Posted by admin on July 12th, 2012Book review by Yuba Nath Lamsal
Looks as if Nepal's civil war is a docudrama being told and retold by people belonging to different ideological hues in a different fashion that fits into their shoes. In such a case, truth is always elusive as someone's truth may be otherwise for others. The saga and trajectory of the decade-long Maoist armed insurgency travels similar course in a way a true revolution takes—an arduous and zigzag travails.
There is definitely no dearth of literature on Nepal's insurgency or `People's War'. The insurgency, indeed, gave a food for thought for scholars, academics, writers, filmmakers and photographers. Books have been written, working papers presented in numerous national and international seminars and workshops and film and documentaries made on the theme of the `People's War'. But not all portray the identical picture of the mayhem that Nepal saw in the period of one decade. While some have glorified it, others tended to demonize. There are yet another breed of writers who have tried to mystify and even fantasize the Maoist armed insurgency and its principal leadership.
Asymmetric and rival versions of different people about Nepal's civil war make the readers often confused as to what exactly was the real picture of the insurgency. As a result, a reader has to figure out only through guesswork. And people understood the Maoist civil war on their own way and made conclusion differently like the legendary story of an elephant and a six blind persons who define an elephant by touching particular organs of the giant but not looking at its entire body. This situation had demanded writing the history of the Maoist insurgency in an objective manner by someone who has seen it closely, felt and understood it more emotionally. Dr Rishi Raj Baral is, perhaps, belongs to that breed, who had been part of this armed insurgency. It is Dr Baral who had come up with a new book, which is under review, not fantasizing this momentous period of ten years but presenting what had actually happened during the civil war and analyzed in a true Marxist and revolutionary perspective. His strenuous attempt to present the facts and their revolutionary analysis has helped, to some extent, to fill the void in understanding the civil war. The book contains the background, growth, development and climax of the Maoist insurgency in a cohesive and realist manner.
The name of the book is `Nepali Janauddha' (Nepalese People's War) which is author's noble attempt in telling the truth about the Maoist insurgency in Nepal. This book is, without any shade of doubt, a true history of the Maoist `People's War' because the author saw and felt the insurgency through his own eyes and experienced it personally. In other words, the book is an eyewitness' account because Dr Baral himself remained in many of the battle fronts.
The book contains valuable information different trends and tides; twists and turns of Nepal's communist movement in general and the Maoist armed insurgency in particular. As the book has mainly focused on the `People's War', it contains a little about the history of Nepal's communist movement, which may be a little bit injustice to those who made important contribution and sacrifice for establishing the communist party in Nepal and developing its organization and theoretical concept. The space the book has allocated for the history of communist movement in Nepal, it is not sufficient. The author should have given more time and space in detailing and explaining the birth, growth and development of Nepal's communist movement and its analysis in a more comprehensive way. There is no iota of doubt that the real application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism was the People's War. But efforts were made on various occasions ever since the communist party of Nepal was established in 1949, which should been dealt with more analytical details.
The decision to launch `People's War' is no doubt a great leap in Nepal communist movement and also a source of inspiration for all revolutionary communist across the globe. But it has both bright and dark sides. The bright side is the development of revolution and carrying it to the climax and the dark side is its vacillation and current state of confusion which has created a great debate within the party and also outside for a long time. The author has detailed and documented some of the issues of this great debate and he two-line struggle in the Maoist party.
Divided into different parts, each chapter tells the tale of living history of Maoist insurgency. Apart from the just recording and describing the events, the author has his own analysis from revolutionary point of view on multi-faceted aspects of the `People's War'. All aspects of insurgency including the decision to launch the revolution, its military aspect, international relations, relations with Nepali parties and with the fraternal parties in the world and their contribution to Nepal's revolution, decisions and action on establishing new power and state, two line struggle within the party, the role of expansionist and imperialist forces to fail and foil Nepal's revolution and the role of media and cultural movement and the role of the principal leadership have been thoroughly discussed and analyzed. As a true revolutionary, the author appears to be disappointed with the current political line of the party, which he describes as inimical to revolutionary philosophy based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. The book is not merely a documentation of events, as history is often defined, but the author has given full insight of the each and every event concerning the Maoist insurgency and its genuine analysis. This is, therefore, a must read.
( Comrade Lamsal is the Member of International Department of NCP-Maoist)