It was after the Royal takeover in 1960 the Nepalese politics plunged into an abyss of uncertainty. Democracy was hijacked and communist movement was thrown into complete disarray. Royalists under Dr. Keshar Jung Raymajhi had succeeded to seize the leadership of Communist Party of Nepal, rendering down the role of its founder Puspa Lal Shrestha in the party organization. Amidst the unfolding of political crises, Dr Raymajhi, in his capacity of CPN general secretary, was invited to China where he met with chairman Mao Zedong. Mao, who had captured the attention of the world with his mesmerizing New Democracy (Nayna Janabadi) Revolution, suggested Rayamajhi to carry out similar revolution in Nepal. Mao said he would extend necessary support to launch guerrilla or People’s War if the CPN took a tactical line to that end. Perhaps Dr. Raymajhi was not enthused by such a proposal because his ideological orientation did not match with it. He gently declined it.
Breach of trust
Coming home, Raymajhi rushed to meet his clandestine political patron, king Mahendra, and conveyed Mao’s suggestion to the king about starting an armed struggle against feudalism. Mahendra took executive power with him by disbanding the elected government and sending democrats and communists into prisons. Then Mahendra embarked on China visit and called on Mao. China’s supreme leader was taken aback when Mahendra revealed a shocking fact to the former: "Why did you offer such an advice to Dr. Raymajhi? He is my man." Frustrated by this disclosure, the Chinese Communist Party never took initiatives to export its revolution to Nepal. And, it is said, the CCP lost faith in the Nepalese communist party since then. Rather, the CCP found the monarchy as a trustworthy institution instead of the Nepalese Communist Party. This information was shared to this scribe by his late father who was an active member of CPN (Pushpa Lal group) and had also closely worked with Raymajhi before severing ties from the latter’s faction.
Royal element indeed played its villainous role to destroy the Nepalese communist parties in the past but today with monarchy gone, the royal specter still haunts them. In the recent split of UCPN-Maoist, the royalists have been partly blamed. Haribol Gajurel, an influential member of Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda camp, accused royalists of being active in the creation of CPN-Maoist led by Mohan Baidhya Kiran. He added other two elements - RIM (Revolutionary International Movement) and RAW (Research and Analysis Wing, an Indian intelligence agency) – to the list for the vertical split of the largest communist group in Nepal. Gajurel offered a roundabout logic to establish a link between Baidhya’s party and the royalists. After becoming the new chair of splinter group, Baidhya, in a press meet organized to inform about the formal division of the party, had rejected ‘Democratic Republic’, which his parent party adopted during its Chunbang meeting while he was in an Indian jail; the 12-point Understanding that it inked along with other parliamentary parties at the behest of New Delhi to overthrow monarchy and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that obliged it to dismantle the war era structures and agree on the integration of its combatants into the national army, among others. The adoption of ‘Democratic Republic’ and the signing of 12-point accord were clearly meant to bring down the monarchial system. Baidhya’s opposition to them makes it obvious that there has been some nexus between the royalists and proponents of the new party, argues Gajurel.
Actually, the already dead royal institution had lesser role in the rupture of the Maoist party that was key to the downfall of 240 years old kingship. However, Baidhya has welcomed all nationalist forces irrespective of their ideological affiliations. He has no hesitation to take in even hardcore royalists in the party in the name of hazy slogan of patriotism. Moreover, the Maoists, noted for their maneuvering to play one force against another, hobnobbed with the royalists to finish off the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML men during the insurgency. Their wayward political proclivity made them one of the most unpredictable forces in the Nepalese politics. So, it is not uncommon for one faction to label another as consorting with royalists and see the latter’s hand in the party’s split.
Like the monarchy, the RIM is also defunct today but not completely dead. The ideology of RIM has undoubtedly been a substantial factor in the break-up of the Maoist party. Founded in 1984, the RIM advocated Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the science of revolution and the People’ War as the only valid path to achieve its ultimate goal. It has been obsessed with Maoism and terms it as the third and highest stage of science. One of the clinical deficiencies the RIM is infested with is its persistent call for the People’s War ignoring the subjective and objective condition of the given countries. This is certainly its faulty yet suicidal approach of revolution, which is the main reason of its waning influence in the international left movement.
It had expelled its member CPN-Masal led by Mohan Bikram Singh from the group after it refused to lend support to the Maoist guerilla warfare in 1996. The Committee of RIM dismissed Masal’s opposition to the Maoist violence as the ‘opportunistic trajectory’ in its statement prepared in 1998. The RIM also castigated UCPN-Maoist after it entered the peace process and gave up all apparatuses of insurgency. It accused Prachanda of betraying revolution and capitulating Maoist ideology. In new Baidhya-led splinter group, the RIM has found fitting brains and diehard supporters. Echoing the RIM’s philosophy, Baidhay has vowed to stage people’s revolt or ‘People’s War’ if necessary by reviving all mechanisms created during the decade long insurgency.
There has been a long tradition of ultra-leftist stream in the Nepalese communist movement. When Pushpa Lal emerged to follow the moderate path for the restoration of democracy, Mohan Bikram Singh and Nirmal Lama rose to cast off him as gaddar. As late Madan Bhandari moved to democratize the then country’s biggest communist force, Prachanda jumped to rebuke him as ‘revisionist’ and ‘surrenderist’. Now it is the turn of Prachanda himself to swallow up all revolutionary profanities from his political guru Baidhya for ‘leaving the Maoist movement in the lurch.’ He scolded his once most able successor Prachanda as ‘neo-revisionist’. Baidhya now holds high the flag of hardliners, defying the domestic and international realities. So, there should not be a big surprise in the split of the Maoist party and the rebirth of ultra-leftism that continues to find its existence as long as there is deep-seated public discontents, abysmal poverty and ever rising inequalities in the Nepalese society.