Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist): The differences of opinion within our party

By Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplap’

We should say honestly that there is a difference of opinion on how to accomplish the Nepalese Revolution. Mainly, the difference of opinion is about the party line, political program and tactics in our party. This clearly justifies that a serious u-turn has occurred before the Nepalese Revolution. The responsibility of carrying the revolution ahead successfully has fallen upon the shoulders of the revolutionary communists of Nepal and the revolutionary communists of the world. We all should direct our attention to it.

1) The difference of opinion on political program

The main bone of contention is whether the party should advance ahead for a People’s Republic or stay in the stage of democratic republic. In our central committee meeting held from 4 to 6 October 2008, Party Chairman, Comrade Prachanda put forward a program to remain in the Democratic Republic. His spoken proposal pointed out the necessity of the tactics of democratic republic; there is no favorable situation to advance into the People’s Republic.

On the contrary, he pointed out the need to synthesize the ideology based on the achievements gained up until democratic republic. After the proposal of Com. Prachanda, Com. Kiran disagreed with the program of democratic republic, and put forward a written proposal for a People’s Republic. Com. Kiran proposed that the appropriateness of the democratic republic is over and the party should advance ahead towards the People’s Republic.

We must understand some of the aspects that the declared and authentic political program of our party was from the beginning a new People’s Democracy. According to the validity of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the central question of the People’s War is to achieve people’s state power and that is the new people’s power. This objective has not changed until now.

An interesting aspect is that the Nepali Congress (NC) and the Unified Marxist and Leninist (UML) are more active in the operation of the state than during the period of the monarchy, when the PW began. The Parliamentarians carried out barbaric repressions against us. Viewed from this aspect, the People’s War was against even the multiparty parliamentary system. Our slogan was, “Let’s not remain under the illusion of parliamentary system! Let’s prepare for a new people’s democratic revolution!”

When the PW was advancing ahead to its climax, King Gyanendra took power in his hands through a ‘coup’ over the parliamentary parties. Let us remember that this was a fascist step to reverse the defeat of parliamentarians and the victory of the people through PW. The ‘coup’ of Gyanendra polarized the situation. The Democratic republic was the outcome of this polarization. At that time, we had a clear conception that the democratic republic will only be a transitional tactic for a united front with parliamentary parties against the monarchy.

The transitional tactics show that the tactics for the democratic republic are not the tactics to replace the new People’s Republic; rather it was the tactics for the new People’s Republic that has ended along with the abolition of monarchy and the establishment of republic in the country.

The class character of the democratic republic is of a bourgeois class character. After the constituent assembly, the monarchy has been abolished and the republic has been established, however, there is no change in its class character. The party has reached up to the super structure of the state power, the constituent assembly government; but all of the bases belong to the old class power. The economy, military organization, administrative structure and the laws are of the old power. There is no possibility to hand those bases over to the people by a simple process or by peaceful means.

For this, a new political program is necessary to be taken among the people. It is clear that remaining in the democratic republic instead of advancing forward to the People’s Republic is to distance the goal of building the people’s power according to the basic programs related to Marxism under the leadership of the proletarian class; and stumbling and being stuck into the parliamentary morass under the bourgeois class state power. These are the main differences between democratic republic and the People’s Republic.

2. The strategic difference

The second difference is on how to accomplish the Nepalese revolution; by insurrection or by peaceful struggle. Although our party has reached to this stage through the line of the people’s War, armed struggle and the strategy of insurrection, we had said that there was a little possibility of a peaceful development of revolution as we had entered into the peaceful process two years ago.

Even though we accepted that type of possibility in a specific time, however, it is impossible in such a country like ours. However, some of our comrades in the leadership are in favour of peaceful transition through the democratic republic. This tendency is talking about insurrection while at the same time it is breaking down the bases of the insurrection (the fusion of PLA, sending the professional revolutionaries back to their homes, sending them to hold jobs, giving emphasis only in the economic reform and the economic willfulness within party clearly show it). It has brought the peaceful transition before in practice. We have our opinion that the specialty of the Nepalese revolution is necessarily armed and, in this way, the revolution will succeed.

