On the Occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the People's War in Nepal: A Fight for the Future at the Top of the World
Revolution #035, February 19, 2006
I traveled to Nepal in 1999, when the People's
War was in its beginning years. I remember crossing the border
into Rolpa with much excitement--knowing this district had
already become the stronghold of the revolution. In village
after village, I was inspired by young guerrilla soldiers,
party leaders, women organizers, peasant farmers, and martyrs'
families--who told me they were fighting for liberation in
Nepal as part of the world revolution.
When I left Nepal, a leader in the CPN(M)
told me, "The first part of your trip is coming to an
end. But ahead of you is the second part of your journey--to
take all that you have seen, heard and learned and make it
known to the world." And so I have worked since my trip,
to let people know about the People's War in Nepal--and to
counter all the lies and disinformation that has been thrown
out in the media to try and discredit and distort the real
character and aims of the Maoist struggle in Nepal.
My initial series of articles about my trip
and the extensive interview I did with Prachanda, the Chairman
of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), were originally
published in the Revolutionary Worker (now
Revolution newspaper). My book, Dispatches from
the Peoples War in Nepal, came out at the beginning of
2005 and a Nepali edition of this book was recently published
in Kathmandu. Dispatches, in its entirety, as well
as selected chapters, and the Prachanda interview, have been
translated and circulated in many languages throughout the
world. I have given lectures throughout the United States
and Europe and, wherever I have gone, people are truly inspired
when I tell them what I have seen and how the Peoples War
has grown and developed to the point where it now controls
most of the countryside. People are given real hope when they
hear about the transformations going on in the base areas
and are tremendously inspired when they see how women have
been unleashed to play a huge role in this revolution. They
see a living example of the "hope of the hopeless"
in how the Maoists are leading people to bring about real
and liberating social, economic, and cultural changes in the
base areas--and how the People's War is fighting to do away
with women's oppression, the discrimination of minority nationalities,
and the whole oppressive caste system.
Many people have also learned about the Peoples
War in Nepal through my photographs. At one exhibit of my
photos, an African American woman from the south side of Chicago
said, "These people are really, really fighting for
something. They're living primitively but I'm quite sure they're
proud of what they have. You can look into their eyes and
see they're proud, strong people. And the youth--the children,
the young girls. It's just breathtaking to see them all fighting
together for one cause instead of fighting each other, like
we are over here. It's just beautiful. I wish I could go over
there and see what it's like.... I know it's hard for those
people. But it's good to see that they have that inner brilliance
that outshines, so that they fight and go on."
In today's world, where a small handful of
rich imperialist countries dominate and exploit poor, third
world countries--it gives people great heart and joy to see
a genuine liberation struggle in Nepal, determined to end
The People's War in Nepal is taking place
in an intensifying world situation where the aims and ambitions
of the U.S. crusade to attain unrivaled world hegemony have
been setting the terms for much of international relations,
including how the U.S. (and other powers) look at their necessity
and freedom to intervene in Nepal. Under the so-called "war
on terrorism" the U.S., UK, India, and other foreign
powers have given political and military support to the reactionary
state power in Kathmandu.
U.S. officials have arrogantly declared that
they will not allow the Maoists to come to power in Nepal--even
though it is clear the People's War has massive support from
the overwhelming majority of people in the country. The U.S.
government and mainstream media lie about the People's War
in Nepal--distorting and slandering the aims and goals of
the revolution, in order to justify their backing of a brutal
regime that is carrying out horrible crimes against the people.
This underscores the importance of people here in the U.S.
exposing and opposing any and all U.S. intervention in Nepal.
As Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP,USA said,
"The U.S. arrogantly proclaims that it will not allow
the people of Nepal to liberate themselves and take control
of their own country. And of course this has to be taken very
seriously, not only by the people leading that revolution
in Nepal, our comrades there. But also by all of us who want
to see people liberated in the world. And there is a special
duty for us here because this is our arrogant imperialist
power, whether it works through India or with India, or in
some other way or directly intervenes at some point, which
is determined to drown that in blood...We cannot allow the
U.S. imperialists to declare and to act on the declaration
that the people of Nepal cannot carry through and achieve
complete liberation there. It is our responsibility to let
people know about this, to expose what theyre doing and to
support politically on a massive scale this struggle in Nepal
because its carrying the future for all of us."
When the Peoples War was launched in 1996,
it defied all odds and bravely set out on the path of the
Maoist New Democratic Revolution--a path that remains relevant
for oppressed countries throughout the world. And in a "short"
ten years, the Communist Party of Nepal has achieved tremendous
success--not only in the military struggle against the reactionary
Nepalese government, but in the building of peoples power
and new forms of revolutionary power in the liberated base
The mobilization of millions of people to
exercise peoples power, to work at building the outlines of
a future socialist society--even as the Peoples Liberation
Army is battling the reactionary U.S. and India-backed Royal
Nepalese Army--this is a breathtaking and historic achievement.
Many people in the United States are surprised
when they hear about the success of the Peoples War in Nepal.
The government here tells us all the time that "communism
is dead"--that socialism was "tried and failed"
and therefore capitalism is the "best of all possible
worlds." But anyone can look around at the state of the
planet and see how the system of imperialism causes tremendous
misery and suffering for the masses of people. And the socialist
revolutions in the Soviet Union and China represented the
first historic efforts to build societies free of exploitation
and oppression. While they were eventually defeated and reversed,
the lessons from these revolutions, summing up their overwhelmingly
positive achievements, as well as their shortcomings, are
crucial to the advance of proletarian revolution throughout
In this light, the Peoples War in Nepal is
a real inspiration for all those who dream of a better world.
In Nepal, two futures are presenting themselves,
and sharply colliding. One is a continuation, in one form
or another, of the current society, dominated by backward
class forces aligned with the whole international imperialist
system and enforcing extremely oppressive and exploitative
economic, political, and social relations. The other future
is a path led by the proletariat, of breaking out of this
whole order, of leading a New Democratic Revolution, establishing
a socialist society, building new economic, political, and
social relations, and continuing the revolution to do away
with all exploitation and oppression.
I look forward to the day when I can return
to Nepal--to a new revolutionary socialist Nepal, no longer
dominated and oppressed by foreign powers, where the masses
of people can be fully mobilized to consciously build a whole
new liberating society, as part of the world revolution.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolution
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