Archive ref no: NCA-20066
Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and Prachanda Path!
MAOIST INFORMATION BULLETIN
Occasional Bulletin of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
No. 12 February 2006
Nepalese people under the leadership of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) have been waging a just war against the semi-feudal semi-colonial reactionary state for last one decade and to establish a democratic republic by overthrowing the present dispensation. For the first time in the history of Nepal people from oppressed class, nationalities and genders have come forward to become the master of their own destiny and CPN (Maoist) as the capable vanguard of revolution is leading Nepal towards a new era by mobilizing these oppressed people in millions.
The Nepalese people have been struggling for democracy for last fifty years. They have been deceived time and again by their leadership, which betrayed the people for their vested interest. Despite all these, the people have been tirelessly struggling for their emancipation. After the formation of CPN (Maoist), the oppressed Nepalese people are no more a hapless, but have been turned into a valiant people taking a correct path and armed with invincible ideology: MLM and Prachanda Path. The people's war has wiped out feudal oppression from the countryside. The war has developed in leap and bound and as prairie fire, covered almost all the country. It has been like a nightmare for the capitalism, which was in very jubilant mood on the demise of Marxism of Khrushchev varieties. The ghost of revolution has been haunting even in Washington. The red flag of revolution is hoisting in a small country, which lies between the two giant countries of the world. This is a region where one fourth of the world population remain. This fact has been alarming for the status quoits all over the world.
Under these circumstances domestic and international reactionary class instigated the royal coup and brought Gynendra on the throne who represents the most reactionary and conservative elements of the ruling class. As this clique considers repression is the only way to prolong their exploitative rule the murderer Gynendra clique is trying to crush the people's movement by military force. For this they have been covertly and overtly backed by US imperialism. The white terrors unleashed upon the people by reactionary army under Gynendra have surpassed all limits. They have been defeated by PLA in every important battle. After seeking humiliated defeat in the hand of PLA they exterminate the unarmed and innocent people including children. They bombard village to village through the choppers provided by "democratic countries". These brutal campaigns have been aptly protested by the people through armed rebellion.
After the 12 points understanding between CPN (Maoist) and seven parliamentary parties the movement that has been launched by those parties has got a new momentum and height. The armed movement and this urban agitation are going hand in hand. The fusion of town and country side has made Gynendra and his henchmen so desperate that they have started exercising the same method of repression upon the parliamentary parties and their movement which were very common in the country side. So, it is the demand of history every party that wants to make the Nepalese people a sovereign should come together to overthrow the monarchy and to usher into the new era of democracy. It is obvious that the different classes which are to join hands to overthrow the monarchy have different outlook and different class interest and will try to march towards their goal once the monarchy is gone. We as a representative of proletariat will march towards socialism and communism from where the history of independent mankind will begin. For that as we have learned from the science of Marxism that we have to pass several labyrinthine path.
We are bringing out this issue of our bulletin on the occasion of 10th anniversary of people's war. Here are two interviews given by Comrade Chairman Prachanda they will help the readers to understand the corresponding class relation in Nepal and the strategy and tactic adopted by our party to meet the challenges ahead. One interview given by Comrade Baburam Bhattarai is also included in this issue. Suggestions and reactions are welcome.
(Here are two most exclusive interviews with Chairman Comrade Prachanda, on the occasion of glorious 10th year's anniversary of people's war in Nepal that keeps up the significant and historical importance for the development of the ideas of 21st century. One is taken by Nepalese journalists Pratik Pradhan and Narayan Wagle for Kantipur Publication on Feb.7, 2006 and another is given to Siddhartha Vardarajan of 'The Hindu', Indian Daily Newspaper, that published out on Feb. 9 & 10, 2006)
1. For Kantipur Publication
THE SUCCESS OF REVOLUTION WILL HAVE IMPACT ON
BILLION OF PEOPLE
Question: What is your bottom line for restoring peace in the country?
Answer The understanding we have reached with the seven political parties is the bottom line at the moment. The 12-point understanding is the minimum base that democratic powers all over the world can accept and the country's crises can have an exit. After reaching the understanding, we extended the cease-fire by a month. Taking the people's verdict is the best democratic process. Once all are committed to move forward with the outcomes of the people's verdict, a political solution won't be distant. The events and history are testimony to the fact that the king and the palace don't want this.
Question: What about your goals?
Answer: Since we belong to a communist party, our maximum goals are socialism and communism. Those are the maximum goals of all those accepting Marxism, Leninism and Maoism as philosophical and ideological targets. Given the international power balance and the overall economic, political and social realities of the country, we can't attain those goals at the moment. We must accept this ground reality. We have mentioned democratic republic and constituent assembly, with the understanding that we should be flexible given the balance in the class struggle and international situation. This is a policy, not tactics. This is a necessary process for the bourgeoisie and the national capitalists alike, let alone the middle-class.
Question: Constituent assembly?
Answer: Yes. Constituent assembly is not a demand of the communists. It's a democratic process established by the capitalists a long time back.
We are not saying this as a tactic. We have adopted this policy due to today's balance in class powers and today's world situation so that the Nepali people won't have to endure any more troubles. On the one hand, those aristocrats in the feudal palace, despite knowing it, call our policy just a tactic.
On the other, the Maoist movement has become the main fear of foreign powers - especially American imperialism. [They] have termed us a "momentary challenge". They have been looking at us strategically, saying that a "Maoist movement is flaring up in a land between giant countries
China and India, it can strike the whole world tomorrow." They are cautiously trying to give out a wrong message in this regard.
Question: What is the process?
Answer: We are even ready to accept restoration of the dissolved House of Representatives if the seven parties say so. The only condition is: don't try to restore the authoritarian power. There are also shadows in the Supreme Court, so don't turn to that either. Restore the House by coming to the people, and we are ready to change the People's Army in a jiffy.
Question: Changing the army?
