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News :: War and Militarism
Down with India’s Economic Warfare Against Nepal!
by Steven Argue
02 Jan 2016
[Photo: Nepali children. UNICEF estimated that if the blockade continues through the winter months, “more than 3 million children under the age of 5 in Nepal are at risk of death or disease during the harsh winter months due to a severe shortage of fuel, food, medicines and vaccines". Photo credit, Nepal Youth Foundation.]
Click on image for a larger version
Down with India’s Economic Warfare Against Nepal!
For the Rights of the Marginalized Madhesi People!
Forward to Workers’ and Farmers’ Socialist Revolution in India, Bhutan, and Nepal
By Steven Argue
In April and May of 2015 two devastating earthquakes hit Nepal, killing 9,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Now, on top of that devastation, since September 23, 2015, Nepal has been under a vicious economic blockade carried out by India. As a result, fuel and medicines are in short supply, rebuilding from the earthquake has been stopped, the economy has greatly slowed, and a major humanitarian crisis is looming. This economic blockade against Nepal should be seen as nothing less than an act of war by the government of India against Nepal’s 28 million people. India’s economic blockade is combined with political unrest and Indian incursions into Nepalese territory that have killed around 40 people.
At its heart, a central motive for Indian aggression against Nepal is the strengthening of Nepalese economic ties with the People’s Republic of China. A key tool India is using in this battle, besides outright economic aggression, is India’s backing of the demands of the marginalized Madhesi people. Yet, despite the cover-ups in most of the western and Indian press, mountains of evidence prove Madhesi riots alone are not blockading the Indian border. India itself is blocking shipments into Nepal. This is not the first time India has behaved in this manner. A similar economic blockade by India in 1989 shut down 19 of 21 border crossings between India and Nepal. The New York Times at that time cited warming relations between Nepal and China to be the fundamental reason for India’s economic blockade against Nepal at that time. I will argue in this article that the same motive is driving India’s economic blockade of Nepal today. (“Nepal's Economy Is Gasping as India, a Huge Neighbor, Squeezes It Hard”, New York Times, April 10, 1989)
As India attempts to bully Nepal, growing friendly ties between China and Nepal are, however, providing a framework where Nepal will be strengthened in its ability to stand up to Indian aggression. Chinese friendship has included large grants of fuel and other aid for Nepal to rebuild after its earthquake. A new trade agreement also promises increased Chinese trade and investment in Nepal as well as Nepalese access to Chinese ports. This will reduce Nepal’s dependency on India, aid in development, and strengthen Nepal’s ability to resist Indian aggression.
A profound irony is that the current economic blockade of Nepal has pushed Nepal in the direction of even stronger friendly relations with China. This was an obvious inevitability. Assuming that Indian Prime Minister Modi isn’t stupid, Indian aggression must then be directed against Nepal with intentions of either annexing the Madhesi territories and or bringing about a regime change in Kathmandu to install an undemocratic government that will do India’s bidding.
While formally independent, Nepal has long been largely under the control of the British imperialists and then India after India gained formal independence in 1947. Unfair water deals between India and Nepal have dammed Nepalese rivers and flooded Nepalese farmland to provide India with water without giving compensation that many Nepalese would see as adequate. Yet, unlike neighboring Nepali speaking Sikkim, which was annexed by India through force in the 1970’s, Nepal has maintained its formal independence.
Although Nepal was officially independent and not a colony of Britain, it was still controlled by the British in the same manner that the United States controls many countries, including through the imposition of bloody coups. This British violence included the Kot Massacre of 1846 which established the Rana Dynasty. Under the British imposed Rana monarchy, Nepal remained impoverished and illiterate as it supplied its famous Gurkha soldiers to fight for the British Empire around the world. The Gurkha soldiers came from Nepal’s impoverished peasantry. Meanwhile, the wealthy Rana Monarchy was paid by the British for each soldier it provided.
After India gained formal independence from Britain, Nepal came under the control of India as did the other mountain kingdoms of Bhutan and Sikkim. The Nepalese monarchy and its Hindu state was only finally deposed in 2008 due to a popular insurrection led by Maoists. A secular state and bourgeois democracy was established as a result at that time. This was no thanks to India which was the top military supplier to the brutal monarchy of Nepal. India also likely had a hand in Nepal’s 2001 palace coup that slaughtered the faction of the royal family who opposed sending the Nepalese military to fight against the Maoist insurgency. Ten members of the faction of the royal family opposed by India were murdered. Official explanations are contradictory and defy credibility on many different levels. When all was settled, that coup placed a pro-Indian faction of the monarchy in power that was prepared to wage war on the Maoist led workers’ and farmers’ insurrection of Nepal.
The Blockade Is Being Carried Out By India
Today, many of the facts regarding India’s current economic blockade of Nepal are disputed. Nobody is denying that Nepal is under devastating economic blockade. Yet, the Indian government claims that it is not India, but instead an uprising of the Madhesi people on the border of India and Nepal who are blocking the passage of fuel, medicine, and food. The Indian government says that the Madhesi people have risen up and done this because they are being underrepresented in Nepal’s new constitution, a constitution that India has repeatedly publicly opposed.
India has two major incentives for their denials. If India were to admit that they are carrying out an economic blockade of Nepal they would be admitting to violations of free trade agreements signed by both countries. In addition, India’s economic blockade violates UN conventions agreed to in 1965 and 1973, with both India and Nepal as signatories, which prohibit this kind of economic blockade against a landlocked country.
Yet, despite India’s denials, there is plenty of evidence that India has imposed an economic blockade against Nepal. India border security officers (of the Seema Shuraksha Bal or SSB) have been quoted directly in the Indian press admitting to being ordered to block shipments into Nepal. Observers have also witnessed a large scale slowdown in processing by Indian customs officials. This includes a December 10th BBC article that reported a line of delayed trucks 14 miles long at one border crossing where there was no Madhesi activity. In addition, the Indian Oil Corporation, a private Indian owned capitalist company, is refusing to load fuel tankers from Nepal. This is presently the monopoly oil supplier to Nepal from India.
