Saturday, December 20, 2014

Nepal: Biplab’s rupture from status quo, a dissection by Comrade Basanta

Democracy and Class Struggle like other comrades is studying material  that emerges from Nepal on the line of Comrade Netra Bikram Chand (Biplab) new Maoist party, here is a critique of the new party by Comrade Basanta, this analysis by Comrade Basanta requires us to seriously reflect on the situation in Nepal and the formation of the new party.

We hope to see a reply to these serious criticisms soon from the new Maoist Party in Nepal.

A group of comrades led by Biplab declared their dissociation from the party by submitting an undated divorce-letter to the party headquarters on November 24, 2014.

The centre led by Biplab has been named as the Communist Party of Nepal Maoist. This short article has been penned to acquaint readers with the key events of anti-party factional activities in the chronological order and dissect in brief the ideological and political positions Biplab has put forward in his document entitled: “Rupture from status quo, an inevitable necessity of history”.

The two-line struggle is a motive force, which drives the communist party forward. It incessantly goes on in a communist party, sometimes high and sometimes low. In fact it is a struggle between correct and wrong ideological and political lines. But, the two-line struggle we experienced after the formation of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist has been a little odd. From the very beginning it did not remain within the confine of two-lines based on the ideological and political questions.

Though it had ideological and political roots behind it, it erupted from the organisational issues. Right in the first convention that had formed the CPN-Maoist the question of leadership was placed at the fore. It was being whispered by some of the delegates that the convention should elect comrade Badal as Chairman and comrade Biplab as General Secretary of the party Central Committee, while comrade Kiran was trusted to provide with the charge of party custodianship. It was indeed a reflection of individual careerism deep-rooted in comrade Biplab.

When Biplab showed extreme careerism through the speech he delivered comrade Badal had right then countered that it epitomised counter-revolution on the question of leadership. His assessment has now been proved correct.

For about two long years since then, there was an unusual situation in the party. There was no registered line difference as such on the ideological and political questions in the Party Headquarters, Politburo and even in the Central Committee nevertheless there were diverse opinions floating up in the lower ranks.

This leadership is not dynamic and charismatic, it cannot lead revolution, this leadership is working hard to handover this party to Prachanda, it is not people’s insurrection but the people’s war that is applicable in Nepal etc. were the dissenting views that floated up in the lower level committees, hither and thither. By placing sentimental questions at the fore, the whole thrust was laid at acquiring majority and capturing leadership in the committees resulting in organisational anarchism all through the party.

When the need to enrich party’s military line adopted by the Seventh National Congress was felt in the party, the Central Committee meeting decided to call a National Conference to discuss it. In parallel to the document presented by comrade Kiran, comrade Biplab produced yet another document which in fact contradicted with the military line adopted by the Congress.

When the Congress line was put in question by comrade Biplab producing a contradictory line, the CC meeting unanimously decided to organise, not a conference, but a Special Congress to discuss the documents within a year. Both the documents were handed out below for the lower level committees to study and the plan of street struggles were set with no dissenting position at the CC meeting.

But in contradiction of this decision at the centre, factionalism in the party did not stop. Comrade Biplab, on the one hand, did not participate in the HQ, PB and even CC meetings and on the other extensively intensified factional and cliquey meetings under his leadership.

They used to say, “One, this leadership is inept and so cannot lead revolution, two, we are committed to going ahead to armed struggle, three, we cannot wait anymore, four, board in quickly otherwise the plane will take off soon etc. etc.

In this backdrop, when he was asked to put his opinion in the party meetings by stopping such factional activities he said that he would not take part in any meetings except the plenum.
Factional activities were nonstop.

A ‘national convention’ of Biplab-led faction was being clandestinely organised inside the jungle in Kapilvastu district. The CC meeting held right at that time called on them to stop that ‘convention’ and then participate in the plenum scheduled to organise on November 22, 2014. In spite of this, they not only denied it but also organised a press conference in Butwal to ‘publicise’ the decisions taken by the ‘convention’.

