The struggle within a communist party is natural. The reflection of the struggle made within the society, out of party, becomes the struggle in communist party. Sometimes, faithful people dominate working-class people, while hybrid tendencies become dominant the other time. There can be unity, struggle, transformation and even split. Marx and Lenin have told and written about it a lot and it is necessary to carry proper study on it.
The unity within a communist party can’t be forged merely with sycophancy. Unity strengthens only through struggle. The struggle within a party and out of the party make leadership matured and united. Unity can’t be achieved through reciting the so-called pious verses of unity out of struggle, discussions, and debates.
The true leader and worker of a communist party should cultivate the thought and law to achieve new unity on the new ground once again through unity, struggle, and transformation. Engels have talked on this issue much. Pushpa Lal founded Communist party in Nepal. However, he was removed from the leadership after 1951 and stopped him from being the general secretary of the party. The party endorsed Pushpa Lal’s line and thought in 1957. Party functioned under his line and thought but the leadership went to the hand of Kesharjung Rayamajhi. It was the misfortune of a communist party to have one’s party line but the leadership of his opponent. Has it been the same if we give a look over our present situation? The questions have been raised from the same angle whether we have one’s line and other’s leadership. I think, we should look here and there to seek the crux of present-day problem that we are compelled to face. We should be quite aware of the fact related to the leadership of a royalist, Rayamajhi despite the endorsement of Pushpa Lal’s line of socialist revolution in 1957 so as not to let the same incidence repeat again at present. If the same happens, we have to face the problem that communist party faced after 1957. The communist movement had to encounter accident due to the line of one and the leadership of the other. It could not have been stopped by anyone with a pious intention and desire. It moves forth in accordance to scientific law. However, communist movement didn’t end even after party split. The succeeding generation hoisted the movement’s flag again. Then after communist movement moved forth as two streams that we brought both to one place in 2018.
A great trust and enthusiasm was created among people and within party after it. However, there are doubts whether the unity breaks even before the unity general convention. We had made some grounds of electoral manifesto when we forged an electoral alliance and went to the election with single candidate. We had given our people a dream of prosperous Nepal with advanced economy. That had created hope and trust among people. What extent could we keep up our words from that point to the present juncture to? If not, what are the main reasons of not being able to keep up our words?
We have a terrifying situation to be compelled to hear unwanted news in the morning and evening. Why was such a situation created before the process of unity came to an end? This is the major question we have been facing these days. We have been trying to seek its reply from within our party.
Communist party is a party that is functioned under collective leadership and individual responsibility. Could we develop such a collective leadership or not? We could not hold party central committee meeting for 2 years despite our provision to organize it every six months in our party statute. There did not remain any chance of collective discussions and conclusion in absence of CC meeting.
Party means conscience /wisdom whereas, government is power. Conscience should lead the power in a communist party. That means to run the power by party. It becomes an issue out of scientific norms if a situation of government dominating the party is created. The questions naturally come to the surface whether the power ruled over conscience while looking back to these 2-year long time. Is a dangerous situation of an individual dominating the group instead of group dominating an individual created?
We promised our people to provide them good governance. To what extent could we succeed to resolve the frequently raised corruption issues and series of questions raised by general public? How have we been moving forth on the issue of prioritizing thought over power? Issue came before us here too, we have to work hard to hold meetings and the questions related to the need of maintaining dignity and significance of it have to be heard.
At a time when the question of map was raised in the context of nationality after India published its official map including our territory, I had been chairing the standing committee meeting of our party. We made a unanimous decision from our standing committee meeting not to leave even an inch of our land stating that we do not need an inch of other’s too. I told the government not to delay to publish our official map in the month of January. At that time the government responded me, “Why to issue map? Better we directly return back our land”. We all know that the central committee meeting held in February too directed the government to issue official map.
But , the government did not seem to be carrying preparation for it. We reiterated to include the issuance of official map in government’s policy and program in party secretariat meeting held in the very morning of the day on which our president was going to present government’s policy and program. Even the prime minister present in the meeting that morning became convinced with our proposal. We directed the chief secretary, busy in printing the government’s policy and program, to include a point related to the issuance of map in the government’s policy and program. That was the party’s decision. One of our comrades told, “How beautiful it could be after the government obeyed the party”? The map got published and constitution got amended. All Nepalese people felt glorified and honored. The feeling of national unity appeared among people. All became united. How many disputes came to public after the government tried to decide without party’s decision and how many uncertainties resulted?
We also thanked our prime minister because without his will party’s decision could not have been implemented. There was a need of the government for its legitimacy. However, it can’t be an honest effort if an individual tried to keep the party’s collective decision made wisely into his pocket. That creates further delusion again. It is the achievement of the collective decision of a communist party. The government also deserves thanks for providing it a legal status. This is the fact. And the party that decided and continuously pressurized the government to publish it is to be blamed for being a traitor and broker, while the government that delayed to publish it is to be deified. No, this can’t be. This is the fact that we all should know. If such happens there can’t be honesty and transparency. We can’t claim wisdom to be working there.
This time our standing committee meeting is going on. I have publicly told that party is in a crisis. That can’t be true even if I claimed to be all right. That is not true. Our party is in crisis because the process of registration of another communist party under the name of UML with the initiation and activeness of our party chairman has been undergoing in the election commission at a time when we are having standing committee meeting. Therefore, it has expressed the crisis. This is the issue that everyone of us has seen.
Some of the party activists have come down to the street with slogans for and against someone. At a time when we are having profound discussions and debates on how to settle the disputes within our party, and move ahead joining hands with united spirit, slogans like ‘long live’ and ‘down with’ have been echoed across the nation. Friends from across the country have been asking us, what they have to do?’ . We have advised them to observe patience and stand in favour of party unity and the same sort of propaganda have been undergoing. This has really exhibited crisis in our party.
(Edited version of Prachanda’s speech delivered in a Puspalal memorial program in 24 July at Kathmandu, Author is Executive Chairman of Nepal Communist party and former Prime minister of Nepal)
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