In addition to the Indian border security officers of the SSB admitting to blockading the border, they have also been caught in other acts of aggression against the Nepalese people in actions related to enforcing the blockade. On November 25th, photographs show that India’s SSB officers opened fire on and injured 4 Nepali villagers. In a November 2nd police crackdown against the border blockade inside of Nepal, dozens of Nepali police were injured and an Indian national was killed. This fits with other evidence that plain-clothed Indian soldiers and SSB are being sent into Nepal to carry out violence and enforce the blockade. On November 29th, 13 armed SSB officers were captured inside of Nepal in Jhapa by villagers. They were disarmed and handed over to police. In an extremely forgiving response, the Nepali government immediately released the SSB officers and said it would not respond officially to the incursion so as not to further harm bilateral relations between Nepal and India.
Within Nepal, the economic blockade is being widely denounced. People are marching in the streets chanting “Back off India”, “Modi! Remove Blockade”. “Modi” refers to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose government is leading the blockade. Protests are also being held against the blockade at embassies around the world. On December 15th the Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), after warnings against the transmission of Indian propaganda in Nepal, destroyed the main tower transmitting digital satellite service with a petrol bomb. Nepal's Prime Minister, Khadga Prasad Oli, elected in October in the midst of the crisis and a member of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), has soundly denounced India’s economic blockade. In his November 15th address to the nation, Prime Minister Oli made his position clear, stating:
"It is unthinkable that a sovereign nation faces such an inhumane and severe pain, misery and blockade in the 21st century for having a Constitution with progressive, pro-people and democratic contents through an elected Constituent Assembly with people's overwhelming participation and democratic franchise.
"Nepal is passing through a serious humanitarian crisis which should not happen even during the wars. The blockade imposed by our southern neighbor has underestimated the feeling of the Nepali and Indian people. Imposing a blockade to a landlocked nation is a breach of international treaties, norms and values."
Exactly how “progressive” and “pro-people” Nepal’s new capitalist constitution is will be a question open to criticism, but it is not a question for India to decide. It is especially not a question for India to decide through a vicious economic blockade against the people of Nepal.
Madhesi Demands Are Just
Despite the justified unity of much of the Nepalese people against Indian intervention, it is also true that Nepal’s marginalized Madhesi minority really are not being properly represented by the government.
A key problem is that the federal system being adopted with Nepal’s new constitution divides much the Madhesi population up into federal districts where they will be a minority rather than establishing federal districts in a way that will allow the Madhesis better representation and better language rights.
Another major problem is the brutal manner in which the Nepalese police have attacked the protest movement, leaving around 40 people dead. Not all of these people killed were protesters, some were police killed by rioters, and some deaths likely had to do with the interference of Indian SSB forces, but it still has been clear to the Madhesis that the Nepalese government is responding to their demands with inappropriate violence including brutal beatings and police killings.
Nepal could better respond to the just demands of the Madhesis and by doing so put itself in a stronger position to counter India’s blockade and attempts at intervention. Yet, India’s economic blockade is an act of war against the entire people of Nepal.
The Devastation Caused By The Blockade
For the 28 million landlocked people of Nepal, trade with India is essential. Yet, Prime Minister Modi’s economic blockade prevents the movement of adequate oil and gas for cooking and heating as well as medicines into Nepal. Hospitals have run out of essential medications including the BCG vaccine against tuberculosis. The lack of fuel has caused many industries to shut down or greatly curtail production. On November 24th, the Nepal Rastra Bank revealed that during the economic blockade exports have dropped by 25.4% while imports have plunged by 31.9%.
Petroleum shortages are serious as well. Commercial jets are even rerouting out of concerns over the ability to refuel. Petroleum cannot be bought for private vehicles, instead it is being rationed out to ambulances, buses, and taxis. Still, huge lines of taxis are lining up at petrol stations and getting nothing. Few busses have enough petroleum to run and transportation to schools is thereby greatly hindered. UNICEF estimates that 1.6 million children have been denied school as a result of the economic blockade. The lack of petroleum, paper, and ink has also hindered the printing of needed text books. The few busses that run are so overcrowded that people, including children and the elderly, pile on top of bus rooftops and numerous deaths have resulted from this unsafe condition.
This Indian attack on Nepal comes on the heels of two devastating earthquakes in April and May that killed 9,000 people and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless. Yet, due to a lack of fuel under the blockade, the construction of buildings and infrastructure has been brought to a standstill. Presently, 200,000 families are still homeless and living in tents due to the earthquake and economic blockade. They are facing a tough winter in the elements as Nepal’s high elevations get very cold.
Food shortages are also resulting, both directly from the blockade at the border and as a result of the lack of transport due to the lack of fuel. On November 30th, UNICEF estimated that if the blockade continues through the winter months, “more than 3 million children under the age of 5 in Nepal are at risk of death or disease during the harsh winter months due to a severe shortage of fuel, food, medicines and vaccines". These problems become especially deadly as they combine with the lack of adequate shelter and risks of hypothermia.
The economic blockade of Nepal is also threatening Nepal’s forests. Despite a close relationship the Nepali people generally have with their forests and wildlife, trees are starting to be felled in community forests to provide fuel and national parks have put together plans to provide people with emergency firewood, first through distributing reserves and then going into a second phase of felling trees. Nepalese forests are the home of many beloved animal species the world over, including the endangered red panda, Asiatic elephant, one-horned rhino, and Bengal tigers. India’s economic blockade is threatening many successful efforts of forest and wildlife conservation in Nepal.
Due to economic hardship and rapidly growing unemployment, hundreds of thousands of new Nepalese workers are being forced to consider their prospects for jobs elsewhere, including in India and the Persian Gulf. Numerous U.S. backed dictatorships in the Persian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, strip many of the immigrant workers who come to their countries of all rights, take their passports so they cannot leave the country, stop paying for work, and literally hold foreign workers as slaves.
To add insult to injury, in Saudi Arabia, Wahhabi (Salafist) “morality” is also shoved down the throats of immigrant slaves. A number of foreign workers have been executed for violating Wahhabi “morality”. For instance, recently a Sri Lankan woman, working as a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia, was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery while her male partner was sentenced to 100 lashes. These murders by stoning involve burying a good portion of the women’s body in the earth and then turning a group of people lose on her who throw stones at her until she is dead.
It is worth noting, Saudi Arabia is one of the leading partners of the United States in the Middle East. Just as the U.S. supplied military aid to the extremely repressive Hindu monarchy in Nepal during the Nepalese civil war, the United States is fine with backing dictatorships and religious fanatics everywhere as long as it fits with its imperialist interests of capitalist exploitation of resources and labor as well as war profiteering.
