Revolutionary Worker #1151, May 19, 2002, posted at http://rwor.org
We received this statement from the International Department of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).
A rare spectacle of a rendezvous between the PM of the poorest country (Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepal) and the President of the richest country (George W. Bush of the USA) is taking place in Washington on May 7. Do you know what is the common point of interest for these two polar opposites? Have you ever pondered why the arrogant U.S. rulers, who till the other day could not distinguish between `Naples' (in Italy) and `Nepal', should now offer the coveted hospitality to the poor lackey in the Oval office?
Both these leaders of the exploiting classes of the two countries are haunted by the spectre of the ongoing people's liberation movement in Nepal and are now confabulating to jointly exorcise this ghost. As co-fighters in the same side of the barricade of the exploited and oppressed of the world we feel, we, too, need to communicate with each other and thwart the evil designs of our common enemies.
As already reported in the media, Deuba is visiting Washington to beg for massive U.S. military and financial assistance to crush the popular people's democratic movement led by CPN (Maoist) in Nepal. Starting with the first ever visit to Nepal by a U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in January last and culminating in the week long visit of a high level U.S. military delegation in April, the U.S. administration has been systematically building the case for a massive armed intervention and creation of a permanent military base in Nepal (apparently to take on China & India in the long run). Current Deuba visit is, thus, meant to formally initiate a long term U.S. military engagement in Nepal and the Himalayan region with the immediate pretext of extinguishing the ever-raging democratic movement of the Nepalese people, which they slander as `terrorism'.
But can the heroic rebellion of the impoverished Nepalese masses against class, caste, gender, regional and national oppression under the age-old semi-feudal and semi-colonial dispensation, be branded and brushed aside as mere `terrorism'? Certainly not. After September 11 it may be fashionable and convenient for all the sundry ruling classes of the world to castigate every dissent and rebellion against their oppressive rule as `terrorism'. But history has always made a clear distinction between a legitimate `revolutionary war' with a progressive ideological-political mooring and the lunatic acts of terrorism with a regressive intent. In that sense the progressive democratic political nature of the revolutionary People's War (PW) led by the CPN (Maoist), which has a country-wide mass following of tens of millions, should have never been in question. Even a mainstream daily The Times of India had this to say about it in its editorial comment of January 27, 2002: "Unlike the Taliban and the many outfits inspired by Osama Bin Laden, the Maoists of Nepal, for all their violence, represent a progressive protest movement which is neither anti-modern nor exclusivist in ethnic and religious terms. The Maoists are not anti-women, anti-education or anti-development and were till recently, negotiating with elected authorities who have a dismal record of both governance and adherence to democratic norms".
About the question of current compulsive violence in the form of PW against a militarist monarchical state in Nepal, the American people with their own glorious history of war against British colonialism in the 18th century (1776 to be precise) and a civil war against the slave-owners in 1861-65, should have no pacifist illusions. As long as the society and nations get divided into haves and have-nots and the oppressors and the oppressed, nobody can wish away wars of one kind or the other. You can only choose between just and unjust wars. And history will certainly testify that the PW waged by the most oppressed masses of Nepal is a legitimate and just war aimed at ending all wars from the face of the earth.
What is the immediate agenda of this epic fight in Nepal? It should be clear to every keen follower of the events that it is a pure and simple fight between traditional monarchy and modern democracy. The immediate demands of the movement are: formation of an interim government, election to a constituent assembly and institutionalisation of the republic. As every student of political history would concede these are the common demands of every bourgeois democratic revolution, from Europe to Americas to anywhere. But is there no elected parliament in Nepal? Therein lies the biggest source of illusion and disinformation to our foreign friends, particularly in America and Europe. Though there is a namesake parliament with occasional ritual of elections as in most of the Third World countries, the real and effective state power is vested in the traditional feudal monarchy. This has been ensured through a King-granted constitution which perpetuates the `traditional authority' of the monarchy to promulgate the country's constitution, preserves all the feudal privileges, and above all, provides for continued allegiance of the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) to the institution of monarchy. As a result, particularly after the heinous palace coup d'etat of June 2001 and imposition of a state of emergency since November 2001, a fascistic royal military dictatorship has been thrust in the country and the cosmetic parliament and the legal parliamentary parties reduced to helpless rubber stamps to legitimise & embellish the feudal autocracy. The recent open tirades of the RNA chief, Prajjwal Rana, against the parliamentary parties and their leaders, including the ruling Nepali Congress Party, and the defiant rebuttal of the RNA headquarters the other day to the peace initiatives of the seven parliamentary parties, speak eloquently of this. Thus, though in outer appearance the fight at times may appear between parliamentary democracy and people's democracy (or between `old' and `new' democracy), the essential fight is between autocratic monarchy, on the one hand, and forces of democracy, both inside and outside parliament, on the other. The American people conversant with the long drawn struggle, both armed and unarmed, between the monarchy and the parliament from seventeenth century onwards to the beginning of twentieth century in Europe, including Britain, France, Germany and others, should be able to better appreciate the repeat or continuation of the same history in present-day Nepal, though with some extra particularities.
