Kathmandu, September 22
Two hundred leaders and cadres of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) will listen to lectures from key leaders of the Communist Party of China for two days on Chinese President Xi Jinping Thought, which political scientists believe is a conscious effort by the CPC to indoctrinate Nepal’s ruling NCP.
This ‘indoctrination’ exercise is happening ahead of the Chinese president’s visit to Nepal, scheduled for mid-October.
The ruling NCP, however, denies the argument that the two-day symposium to be held in Kathmandu on September 24 and 25 is aimed at indoctrinating its leaders and cadres in Xi Jinping Thought. “This is purely aimed at renewing relations between the communist parties of the two countries after the unification of the then CPN-UML and CPN-MC to form the NCP,” said NCP School Department Deputy Chief Bedu Ram Bhusal. “Both the parties will share each other’s political ideologies at the event, and that’s it.”
Forty Chinese leaders, including representatives from the CPC’s International Liaison Department, Central Party School and Organisation Department will take part in the two-day symposium. Song Tao, chief of CPC’s International Liaison Department, will be among them.
Political analyst Puranjan Acharya told THT that the Chinese president was merely a leader of the CPC who was elected by the party as the president for the second term, and not a philosopher like Karl Marx, Plato or Aristotle.
“Nepal’s ruling NCP, which expressed its commitment to competitive multi-party democracy, is trying to make a U-turn on its political ideology by welcoming the CPC’s attempt to indoctrinate it,” Acharya said. He added that the NCP’s move gave the Nepali public an impression that communists were not a reliable force. “The NCP’s decision to allow the CPC to indoctrinate its cadres has not only confused the public, but has also exposed the NCP’s contradictions.”
Acharya said the ruling party needed to toe a clear political line or else the government that commanded nearly two-thirds majority in the Parliament could not serve the public well.
He said the ruling NCP was courting controversies one after another. “First, the party leaders made the mistake of endorsing the controversial Asia-Pacific Summit, then Dahal kicked up a row on the Venezuela issue and now Xi Jinping Thought,” Acharya said. He added that the ‘indoctrination’ of NCP cadres by the ruling party of China could change Nepal’s geo-politics as the Nepali Congress and India were likely to react to it adversely.
Another political scientist Prof Kapil Shrestha wondered what political philosophy Xi, who abolished the two-term limit of the president to stay in power, could offer to his country or the world.
“Xi has become a lifelong president. What is the NCP trying to learn from him?” he wondered.
Shrestha said the NCP’s decision could give wrong impression to the international community about Nepal.
Civil society member Krishna Pahadi said some leaders of the NCP had the tendency of showing more loyalty to the CPC or Xi Jinping than communist cadres of China. “This is nothing but an exercise to flatter China and Chinese leaders,” he said.
Xi’s influence has grown in China after he was elected the party’s secretary general and the president of the country for the second term and he succeeded in inserting his own ideology known as Xi Jinping Thought in the party’s statute. CPC is believed to be trying to export Xi Jinping Thought to communist parties of other countries.
A version of this article appears in print on September 23, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.