Red Front Magazine

New online magazine about the Maoist movement in Nepal. The movement won about 49% of the seats in the latest elections. Since then there has been intense debate within the movement about its aims and methods.
The leader, Prachandra, has been accused of being a sellout. He has quite a few folks in his “revisionist” camp. They are accused of selling out Maoism by adopting electoral politics instead of seizing power and by advocating capitalism. It’s true that the movement has advocated an electoral road to power, but the hardliners deride this approach as “parliamentary cretinism” (Lenin). They say the Maoists should just seize power and declare a Maoist state. The movement has also advocated a varity of forms of capitalist economics for the time being, and they say they want foreign investment.
Perhaps more outrageously, they signed an agreement with India that puts Nepal at extreme disadvantage. India has forced Nepal to sign these unequal agreements for decades. Nepal’s rulers since 1950 have been in effect Indian puppets. Most of these agreements center around water. What’s going on here is that India is stealing Nepal’s water. With regard to Nepal, since independence, India has been an imperialist state and Nepal has been one of its puppets, satellites or neo-colonies.
The other parties in power include Congress, a pitiful version of India’s Congress, and the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist). The latter party is truly pitiful, being a puppet of India and the US and supporting neoliberalism. They have also supported all of the unequal treaties with India. They’re basically a joke as far as a Communist Party is concerned.
Another agreement was to disarm the Maoist army, which had previously been confined to cantons after giving up the civil war a few years back. The Maoists decided that they would have to take Katmandu, where they did not have a lot of support. Further, it would lead to a lot of bloody street fighting.
So they signed an armistice instead. A recent agreement calls for disarming the Maoist army but not the army of the state. Some of the Maoists will be integrated into the state army, but many others will not. This agreement is being decried as a gigantic sellout.
I don’t think we should tell the Nepalese Maoists how to go about running their revolution, but there is a lot of debate going on between the hardliners and the revisionists.

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  1. India is not a democratic country like a European one. In Europe, you have a democratic space because the democratic institutions developed from the struggles of the people, even though they were and are in the hands of the bourgeoisie. In India the parliamentary institutions were imposed by the colonial masters to enhance their colonial rule. They were not created through people’s struggles. In India there is little democratic space. The bourgeois class in India is a deformed reactionary force since its inception. This class hadn’t emerged naturally, but was propped up by the British colonial masters. Therefore, the initial progressive role that was present in the European bourgeoisie was not present in the Indian bourgeois class. It allied itself with the feudal classes from the beginning. Therefore, we must use armed struggle as the democratic space is not intrinsic to our society after the colonial intervention. The illusion of democratic space is there in the form of parliamentary institutions and formal democratic rights but not in reality. The moment one forwards the people’s demands one will face repression from the state. How do you forward and defend the movement of the people without arms?

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