Interview with Basanta, Politburo Member, Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Q. You said there is class struggle in the making of the new constitution. Can you elaborate which classes are aligned in to Nepal to backwards from the marching forward and how it is reflected in the expression of the new constitution. How they are placed in different parties? Which are the parties totally retrograde?
A. Constitution is a political document that guides the state power of the given country to drive forward. Like the state power, constitution is also relative to a certain class, oppressor or the oppressed. At one point of the people’s war, the Constituent Assembly came into being as a political tactic to drive forward the unfinished task of new democratic revolution in Nepal. The classes, which were fighting militarily during people’s war, are now clashing ideologically and politically in the Constituent Assembly. The front of class struggle has definitely changed but not the objective.
With the demolition of monarchy, feudalism has become weak in Nepal. The comprador bourgeois has acquired upper hand in the state power. However, the characteristic of the state power has not changed yet. The contradiction formed of the entire people of oppressed class, nation, region and sex on the one side and the comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie, which is leading the reactionary state power, on the other, is the principal contradiction. It is manifested now in the Constituent Assembly too. To write a constitution that paves the way forward to resolving the basic contradictions emerged out of semi-feudal and semi-colonial condition of Nepal and restructuring the state power accordingly is the task our party is trying to accomplish from the Constituent Assembly. However, two-line struggle seems to be sharp on the content of the constitution.
It is principally the class not a party, we are confronting with, in the Constituent Assembly. However, the ideological and political line of a party represents the interest of a certain class. In this sense, we have to struggle with the parties too. The Nepali Congress, a section of UML and some parties from Madhesh represent the interest of comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie and feudalism in Nepal. So we have sharp contention with them in the Constituent Assembly.
Q. You have earlier stated quoting Lenin that the prerequisites of insurrection is primarily that of class, the advanced class and not the party, revolutionary upsurge of the people and it should be timed when the enemies are vacillating. Does that mean to formulate your new tactics you take into account the support that may trickle out from the class composition of other parties as well and not that of your own strength? How does reflect the situation in your country?
A. In my opinion, the three conditions of insurrection: advanced class, revolutionary upsurge and the strongest vacillation in the enemy camp, which Lenin mentioned in his letter to the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. (B.) have universal significance. When I quoted Lenin I did not mean different than what Lenin meant in that letter. Therefore it does not imply that our party meant it to formulate a new tactic of insurrection. Definitely, presence of a revolutionary and well-disciplined party is a must without which the advanced class cannot be led to victory. While quoting Lenin what I meant is that only a genuine communist party and the masses supporting it are not enough for insurrection. Rather the entire advanced class, the proletariat, must remain prepared for the overthrow of the enemy, and the enemy should be in such a situation that it cannot continue in the status quo. It is equally true for our party and the country too if we talk about insurrection. I meant this when I quoted Lenin on insurrection.
Q. Your response to operation green hunt against the revolutionary in India and the genocidal attack in Sri Lanka on the Tamils was slow and belated. Was it an expression of assertion of the parliamentary revisionist trend?
A. It is correct that our party must have reacted immediately against the Operation Green Hunt launched by Indian expansionist ruling classes and against the genocidal attack upon Tamils in Sri Lanka. But we did not. There is a sharp two-line struggle in our party on this issue too.
Q. With reference to south Asia you said that the revolutionary situation remains objectively while the subjective forces are weak. And Indian expansionism as puppet/aligned to US imperialism stands primarily against the revolutionary trend. How do you see its impact on the Nepal revolution and the Indian revolutionaries? What course of action in solidarity you envisage to counter Indian expansionism?
A. The objective situation in South Asia is favourably developing for new democratic revolutions to succeed. However the unity among the forces which favour revolutionary change in the region is very weak. The US imperialism, Indian expansionism and their puppets in the individual countries are united to crush revolution in the entire region, including Nepal. So in order to develop their subjective strength the revolutionary parties in the region should work hard to build up three tiers of united fronts. Firstly, a united front formed of the entire revolutionary, progressive, democratic forces and national liberation movements against the domestic reaction in the individual countries, secondly, a united front formed of entire regional forces that stand against the Indian expansionism and thirdly, an anti-imperialist front formed of entire anti-imperialist forces all across the world are the three fronts of struggle that the revolutionaries in the region need to open. This is how the subjective strength can be built up to bring near the victory of new democratic revolutions in the countries of South Asia.
Q. Indian Maoists were critical of your fusion theory, insurrection at urban area along with protracted people’s war at the rural and also of your peaceful competition with the ruling classes in the election arena and not overthrowing of state power. Now after two years of parliamentary experience how do you see the situation? Whether both the fusion theory and peaceful competition still holds valid?
A. We don’t regard fusion as a theory. However, it is a concept which deals with the interrelation between mass struggles in the urban areas and protracted people’s war in the countryside. Chairman Mao had very correctly said that these two forms of struggles are not contradictory but complementary to each other. Mao said, before people’s war has been initiated, mass struggle in the cities helps initiate people’s war in the countryside and on the other mass struggle helps develop people’s war after it has been initiated. From this he meant that people’s war and mass struggle are complementary, while former is the principal aspect in the semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries.
Yet, there was and still is a trend in the ICM that does not grasp what Mao meant from this. It regards one-sidedly that people’s war is a model for the third world countries and insurrection for the developed ones. This trend tries to erect a Chinese wall between these two kinds of models. It is true protracted people’s war is principally applicable for the third world countries while the insurrection is for the developed ones. But, in our opinion to draw a demarcating line between these two is wrong. In the semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries there has been a sizeable development of bureaucratic capitalism and as a consequence it has brought about a significant change in the class relation of those types of countries. In our opinion, this change in the objective situation demanded further to take both the forms of struggles simultaneously, while keeping people’s war at the first place. To mean this we used the term fusion. By the term fusion we mean that some of the tactics of insurrection should be incorporated into the strategy of PPW in the third world countries. We think not only is this concept valid till now but should be developed further. Also we urge with the comrades from the capitalist countries to see whether there is a need to incorporate some of the tactics of PPW in their general line of insurrection. It is because, capitalism has undergone a considerable change and the bourgeois parliament too does not remain as democratic as it was in the beginning. We think the communist parties from both types of countries should study this new concept of fusion to develop class struggle in their respective countries. However, in the name of fusion of two kinds of tactics, one must remain wary from becoming eclectic.
We think revolution passes through a zigzag course of peaceful and violent class struggles. One must not mean that all violent struggles are revolutionary and all peaceful struggles are reformist. It is decided by the line of the given party. If the line is correct peaceful struggles help accumulate strength to make a leap into the higher level of violent struggle, but if the line is wrong, even the strong violent struggles also become a means to bargain for bigger share of reforms. So, it is the line not the form of struggle that is decisive. But it is not an argument placed to support peaceful transition. It is ultimately the armed strength of the proletariat that transforms power from the bourgeoisie to the proletariat.