[From The Worker, #1, February 1993.]
ON THE CURRENT NEPALESE COMMUNIST MOVEMENT
Significance of the Three Instruments of Revolution
It has been 43 years since the communist movement began in Nepal. There was no split of division in the movement from the time of foundation of Communist Party of Nepal till the Third Congress in 1963. But thereafter the Nepalese communist movement has split into many groups and sub-groups.
From the point of view of political line, there was no clarity in the beginning. Though the inevitability of the democratic revolution in semi-feudal and semi-colonial Nepal reeling under autocratic monarchy was generally pointed out, the path of revolution ran short of clarity. In strategy the slogan of a democratic republic was adopted but in tactics no programme was worked out to break the chains of monarchy and go beyond parliamentarism. The major political features of the unified Party were: support to the election of Constituent Assembly, participation in the general election for the parliament, tactics of struggle for supreme parliament and strategy for national democracy in the aftermath of the dissolution of the parliamentary system and introduction of autocratic monarchical rule in 1960, total silence about armed struggle, etc.
Since 1963, Com Mao and later the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China influenced the Nepalese communist movement to a great extent on the one hand, and on the other, the revisionist trends began appearing distinctly. In this context, fundamentally four main trends appeared in the Nepalese communist movement: (1) Pro-King trend, (2) The trend pursuing National Democracy & parliamentary politics, (3) the trend that pursued the line of New Democratic revolution under the guiding principle of Mao Thought, and (4) The trend that followed both Mao and Charu Majumdar. Several divisions and re-divisions took place in the Nepalese communist movement by the time of death of Com. Mao and counter-revolution in China. In 1990, a massive people's movement took place in Nepal, and constitutional monarchy and parliamentary multi-party system were restored. Various instances of unification and division took place in the communist movement. If viewed groupwise, today there are the following Parties and groups in existence in the country:
1) Communist Party of Nepal (Unity Centre) - A revolutionary Party that has adopted Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the guiding principle, and seeks to make New Democratic revolution in Nepal pursuing the theory of protracted People’s War based on the strategy of encircling the city from the countryside. This Party was formed with the merger of four major Maoist Parties & groups in 1990, namely NCP (Mashal-CC), NCP (Fourth Congress), Proletarian Labour Organisation and a faction of NCP (Mashal-COC).
2) Nepal Communist Party (Mashal-COC) - A leftist group which has adopted Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought as the guiding principle and pursues the political line of New Democratic revolution, but is gradually heading towards isolation from the masses because of its sectarian policies & eclectic thinking on major political issues.
3) Nepal Communist Party (MLM) - A small group that professes Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought as the guiding principle, and accepts New Democratic revolution, but maintains silence about the armed struggle; a petty-bourgeois, opportunist trend.
4) Nepalese Communist League - A small group which has adopted Marxism-Leninism as the guiding principle and upholds New Democratic revolution but holds the view that Mao Thought is a concrete truth in the context of China only; a petty-bourgeois, opportunist trend.
5) Nepal Labour-Peasant Party - A regionally based group, which holds ambiguous views about M-L-M. New Democracy and armed struggle; a petty-bourgeois, opportunist trend.
6) Nepal Communist Party (Unified Marxist-Leninist) - An extreme rightist revisionist group which supports Teng Xiao Ping, opposes Mao and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, advocates multi-party democracy in the place of New Democracy, opposes the use of force & pursues the parliamentary path; the main opposition party in parliament at present.
7) Nepal Communist Party (Marxist) - A small rightist revisionist group, which pursues parliamentarian politics and was split from NCP (UML).
8) Nepal Communist Party (Amatya) - An insignificant pro-Khruschev group that opposes Mao Thought.
9) Nepal Communist Party (United) - Former chief agent of Soviet Social imperialism. But a small revisionist group at present.
10) Nepal Communist Party (Varma) - An insignificant pro-Khruschev group opposing Mao Thought.
Of these groups, considering the organizational strength and influence upon the people, NCP (UML) is the biggest followed by CPN (Unity Centre). Then come NCP (Mashal-COC) and Nepal Labour Peasant Party respectively. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the remaining groups are just in name.
It would be appropriate and scientific to evaluate the Nepalese communist movement in terms of political trend, rather than in terms of groups and their strength or influence upon the people. Hence, the Nepalese communist movement should be divided into two major trends - one, revolutionary and the other, rightist revisionist. CPN (Unity Centre) leads the revolutionary tread whereas NCP (UML) leads the rightist revisionist trend. NCP (Marxist), NCP Amatya), NCP (United) and NCP (Varma), all fall under the rightist revisionist trend. NCP (MLM), Nepalese Communist League and Nepal Labour-Peasant Party are ever vacillating & centrist in nature, which have no independent existence of their own.
In sum, there are mainly two political trends in the Nepalese communist movement-firstly, the revolutionary trend that seeks to march toward socialism-communism after making New Democratic-revolution through protracted People’s War in accordance with the strategy of encircling the city from the countryside & by grasping the three instruments of revolution, namely the Party, people's army and united front under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism; and secondly, the extreme rightist revisionist trend which pursues the parliamentarian path and seeks to share power in the reactionary state by aligning with the enemies of revolution and particularly betraying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Today a formidable struggle is going on between these two trends in the Nepalese communist movement and the revolutionary communists have no option other than to resolutely move ahead with the preparation of the People’s War by pursuing the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in order to defeat the rightist revisionists decisively.
It may not be out of place here to add a few points about the Mashal COC group, which has been able to create some confusion amongst the international revolutionary fraternity by virtue of its membership of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM). Organisationally, the current Mashal-COC group is a minority faction split from the original NCP Mashal which founded the CPN (Unity Centre) by uniting with three other Maoist Parties and groups, including the faction from the minority Mashal-COC itself, in 1990. After it stayed away from the unity process of the revolutionary forces in 1990 the Mashal-COC group has been reduced to a small group confined to a few pockets of the country. Politically, it has been beset with eclecticism on the major political questions of revolution. Of these, the most glaring one has been its ambivalence on the question of the path of New Democratic revolution in Nepal. Though it formally advocates protracted People’s War as the path of revolution, it considers 'mass struggle' to be the principal form of struggle and hence does not go about preparing for People’s War from the beginning. Also, it is unclear about the importance of creating local political power for waging protracted People’s war and instead harps on such vague slogans as "Transfer of power to the people." Lack of clarity on such cardinal issues has led this group to mere reformism in practice. Ideologically, its unprincipled opposition to the use of the term 'Maoism' in the guiding principle of the Party is likely to lead it away from the revolutionary camp unless it makes serious rethinking in time.
With the fast pace of degeneration of the Right revisionist camp led by the CPN (UML) to open liquidationism, the prospects for revolutionary communists are indeed bright in Nepal.
* * *