Baburam Bhattarai’s “Letter to the Editor” of the Kantipur Newspaper (Tuesday, April 25, 2006)

[The revolution in Nepal has led to the recall of the Parliament dismissed by the King in 2002, which shall meet on Friday, April 28th.  The leading force of the revolution, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), control more than eighty percent of the country. 

Baburam Bhattarai
Baburam Bhattarai

On April 26th, the CPN(M) agreed to call off their blockade of the capital pending the meeting of the Parliament, in which the CPN(M) is not formally represented, on Friday, April 28th, but warned that if the first meeting of Parliament failed to decide to hold constituent assembly elections unconditionally, the blockade would resume.

On April 25th, a “Letter to the Editor” appeared in the leading Nepali language Kantipur newspaper from Baburam Bhattarai, one of the leaders of the CPN(M).  The letter sets out a clear understanding of the revolutionary moment, and warns the parliamentary politicians that were they to attempt a new arrangement with the King they would be swept aside.  This important letter has not previously appeared in English translation. — John Mage]


It has been widely felt that the present revolution in Nepal has brought a revolutionary change in the communications sector.  In this context, the  “letters to the editor” seem more interesting, lively and factual than the editorials, articles, and news in established newspapers.  Perhaps this is the sign of political consciousness among the masses rising higher than that of the established political leadership and intelligentsia.  Perhaps this is the proof of the saying that revolution makes smart people dumb and vice versa.  Accepting this new development in Nepali society, I too feel it is more appropriate for me to share my views as a “letter to the editor” than by articles or statements.

Perhaps only the future generation will be able to better assess the historic revolutionary tsunami going on in Nepal from Chaitra 24 [April 6, 2006].  The degree of active participation of the common people, the nature of that participation, the level of their motivation can only be compared with that of major revolutions in history.  Especially the active and self motivated participation in this revolution of the extremely poor, the unemployed youth, students, women, those discriminated against [because of their clan or caste], the indigenous ethnics, the higher professionals and the workers has surpassed all other revolutions in Nepali history since the revolution of 2007 BS [1950-1].  The scene of people gallantly resisting the Royal Armed Forces with whatever they could get their hands on has raised all Nepali heads high, and has established our reputation as freedom fighters rather than as mercenaries for foreign armies.  Since the revolution is still going strong, what will be its climax has eluded and worried many people.

In the last leg of this revolution, the danger has increased of polarization between, on the one hand, the international power centers, the palace and the leadership of the established parliamentary forces, and, on the other, the revolutionary masses of common people, civil society and other political forces, leading to factionalism in the revolution.  Especially the current situation in which the conscious revolutionary forces demand a Democratic Republic, and the established political leadership is unable to rise above their demand for the reinstatement of the dissolved parliament, has posed an immediate danger of factionalism in revolution.  Since in the face of revolution the consciousness of the common people develops with great speed, it is necessary for the political leadership to develop their consciousness at an even greater speed.  Similarly the slogans and programs proposed at the beginning of the revolution need to be revised and developed accordingly.  When the whole of Nepal has approved chanting slogans to end the monarchy and to establish a Republic, there is no reason why the political leadership has to hesitate to formally endorse and move forward with the republican slogan.  Even the international power centers which until yesterday were unaware of the Nepali peoples’ actual consciousness and power shall eventually have to understand the ground realities of this revolution.  In this context, the failure to move forward with the slogan that incorporates the people’s aspirations and the nation’s need in order to bow to international pressure will be a huge mistake and highly ironic.

If even today the political leadership only considers the slogans for a democratic republic to be a Maoist slogan, then they would be seen by history to have made the millions of people and their own political activists chanting this slogan in the streets, “Maoists.”  The CPN-Maoist  is flexible and responsible and, keeping in mind the international situation, has been proposing the elections for Constituent Assembly as a meeting point for all.  The path for that which will prove correct, scientific and permanent is not the Merciful Reinstatement of Parliament by the King, but the parallel government declared and established by the revolutionary forces.  That is crystal clear.

Those who argue for the reinstatement of the parliament for legitimacy and historical continuity should know that the King has already torn the constitution in pieces and in this situation there is no legitimate way to solve the present crisis.  Furthermore this revolution is not demanding historical continuity but has already demanded historical discontinuity.  There has been no revolution in history by following the old constitution and laws, and it is not going to happen in Nepal.  At the time of revolution, the people’s will is the most legitimate of all, and the Nepali people have already provided that legitimacy to the revolutionary leadership.  In this context, the suggestion coming from even the imprisoned senior civil society activists to form a parallel government and move on to a Constituent Assembly is the most appropriate and correct way.  If the political leadership fearlessly makes a decision to that effect, then it is almost certain that sooner or later, the international community will recognize such arrangements.  But by giving this and that reason for a compromise to be reached with the King again by the Parliament reinstated by the King’s Mercy, then no one can say who will not be swept up and burnt along with the King in this great revolutionary conflagration.