The United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which heads the coalition government formed in the country following the emergence of the Maoists as the largest single party in parliament, has come under attack from Maoist groups abroad on a charge of revisionism.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) has been accused of going back upon his pledge to stop recruitnment of Gorkhas to the British army.
A US-based Maoist campaigner, Joseph Ball (firstname.lastname@example.org), in an article published on his website, has made a detailed analysis of “the revisionist turn of the UCPN(M) leadership”.
In a message to Maoists in Afghanistan, who have raised the issue of Britian’s use of Gorkha troops in that country, Ball says Prachanda recently told a delegation of British MPs that he is not going to stop Gorkha recruitment in Nepal.
Quoting from Hansard, the official record of the British Parliament, he adds that Prachanda gave this promise to Sir John Stanley, leader of the Inter-Parliamentary Union delegation which visited Nepal.
Sir John told Parliament: ”Unusually, for such visits, we achieved one significant change in policy. When the Maoist leader, Prachanda—now Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal—was engaged in the Maoist insurgency, he made a firm commitment that he would end the recruitment of Gorkhas to the British army. During our meeting, I put it to him that he should consider abandoning that commitment and resume recruitment. I am glad to tell the Chamber that he said that he would do so. Following our meeting, his office put out a press statement to that effect.” (Link: http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090303/halltext/90303h0010.htm#09030330000344)
Ball also draws attention to a report on the role of Gorkha’s in combat in Afghanistan, which appeared in the ‘Daily Telegraph’ newspaper. (Link
He adds, “It is obvious that we have to stop deceiving ourselves about the direction the UCPN(M) is taking. Across the world many Maoists are not only giving support to this party but also adopting the ideology of its leadership. We all need to pull back from the revisionist brink.”
In a statement, titled “Revolution and State Power in Nepal,” released on April 4, the MLM Revolutionary Study Group, which describes itself as an independent body not affiliated to any party in the US, raised a set of questions: “The central question in Nepal today is state power and the means by which it can be conquered and wielded in the service of the overwhelming majority of the people of Nepal. Does the present unstable Maoist-led coalition government represent the beginnings of a process leading to socialism, and a beacon and valuable resource for the worldwide struggle against capitalism and imperialism? Or is a disorienting political strategy being implemented that is unprepared for the next challenge and is blocking further advance of the revolutionary process?”
Some excerpts from the statement:
At present, the UCPN(M) is the largest party with a powerful mass base. It occupies leading positions, including Prachanda as Prime Minister, in what is essentially a bourgeois/feudal state backed by the 90,000 strong Nepalese army and tens of thousands in the police force. While the Nepalese army is confined to barracks, 19,000 PLA members have been housed for the past two and a half years in cantonments (military camps), their arms are being held in the camps under UN inspection, and they are slated to be “integrated” with the Nepalese army under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2006—the precise terms of which are still in dispute.
The UCPN (Maoist) announced in February 2009 that the Revolutionary People’s Councils in the liberated areas of the countryside have been disbanded. According to recent visitors, basic party units have been replaced by commissions and mass organizations in many areas. There is no evidence that the party leadership is preparing its mass base and the party for an actual seizure of power.
The class struggle, particularly the anti-feudal struggle, has abated since the end of the people’s war in 2006.
This stagnation of the revolutionary process is the result of the strategic decision made by the CPN (Maoist) in 2005 to end the people’s war, unite with a broad spectrum of parties to carry the anti-monarchist struggle through to the end, and to centre its work around elections to a Constituent Assembly with the goal of forming a Maoist-led government. It has characterized this period as a “political offensive,” with a particular emphasis on strengthening the party’s base of support in the cities.
The draft of a new constitution by the party was overseen by Baburam Bhattarai, the leading representative of a bourgeois democratic trend in the party whose plans for economic development do not call for a break with the imperialist system. Nevertheless, this draft is being pitched as an “anti-feudal, anti-imperialist” constitution. However, assuming that the Unified Maoists can muster the necessary support from its uneasy coalition partners, the CPN (United M-L) and the largest Mahesi party, a “revolutionary constitution” (including land reform and other issues) will not be enforceable without a new mass revolutionary upsurge.
The current strategy of the Prachanda leadership is not a creative development of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. It is guided by a revisionist line
To those who think that an armed seizure of state power by the Maoists would inevitably lead to defeat at the hands of the Nepalese army or an invading Indian army, we think that this greatly underestimates the revolutionary consciousness and experience of the Nepalese people and overestimates the freedom of the Indian expansionists to invade and occupy Nepal for any sustained period.
Given the growing crisis of the Indian semi-feudal/capitalist system and the massive and growing struggles of the Indian masses, the Indian government will not have a free rein. Internationally, capital is in such a severe crisis that the imperialist powers may prove incapable of controlling or blocking the advance of the revolutionary forces in Nepal. They may have insufficient resources for some semblance of economic development (and the corruptive ideological and political cookies that go with it), and insufficient military force to suppress a revolutionary mass upsurge.