Nepal’s Economic Relations with China
The current flashpoint in India’s fight against Nepal is Nepal’s new constitution which India says violates the rights of the Madhesi people. Yet, India, which tramples the rights of many oppressed nationalities within its own borders, is simply manipulating this question to gain more leverage and control in Nepal. Underlying the question of Indian control in Nepal is India’s desire to dictate to Nepal who they will and who they will not sell their future rich supply of hydroelectric power to.
A major bone of contention India has with Nepal is growing Chinese investment in hydroelectric power in Nepal. China has now surpassed India as the biggest investor in Nepal. In fact, the single biggest foreign investment in Nepal today is a 1.8 billion dollar Chinese project building a hydroelectric power station. That plan was approved in April. This plan will help bring Nepal some energy independence, providing energy starved Nepal with some free electricity with the rest of the electricity to be sold to Nepal. This will also help Nepal achieve some independence from India’s bullying. In addition, Nepalese officials are courting China for an additional $400 billion in Chinese investment in Nepal’s hydroelectric power potential and are willing to sell China excess electricity.
Sheshadri Chari, a leader of India’s ruling far right BJP (sitting on the party’s national executive committee) and foreign affairs expert of the party, explained India’s position on NDTV in opposition to these plans. In the middle of India’s economic blockade against Nepal, Chari boldly declared in regards to Nepal’s future hydroelectric power:
“Nepal said if India cannot do it, we will go to China. We said go to China, you can go ahead and do it. But finally it is not possible for China to take all of this electricity to China and use it. It has to ultimately be sold to India or sold to Bhutan.”
These demands on who Nepal can and cannot sell the hydroelectric power to are part of a long standing bullying posture of India in opposing Nepal’s right to self-determination and control over its own resources. Before the end of Nepal’s civil war in 2006, India was the biggest arms supplier to Nepal’s brutal monarchy. Since the election of Nepal’s constituent assembly in 2008, India has been attempting to continue to bully the Nepalese people on issues of hydroelectric power, trade, and investment. In fact, a leaked document in 2014 showed India was seeking strong preferential treatment for Indian investors in Nepal’s hydroelectric potential. Modi’s government was also seeking an agreement that would have made India and Bhutan the monopoly purchaser of Nepal’s hydroelectric power. Under what Modi was trying to push on Nepal, India would build and control the hydropower stations of Nepal and India would buy that power at whatever rates India wanted.
Despite the obvious disadvantages of the proposed hydropower deal offered by India, Nepal’s right wing Nepali Congress Party government in power at that time spoke positively of what was being offered. On July 21, 2014 Nepal’s Minister for Energy, Radha Gyawali, stated:
“In the cooperation draft sent by India, there are some provisions that need discussion. We will discuss them in detail before signing an agreement. But overall, the draft proposal is positive,”
The Minister even promised a deal would be signed before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit Nepal which came soon after.
As details of the lopsided agreement were leaked and emerged in the Nepalese press, major leftist parties denounced it. On July 20, 2014, the Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, Mohan Vaidhya, called the leaked details of the hydro-power deal “shocking”. His statement also opposed many decades of unequal agreements between Nepal and India regarding Nepal’s water resources and called for scrapping the treaties on Gandak, Mahakali, Koshi, Upper Karnali, Arun III, and the High Koshi Dam.
Strong opposition to India’s proposed deal prevented it from being adopted. In April, agreements for Chinese investment were sealed and by September, Indian anger had escalated to the current economic blockade. In October a coalition government of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) was elected, replacing the rightwing Nepali Congress Party government of Sushil Koirala.
Nepal’s Maoist Led Bourgeois Revolution
Before 2006, the Nepali government was a monarchy and a Hindu state lacking a basic separation of religion and state. Despite the United States fighting a revolution to end such a system in 1776, an important supplier of military hardware to the extremely repressive Nepalese monarchy was the United States. Even more important was Indian military aid to the Nepalese monarchy. Despite foreign intervention on behalf of the king, by 2006 the popular Maoist insurgency had seized 80% of Nepal where it carried out land reform, nationalizations, measures for women’s liberation, and measures for the liberation of Nepal’s many oppressed nationalities.
The successes of the Maoist insurrection brought the Nepalese ruling class to the negotiating table in 2006. As concessions to the Maoists, India and the Nepalese ruling class agreed to abolishing the Nepali monarchy, establishing a parliamentary bourgeois democracy, and making the Nepalese government secular and no longer a Hindu state. While these were important gains, they came at far too high of a price in what the Maoists agreed to give up. This price included giving up the territories that had been liberated in the workers’ and farmers’ insurrection and turning them back over to control by the repressive capitalist state. This ended most of the gains that had been made in those territories and allowed the brutal Nepalese military, police, and bourgeoisie to retain their power. For India and the Nepalese ruling class, the few relatively minor democratic steps forward they agreed to were, in their minds, far preferable than the potential abolition capitalism and the capitalist state in a workers’ and farmers’ socialist revolution.
Despite the current gains of the Nepalese bourgeois revolution being extremely limited, some attempts have been made to destroy even that. In September the constituent assembly voted on an attempt to revert Nepal back to a Hindu state and monarchy by adding those provisions to Nepal’s constitution. This proposal was put forward by the National Democratic Party Nepal. This is a party that, despite its name, also wants Nepal to revert back to a monarchy. They believe the Nepali kings to be a reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. Yet, more than two thirds of Nepal’s Constituent Assembly rejected the proposal. The last king of Nepal, Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, was deposed in 2008 and was only able to maintain his rule through brutal undemocratic means, including slaughtering other members of the royal family in 2001.
It has been declared by some that a reason for India’s economic blockade of Nepal is Nepal’s refusal to revert back to a Hindu state under the new constitution. Voices making this accusation include elected parliament member of the Indian Congress Party, Manish Tewari, who states:
“Eighty five percent of the constituent assembly voted to adopt the constitution. Now at that point in time if you [the BJP] start insisting that the constitution should declare Nepal as a Hindu Rashtra, because some of your constituents want it, and subterfuge it in the demand that some people are being marginalized, which is in fact correct, and then decide to take sides in that faction fight rather than wait for the constitution to be adopted, and then through a process of gently nudging bring about the appropriate amendments and a new course of time you could have handled it better. But your real angst is why did Nepal declare itself a secular state rather than a Hindu Rashtra.”
