Are The Maoists of Nepal Nationalists Or Communists?

There are many Communists parties in Nepal. The largest party is the CPN (Maoists). Prachanda is the Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists). He was the ex-Prime Minister of Nepal. He claims himself the greatest communist of the world and the greatest nationalist of modern Nepal. But for a student of political science, the question may arise how can a communist be a nationalist?

Every student of political science knows the difference between communism and nationalism. These are two different theories. No one needs to be confused while understanding these high-sounding political terminologies. Nationalism and Communism are like North Pole and South Pole. There are explicit differences between the two terms.

In Nepal, it is believed that for one time people can be made fool. For many times a few people can be made fool, however, all people cannot be made fool all the time. Many people of Nepal may believe that the leaders of the Maoists party are trying to uplift the nation and they are the ones who are nationalists. But the irony is that no communist can be a nationalist. If the Maoists are the nationalists they would not be a part of COMPOSA and RIM.

Nationalism believes in one’s a nation or a state. It is the love for a certain nation or a state. It has the desire to work for it’s betterment at the highest level. Communism is termed as a form of socialism that looks forward for establishing a state-less society where there is no private ownership. This can make clear to anyone that communism does not stand for any regional or national aspirations. However, nationalism only cares for nation or state.

Nationalism means the development of a particular nation. For nationalists, state or nation is the primary importance. However, for communist, the whole class or the whole world is a single entity. It is the community that prevails over others in communism whereas in nationalism, it is the national spirit that prevails over other thoughts.

In nationalism, there is a belief that one nation is superior to other nations. Moreover, the citizens of a country are more valued than the citizens of other countries. This belief does not hold in communism. For the communists, community stands above all. Unlike the nationalists, the communists think globally.

The principles of communism tells the nationalities of the people associating themselves in accordance with the principle of community. They will be compelled to mingle with each other as a result of this association and thereby to dissolve themselves, just as the various estate and class distinctions must disappear through the abolition of their basis, private property. The nationalists on the contrary adhere to the development of all aspects of a nation such as culture, language, resources and wealth and try to make people of the nationality powerful and happy as compare to others. This does not apply to a communist.

The discourse that a nationalist cannot be a communist and vice versa need to be continued specially at this juncture of political transformation in Nepal. This will help people to sharpen the knowledge on ideological differences of Nationalism and Communism.

Bhupal Lamichhaney is a Human Rights activist from Nepal, now in California. He writes about democracy, Human Rights and current political and social issues.