The First Days of People's War in Nepal

Revolutionary Worker #870, August 25, 1996

Earlier this year, a new development in the high Himalaya mountains in Asia gave heart to oppressed people everywhere--a Maoist people's war began taking its first steps in the country of Nepal! On the night of February 13, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) launched simultaneous attacks on seven targets in different areas of the country. There were more attacks in the following weeks. The reactionary ruling class in Nepal responded by arresting hundreds and killing many.

Nepal is an oppressed country dominated by various imperialist powers and by India, the regional expansionist power. Nepal's government is a combination of feudal Hindu monarchy and bourgeois parliament. The majority of Nepal's 20 million people are poor peasants living in remote rural areas. They suffer from extreme poverty, lack of land to farm, and the brutality of the big landowners and the reactionary armed forces.

In its May Day 1996 statement, the Committee of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement said: "This May First, the revolutionary masses have a new reason to celebrate as the sparks of People's War kindled on February 13th leap across the Himalayas of Nepal and begin to catch fire amongst the workers and peasants. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), a participant in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, has dared to initiate a war which will no doubt be protracted and bitterly fought but that has already begun to transform Nepal from a backward and oppressed country to an advanced outpost of the world proletarian revolution. This inspiring development has great implications for the South Asia region and indeed the whole world by once again reaffirming the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist principle that the masses can liberate themselves only through armed revolutionary struggle."

Recently, the RW received an issue of The Worker, edited and published by the Publications Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). The following is the editorial "Red Salute to the Immortal Martyrs of the People's War" from that issue (No.2).


Every revolution is nurtured by the blood of martyrs. The New Democratic revolution in Nepal is no exception to this. Though hundreds of martyrs have laid down their lives in the altar of this revolution since the inception of the Communist Party of Nepal in 1949, a new wave of heroic sacrifice and martyrdom was unleashed after the initiation of the people's war in the country on February 13, 1996 under the leadership of CPN(Maoist). Within three months of this qualitative leap in the revolutionary process and the communist movement in Nepal, more than two and a half dozen revolutionary fighters have attained martyrdom while facing the repressive armed apparatus of the reactionary state. And the number in the list of martyrs continues to grow every passing day. We, therefore, pay our revolutionary homage and red salute to the immortal martyrs of the people's war and resolve to march forward along the revolutionary path charted by them.

The indiscriminate killing in fake encounters, mass scale arrests and inhuman torture in police custody, widespread arson and looting of properties of the people resorted to by the reactionary state after the initiation of the people's war knows no bounds. It is difficult to ascertain the exact number of those martyred, as dozens of young fighters arrested by the police in different parts of the country are reported missing. Of the two and a half dozen confirmed to have been killed by the police in fake encounters or indiscriminate shooting at the masses in the first three months (i.e. till mid-May), most of them have been local activists of different class and mass organizations, some were Party members and some belonged to the general masses. Among the members were Com. Chop Bahadur Dangi (Rolpa), Com. Gehendra Giri (Rolpa), Com. Lahar Singh Pun (Rolpa), Com. Jayadhan Thapa (Rolpa), Com. Jokh Bahadur Pun (Rukum) and Com. Masta Bahadur Bista (Rukum). We pay our special revolutionary tributes to our fallen comrades!

February 13 marked a watershed in the history of the communist movement as well as the history of the entire social development in Nepal. The historic initiation of the people's war on this day not only dealt a fatal blow to the basically revisionist and reformist past of the Party and marked a great qualitative leap in the forms of both organization and struggle, but this also ushered in a new era of democratic revolution in all spheres of the society--i.e. economic, political, social and cultural--through violent means. With the clarion call of "it is right to rebel" the Party on that day led the masses all over the country to rebel against the reactionary state and direct their ire against the ruling feudal and comprador and bureaucratic capitalist classes so as to smash the existing semi-feudal and semi-colonial state and build a people's New Democratic state. In a pre-planned clandestine move selected targets of police outposts, state-owned agricultural development bank office, factory of a multi-national company, brewery of a comprador bourgeois and premises of a local feudal-usurer were systematically attacked and properties thereof seized, as a symbol of rebellion and to herald the initiation of the people's war on that day. Together with these, hundreds of thousands of revolutionary leaflets and posters were distributed throughout the country to spread the political message of the historical rebellion among the general masses of the people the same day. The reactionaries were caught totally unaware of all these and they were just appalled and dumbfounded at first. Only after several days did they seem to have realized the severe tremors in their "heaven" of class exploitation and plunder, and they let loose their brute state force against the revolutionaries and the masses in a state of mad frenzy. Thus the precious blood shed by our valiant martyrs was the inevitable price the revolutionary process had to pay to make a historic rupture and breakthrough in the destabilization of the old state and with the old form of our organization and struggle.

