The developments in Nepal have become highly influential, and hotly debated, in the international communist movement—embraced and promoted by some, disturbing and denounced by others. As sharply contending lines have emerged from the Maoist tradition, the question must be asked: How do the lines differ? And what will develop from the different perspectives and lines? Where will the revolutionary breakthroughs occur, and where will they go astray? These questions have drawn increasing numbers into new study and consideration of Maoism, which has become a more prominent political force than it has been in decades.
The most thorough critique of the UCPNM’s course was expressed in July, 2009 by an Open Letter by the Communist Party of India (Maoist), which can be viewed at http://www.bannedthought.net/India/CPI-Maoist-Docs/Nepal/OpenLetterToCPNM-090720.pdf. To date, none of the supporters of the UCPNM’s post-2006 line and practice have addressed and answered this important Open Letter.
Additionally, the MLM Revolutionary Study Group in the US, which has studied major currents and debates in the international communist movement, recently issued “Which Way Forward for the UCPN(Maoist) and the Nepali People’s Revolutionary Struggle?” It opens with: “The central question facing the Unified Communist Party of Nepal(Maoist) (UCPNM) is whether it can develop the political line, strategy and tactics to conquer state power and wield it in the service of the vast majority of the people of Nepal and the world.
“This question has become the subject of discussion and debate throughout the world, ever since the Maoists in Nepal signed an agreement in 2006 to end their 10-year old people’s war. Over the years of the people’s war, the revolutionary forces had inspired people the world over, winning wave upon wave of victories and building both guerrilla zones and liberated areas which were beginning the work of a new society.
“The Peoples War in Nepal, it must be said, rekindled the spirit and hopes of revolution around the world. Their successes, winning nearly 80% of the territory of Nepal, had drawn such attention and acclaim that ending of the people’s war with the peace agreements of 2006 came as a great surprise and shock to many.
“The course which has been followed since has been discussed and debated–and denounced or embraced–by various forces, because the Maoists had achieved so much prior to the 2006 agreement, and had seemed to be approaching nationwide victory. Why this change of course? Was this a departure from a new democratic revolutionary strategy, or was this a sophisticated move toward successfully winning the revolutionary struggle for power?
“To answer this question, it must be determined whether Prachanda and the majority of the UCPNM leadership are leading the party and the masses of Nepal to complete the new democratic revolution and build socialism, or they are implementing a disorienting strategy—leading to a political ‘package deal’ in the next few months–that will result in a major setback for the Nepali people’s revolutionary struggle. “