While there is no doubt that constituents of the BJP dream of a Hindu Rashtra in in Nepal, the capitalist ruling class of India gave up on the Hindu state and monarchy in Nepal in the 2008 negotiations with the Maoists. What they have not given up on, however, is the idea of India controlling Nepal’s resources, despite Nepal’s democracy currently standing in the way of this happening. This has put the entire framework of the 2006-2008 peace agreement in the crosshairs of the Indian ruling class.
During the Nepalese civil war from 1996 to 2006, the Nepalese monarchy routinely carried out war crimes against civilians, journalists, and dissidents including rape, torture, and murder. During the war, the government commonly arrested and killed people. Torture was also routine. A study by Singh et al. found that fully 70% of inmates during the civil war underwent tortures, including routine rapes. As would be expected in any propaganda war, the Maoists are also accused of similar crimes, but these accusations have less weight in evidence and are weighted with biases in favor of the state like referring to arrests carried out by the Maoists in territory they controlled as “kidnappings” while these are simply referred to as “arrests” when carried out by the king’s brutal military and police.
India’s Prime Minister Modi’s present attacks on Nepal are, in fact, attempting to chop-away at the entire framework of Nepal’s peace agreement, parliamentary system, and secular constitution. An important component of this has been the Modi government, in the midst of carrying out the economic blockade, going to the United Nations with charges of war crimes against the elected Maoists in Nepal’s parliament. According to India’s right wing Hindustan Times, India is demanding “effective functioning” of Nepal’s “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”, and “full implementation of its recommendations, including prosecution of those responsible for the violent insurgency”. The Hindustan Times further warns, “This is a direct message to the Nepali Maoists that Delhi will not shield its crimes during the past.”
There you have it. While the United Nations is in no position to force Nepal to abolish its democracy and prosecute its Maoists, this position established by India lays the foundations for any future undemocratic coup that India can carry out in Nepal, a foundation that includes the outlawing Maoist activities and throwing the Maoists in prison. For Nepalese progressives and communists, as well as internationalists the world over, these demands and the strong-arm tactics of India against Nepal should be seen as nothing less than what they are:
1. A deadly attempt to punish the forces that have brought democratic progress and secularism to Nepal.
2. An unacceptable violation of Nepalese sovereignty through strong arm tactics.
3. A brutal attack on the entire people of Nepal through economic warfare that targets the people of Nepal for punishment rather than any supposed criminals within the Nepalese government itself.
Today, those who rule India think that it is their right to dictate who Nepal can and cannot sell their future electrical power to. Yet, besides obvious brutal arrogance, a more sinister question arises. How could the current economic blockade decide future hydroelectric sales carried out by Nepal? One can only surmise that the only way India could possibly control future hydroelectric sales through their current actions is through regime change and ending democratic reforms in Nepal.
China’s Progressive Role in the Himalayas
After Indian independence, Nepal came greatly under the influence of India, as did the other mountain kingdoms of Sikkim and Bhutan. As India became a regional power, a repetitive reason for Indian aggression against Nepal and Bhutan has been their relations with the People’s Republic of China.
Of note is also the BJP’s inclusion of Bhutan as a country acceptable for Nepal’s future electricity sales, but exclusion of China. Bhutan itself has a history of Indian intervention designed to prevent better relations with China. This Indian interference has been brutal in Bhutan as well. Bhutan’s first Prime Minister, Jigme Palden Dorji, was assassinated by Indian operatives in 1964 for trying to establish more balanced relations with China. That assassination put the king’s younger brother, Lendrup Dorje in the position of prime minister. Indian troops were then placed at the border crossing between Bhutan and China where they remain to this day.
Bhutan, unlike the People’s Republic of China, never had a social revolution. It is a country with no separation of religion and state and was, up until 2011, still ruled by a monarchy. In 1958, the Buddhist absolute monarchy of Bhutan freed its slaves, carried out a land reform, and carried out some democratic reforms that elevated Jigme Palden Dorji’s position to that of prime minister. This was not coincidental to influences and fears the Bhutanese ruling class would have had of the potential spread of the social revolution that was taking place in China. The Chinese Revolution had, after all, during this same immediate time period freed the chattel and serf slaves held under the Dalai Lama’s brutal feudal system where amputations and gauging out eyes were accepted punishments for escaped slaves, communists, and other “criminals”.
Today, the Indian allied Bhutanese ruling class remains extremely repressive. As capitalism and imperialism keep Bhutan poor, Bhutan’s Nepali speaking minority, communists, and journalists remain highly oppressed by the Buddhist government and the Nepali speaking minority even faced outright ethnic cleansing in the recent past.
Among Bhutan’s statistics is an illiteracy rate of 47%. The standard of living is so poor in the country that the king announced in the 1970s a new measure, the measure of Gross National Happiness based on Buddhist values rather than the material world. Similar clap trap runs like diarrhea from the mouth of the Dalai Lama, the deposed former absolute ruler of Tibet.
Progress came to Tibet through communist revolution. With the overthrow of the Dalai Lama, in the time of Mao’s rule, chattel slavery and serf slavery were abolished in Tibet; Punishments like amputations of limbs and removal of eyes for escaped slaves, communists, and other “crimes” were abolished; Religion and state were separated; Life expectancy doubled; Education was provided to everyone for free where the average person had none before the revolution; Healthcare was provided where there was none; And massive state run development programs in Tibet today continue to raise the standard of living.
Governments in capitalist countries, however, often try to convince the people who are suffering under their economic system that their salvation lies in the spiritual and not the material world. This is part of the program of the far right Hindu fundamentalist Indian Prime Minister Modi. As he imposes austerity and privatization in India on behalf of the profits of the wealthy capitalists, the workers instead, including port workers, tend to resist. Modi’s program is one where he hopes to divert people’s attention from their real suffering through spiritual distractions and communalist hatred between religions. Similar questions arise in Nepal.