It was the very date in which the fifth plenum was scheduled to organise. When they did not show up in the plenum venue, comrade Kiran asked them again whether or not they would turn up. They replied that they were holding a meeting to discuss the issue and said they might participate in the day next.

Given this situation, the plenum was deferred till the early next day, the 23rd November 2014. The next day, Biplab along with his admirers showed up in the plenum venue. Though late by one hour, the plenum commenced. After the usual proceedings were over, comrade Kiran and comrade Biplab both elaborated their documents and placed their say about the party situation. With this, the meeting was put off till the day next.

On the next day, however, he did not show up with his admirers but with a divorce-letter addressed to chairman comrade Kiran. Even after Biplab handed over the letter, comrade Kiran with a sense of high responsibility towards party unity showed maximum flexibility and requested comrade Biplab and his teammates to participate in the plenum and speak of whatever they think necessary to speak before the plenum delegates.

Turning down this request by comrade Kiran they fled away the scene to organise a press meet, where they publicly announced their dissociation from the party.

Two questions, one, what made him reluctant to wage two-line struggle in the party and, two, what made him so enthusiastic to split party when it was in middle of the plenum to discuss the questions of line and a Special Congress was in the pipeline scheduled to be organised within five months. History will definitely provide answer to these questions.

The two-line struggle that had started smouldering right after the formation of our party, the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, has in the due course resulted in the formation of a new Maoist centre in Nepal. Comrade Biplab, one of the erstwhile two secretaries of our party, has become the ‘pioneering’ leader to bring up this result to surface.

Surprisingly, he declared separation from the party right on the early next day he had placed his dissenting opinion in the fifth Plenum, which was organised to carry out debate on the very documents presented by comrade Kiran and himself.

This plenum was being held in his repeated insistence but he did not dare it to happen when the delegates were fully preparing to take part in the hot debate.

“Rupture from status quo”, has been a catchphrase in this document. There is a kind of attraction towards this tag among the revolutionary Nepalese youths. For they want the new democratic revolution in Nepal to regain momentum by rupturing from the widespread reactionary political disorder existing now. It is natural and just as well.

On the contrary, Biplab has tried to use this catchphrase to amass people’s revolutionary sentiment in his favour and then misguide the revolutionary cadres and the masses towards erroneous ideology and politics. This document will in no case be instrumental to cause a rupture towards the revolutionary change from the prevailing political chaos in Nepal but will indeed make an ideological and political rupture from the revolutionary position the international and the Nepalese communist movement have been taking till the date.

Here are a few questions in which Biplab has ruptured from the basic ideological and political positions adopted since long by Nepalese and the international communist movement as well.
One, Biplab has started writing his document by placing a slogan to begin with. It reads: “Let’s struggle against the comprador bourgeois state!

Let’s go along the direction of building a democratic state!” Noteworthy here is that from the very date of its formation the Communist Party of Nepal had regarded the socio-economic condition of Nepal to be in semi-feudal and semi-colonial condition.

The Seventh National Congress of our party organised two years before reached to a conclusion that Nepal is a semi-feudal and neo-colonial country and thus decided to change the previous formulation. In his slogan, Biplab has introduced two new political terms by removing those the Communist Party of Nepal had been using ever since its formation in 2006.

But, as regards the socio-economic condition of Nepal, Biplab has introduced a new terminology, Comprador Bourgeois State, with no satisfactory and equitable account to justify it. Nowhere in his 24-page long document, is the socio-economic condition of Nepal written to be semi-feudal and semi/neo-colonial one.

In addition to this, he has replaced the terminology of New Democratic Revolution simply by democratic revolution. By so doing, he has ruptured firstly from the position of socio-economic condition the communist movement in Nepal has been maintaining till now and secondly from the Maoist principle of the New Democratic Revolution to be accomplished in the underdeveloped countries oppressed by imperialism.