Answer: We have told the seven parties; let's form a common army by including your people. One of the bases of confusion about us is that we have an army, we have guns. There are confusions about to what extent we are committed to democracy. Let's sit together with all including the seven parties; let's decide together who should be commanders, commissars, chief of the army; let's make a common army. Let's make a national army. We have made this proposal to both Girija and Madhav, saying that this will make clear our understanding on democracy and constituent assembly. Maybe, on the one hand, we haven't been able to clarify the depth and meaning of the issue; and on the other hand, the imperialists and palace elements have spread propaganda against us, thereby creating confusions.
Question: Isn't this proposal of making a common army a ploy to push the parties into the "People's War"?
Answer: The parties always continued to be hopeful of the palace right since 2007 B.S. , they kept on making compromises with the palace. They should have more trust in the people, more trust in the people's power, should have led a people's decisive movement against feudal elements. We say, let's make a common army for constituent assembly and a democratic republic. Let's form a parallel government of the parties and the Maoists. You restore the House, we will support you; invite us for dialogue, we will come; let's make the army common by including all; that will make for an official and legitimate government. That will represent the majority people - the government of the [seven] parties and a party that rebelled. After forming such a government, we can approach the United Nations and the international community, saying 'this is the legitimate government of Nepal'. Since we have this kind of a proposal, how can it be about bringing the parties into the "People's War"? Rather, it's about us going for the parties' politics. It's about us going for a constituent assembly and a democratic republic. [It's about] us going for bourgeois democracy.
Question: How will you manage your arms?
Answer: If all are ready to go for a constituent assembly, an interim government will be formed; the country will head towards elections for the constituent assembly; a ceasefire is undoubtedly attached to this; and it will create a climate for political debate. With the process of holding election by the interim government under way, there will be interaction with the parties and all the political forces in the country including the monarchists. As the election looms, let's maintain reliable international vigil on the Royal Army and the People's Liberation Army. The country will get a direction after the results of the election are out. Once it is clear, let's change the army and the weapons into a national army and national weapons respectively. The weapons of both sides should be put together and both the armies should be transformed into one under the supervision of the United Nations or another reliable agency. That will result in the national army.
Question: Is it your proposal to keep both the armies under international supervision until the election to the constituent assembly and formation later of a common army?
Answer: The army will be formed according to the results of the election. This is what you should be clear about. We will accept it if the constituent assembly says we want monarchy. We are flexible even that far. We will accept it even if the people say we want an active monarch. If the people say 'republic', all should accept that. If the people go for, as has been said, a constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy, we are ready for that. We value people's votes, nobody else's. The army will be reformed as per the people's decision.
Question: So, you want to keep the conflict on to force the king to compromise?
Answer: Flexible words are not enough to pressure the king. If it is thought that the king would agree to revive the House, it is a thought of seeking the king's mercy. What we want to tell the parties is let's directly go for republic. A section of middle-class intellectuals still wants the king to remain in a ceremonial capacity. Even if you want the king to remain in such a capacity, only the call for a republic will create enough pressure for that. The king must come to that point.
Question: Have you received any conditional proposal for a constituent assembly from the government?
Answer: Since February 1 last, we have had no contact whatsoever with the palace or the palace people, hence we haven't received any proposal. We have gotten an indication, through the UN people or other international agencies that they [government] are trying to propose in a roundabout way a conditional constituent assembly. We reject it outright because "conditional" means "compromise", which is not a constituent assembly. A constituent assembly is without any conditions. Before February 1, we had said we would talk to the king, not the parties. We had said we wanted to talk [with him] for progress. After he started to go towards regression with all the powers, there was no room for holding talks with him.
Question: Isn't it self-contradictory to say 'we will talk only with the real power, not with the parties and their government', and later to say 'we won't talk with the king after he announced taking over power'?
Answer: The power of the old regime rested in the king because the main organ of the regime, the army, was under him. He termed us "deviated" and "terrorists" when he staged the February 1 coup. It was proven that he didn't want to solve the problems even after taking absolute powers, by telling the parties off. The doors for talks were closed.
(Com. Bhattarai: He should have said 'okay I have come, let's solve the problems together'! He started saying 'I won't give you the rights you enjoyed till yesterday'. )
Answer: That's the logic. The situation would have altered had he said 'Nobody did really work out, now the Maoists also come for dialogue, I want to give a try for a way out'.
Question: But, don't you think you have been aiding the king's "war against terror" in the name of "entering the city"?
Answer: America has been saying this. The biggest terrorist of the world today is America, and its ruling class. They gave birth to Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Iraq is in the making of another Vietnam, Afghanistan is on the way. They call us terrorist? They have been giving impetus to the purely traditional force of calling the people subjects. You must have met [US Ambassador] Moriarty several times. He exaggerates while talking about us. As if the Maoists will take over, as if they will surround Kathmandu when we are not in that position. What they have been saying in a roundabout way is that the army is nice, but the king didn't understand. Has America tried to make the people sovereign anywhere? Why is America afraid of us? Because it is in an ideological crisis.
Question: Isn't there an ideological crisis within your party?
Answer: We are investigating what mistakes our classes have made in the 20th century. We reviewed three years ago that the mechanism of running the state was not that democratic, was more mechanical, the people started to become monotonous in the 20th century communist movement, especially after the demise of Lenin. We passed a decision that we will go for a new people's democracy consistent with the 21st century. We aren't just saying democratic republic. The think tanks of American imperialism have well understood, though Nepal is a small country they have been forced to say, that this is the most successful revolution of the 21st century. If it's successful in Nepal, it has and will have direct impact on the one billion people of India, and it will also spill over into China. When it affects two or two and a half billion people, it means it will have impact all over the world. American intellectuals have understood this. That's why, they are of the opinion that the Maoists shouldn't prevail, rather it's alright to have an autocratic regime. Don't we know who made Marcos? Who brought Pinochet forward in Chile?
Question: Do you mean to say America is the real support behind the king?