The initiation of the people's war on February 13 was the result of the objective necessity of the Nepalese society since long in crisis and the conscious subjective preparations of the Maoist communist revolutionaries. The present Nepalese state created about two hundred years ago and presided over by a small clique of moribund feudal and comprador and bureaucratic capitalist classes is beset with such irreconcilable contradictions that all reformist efforts to introduce patchworks in the politico-cultural superstructure as well as the economic base have failed to check its gradual slide towards total collapse. Consequently, the country has now slided down to the position of the second poorest country in the world; economic inequality with the richest 10 percent gobbling up 46.5 percent of the national income is one of the gravest in the world; 71 percent of the population is forced to live below the absolute poverty line; 90 percent of the population lives in rural areas in primitive conditions and 81 percent of the workforce is engaged in backward agriculture; 10 percent of the labor force is fully unemployed and another 60 percent is under-employed; nearly one-third of the total labor force is forced to emigrate to India and other countries for petty menial jobs and some for mercenary services in Indian and British armies; domination of foreign imperialist and expansionist powers in every sphere is ever increasing with more than two-thirds of the so-called development budget of the country relying on foreign loans; and so and so forth. In other words, the objective conditions of the country would demand beyond any doubt a total restructuration of the existing semi-feudal and semi-colonial relations and state and their replacement by New Democratic relations and state. But the subjective preparations by the Communist revolutionaries for this purpose was lagging far behind all these years. The Communist movement, long plagued with revisionism and reformism almost from the outset,lacked among other things a correct Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideological orientation and a revolutionary political line of bringing about the New Democratic revolution through protracted people's war, till the decade of the 1980s. Only at the Unity Congress held in December 1991 of the reconstituted C.P.N. (Unity Centre), which was later rechristened as C.P.N. (Maoist), was the ideological and political question finally sorted out with the adoption of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the ideological guide of the Party and the path of protracted people's war with the strategy of encircling the city from the countryside and in which guerrilla war will have a strategic role as the only path of New Democratic revolution in the country,. After a fierce and victorious two-line struggle for nearly two and a half years against a rightist liquidationist clique opposing this ideological orientation and political line, which was finally expelled from the Party in May 1994, the Party ultimately decided at the historic third plenum held in March 1995 to go ahead with the initiation of the people's war and chalked out the strategy and tactics of the people's war in the country keeping in mind the specificities of Nepal. A year of general preparations since then and the intense preparations since the CC meeting of September 1995 had preceded the ultimate initiation of the people's war on February 13, 1996. Thus, February 13 marks a historic and decisive victory of revolutionary Marxist-Leninist-Maoist line over the various brands of revisionism and neo-revisionism plaguing the Nepalese communist movement for long, and in that sense the supreme sacrifice made by the heroic martyrs in this phase of the revolution deserves permanent place in the annals of proletarian revolution.

As the Party has unequivocally declared in the "Plan for the Historic Initiation of the People's War" this people's war is aimed at creating a New Democratic state, then marching towards socialism and then finally towards communism through a continuous series of cultural revolutions under the dictatorship of the proletariat, and thus it is an integral part and parcel of world proletarian revolution. Hence once it is started, it will follow the objective law of development of people's war through its different strategic stages and take different twists and turns, but it will never stop until it has attained its final goal, i.e. a classless society of universal communism, as so brilliantly espoused by Mao in his theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Thus many many more of our proletarian class brothers and sisters will have to make supreme sacrifices of their lives to keep this fire of revolution burning till all the remnants of class society are burnt to ashes and we reach the goal of communism, because, as Mao again so aptly said--either none will reach or all of us will reach the goal of communism.

The proletarian revolution has both immense challenges and opportunities in the present day world. Whereas world imperialism with U.S. imperialism currently at the forefront is, on the one hand, dreaming of crushing all proletarian class and national liberation movements with the might of its vast overt and covert war arsenals, on the other hand, it is beset with irreconcilable contradictions within itself and is falling into newer and deeper crisis every day. However mighty it may appear at the surface it is ultimately a paper tiger, because the system of global exploitation and oppression it is based upon cannot be reproduced indefinitely and it has to collapse some day. Against this, the proletarian class in general and those in the oppressed countries in particular are gradually recovering after their last loss in China and, particularly with the decade of the 1980s, they are rising in offensive against imperialism and domestic reaction in different parts of the world with the invincible weapon of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in their hands. The Maoist communist revolutionaries from Peru and Philippines to India (Andhra Pradesh and Bihar) are posing a formidable challenge to world imperialism and all reactionaries and lighting the path of proletarian revolution. The Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) is preparing a good ground for the ultimate coming together of genuine communist revolutionaries the world over. It is in this context that the initiation of the people's war in Nepal marks the opening of a new front against world imperialism and reaction, and this front in the land of world famous Gorkha warriors and highest mountain peaks (Himalayas) should hammer additional nails to the coffin of imperialism and reaction. We definitely are in a long arduous warpath, as the enemy is formidable, but we are in for inevitable victory, for our cause is righteous and just. The best homage to our martyrs, therefore, would be the persistent persual of the path of proletarian revolution until the final victory is achieved, and that, we resolve with all determination and courage, we will.

Eternal Glory to the Immortal Martyrs!

Long Live the People's War!

Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!

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