The communist threat is

orgotten, but not gone

History tells us that at least 53 million people have died of communist atrocities the world over. Communist rule and a bloodbath are inevitable if Nepal is left to its own struggles between the monarchists and the Maoists, warns ERIC KOO PENG KUAN

What is India News Service
23 March 2005

In a small, land-locked country called Nepal in South Asia, the Nepalese King Gyanendra had seized political power with the help of the military by sacking his own entire government in February. King Gyanendra justified such a drastic move as being necessary in fighting the insurgency by Maoist insurgents.

It is ironic to think that humans have so quickly forgotten the ominous threat of communism that loomed over the world over the last century. The cautious diplomacy and arms race during the Cold War between the Soviet bloc of nations and the free world lasted from 1945 to 1991, was due largely to the fear of the spread of communism.

Despite the fact that the dissolving of the Soviet Union in 1991 also signaled the bankruptcy in the communist ideology, a number of communist-inspired rebel movements are still in existence in nations with wide gaps of wealth disparity. This is clearly evident in the Maoist-style rebel movements in Columbia, Peru, the Philippines and Nepal.

Nepal, especially, has all the possible conditions favouring a communist-inspired rebellion for regime change.

Firstly, a monarchist-military system is one that has elitist tones, where social mobility depends more on nepotism and social connections rather than capabilities. Such a system is self-preserving in nature and tends to entrench itself, and simultaneously leads to ever widening social and economic gaps between the privileged and non-privileged classes. Such a politico-social system makes the best environment for recruiting material and manpower support from the masses.

Secondly, a feudal monarchic system has already been discredited in the history of Asia, one that is regarded as backward, conservative and incapable of progress. China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, the two Koreas, and India had long ago thrown off the yoke of monarchic rule, in view that the system could not resist western colonialism. The Nepalese people, if convinced that there is no hope for democracy to be restored, would turn towards the philosophy of armed struggle advocated by communist movements which have proven successful in seizing political power in the past.

Thirdly, history had already demonstrated that the two largest and most powerful communist countries came about through the internal process of social revolution against monarchist rule. The Russian Revolution of 1917 spelled the death of centuries of Tsarist rule in Russia. In China, The Chinese communist takeover in 1949 through force of arms proved that they were the true heirs of the revolution that overthrew the Manchu Dynasty in 1911.

Lest anyone underestimate the consequences of communist rule, it is recorded in history that a number of atrocities against humans were the direct results of communism. Some 20 million people perished under Stalin’s rule in the Soviet Union from 1924–1953.[1] Mao Tse Tung’s misrule in Communist China led to the deaths of at least 30 million Chinese through starvation and executions, especially during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.[2] And in the three short years of rule by the Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, from 1975 to 1978, an estimated 2 to 3 million Cambodians died through war, starvations or executions.[3] Hence, a minimum of 53 million people died in countries under communist rule. An inevitable bloodbath can no doubt be expected if Nepal is left to its own struggles between the pro-monarchists and Maoists.

The world ignores the affairs of Nepal at its own peril. The threat of communism is forgotten, but it certainly is not gone. An absence of external interference would probably see the end of democracy in Nepal. The monarchist-military ruling class would attempt to tighten its grip on Nepalese society, holding the cities and urban areas, while the Maoist rebels control the rural countryside. Political parties with non-communist philosophies may be forced to take refuge and make alliances
with the Nepalese Maoists, eventually to be submerged or pushed into obscurity, just as happened to other Vietnamese political parties during the Vietnam War.
This will be the inevitable result if no other strong, external influence is exerted on Nepal to revive its parliamentary assembly and restore elections.

[1] “Death Tolls for the Major Wars and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century”

[3] “Maoist Internationalist Movement on Kampuchea.”

The writer, based in Singapore, is a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies (IDSS). He writes on international affairs,
security and terrorism