Which one first, the peace or constitution? By Indra Mohan Sigdel ‘Basanta
Now a days a debate on which one, the peace or constitution, should come first is going on all across Nepal. A section of the people think that peace should come first. Their argument is that a man can fearlessly solve his hand to mouth problem by earning his livelihood, if there is peace in the country. Another section of people say that constitution should come first. If the constitution is so framed that it addresses people’s problems, then the peace will come by itself. Someone think that it is like an argument, which one came first, the egg or chicken. Which one should come first, is not a major question here. Whichever comes first, the country needs both. Some people tend to think that neither peace will be materialised nor will the constitution because of this debate. This logic and others like this represent the interests of a certain class. However, it is definitely an expression of the concern on which direction will the Nepalese society take in the days to come.
In any class society, peace and constitution are relative to a certain class. It means that the state power in a class society cannot be a means of peace for both the classes, the oppressor and the oppressed. And, in the same manner, any constitution cannot defend the interest of both classes, the oppressor and the oppressed. The state power of the oppressor class writes a constitution to defend the interest of the oppressors and in the same manner the state power of the oppressed class writes a constitution to safeguard the interest of the oppressed. A non-class state power that provides peace for and defends the interest of both classes exists nowhere and can never be so. Because, the state power, in Lenin’s word, is a political weapon of one class to suppress the other.
Nepal is a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country. Ever since the 1816 Sugauli Treaty, in general, and the 1950 treaty, in particular, the unholy intercourse between the feudalism and imperialism, mainly Indian expansionism in our case, has been giving birth to the comprador bourgeoisie in Nepal. Now, the state power in Nepal is a political weapon that exercises the joint dictatorship of a handful of comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie and feudal classes upon the Nepalese people. Apart from the reactionary classes said before, the entire people of the oppressed nation, sex and region and workers, peasants and petty bourgeoisie to the national bourgeoisie have been the victims of this very state power. In this way, the contradiction which is made up of the comprador, bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the feudal class on the one hand and the entire people of the oppressed class, nation, region and sex on the other forms the basic contradiction of the Nepalese society. And this very contradiction, to which the new democratic revolution in Nepal must resolve, has been the major hurdle for Nepal to advance.
The oppressed Nepalese people have been participating in struggles against class, national, sexual and regional oppression and exploitation the reactionary power has imposed upon them after the 1816 Sugauli Treaty in general and the 1950 “friendship” treaty in particular. People’s sacrifice in these struggles has attained high records. In spite of this, Nepalese people could not be the master of the state till 1990. People sacrificed but the power moved around the comprador, bureaucratic bourgeoisie and feudal elements. People’s enemies enjoyed the achievement of the movement acquired from people’s sacrifice. Why did it happen so always? The communist party’s inability to connect people’s struggles with the struggle of seizing power to resolve the basic contradiction or their compromise with the enemy after each struggles has been the main reason behind it.
Based on this very historical materialist analysis and the decree of “All is illusion except the state power” our party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) initiated the great people’s war on February 13, 1996. In this course, the commitment, the weapon once raised will not be laid down in the middle until complete victory has been achieved, that our party put forward before the oppressed Nepalese people and the proletariat the world over imparted an ideological strength among the entire revolutionaries. As a result of the correct ideological and political line and the commitment towards revolution, the Nepalese people succeeded to challenge the world imperialism by establishing people’s power and People’s Liberation Army by way of the great People’s War. These achievements that have far-reaching importance revalidated Mao’s saying once again in the Nepalese soil that party can achieve things, it does not have, if the line is correct.
But, our ‘revolutionary’ leaders dissolved the people’s power that the Nepalese people had established during the great people’s war, liquidated the People’s Liberation Army and ruled to return with compensation the land back to those feudal from whom the people had seized during people’s war. Not only that, our ‘patriotic’ leader who pretended to have vehemently opposed 1950 treaty has now declared that he gambled national independence by signing BIPPA. Some of the Maoist leaders, who at one time said that the Mahakali Treaty was an anti-national, have now surrendered Pancheswor, upper Karnali and the Koshi High Dam Project, which was not agreed with even at the time of the King Mahendra, to India. It is true that the Nepalese people have gained political achievements like secularism, republic and federalism today. But, these achievements have not been instrumental to resolve the basic contradiction of the Nepalese society but have been so to strengthen the dominance of comprador, bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the feudal class in the state power of Nepal. Was it the goal of the great people’s war? Certainly not. All this has happened because of party’s wrong political line. Nepalese national independence and Nepalese people’s aspiration of liberation is being deceived. This once again has validated Mao’s saying that the entire achievements will get lost if the line is incorrect.
Our party had in fact decided to make peace and constitution the immediate tactic to achieve the minimum strategy of new democratic revolution. How much correct or wrong was that decision cannot be summed up in this article. And it is not a thing that I can do alone. Nevertheless, a question has come up. Had our leadership ruptured from continuity after Chunwang meeting itself, with an idea of making the democratic republic and peace and constitution as tactic in word and strategy in deed? All these needs to be summed up. But, it is open to all that the revolution is getting ruined under this leadership by sinking it in the quagmire of reformism one after another.
Everyone knows that the road to a revolution is not straight, but zig-zag. But, however zig-zag it is, it must connect the final destination, otherwise, it does not help reach there. Our destination is clear: it is new democratic republic, socialism and then communism. But, a debate is going on now in our country, which one should come first, the peace or constitution? Will the constitution of democratic republic that is written by consolidating the hold of comprador, bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the feudal class in the state power and the peace it builds will help the masses reach to the destination. Certainly, not. Contrarily, it obstructs the road to destination. Therefore, a revolutionary must not confuse with the debate on, which one first, the peace or constitution. He must clearly say, first the state power and then constitution and peace. Keeping aside the question of state power, the debate on which should come first, the constitution or peace, does not make any sense. While arriving here, it has been proved that this debate is a joint stratagem perpetrated by the reactionaries and the right revisionists to mislead the people.
Now a serious question has been posed before those who claim to be revolutionary. It is whether to stand in favour of a constitution of the democratic republic that obstructs the road to new democratic republic by safeguarding the interest of comprador, bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the feudal class or to stand against that kind of constitution to continue with the new democratic revolution. Definitely, a revolutionary cannot and must not run after the status quo logic of which one first, the constitution or peace. Contrarily, he must remain prepared to stand against the entire conspiracies of writing a reactionary constitution from the Constituent Assembly and if necessitates come out of it and then rebel firstly for the new democratic power and then peace and constitution. This is what the entire oppressed Nepalese people and the world proletariat expect from the Nepalese revolutionaries at present.