Friday, 31 October 2008

Forced Displacement of Dalits and the Maoist Project in Nepal


Each passing day and event in Nepal adduces more and more evidence of the fact that the Maoist power in Nepal is only a sham for the real bourgeois power lurking behind it and asserting itself at each step of the political life in the country. Capitulation of Maoists to assume power through parliament, hobnobbing with Monarchy and then with Nepali Congress, abandonment of Madhesi movement under pressure of bourgeois parties in Seven Party Alliance, coalition with bourgeois parties like Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, assumption of power in collusion with bourgeois parties, declaration of their power as ‘joint dictatorship of bourgeois and proletariat’, assurances to local and foreign capitalists for securing investments, declaration of Nepal as federal republic instead of a proletarian democracy, pushing the peasant war into blind alley of constitutional democracy, repeated proclamations for protection of private property and now the recent one – forced ejectment of landless dalits from the land seized by them, are the consecutive links in this chain.

The incident of Mirchaiya in Siraha district of Nepal, is the one of such incidents, where the proclamations and programme of Maoists had come for a test on the ground, in all its seriousness. Though on a limited local scale, but the national project of ‘New Democracy’ of Maoists, which they claim to uphold in conjunction with ‘national bourgeois’, was put to verification in practice, incidentally.

The artificial limitation set out by the Maoists upon their ‘first stage’ revolution, i.e. not to cross over the limits of bourgeois rights and property, came in direct conflict with radical aspirations of proletariat, whose class interests placed the demand for seizure of all lands belonging to the landlords, on the order of the day. While the workers and peasants were expecting the new government to become an instrument for land reforms, of which seizure is the most radical tool, the government under Maoists stealthily prepared the plan for return of even the lands seized from landlords during armed struggle. Maoist party entered into an agreement with bourgeois-landlord parties to return all the lands seized through armed struggle.

One of such landed Estates, seized during the armed struggle, belonged to Mohan Shahi, a member of former royalty, but was then returned back to the landlord by the ‘democratic’ government of Prachanda. Landless dalits who were dispossessed form the land with a promise for alternative lands, recaptured the same after the government failed to provide them any shelter and erected their hutments upon it.

The radical action of the proletariat, created a furore among bourgeois and its allies. The move was peculiar in the sense that it was probably the first shot- a real and direct one- triggered by the proletariat to carry forward the revolution. The attitude of Maoists towards this incident was to demonstrate what their avowed enterprise of ‘New Democracy’ was to look like in the broad daylight! Needless to mention, that the land seizure was perfectly in line with the programme and proclamations of the party and government under Maoists. Poor innocent people thought that the new government if not support them, also would not repress them. Acting under the deception of revolutionary rhetoric of these false revolutionaries, proletariat had advanced forward, but only to be beaten back at the hands of the same ‘radicals’!

With consent of Prachanda and his Party, the armed police reached the spot, brutally beat up the ‘illegal squatters’, threw them on the road, took possession of the land and the government returned it back to Mohan Shahi, with sincere apology.

Prachanda personally endorsed the police action, on his return to Nepal. Matrika Yadav, the Minister for Land Reforms and Management in Nepal, and Member of Central Committee of CPN (Maoist), who supported the workers’ action was asked to tender apology. Matrika resigned instead, endorsing in ‘open letter’ that revolution stands betrayed by its leadership. This fanned a wild debate among the rank and file in the Maoist Party and among the workers and peasants, about the real face, meaning and role of the Maoist programme. This letter is an eye opener for those who still retain faith in false politics of Maoists in Nepal or elsewhere.

This dispute over land seizure, however, opened a new chapter in the ongoing debate inside and outside the Maoist Party, centered around - ‘What Next’. While Prachanda & Co. are for consolidation of bourgeois democracy in Nepal under the red banner and the false slogan of ‘New democracy’, the popular masses, the workers and peasants and also the rank and file inside the party, are becoming desperate to move forward on the road of revolution. While the Maoist leadership is assuring the foreign and local capitalists of preservation of private capitalist enterprise and property in general, the masses have started to move, instinctively on the path of ‘permanent revolution’. Symptoms of popular unrest and dissatisfaction, emanating from the status-quo being deliberately perpetuated by the Maoists in Nepal, are becoming clear with every passing moment. The dubious Maoist project of ‘New Democracy’ centered around the Stalinist ‘two stage theory’ – Capitalism for now, Socialism in the next’ – on the one hand and the legitimate expectations of working masses and peasantry on the other, have started to collide with each other. Maoist leadership under Prachanda is clear in its perspective and programme of a smooth advance on the capitalist road. Dilemma is, however, presenting itself for those thousands of young revolutionaries, who had deposed sincere faith in the false rhetoric of Maoists in Nepal.

