Journalist | Writer | Analyst
24 July 2006
Indian Maoists criticise PrachandaSiddharth Varadarajan
BELYING SPECULATION of a unified red corridor from “Pashupati to Tirupati,” the Indian Maoist leadership has criticised Prachanda and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) for embracing multiparty democracy. It has also denounced as “dangerous” CPN (Maoist)’s decision to invite the United Nations in to supervise the ceasefire in Nepal.
Peoples’ March, a publication which reports on the activities of the Indian Maoist movement, is circulating by email an interview it conducted recently on the situation in Nepal with Azad, spokesperson of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The CPI (Maoist) is the largest of all radical Left organisations waging armed struggle against the Indian government in several States. Indian security agencies allege that the CPI (Maoist) and Nepal Maoists have close organisational and military links, a charge both parties strongly deny.
While appreciating the “historic struggle” of the Nepali Maoists, Azad makes at least four specific criticisms of their leader Prachanda. He also stresses that the Indian Maoists have no intention of embracing multiparty democracy.
First, he says that the CPN (Maoist) leadership is making a mistake by agreeing to join an interim government “with the comprador bourgeois-feudal parties such as the reactionary Nepali Congress [and] revisionist CPN-UML.” The Nepal Maoists, he contends, “are giving over-emphasis to the possibility of advancing the movement through the Constituent Assembly and in alliance with the seven parties.” The interim government will not work out, he says, because of the “two diametrically opposed class interests.” Referring to Prachanda’s interview to The Hindu in February, Azad criticised the Nepali leader for saying he was ready to accept the people’s verdict if they chose constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy through the Constituent Assembly. Says Azad: “It is indeed a great tragedy to see the Maoist party finally ending up in these political positions in spite of having de facto power in most of the countryside.”
Azad terms “even more dangerous” Prachanda’s stated objective of merging the Maoists’ 25,000-strong Peoples Liberation Army with the Nepal Army. “The army is one of the main instruments of class rule. How can two diametrically opposed classes have a single army? By merging the people’s army with the reactionary army of the ruling classes [until now the faithful servant of the King] the people will become defenceless in case of a reactionary armed offensive by the enemy,” he says, citing the example of Indonesia in the 1960s where the Communists were massacred in large numbers.
Thirdly, the CPI (Maoist) spokesman states that the Nepali Maoist decision to invite the U.N. to supervise the ceasefire is also “dangerous.” “The U.N. is essentially an instrument of imperialism and particularly American imperialism. It is bound to work in the interests of the reactionary ruling classes of Nepal and imperialism.” Taken together with the decision to dissolve its “people’s governments” in the countryside, the merger of the PLA with the Nepal Army “will unfold an irreversible process of losing all the revolutionary gains achieved till now,” says Azad.
Lastly, the Indian Maoist leader takes exception to the argument Prachanda made — in The Hindu interview — that his party’s new line on multiparty democracy would have a “positive” impact on the Maoists in India. “It must have come as a great relief for the Indian ruling classes to hear Comrade Prachanda speak of his Party’s commitment to multiparty democracy,” Azad notes.
He adds: “It is really a matter of grave concern that Comrade Prachanda, instead of demanding the expansionist Indian ruling classes stop all interference and meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs, only talked of how their tactics would bring about a change in the outlook of the Maoists in India. Needless to say, these remarks will not only be deeply resented by the revolutionary masses of our country who have seen the wretched system of parliamentary democracy in India but will also be proved totally wrong through their revolutionary practice.”
The Maoist leadership in Nepal, says Azad, is creating illusions about the character of the parliamentary parties in Nepal and advocating the “dangerous thesis” of “peaceful coexistence with the ruling class parties instead of overthrowing them through revolution.” Though made with “good intentions,” the “idealist and subjective proposal of the CPN (Maoist)” will “ultimately become a convenient tool in the hands of the capitalist-roaders to seize power,” charges Azad.
Following this article and other reports, the Indian and Nepali Maoist parties issued a joint statement saying their differences should not be taken out of proportion:
ON RECENT DEBATES
While doing so we shall continue debates on ideological, political and strategic issues on which we differ in the true democratic traditions of the international communist movement. These debates and discussions will take place bilaterally and occasionally, publicly. Such differences are inevitable as struggles in the sphere of ideas are inevitable in a class society, which, as Engels said, is a reflection of the class struggle in society.
Lately a section of the media has tried to blow out of proportion differences that have been expressed by the two parties publicly. It is in the interests of the reactionaries that Maoists divide and split continuously. It is then no wonder that a section of the media has sought to exaggerate the differences in India and Nepal.
The two parties once again re-assert their firm unity in the spirit of proletarian internationalism while continuing healthy debates and discussions on issues on which we differ.