Answer: We think so. Facts substantiate that. Even the parties are in confusion about whether we will prevail. Sometimes, we feel sad. We have told the parties, you take the leadership role, we don't need it. The only thing is that the country should find a way out. We have said that the party leaders can lead the democracy. We are not in a hurry to lead the nation.
Question: You want international mediation. Don't you think Nepal can solve the problems itself?
Answer: On the one hand, the political forces within the country are not able to convince one another. Secondly, it is the geopolitics between two giant countries - China and India. International mediation is essential due to these reasons. We think that the UN is the best option, but we don't stick to that alone. The UN or any other reliable organization will work. It should be agreeable to China, India and the United States. We want no bloodshed. We want the bloodshed to stop and go for a solution, but if we don't take action, he won't give us the rights. Obviously the three-month cease-fire was for finding an exit. The king has said that the "momentary cease-fire" was a ploy to intensify violence. We didn't have that intention. The cease-fire was a pressure for a peaceful way out, not a tactic. Later, we added one more month so as to further pressurize the king for a peaceful way out. He thought - their backbone has been broken, they have announced cease-fire for power accumulation!
Question: Will you go for talks if the government declares a unilateral cease-fire now?
Answer: We can't go for talks only with a ceasefire. We should look into the intention behind the truce. If the ceasefire comes as a card with the intention of defusing the movement, we won't accept it.
Question: Then, what should happen?
Answer: We are open to holding unconditional discussions on all issues including constituent assembly. We will reciprocate positively if the ceasefire seems to be leading to meaningful dialogue. But, we don't see that possibility.
Question: When will this series of violence end?
Answer: I can't answer this question like an astrologer. If things go as we have said, it should end in two to three months. We want to see things crystal clear by April 6. We have been trying to see the civil war has an outlet.
Question: Your armed insurgency is close to reaching 10 years. Have you spotted your mistakes in this period?
Answer: The base of feudalism has been uprooted in the villages. The people are in the forefront of the world population when it comes to political consciousness. When we started the movement, there were not more than 70 full-time members in the party. Our movement grew in multiples wherever there was suppression. Within five years, it became a big power at the national level. So many people came to join us that it became like a people's movement.
Question: Lack of discipline was also a big issue?
Answer: Yes, that's absolutely true. People of all kinds came to join us. A little bit of freedom, anarchy and conservativeness started to become visible. Militarily, after we successfully carried out big operations in Dang, Gam, Achham, Arghakhanchi, Jumla, Satbariya, we had thought the army would lose faster than the police, maybe within a year or two. There was increase in multiples in the military prowess in preparation for capturing Kathmandu. Before that, the rulers of America and India got too serious. Weapons came from America, training from America, American fortification came and American money came. All the things came from America and India. They got strong fortifications. On the one hand, the war got prolonged. There was too much propaganda against us, which we couldn't stop. On the other, we couldn't provide ideological and political training to the new recruits. They came as they were. When we were getting over all these shortcomings, you saw internal rift within us.
Question: Internal rift within your party surfaced around the time February One happened?
Answer: Yes, along with February One, which was the irony?
Question: Have you seen any policy shift by India towards the Maoists?
Answer: We have thought there are certain changes post-February 1. But, India and America don't want to finish the monarchy off. They want the monarchy to come to a compromise. Maybe they are bargaining.
(Comrade Chairman was flanked by Comrade Baburam Bhattarai)
2. For The Hindu Daily
WE SHOULD END NOT ONLY THE AUTOCRATIC MONARCHY BUT MONARCHY ITSELF
Question: Your party has waged a "people's war" in Nepal for 10 years and the anniversary is now coming up. There are some who say that this war - and the Royal Nepal Army's counter-insurgency campaign - has cost the country dearly in terms of the violence and bloodshed that has accompanied it. In your estimation, what has been the main accomplishment of these 10 years?
Answer: For 250 years, our peoples have been exploited under the oppression of feudal lords. The people's war has helped crush the feudal structure in the rural areas. We think this is the main achievement. Also, in the overall sense we feel that in Nepal there is going to be a great leap forward in the socio-economic condition because we are going to lead the country to a democratic republican structure. A political situation has been developed through this process, and we feel this is also a very big achievement of the people's war.
Question: In your party plenum last August in Rolpa, you took a momentous decision - to strive for and participate in multiparty democracy. If you were going to accept multiparty democracy after 10 years of war, why go about this in a roundabout way?
Answer: I want to answer your question in two parts. There is the whole theoretical and ideological question that we are trying to develop, because we want to analyse the experience of revolution and counter-revolution in the 20th century on a new basis. Three years ago we took a decision in which we said how are we going to develop democracy is the key question in the 21st century. This meant the negative and positive lessons of the 20th century have to be synthesised in order for us to move ahead. And three years ago we decided we must go in for political competition. Without political competition, a mechanical or metaphysical attitude will be there. So this time, what we decided is not so new. In August, we took serious decisions on how practically to build unity with the parliamentary political parties. We don't believe that the people's war we initiated was against, or mainly against, multiparty democracy. It was mainly against feudal autocracy, against the feudal structure.
Question: How difficult was it for your party to come to this decision? How difficult was it to build consensus on the need for multiparty democracy within the leadership and cadres?
Answer: An agenda was first presented to the Central Committee on democracy. Then there was an internal debate within the party rank and file for a whole year. After that, the CC plenum unanimously decided that within a definite constitutional framework we have to go in for competition. Without competition, we will not be able to go forward. This was a unanimous decision.
Question: Is this decision recognition by you of the impossibility of seizing power through armed struggle? That because of the strength of the RNA and the opposition of the international community, a new form of struggle is needed in order to overthrow the monarchy?