Fully 44.1% of Nepal’s population remained illiterate as of 2011. When have such statistics of deprivation ever made the headlines of the western imperialist corporate papers? A happy smiling Dalia Lama who lived in extravagant luxury while keeping the majority of the population of Tibet in Slavery, illiteracy, and hunger, meeting with world imperialist leaders, giving each other “legitimacy”, as the Dalai Lama preaches about “happiness” catches the attention of the imperialist press far more often.
In Bhutan in 2007, the formation of some political parties was legalized, and five were established by government political insiders loyal to the king and his Buddhist ideology of “Gross National Happiness”. The Bhutan Communist Party (Marxist–Leninist–Maoist) (BCP-MLM), however, remains banned. The rise of the BCP-MLM was inspired by Nepal’s Maoist movement. Likewise, the Bhutan monarchy’s supposed democratic reforms came, probably not coincidentally, at the time of a growing threat of Maoist insurrection in Bhutan and one year after Nepal’s democratic reforms were won through a negotiated deal with the Maoists.
Fact is, China, due to their social revolution, outdoes capitalist Nepal, Bhutan, and India on all basic measures of real happiness from women’s literacy and literacy in general to life expectancy. These are real human gains brought about in the material world that bring real human happiness. Gross Human Happiness based on Buddhist values in a “quaint” mountain kingdom? That may play well among relatively privileged new age adherents in the west who often have their basic needs met, in part due to the wealth gained in the imperialist world centers through capitalist plunder of subjugated countries, but for much of the world, development and other advances are life and death questions. And far more than capitalism, it is primarily the efficiency of planned socialist economies established in workers’ and farmers’ anti-imperialist revolutions that can deliver the goods.
False claims of imperialist propagandists aside, China’s rapid development did not begin with Deng Xiaoping’s market reforms. Instead, rapid economic development started in China due to the anti-imperialist socialist revolution led by Mao and has continued due to the fact that many of the most important key sectors of the economy remain socialized through state ownership.
Of interest is the growing role of the People’s Republic of China in developing the underdeveloped world, including China’s hydroelectric project in Nepal as well as their continuing investments in Nepalese infrastructure. The investments of the Chinese state owned banks, state owned power companies, and other state owned industries are now perfectly capable of doing what capitalist investment from India and major imperialist powers has not done. They are developing countries that the imperialist powers preferred to keep underdeveloped under colonial and neo-colonial control.
China seeks to continue their rapid development while reducing their carbon footprint, and they are able to do so because important sectors of the Chinese economy remain socialist. The Chinese Communist Party through their current 5-year plan has directed its state run banks and energy industry to highly prioritize Chinese investment in renewable energy. This includes international investment. As a result, even some of China’s neighbors are benefitting directly from some of the remaining socialist gains of the 1949 Chinese Revolution through socialist investment in their economies, including Nepal.
A profound irony of India’s economic war on Nepal is that while it intends to pull Nepal away from China, it is actually pushing Nepal in the exact opposite direction. On December 28th, 2015, Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao announced at the conclusion of talks in Nepal, “China supports Nepal’s efforts in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and stands ready, together with the new government of Nepal, to expand cooperation in connectivity, energy, production capacity, post-disaster reconstruction, tourism and other areas so as to achieve mutual benefits, win-win results and common development, and elevate the long-lasting and friendly China-Nepal comprehensive cooperative partnership to new levels”.
At a joint press conference held by Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa and Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, it was announced that China and Nepal had agreed to an additional $500 million in Chinese aid for earthquake reconstruction, $140 million for repair and maintenance of the Araniko Highway, a permanent supply of Chinese petroleum to Nepal, increased trade, a transit treaty granting Nepal access to Chinese ports, the opening of more border points for transit trade, and an end to visa requirements for Chinese tourists visiting Nepal.
Western Imperialist Backing of the Blockade
While the west remains silent on India’s attacks on Nepal, China is providing real material aid that is helping Nepal secure its independence from India. Interestingly enough, one of the advocates opposing the Indian blockade of Nepal is exiled Bhutanese journalist Indra Adhikari. For his writing, he was forced to leave Bhutan by its repressive Buddhist monarchy in 1992. Adhikari presently has a petition on Change.org that has nearly 36,000 signatures that is asking for UN and EU intervention against India’s blockade of Nepal.
While Indra Adkhiri’s sentiments are in the right place, fact is, the United States, EU, and the UN (which the U.S. and EU largely control) tend to be extremely involved in opposing anything in the world that they don’t like. Instead of condemning India’s economic blockade of Nepal, the United States has instead publicly urged both sides to “settle their differences”. Likewise, the propaganda of the western corporate media rarely lays out the truth of the economic blockade by India and instead repeats the Indian lie that it is caused solely by unrest within Nepal itself. The deafening silence of the imperialists on India’s aggressive unilateral attacks on Nepal should be seen as at least tacit approval. That is if the imperialists are not in fact actively involved behind the scenes in supporting India’s hostility as part of the west’s wider agenda of isolating China and overthrowing the remaining gains of the 1949 revolution.
Can you imagine the response of the western imperialists of the U.S. and EU if a country like Russia was carrying out similar hostility against a neighbor as India is carrying out against Nepal? They would be screaming about Russian aggression, as they already scream such things constantly where it does not even exist. The imperialists obviously have no problems with India’s attempts at bullying Nepal back into submission.
Suspiciously enough, on September 22nd, one day before India initiated its economic blockade of Nepal, high level talks were carried out between the United States and India. From those talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a joint statement with India saying, "Ties between the United States and India have never been stronger." They further state:
“The Sides recognized that the India-U.S. partnership was a significant contributor to the peace, stability and prosperity in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific regions and around the globe. Building on successful cooperation in Asia, the Sides welcomed continued cooperation under the Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region agreed by President Obama and Prime Minister Modi.”
Signaling that India has joined the imperialist U.S. and Japanese axis powers against China, the joint statement further says, “The Sides announced that the first ministerial meeting of the India-United States-Japan trilateral would convene on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2015. They also welcomed Japan’s participation in the MALABAR 2015 naval exercise later this year.”
As a regional capitalist power, India is at war both with its impoverished farmers in a number of regions, at war with a number of oppressed nationalities, and nearly at war with China, Pakistan, and any vassal neighbor like Nepal that tries to set an independent course. Billions of dollars in arms sales by both capitalist Russia and the imperialist United States to India should be opposed and it should be questioned why neither Putin nor Obama seem to have any problem with India bullying its neighbors.
