Nepali Times
MOHAN BIKRAM SINGH
Guest Column
The intellectual dilemma


MOHAN BIKRAM SINGH


The misguided policies of the Maoists are not just an obstacle to the country's political evolution, they are putting Nepal's future in jeopardy.

The Maoists are neither communists nor bourgeois democrats. They represent neither Marxist-Leninist-Maoist thought nor national capitalism.

They are suffering an identity crisis and are drifting towards social fascism. If this trend persists, we won't be making progress towards a dictatorship of the proletariat and we will not see a new people's revolution: we will drift towards a non-revolutionary fascist dictatorship.

The extreme 'leftist' ideology and the war the Maoists waged was a mistake and it was unsuccessful. But even after they abandoned their armed struggle, they haven't been able to shed their extremist tendencies and anarchist behaviour. The leadership, especially that of Pushpa Kamal Dahal, suffers from a careerist approach that is undermining the people's real interests as well as the peace process and the constitution.

The reason the Maoists get away with a lot of this is because progressive intellectuals and the media haven't really understood where the Maoists come from and have a tendency to tolerate, excuse or wish away their excesses. This is the why the Maoists have got a free ride in hoodwinking the mass public with their populist slogans of people's liberation and egalitarianism.

For a long time the Maoists have been saying they will not let a constitution be written until they can lead the government. That a large section of the intelligentsia has played along with this illogical line of argument is surprising. Only a party that has the support of a majority in parliament can lead the government, according to the Interim Constitution that the Maoists themselves helped write. The UML-led government got to power constitutionally because the Maoists lost the support of their coalition partners. The Maoists then tried to get to power via the streets, but failed and are now threatening to restart their rebellion.

If you have abandoned armed struggle and joined a constitutional process, you have to use due process to get into government. Even more surprising than the Maoists not understanding this is the inability of our so-called
intellectuals to grasp it. This is not to say that there aren't credible, independent and democratic-minded civil society leaders.

Nepal's intellectual class can be divided into three groups: those who support the Maoists out of an ignorant nostalgia for revolution, those who have either been bought, coerced or threatened to support them, and the royalists who see a convergence of interest with the Maoists. Somewhere within these three groups are intellectuals who have joined the Maoists not because they identify with their ideology but because they have dreams of getting into government or high positions.

Such behaviour, of course, is not uniquely applied to the Maoists: we have seen the Nepali intelligentsia sucking up to the NC or UML in the past. Lately we see even respected and independent analysts supporting erroneous Maoist policies and actions, and the reason could be a lack of intellectual clarity. Engels once said: "In general, traditionalist thinkers latch on to wrong beliefs."

For example, the Maoists started their armed struggle in 1996 because they thought the existing order could not be changed without a protracted revolutionary war. That is what Marxism-Leninism taught us. But there is another Marxist-Leninist line that says: "The objective conditions must be right before an armed struggle is launched in any country." In other words, an armed struggle can be an extremist blunder.

A party that has to rely on counter-revolutionaries and opportunists for support is itself weak and can crumble at any moment. The Maoists should realise that what they see as ideological solidarity from the intellectual class is actually undermining them. It is only when the Maoists realise they have taken the wrong turn in history, that once you join a democratic process there is no turning back to violence, that the party will make progress and be honest with itself.

Mohan Bikram Singh is the General Secretary of the Nepal Communist Party (Masal). Translated from a longer version in Himal Khabarpatrika, 30 May-14 June.

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1. jange
The Maoists are neither communists nor bourgeois democrats. They represent neither Marxist-Leninist-Maoist thought nor national capitalism.

They are Mafia. They behave like mafia, they think like mafia and they are mafia.


2. Nimesh
This comment has been removed by the moderator.

3. Chandra Gurung
The old man still has it going. Just love the budha (Mohan Bikram). 

4. Tori lahurae
Uff, this guy assumes that  he is the only one communist in Nepalwho has been showered by milk! 
There is a chronic rog of communist in Nepal that everyone sees the other communist as "gaddar". 


5. chasing_che
This comment has been removed by the moderator.

6. K. K. Sharma

A bunch of sychophants are not intellectuals. They side with the Maoists because they perceive that Maoists will become the lords of New Nepal. 


7. Pole

#1

they are a mongrel of Fascists and National Socialists.If they come to power they will covert this country into Rumania of Chausescu.0r Albania of Hoxa.



8. asdp
proper term is .. khaobadi. all those who are not even properly educated or exposed, and won't even get a decent job if it were some other place, are in that party and are called, behold, leaders.