Answer: Here again there is not only one question. There is specificity to the political and military balance in today's world. This has to be seen. The second thing to be seen is the experience of the 20th century. Third, there is the particular situation in the country - the class, political and power balance. It is by taking these three together that we came to our conclusion. We are talking of multiparty democracy in a specific sense, within a specific constitutional framework. We are not talking about bourgeois parliamentary democracy. This multiparty democracy will be anti-imperialist and anti-feudal. In other words, only within an anti-feudal, anti-imperialist constitutional framework is multiparty democracy possible. That is why armed struggle is also necessary, and unity in action with the other political parties against the monarchy is also a necessity. The socio-economic change we are fighting for is against feudalism and imperialism and it is within the context of that struggle that we are talking of multiparty democracy.
Question: So if the king announces tomorrow that the steps he took last year were wrong and allows free and fair elections under the present Constitution, the Maoists will not take part? Is a new constitutional framework a pre-condition for taking part in elections?
Answer: Yes, you can put it that way. If the king says that I was wrong to have done what I did last year, now come on, let us sit across the table, and then he talks of a free and fair election to a constituent assembly, then we will be ready. Our minimum, bottom line is the election of a constituent assembly, that too under international supervision, either by the United Nations or some other international mediation acceptable to all. Under those circumstances, we will go in for elections and accept whatever the peoples' verdict is. This is our bottom line. But if the king says, come on, make an interim government and hold elections, we will not come forward.
Question: But will you oppose the parties doing that? If the parties agree to go ahead on this interim basis, what will happen to your alliance or agreement with the parties?
Answer: If the king asks them to form a government and the parties go in for parliamentary elections without looking at the demands we have been making for the past 10 years, it would be difficult for us to go along with the parties. Because this is what you had before. The king and the parties were together for 7-8 years. That was the situation. And still there was struggle, because the demand for a constituent assembly is a longstanding one. It is not a demand that came up only today.
Question: How crucial was the August plenum decision on multiparty democracy to paving the way for the 12-point agreement with the parties?
Answer: After the Royal Palace massacre itself, we had made an appeal to the parliamentary parties. There was a general understanding and some meetings were also held because the 2001 royal massacre was against democracy. In the 1990 movement, we were together with the Congress and UML [Unified Marxists-Leninists]. We felt the change that was needed in Nepal was against feudalism but the parliamentary parties were not ready for this. For three years we struggled inside Parliament. For three years we were there. Our 40-point demands were placed but there was not even any discussion on this. So the seeds of our armed struggle were sown inside Parliament, in a manner of speaking. This is a very big difference between us and, say, those in India who say they are waging a people's war. They didn't begin from inside Parliament. We were inside Parliament, so we had good relations with the parliamentary parties for a long time.
The 1990 movement produced limited gains. We could have taken more but got less from the palace because of a compromise. At the time we said the Nepali peoples have been cheated. We said this compromise was bad and that there was a danger of the palace grabbing power again, as had happened in Mahendra's time. We said this from the rostrum of Parliament but the other parties did not have the courage even to act against those elements from the Panchayat system that the Malik commission had identified as criminals. And gradually a situation arose where those elements were able to enter the parties, the government.
After the palace massacre, we said that what we had predicted in 1990 had come to pass, that diehard elements have hatched a conspiracy and come forward. And we appealed to the parties to unite together as we had done in 1990. The parties were in government so it was not possible for them to understand our appeal. But slowly, the king's designs became clearer: he dissolved Parliament, dismissed the government and took direct power. This is when I think the parties realised they had been taken for a ride all this time. This is also when our plenum took concrete steps on the question of multiparty democracy. And our statement stressed that the time had come for all the parliamentary parties to join hands with our movement and civil society to fight against autocracy and monarchy.
At the plenum, we decided we needed to show more flexibility, that it was our duty to do this. So we took concrete steps and declared to the parties, 'You lead, we will support you.' This so-called king - he is not a traditional king and the Nepali people do not accept him as king. He and his group are well-known goons and people see them as a regicidal-fratricidal clique. He is not even a person who is capable of thinking politically. So we told the parties, come on, we want to help you. Before the plenum, we contacted the Nepali Congress and UML leaders and tried to bring them to Rolpa. But this was not possible.
Question: Nowadays, we hear the phrase 'The Maoists will sit on the shoulders and hit on the head.' Does this mean your alliance with the parties is tactical rather than strategic, that when the head - the monarchy - is weakened or defeated, you might then start hitting the shoulder?
Answer: It is not like this. Our decision on multiparty democracy is a strategically, theoretically developed position, that in a communist state, democracy is a necessity. This is one part. Second, our decision within the situation today is not tactical. It is a serious policy. We are telling the parties that we should end not only the autocratic monarchy but monarchy itself. This is not even a monarchy in the traditional way it was in Birendra's time, so we have to finish it. After that, in the multiparty democracy which comes - interim government, constitutional assembly and democratic republic - we are ready to have peaceful competition with you all. Of course, people still have a doubt about us because we have an army. And they ask whether after the constitutional assembly we will abandon our arms. This is a question. We have said we are ready to reorganise our army and we are ready to make a new Nepal army also. So this is not a tactical question.
Question: The 12-point agreement suggests you and the political parties have met each other half-way. They have agreed to a constitutional assembly and you have dropped your insistence on a republic.
Answer: We have not dropped our demand for a democratic republic. But to achieve that minimum political slogan, we have said we are prepared to go through free and fair elections to a constituent assembly. There shouldn't be any confusion that we have now agreed to a ceremonial monarchy. Some people have tried to draw this conclusion from the 12-point agreement but even at the time we explained to the parties that our slogan is a democratic republic. Earlier, we were saying people's democratic republic but this does not mean we have dropped that goal either. It's just that according to today's power balance, seeing the whole situation and the expectation of the masses, and that there [should] not be bloodshed, we also responsibly believe that to get there too we will do so through peaceful means.
Question: So the struggle for "people's democracy" will also be peaceful?
Answer: We will go for the goal of the people's democracy through peaceful means. Today, we are talking of a democratic republic and our understanding with the parties is that the way to realise this is the constituent assembly. At that time, any other party would be free to call for a ceremonial monarchy, some may be for constitutional monarchy - such a thing is possible with the seven parties.
