The proletariat is an essentially internationalist class. Rather the ideology of the proletariat knows no national boundary. The ultimate goal of communism, or a stateless and classless society, can be realized only in a human world devoid of political boundaries. That is why the first ‘Communist Manifesto’ penned by Marx & Engels way back in 1848 was concluded with the clarion call of ‘Workers of the World, Unite!’ However, because of the peculiarities of the imperialist era, the proletarian revolutionaries are still required to work within different national boundaries after 150 years of that historic call. The so-called globalization of capital and rapid development and expansion of information technology have, nevertheless, brought the proletarian revolutionaries of different countries closer to each other in recent years. There is now more exchange of information among them and there is increasing inquisitiveness to learn from the experiences of each other. And, of all the currents of ‘Marxism’ preached and practiced in different parts of the world, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) has now proved most scientific and revolutionary, particularly after the restoration of capitalism in China on Mao’s death; and proletarian revolutionary movements guided by MLM are in the forefronts from South and East Asia to Latin America and elsewhere. As one of the most advanced revolutionary movements under the banner of MLM, the Nepalese revolution led by the CPN (Maoist) has naturally attracted the attention of the world proletarian fraternity and other revolutionaries, and this collection of some important official documents has been presented in English as an humble attempt to share our ideas and experiences with our class brothers and sisters everywhere.
These documents, though not exhaustive, represent the basic ideological and political guide to the ongoing revolutionary movement in Nepal. Most of these documents, except Document-8 and Document-11, were presented by Com. Prachanda in his capacity first as the General Secretary and then as Chairman (since February 2001) of the Party, and adopted by respective Committees, Extended Meetings and Conferences. In this sense, Chairman Prachanda remains the supreme ideological and political leader and guide of the movement, and the specific chain of ideas that have developed in the course of application of the universal science of MLM in the particular condition of Nepal have been rightly synthesized as ‘Prachanda Path’. Document-8 and Document-11, however, were presented by Com. Baburam Bhattarai, in his capacity as the Convener of the Negotiation Team of the Party and Convener of the United Revolutionary People’s Council, respectively.
The documents have been selected and presented in a chronological order to include the important turning points and milestones in the history of the Party and the People’s War (PW), and to construct a continuous chain of development of revolutionary ideas and political, military and organizational line. For the benefit of the previously uninitiated, it may be worthwhile here to provide a short glimpse of the important events in the life of the Party and the PW, so that the contextual reference of the various documents could be easily identified. As is well known, the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) was established in 1949 under the leadership of Com. Puspa Lal. However, despite some initial flashes of revolutionary activism the Party could not develop a consistent political and military line to carry out a New Democratic/ People’s Democratic revolution and was soon caught in the quagmire of revisionism and reformism. After the Third Congress in 1962 the Party splitted into ‘n’ number of groups, and genuine revolutionaries remained scattered here and there for the next nearly thirty years. Only in the aftermath of the people’s movement against autocratic monarchy in 1990, a new process of revolutionary polarization and Party reorganization was initiated. While the revolutionary forces were reorganized under the leadership of Com. Prachanda, the revisionists came under the parliamentary umbrella of CPN (UML). After a period of intense ideological and political struggle the revolutionaries renamed the Party as CPN (Maoist) in March 1995 and initiated the historic PW on February 13, 1996. The rest is the widely quoted recent history, which need not be recounted here. The documents collected here cover a period of twelve years, starting with the Unity Congress of CPN (Unity Centre) held in December 1991 (Document-1) to the Politburo meeting of CPN (Maoist) held in October 2003 (Document-10).
The Documents can be broadly grouped into four categories, according to the phases or stages in the development of the Party and the PW. The first group (Documents 1 and 2) belongs to the phase of Party reorganization and preparation for the PW. Whereas Document-1 (“Political Line of CPN-Unity Centre”) provides a broad outline for the revolutionary political and military line of New Democratic revolution and building of three instruments of revolution, viz. Party, Army and the United Front, Document-2 (“Strategy and Tactics of Armed Struggle in Nepal”) develops concrete strategy and tactics of PW in the natural and historical specificities of Nepal. With the benefit of hindsight it can be safely asserted that Document-2 provided the real theoretical foundation of the PW in the country, which has brought the revolution so far, and in that sense, this document should occupy a permanent place in the archive of the Nepalese revolution.
