[A Collection of Articles by Com. Prachanda and Other Leaders of the CPN (Maoist)]

People's War and the Problem of the Development of United Front
- Com. Prachanda

 A broad united front of the people of all anti-feudal and anti-imperialist classes, nationalities and regions is an inevitable precondition for the success of the People's War under the leadership of the Party and the completion of the New Democratic revolution. The basis of such a united front is the worker-peasant unity. However, despite a common basic theory of united front it has different manifestations according to the specific conditions of the different countries and the level of development of the revolution. The experiences of the united front in a particular country cannot be mechanically transplanted in another country. On the contrary, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism has taught us that the Parties in different countries should find out their own forms of united front and practice accordingly in keeping with their own historical specificities of development and the level of development of the revolution and in the light of the basic principles of united front.

 The experiences of one year of People's War led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) have necessitated to think in specific terms about the question of the united front. The People's War has made it an immediate need to grasp the question of united front and to find a solution for it from a new height as an instrument of struggle and an embryo of state power. A correct solution to the question of united front has a direct bearing on the continuation and development of the People's War and thus is intimately associated with the success of the whole New Democratic revolution. Prior to the initiation of the People's War the importance of the united front for us was as an instrument of general propaganda and struggle. Today the situation has changed. Now the importance of the united front is, on the one hand, as an instrument of struggle crucial for the whole future of the People's War and, on the other, to develop it practically from the local level as an instrument of the state power. Thus the question of the united front has become urgent for the preservation and development of the People's War and the creation of a new state power.
 Here we have to free ourselves completely from the narrow perception prevalent in the Nepalese revisionist market to understand the question of united front as an alliance between different opportunist groups. For the continuation and development of the People's War it is imperative for us to grasp and practice united front in two parts. In the first part, it is necessary to understand and practice united front as a continuous strategy to isolate the principal enemy and unite the largest possible section of the people in every open and secret, military and non-military daily activities under the leadership of the Party. Despite any degree of changes in national and international situation the importance of uniting a broad section of the people in different names and forms according to the said orientation on different activities at the local level, will remain valid. In the second part, it is important to understand the question of united front as the problem of uniting at the central level the people of all oppressed classes, nationalities and regions against feudalism and imperialism in the context of the overall historical development of Nepal. In essence, the relation between the first and the second parts is not that of between policies but of between the part and the whole. Ultimately the main problem for us is how to solve the problem of united front at the central level in the present juncture.

 We are amidst life and death struggle for a New Democratic revolution against feudalism and imperialism. We know that, in general, the anti-imperialist struggle is related with nationalism and the anti-feudal struggle is related with democracy. However, because of the specificities of the present era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, imperialism and feudalism are closely tied with each other and imperialism is plundering the people of oppressed nations through feudalism. Hence, in the semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries doubly exploited and oppressed by feudalism and imperialism, one has to wage a national struggle for democracy and a democratic struggle for nationalism. That means, there is no nationalism, without democracy and no democracy with nationalism.

 While talking of united front for the realisation of nationalism and democracy closely linked with each other, we have to take into consideration the historical development process of Nepal. Along with the formation of the centralised feudal state in Nepal and the beginning of the process of surrendering to imperialism for its own survival, the path of independent economic, political and cultural development of the Nepalese people got thwarted. Now the Nepalese people were subjected to the simultaneous exploitation of external imperialism and internal feudalism. It means that two sets of enemies, one external and another internal, came into being to block the development of Nepalese nationalism. This is true in the case of democracy as well. Now the struggle of nationalism was not confined to the struggle against an external enemy, nor was it confined to the struggle against feudal ruling class based on Hindu high caste chauvinism propped up by the external enemy and which encroaches upon the economic, political, linguistic and cultural interests of the oppressed nationalities, but it became a struggle against imperialism as well.

