KATHMANDU, April 22: It was a rare sight for the crowd gathered inside the Rastriya Sabha Griha at Exhibition Road on Monday as two noted communist leaders not only criticized other parties for their weaknesses but also criticized their own parties with a number of anecdotes and evidence.
UCPN (Maoist)´s chief of the international bureau Ram Karki and CPN-UML Central Committee member Ghanashyam Bhusal while addressing the gathering organized on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of establishment of communist party in Nepal, dissected several aspects on why communist parties mushroomed in the country but failed to make sustained efforts in uplifting the people from the real downtrodden communities.
Hundreds of youths in the jam-packed hall cheered the leaders repeatedly as the latter did a candid introspection of their own political parties -- UCPN (Maoist) and CPN-UML -- and the broader communist movement in the country.
"Communist parties have become larger in size but they are in weakest position. Communist parties were never this weak in the past. They have alienated themselves from the very class they were meant to fight for," Karki said.
He said that Nepali communist parties and their leaders are not prepared to save communist movement and protect achievements attained so far and to tackle counter-revolution.
"The reactionary forces are waiting for an opportune time to launch counter-revolution but our leaders are in a deep slumber. They are obsessed merely with periodic elections and have no vision beyond that," explained Karki. He expressed unhappiness to find no enthusiasm in youths either.
Bhusal said it was high time that the party rank and file do serious introspection and take intervening moves so as to make their respective communist parties more energetic, democratic and ideal. Both the leaders´ emphasis was to save communist parties from degeneration.
"My party CPN-UML never bothered to explore the reasons why a new party [CPN-Maoist] emerged as a strong political force even though the UML got 54 percent of the votes cast in the late 1990s," said Bhusal. "During the insurgency, the Maoist party claimed to have its hold in 80 percent territory of the country. But it is not ready to debate and ponder into why the same party is in such a miserable situation now."
The leaders also said that communist leaders used to boast that 62 percent of the dissolved CA comprised of communists but they would never contemplate why the Assembly was dissolved despite such a composition.
Both Karki and Bhusal claimed that the proposal to adopt ethnicity-based federalism was inappropriate for the country.
"Communist parties have started to lobby for caste, ethnicity, gender and region while alienating themselves from the politics of class struggle. It is very unfortunate," said Karki. He also criticized leaders from his party for forging alliance with Madhes-based parties.
"It is so ironic that our leaders have hobnobbed with Madhesi leaders of every hue," he said. "On the other hand UML leaders say that they can´t survive without support from the Nepali Congress."
Stating that communists were losing their moral authority, both the leaders urged the youth members to play an intervening role in their respective parties for the sake of improvement.