Nepal

Fue un gran éxito la primera reunión pública celebrada por la CMI en Katmandú - Nepal. A pesar de estar en el medio de la campaña electoral, la reunión sobre las lecciones de la Revolución de Octubre atrajo a 100 activistas comunistas, incluidos los principales miembros del Partido Maoísta y a jóvenes comunistas. A la reunión también asistió el camarada Gopal Kriti, un veterano activista de la clase trabajadora y miembro del Comité Ejecutivo del Partido Maoísta: una partido de masas en Nepal. La reunión se celebró en la sala de reuniones del Colegio de Abogados de Katmandú y fue dirigida por el camarada Yug Pathak, un periodista comunista; y el escritor y camarada Rob Sewell de la

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The first ever public meeting held by the IMT in Kathmandu Nepal was a great success. Despite being in the middle of the election campaign, the meeting on the lessons of the October Revolution attracted 100 communist activists, including leading members of the Maoist party and the Young Communists. The meeting was also attended by comrade Gopal Kriti, who is a working-class veteran activist and member of the Executive Committee of the Maoist party: a mass party in Nepal. The meeting was held in the meeting hall of the Law College in Kathmandu and was addressed by comrade Yug Pathak, a communist journalist; and author and comrade Rob Sewell from the IMT.

The situation in Nepal is rapidly deteriorating. The living forces of the revolution are witnessing the withering away of a process that abolished one of the worst symbols of feudalism in the world, the monarchy. The hopes of millions of Nepalis have been put on hold. As yet there has been no meaningful land reform, poverty is still a major problem and the country’s economy is being taken over by foreign capitalists; all this with the former insurgency leaders in the government!

For the second time in Nepal since the election of the Constitutional Assembly in 2008, a Maoist is heading the Nepalese government. This time it is Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, who has become the new, 35th, Prime Minister of Nepal. But what does this mean for the Nepalese revolution?

In Nepal the stalemate in power is continuing while the ideological battle inside the communist movement intensifies. The struggle for power through constitutional means by the largest party in parliament UCPN (M) faced another defeat when on November 1st parliament failed to elect a new Prime Minister for the 16th time. [Originally published in the Think India Quarterly]

Many lessons can be drawn from the recent history of Nepalese revolutionary movements, and many dangers for the Tunisian and Egyptian masses can also be highlighted if we carefully study the situation in Nepal. [Note: as this article was being written the Maoists decided to return to government.]

After having mobilised the masses for a five-day general strike, the Maoist leaders in Nepal called it off without having achieved any of their demands. The mass movement potentially has immense power and it could overthrow the present regime and move towards a Socialist Nepal. The Maoists have a huge responsibility in this situation. Time is running out. They should take the power.

The calling of a general strike in Nepal is an important turning point in the situation. The Maoist leaders are using the classical method of the organised working class. It has the potential to go well beyond the drafting of a new constitution. The potential is there for the working class, backed by the peasants, to come to power.

The past experiences of the Nepalese Maoists, and the failure of their attempts to carry out a revolution by “stages” has led to an internal debate in which some of its leaders have drawn the conclusion that the “national road” has not produced the desired results and that what is required is an internationalist position.

This summer The Red Spark [Rato Jhilko - see photo], a journal of the Communist Party of Nepal published an article by Baburam Bhattarai, which stated that, “Trotskyism has become more relevant than Stalinism to advance the cause of the proletariat”. This is the result of concrete historical experience that has revealed the real essence of Stalinism and vindicated the ideas of Leon Trotsky, in the case of Nepal in particular of the theory of the Permanent Revolution.

After years of guerrilla struggle the Nepalese Maoists agreed to put down their arms, become a parliamentary party, and eventually enter government. Now they have been manoeuvred out of office and there is an urgent need to draw up a balance sheet and decide which way they are going to go.

We have received this interesting letter from a reader in Nepal who highlights the shortcomings of the Prachanda-led Maoists in the light of the latter’s resignation from government.

The Nepalese Maoist leaders, having dissolved their rebel army and entered parliamentary politics, are justifying their position with the idea that what faces the Nepalese masses is the bourgeois democratic revolution. This is encapsulated in the idea of the alliance of two classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. In reality power remains in the hands of the bourgeois who exploit the authority of the former guerrilla leaders to hold the masses back from going the whole way.

As could be expected the Nepalese capitalist/landlord class have accepted the removal of the monarchy, but it comes at a heavy price. The former leaders of the Maoist guerrillas, having achieved what they perceive as the "first stage" of the revolution, the bourgeois-democratic stage, are now issuing guarantees to the capitalists and landlords that their property will not be touched.

The Nepalese Maoists have achieved spectacular results in the recent elections. Together the two main Communist parties mustered around 50% of the overall vote, a clear indication of the revolutionary fervour of the masses. But which way will the Maoist leaders go? They have a huge responsibility on their shoulders.

When the CPN-Maoist joined the coalition government in Nepal after the revolutionary events last year, the media, the imperialists and last but not least the Nepali ruling class proclaimed a new era of peace and prosperity. This was never going to be the case and now, not even a year after the formation of the government, the Maoists have left the government and Nepal is heading back down the road of crisis.

On March 31 the Nepalese Maoists joined a coalition government with bourgeois parties. From armed struggle they have gone to ministerial portfolios. Now the masses will be expecting something concrete for themselves, real economic and social improvement. But will this be possible in such a Popular Front coalition?

While the Nepalese Maoists and other left forces are involved in talks over a Constituent Assembly and have accepted to put down their arms in exchange for seats in parliament, social unrest is brewing in the country as the recent Terai riots clearly demonstrate. Not having taken power when it was there for the taking, the Nepalese Maoists are leaving room to reactionary forces to manoeuvre behind the scenes.

From a position of enormous strength, controlling 75% of Nepalese territory, the Maoists have agreed to form a coalition government, integrate their guerrilla forces into the bourgeois army, and limit their goal to achieving some kind of Republic in the future. But this will not solve any of the fundamental economic and social problems facing the Nepalese masses.

In April 2006 the stage was set in Nepal for a revolution that could have not only done away with the centuries old monarchy, but also swept capitalism aside, laying the foundations of a socialist society.  However, due to the bankruptcy of the so-called Communist Parties this did not happen and the revolution in April did not fulfil its tasks.