That the UCPN (Maoist) split is no good news for Nepal irrespective of our political affiliations, likes or dislikes. This is what it is when we look at it from national perspective. The reason is the more the strength of the political parties the greater becomes the strength of the nation. An analogy can be drawn from a boulder. Its strength remains intact so long as it remains one. When broken, it loses its strength.
A political party of Maoist strength is a national asset in terms of our political capital that we need so desperately to pull out the country from this swamp. As it is, our political capital has dwindled to its lowest ebb because of the greed of the looters, their political gambling and their blessing seeking psyche from their foreign masters. This game or the way they were forged in and forged out in forming and toppling the government, was played all in the name of delivering the constitution. In this process, they conceived many times spending an estimated 15 billion rupees. But all they delivered is a still born smile. The caretaker government, which has to make itself alive each day, is unrestrained. We have no check and balance mechanism. The Supreme Court will be weak because of decreasing number of judges in days to come. Likewise, vacancies in the statutory bodies are not filled because there is no mechanism now to fill those positions. Thus, the country has become like a ship without rudder. At this critical time, Maoist party breaks away.
Parties do break and are formed again. Politics does polarize. Again, process of alignment and realignment starts. It is because human passion is never static. It is constantly changing with different emotional configurations. So is society because of its dynamics. If we see Nepal’s political development, almost all the major parties of 1950’s revolution were split till King Mahendra snatched the power in 1960. Nepal’s main party Nepali Congress was split then and was split more recently in.2002, merged into one in 2007 with parallel identities inside now. Nepal Communist party was split so many times and in so many factions. They have merged and some have emerged like CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoists). So why is the Maoist breakaway so significant? Let’s take a look into it.
Maoist grew by leaps and bounds in strength because of three reasons. First, it is the poverty of the nation that made our youth force to leave the country and those who stayed lived in the wretched conditions of life with no voice but a silent cry. In our powerful words of Bhupi Sherchan:
Those who stay here
Stay with ash on their palm
and smoke in their eyes
Second, those in power looted the country ruthlessly, increasingly the difficulty of the poorest of the poor further. Thus, it was the two-way squeeze. Third, the Maoists who started their insurgency with the Marxian dialectics, Lenin’s organization structure and Mao Zedong’s protracted war techniques used against the Japanese provided the strong ideological base for the poverty stricken people. The Maoists sold plenty of romanticism bordering onto utopia and thus allured the youth who were considered as no man by the wealthiest few. This is how they gained steam inside as the objective conditions were ripe. And, the leaders, who were basically reared outside with plenty of logistic support for the onslaught, used these conditions very effectively.
The way it is now, the objective conditions are more or less the same even after the overthrow of monarchy and the country becoming a secular republic. The political hide and seek of myth and reality is torn apart. Thus, everybody is visible now. The greatest casualty is the Maoist party, not just because it is broken apart now but more because many of its leaders excelled in looting the nation. In this game, they proved better than the other coalition partners.
The trinity of the party-Prachanda, Baidya and Baburam-like in the Christian faith maintained their mysterious identity. Prachanda played his game with ease and strength so long has he had enough room to maneuver and manipulate using one against the other. This was the built in mechanism. In other words, he could make the mix of his choice with Baidya’s ideological strength and Baburam’s political buoyancy. So the party ever since it was brought into power breaded more instable conditions for other parties and nation as a whole. After being used, misused and abused by Prachanda, the two got together more in a fit anger. This catapulted Baburam into the premiership and handicapped Prachanda, thus, limiting his ability to maneuver in the intra part conflict.
For reasons that need more incisive analysis, Prachanda remained too bogged down to the politics to ensure that Nepali Congress does not climb up the leadership of the government or state. He betrayed Girija Prasad Koirala and stopped him from becoming the president. Likewise, he said he made a sacrifice for the country while supporting for Jhalanath Khanal to the premiership. It was neither a sacrifice nor love for Jhalanath. It was just to stop Ram Chandra from becoming the prime minister. The agreement with the Madesh based parties for any cost to the nation were for similar reasons. So was the Constituent Assembly killed. Prachanda is a man of tremendous strength but the whole four years were thus wasted for below-the-belt -politics with a high pitched voice of consensus. He has allegedly become a rich man but this richness has eaten up the political capital that he had earned through hard work and struggle. To the many, Baidya is now an ideal because he lived in a very simple way all this time.
Now the breakaway faction is not likely to wither away the way Baidya’s comrades are harvesting in wishful thinking because it lacks outside blessings. It is true that Baidya and Gajurel were not involved in the deliberations between the Maoist and the then Seven Party Alliance while forging the 12-point agreement. The reason was their potentials of not towing the given line. It is also true that outsides considered Maoist party too big for them to handle. So the idea of splitting it was mooted long ago. But, in all earnestness, we have to realize that it will release massive forces for instability. Surely, this instability will be in Nepal. But it could go even beyond. Let wisdom prevail.