Question: But whatever the outcome, you are ready to accept it.
Answer: We are ready to accept whatever is the outcome. This we are saying in clear-cut language.
Question: Your three-month ceasefire, and then the one month extension, did a lot to improve the profile and image of the Maoists, which had been damaged by certain incidents like the Madi bus blast. What was the logic behind that ceasefire and what are the roadblocks in the way of declaring another ceasefire in the near future?
Answer: When we called our ceasefire, there was no 12-point agreement with the parties nor was there any particular political or moral pressure on us from them or civil society. But we acted based on the whole political situation, because on our side too, some mistakes were increasing, from below, in the implementation of our policy and plan. At the lower level, some mistakes were happening such as the Madi bomb blast. So with the middle class our relationship was getting worse. Earlier, there was an upward trend in that relationship but we felt there was a danger of the graph falling. We were saying things from the top but still this was not being implemented. So we wanted the middle classes to be with us, and put out our political message to the broad masses in a new way. We also wanted to tell the international community that Gyanendra is not a monarch; these are autocratic, fascist elements that are keener on bloodshed and violence than anybody else. We wanted to demonstrate this, and rehabilitate our image with the masses. So for these reasons we decided to go for a ceasefire.
As for the specific timing, there were two factors. The UN General Assembly was going to be held and the so-called king was going to go there. There he would have said he was for peace and democracy. Such a notorious element was going to go and create confusion over there. This possibility also needed to be crushed. This was a question. So we thought of a ceasefire as one way politically to hit out at him.
It was only after the ceasefire that the dialogue with the political parties began. And then a conducive atmosphere got created for the 12-point agreement. We also wanted to send a message to the international community that we were different from the way we were being projected ideologically. For example, right now we are having discussions with the European Union and with others, but among all the international forces, U.S. imperialism is the most dogmatic and sectarian element. The U.S. ruling classes are dogmatic. They don't understand what is happening. We are trying to look at the world in a new way, to change in a new way, and we wanted to send out this message. And in this regard, during the ceasefire, we were quite successful.
Right from the outset, we knew the monarch wanted us to abandon the ceasefire immediately. He was under so much pressure; he had to cancel his programme of going to the U.N. He was so politically isolated that he was desperate to provoke us to break the ceasefire. We knew that we had to sacrifice and ensure that for three months at least it was upheld because there were festivals, and we wanted to develop our psychological relations, spiritual relations with the masses. When we extended the ceasefire by a month, it became clearly established that this so-called monarch does not want a political solution, does not want peace. He is a bloodthirsty element, a fascist and autocrat. And when we finally ended the ceasefire, we clearly stated that if a forward-looking atmosphere for a political solution emerges, and all the political forces are ready for peace and democracy, then in that situation at any time we can again announce a ceasefire, and sit down for negotiations. But now, that situation does not obtain.
Question: As a first step, are you prepared to join together with the parliamentary parties, with Mr. Koirala and Madhav Nepal, and go and talk face-to-face with the king to discuss the future of Nepal?
Answer: Immediately after the 12-point agreement, I had clearly said that if there is a unanimous understanding with the parties that we should go and talk to the king, then we will go. We are not prepared to meet the king alone, and we are also requesting the parties that they should also not go alone. Nothing will come of it. Only if we act collectively can we achieve anything. The alliance has to be strengthened and taken forward. For example, right now we have this huge drama of municipal elections. More than two-thirds of the seats will be vacant, and still he is trying to stage a drama.
Question: But rather than the Maoists calling a seven-day bandh, wouldn't it have been better as a tactic for you and the parties to have given a united call for the political boycott of the elections. That way, the king would not get the opportunity to claim the elections were a farce because of Maoist threats.
Answer: Yes. I agree with what you are saying. That would have been better. When the 12-point agreement was reached, there was a second understanding that within a week or two, we eight parties - the seven party alliance and the Maoists - would issue a joint statement appealing to the masses to boycott elections and stage mass demonstrations. But that has not proved possible.
Answer: Because the parties' leadership is a little hesitant. They are perhaps a little afraid that if they join with the Maoists and issue a joint statement for boycott, there could be greater repression on them. I think this could be a factor, though we have not had face-to-face discussions on this with them.
Question: Some feel that the Maoists' military actions are reducing the political space for the parties. For example, a few days before the parties were planning a big demonstration in Kathmandu, the Maoists attacked a police station in Thankot and the king got the opportunity to impose curfew, thereby ensuring the demonstration failed. Have you considered what actions you need to take so that your political space also increases but the parties don't feel squeezed between the king and you?
Answer: I agree a way has to be found. This is a serious and complicated question. When the 12-point agreement was reached, there was a need for continuous interaction between us and them. There was need for several meetings. Only then could we establish some synchronicity between their movement and ours. This did not happen. Despite this, we told the parties through other mediums that whether we stage actions or not, the king is still going to move against you. This is the same king, the same goons - he is also a very big smuggler - who made sure we couldn't peacefully demonstrate. When we went for negotiations in Kathmandu and our team was there, we decided to have a big meeting there. Sher Bahadur Deuba was the Prime Minister at the time. But the RNA and Gyanendra insisted we could not have such a rally and threatened curfew. They compelled us to move the meeting to Chitwan. So we told Girija and Madhav that even if we had done nothing in Thankot, they would not have allowed any big demonstration. Curfew would have been imposed anyway. Instead, Thankot has put Gyanendra under greater pressure.
Question: You mentioned the RNA and I would like your assessment: Does the king control the RNA or does the RNA control the king?
