Friday, March 25, 2005

Nepal Communist Party (Progressive)

It is this king and his coterie that have been in the way of lasting peace and progress for the country. The Maoists have time and again expressed their desire for UN mediation to lead to an all-party government and elections to a Constituent Assembly. It is this junta that will not accept that roadmap to peace. And so it is for all forces domestic and international to act like it is this junta that is irrelevant to Nepal's future, that this junta does not have the powers to hijack the future of this country. It is my firm belief that in the current climate when all global forces are lined up against this king and his gang, if the democrats and the Maoists were to forge a strong Democratic Coalition, this regime will collapse. It is time we stopped acting like we are at the mercy of a change of heart on the part of the Monarchists. They should not be given the powers to set the timetable for peace. Homework time.

My first choice is to include all democratic parties without getting into technicalities. We all know what the parties are. Might as well go ahead and recognize them in the absence of constitutional bodies whose job it is to do so. We have the UML, the Koirala Congress, the Deuba Congress, the RPP, Thapa's newly formed RJP, the Mandal Sadbhavana, the Tripathy Sadbhavana, and the Jana Morcha.

The 4S Campaign is for an all-party government and a constituent assembly. The government in waiting is to have the following composition:

Prime Minister: Girija Koirala
Deputy Prime Minister: Madhav Nepal
Deputy Prime Minister: Hridayesh Tripathy
Ministers: Sher Deuba, Pashupati Rana, Prakash Lohani, Badri Mandal, Amik Sherchan, Baburam Bhattarai and about a half dozen others to reflect the gender, ethnic, caste and regional diversity of the country.

But this is assuming all parties accept the 4S Campaign. If there are parties now that do not agree to the idea of a Constituent Assembly, we should work on them. And if we fail, we should kick them out of the coalition. There might be some bad blood between some of the names mentioned here, but this is not a mutual love coalition. This is a coalition with a sole agenda of holding elections to a constituent assembly.

And I would like to suggest that the Maoists do some homework of their own. The Constituent Assembly is their idea. In coming to the idea, the other parties are doing some major homework. It is for the Maoists to reciprocate. And I suggest they do that by giving a fresh look to their ideology.

I believe they should start with their name. I am aware Mao's contribution was that he saw revolutionary potential in poor farmers and peasants as opposed to the traditional industrial base sought by the communists. And so his teachings seemed to make sense for Nepal, a country where 9 out of 10 people are farmers. But the Nepali Maoists need to move beyond cult of personality, and change their name to Nepal Communist Party (Progressive). That means they will continue to be wed to the ultimate goal of a classless, communist utopia, and they will continue to draw upon the works of all major commuist figures, from Marx to Mao, but communism is not Marx, Lenin or Mao any more than physics is Albert Einstein. Physics is a discipline. Similarly the Nepali Maoists should be dedicated to the scientific process. Be constantly studying the local and external conditions, for one.

Used to be doctors performed surgery without using anesthetics. You got to feel all the pain, while your limb got sawed off, for example. But we live in different times. Surgery can be painless. And I think the communists should similarly renounce violence as a political weapon for good. What made some sense a hundred years back is actually counterproductive today, and is to be even less relevant down the line as the human population as a whole gets better educated and information is more easily accessible by the masses. Instead, shoot for what I would call Total Democracy.

Step 1, Total Democracy. Ban political fund-raising and instead the parties get public funds that is directly proportional to the number of votes they secured in the last held national elections. Every elected leader, from local to national levels, is on a decent, monthly salary, so it is an attractive career option, like being a teacher, or a health worker, or a doctor.

Step 2, Transparent Democracy. All expenses by the state, to the last paisa, are posted online and archived. Ditto for the property owned by all politicians and bureaucrats, to be updated annually. Also applies to all public words by all public officials. All political deliberations at all levels of government.

Step 3, Scientific Democracy. To be defined later beyond what is not obvious by the name. It builds on steps 1 and 2, rather than taking away from them.

So Maoists, change the name of your party, redefine your ideology so as to renounce violence as a political weapon for good, and let's create the world's very first democracy. Let's make peace on our schedule, and not on that of the Monarchists. Let's force them out instead of waiting for them to volunteer out, an unrealistic scenario.

No comments: