Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Nepali democrats and the fig leaf of democracy

by Dharmendra Bastola

There is a saying: ‘ a political death is several times more merciless than a real death’. If there is any one who has suffered from political death, it is Girija Prasad Koirala and his feudal autocracy. According to the general norms of democracy, after an electoral defeat, the defeated party must leave the government and allow the largest party to form a new government. But GP Koirala has ignored and mocked such norms and values, and stayed in power without any political legitimacy. This exposes the true nature of Nepalese democracy-it is in fact is a feudal and comprador autocracy and a bourgeoisie dictatorship. If GP Koirala really abided by the democracy he advocates, he would have resigned long ago and let the new government be formed.

Giraja’s recent comments ‘Minus Girija’, ‘confusion in the international community’ and ‘wondering elsewhere’ and ultimately ‘arriving to the parliament to declare resignation’ portray many meanings. The meaning is: if there was no confusion in the international community, or if he was not wondering elsewhere instead of coming to the Constituent Assembly, Girija would have submitted resignation right after the defeat in the election. Does a sovereign nation depend on the ‘clarity’ or ‘confusion’ of the international community even after a political process has been decided? Can the people of that country realise self-respect, who have a leader, but roaming aimless unless instruction comes from outside? This is what a real character of the Nepalese democracy and its democrats. Again the Nepalese messiahs of democracy are never tired to deliver lectures as if they are the number one democrats or even a pioneer of the kind of democracy, ironically, which can never move unless it is moved from outside.

There are many examples of how leaders respect their own democracy. In India, Sonia Gandhi gave up the post of Prime Minister. Similarly, in the United States of America, Hillary Clinton has now given her support to her Democratic Party rival Barrack Obama. Contrary to these examples, Nepali democrats are sticking to their posts even after suffering defeat. And, even after declaring his resignation, GP Koirala is provoking a disastrous agenda that may split the country, as has happened in Korea, Vietnam, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, the former Yugoslavia and the former USSR. This is the true intention behind the slogan ‘one Madhes, one Pradhes’.

Where are the real stakes in this political process? The seven point agenda that the NC has put forward were not the milestone to depart from the seven party alliance, SPA, this case had occurred many times in the past. But these seven points are quite crucial because the general political orientation of the 12 point agreement was almost over along with the deposition of monarchy and having the Federal Republic of Nepal brought into being. And the struggle over state and democracy has so intensified in these two months, and taken Nepalese society to a new height. By which the validity of the democratic republic has now weathered away for the both: to the Maoist as well as to the parliamentary parties. Hence, the necessity of the New Democratic Republic has emerged up for the Maoist and the necessity of social fascism has emerged up for the parliamentarian parties. Any confusion on this question will lead to political disaster, not only for the political transformation of the Nepalese society, but also for the interest of the national integrity and sovereignty.

The NC blames the Maoists for not respecting democratic norms. But history has shown again and again that it is not the communists but the capitalists who violate norms and values. Isn’t it the Maoist party that supported the Congress government by supporting the two third majority provisions in the constitution to remove the prime minister or to change government? Has our party ever tried to remove Girija from the post, even though there were many complaints from the UML over this constitutional provision? Isn’t this enough evidence for any one that it is only the CPN(M) that has truly valued the established norms and values? Fundamentally, this so called democracy is nothing but bourgeois dictatorship. This bourgeoisie dictatorship does not and cannot tolerate anything that is in the interest of the masses of the people and is against the feudalists and autocrats. This is one fact, which is enough to prove how hollow the dictum of democracy is and why it is the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. As long as Girija was in power every thing was fine for him as well as for the Congress. The moment the election results kicked them out of power, they moved against the mandate of the people. Now it is very clear to all, that the democracy of the Nepalese democrats is nothing but a fig leaf to hide their undemocratic character and their class dictatorship.

Once again, what are the real political stakes? The outstanding contradictions are whether Nepalese society should go forward or not; whether the Nepalese people are sovereign or not; whether Nepalese society can be restructured or not; whether the Nepalese economy can be re- organized or not? This issue is linked with three major factors that are related to the changes in Nepalese society. Those issues are: the NC does not want the Nepal Army to be democratized to serve the Nepali people.; the NC does not want to abolish the feudal mode of production and reorganize the Nepalese economy; the NC does not want to restructure Nepalese society into national and regional autonomous republics according to the principal of the nation to the right of self determination. So the real question is whether the Maoist should be allowed to form a government and write a new constitution that has to be written two years from the CA election.

Regarding federalism and autonomous states, it is important to understand the meaning, definition as well as the scientific methodology to resolve oppression of one nation by another. Lenin said:

The right of nations to self-determination means only the right to independence in a political sense, the right to free, political secession from the oppressing nation. Concretely, this political, democratic demand implies complete freedom to carry on agitation in favour of secession, and freedom to settle the question of secession by means of a referendum of the nation that desires to secede. Consequently, this demand is by no means identical with the demand for secession, for partition, for the formation of small states.

If the parliamentarians are to respect the right of nations to self determination, they must respect the Tharuwan, Kochila, Mithila and Bhojpura peoples through equality, freedom and the right to self determination. Instead, the demand of the parliamentary parties is not for establishing freedom for the oppressed masses of people, rather it is a demand to establish a set of feudal lords, bandits and looters in every state. Their conception is not designed to end oppression but to promote national chauvinism and autocratic feudalism. Why is the slogan ‘one Madhesh one Pradesh’? Has the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) ever put forward slogans such as ‘one Pahad, one Pradesh’? This is not a political solution. In fact, the federation of autonomous republics relates to a tactical question to shatter the chains of bourgeoisie exploitation and allow the masses to develop politically, economically, and culturally by creating equality for the people. By this process, national and regional chauvinism and oppression will be abolished, and the conditions will be developed so that all the national and regional barriers will be demolished.

But this kind of society, which is radically different from an exploitative bourgeois society, cannot be established unless the old one is smashed. Marx pointed out in 1871 that “the proletariat cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made (that is, the bourgeois) state machine and wield it for its own purpose, that it must smash it, break it up.” As Marx said, as long as the old state still exists, it will try and stop the people establishing a new state.

{writer is a central committee member of communist party of Nepal (Maoist)}

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