Answer: This is a very interesting question. Right now, in fact, this is precisely what we are discussing within our party and outside. Until now, it seemed the balance was 50-50. Sometimes the RNA runs the king, and sometimes the king runs the RNA. But it seems as if we are now going towards a situation where the RNA is in the driving seat. It seems as if power in the hands of Gyanendra is decreasing and he is doing what the RNA dictates. This seems to be the emerging situation but we cannot say this with facts. But looking at the overall situation, it seems that Gyanendra is going down the path laid out by the RNA. One thing is clear. He became king after the royal massacre - and it is clear that without the RNA, that massacre could never have happened, the Army core team was in the Narayanhiti palace and they are the ones who engineered the massacre. So he was made king in the same way as before, during the Rana days, when Tribhuvan fled and came to India and Gyanendra as a small boy was put on the throne. So there is no question of his going beyond the script dictated by the RNA. And this small clique of feudal aristocrats designed the royal massacre and is dominant. The manner in which he became king obliges Gyanendra to follow their direction.
Question: I too was in Kathmandu immediately after the palace massacre to cover the story. Like many reporters, I was initially suspicious of the Dipendra theory but later, after managing to meet some of the closest relatives of those who died, who spoke to actual survivors like Ketaki Chester and others who cannot really be termed as people connected to any monarchical faction with a particular agenda. And they all said it was Dipendra who committed the crime.
Answer: This is impossible. Of course, the clique has managed to establish the story amongst its own circles, among people who may be neutral as you say. They have established it in their class but that is not the reality. You know how different stories were put out immediately. First that the guns went off automatically, then another story was made. There was even an effort to suggest the Maoists had made a surprise attack. In the end, they pinned it on Dipendra. So the question arises, if it was so clear-cut, why didn't this story come out in the beginning? But my main logic is not this. If you look at the whole history of [crown prince] Paras - he was there at the time - now the whole history of Paras is well-known second, the role of Gyanendra in the 1990 movement. He had a big role then - he wanted to shoot down 2,000 people in Kathmandu and control the movement through force, he was a die-hard element. Even Surya Bahadur Thapa used to call them the bhoomigat giroh, an underground clique, and their leader was Gyanendra.What kind of goon Paras was - this is also known. For more than a month, the massacre was planned and Gyanendra based himself outside. So I don't think for even a moment that it was Dipendra. And in any case, the Nepali people simply refuse to believe this story.
Question: Let us say a situation is created for a constituent assembly. In the run-up to that, the People's Liberation Army is not going to lay down its arms. Is it not possible that the parliamentary parties will feel themselves threatened by your dependence on arms? What kind of guarantees can you give in the run-up to any election that there will be no obstacle placed by you or the PLA in the political mobilisation by the parties?
Answer: When we had discussions and had an agreement last year - and we hope to meet again and take things forward after these municipal elections - we said we understand you have doubts and reservations about us and our army. We want a political solution to Nepal's problems, a democratic solution. So we made a proposal that you rehabilitate Parliament, we will support you. A two-thirds majority of MPs is with the Nepali Congress, UML and smaller parties. Call a meeting and declare that Parliament has been reinstated, that this is the legitimate parliament and that what Gyanendra is doing is illegitimate and illegal. Do this and then set up a multiparty government. We will not be part of it but will support it. And then you invite us for negotiations and we will come forward. After that, there will be a move to set up an interim government, and the main aim of that government will be to have elections for a constituent assembly.
In this rehabilitation and restoration of Parliament, there is no need to have anything to do with the king. He would have become illegal anyway. He has violated the constitution and also people's expectations for peace and democracy. So he would be illegal, your parliament would be legal and we would fully accept the legality of your parliament. We will come for negotiations with your leadership. Under your leadership, we will be in the interim government.
As for the RNA, you should appeal to the democratic elements within it by saying the king has violated the constitution, and the expectations of the masses, you come over to this side, this is the legal government and it is your responsibility to support it. And then the king should be given an ultimatum of a week or two weeks - that he should move back to the status quo ante before February 1, 2005 and agree to elections for a constituent assembly. If he doesn't agree, we would then abolish the monarchy. And we would tell the international community, this is the legitimate government; please stop recognising or supporting him. Ours is a legitimate government and this should be under the leadership of Girija Prasad Koirala. We are ready to support this.
Under such a situation, the democratic elements of RNA will be there, and so will the PLA, so we will organise the army as a new Nepal army. At that point, the problem will not be our weapons. The problem of arms and weapons is with the RNA which for 250 years has been loyal to the feudal lords. That is the problem. Our army has only been around for 10 years. This is not a problem. If there is a political solution, we are prepared to change that too. This is the first proposal that we have put forward. We will abolish the monarchy, there will be an insurrection (bidroh), the kingship will be over and then we will have the peaceful reorganisation of the army.
This is one way to deal with this problem and we are seriously putting it forward. It is revolutionary, it is viable, it is possible. It is precisely in this way that it is necessary to end the monarchy in Nepal. This is our first proposal and I feel the parties are not ready for this.
Question: What you are proposing is that the parliamentary parties stage a revolution!
Answer: Yes, but we feel their role can be a historic one. But they are not ready. The second way is also what we have been discussing, that the U.N. or some other credible body will supervise things. The RNA will be in the barracks and the PLA will also be under supervision. Both armies and arms will be under international supervision and will not enter the fray. Then there will be elections for a constitutional assembly. Our army will not interfere in the process.
Question: But what form will this international supervision take? Will it include foreign troops?
Answer: No troops. There can be a militia or police, which we create only for election purposes.
Question: Who will be part of this militia?
Answer: We have not gone into such details - there can be the cadres of the different parties, but all without firearms, to manage security for the elections. So there will be elections for the assembly and whatever verdict of the masses comes, it is on that basis that the army has to be reorganised. If the republic result comes, then the RNA's generals and commanders will have to go and the interim government would appoint as generals officers who are loyal to democratic values. If a constitutional monarchy wins, then there is the danger that the old generals will remain. So my point is that the army can be changed. This is the underlying idea behind the 12-point agreement and the parties also agree with this.
Question: So you are saying the problem of the PLA and its arms is not a big problem.
Answer: It is certainly not a problem the way people outside believe. If there is political will on our side and the parties, it can be solved.
