Maoists have hit the streets from today aiming to topple the current government. They should have gone to the Constituent Assembly instead.
Sticking to their old demand that the presidential action over the sacking of the then army chief by the then Maoist-led government some four months ago be corrected, the Maoists have started today their ‘decisive’ agitation to bring down the Madhav Nepal-led government. This is clearly unfortunate not because the shaky coalition is at the helm putting the largest party in the Constituent Assembly, the Maoist, out of the government but because the Maoists are not honest to their demand and they are not fighting for the civilian supremacy as they tirelessly and consistently claim.
Now that the Maoists have started the anti-government and supposedly peaceful movement to establish people’s supremacy, the only sufferers of the agitation will be the people of Nepal themselves. We can predict some general strikes (popularly called Nepal Banda or shutdown of Nepal), disruption in industrial sector and of course traffic thereby causing potential price hike and difficulties to the general citizenry. Past couple of years, even after the restoration of peace in Nepali society, Nepal hasn’t seen any stable time for a even a few days. If not in Kathmandu then in the plains (Madhes or Tarai), the movements kept going on, then some in eastern parts others in western parts, everyone fought for their petty interests, of course, in the name of Nepal but no body, indeed, cared about the people.
Prachanda said today (Sunday):
1. The current government is unsuccessfully trying to maintain its hold on power, although the international community has already called for the formation of “national unity government” in the country.
2. Madhav Kumar Nepal-led government is an “obstruction for the new constitution and establishment of peace in the country”.
3. Intensity of the nationwide agitation will not wane but continue to grow until the President’s “unconstitutional move” on the Army chief row is corrected. Protests will be peaceful but if there are efforts to suppress the agitation through the use of force then its outcome would not be good. (source)
In a democracy it is but natural that every political force is engaged in power struggle and rivalry. But what is happening in Nepal has overshadowed all other democratic rivalries and put itself in a very shameful position.
Maoists know that the primary aim of the constituent assembly that was elected almost two years ago is to write a constitution and take the ongoing ‘peace process’ to the logical conclusion. For this, Maoists are responsible as much as the government is. They have a role to play, either they are ‘in’ the government or ‘out’ of the government. That shouldn’t really matter to them if they are really fighting for the people. But, unfortunately, they seem to have this strange notion that without being in the government, or without leading it, they can’t achieve their aim. And, going by the now infamous video of Prachanda, their aim is quite awful. They want to capture the state. Prachanda dismissed the video saying that was said in different context and now they were fully committed to the multiparty democracy. But the recent outburst of Dr. Baburam Bhattarai to a British leftist website suggests that the Maoists haven’t abandoned their aim to capture the state by force.
Dr. Bhattarai says:
When the autocratic monarchy centralised all state power in a coup, it was easier for us to have an alliance with those bourgeois democratic parties and we made the 12-point understanding. On the basis of that 12-point understanding we launched a mass movement which we called the 2nd mass movement. After the 2nd mass movement there was a huge upsurge of the people and the autocratic monarchy was forced to accept the Constituent Assembly and to step down. After that we made the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, in which we had to make certain compromises. Those compromises were made to abolish the monarchy, hold the Constituent Assembly elections and then move ahead to complete the bourgeois democratic revolution in the country.
After April 2009 [when Prachanda resigned from government], that phase of the Constituent Assembly and implementation of the bourgeois democratic republic was more or less complete. Our understanding is to now carry on the struggle forwards to complete the New Democratic Revolution. So again we made a tactical shift, showing that from now on our major fight would be with the bourgeois democrat parties who are backed by imperialism and the expansionist forces. With this thinking our party left the government and now we are focusing on the mass movement, so that now we could really practice what we have been preaching. That means the fusion of the strategy of PPW (Protracted People’s War) and the tactic of general insurrection. What we have been doing since 2005 is the path of preparation for general insurrection through our work in the urban areas and our participation in the coalition government.
But what one should not forget was that we had never ever surrendered the gains of the PPW, what we had gained during the ten years of struggle. We had formulated the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), we had our base areas, we had a lot of mass support, and all this we have been able to preserve. But we have not been able to convey to our comrades outside the country that the gains of the People’s War were never surrendered. The PLA is still with us, and the arms we collected during that war are still with us within the single-key system, monitored by the United Nations team, but basically the key is with us and the army is with us and we have never surrendered.
This shows we have not abandoned the path of PPW. What we have done is suspended that part of the activity for some time and focused more on the urban activities so that we could make a correct balance between the military and political aspects of struggle. After some time we will be able to combine both aspects of PPW and general insurrection to mount a final insurrection to capture state power. We would like to stress that we are still continuing in the path of revolution, but the main features we tried to introduce were to make a fusion between the theory of PPW and the tactic of general insurrection. After coming to the peaceful phase I think whatever confusion there was has been mitigated and people realise we are still on the revolutionary path.
Now we are preparing for the final stage of the completion of the New Democratic Revolution. In a few months when the contradiction will sharpen between the proletarian and bourgeois forces, maybe there will be some intervention from the imperialist and expansionist forces. During that time we may again be forced to have another round of armed clashes. Our party is already aware of that and we have decided to again focus on the basic masses of the people both in urban and rural areas. To strengthen those mass bases we have formed the United National People’s Movement, which will be preparing for both struggle in the urban areas and to strengthen our mass base in the countryside. In the decisive stage of confrontation with the reactionary forces we could again combine our bases in the rural areas and our support in the urban areas for a final assault against the enemy to complete the revolution. (Continue reading it here)