9. Bashu Arya

M.B. Singh provides very true and spot-on insights here regarding the true underbelly of Maoists. Who knows Prachanda and Prachanda-led Maoists better than his first political Guru, Mr. Singh himself. It has been known to majority of Nepali intellectuals that Maoists are true follower of Hitler/Mussolini in their deed, the words they use doesnot worth a cent. The continuing support by a small bunch of intellectuals is driven by their vested interest.

I guess Singh should also have realised  (in the moment of tranquillity in his mind) that Marxist ideology the way it was experimented does not provide any cure to Nepal's current problem. It failed terribly all over the causing pain and grief to human society for a century.



10. Nirmal

It is a paradox that highlights three certainties:

First, the armed struggle as well the street protests have ceased to be a valid(read it as popular)instrument of politics for anyone including the champions-the Maoists-. So, this is the fact that the nepali intelligensia, above all those who sympathises with the Maoists but without even normal critical participation ought to understand and act in accordance. What does it mean to write for those whose romance of ideology prevents them from denouncing the violence? Simple answer: that this is an impediment to politics without violence, and under the shadow of violence no country prospers, let alone the Maoists future. The armed struggle will only serve the privileged employees of the Maoists party. Now, it is being proved that they used the people's war as a political blackmail to improve its enviable and unsupportive  double ideology line. If you move around the world with such limitation, you are sure to cop it Kamred. Additional information:the authority of Pekin have recommended not to use the formality "Comrade" in urban buses, the expression has been considered as reminiscences of old regime in Mao's original land.

Second, Prachanda is no more a charismatic leader as he was seen during CA elections(the glory is over! Even Sushil Koirala would topple him If a rapid survey is to be done in one or two days, just survey not elections, different things although inter-related) and I can't see Prachanda in rebel's get-up now, his physique would not permit him. Definitely, he's become a political cadaver. I  warned the Man that he was mortal in politics too one year ago but all went in vain, they have little costume to listen to others. Reincarnation is possible in Prachanda and the Maoists' case? Well, communists have little faith on these traditional terminologies and rather they believe on the revival of foreigners history as their ideology. But  as rationale and common sense always prevail sooner or later, I think reincarnation is still possible! By now, it seems only my wish: the man assured his multy-party friends that they are in politics as civilian as NC and UML showing the lavish and multi-million Maoists' headquarter in which they were invited for inter-party discussion, isn't his subconscience betraying Kamred Prachanda? Policies forwarded by the Maoists supremo are mere reflection of contradiction- affirmation and posterior negation-, nothing to see with what we call rectification which means to encircle oneself into the exactitude of the reality.

Third: When the interests of left and right agree on the restrictions, it is more necessary than ever to create a counter-power for the interests of the disadvantaged, but if possible without harming them kamreds, kasko lagi julus, todfod, katmaar ani yuddha ra mahabharat? Those who declared Janayuddha nearly two decades ago, in addition, have seen the consequence of their lately tried Janabidroha and must be prepared to have an idea of future bill that they will have to pay, dishonestly discounting the unexpected and undesired human loss of the past . Open politics is resulting difficult business for kamreds, na?

 

Actually, the so called left of Nepal under different communist tags have neither been able to be counted as power nor contra-power. The UML got to taste the sattako bhatta because large section of this party has already assimilated to the traditional right and the last thing left to see is the emergence of KP Oli as next candidate for the premiership(he has hit the media-market lately)to ascertain this claim.  Now, this same self-declared left, reminiscence of old communist order that presumes to have 60 percent representation in CA had the opportunity to be at least the counter-power as necessary, but for the moment, all they do is to lie showing the numbers and live on the conflict. Dhanya ho nepali communists, bideshiko ithaaslai afno ideology banayera rajnitik dokaanma bechna khojne!



11. Anonymous
With due respect, I beg to disagree with the veteran Communist leader of Nepal, Mr. M. B. Singh. To me his criticism is one-sided, narrow, derogatory, very much biased and above all, devoid of concrete vision and action plan. It is interesting to speculate how he lost the memory of history. He should recall that his party (CP) was banned right up to the parliamentary election of 1959, and managed to secure only 4 seats (compared to 74 by the Nepali Congress and 20 seats by Gorkha Parshid) in the election by the people! After near about five decades, today the CP claim almost two third majority in the CA!! Can you deny that "objective reality"? Mr. Singh must acknowledge that how Nepal utterly failed to modernize under a decade of the so-called parliamentary system. My generation of intellectuals support Democratic Republic of Nepal not because I belong to a particualr party, because as Western educated and patriotic Nepali I see a need for fundamental change in the political system (and above all, the mindset of our political leaders) so that my country will be free from  the "most corrupt" and the "backward" rule of the decades; so that the next generation of Nepal can proudly say "I am a Nepali". Despite all their inherent flaws and deficiencies, I support the Left in Nepal because;
1) they materialized a historic election to the Constituent Assembly in 60 years of modern political history of Nepal;
2) they played the decisive role to abolish the feudal institution of monarchy;
3) they proposed for the first time the devolution of power through federal restructuring of the state; and
4) they proposed alternative model of government (the Presidential system)

