Ten years after running the violent war against the state to topple monarchy for the communist dictatorship, top leader of the Maoist Party stresses the importance of unified non-violent movement to bring down autocracy in Nepal
So Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, revolutionary by some and terrorist for others, tries to convince us that the Nepal will see an “April Revolution” and that the peaceful movement against autocracy will successfully restore democracy in the country this time around. Writing an op-ed piece in today’s edition of Kantipur daily, Dr Bhattarai says, “It is felt everywhere that the pro-democracy movement has reached to the decisive turning point after the second understanding between the Maoists and pro-parliament forces and announcements of programs of strike and non-cooperation programs beginning from April 6.” He ends his optimistic and ‘the glass is half-full’ type of article with this warning sentence: “But there is only one condition that the party leadership should lead [the movement] firmly.”
It is indeed a refreshing experience to read an article arguing for peaceful movement from the man who is waging an armed struggle against the state for the last ten years. Dr. Bhattarai, second only to Comrade Prachanda, again the revolutionary for some and terrorist for others, in the Maoist Party, heavily defends the second edition of the 12-point understanding with political forces (and points out that the same is has “disappointed a large section of the pro-democracy movement by not being able to find the common slogan and solid agenda for the movement against autocracy”) saying that there is no need to fear the possible state-measures against the movement. It’s been proved, Dr. Bhattarai writes, from the experience of the 1990 movement that we can’t shake the 250-year-old roots of the autocracy without the unity among communists, non-communists, pro-parliament forces and non-parliament democratic forces. “It is absolutely necessary that these two forces be united to establish the democracy by ending the autocracy that both of the movements couldn’t achieve,” he writes.
Citing the examples of how the autocratic king was forced to declare the 1980 referendum after the movement spread and intensified from a small protest against the hanging of Bhutto in Pakistan and 1917 ‘February Revolution’ in Russia, Dr. Bhattarai concludes, “That is why the April 6-9 struggle bears the capacity and prospects of giving birth of an ‘April Revolution’ in Nepal.”
Everyone is talking about “Purna Prajantra” or complete democracy in Nepal these days but Dr. Bhattarai says that no body has come up with the exact definition of purna loktantra or complete democracy. There might be no differences with the conclusion, he writes, that complete democracy means democratic republicanism as there is a huge majority of people advocating for the democratic republicanism in major political parties.
Here is the original article in Nepali.