Saturday, 13 April, 2024

Tribute To Pushpa Lal

Lok Narayan Subedi

Pushpa Lal Shrestha, founding general secretary of Nepal Communist Party (NCP), was a dedicated revolutionary leader with a clear vision and mission. He was born in 1924 on Asar 15, 1981 B.S. at Bhangeri in Ramechhap district. Hailing from a lower middle class family, he was younger brother of the great martyr Ganga Lal.
Pushpa Lal was a brilliant person since his childhood. As being from the a martyr's family, he had harboured radical thinking and thought to do something good for the majority of poor and exploited people by raising their voices for justice and equality. For that he felt the need of a consciously organised group of people that can analyse and advocate all the problems of the Nepali society languishing under the autocratic Rana rulers.
To attain this objective, he along with his other friends joined National Congress Party. Unsatisfied with the policy and activity of this party, he established Nepal Communist Party on September 15, 1949 with the sole goal of overthrowing Rana rule, feudalism and imperialism. Puspalal played an important role in the 1950/51 revolution that ended the 104-year-old Rana regime.
In 1954, the party held its convention clandestinely in Patan. At that time Manmohan Adhikari blamed Puspalal for "exploiting of his intellectual brain" and lobbied against him to become the general secretary. In 1957, the second party congress was held at Phohara Durbar in Kathmandu openly. Keshar Jung Rayamajhi was elected general secretary although the convention approved a republican programme put forth by Pushpa Lal. Actually, it was a big paradox.
But, in 1960 all political parties were banned after king Mahendra staged a coup d’état. The royal government violently supressed all political parties specially, the Nepali Congress and the Nepal Communist Party. General secretary Rayamajhi had, however, expressed certain faith in the monarch, which triggered strong reaction from within the party. To resolve the conflict, a central plenum was convened in Darbhanga, India, which lasted for one month.
During the plenum, three political lines emerged. Raymajhi advocated constitutional monarchy while Pushpa Lal resolutely stood for the reinstatement of the dissolved parliament, calling for widespread mass movements on the basis of common minimum consensus against the kingship. However, Mohan Bikram Singh demanded a constituent assembly. But history has proved Puspa Lal's line was relatively correct and practical at that time.
Now, almost all communist parties in Nepal pretend that they revere Pushpa Lal but most of them do not follow his revolutionary programme that is 'New Democracy' that calls for radical change of the Nepali society and tactical line of united struggle against the autocracy. In fact, Pushpa Lal was a man of a great vision and far-sightedness which justified in 1990 and 2006 when the democratic and communist forces fought together against the dictatorial monarch.
Pushpa Lal had dreamt of making Nepal free of class exploitation and social oppression but it is yet to be fulfilled. For this, he struggled throughout his life. Nepali communists must learn from his great sacrifice, simplicity and dedication. He continuously inspires all the revolutionaries and progressive forces to honestly dedicate themselves for the cause of socialism and democratic nation-building.