Question: But you concede there is a history, which is why the parties are suspicious.
Answer: Yes there is, but we are talking about this too. There have been attacks by us on them, and we had seized property. Whatever had been taken from the Congress leadership has been returned - land and property - UML leadership too. So we are trying to build an understanding. If the parties' leaders say that in the past the Maoists attacked us, then we can also say that the RNA army was deployed against us when you were in government and so many of our comrades were killed. Whatever we may have done, the other side did so much more and this also has to be accounted for. But if we start talking like this, we will not be able to solve the major problem. If we have to make a breakthrough, then we should both review our history. We have to review our mistakes but you have to as well, because we have a common enemy - feudal aristocracy. We have to defeat this enemy and in consonance with democratic values we have to reorganise the army and state.
Question: How do you see the role of India today? Last year, when the King seized power, India took a tough stand against him which surprised many. Today, this policy has its critics but the bottom line is that the Indian Government does not seem to regard the Nepal Maoists as illegitimate in the way that the king and the U.S. regard them.
Answer: In the past, India's role was not good. It was a policy of total alignment with the king. Last year, after February 1, when the situation changed in a big way, the role of the Indian authorities strikes us as positive. There is now a tough stand against autocracy. Still, the two-pillar theory [that Nepal's stability rests equally on constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy] persists and the Indian authorities have not officially abandoned this theory. They haven't said there is need for only one pillar. So officially, India is still sticking to the two-pillar theory and we want the Indian authorities to change this theory. They are right to support the democratic movement, but sticking to the two-pillar theory causes confusion.
Question: But if India abandons it, wouldn't the King accuse the Indians of interfering in Nepal's affairs, and then he will accuse the Maoists of being agents of India.
Answer: We do not think such a thing is possible. During the 1990 movement, when Rajiv Gandhi imposed a blockade on Nepal, the Nepali people did not oppose the blockade because it was in the context of the blockade that the democratic movement picked up speed and advanced very fast. If India is in favour of the democratic movement and a forward-looking political solution, then it will not be considered intervention. But if India supports regressive forces, this would be called intervention. Exertion of external pressure in favour of the masses is never regarded as interference. This is how it seems to us. The people of Nepal will not see this as intervention.
For example, some political leaders came from India recently to show solidarity with the movement. Gyanendra tried illegally to detain them at the airport, calling it intervention. But more than 99 per cent of Nepali people did not regard that as intervention. They saw it as fraternal assistance. Of course, when a Hindu fundamentalist like this Singhal comes to Nepal, the King welcomes him. When they crown him 'King of the Hindus', he doesn't call it interference, but when political leaders come and say there should be democracy, he says this is interference. So the anger of people has grown against the King, not India. This is why we feel it is time for India to abandon the two-pillar theory.
Question: If tomorrow you were to meet Manmohan Singh, what would you ask him to do?
Answer: First, change this two-pillar theory. The Nepali people are trying to end the monarchy and you should end your relationship with it. Second, release all our comrades who are in prison in India. We are fighting for genuine multiparty democracy but they are imprisoned there, in Patna, Siliguri, Chennai. If you release them all, a message will go out. And if you feel the Naxalite movement in India is a problem for you, we feel we are trying to deal with the problems in Nepal in a new way, so if you release our comrades and we are successful in establishing multiparty democracy in Nepal, then this will be a very big message for the Naxalite movement in India. In other words, the ground will be readied for them to think in a new political way. Words are not enough; we need to validate what we are saying by establishing that democracy. Third, once a democratic republic is established in Nepal, then the historical doubts that have existed in the relations between Nepal and India can be ended once and for all. So for all these reasons, you should strongly support the movement for democracy.
Question: In many ways, the United States has emerged as the king's strongest backer. How do you evaluate Washington's role?
Answer: Their role has not been good. After February 1, India's role has been positive - for example the agreement we were able to reach with the political parties, I do not think it is likely that the Indian authorities knew nothing about this. But the U.S. role from the beginning has been negative and they are still trying to affect a compromise between the monarch and the political parties against the Maoists. Despite the fact that we are talking of pushing multiparty democracy, the U.S. has decided our movement and alliance has to be crushed. So they have a negative role.
Question: What is the American interest in being soft on the king?
Answer: It is not that they are afraid of what might happen in Nepal. Rather, their strategy is against the Indian and Chinese masses and also, I think, against the Indian and Chinese authorities. The U.S. has a grand strategy, and Bush is talking of China and India as big economic powers and even as threats. Perhaps they see Nepal as a country that is between these two countries and believe that if the situation here does not give rise to forces which are in step with themselves, then there could be a problem. So the U.S. is looking at Nepal from the strategic point of view. It is not that they have any economic interest here. Political control is the key, so they want to strengthen the king.
Question: What about the attitude of China? Some people in India argue that if India continues to take a tough stand against the king, he will turn to China for help and Beijing will benefit.
Answer: Earlier, we had a doubt, that perhaps China might be behind the king, that China would try and take advantage. But then we analysed the situation and came to the conclusion that China would not play this role. China's relations with India are improving and China will not want to jeopardise such a big interest by backing the Nepal king. And in the end, I think our analysis has been proved correct. Recently, when the Indian Foreign Secretary, Shyam Saran, went to Beijing, he had talks, and a few days later, for the first time, the Chinese authorities issued a statement that they are worried about the situation inside Nepal and that it needs a careful resolution. Until then, Beijing had always maintained that what was happening inside Nepal was an internal problem. Today, China has no interest in antagonising India to build a relationship with the king. This is our analysis. And it looks like India and China could have a common approach towards Nepal. Certainly, a common approach is needed. If China and India do not work together, there will be a big problem not only for now but the future. So they need to have an understanding in favour of democracy, in favour of the people of Nepal. As far as U.S. interests are concerned, they are neither in favour of Indian or Chinese masses. So at the political level, all of us must come together to counter them, we should not fall under their trap.