These are changes of historic proportions by any means and analysis- Marxist or otherwise.When Mr. Singh quotes Lenin-- "the objective conditions must be right" or Mao-- "the need for protracted war", my question to him is -- 'How long will you wait for that ideal condition to materialize on earth?' Mr. Singh should  perhaps be aware that time and space have been squeezed in the modern age of Information Communication Technology. We live in the age of knowledge economy and no more  the era of the Industrial Revolution under which Marx and Engels lived in Europe. As a student of dialectical materialism, I would be curious to know how Marx and Engels would have analyzed the modern age of Scientific-Technological Revolution and its possible impact in the development of human society.

The only interesting speculation I have reading Mr. Singh's piece is readers would love to know "where the Maoists come from". As former mentor to the current leftist leaders, I believe that Mr. Singh certainly is in a better position to provide an answer to that question.

As a patriotic Nepali, I have disagreements on matters such as "ethno-centric federalism", or lack of  "independent judiciary" in the Constitution, or lack of "pluralism" in politics, or even  the "economic model" (which they seem still confused). My generation of intellectuals lived the experience of colossal demise of the giant Soviet Union, and witnessed the moral decay of  the so-called "free market economy" and the rise of economic  power-houses such as China. What I wish  to see for my own country is a modern leadership and the best of the political systems that can deliver stability, a real sense of people's power and a strategic direction for the economic and cultural development of all Nepalis.

Mr Singh, please come with more constructivistic ideas and less criticism! We are tired of old generation politics and traditional parties on both the left and right! Enough is enough, Sir!



12. Satyajeet Nepali I
This comment has been removed by the moderator.

13. Satyajeet Nepali 2

Nepal will lose at least a decade (from 2006), if not more, cleaning up the mess that legitimizing the Maoists has/will cause. And as Mr. Singh claims, the Maoists have attained the power that they wield, in large part, due to the support that our so-called "intellectuals" offered them. As the Nepali people finally recognize the Maoists for who they truly are, they may even sideline them through the electoral process. But what of these intellectuals who've contributed to all this suffering and the loss of an entire decade, if not more? "Intellectuals" don't ever face the electorate. Do they get away scot-free then? Do they get to continue being the respected "intellectuals" and media moguls of New or Super-new Nepal?

Is it not necessary to demand ACCOUNTABILITY from intellectuals and journalists too? Or do they get carte blanche to do as they wish? Is that what modern-day "democracy" is: P.A.A =PUNDITS ABOVE ACCOUNTABILITY? From Raj of the Ranas and Shahs, have we now arrived at the Raj of the Pundits?! Do we need a 'SAFAI' from this intellectual class too or not?

These are the important questions that the Nepali people need to grapple with!  


14. who cares

i support:

* The misguided policies of the Maoists ...

* The Maoists are neither communists nor bourgeois democrats. They represent neither Marxist-Leninist-Maoist thought nor national capitalism...         ......... "they are simply confused, scared..."

* They are suffering an identity crisis and are drifting towards social fascism...

* The extreme 'leftist' ideology and the war the Maoists waged was a mistake and it was unsuccessful...    ................... but it is successful to fulfill personal interests, assisted to bring republic ........... some of those who were trying to use maoist lost like shahs, india, girija and i thing many others will join the line.

* The reason the Maoists get away with a lot of this is because progressive intellectuals and the media haven't really understood where the ...           ................. also, some just wanted to give fools second chance...

* ...That a large section of the intelligentsia has played along with this illogical line of argument...       .............. this is the biggest irony...   for me, maoist are not the major threat, its the duplicate maoist in UML, and also so called civil society no longer posses threat ..... there is a new threat arising and they are weak mind of leaders of other parties...

* ...his is not to say that there aren't credible, independent and democratic-minded civil society leaders... 

* Nepal's intellectual class can be divided into three groups:...        ..... there are some other types also and one of them is those who are angry with NC, UML cause they did not throw bones at them.... there are other reason of anger too...

* ...ly we see even respected and independent analysts supporting erroneous Maoist policies and actions, and the reason could be a lack of intellectual clarity. Engels once said: "In general, traditionalist thinkers latch on to wrong beliefs."         .......... i think some support cause maoist is the major hope to divide nepal into ethnic...