Two, in accordance with the political report adopted in the Seventh National Congress of our party, “The contradiction between comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the feudal class directed and conducted by Indian expansionism and the broad Nepalese masses is the principal contradiction” of the Nepalese society.

 But as opposed to this, the document presented by Biplab writes, “The contradiction between feudalism and Nepalese people that remained in the principal position since long has undergone a change, the first time in history.

The contradiction between comprador bourgeois state and the Nepalese people has taken its place.” By way of this formulation he has ruptured from party position on principal contradiction adopted by the Seventh National Congress of our party.

Three, ever since the so-called liberation of India in 1947 the Indian ruling classes have been pursuing the British colonialists’ path of expansion and control all across the South Asian sub-continent. Not only the communist parties but also the entire national liberation movements in this region have characterized this hegemonic act of the Indian ruling classes as Indian expansionism. But Biplab prefers to use different terminology in its place.

He writes, “All the political, economic, military, administrative and cultural sectors are under the control of India. None of the sectors is away from Indian will. Although some of the analysts and politicians compare it with Sikkimese, Bhutanese and Fijian version of subjugation, but it is necessary to have a separate analysis other than this. In our sense, it can be termed as Nepalese dimension of Indian intervention.”

By saying so, Biplab has made a rupture from the terminology that the communist and the national liberation movements mainly in the Indian sub-continent have been using till date. Why a new terminology in place of well-established one without any sufficient analysis to justify the change in it? Bluntly speaking, it can be a makeshift terminology that stands between Indian expansionism and a friendly neighbour India as the then Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist) had during the mid-eighties used the interim terminology, the Indian chauvinism, in place of Indian expansionism.

Four, in the recent years, all of the basic contradictions at the world level have been sharpening. In spite of this, the principal contradiction in the world level has not changed so far. The contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed nations and people is the principal contradiction and revolution is the main trend today. Biplab in his document has not mentioned anything about these questions but has raised these issues in a different way.

In his document he writes, “The US-led unipolar world, which was dominant from 1990s to the end of the 20th century, has been destroyed. New imperialist powers have come up. The inter-imperialist contradiction has reached to the level of war.” The last sentence in this quote implies that the inter-imperialist contradiction is principal at present and the world war is the main trend today. This is another rupture that Biplab has made from the hitherto adopted position on the international principal contradiction and the main trend of the world asserted by Mao.

Five, present era is the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution as defined by Lenin. The driving force of this era is the contradiction between the world imperialism at one pole and the international proletariat at the other. In this backdrop, Biplab has proposed his clique’s international line in three categories.

He writes, “From the standpoint of international relations our policy should be of 1) building fraternal relation with the communist parties 2) maintaining balanced relation with the communist governments and 3) taking up a policy of struggle and balance with the capitalist countries.” As regards Biplab’s international line, the first one can be assumed to be acceptable although the expression, the communist parties, is vague. The second one is unacceptable; because there is no any genuine communist party as such that holds revolutionary power in any country at present.

The third one is completely wrong, because it urges to maintain balance between imperialist powers and the proletariat. What kind of new democratic revolution will Biplab make by having compromise between the proletariat and imperialism, the main enemy of the proletarian revolution? Noteworthy here is that he has deliberately used capitalist countries to mean the imperialist ones. In this way Biplab has made another rupture, a rupture from the Leninist doctrine of imperialism and proletarian revolution.

Six, the imperialism and domestic reaction are two obstacles the communist revolutionaries must remove to accomplish New Democratic Revolution in the semi-feudal and semi/neo-colonial countries. These two reactions are intertwined and so they are inseparable. But, Biplab does not go along with this.

On this, his document writes, “It can be understood that the world is reaching towards equilibrium as a result of actions, reactions and the imperialist disputes seen in the events of South Asia and Middle East.” The document again writes, “A possibility is being witnessed that the internal contradiction and strength of the concerned country, not of the external one, can now have decisive role for any revolutionary movement to triumph.” These two quotations clearly reveal how he is deliberately seeking excuses to escape from the struggle against imperialism, the main enemy of this era.

