Sorely misguided

  • It is unlikely that Biplab’s new party will do what the CPN-Maoist failed to
Sorely misguided

Nov 12, 2014-

It was in June 2012 that members of the then-unified Maoist party split to form the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist under the leadership of Mohan Baidya ‘Kiran’. Around two years later, the CPN-Maoist itself seems to be on the verge of a split. To observers of Maoist politics in Nepal, this does not come as a big surprise. It was always clear that the CPN-Maoist leadership was divided among the older leaders such as Baidya, Dev Gurung and CP Gajurel, who were more timid, and the younger, more radical leaders such as Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplab’ and Khadga Biswakarma ‘Prakanda’. For many months now, Biplab and his cohort have been demanding a more aggressive strategy from their leadership. Particularly, they want to immediately take steps to prepare for a ‘people’s revolt’. Their major problem with the party’s senior leaders was that the latter did not take any immediate steps to rise up and capture state power.

Regardless of the immediate issues within the party, it is clear that the broad reason why the CPN-Maoist is on the verge of the split is because its existing ideology and strategy is hopelessly out of tune with the times. Kiran and the party’s senior leaders split from their mother party, Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s UCPN (Maoist), demanding precisely what Biplab and his friends are demanding now. After they split, they had perhaps thought that they would take steps to grow their organisation, accumulate weapons, and prepare ground for a major rebellion. However, this was not to be. Even CPN-Maoist leaders realised that they had no chance in any violent confrontation with the state. Their attempts at attracting new adherents to the party did not work either. Rather, their violent tactics—as during the 2013 election—alienated people instead of attracting them.

While Biplab and other radical leaders from the CPN-Maoist may well go on to form a separate party, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to accomplish what their seniors failed to, for their new party will remain victim to their old ideology and strategy, which have very little resonance in Nepal today. Their brand of ultra-nationalism, for example, fails to inspire the younger generations, many of whom have travelled abroad and seen the world. There is very little chance that the new party will be able to gain new adherents. The thought that the new party will raise a new military force and capture state power is pitiful. The best thing for Netra Bikram Chand and his friends to do at the moment would be to undertake an extensive review of their failures over the past years and devise a new political strategy that is more capable of attracting public support.


Published: 13-11-2014 09:16

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