The Indo-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum – A Concept Paper

Nepal is a land locked country situated in between two giants – China and India. It is surrounded by India in east, south and west and shares an open border of around 1800 kms. While on the north it is only the Himalayas that separate Nepal from China . Nepal’s landlocked status and especially its dependence on India for access to the outside world, vital products such as petroleum, investments by Indian corporate sector has been exploited by successive Indian governments to keep Nepal under their ‘sphere of influence’. However, since the emergence of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) as the major political formation in Nepal, Indian ruling classes have become apprehensive whether they can keep Nepal under their tutelage, and have intensified their interference in Nepal’s internal affairs. Meanwhile India is emerging as the regional gendarme for US imperial interests and enabling US imperialism to interfere in the internal affairs of Nepal. The step up in US interference in south Asia and the presence of US led NATO troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan makes US role in Nepal all the more pernicious.

Propelled by the achievements of the ten years of the Peoples War, the joint mass movement reached a new height in the nineteen days of April 2006 mass uprising. Such was the appeal of the Maoist demand for an elected Constituent Assembly that this became the rallying cry of the ‘Jan Andolan’ and compelled the seven political parties leadership to accept this and unite with Maoists to establish a “Democratic Republic of Nepal”. Maoist slogan “For a Democratic Republic of Nepal” indeed became the popular slogan of the mass uprising against the autocratic monarchy. This uprising also taught that masses can defeat their oppressors and that it is people’s inalienable right to decide their destiny.

In their bid to keep the mass movement under their control, the Indian ruling classes first attempted to bring a rapprochement between the king and the parliamentary parties, and dispatched Karan Singh as their emissary to mediate. While this effort was emphatically rejected by the CPN (Maoist) and the ‘jan andolan’, the monarchy which was at the verge of collapse, nevertheless, managed to survive, because power was transferred to the seven political parties on April 24, 2006. With the formation of the seven parties government they called off the popular mass movement. But by January 2007 under public pressure the seven parties agreed to Maoist conditions for locking their weapons and to join the interim government.

Since then imperialists, expansionists and domestic reactionaries have tried to isolate the Maoists and employed different means to suppress them and reverse the achievements of the mass movement. It is significant that within less than 24 hours of the promulgation of interim constitution in January 2007 campaign began, directed against the CPN(M) cadres and supporters, particularly, in Terai or Madhesh, by using mercenaries. The massacre at Gaur is a gruesome instance in which the criminal gangs butchered 28 Maoist party members and/or sympathizers on April 4, 2007, who were gathered in an open field for an open mass meeting organized by Madhesi Mukti Morcha. Professional killer gangs were exported from adjoining part of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India to carry out this massacre. The India based Hindu communal-fascist groups have been directly involved in organising criminal activities. Yogi Adityanath of Gorakhpur , had hosted meetings in Gorakhpur in December 2006 for this very purpose. The state government of Bihar and UP as well as the central government knowing that such conspiracies were being hatched against the CPN(Maoist), from Indian soil using Indian criminals, did nothing to stop them. This is particularly striking because Indian security forces have deployed 35 battalions (or nearly 40,000 armed soldiers) of Sashastra Sena Bal (SSB) to monitor the border with Nepal and the distance between their check posts is barely 1.5 kms. Which is to say that it is difficult to believe that such criminal conspiracies can fructify without Indian government’s connivance. There are at least 22 armed gangs promoted by various outside agencies in Nepal. Most of them are patronized by the Indian establishment. It is also worth noting that on, 8 November 2007 , United Nation’s officials met leaders of some of these gangs in Muzzafarpur, Bihar.

Threat of Indian military intervention in Nepal , if Maoists come to power, is also no longer ruled out. Recently, in October 2007, a former head of Gurkha Regiment, (retd) Major General Ashok Mehta, and one of the several back channel ‘envoys’ used by the Indian government on Nepal told BBC Nepali recently that Indian army would not sit back if Maoists come to power in Kathmandu. While Indian officials denied any such plan, fact remains that such preparations are afoot. The US imperialists meanwhile have been downright hostile and supported the most malignant sections of the Nepal ‘s domestic reactionaries. And even when the whole world has recognized CPN(M)) as a principal political force in Nepal, US has carried on calling them ‘terrorists’. They have also tried to bring the Nepal Army under their tutelage through military aid and training. While imperialist conspiracies have not succeeded so far, neither have they stopped.

