they are trying to harden their stand against Maoist. Their collaboration with Indian state is further deepening and they are taking more antinational stands.

Contradictions in a process of changing

During the period of monarchy also the Nepalese society was characterized as semi-feudal and semi-colonial. Our party formulated that the principal contradiction of the Nepalese society was between feudalism, bureaucratic and comprador capitalism supported and backed by Indian expansionism versus the Nepalese masses. Feudalism was the principal aspect, because monarchy represented institution of medieval feudal society.

In the question of safeguarding the national interest of the country, the kings always tried to use the question of nationalism or patriotism as a mask to cover their anti-people character and autocratic rule. It was impossible to safeguard Nepal’s national interest or nationalism under the rule of a king, because there are several instances in history in which kings have surrendered in front of the foreign powers and lost the sovereignty of the nation. Sugauli Treaty is one of the worst examples.

It is also true that if the whole country goes under complete control of foreign power the monarchy would be nowhere. So the nationalism advocated by the king was confi ned to fulfill the interest of monarchy. Abolition of the monarchy which was ruling over Nepal since last 250 years is definitely a historically significant event. It is a victory against feudalism.

This historic event is sure to influence the political situation of the country and also the contradiction of Nepalese society. So far the domestic contradiction is concerned feudalism still exists but it is no more principal aspect. Contradiction against bureaucratic capitalism and comprador bourgeoisie is principal aspect. Thus the domestic contradiction can be defined as –comprador bourgeoisie, bureaucratic capitalism and feudalism versus Nepalese masses.

External intervention in Nepal has increased unabated. Indian expansionism which played supportive role in favour of the ruling class in the past has started to play direct role. It has executed all other forms of intervention except direct military invasion. Thus the contradiction of Nepal and Nepalese people with India is heading to principal contradiction.

The recently held Central Committ ee of our party has made serious evaluation of the recent development in the contradictions of the Nepalese society and has arrived at a conclusion that the principal contradiction is changing rapidly. At the present situation, the domestic and external contradictions have so intertwined that it is hard to separate. Thus the principal contradiction is heading to– bureaucrat capitalism, comprador bourgeoisie and feudalism and Indian expansionism on the one hand and the Nepal and the Nepalese people on the other.

United front policy

Given the change in the principal contradiction it will have reflection in the policy of making united front, alliance and unity in action with different classes and class forces. Our party is leading mass struggles and mass movement with concrete slogans. Since one year we are putt ing the slogan of National independence at the fore front. It does not mean that the domestic contradiction has ceased to exist.

There is still remnant of feudalism dominating in the society. But feudalism is not the principal aspect. Comprador bourgeoisie and bureaucratic capitalism is becoming the principal aspect. It is quite evident that when the question of National Independence comes at the fore front, it demands that the party should forge the policy of making united front with the patriotic forces.

It shows that the nature of friends and foes has been changed according to the changed situation. The real patriotic forces have to become the allies of revolution. It is obvious that that when there is change in the principal contradiction, the policy regarding the united front should be changed accordingly. There should be a broad united front among the working class, peasantry, oppressed nationalities and tribes, women and dalits and patriotic forces.

In the given situation of the principal contradiction, the major slogan of the united front is—All the patriotic, left ist and republican forces should unite !

This policy of united front has also been reflected in making new constitution. Our policy regarding the new constitution is very clear. Nepal should have a constitution of People’s Federal Republic. Only the constitution with such content can address the demands of the oppressed people and all sections of the people of Nepalese society—working class, peasantry, dalits, women, jatis, janajatis and can safeguard the national independence and national sovereignty.

Based on the new line of the united front our party is going to make a concrete tactical line and concrete plan of action. As explained by Mao, line decides everything. The correct line formulated by our party will be definitely able to accomplish the revolution.

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Les opinions exprimées et les arguments avancés dans cet article demeurent l'entière responsabilité de l'auteur-e et ne reflètent pas nécessairement ceux du CETRI.