On November 12, more than 200,000 people took to the streets in Kathmandu, Nepal to demand—among other things—the re-establishment of civilian supremacy over the whole political process. This spectacular achievement came after a whole week of various actions including road and economic blockades, in which people took part in large numbers.

As usual, the bourgeois media from the West didn’t report about what happened in this South Asian country. The people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy in Nepal is led by a Maoist party, whose final objective is communism. This is certainly one of the reasons why the bourgeois media remain silent about it—except for a few ones. Especially in the current situation of economic crisis, the international bourgeoisie seems to fear the example the people’s revolution in Nepal could give to people elsewhere. It is certainly true that the future of this revolution will have a huge impact on the whole revolutionary movement at the world level.

The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) launched a People’s War on February 13, 1996 with the main objective of overthrowing the old monarchy and establishing a New Democratic state. After 10 years of civil war, the revolutionary movement has spreaded across the whole country and succeeded in initiating a large people’s movement in April 2006 that ended with the capitulation of King Gyanendra.

The Maoists then signed a peace agreement with the bourgeois political parties that were also part of the people’s movement. Both agreed to organize a national election for a Constituent Assembly that should write the Constitution of a New Republican Nepal. Then, after the adoption of this Constitution would it be possible to merge the Maoist People’s Liberation Army with the former Nepalese Royal Army.

After more than a year of procrastination from the bourgeois parties, election was finally held in April 2008. To the surprise of many observers and the bourgeois parties themselves, the Maoists overwhelmingly won the election, gaining some 40% of the seats in the Constituent Assembly. The leader of the Maoist Party, Prachanda, became Prime Minister a few months later, in August.

But the old and corrupted bourgeois parties, the former Royal Army and external forces like Indian expansionism and U.S. imperialism never accepted the people’s decision. They organized one plot after another to prevent the Constituent Assembly to go forward with the writing of a new Constitution and the integration of the two armies. For one, the Chief of Army Staff of the Nepali Army General Rookmangad Katwal continuously refused to recognize the authority of PM Prachanda and of the civilian and democratically-elected government he was leading. In front of that impasse, Prachanda and the Maoists in the government resigned and launched a new people’s movement from the streets.

The main objective of the current movement is to re-establish the civilian supremacy over the political process, in order for the Constituent Assembly (which remained totally paralyzed for more than six months now) to do its job. A large discussion is going on within the Maoist Party and its leadership about the tactics they should adopt in order for the revolutionary movement to go forward and establish a New Democratic Nepal. The result of this discussion is not settled yet.

Since its launching in 1996, the revolution in Nepal inspired a lot of people around the world. But we have to acknowledge it never gained all the support it deserved. This reflects the weaknesses of the International Communist Movement and its chronic incapacity to seize the opportunities that happen at one point or another and to exert a political leadership apt to advance the revolutionary struggle.

Within the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (an international grouping of Maoist parties and organization in which the UCPN [Maoist] is part of), an open line struggle is currently going on about the revolution in Nepal, in the absence of any political campaign in support with the revolutionary process that is still going on in that country. The RCP,USA, which is also part of RIM, publicly issued a series of letters condemning the leadership of the UCPN (Maoist) as “revisionist.”

For our part, we never hesitated to support the revolution in Nepal. And we are continuing to do so, very clearly and with all the enthusiasm that the possibility of a communist victory should inspire. The revolutionaries in Nepal certainly don’t need a crash course about the Marxist understanding of the state; they don’t need sermons but revolutions.

Following the signature of the peace agreement in November 2006, we wrote that the period opened by this agreement should only be a transitional one; that nothing was settled and everything (including the victory or the defeat of the revolutionary movement) was still possible. The recent events seem to confirm that the revolution is still—and well—alive.

The people in Nepal are hoping for a revolutionary change, and such a revolution may have a tremendous impact on the people’s struggle across the world. So we must reaffirm and extend our support to our revolutionary comrades in Nepal—more than ever.

Eric Smith
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