The second group (Documents 3,4&5) represents, the phase of initiation of the PW. Document-3 (“Theoretical Premises for the Historic Initiation of the People’s War”), though short but pithy, summarizes in seven points the ideological and political commitments of the Party during the entire historical period of New Democratic Revolution to Communism through Socialism and a series of Cultural Revolutions. Hence these ‘Seven Commandments’ should be seen as the basic essence of the ideological foundation of the PW and proletarian revolution. Document-4 (“Appeal of the CPN-Maoist to the People”) is the content of a leaflet distributed in millions of copies at the time of historic initiation of the PW and is significant to assess the mass-line of the Party. Document-5 (“Review of the Historic Initiation of the People’s War and Future strategy of the Party”) is the first formal evaluation of the initiation of PW as a historic ‘rebellion of the masses’ and provides the guidelines of political and military plan to continue the PW.
The third group (Document-6&7) belongs to the period of development and consolidation of the PW and provides the first systematic synthesization of the experiences of revolution in the country. Among them, Document-6 (“Experiences of the People’s War and Some Important Questions”) was distilled by the Fourth Extended Meeting of the Central Committee of the Party and it is best remembered for developing the concrete concept of base areas and people’s democratic power in the country. It is also important for clearing the long-standing confusion over the concept pf “guerilla zone” and ‘base area’ among the proletarian revolutionaries. Document-7 (“The Great Leap Forward: An inevitable Needs of History”), adopted by the historic Second National Conference of the Party in February 2001, constitutes the basic essence of the ‘Prachanda Path” and in that sense, could be regarded as the most significant document in the whole collection. Particularly the historical evaluation of the international communist movement since the time of Comintern onwards from an entirely new perspective (of course, in the MLM tradition), lays a firm foundation to develop a new type of Party, Army and State to carry forward revolution in the 21st century. Similarly, a bold and new evaluation of the past Party history has shattered all sectarian and splittist tendencies and prepared a ground for building Party unity in a new basis. Also, the development in the military strategy by incorporating features of the strategy of general insurrection into the basic strategy of protracted PW has opened a new vista for advancing PW in the 21st century. All these and other ideas have been woven into a set of ideas to constitute the ‘Prachanda Path’, which have been defined as “centralized expression of collective leadership”.
The fourth set of documents (Document-8, 9 & 10) belongs to the phase of strategic equilibrium and preparation for the strategic offensive and deal with important tactical and strategic issues. Document-8 (“An Executive Summary of the Proposal Put Forward by CPN-Maoist for the Negotiation”) deals with the question of negotiation with the old monarchist state and puts forward the proposal for the minimum content and process of formulation of a new constitution, which will result in a transitional state advanced from the bourgeois parliamentary system but a step below the New Democratic system.. Document-9 (“Present Situation and Our Historical Task”), on the one hand, deals with the strategy and tactics of handling current international and national contradictions, and on the other, raises the question of ‘democracy’ from an entirely new perspective in the international MLM movement. The sub-section, “On the Experiences of History & Development of Democracy in the 21st Century” is meant for a public debate both inside & outside the country, as it envisages drastic changes in the traditional concept of Party, Army and State in the light of the experiences of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Hence this should be another important document where the attention of the revolutionary forces needs to be more focused. Document-10 (“Concentrate Total Force to Raise Preparation for the Offensive to a New Height Through Correct Handling of Contradiction”) is a supplementary resolution to the earlier resolution in Document-9 and mostly deals with handling different contradictions and advancing the revolutionary mass line of the Party.
Document-11 (“Common Minimum Policy & Programme of United Revolutionary People’s Council”) is added as an Appendix, as it provides the much talked-about 75-point policy & programme of the future New Democratic/People’s Democratic state under the leadership of the Party.
It is hoped that this collection of documents would provide some glimpses of revolutionary experiments undergoing in Nepal today. The Nepalese PW has now reached a very sensitive stage, and in the face of direct collision with the superpower imperialism of the world it would need revolutionary solidarity not only from the proletarian revolutionaries but all anti-imperialist forces in the seven continents. The basic secret behind the success of the PW so far has been the Party’s ideological-political line of strategic firmness and tactical flexibility. Also a correct dialectical interrelation of universality and particularity, based on the fundamental tenets of MLM but in a dynamic frame, has served the revolution well so far. Both the challenges & opportunities ahead are quite daunting. We would solicit and welcome objective comments and criticisms from all the revolutionary forces in the days to come.
December 26, 2003
Member of Standing Committee,
United Revolutionary People’s