Young Communist League, Nepal
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|Young Communist League, Nepal|
|Mother party||Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)|
Young Communist League, Nepal is the youth wing of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-Maoist). The president of YCL is Ganeshman Pun and the general secretary of YCL is Dilip Kumar Prajapati. The Young Communist League (YCL) was formed by the CPN–Maoist at some point (there is no definite information on the year of its creation) during the ‘people’s war’ to support the revolution. Ganeshman Pun, chairman of the YCL, has stated that the League was reactivated in November 2006. According to him, the YCL "is a fusion of the Party’s military and political character, and it is composed of PLA members who have an interest in politics." As the party’s youth wing, its role is to "organise youth, be involved in events, conduct political awareness, and take part in development work as volunteers." Once the CPN-Maoist was proscribed, the YCL was also forced underground. After the April 2006 Jana Andolan (people’s movement) and the subsequent over-ground role of the insurgents, the CPN-Maoist revived the YCL.
Contribution to revolution
With the development of the Communist Party in Nepal, different youth organizations were established. These organizations remained on the forefront and played an important role in both mass movements and in the peasants movement. The Akhil Nepal Yuba Sangathan (All Nepal Youth Organization) was established in 1981 under the chairmanship of Comrade Prachanda and it played a positive role in the question of making revolutionary political line. In 1991, it was renamed the Young Communist League (YCL) and during the period of preparation of the People's War, it played an important role in completing the preparation of the People's War.
During the People's War it helped the People's War. In the new political context developed after the People's War and the nineteen-day-long Mass Movement, the Young Communist League was established on 2 December 2006. It conducted campaigns to establish a federal republic, and struggle for patriotism and republic and mobilized youth during the election of Constitution Assembly.
Leadership and Cadre
At its first national convention in the capital Kathmandu in February 2007, which was inaugurated by the CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal a.k.a. Prachanda, the YCL formed a 45-member new Central Committee with Ganeshman Pun as its Chairman, Uma Bhujel as its Vice-chairman, Dileep Kumar Prajapati as General Secretary, R. P. Sharma as Secretary and Bhagwat Baduwal as Treasurer.
Ganeshman Pun is a senior CPN-Maoist cadre and was the ‘Commissar’ of the Parivarthan Memorial Ninth Brigade of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Uma Bhujel is a PLA ‘section commander’ famous for leading a successful jailbreak in Gorkha on March 31, 2001, along with five of her associates. Dileep Kumar Prajapati and Bhagwat Baduwal are top ranking commanders in the PLA. Another Central Committee member, Chandra Bahadur Thapa a.k.a. Comrade Sagar, who is in charge of YCL’s Kathmandu region, is a former ‘battalion commander’ of the Dinesh-Ramji Samiti Brigade. Senior YCL leader, Sabitri Gurung, is a ‘deputy battalion commander’ of the PLA.
Each of these above-mentioned leaders is a dedicated member of the CPN-Maoist and some allege that they have been appointed to the YCL in order to evade inclusion in the mechanisms for the management of arms and armies by the United Nations. Nanda Kishore Pun, the Maoist Central Committee member and PLA ‘deputy commander’, in an interview to Nepali Times conceded, "It is true that at present some commanders have been sent to the YCL. They are individuals who were previously active in the YCL and have experience."
YCL are unarmed young cadres without any formal military training. It is alleged that some YCL cadres receive some military style training training but this has not been widely seen since 2008. Former PLA members who fought during the insurgency era are a minority within the YCL; most members have joined since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2006. YCL members in many areas enjoy relative impunity from arrest, because of the strength of the UCPN-M and its influence over local officials. In addition to political activities the YCL also engages its cadres in activities such as cleaning localities, cleaning rivers and planting trees. On occasion, they have involved themselves in quasi-policing activities like traffic management, night patrolling, demolition of illegal houses, and the capture of alleged gangsters to help the government for a progressive effort.
Imitation of the YCL
After the CPN-Maoist formed its youth organization, other parties formed similar youth organizations. The Terai-based regional party, Madeshi Janaadhikar Forum, formed its Madhesi Youth Force. The UML (United Marxist Leninist) formed its ‘Youth Force’ which was similar to the Young Communist League, Nepal. It was advocating for a ban on organizations like the YCL as a ‘hurdle’ for peace and stability. Ultimately, the CPN-Maoist claimed that mobilization of youth was very much necessary for the enrichment of national integrity and sovereignty in today’s context.
After a defeat in the CA polls held recently which reduced it to a third party, CPN (UML) concluded that their defeat resulted from a lack of youth cadres like the YCL of the CPN-Maoist. Thus, realizing the necessity of such a youth wing, the UML decided to form ‘Youth Force’. The media reported that some of the Nepali Congress cadres formed a similar organization in Dolakha, but the Nepali Congress president denied that such a youth force had been formed and claimed that there is no plan of forming anything like the YCL or Youth Force in the future.