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Sushil-led Government-11

May 2014

Maoists Bubble Or Not

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


The national convention of the UCPN-Maoist held in Biratnagar elected Prachanda to the office of chairman, and the 99 central committee (CC) members unanimously on May 6, 2014. The faction of Dr Baburam Bhattarai came out of the convention. It might be either the voluntary pullout or forced one. Dr Baburam Bhattarai was an ambitious man. He had his vision of building the party but he found out that he had no appropriate place in the party that the highly tempered with ups and downs in the political life and shrewd politician like Prachanda had ruled over. So, none of the members of the faction of Dr Baburam Bhattarai was on the 99-member CC. The Vaidhya Maoists had no clear vision of doing business.


Dr. Baburam Bhattarai had been saying that he was for setting up a new political party. His disapproval of the election of Prachanda to the chairman of UCPN-Maoist, and the 99-members CC was really a signal of Dr Bhattarai setting up a new political party or not remained to be seen. The drop of the large UCPN-Maoist in 2008 to a small party in 2013 had been the issue of changing the leadership. Dr. Bhattarai had been pursuing this issue without success. Consequently, Dr. Bhattarai had to quit the position of the leadership of the UCPN-Maoist voluntary or otherwise after the national convention held in Biratnagar in the first week of May 2014.


UCPN-Maoist was inflated to a large political ‘bubble’ after the elections to a CA in 2008. The party went on inflating with the entry of many political leaders and cadres from other political parties. Leaders including Chairman Prachanda had felt that the ‘bubble’ had been inflating larger and large, and they anticipated that the ‘bubble’ would emerge a largest one after the elections to the new CA in November 2013. However, the ‘bubble’ popped in the elections to the new CA.


After the national convention held in Biratnagar from May 2 to May 6, 2014, probably, Chairman Prachanda had on mind that he would start the party as a small ‘bubble,’ as the exodus of leaders and cadres from the party was sure to happen. Chairman Prachanda had said that the exodus of leaders and cadres was anticipated as the entry to the party had been in the past. So, Chairman Prachanda had anticipated that Dr Baburam Bhattarai and his faction would go out of the convention.


Chairman Prachanda also had said that a few revolutionary cadres were better than the inert large number of cadres. He might be right, as a large mob if it were not to move did not make any impact but even a few active and dedicated cadres could make a difference in the party.


Which path the newly elected Chairman of UCPN-Maoist would take remained to be seen. It had shed the extreme left group such as the CPN-Maoist, and then the right group of Dr Baburam Bhattarai. However, it was sure that Chairman Prachanda had the less challenges to face from the colleagues to lead UCPN-Maoist to the right direction, as his revolutionary colleagues Vaidhyas on the left and Dr Bhattarais on the right had left him. Chairman Prachanda had been shrewdly leading the party for the last 25 years.


Chairman Prachanda had been saying that he would make efforts on uniting all communist parties including the CPN-Maoist and CPN-UML. Chairman Prachanda had two options of uniting all Nepalese communist parties. The first option was to lead the UCPN-Maoist to such a scale that other communist parties would have no sense of existence. The second option was to merge all communist parties. However, the second option might be next to impossible.


Chairman Mohan Vaidhya of CPN-Maoist had been saying that he was ready to unite with the UCPN-Maoist in his terms. Most of the conditions of Chairman Vaidhya had been obsolete, and were going against the peaceful mainstream politics. Chairman Vaidhya and his colleagues did not accept the CA for crafting a new constitution. They wanted to craft a new constitution going out of the CA, and with a roundtable conference of all political parties that might not be acceptable to most of the political parties.


The CPN-UML also might agree on uniting with the UCPN-Maoist but in its terms. Leaders of CPN-UML wanted the UCPN-Maoist joined the CPN-UML rather than uniting both the parties in equal terms. Vice-chairman of CPN-Maoist CP Gajurel said that after the national convention held in Biratnagar, the UCPN-Maoist would be similar to the CPN-Maoist in ideology.