U.S. imperialist interests in Indian arms sales are transparent. Besides immediate profit made by the arms industry, the United States imperialists have the same interests as the Indian government in crushing revolutionary uprisings by India’s poor and oppressed peoples as well as in countering China.
Like India’s aggression against Nepal, which includes a motive of isolating China, the United States is itself actively engaged in projects designed to isolate and hurt the People’s Republic of China as well. These include the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement largely designed to isolate China and ice out European imperialist competitors in Asia as well as designed to hurt labor and environmental standards in participating countries. In addition, Obama’s increasingly aggressive military orientation towards China, termed “Pivot Asia”, is part of a long standing imperialist policy of promoting capitalist counterrevolution in China through economic pressures, military encirclement, and imperialist support for deeply regressive Chinese counterrevolutionaries. These counterrevolutionaries include the Dalai Lama, the Falun Gong, and the new rising star of Chinese advocates of capitalist counterrevolution, Liu Xiaobo who advocates sweeping privatizations, retroactively endorses the brutal pro-imperialist capitalist dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek, and is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, a CIA front.
China is not, of course, without problems. The phenomenal gains of the early years of the Chinese socialist revolution were tempered with a lack of workers democracy, numerous cases of unjustified brutality and repression, and now the brutality of that early system has combined with extensive capitalist inroads that threaten the future of the revolution, create unacceptable inequalities, and have abolished some of the early gains of the revolution like guaranteed socialized health care for all. Despite these losses, some major gains of the 1949 Chinese Revolution do remain that must be defended from imperialist attacks just as Nepalese sovereignty must be defended from Indian attacks.
The Madhesi Question
While India has no right to interfere in the internal affairs and international relations of Nepal, it is evident that problems of the new constitution do play into the hands of Indian intervention.
Weakening the position of the Madhesis in the constitution and carrying out police oppression against them has, in fact, weakened the position of Nepal in relation to Indian intervention. As the Madhesis are the people in Nepal most culturally linked to India, this may seem counter-intuitive. Yet, in alienating the Madhesis, the Nepalese government has given Prime Minister Modi a ready-made formula for Indian intervention in Nepal.
India’s intervention is the height of hypocrisy when one looks at the fact that India’s demands for more rights for the Madhesis are being made by a foreign government and party that politically and militarily backed a monarchy opposed to democratic reforms in Nepal in the first place. In this context, it is clear that India has no right to make any demands on Nepal’s democratic process, and instead the issues faced by the Madhesis need to be settled by the Nepalese people themselves.
Prime Minister Oli, who was central in writing the new constitution, opposed better representation for the Madhesis. Arguments have been made that if given more self-determination, the two Tarai provinces would come more under the control of India. This, in turn would put Nepal under more pressure to adhere to the dictates of India.
The Madhesi people are not only the victims of a new constitution that underrepresents them, they are also under brutal attack from the same state security forces that brutally oppressed the Maoist insurgency. Prime Minister Oli’s party claims to be Leninist, yet Lenin’s program on nationalities was one of granting national rights of self-determination and language rights as part of a union of socialist republics. This was seen less as a means of breaking the tsarist empire up than as a means of forging unity between nationalities as equals. It was under this program that the Bolsheviks were able to carry out a sweeping proletarian revolution that was able to stand up to imperialist attacks, including foreign invasion.
Prime Minister Oli, however, despite the name of his party, is neither Leninist on the national question nor communist when it comes to the Nepalese economy. Far from granting federalist rights to the Madhesi people in the Nepali constitution, Oli played into Indian hands by fully undermining the national rights of the Madhesis.
The Nepalese Federal Socialist Party explained a far better position than Prime Minister Oli’s in their founding program. They instead argue that federalism and language rights, like secularism, are essential to the unity of Nepal:
“Secularism is an important notion of democracy. Every citizen should have a right to observe a religion or not. The State should not err by recognizing any one of the religion as a State religion. The State should be secular in true sense. Likewise, the linguistic policy of State shall also have to be multilingual. All the citizens of country shall have to be oriented towards learning generally three languages, viz. any two languages of inside the country and one additional international language to enhance competitive capacity in international forum. Guarantee of education in mother tongue also has to be guaranteed. The federal government should allow the expression of diversity in country embedded in a cultural form. This shall evoke a feeling of all citizens are equal inside the country.”
Officially, the new constitution has accepted a form of federalism that allows for some language rights, but with the official districts jerry-rigged to undermine the marginalized Madhesis, this loses meaning. Under the new constitution Nepali is the official language of Nepal, while under section 7a, provinces are allowed to conduct regional work in one or more languages spoken by the majority. Yet, the gerrymandering of districts, rather than drawing more organic lines, means that many Madhesis will be living as minorities within districts where their language is not recognized. This in turn will serve to undermine job and educational opportunities for an already marginalized people.
This is not only a tragedy for the Madhesis, it is a tragedy for Nepal. The natural inclination of the Madhesis to rebel against this injustice then has become Prime Minister Modi’s cover for economic blockade, using this weakness to his advantage in carrying out India’s current economic war against the entire people of Nepal under the cover of the Madhesi protest movement. In addition, as this struggle potentially escalates into civil war, it may be used by India to annex an important piece of Nepal or as a means for India to pressure the Nepalese ruling class into carrying out undemocratic regime change in Kathmandu.
Modi’s counterrevolution, if successful, will likely consist of an anti-democratic coup abolishing the democratic gains of the revolution, expelling Maoists from the government, and once again relegating the Maoists and other advocates of democracy, secularism, worker liberation, farmer liberation, and women’s liberation to custody under the torturers, rapists, and murderers who comprise the security forces of Nepal’s bourgeois state.
In stark contrast to India’s acts of economic war against Nepal, the People’s Republic of China has congratulated Nepal on their constitution and have worked to replace fuel supplies and other essential trade cut off by India. While China has wisely suggested the Nepalese government consider measures to appease the Madhesi people, their stance has been one of non-interference with the internal affairs of Nepal.
Against The Maoist Staged Theory of Revolution
Warming relations between China and Nepal have brought India to the point of issuing bellicose warnings against Nepal “playing the China card”. India is pointing out that obvious geographical barriers of the Himalayas prevent China from playing the same role in Nepal as India. This is, in essence, is a call by India to say, “Resistance is futile Nepal, you have no real alternative but to submit to the demands of our economic blockade!”
