Significance Of Left Unity
Dr. Narad Bharadwaj
CPN-UML chairperson KP Oli left for Bangkok for his regular health check-up on Wednesday leaving behind an upbeat note about the unification of two largest communist parties of Nepal. However, the sluggish preparatory process to sort out important theoretical and organisational issues surrounding the unification process suggests thatthe mist of uncertainty still lingers in the air.
When the two largest communist parties of Nepal suddenly announced on 3 October 2017 their decision to contest jointly the provincial and national assembly elections, it set off a ripple of optimism among the vast majority of the people. The leaders and cadres of both the parties welcomed the decision as a giant step towards accomplishing historic task of the unification of the communist movement in Nepal. As expected, the joint election campaign of these parties was successful to rouse the vast majority of the people and inspire them to cast their votes to the left candidates. This was a reflection of how the people longed to see the left forces move towards unification as a prerequisite for strengthening democracy, bringing stability and leading the country to prosperity.
The collaboration between the two parties during the election helped melt the frost of bitterness that hadbuilt up during the insurgency period.Their readiness to enthusiastically participate in the election and to approach the people with a common election manifesto worked miracle. This was something unprecedented. The message of unity helped create a wave of support for the left candidates throughout the country. The cordial interactionsand understanding that was cultivated among the workers of the two parties resonated so stridently among the ordinary people that the left alliance clinched victory scoring a two-thirds majority in the first-past-the-post election.
Through the election, the people have given mandate to the left forces to form a left government. But the mandate of the electorate is not for a coalition government but for a single party government of the left. For this to happen, the unification process of these two parties must end as soon as possible to tear down the conspiracies that are afoot at various levels with a calculated objective of creating obstruction on the march of the left forces to the stage power.
The outgoing government of the Nepali Congress has shamelesslyhindered the process of facilitating the transfer of power to the victorious alliance. Finding no other ways to do this, it is clutching at a straw by influencing the Election Commission to cater to its unconstitutional wishof delaying announcement of the election results pointing out to some indefensible technicalities. In such situation marked by uncertainty, failure of the two leftist party to expedite their unity is giving space for concocting different conspiratorial recipes including an attempt to form anti-UML coalition government with the participation of the Nepali Congress and other forces excluding the UML. The Nepali Congress is doing this in spite of knowing that this is a game plan to lead the nation into a dark tunnel of instability and poverty keeping it ever vulnerable to internal turmoil and external interference.
The leaders of the two largest left parties must have understood the stakes that lie in the state of disunity of the left movement. The creation of an ambience of unity between the two leftist parties is the greatest value added point of the just concluded election. If the two largest communist parties get united leaving behind the historical baggage of perpetual division, a way gate will be flung open for the prosperity of the nation. As soon as the ongoing process of unity comes to fruition, other minor splinter groups within the communist movement will be encouraged to coalesce together contributing greatly to stop fragmentation of society along the lines of spurious ideologies.
The unification talks that are going on are on the right track though its momentum is not proportional to the challenges the left forces face today. The resurgence of the left democratic forces, that too, through election has baffled the capitalist world and their clienteles in Nepal. They are ready to go to any length to subvert the left ascendance if the left movement does not acquire capacity to resist their onslaught through expansion and unification.
On the other side, there are forces trying to reorganise themselves on the racial, ethnic and parochial lines. They also consider the rise of the left forces asstonewall against their march towards anarchy and disintegration. These forces are going all out to knock together an anti-left coalition so that the march towards stability and prosperity can be enervated.In such challenging moment, the leaders at the helm of the Task Force formed by the two parties for sorting out issues standing in the way of unity have a great role to play in expediting the unification process. The leaders and cadres of both the parties must be guided by the people’s mandate as manifested by the result of the election.
The resounding victory of the left forces in the recent election coincides with the great crisis that hovers over the horizon. The Nepali society is desperately trying to claw back to normal state of economy after being devastated by the ruinous earthquake of 2015 and the subsequent blockade by India. In such situation, it needs an unwavering leadership to take strides towards stability and economic prosperity. Only the left unity can fill the vacuum of the type of leadership the country needs today. As countries try to redefine international collaboration for securing their future in ever tumultuous international political developments,a strong national unity and a stable political situation is becoming an indispensable precondition for the existence of weak countries like Nepal.
The splendid electoral victory scored by the left alliance is a unique and unprecedented opportunity received by the UML and the Maoist Centre. This is a privilege which history places on the shoulders of political forcesonce in an epoch. The history has demanded from senior leaders a negation of self-centred calculation of cost and benefit.This is the time for them to sacrifice their ego at the altar of the national rejuvenation.
Outsiders are depicting the unification of the two largest political parties as an impossible proposition. But there are not many prickly issues standing in the way of unification. Both the parities are organised on the common philosophical plinth of Marxism and Leninism. The rise of left power in Nepal is not something to be scared of. It is an opportunity for Nepali society to break free from the stranglehold of poverty and create conditions for surviving as a sovereign, independent and prosperous nation. The left forces have arrived at a critical point of realising their dream of unifying the communist movement in Nepal. If this opportunity is lost because of petty personal and sectarian interest, history will never forgive this generation of the communist leaders.