* ..."The objective conditions must be right before an armed struggle is launched in any country." In other words, an armed struggle can be an extremist blunder...        ..... i am not the student of political theories...

* A party that has to rely on counter-revolutionaries and opportunists for support is itself weak and can crumble at any moment. The Maoists should realise that what they see as ideological solidarity from the intellectual class is actu...              ............. this is one of the brilliance i have ever heard in politics.



looks like everything makes sense to me.





15. Arthur
"...the fundamental assumptions upon which Mohan Bikram builds his theories must be understood. I like to point out four of those assumptions.

One, he must be right because those opposed to him are wrong.

Two, his ideas cannot be implemented now because the conditions are not right – as opposed to his ideas being unfit for the conditions.

Three, others meet failures because they inherently take incorrect political line and he meets failures because others are not mature enough to follow his path.

Four, anyone good enough to be learnt form could not be his opponent.

His answers are very logical when analyzed on the basis of these assumptions.
"

In search of wisdom: Mohan Bikram syndrome by Dr Pramod Dhakal.

The correct line of MBS continues to be resolutely upheld by MBS. Unfortunately the Maoists wrong line is far more popular, both among the masses and the intellectuals because they have been bought, coerced or threatened or because they are royalists.

This proves once again the third assumption. All three groups of Nepal's intellectuals are too immature to follow the correct path of MBS!

(I once read a fascinating diatribe by MBS explaining that the Maoist strategy was playing into the hands of the monarchy...!)

Perhaps the best part is the quote from Engels:

"In general, traditionalist thinkers latch on to wrong beliefs."

I am not familiar with this quote but I think it explains a great deal.

The same theories about supporters of the Maoists being "bought, coerced or threatened" are popular among traditionalist thinkers here.

There is something very "traditionalist" about the MBS critique.

It fits perfectly in Nepali Times.



16. Satya Nepali 1 (sanitized)

Bravo! Finally an honest, hard-hitting piece. That the NT and Himal are publishing this is a sign that the Dixit brothers are coming around. But the damage has been done. And the question remains: why were sensible articles like these not published earlier? Why did the Dixit brothers, like many other "intellectuals", go gung-ho over the Maoists, helping to legitimize and "mainstream" (read empower) them? Having helped enthrone leftist extremism into the center-stage of Nepali society and politics, can they now make up for it by publishing anti-Maoist writers like Singh or rightist ones like Biraj Bista? Where was 'balance', 'objectivity', 'impartiality' and such "journalistic" values when we really needed them?



17. Sargam

Unwittingly, Mohan Bikram Singh differentiated himself to be Prachanda's nemesis.

In this write-up every word of his sounds like the epitaph on the graveyard of the would be soon the defunct Maoist movement of Nepal.

The cut-throat battle between the rival claimants of Nepalese politics is keenly depicted by him to the discomfiture of the Maoist honchos. Further, he persists in pouring out the evil means undertaken by Prachanda, the awesome, for the ascent to the top and plum job, even it meant traversing the blood-strewn river and violent path, beyond what one could normally imagine in a peace loving country like Nepal.

Lawlessness, gratuitous violence and misuse of power are the underbelly of Nepal's Maoist movement.

It merely makes us frown at madcap of situational goof-up of this bloody and criminal political party which is nothing less than a replica of the fascist and national socialist party a k a 'Nazi' of erstwhile Adolf Hitler.

In common parlance, the word intelligence has no existence in the Orient. Vaguely, one can substitute it with the faculty to solve a problem.

In effect, if you happen to tell a so-called very intelligent person, "I find you not very intelligent because your IQ* is very low." If he retorts by saying, "What is IQ?"- What will be your reaction? That means like everything the word intelligence is also very relative. (IQ*: Intelligence quotient).

What is intelligence anyway?

How do we end up with know-nothings for wise men?

Meanwhile, if you ask a truly intelligent person his response surely will be something like, "Intelligence is simply the capacity to solve a new problem, nothing more nothing less."

On the contrary, the word Intelligentsia is a Russian word for ensemble of intellectuals or local elites, characterized by their revolutionary aspirations at the times of the defunct USSR.

A large fickle of 'Nepalese elites' are the mere brave locals who remain all their life confined to their community or locality dumped by the hand-to-mouth existential problems, are going through an insane time right now, and have got to hanging on somebody's coat-tails to survive.