Although exaggerated and ignoring moves to improve infrastructure for trade between Nepal and China, these warnings are not without some merit. This is actually an important warning from Modi to Nepalese communists. While “playing the China card” is extremely important in maintaining Nepal’s national sovereignty, the far more essential card is that of worker and farmer socialist revolution. Yes, Nepal’s trade relations with India remain essential. This makes India’s interference in Nepal’s internal affairs all the more criminal and points to Nepal’s need for a socialist revolution, not just in Nepal, but across India. Unfortunately, the 2006 deal between the Nepalese bourgeoisie and Nepalese Maoists weakened near term prospects for socialist revolution both in Nepal and India. Not only did the Maoists give up 80% of Nepal where a social revolution was in full swing, a total betrayal of all those who died fighting for the prospect of a better world, much of the Maoist leadership in Nepal have also now given up on the prospect of socialism itself.
In February 2013, Agni Sapkota, spokesperson for the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) declared at the party's seventh convention, "The global context and our local geo-political reality shows that socialism and communism will not benefit the country."
This statement goes against all of the lessons of the two major revolutionary victories claimed by Maoism, the October 1917 Russian Revolution and the 1949 Chinese Revolution. Both revolutions moved rapidly to socialist economies. As a result, both countries, very poor before their revolutions, went through rapid development.
The October 1917 Russian Revolution was a revolution that fulfilled its promises. The Russian Revolution was only able to fulfill its promises because it was socialist. Through socialism the Russian Revolution was able to break from international imperialist pressures, be immune to internal reactionary capitalist pressure, and also rapidly build the economy in ways that capitalism cannot do.
The Russian Revolution led by Lenin and Trotsky ended Russia's involvement in the inter-imperialist mass slaughter of World War I; Brought about a sweeping land reform for the farmers; Abolished capitalism and created a socialist system that was capable of turning one of the poorest countries in the world into an industrial powerhouse capable of defeating two major imperialist invasions, including smashing the Nazis, and rebuilding to provide everyone with a guaranteed job, housing, education, and health care; Brought national rights to oppressed minorities forming republics of ethnic regions, legalizing their languages and providing education in those languages while also giving the economies of the traditionally poorest republics special help through the planned economy; Brought about big advances in women's rights and rights for homosexuals; Made education and health care priorities, And ended government backed pogroms against Jews. Central to the Bolshevik’s ability to carry out this program was their overthrow the capitalist system.
Like the gains of the Soviet socialist revolution, the gains made in in the 1949 Chinese Revolution were predicated on the adoption of a socialist economy. This included a doubling of life expectancy under Mao’s socialist rule, rapid development (which started in 1949), land reform, the abolition of slavery in the most backward regions like Tibet, big advances for women rights, huge advances for literacy, guaranteed healthcare for all, and the successful defense of half of Korea from a brutal U.S. imperialist attack that killed up to 5 million people.
Numerous gains of the Chinese and Russian Revolutions Have Been Lost
In Russia, Yeltsin’s 1993 capitalist counterrevolution brought unemployment, despair, and a drop of life expectancy by 10 years within 10 years. Putin has since turned some of this around through limited re-nationalizations and using some of the economic and military strength of Russia’s socialist past to stand up to the bullying of the U.S. and EU imperialists. Still, Yeltsin’s capitalist counterrevolution remains a world historic set-back for the working class that has only been turned around on a few questions by Putin.
A holdout against capitalist counterrevolution in the former USSR, however, remains the Republic of Belarus which has almost fully maintained a state owned socialist economy. Belarus never went through the tragedy of the capitalist shock therapy imposed by Boris Yeltsin and his ilk across the former USSR and, as a result, the Belarussian people have been far better off. Despite economic problems since the end of the Soviet Union, unemployment remains officially under 1%, at 0.6%. As in the United States, real unemployment is far higher than official figures, but is still lower than in Belorussia’s capitalist neighbors. In 2009 an official census found 6.1% of the population identify themselves as unemployed, so this is a far more realistic figure. That is still far better than capitalist Ukraine which had an unemployment rate of over 41% before the country was further devastated by war and IMF-U.S.-EU austerity. Likewise, in Belarus education remains a well-funded state priority which is free at all levels including higher education. Belarusian healthcare also remains free and state owned with infant mortality lower than the United States’ 6 per thousand live births, at 3.9 per thousand live births in Belarus instead.
Massive capitalist inroads into the Chinese socialist economy have also greatly hurt the Chinese workers and farmers. Numerous socialist gains of the revolution have been lost, including guaranteed free socialized healthcare. Yet, some gains remain like state ownership of the banks and state ownership of many essential central industries like steel, electricity, and cement. It is through this state ownership, as from the beginning of the revolution, that China has been rapidly developing and, since the 1950s has never reverted to the history of massive famines that existed routinely under feudalism, capitalism and imperialism. Likewise, state ownership in central components of the economy allows for state economic priorities in building for human needs including housing, mass public transportation, and renewable energy to further build up the economy and combat global warming.
Yet, despite the lessons of history showing the superiority of socialism, the two ruling “communist” parties in Nepal have adopted a capitalist program and, in the process, chopped off their communist roots. The degeneration of Nepal’s two mainstream communist parties can be seen in part as a result of the natural pressures of bourgeois public opinion and the opportunism that takes place within and outside of all socialist parties in capitalist societies. History has shown, over time in a capitalist society these pressures degenerate most parties whether they be Maoist, Trotskyist, Castroist, social democratic, or old Moscow line Communist parties with political ideologies born out of Stalinism. Yet, within the Maoist ideology, there is also a ready-made ideology for defeat found in Stalin’s two stage theory of revolution which was adopted by Mao.
The Tragedy of Two Stage Theories of Revolution
In the Russian Revolution, Lenin and Trotsky advocated the immediate overthrow of capitalism as the only means to advance the revolution. The Mensheviks (social democrats), on the other hand, advocated a staged theory of revolution, where the first stage would be all about the smashing of the remnants of feudalism and the development of capitalism and the second stage would be for the establishment of socialism. While the theory talks of two stages of revolution, in reality this program sets the fight for socialist revolution back to some future date that never comes.
