Saturday, March 19, 2005

Baburam Bhattarai On A Democratic Republic

The Royal Regression And The Question Of A Democratic Republic

..... the episode of June 1, 2001, when the relatively more weak or liberal King Birendra, along with his entire family, was butchered and a new dynasty ushered in by Gyanendra ...... he has sought to project himself as the true follower of the US President George W. Bush in the international crusade against ‘terrorism’ ...... he has a tainted image as the hardliner autocrat even within the palace since his father’s and bother’s days and is particularly hated among the public .... his induction of the old palace stooges of known anti-democratic persuasions like Tulsi Giri and Kirti Nidhi Bista ...... the essential nature of his despotic military rule has been thoroughly unmasked ...... the supine parliamentary democratic system has been snuffed out and the autocratic monarchy restored in the country ...... one has to grasp the laws of social development in a scientific and objective manner and to correctly evaluate the weaknesses and limitations of the chronically infirm parliamentary system after 1990 ...... The traditionally dominant feudal class has the comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie with it; the small and weak bourgeois class has a section of the rural and urban petty-bourgeois class with it; and the proletariat has the vast number of poor peasants and semi-proletariat with it. ...... the monarchy representing the feudal and comprador and bureaucratic bourgeois classes is historically the strongest representative of the reactionary classes in Nepal ...... the inherent defects and weaknesses of the bourgeois parliamentary democracy established after 1990 and the general infirmity and incapacity of the middle strata and forces ...... the political change and the Constitution of 1990 did not properly settle the question of ’state sovereignty’ traditionally claimed by the monarchy and left the final ’state authority’ and strategic control over the RNA in the hands of the monarchy ..... the parliamentary forces during their twelve years long rule in between did nothing to bring about a progressive transformation in the traditionally feudal and increasingly comprador and bureaucratic capitalist socio-economic and cultural base of the society ...... Com. Prachanda’s recent People’s War Anniversary statement thus: “Ultimately, the so-called royal proclamation of February 1 has not only exposed the irrelevance of reformism in the Nepalese politics, but also shattered the collective lethargy of the parliamentary political forces.” ...... an attempt of the moribund reactionary classes to wage a final battle with the revolutionary forces ..... the pathetic showing of the RNA in almost every real battle with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ..... the super military ambitions of Gyanendra ..... as any common student of military science would know, the victory or defeat of a particular army ultimately depends more on its social class base and the political goal rather than on the leadership prowess of its commander ...... In the present day world of imperialist globalization any internal political event has more international ramifications than ever before. ...... the autocratic royal regime has been totally isolated from the international community so far, which is a good omen for the democratic movement. ..... The first is the ‘anti-terrorism’ card, and the second, the ‘geo-political’ card. ..... given the extremely shaky position and uncertain future of Gyanendra himself, it is hard to believe that any of the neighbours will go beyond diplomatic niceties to extend him any substantial material help ...... on the part of the proletarian revolutionaries they should be prudent enough to practice strategic firmness and tactical flexibility in the matters of diplomatic relations particularly with the immediate neighbours ..... the new objective reality of the country is that the new ‘two pillars’ of parliamentary and revolutionary democratic forces join hands to uproot the outdated and rotten third ‘pillar’ of monarchy. The CPN(Maoist) has already made a policy decision to this effect ..... earlier the national politics was divided into three streams of monarchy, parliamentary democracy and revolutionary people’s democracy, now it is gradually getting polarized into two broad streams of monarchy and democracy ...... it is a matter of serious concern that even after more than a mouth since the coup the democratic forces have not been able to come up with an effective & coordinated plan, programme or mechanism of resistance against the autocratic monarchy....... planning further mass-mobilization and military-action programmes ...... the desired sharp attacks against the monarchy in a unified manner, firstly, amongst the parliamentary forces and, secondly, between the parliamentary and revolutionary democratic forces, has not materialized so far ...... even if a few Rayamajhis from the left camp and a few Tulsi Giris from the Nepali Congress camp may arise ..... with the presence of the revolutionary PLA to take on the monarchist RNA, and the more favourable international situation than ever to fight against the absolute monarchy, a new objective ground is prepared for the democratic political forces to mount a unified assault against the monarchy so as to sweep it away for ever ...... the question of anti-monarchy common minimum programme and slogan acceptable to all the democratic forces, including the parliamentary and revolutionary democratic forces and the international community, has become pertinent ...... It has been the considered view of the CPN(Maoist) that the programme of election to a representative Constituent Assembly and institutionalization of the democratic republic is best suited for the purpose. .... any attempt on the part of the parliamentary political parties and the international forces to preserve the thoroughly rotten and discredited institution of monarchy, in this or that pretext, does not correspond with the historical necessity and ground reality of balance of forces in the country, and the agenda of ‘democratic republic’ has entered the Nepalese politics ..... As for as the sincere commitment of the revolutionary democratic forces, who aspire to reach socialism and communism via a new democratic republic, towards a bourgeois democratic republic is concerned, the CPN(Maoist) has time and again clarified its principled position towards the historical necessity of passing through a sub-stage of democratic republic in the specificities of Nepal. ..... The fact that the democratic republic is envisaged to be institutionalized through a freely elected Constituent Assembly, should cast away any illusions about the democratic credentials of the revolutionary forces. Further concrete issues like the creation of a new national army after the dissolution of the royal mercenary RNA can be discussed during the process of negotiations. ...... The need of the hour is unity of all democratic forces of the country on the common minimum programme of a democratic republic. ..... If anything is lacking so far it is the real democratic vision and will power on the part of the leadership of major political parties. ...... it is the time to win confidence of the masses of the people through a correct projection of the democratic credentials of political parties, and for this the correct practice of inner-party democracy would be a significant component.

I notice a few things:
  1. This is a well-written article by a well-read person with a sound mind.
  2. The democrats can do business with him.
  3. All parties need to come together under the umbrella of a Democratic Republic. After 2/1, there are no options left.
  4. The CPNM is ideologically for a Democratic Republic. It is not their compromise position. That is what they want with or without the democrats.
  5. I am not alarmed with their long term socialist utopian vision. As long as they diarm, and participate in a multi-party democratic framework, I look forward to seeing what they will have to say over the next few decades.
  6. It is the "democrats" whose commitment to democracy is cloudy, he says. He cites the utter lack of intra-party democracy in the parties as an example. And I agree. He has hit the nail.
  7. He is also right in his criticism of the lack of an organized, effective response on the part of the democrats since 2/1.
  8. Despite his ideological assurances, I would be leery at the stage of dissolving the army. The Maoists themselves will have to totally disarm long before that. And the RNA could then be dissolved, and the country could do without one after that.
  9. If the democrats feel for the common Nepali people caught in the crossfires, they need to do their homework and take up the offer and coalesce around the two-word mantra of a Democratic Republic.
  10. Well, what are we waiting for?
Ideological Overture To The Nepali Maoists (2)

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