Nepal is going through interesting phenomena. While the neighboring countries India and China are seeing to it that this small poverty-ridden country is not being used as a field to launch activities against their respective countries, it seems Nepal is being used against its own people. Hence in order to save Nepal from self-defeating exercise it is important to dissect all the actors who are responsible for this. For this it is important to know the predominant Parties who are major players today.
Take the example of high profile Nepali Congress Party (NCP) which has been seconded by recent Constituent Assembly (CA) election (something they are not able to digest, being ruler most of the time). In whatever NCP may want to define its ideology, people understand the Party as status quoits also fighting for democracy (in form or in essence? History will judge them later). Their base is predominantly affluent class; they are comfortable with feudal, expansionist and imperialist values. They sound vocal because the dominant force in the World system is in their favor.
Similarly take the example of novice Party the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) UCPN (M) which has fortunately or unfortunately become the largest party after CA election (creating much jealousy among other parties). People understand this Party as a radical force fighting for communist values; working for forward-looking restructuring of the country (whether it is rhetoric or real restructuring of state that should be left to history to judge). The political base of this party is predominantly poor peasants and workers. For them the main hurdle was the king representing feudal relation hindering their productive capacities, hence their justification of going to ten year’s people’s war to end monarchy system in Nepal. For them ending monarchy has not ended feudal relation completely hence they are now for restructuring of state. In international arena they are often loner if not castigated. Hence they sound defensive.
Then there is United Marxist Leninist (UML) which people understand as middle left force, always swinging from one position to another but ultimately succumbing to the status quoits ultimately. The class base of this Party is petty-bourgeois who are scared of being marginalized into poor class hence they sympathize with left out of fear but at the same time they are tempted to be rich hence they tend to align with the right force, hence the swing from left to right. The international force is not only tolerant to them but make use of them hence UML make lot of noise to draw their attention to their favor.
Right now new Parties have emerged which reflect the present aspiration for ethnic, regional identities such as Madhesi Jana-adhikar Forum etc. They are looked upon as force who complement with which ever predominant force come to form the government. In short in Nepal today we have all the tendencies that represent today’s society and its aspiration.
Having understood characteristic of all the Parties, it is also important to know the internal dynamics of all these Parties. In all the Parties there are regressive forces and progressive forces and those middle forces which belong to none, but whichever force is able to influence this force makes that force determining. In NP the forward-looking force is that force who wants to see Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) taking shape as soon as possible, who wants to see civil supremacy, rule of law followed. They want democratic norms institutionalized; they want to institutionalize the state on the basis of federal republic democratic norms. While regressive elements want to follow federal republic democratic in form but not in essence, this it does by sticking to old archaic feudal relation as much intact as possible. Their hobnobbing with Rukmanangat Katwal, the erring chief of army who is working to strengthen military supremacy is one point.
In the case of UCPN (M) the regressive force is that force who wants to go back and wage PW as they underestimate the achievement of federal republic democratic state hence they are not very enthusiastic of CPA reaching to logical conclusion. The progressive force is that force who look forward to consolidate federal republic democratic as much as possible by incorporating proportionate and inclusive elements to make it more people-oriented, decentralized and sustainable. They are acutely aware of dialectical relation between necessity and freedom taking the form of discipline and democracy within the Party.
Within UML, the regressive force facilitate the regressive force of NCP by using different languages such as saying that they are for CPA, and that they are for civilian rule but they endorse all the limitations put by NCP in concluding CPA and civilian rule. The forward looking force is exposing the stand taken by those who are helping military supremacy, who are driving the country to civil war.
If one is to assess the forward-looking force and regressive force in all the major Parties, one similar pattern comes that is those who are comfortable with change based on concrete analysis of concrete situation (within the limitation put by the Party) falls under forward looking category and those who are afraid of change falls under regressive force. Those who are afraid of change are the ones who are doing self-defeating exercise refusing to march ahead with time.
What is interesting is that these tendencies apply in all Parties all over the world but in various forms and different intensities.
Hence let us have win-win situation by consolidating all the forward-looking forces within all the Parties. But this can be only done by struggling against the regressive tendencies within all the respective Parties. It is then that we can look at our neighboring countries to take positive lessons while shunning negative lessons.
In Nepal’s case let us make united front with all the progressive forces within different Parties, let us learn to be comfortable with change because this time history has given us chance to change from archaic feudal world to modern sustainable productive world. ——————————————————————-29th June 2009.