The Vaidhya Maoist party had been not for returning the land captured by the Maoists in the past but for continuing the capture of land. In fact, its cadres had captured land belonging to the then Chairman of Election Council of Ministers Khilraj Regmi and his relatives. Thus, the Vaidhya Maoists had continued with the tradition of being with the peasants and proletariats.


However, Dr Baburam Bhattarai had been for returning the land captured by the Maoists to the concerned landowners. Dr Bhattarai had gone to the far western region and urged the captured-landholders to return the land to the concerned landowners. The then CPN-Maoist leaders had reached an agreement with the NC and CPN-UML to return the land captured by the Maoists. Dr. Bhattarai faced strong opposition from the captured landholders.


The landless people and small farmers trodden down by the landowners had taken up the arms and fought against the State under the leadership of the CPN-Maoist in the hope of getting a piece of land. They gave lives for land, as land was the life for them. So, if the leadership wanted them to give back the land they had captured giving their lives and blood they were not for such leadership. The land had been smeared with their blood. However, UCPN-Maoist wanted to return the land to the landowners. That was one of the reasons why the Maoist ‘bubble’ of 2008 popped in 2013.


The Vaidhya Maoists could inflate their tiny ‘bubble’ into a large one building on the foundation of the peasants. More than 70% of Nepalis continued to live on farming. Some of them possessed a tiny piece of land that was not sufficient for sustaining their families. However, majority of them had no land. They had been sharing the crops with the landowners. So, the Vaidhya Maoists could build their party promising the landless farmers at least a piece of land capturing from the landowners.


However, the Vaidhya Maoists should not dream of building the Soviet style communist State, as it had made not only the capitalists and landlords proletariats but also the peasants and workers, too taking out from them everything. The Soviet government in return gave them the hard labor to do for the party and the State. The Soviet people had lived under the special regime for 70 years hoping to build a communist state. The Soviet State did not allow the citizens to migrate from the place they had been living and working. Freedom was limited to working for the pride of the Soviet Union and the communist party.


So, the Vaidhya Maoists should work for the Chinese-styled communist party that had made China the second largest economy after the United States of America. The government of the Chinese Communist party had been making efforts on making China a largest economy in the world. The Chinese government had lifted 500 million Chinese from the poverty, made a few hundred Chinese millionaires, and tens of Chinese billionaires. What do poor Nepalis needed if they could make millions and billions working under the communist party? So, the Vaidhya Maoists should not miss this opportunity of making Nepalis rich.


Where would the UCPN-Maoist stand and then go to which direction? What was the vision Chairman Prachanda had of making Nepal? Whether he wanted to make the Soviet-styled regime or the Chinese-styled regime. Nepalis had not forgotten that Chairman Prachanda had said repeatedly he was for making the Chinese style development in Nepal. He had even mentioned the one State of China that had developed crazily following the Chinese policy on letting everybody compete for development.


Marx, Engel and Lenin had not foreseen that the Chinese communist party following their ideology would let the Chinese people work for themselves. These philosophers had envisioned that following their ideology workers would set up a party called communist party, and then formed a government that would do everything for the people. The government would have everything whereas the people would have nothing. That was exactly what happened in the Soviet Union.


The Vaidhya Maoists and the Prachanda Maoists had the options on developing the communist party that would work as the Chinese communist party or the communist party of the Soviet Union that had disgraced itself and led the Soviet Union to fall.


Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and his followers including his spouse had already shed the name of Maoist. However, they might counter it. Probably, they were to set up a new party but they had the problem of money. Their party would not be much different from the CPN-UML and the NC. Dr Bhattarai had shown his ability to do development work bulldozing the houses of the people on both sides of the roads in the name of expanding the roads in Kathmandu. His successors had no option but to follow the path set by him.


May 7, 2014

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