For that, the PLA should be consolidated instead of fusing them, and the full-timer cadres should be given political work instead of sending them back home.

In the strategic issue, Chairman Comrade Prachanda and some other comrades say that the revolution is possible from the top-level through the government and the legislative-parliament. However, in our opinion, it is only the minor aspect, and the main aspect is a People’s revolt; and it should be so. The government and the legislative-parliament should change what they can, but it is not possible to shatter the old state power, which has army, administration, law and capitalism. There is possibility of a simple reform; however, the birth of a new power is impossible just through simple reform. Therefore, the strategy of top-level intervention is connected with peaceful strategy and it is not a matter over simple tactics. This is the second difference of opinion.

3. The tactical difference

The third difference of opinion is on whether we should apply the tactics of class struggle or the tactics of reform. Chairman Comrade Prachanda has presented the tactics into four points:

1) the writing of a new constitution,

2) building new army by fusing the two armies,

3) extension of the publicity of the budget,

4) development and construction.

He argues that the insurrection will be in the struggle of writing constitution or in the fusion of the army etc.

Our opinion is that these afore mentioned points are the points to be used in tactics, however, these points are not revolutionary but reformist in essence. These points can be the points of reform and compromise; but these are not the points to ensure the insurrection. These points have governmental specialty, but they are not unique to the party.

Along with it, it is necessary for a strong People’s Liberation Army, a large scale of the devoted cadres and a clear plan for the struggle. In our opinion, these points can be used only to show, but the party should fix the revolutionary tactics. Mainly, the tactics should be to hit strongly upon the bases and the bodies of the comprador capitalist power and shatter them. To do so, the struggle should be oriented to shatter the old economic base, the arenas of the comprador capitalist and the old cultural structure. Simultaneously, the tactics should be to raise the peasant movement, dissolution of the old army from inside and outside; to hand over the power to the people.

Likewise, the tactics should be applied to make united front among patriots and communists and run the struggle by giving top priority to nationalism. These points will fulfill the role of revolutionary tactics. Recently, we have our opinion that some of the tactical-points can be implemented through the government’s side by putting the revolutionary tactics at the front. Otherwise, the implementation of the tactics, separated from the revolutionary tactics, will necessarily be trapped in reformism and will be dissolved into negotiationism.

In totality, we have our own opinion that the political program, strategy and tactics proposed by the Chairman Com. Prachanda represent reformism. If we advance ahead through these tactics, it is clear that our party will be drowned into the swamp of reformism up over its head. The only solution is that the party should advance ahead through the political program of the People’s Republic, the strategy of insurrection and the tactics of class struggle. It will accomplish the Nepalese people’s revolution, although it is risky.

[Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplap’ is a member of the central committee of the CPN (M). This article first appeared in Red Star, November 16-30, 2008.]


November 26, 2008 -- The six-day long national cadres' conference of the CPN (Maoist) held at Kharipati of Bhaktapur ended Wednesday evening, adopting new strategy which, according to party leaders, is a 'synthesis' of separate policy documents presented by party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and organisation department chief Mohan Baidya.

Talking to reporters after the conclusion of the national conference, party spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara said the conference has adopted a slogan 'people's federal democratic national republic', which pretty much sums up the immediate strategy of the party.

The national conference adopted the strategy after intense brainstorming over the documents of Dahal and Baidya, Mahara informed claiming that the decisions taken at the conference "have brought party unity to a new height".

Leaders said the new strategy seeks to institutionalise democratic republican order while keeping the option of "gradual advancement towards people's republic" open.

During the group-wise debate, the cadres gave a clear thumps-up to Dahal's document, but suggested that leadership come up with a single document by merging the two. Owing to their pressure and to avert looming leadership crisis the party stalwarts had agreed to merge the two proposals.

1200 senior party workers including People's Liberation Army commanders had participated in the national conference. mk Nov 26 08