Nepal | July 09, 2020

Bhattarai draws flak as he bats for socialism

The former prime minister says he needs to unlearn what he has learnt in 40 years

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:
Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai holds an interaction with the private sectors in the Capital on Friday, October 02, 2015. Photo courtesy: Baburam Bhattarai's Secretariat Twitter account

Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai holds an interaction with the private sectors in the Capital on Friday, October 02, 2015. Photo courtesy: Baburam Bhattarai’s Secretariat Twitter account

Kathmandu, October 2

Former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai, who quit the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist several days ago, today drew the private sector’s criticism, as he said the new political platform that he was planning to create would have ‘socialistic orientation’.

Bhattarai, who has also served as the finance minister and is known as the champion of the road expansion drive in Kathmandu, said he was forming new political platform to launch ‘economic revolution’.

“The political revolution that continued for almost 70 years has come to an end with the promulgation of the new constitution drafted by people’s representative. We’ve now entered a new era which calls for an economic revolution,” he told a gathering of over 100 entrepreneurs, industrialists, bankers and traders here in
the Capital.

An economic revolution, according to Bhattarai, was necessary to deliver prosperity, and the private sector’s role would be ‘crucial’ on this front, because it is the ‘only sector that could take the lead in the country’s development’.

Although those present at the meeting expressed gratitude towards the former PM for having confidence in the private sector, his narrative that the new political platform would have ‘socialistic orientation’ did not sink in well with them.

Pradeep Kumar Shrestha and Kush Kumar Joshi, former presidents of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Narendra Kumar Basnyat, president of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries, said an economic revolution was not possible through socialism.

They were of the view that an economic revolution should bring more opportunities, enhance wealth creation
capacity and ensure protection of accumulated wealth. “I don’t think socialism would serve this purpose,” Shrestha said.

The private sector here frowns upon socialism because it is primarily based on the philosophy of Karl Marx, which discourages capital accumulation.

In his book published in the mid-1860s, Marx had advocated for wealth distribution citing capital was increasingly being accumulated by a few. Capital, according to Marx, was being concentrated in the hands of a few because it had become industrial — in the forms of plants and machinery — and there was no natural process to stop it. Prior to that, capital was mostly in the form of land, which was limited.

At that time, Marx, however, overlooked the fact that technological progress and rising productivity would gradually prevent capital from being concentrated in the hands of a few, which actually happened a few years after he propounded his theory.

This is one of the reasons why Marx’s theory is called obsolete by many and very few countries pursue his philosophy.

Bhattarai, however, said he was using ‘Marxism as a science’ and he was ‘not dogmatic’.“There is no alternative to capitalism in today’s world and we have to follow that,” he said, adding, “I have to unlearn what I’ve learnt in 40 years and learn something new. I’m also willing to leave behind my weaknesses and move forward after evaluating my past performance in an objective manner.”

He also urged the private sector not to be sceptic about the use of the word ‘socialism’ in the preamble of the new constitution.

“Even China defines itself as socialist through its constitution, but it is practising capitalism,” he said. “So, investment and private property will be protected in the coming days.”

A version of this article appears in print on October 03, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Chelsea close in on Champions League spot with 3-2 win at Palace

LONDON: Chelsea kept up their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League and Champions League football next season with a 3-2 victory at London rivals Crystal Palace on Tuesday thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham. The visitors took a two-goal lead i Read More...

Singh Durbar

New nuke law stipulates plan for disaster management

KATHMANDU, JULY 7 The Radioactive Materials Use and Regulation Act, 2020, recently authenticated by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, requires the Government of Nepal to develop and implement a disaster preparedness and management plan at the national level to prevent and manage any disastrous impa Read More...

Furdiki Sherpa and Nima Doma Sherpa

Hit hard by pandemic, Sherpa widows face uphill battle

KATHMANDU, JULY 7 After conquering Mount Everest and shattering taboos, two Nepali Sherpa widows face a new challenge, the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down all climbing and trekking activities rendering them jobless. Nima Doma Sherpa and Furdiki Sherpa made global headlines when t Read More...

Jewellery store burglary racket busted

KATHMANDU, JULY 7 Police have busted a racket of thieves, who were allegedly involved in burgling jewellery stores in Kathmandu valley, under the guise of scrap collectors. Those taken into custody for legal action have been identified as Ganga Bahadur Tamang aka Sumit, 37, and Junga Bahadur M Read More...

Isolation wards empty as COVID-19 cases stay put in quarantine

DHANGADI, JULY 7 Isolation wards that were set up to keep COVID-19 infected patients are mostly empty as most of the infected continue to stay in quarantine shelters in Sudurpaschim Province. As per data with Sudurpaschim Province Social Development Ministry, as of now, the total number of COV Read More...

Irrigation project elates farmers

NEPALGUNJ, JULY 7 Farmers in Banke were elated after Sikta Irrigation Project released water in the project’s western and eastern canals keeping in view the paddy plantation time this year. Man Bahadur Magar of Kamdi, Duduwa Rural Municipality, said he could plant paddy on time this year aft Read More...

Financial institutions, banks urged not to pile pressure for loan payment

POKHARA, JULY 7 Western Regional Hotel Association, Pokhara, has urged banks and financial institutions not to pile pressure for loan payment. Banks and financial institutions are pressing hotels and the tourism sector to pay back the loan and interest, on the ground that the fiscal year was d Read More...

Parliamentary committee probing irregularities

DHANGADI, JULY 7 The federal Parliament’s Agriculture, Cooperatives and Natural Resources Committee has started investigating alleged irregularities carried out in the name of scientific forest management. A team of the panel comprising Shanta Chaudhary, Satya Narayan Sharma Khanal and Raj B Read More...