World People’s Resistance Movement: Thank you for meeting with us today. In your article in The Worker #4 ‘The Political Economy of the People’s War’ you write that “the transformation of one social system into another, or the destruction of the old by the new, always involves force and a revolutionary leap. The People’s War is such a means of eliminating the old by a new force and of taking a leap towards a new and higher social system.” Why then did the Maoist party enter the peace process and attempt to change society through Constituent Assembly elections?
We have over the last four years periodically brought to your attention documents from the leadership of the revolutionary struggle in Nepal, together with our comments attempting to summarize the context. The first such document and commentary was posted in June 2001 http://www.monthlyreview.org/0601letter.htm, on the occasion of the massacre of King Birendra and his family in the Narayanhiti palace in Kathmandu. It was followed in January 2002 http://www.monthlyreview.org/0102bhattarai.htm with a discussion of the resumption of civil war that followed once the new King Gyanendra had established his personal control over the army. The growing success of the revolutionary forces, soon to bring the royal government to the negotiating table with a new truce early in 2003, was marked by a February 2003 http://www.monthlyreview.org/0203parvati.htm document on the role of women leadership in the struggle. The breakdown of the truce, caused by a massacre of unarmed political workers by the U.S. “advised” Royal Nepalese Army (“RNA”) on August 19, 2003, was analyzed in September 2003 http://www.monthlyreview.org/0903bhattarai.htm
In this space we have followed as best we can the evolving revolutionary struggle in Nepal. Our most recent comment in February 2003 accompanied the presentation of an interesting article on women’s leadership in the revolutionary struggle. We then noted with relief and pleasure the ceasefire of January 29, 2003 that promised to bring an end to the brutality and bloodshed that had engulfed a beautiful people and a beautiful land
On September 5th, 2002 MR received a letter, that we believe from internal evidence to be authentic, from Dr. Baburam Bhattarai—who is one of the leaders of the revolutionary forces in the Nepalese civil war. In the nine months since the last communication from Dr. Bhattarai (http://www.monthlyreview.org/0102bhattarai.htm) was received, the civil war in Nepal has deepened both in scope and brutality. It now extends from one end of the country to the other. The Royal Nepal Army has executed many hundreds—perhaps thousands—of kids in the countryside in faked encounters, “disappearances” and in aerial bombing of civilian gatherings. In this atmosphere the remaining democratic political forces of all tendencies, including the majority faction of the right-wing Congress Party, refused in May to permit the legal extension of the state of emergency. The state of emergency suspends freedom of thought and expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, the right against preventive detention, the right to information, and any right to judicial review of acts committed by the armed forces. The dictatorship of the usurper King, exercised through a minority faction of the Congress party headed by Sher Bahadur Deuba, refused to accept this outcome. On May 27, 2002, parliament was dissolved, the state of emergency extended by decree, and an election called for November 13th
Monthly Review from Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, one of the leaders of the revolutionary forces in Nepal. We cannot fully authenticate the piece since there is a revolutionary war under way in Nepal and Dr. Bhattarai is underground. But we believe the article to be authentic from its content alone
It’s rare in these days that an article in a newspaper can overnight become of historical importance. Perhaps the most famous instance of modern times was the 1897 publication of Emile Zola’s letter entitled J’accuse, which we now can see marked the turning point in the Dreyfus Affair and led to the exoneration of Captain Dreyfus and the lasting triumph of the anti-clericalist tradition in French society. It’s been many years since we’ve last heard of a letter to a newspaper that could set off such consequences.