 But, the feudal ruling class in Nepal has since long conspired to cover Up its anti-national character of dividing and oppressing various nationalities within the country by creating the illusion that nationalism is concerned only with the external factor. Similarly, imperialism, too, has conspired to hide its genocidal character by spreading the fallacy that democracy means the fight against feudalism only. For long, the revisionists in Nepal have directly or indirectly played into this conspiracy of feudalism and imperialism.

 Hence, in the question of nationalism, it is equally imperative for us not only to fight against the external enemy but to destroy the feudal ruling classes based on Hindu high caste chauvinism that have been pursuing the policy of divide and rule. Same is true in the case of democracy, too.
 As an inevitable consequence of this collusion between feudalism and imperialism, regional inequality and oppression in the country has been aggravating for a long time. The step-motherly treatment meted out to the people of the Terai and the Kamali regions is a glaring example of this. For a balanced development of all regions, too, it is necessary to destroy feudalism and imperialism. Thus, in Nepal, the struggle against national and regional oppression, or a struggle for nationalism and democracy, is intimately related with the class struggle against feudalism and imperialism.

 Therefore, so long as a mighty force of joint struggle of the people of all classes, castes, nationalities and regions against the feudal state acting as a puppet of imperialism and based on Hindu high caste chauvinism is not unleashed, the reactionaries would continue to preserve their heaven of plunder through the policy of 'divide and rule'. Today, the Party should resolve to march forward for forging a united front of all the oppressed people in the country under the policy of 'unite and struggle' in place of the enemy's policy of 'divide and rule'. The great process of the People's War has strongly inspired this historic necessity of united front in Nepal to be put into practice. What has been amply proved by the experiences of one year of the People's War is that its impact has been the most profound amongst the poorest of the workers and peasants, the masses of the most backward regions and the most oppressed nationalities in the Nepalese society. This is an auspicious indication for the formation of the great united front of the Nepalese people.

 In the light of its mightiest ideology and taking into serious considerations of the concrete historic condition of Nepal that our Party has placed the maximum emphasis on the right of self-determination of the oppressed nationalities. We have been putting in clear terms that in the present day world situation and in the context of the specific social formation in Nepal, the right of self-determination can be best realised through the national autonomy.
 However, in the light of the new possibilities and experiences arisen after the initiation of the People's War, this general policy announcement would not be sufficient. Today we need a concrete and practical programme for assimilating the struggle against national and regional oppression within the united front required for the New Democratic revolution. What is needed to be grasped firmly here is that within the historic dynamics of Nepal and the present-day specific geo-political situation, it would be impossible to lead the great process of the New Democratic revolution to success without unleashing the independent initiative and creativity of the entire masses of the people while guaranteeing the liberation of the people of all oppressed classes, nationalities, and regions. If the proletariat cannot fulfill this historical responsibility properly, then the feudal and imperialist forces would be successful in disrupting the Nepalese revolution by intensifying their communal activities under the policy of 'divide and rule'. Hence, we have to realise the multifaceted and long-term importance of this question and concentrate our efforts more to expand the organisation among the people of the most oppressed classes, castes, nationalities and regions. Whatever may be the level of their political development we must initiate serious dialogue, both at the local and central level, about the interrelationships between national, regional and class liberation with the different organisations and personalities working honestly against the national and regional oppression and attempt to forge united front with them. We should make special efforts to do serious studies and researches on the nature of national and regional oppression of the people of different areas, their economic, political, cultural and geographical background and to prepare a concrete plan for national autonomy and to build united front accordingly. In the principal zones of development of class struggle, while beginning the practice of local state power we should try to implement the policy of autonomy according to the prevailing national and class situation there. In the light of the needs of the changed situation, it is necessary, on the one hand, to make due reorganisation of the central front to reflect its character as a front for struggle against class, national and regional oppression and to conduct a planned propaganda and agitation, and, on the other, to take concrete initiatives to forge a broad front. Only through such systematic efforts that we should be able to realise the lofty goals of a genuine national unity of all the Nepalese people and a true democracy.
(April 1997)