After betraying the great popular uprising of April 2006, by holding back the forces at their disposal, from coming to the aid of the proletariat at the peak of the uprising when overturn was imminent, and after preventing the proletariat from carrying out a revolutionary overturn, Maoists, openly joined hands in Nepal with their national bourgeois. They proudly declared that the power in their hands is a ‘joint dictatorship of proletariat and bourgeois’. As the reality then started to reveal and continues to do so, this ‘joint dictatorship’ is unfolding itself more and more as the bare ‘dictatorship of bourgeois’, supported by the local and foreign exploiters, and directed against the workers and peasants.

This fanciful and unrealizable ‘joint dictatorship’-the coalition of Maoists with bourgeois parties- when passes through the prism of real world, makes a refraction of ‘bourgeois dictatorship’ in black and white, and it is in this way that fantasy of ‘joint dictatorship’ reconciles itself with the real world. The refraction shows that the Maoists who entered the government as a majority, are kept there as hostage to their bourgeois allies. Unable to explain this shameful contradiction, Maoists take the shelter under the limitations of a coalition. But who compelled them to enter into this ‘joint dictatorship’? They themselves! Formation of coalition government (the joint dictatorship!), say our Maoists, “is the victory of unparalleled and historic importance ever achieved in 160 years of Marxism”, ‘but’ alas, this coalition does not permit us to advance! This presents the correct picture of Maoists politics in Nepal.

In the backward countries of the world, from India to Nepal, the revolution, with bourgeois-democratic tasks as its immediate agenda, can succeed only as a proletarian revolution, as the national bourgeois in these countries, is politically too weak and insignificant to address these tasks. In its turn, the proletarian revolution, can succeed only if working class, however tiny in size, succeeds in mobilizing the peasantry, the multimillion reserve of real force, behind it. The peasantry, due to its dual and inconsistent character and historic limitations, is not able to consolidate itself on a nationwide scale, in order to be able to carry out a social revolution, is destined to follow the lead of the working class of its country, to liberate itself from the clutches of exploitation. Vice versa, the working cannot succeed in its mission of establishing its dictatorship and triggering a social revolution, except with the aid and support of the peasant mass.

The fate of proletarian revolution, in backward countries of the world, thus chiefly counts upon the prospects of a close political alliance, between proletariat and peasantry. If bourgeois becomes successful to hold back the peasantry from throwing its support behind the proletariat, the tiny proletariat in these countries cannot take to a revolution. Similarly, if the peasantry is deprived of the leadership of the proletariat, its all efforts, however heroic they may be, drain into nothing. Thus, the core of all political struggle, in backward countries, where overwhelming proportion of the population is comprised of peasantry, is the struggle between the basic classes-the proletariat and the bourgeois- to win over the peasantry to their side.

The success of bourgeois regime, hinges on its capability to prevent the working class from consolidating itself to take the leadership of peasantry in its hands.

In ordinary times, when peasantry, with its heads down remains engaged in back-breaking toil and follows the dictates of old regime, there remains an abyss between the workers and peasants. But the toiling masses, being pushed more and more into the whirlpool of poverty and deprivation, become gradually disillusioned with the old regime, and start to move against it. In backward countries, this discontent is expressed through the sporadic peasant uprisings. But till these rural uprisings remain in motion independently, they pose no real threat to the old regime. At the most they are capable to bring about local revolts in the form of peasant wars, which, the old regime, operating on national scale, tackles at ease. The peasantry, on its own, cannot consolidate itself on national scale, which is condition precedent for a revolution. Unless and until the working class, through its political party, consciously attempts the political fusion between itself and the revolting peasantry, the revolutionary potential of peasantry continues to drain for nothing.