Some of them support Maoists according to the author of this article, "out of ignorant nostalgia for revolution those who have either been bought, coerced or threatened to support them and the royalists who see a convergence of interest with the Maoists …............. who have joined the Maoists because they have dreams of getting into government or high positions. ….......... they thought that the present existence cannot be changed without a protracted revolutionary war."

To my mind, the battle will die down there being nobody left to carry on the fight.

Every Nepalese who is sane enough knows that only those politicos deserve his confidence and support who anchor their politics on national reconciliation and work out for restoring the rule of law to promote the image of Nepal as a business friendly country with free-market economy.

NB: Anyway, pl. log on to the following latest Amber Gurung with lyrics:

Yo jindagiko ke kura

Yo sapna ho ra ke kura

Timro rupko ke kura

Mero gitko pani ke kura

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOSruhpHOxA

PS: If the new commies are in the similar vein of Mohan Bikram Singh they deserve my amicable accolades.

.



18. Balram prasad Raut
I agreed with views of Mr./Ms. Anonymous views. I never read any article of Mr. M .B. Singh in neutral position. Only criticism is not the solution, we should also give some ways to solve the present problems. I ask Mr. Singh please give a real political model sutiable for Nepal. I hope he cannot because he is not good politician, but only good writer.

19. Sargam

Every day it brings its share of surprises. Either we accept and reconcile ourselves to it or cross the street.

I tend to think that Nepalese politics is on a tipping point as the folks concerned come to figure out that it is useless to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

There are people like Mr. Mohan Bikram Singh, a communist of long date, who of late has come to realize that what he always believed right for the communists of Nepal proved to be simply in the wrong as everywhere in the world, communism stopped to be the alpha and omega of the working class after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Henceforth he will serve as the emblem for the upcoming generations in Nepal as to how a mistake committed in the past could become a bitter experience and not redo the same sort of errors in future could be the telling example to be followed by the youths. Because your past errors as a politician, when admitted, could help tip the scales in favor of better societal actions in future.

Unwittingly, Mohan Bikram Singh has proved to be the most sought after Nepalese politicos who distinguishes himself to be Prachanda's nemesis.

In this write-up every word of his sounds like the warning to all those communists of the 21st century reminding them their blatant errors of the past by following an outdated dogma which would drive them one day or other into the precipice if they do not take a turn before it is too late.

The cut-throat battle between the rival claimants of Nepalese politics is adroitly depicted by him to the discomfiture of the Maoist honchos. Further, he persists in pouring out the evil means undertaken by Prachanda, the awesome, for the ascent to the top and plum job, even it could mean poised to try somebody's patience to breaking point and at the same time traversing the violent path up to the limit of anybody's acceptance in a peace loving country like Nepal.

Lawlessness, gratuitous violence and misuse of power have been the underbelly of Nepal's Maoist movement.

It merely makes us frown at madcap of situational goof-up of this blood-strewn political party which has the tendency to become one day the exact replica of the national socialist party a k a 'Nazi' of the erstwhile Germany.

In common parlance, the word intelligence has no existence in the Orient. Vaguely, one can substitute it with the faculty to solve a problem.

In effect, if you happen to tell a so-called very intelligent person, "I find you not very intelligent because your IQ* is very low." If he retorts by saying, "What is IQ?"- What will be your reaction? That means like everything the word intelligence is also very relative. (IQ*: Intelligence quotient).

What is intelligence anyway?

How do we end up with know-nothings for wise men?

Meanwhile, if you ask a truly intelligent person his response surely will be something like, "Intelligence is simply the capacity to solve a new problem, nothing more nothing less."

On the contrary, the word Intelligentsia is a Russian word for ensemble of intellectuals or local elites, characterized by their revolutionary aspirations at the times of the defunct USSR.

A large fickle of 'Nepalese elites' are the brave locals more or less dumped by the hand-to-mouth existential problems, are going through an insane time right now, and have got to hanging on somebody's coat-tails to survive.

Some of them support Maoists according to the author of this article, "out of ignorant nostalgia for revolution those who have either been bought, coerced or threatened to support them and the royalists who see a convergence of interest with the Maoists …............. who have joined the Maoists because they have dreams of getting into government or high positions. ….......... they thought that the present existence cannot be changed without a protracted revolutionary war."

To my mind, the battle for sure will die down one day there being nobody left to carry on the fight.

Every Nepalese who is sane enough knows that only those politicos deserve his confidence and support who anchor their politics on national reconciliation and work out for restoring the rule of law to promote the image of Nepal as a business friendly country with free-market economy.


PS: If the 'new commies' are in the similar vein of Mohan Bikram Singh they deserve my heartfelt accolades. Because I respect all human beings as an entity but not their mind-numbing and outdated diatribes.

.



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