The ceasefire called by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) last April followed ten years of people’s war, during which the revolutionary forces liberated some 80 percent of Nepali territory from the crushing yoke of the feudal autocracy and made significant strides towards emancipating much of Nepal’s low-caste peasantry, as well as improving the situation for women, ethnic minorities and oppressed nationalities.
In a country notorious for the appallingly backward condition of its women, the People’s Liberation Army was notable for the fact that one-third of its recruits were women.
Towards the end of 2005, the Maoists joined an alliance with seven parliamentary parties on the basis of a 12-point programme of understanding that included the commitment to ending the autocratic monarchy. All parties were agreed that, without getting rid of the monarchy, there could be “no possibility of peace, progress and prosperity” in Nepal.
The fruits of this alliance were seen in the April 2006 movement, which saw hundreds of thousands of Nepalese take to the streets of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, in defiance of a police and army-imposed curfew, to demand the abolition of the monarchy and its replacement with a democratic republic.
Eventually forced to bow to popular pressure, as well as pressure from his former backers in India, Britain and the US, the King withdrew the army to barracks and reinstated the parliament that he had summarily dismissed on 1 February 2005, following which the eight-party alliance formed a temporary government charged by the people with setting up elections to a new constituent assembly.
Instead of living up to its commitments under the 12-point understanding, however, the Congress-led transitional government has prevaricated and stalled, allowing time and space for the monarchy and comprador/feudal forces to regroup and return to the fray. And this despite the fact that the programme had the clear backing of the majority of Nepalese, as evinced by the mass protests for democracy that brought down the period of absolutist rule in April last year.
Since April, the parliamentary parties have consistently demonstrated their inability/unwillingness to tackle the feudal monarchy, despite the latter’s ongoing crimes against the people and attempts to sabotage the constituent assembly elections by means of violence, corruption etc (all funded by British and American imperialists, no doubt).
The result of this cowardly regression is that the Maoists have resigned from the government and announced a republic from the streets, calling on the people to back their proclamations and bypass both the King and the parliament.
It is clear that the forces of reaction have powerful backers and have been able to do much damage. The people of Nepal are on the march, however, and with the tried and tested leadership of the CPN(M) at their head, it is our ardent hope they will be able to meet the latest challenges and will succeed in overthrowing the feudal and comprador forces in Nepal once and for all.
A bright future awaits the Nepalese people once this has been achieved, and progressive people everywhere stand in solidarity with their just struggle for social emancipation and a decent life for all.