In this developing situation the postponement of elections to the CA in June 2007 and again in November 2007, has made the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of January 2007 virtually redundant. The demand voiced by CPN( Maoist) to declare Nepal a “Democratic Republic” and for full proportional representation system to elect the Constituent Assembly, therefore, was to ensure that the aspirations of the ‘jan andolan’ are not aborted. Let us recall that the principal slogan of Jan Andolan II was “For A Democratic Republic of Nepal “. And it is only a full proportional representation system which can ensure that local permutations and combinations, and first past the goalpost, which splits votes and strengthens local power wielders, do not rob the masses of their real representatives.

It is, therefore, need for a new alignment of Republican forces with a common democratic program has grown. The polarization between the Republicans and the Monarchists has indeed become sharp. This is manifest in the common stance adopted by the CPN(M), CPN(UML) and other left forces for instance on the important issue of declaring Nepal a republic, and of election to the Constituent Assembly to be based on Full Proportional Representation system. Inside the interim Assembly these parties have a majority as evident from the recent voting on this issue. It is the parties in a minority, including Nepali Congress, which are procrastinating and thwarting adoption of resolution declaring Nepal a Democratic Republic and for proportional representation system.

These developments, we believe, has brought Nepal to a new stage of a revolution and there is an immense possibility that Nepali people will become the harbingers of the first successful revolution of 21st century. However, there is also a threat that the foreign and domestic reactionaries will do their utmost to sabotage this from happening. Indian State is the main reactionary power in the region and the conduit through which much of the subversive activities directed against Nepali people, including the proxy war being waged by the US agencies, is being launched. Indian ruling classes have in the past annexed Sikkim, sent troops to Sri Lanka, played a role in emergence of Bangladesh. And now there are fears that the Indian ruling classes backed by US may try to partition Nepal by pushing for Madhesh/Terai secessionism. On the other hand, Indian people have both historical links with the Nepali people as well as there are more than 50 lakh Nepalese living and working amongst us. We have a shared history of helping each others struggles. It is thus natural that all those Indians who support the struggle of Nepali people for their emancipation must come together in solidarity with them.

Whereas success will give a boost to revolutionaries throughout the world a failure can send a negative message to the revolutionary and oppressed people of the world. In order to ensure the victory of the people’s revolution, solidarity with Nepalese people’s struggle to decide their own destiny is the need of the hour. Therefore, we have decided to set up an All India Indo-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum to rally the revolutionary, progressive and genuine democratic forces of India in support of the Nepali people’s right to decide their destiny without any outside interference.

Slogans Adopted:
1. Oppose Indian Hegemony
2. No To US Imperialist Intervention in Nepal
3. Uphold the Nepalese People’s Right to Decide Their Own Destiny
4. Support ‘Democratic Republic of Nepal’

(Adopted on December 9, 2007 at the first meeting of the Executive Committee of the Indo-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum, held at Faculty Centre, JNU, New Delhi.)

Appendix

The Indo-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum (INPSF) has a three member presidium for the time, a general secretary, a treasurer along with 22 members of executive committee from different states of India. Professor Randhir Singh, a renowned Marxist thinker and scholar, is the forum’s patron.

The list of executive committee members are as following:

Anand Swaroop Verma, Samkaleen Teesari Duniya (member of presidium)
M. Raratnamala, Independent women rights activist (Member of presidium)
Prof. Amit Bhattacharya, Jadavpur University (Member of presidium)
Pavan Patel (General Secretary)
Abhishek Srivastav(Treasurer)
Anjani Kumar, Revolutionary Democratic Front
A. Mukundan, President, New Democratic Labout Front, Tamilnadu
Sheomangal Siddhantkar, General secretary CPI (ML) New Proletarian
Dhruv Narayan, PCC, CPI(ML)
Somnath Chatterjee, West Bengal State Organising Committee, CPI(ML)
Chandrabhan, Communist Gadar Party of India
Mrigank, Naujawan Bharat Sabha
Sidhartha, Struggle India
Amitava Bhattacharya, Gen. Secy. Majdoor Kranti Parishad
Justice Ajit Singh Bains, Chairman Punjab Human Rights Organisation
Ajayprakash, Anti-Inperialist Writer Forum
Harish, Krantikari Lok Adhikar Sangthan
Nagendra, Inqlabi Majdoor Kendra
Narain Dutt, Inqlabi Kendra Punjab
Prof. Vijay Singh, Revolutionary Democracy
Kavita Krishnan, (CPI(ML) Liberation
Laxman Pant, Nepali Janadhikar Suraksha Samiti, Bharat
Balwant Yadav, Indian Association of People’s Lawyer (IAPL)

Along with this Gautam Navalakha and Debojoti Basu are special invitees in the forum.

Pavan Patel, Gen. Secy., INPSF

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