Unification And Prosperity
Dr. Narad Bharadwaj
The failure of the Communist Party of Nepal - CPN to maintain the momentum of unification to reach the lower party organisations runs the risk of leaving these entities in a state of disarray. Because of this, the party units at the grassroots may be deprived of their role in shaping up current political dynamics. The delay in forging consensus in the modality of unification has also raised doubt about the irreversibility of unification, adversely affecting the positive political ambience spread by the great initiative.
Since the declaration of the unification of the CPN- UML and the CPN- Maoist Centre, the local units of both the parties have been left in the lurch. There are no legitimate entities to mobilise party workers. The communication mechanisms that existed before have been severed resulting in the non-delivery of directives and circulars of the party leadership to the rank and file. This has given rise to confusion among the party workers about the vision of the party. Similarly, an absence of defined role for the party workers in facilitating the party’s endeavours, have resulted in a sluggish implementation of the procedure of unity.
A communist party is a political organisation governed by the principles and philosophy of Marxism. Its workers see the social and political phenomenon through the prism of this philosophy. When they find incompatibility between the principle and the practice of real politics they become disillusioned.
Before unification, both the constituents of the CPN had parallel vertical party structures. They were mobilised independently in their own way. They operated their organisational activities through local party carders after making them aware of the contemporary political nuances. Since the declaration of unification, all these activities have come to a standstill. The overall message of unification is positive but the cadres at the local party hierarchy are unable to read its subtleties.
The declaration of party unification and delay in spreading the sense of unity to local level has left the local party organisations out of the broad framework of collective action. At the same time the organisational voice has been rendered discordant in an absence of mechanism to forge cordiality and fraternity among the workers of the two parties.
In some places, there are bitter feelings lingering from the election time. No initiative has been take to address them. The organisational practice of using criticism and self-criticism as a tool of settling differences has vanished. Difficulties have arisen in achieving solidarity among the party workers because of failure to settle the cases on the basis of seeking truth from facts.
There is a conspicuous absence of cordiality and interactive engagements among the leaders and workers who previously belonged to two parties. This kind of environment defeats the purpose of galvanising the creative potentials of the left-leaning masses in expediting the unfinished task of unification.
There are sustained grievances that the communist party leadership has been alienating itself from the masses and the party rank and file. A communist party sustains its legitimacy through conscious involvement of party workers and a wide support of the masses. It is not an organisation like the Nepali Congress which survives on superficial sloganeering without any ideological underpinning. In a communist party it is necessary to undergo ideological transformation to acquire its membership. For the members of the communist party, it is necessary to undergo theoretical and philosophical moulting, so to say. In the present context, however, the ideological works have not been accorded importance within the communist parties also. This has weakened the ideological content of the left party organisation.
The people were holding the dream of change close to their heart when they voted the left coalition to victory in the election. They are now impatient to see these dreams translated into practice. The local party organisations need to be revitalised also to defend the vision of unity.
The cadres of the communist party have maintained their political-ideological edge because of their access to strong knowledge resource offered by Marxist literature. Of late, however, there is a tendency among them to ignore the study of the theory of socialism and the philosophy of Marxism. The party has expanded its rank exponentially in the past twenty-five years but has failed to raise the level of educational awareness of its cadres. It is not noticed to be trying to attract young entrants by exposing youths in various transformational processes. Before the Communist Party of Nepal joined parliamentary electoral politics, importance was given to the study of Marxist philosophy, theory of socialism and political economy. It is no longer the case now. In fact, only those who had entered the movement before 1990 are educated in the theory and practice of Marxist dialectics and hold the Marxist outlook. These very people form the mainstay of ideological legacy of the movement even today.
The majority of the membership of the CPN is fast receding into old age but this party has not succeeded in evolving a well-thought out plan for ensuring continuity of succession. The youth generation is inclined towards material prosperity and luxurious life. The youths believe in miraculous change in their life situation and expect an overnight change in their political, economic and social statuses.
The communist party is a force bound by theoretical principles and a philosophy. When its political and theoretical strands fray out, petty bourgeois elements will hold sway in the party affair. Even now there is an accumulation of lumpen elements in the rank of the party eroding the core values of the movement.
At a time when the communist party is facing all-out onslaught from its right wing enemies, it is ever more important to enrich its core ideological content. For this, the focus should be given toward youth community. The majority of youths who form the support base of the communist party are the sons and daughters of revolutionaries of the previous generation. For it to reach out to wider circle of youths, there is a need to educate and orient the youth community as a whole towards ideological transformation.
The youths had given their valuable votes to the communist party to give it a chance to rule the country. They are now demanding that this party lives up to their expectation. It is time for the party to make a conscious effort to establish ownership of the youths over what it is doing in the name of socio-economic transformation. Only then will it be able to lead the people in fulfilling their dream of prosperity.