 In fact, by so doing Biplab has made yet another rupture from the Maoist doctrine of the New Democratic Revolution in which two obstacles, the domestic reaction and imperialism, are to be removed simultaneously.

Seven, armed people’s insurrection and the protracted people’s war have been developed as two paths of proletarian revolution in the international communist movement. The first model was developed in Russia, a capitalist country and the second model was developed in a semi-feudal and semi/neo-colonial country, China. These two models were developed in countries that had qualitatively different socio-economic conditions and the balance of revolutionary strength was different.

But Biplab looks at this issue in a different way and does not find difference in their content. On this, his document writes, “The people’s insurrection too can be termed as people’s war. In the final analysis, every revolution is made by the people. It is not wrong to say that a war made by the people is people’s war”.

Why does he bring in this generalization which blurs the essential difference between these terminologies and makes people’s grasp loose towards the path of revolution? This is another rupture he has made from the hitherto agreed position on the contents of two models of proletarian revolution.

Eight, it is true no revolution can be a replica of other. But it does not mean that it must necessarily be free from any traces of either model. Rather, the fact is that the path of revolution in a country resembles more with one of these models and so it should be regarded as the base. Then again Biplab differs on this.

He writes, “The rule that it must necessarily be linked either with insurrection or people’s war does not apply, when we talk of Nepalese originality”. He further adds, “For this, it should take up a policy of building people’s power from the urban and rural areas with a goal of central power”. How can he build people’s power both in the rural and urban areas simultaneously?

One should be principal at a time. In fact, it is eclecticism and ultimately will lead him to build up people’s power nowhere. So it is another rupture from the Leninist and Maoist path of seizing power.

Nine, the state power is a means of dictatorship of one class upon another. There can be no any state power that works for both of the classes, the oppressor and the oppressed. This is the basic concept of Marxism. As opposed to this, Biplab has coined a new word ‘power-sharing’.

He argues that Prachanda’s failure lies in his inability to struggle for ‘power-sharing’ with the reactionary parties at the time of peace process.

 With this concept in mind, they have been propagating that they will raise arms if the reactionary power does not agree for “power-sharing” with them. Why is it to raise arms? It is not to seize the state power but to force the enemy for power-sharing? It is in fact nothing other than a total rupture from the Marxist concept of state power and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Ten, till now there have been three kinds of social revolutions in the history of mankind. The first one is the bourgeois democratic revolution led by the bourgeoisie against feudalism, in the pre-capitalist era. The second one is the Socialist Revolution led by the proletariat against bourgeoisie, in the imperialist era. These two kinds of revolutions were accomplished by organising armed people’s insurrection in the cities followed by civil war in the countryside. And third one was the New Democratic Revolution led by the proletariat against feudalism and imperialism. It followed the path of encircling the cities from the countryside.

But Biplab argues that none of the two models practiced in the past nor the present military line of our party, people’s insurrection upon the foundation of people’s war, is applicable in Nepal. He has coined a new model which is termed as “The theory of unified revolution”. In the document he writes, “The line of unified revolution is the unique line of Nepalese revolution. It relates to Nepalese uniqueness and particularity.

The uniqueness does not necessarily mean to represent a particular theory but it means a new theory and line developed from both of them. The rule that it necessarily should link up with either insurrection or people’s war does not apply here. Rather it is different from these two models and contains the Nepalese originality and the universal characteristics of both. Its essence is newer than theirs”.

 But the document is silent on how this new line will be applied in revolutionary practice in Nepal. Biplab has directed a target in the vacuum. Thus, it is a rupture from the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist base and hence it is merely an imagination of building a castle in the air.

The points placed before in brief give a preliminary idea where the two-line struggle in our party was focused on the ideological and political arena. These are the basic ideological and political questions not in respect of the New Democratic Revolution in Nepal only but the world proletarian revolution as well. He claims all this is a development of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. But, how can he develop MLM when he does not base on and makes no defence of MLM itself?