The chief political striving of the old, decaying regimes in backward countries, is thus to prevent this fusion by all means at their disposal. As all these means- from force to deception- fail, and this political fusion becomes imminent threat, the ‘pink’ forces- i.e. the Stalinist and the more recent incarnation Maoist Parties- prepare themselves to take the power in their hands, to prevent the working class from taking power, through a revolution.

Having constituted itself under the false banner of ‘Communist parties’, as they exist in all countries, which enables them to falsely claim some legitimacy through the great struggles of world proletariat, this ‘red bureaucracy’ substitutes itself in place of the working class, by placing itself directly at the head of peasant wars, bye-passing the working class. The red bureaucracy, thus consciously pushing aside the working class to margins, like in India and Nepal, or aiding in its complete annihilation, like in China of 1925-27, forms itself into a bureaucratic crust over the peasantry. Its role then becomes to hold back the peasantry from following the lead of proletariat and thereby prevent the proletarian revolution. This is done by sowing illusions in the role of red bureaucracy as the liberator of peasantry. In the worst situation when it becomes impossible for the old regime to continue in face of mass discontent, and a revolutionary upsurge is threatened, the red bureaucracy advances to take power in its own hands and holds it for the class which itself is not able to hold the same. Under the fiction of ‘new democracy’, ‘peoples democracy’, ‘popular democracy’, ‘peoples’ republic’ and so on, proclaiming the sanctity of private enterprise and property in general, the power in the hands of red bureaucracy remains a bourgeois power in disguise, continuing to integrate more and more closely with the world capital. Under the red banner it perpetuates the rule of capital against labour, and with passing of time, the regime in its hands grows over to an open and naked bourgeois rule, protected by an iron bureaucracy. It succeeds in causing deception to the toiling mass in backward countries by holding red banner over its head and red scarf around its neck. In net result, the bureaucracy ‘wins’, but the revolution is defeated. Rather, more precisely, bureaucracy wins on the back of defeats of revolution and exactly on the yeast of reaction. The party and other political institutions in the hands of bureaucracy, are turned into auxiliary of capitalist development, after its victory.

This is what they did in China and repeated elsewhere in the last century and this is what they are doing in Nepal today!

The political machine in the hands of Maoists is turning into a tool for pushing down the initiative of toiling masses. While the real power, still remains in the hands of bourgeois, the elected government has become its democratic and popular face to push forward the rule of bourgeois, flanked by local reaction on one side and world capital on the other. Koirala or Prachanda, this is one and the same thing in the game!.

The advance of events itself is but making it impossible for Maoists to stand on two stools at a time. Forced to say goodbye to the Monarch, they are waving to Microsoft with a red carpet welcome. Their guns are turning towards the poor people in Nepal- the workers and peasants.

While the Maoist project of ‘New Democracy’ based on the Stalinist ‘two stage theory’ unveils itself as a pure and simple bourgeois venture, the Maoists of the world who till yesterday hailed Comrade Prachanda as great revolutionary, have started to accuse him personally for misdirecting the project of ‘New democracy’. The fact, though remains, that Prachanda is a mere executor of this bogus programme, stemmed in the historic miscarriage of revolutions in China, Spain and elsewhere. It is not Prachanda but Mao-tse-tung himself who in his famous pamphlet ‘On New Democracy’ preaches for preservation of private capitalist enterprise in cities and the rich peasant economy in villages, in the first stage of revolution, which Maoist term as ‘New democratic’ stage. Maoists, evading to address the core dispute, present fictitious analysis of apparent debacle in Nepal, putting entire blame on Prachanda & Co, the sincere disciples of Mao. The truth is that Prachanda, is not deviating from the Maoist venture of ‘New Democracy’, rather is striving hard to implement the same in letter and spirit. It is though, different matter that the world we live in, is no more structured to accommodate the dynamics of this fiction of ‘pink revolution’.

Nepal of 2008 is not China of 1949, where red bureaucracy may take to camouflage under the red banner for long. It would come into direct conflict of the working classes, sooner than later, and would be exposed extensively after caught red handed here and there. Its destiny would go hand in hand with that of the world capitalism and local reaction. The incident of Mirchaiya is the beginning of the end of Maoist journey in Nepal.


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