How about, then, the much alleged intentions of the CPN (Maoist) to impose a one-party `communist dictatorship' in place of monarchial autocracy in the country? This is another slander deliberately spread by the reactionary forces and innocently picked up by the gullible public. Firstly, the Party is committed to the three immediate demands cited above. And secondly, the Party has time and again publicly disowned the model of one-party dictatorship in the future people's democratic state, which is well-articulated in a recent public statement issued by Chairman Prachanda on March 27. And we quote: `we want to clarify once again that we are committed to guarantee party freedom in the new state-power to be constructed after the destruction of feudal autocracy. The state envisaged by us will not be a one-party dictatorship. The freedom to operate political parties according to one's ideological convictions and contest elections will be guaranteed. There only the activities of such elements upholding feudalism and inviting foreign domination will be curbed. We are committed to establish and develop a people's democratic system of the twenty-first century. Such a democratic system won't be a mechanical imitation of the traditional kind but will be guided by the people's needs of the twenty-first century'. Also, the 75-point Policy and Programme of the recently formed United Revolutionary People's Council (URPC), an embryonic Central People's Government Organising Committee in the form of a revolutionary united front under the leadership of CPN (Maoist), provides a broad outline of our envisaged future state policies.
Then why is Deuba, an `elected' PM, touring the world to canvas support for the royal military dictatorship? This is part of the paradox every democratic movement in history has to face. Like a section of the bourgeoisie had reneged in favour of the monarchy in the British, French, German, Russian and other democratic revolutions, so has Deuba betrayed the trust of the people and his own Nepali Congress Party and sold himself out to the feudal palace. The fact that his Information Minister J. P. Gupta, recently expelled from the Congress party for siding with the RNA chief against the party line, but still continues in the Deuba puppet cabinet, adequately speaks of the rift between his own party and the government on the question of supporting the royal military dictatorship. Deuba is, thus, a deceptive `parliamentary' mask worn by the Gyanendra-Paras-Prajjwal clique to hoodwink the democratic world opinion, which needs to be unmasked sooner than later.
What about Deuba's oft-repeated outbursts that the Maoists walked off from the peace negotiations last November and hence won't trust again any move for negotiations? This is again not real Deuba speaking but just parroting the feudal autocrats behind the curtains. The naked truth is that he is in no position, even if he wants, to negotiate on the question of republic or a constituent assembly, which are the cardinal immediate demands of the people's movement. That is why all through the negotiation process last autumn he could neither accept the demands presented, nor forward any alternative political solutions to the problem, while Gyanendra was mobilising RNA behind the scenes. Even now, when all the parliamentary political parties and civil society have expressed themselves in favour of a negotiated political settlement and the CPN (Maoist) has favourably responded to it, the Gyanendra clique, RNA and Deuba are running around begging external military interventions to save their skins. Does this not sufficiently expose Deuba's real self?
And now, what is the ground reality at the war front inside the country? The armed mass rebellion of the oppressed and the deprived has so thoroughly swept the country that almost the whole of the countryside, particularly in the hills, has been liberated from the old oppressive order. The recent five-day countrywide shut-down (Nepal bandh) has brought the ripples of the epic mass rebellion to cities and towns. The tall claims of the old order that with the clamping of countrywide state of emergency the so- called magic wands of mercenary RNA would take no time to wipe out the People's Liberation Army (PLA) have been burst asunder. Having been thoroughly defeated in every real encounter with the PLA, the reactionary RNA has been massacring innocent and unarmed masses and political activists in dozens everyday in fake encounters. There have been Hitlerite instances of butchering of hundreds of political prisoners, eg. Gyan Prasad Chalise in Bardia, Kamal Bhujel and Sumitra Ghimire in Kaski, Ajab Lal Yadav in Sarlahi, and many others. The most heinous crimes of atrocious proportions by the RNA have been the systematic genocide of hundreds of unarmed masses and political activists as retaliatory tactics after the defeats [in the real] battles, eg. in Kalikot and Achham in February, in Rolpa (Gumchal) in March, in Dang in April and in Rolpa-Piuthan in the first week of May. The latest carnage in Rolpa-Piuthan and Doti has been designed to show some `results' and `success' to their foreign masters on the eve of Deuba's U.S. and UK visits. This is also meant to put pressure on the parliamentary parties to extend the tenure of emergency rule by another six months. But such deceptive tactics cannot hide the imminent collapse of the rotten RNA, unless buttressed by the foreign powers.
The exertion of state terror by the royal dictatorship to muzzle and subdue the independent media has been the most horrendous. Not only are hundreds of media persons incarcerated without trial, making the country the single largest prison of journalists in the world, the dissenting newspaper offices have been ransacked and shut-down. Some reputed journalists have been threatened with life (e.g. Yubraj Ghimire of Kantipur) and made to pen and mouth RNA propaganda of white lies against the revolutionary forces. While no independent verification of the battle and encounter stories are permitted, all the print and electronic media are forced to carry only the RNA bulletins and launch disinformation campaign against the people's democratic movement.
It is in this context that we want to appeal to all our friends, particularly in America and Europe, not to get carried away by the one-sided propaganda of the feudal autocratic forces and their foreign imperialist masters and try to ferret out facts from fictions. There is certainly no `clash of civilizations' between the East and the West, as the ruling class ideologues prefer to term, but only `clash of classes' which would cut across all national, racial, and religious boundaries. And there will definitely be no `end of history' of mankind but the end of history of only antagonistic classes. Therefore, the oppressed people of the world look upon their class brothers and sisters in the USA, the most powerful and dangerous imperialist power on earth at the moment, to make revolution in the belly of the beast and stop it from intervening in the revolutionary processes elsewhere.
Finally, a few words to the Nepalese emigrants in the USA, who are said to number around fifty thousand. As long as the global system of uneven and unequal development prevails, people will tend to migrate to the greener pastures. But please keep in mind that unless this structural anomaly is remedied, people will never be safe anywhere in the universe. Your oppressed brothers and sisters back home look up to your enlightened opinion and actions.
May 6, 2002 INTERNATIONAL DEPARTMENT COMMUNIST PARTY OF NEPAL (MAOIST)
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