The Mensheviks had their chance in Russia. The Russian Revolution went through two stages in 1917. The first, led by the social democratic Mensheviks happened in February, so became called the February Revolution. Almost nothing really improved under the pro-capitalist Mensheviks. They re-started the inter-imperialist war with Germany, a war where workers had no interest. They opposed a needed sweeping land reform for the poor peasantry. Likewise, they opposed a socialization of industry needed for the working class and society as a whole. The Mensheviks, through a program that claimed it was too early for a socialist revolution in Russia, carried out backward pro-capitalist policies.
As the Mensheviks were busy betraying the revolution, Joseph Stalin entered negotiations with the Mensheviks to merge the Bolshevik and Menshevik parties. Upon his return from exile, Vladimir Lenin put an end to those negotiations. Lenin also adopted Trotsky’s position that the nature of the revolution must be socialist in Lenin’s famous April Thesis.
Trotsky had developed his theory on the need to skip over the bourgeois stage of revolution in prison after the failed 1905 revolution. In that revolution, Trotsky realized that the bourgeoisie no longer had a progressive role to play as it did in earlier bourgeois revolutions elsewhere. Trotsky explained this through his theory of combined and uneven development. In this theory Trotsky explained that backward Russia already had developed in ways that had not occurred in France before the French Revolution. This was as a result of the infusion of some of the technologies and other advances that had occurred in the west into Russia. Trotsky saw that as a result, a significant working class had developed in Russia before the bourgeois revolution had taken place.
Combined and uneven development had two major impacts on the revolutionary struggle in Russia. The first impact was the fact that the working class had the potential to seize power and take the revolution beyond the bourgeois phase of revolution. The second was that the bourgeoisie recognized this fact and, out of fear of the working class, preferred the fetters of feudalism under tsarism to any attempt at bourgeois revolution. The bourgeoisie, unlike in the time of Marx, was no longer a revolutionary class pitted against the remnants of feudalism, but a class that instead clung to supporting the power of the tsarist state out of fear of the working class. From this understanding, Trotsky developed the Theory of Permanent Revolution which stated, in part, that for the future Russian revolution to succeed it must be led by the working class and must be socialist in character.
It was after the adoption of the April Thesis that Lenin and Trotsky’s parties merged and moved on to lead the October Revolution against the Mensheviks in power. Had it been up to Stalin, there would have never been an October Revolution. Stalin would later revive his support for the Menshevik staged theory of revolution after Lenin’s death, imposing that program on Communist Parties around the world and expelling those who disagreed as Trotskyists. In China, Stalin’s adoption of the two staged theory of revolution led to a period of time where he supported the nationalist Chiang Kai-shek and ordered the Chinese Communist Party to disarm and join with his nationalist forces. As a result, Chiang Kai-shek was able to round-up and massacre at least 10,000 worker communists in Shanghai in 20 days in 1927. Fortunately, the communists were eventually able to recover and Mao led them to power in 1949. After taking power, Mao was pushed onto the road of carrying out a sweeping socialist revolution, despite carrying Stalin’s ideology of two staged revolution. For Mao, the course of events in the unfolding class struggle and the imperialist war in Korea, gave Mao two choices, carry out a thorough sweeping socialist revolution and land reform or betray the revolution. Fortunately, Mao made the right decision.
Stalin’s theory of staged revolutions is also where Nelson Mandela’s, the ANC’s, and the South African Communist Party’s capitalist program came from. As a result of that staged theory carried out in practice, racist Apartheid laws have been dismantled, but the same capitalist system and power structure exists. As a result, the ANC and SACP were never able to deliver on many of their promises regarding housing, education, health care, and employment. It will take socialism to reach those goals. Likewise, the police of the ANC and SACP led capitalist state now gun down striking workers in defense of capitalist profit just as they did under Apartheid. The roots of this betrayal were growing long before the ANC and SACP took power as both parties accepted Stalin’s two stage theory of revolution and thereby accepted the violence, exploitation, and oppression inherent in the capitalist system.
Stalin’s two stage theory has also led to the unfortunate betrayal of the Nepalese Revolution by its Maoist leadership in 2006. Revolutionaries must defend the limited democratic gains made by the Maoists from Indian and internal attack, but the balance sheet is one that shows very limited gains at the cost of 13,000 killed in Nepal’s civil war, and even those gains becoming highly threatened without taking the revolution to a higher socialist stage.
Both South Africa and Nepal are just two of the most recent examples of how Stalin’s two staged theory helped ruin the vanguard of the revolution, leading what were otherwise extremely promising revolutions to what are now instead largely defeats for comparatively extremely small gains.
The Mensheviks, opposed to the leftist agenda of the Bolsheviks, almost lost power in August 1917 due to a rightwing military coup led by General Kornilov. At that point, the survival of the revolutionary Menshevik government depended, in part, on critical military support from the Bolsheviks led by Lenin and Trotsky. The Bolsheviks saw this as only a temporary alliance, seeing the critical need to defeat Kornilov, but they also used the situation to arm the working class both to fight against the far right and to prepare for the struggles to come against the Menshevik Kerensky government.
Through patiently winning the working class to their side and military preparations, the Bolsheviks led the workers and peasants to power in a second revolution, the October 1917 Russian Revolution.
The future revolution in Nepal requires a defense of the gains of the 2006 revolution from Indian attack, but it also requires a defense of the Madhesi people from nationalistic Nepalese attack. Moving towards this necessary revolution cannot be done simply by pressuring the powers that be, it requires the building of a revolutionary vanguard independent the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), both of which are now playing the role of the Mensheviks in modern day Nepal. In rebuilding a revolutionary vanguard in Nepal, India, and around the globe, it will be essential to discard all two staged theories of revolution. Likewise, an essential component of this revolutionary vanguard is Lenin’s program for the liberation of all oppressed and marginalized nationalities in a federation of socialist republics.
Down With India’s Economic Blockade of Nepal!
Defend The Madhesi People from Chauvinistic Attack!
For a Return to Lenin’s Policy on Oppressed Nations!
For the Rebuilding of a Vanguard That Adheres to Lenin and Trotsky’s Theory of Permanent Revolution!
For Workers and Farmers Socialist Revolution in Nepal, India, Bhutan, and Beyond!
-Steven Argue for the Revolutionary Tendency
Indian Hands Off Nepal!
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