Nepalese Maoists betray Indian Maoists

For those who are following the twin Maoist movements in India and Nepal, there was a delicious irony May 30 when Prachanda, leader of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), sent a condolence letter to Indian political boss Sonia Gandhi over the recent attack by Maoist Naxalite guerillas in which 27 were killed, including senior leaders of Gandhi's Congress Party. "Our party UCPN-Maoist is deeply shocked and saddened by the demise of leaders and workers of the Indian National Congress in the recent attack in Chattisgarh…unleashed by Indian Maoists," Prachanda wrote. Zee News notes that among the dead was Mahendra Karma, a notorious paramilitary leader who was accused of atrocities against perceived guerilla sympathists. A like letter from Nepali Congress party leader Sushil Koirala said: "I am extremely shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the death of senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma, other leaders and cadres of your party along with other innocent people in the ambush by the Maoists in Chattisgarh." 

How have the Nepalese Maoists been so thoroughly pitted against the Indian Maoists? Ironically, the decisive factor is thoroughly post-Maoist China. We've noted that Nepal's counterinsurgency against the UCPN-M was initially backed with military aid from the US and India. When these succumbed to pressure from human rights groups and scaled back aid, China took up the slack—seeking to establish Nepal as a buffer state against regional rival India. At the same time, China began quietly aiding the Naxalites, since they were conveniently making trouble for Delhi.

You'll note how little this has to do with, um, ideology. It will be interesting (in a geekish sort of way) to see how sectarian Maoist factions in the US will react to this. The biggest, the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), was avidly rooting for the Nepalese Maoists, but seems to have dropped them after the UCPN-M agreed to lay down arms and join the political process. The Kasama Project appears to have its money on the Naxalites, calling out Prachanda on his hypocrisy. We'd sure like to hear what the RCP have to say about the stance of their erstwhile Nepalese comrades.


  1. Naxalite statement on Chhattisgarh ambush
    The Revolutionary Frontlines site runs a May 30 statement from the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army, via the apparently affiliated Communist Party of India (Maoist) Dandakaranya Special Zone Committee, taking responsibility for the ambush in Chhattisgarh ten days earlier, saying the intended target was Mahendra Karma. The statement expresses “regret” that “some innocent people and some lower level Congress party activists” were killed in what is portrayed as crossfire in a two-hour gun battle following the attack.  However, the statement is overwhelmingly dedicated to delinieating the many crimes of the “fascist” Mahendra Karma.

    We aren’t sure where the PLGA fits in among the various Naxalite factions.

  2. Naxalites score another kill
    A notoriously hardline police superintendent in Jharkhand’s Dumka district was killed in a Naxalite ambush July 2. Amarjit Balihar was among five officers killed in the attack on the police convoy. Three other officers were injured. (PTI, July 2)

  3. Indian Maoists blast China as ‘social imperialist’

    A 72-page document by the central committee of the CPI (Maoist) has attacked China for "integrating itself in the global capitalist-imperialist order” and denounced it as the "enemy of working class movements across the world." The document "China's Social Imperialism" was first written in Telegu last year, the year that marked the 50th anniversary of the historic Naxalbari uprising. It has now been issued in English and Hindi for wider circulation.

    The document lambasts China's "imperialist tendencies" for arms sales, resource extraction, political interference in other countries, and deploying capital on unfavorable and exploitative terms in the Third World—all of which has been voiced by detractors of China's Belt and Roads Initiative in recent years.

    The document sees China's "social imperialism" as a global competitor of US imperialism and describes it as an "enemy of working class movements" all over the world. (Northeast Now, Guwahati, Sept. 16)