In fact, in the pretext of its development, he has been drowned in the quagmire of empiricism by rupturing from the fundamental tenets of MLM. Finally, the fifth plenum from which Biplab and his admirers fled away has adopted a document entitled: Special Political Report. After the thorough analysis of the anarchism and two-line struggle erupted in the party the plenum has synthesised the trend deep-rooted in Biplab.

On this, the plenum document writes, “Thus, these activities are based: organisationally on anarchist individualism, philosophically on negative dialectics and empiricism and politically on the regressive strategy of power-sharing. In the dissenting document of Biplab, the military line which has been presented as a theory of unified revolution by negating people’s war, people’s insurrection and people’s insurrection upon the base of people’s war is very much unclear, confusing, contentless and mysterious. Also, in his document there is a soft attitude towards the Indian expansionism and so has lagged behind on the question of national independence. In conclusion, the main trend manifested in his activities and dissenting opinion is right opportunism in essence and left in form.”

December 19, 2014

Source: Maoist List and Signalfire



Anonymous said...

These comments by Basanta on the new party show the pressing need in Nepal for a summation of the history of the ICM upon which to rebuild their revolution. This summation and its lessons and failures has been done, with the New Synthesis of Bob Avakian, which the new party as well as the Kiran led party should study very carefully.

Unknown said...

I had the impression that returning to the People's War is what is sought by CHAND .... but mixing people's resurrections and PPW is a hot topic. I hope as comrades who run this page we will see comrade Chand's rational reply

Unknown said...

It is crucially and unavoidably necessary to have the opportunity of studying the two fundamental documents referred to by Comrade Basanta i.e. (a) CPN-Maoist position on 'People's revolt on the foundation of people's war' and (b) Comrade Biplav's position as described by Comrade Basanta:'Theory of Unified Revolution starting with rupture from the status quo'.

Re-starting the armed struggle could be 'adventurism' but hardly 'careerism'!!

Any new developments of M-L-M, specially by comrades with known past records like Comrade Biplav definitely deserve due attention. The thesis of relegating feudalism to a secondary position in the equation of democratic revolution, in the latest situation of Nepal, is definitely a new proposition which no serious Marxist-Leninist-Maoist can ignore.

Kumar Sarkar,
Second Wave Publications,

Anonymous said...

KATHMANDU, DEC 17 - The CPN Maoist is planning to endorse a ‘more revolutionary’ political doctrine that includes long term plan of administering parallel local bodies to form a paramilitary setup.

The leadership hopes to win support of radical cadres from other Maoist parties by tilting the party to an extreme left, according to leaders.

The newborn party, however, has no immediate plan to go to for another rebellion.

It hopes to win support of working class (middle class) in cites and peasants in villages to create a conducive environment for ‘unified rebellion’.

CPN Maoist party’s central coordinator Netra Bikram Chand is reportedly working on the document, his close aides said. Chand is likely to present the document in the party’s first general convention scheduled to take place on January 7.

The four-day conclave expected to take place in the Capital will likely give final shape to the party.

CPN Maoist leaders said the top leaders are currently working on a political document, organisational structure along with party’s immediate and long term plan.

“The leadership is planning to officially propose to lead another armed rebellion in the long run. But the party hopes to lead a peaceful protest for now,” said a CC member close to Chand.

Top CPN Maoist leaders have so far said that the party has no plan to go for another armed revolution.

Talking to the Post recently, CPN Maoist leader Khadga Bahadur Bishwokarma had said that the party would launch a protest demanding a dissolution of the Constituent Assembly.

Bishwokarma said that the new party looks to settle contentious issues of the constitution writing process through an all-party political conference based on consensus.

“Our party will reject the constitution if the ruling parties ignore forces outside the CA in settling the debated issues,” he said.

During a press conference organised to announce the new party earlier this month, Chand had warned that his party will not hesitate to take up weapons in order to ensure the ‘rights of common people’, while clarifying that there was no immediate plan to do so.