Question: How do you explain for the contradictory nature of some of U.S. Ambassador Moriarty's statements? Last year, he did use tough language against the king in his speech to the Institute of Foreign Affairs.
Answer: The U.S. from the start believes the Maoists are a more immediate threat than the king. Even in the most recent statement from the State Department, they said the king should immediately open talks with the parties to deal with the Maoists. And this is the product of their vested interest. If the Bush administration's intentions were good, there is no reason to regard us as a threat. If its intention is in favour of democracy and solving Nepal's political problems, then there is no reason to see us as a threat especially when we are saying we are for multiparty democracy and are willing to accept the verdict of a constituent assembly.
We are glad with the new situation that is emerging after Shyam Saran went to China; it seems the situation can change. Our movement is also going forward and I think in 2-3 months, if the struggle continues, then there is a real chance of ending the kingship once and for all and making a democratic republic in Nepal. This is the best outcome for China and India, and everyone else. The U.S. does not want this. They want to maintain the monarchy at all costs. Moriarty consistently has been speaking against the Maoists. He is connected to the Asia-Pacific military command of the U.S. He is not a political man. And we know that although his views are different from some in the U.S. establishment like, say, Senator Leahy, but overall, the position of the U.S. authorities is not in favour of democracy and Nepal people.
Question: Has your party put behind it the differences which emerged last year between yourself and Baburam Bhattarai?
Answer: There was a problem and we solved it so well that the unity in our party is stronger than ever before. Our problems were not of the kind the media wrote about. We had an ideological debate about how to evaluate the 20th century. Why did the communist movement suffer such an enormous setback? Why did the Russian revolution get overcome by counter-revolution? Why did China also go down that path? This was a debate within the central committee for many years. There were other problems linked to shades of opinion within the party - like the Madi blast - but the purpose was to sort out our future plan. This was the purpose of the debate. But the timing was such that these things happened after February 1. If the timing had not been so bad, there wouldn't have been that much propaganda. But the time the king took over was also the time the debate in our party sharpened.
Question: The question was raised of a cult of personality in the party. As you know, any objective evaluation of the experience of the 20th century communist movement has to consider the cult of personality as certainly one of the factors in the reversals.
Answer: That is correct. But I want to clarify one thing. Between Dr. Bhattarai and me, there was never any debate on the issue of leadership. He has never challenged my leadership. On the issue of leadership personally, there has never been a difference. There were differences on ideological questions, about what we should do now, and there was a debate. And this debate we solved in the Rolpa plenum in August. We took it to a higher level and our unity has become stronger.
On the issue of leadership I want to say that our party will be the first communist party in the 21st century which has picked up on a clue from the 20th century - where it had got stuck - and we are going to open it. At our plenum, we placed a resolution on the question of political power and leadership. That when we go for state power and are in power, then we will not do what Stalin or Mao did. Lenin did not have time to deal with issues of power. Although Stalin was a revolutionary, his approach, was not as scientific as it should have been, it was a little metaphysical, and then problems came. We also evaluated Mao in the plenum. If you look at his leadership from 1935 to 1976 - from when he was young to when he was old and even speaking was difficult - must he remain Chairman and handle everything? What is this? So we decided that when we are in power, the whole team of our leadership will not be part of day-to-day power. Not just me but our team. Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Badal, Mahara, others, we have a leadership team which arose from the midst of the struggle. When we go to Kathmandu, we will not be involved in power struggles or day-to-day power. That will be for the new generation, and we will train that generation. This is a more scientific approach to the question of leadership. If we don't do this, then we will have a situation where as long as Stalin is alive, revolution is alive, as long as Mao is alive, revolution is alive.
This will be a big sacrifice for our leadership. Of course it does not mean we will be inactive or retire from politics. Our leadership team will go into statesmanship. We are hoping that by doing this we will solve a very big ideological problem of the communist movement. This is not only a technical question but a big ideological question. There can be no question of concentrating power in the hands of any individual or group. When we placed this resolution before the plenum, then our entire leadership team gained confidence in themselves, the movement and the line. Our unity has become much stronger. Now we are in an offensive mood.
We feel we have contributed to the ideological development of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Traditionally, in the international communist movement there are two types of revisionism - right revisionism of class collaboration, and the other, dogmato-revisionism, of turning certain ideas into a dogma and getting stuck to them. This is more among the Maoists. Those who call themselves Maoists are more prone to dogmato-revisionism, and we have to fight against this too.
Question: To what extent do you think the logic of your line on multiparty democracy applies also to the Maoist movements in India?
Answer: We believe it applies to them too. We want to debate this. They have to understand this and go down this route. Both on the questions of leadership and on multiparty democracy, or rather multiparty competition, those who call themselves revolutionaries in India need to think about these issues. And there is a need to go in the direction of that practice. We wish to debate with them on this. If revolutionaries are not going to look at the need for ideological development, then they will not go anywhere.
Question: The Indian police agencies say you are providing weapons and training to the Indian Maoists but here you are saying they should go in for multiparty competition.
Answer: There is no question of us giving anything. They blame us for Madhubani, Jehanabad, but we have no relationship of this kind with them.
Question: What is your evaluation of the recent political developments in Latin America - with what is happening in Venezuela with the Bolivarian movement, in Chile, Bolivia?
Answer: We feel there is a new wave of revolution on the horizon. The first wave began with the Russian revolution and ended with the Cultural Revolution but now it looks like the second wave could be starting. Dogmatism and ideological stagnation is evident in the U.S. Bush is in league with Christian fundamentalists. Throughout Latin America there is resentment and hatred against imperialism, from Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile, and an explosion can come at any time. The encirclement of America has begun. But I also believe this explosion can start from South Asia. Nepal and India have a big role to play. The U.S. will not be able to control things. And the developments in Latin America are a good augury.
Question: In conclusion, tell us a little about yourself. How old are you now? When did you join the movement? Where did you study?
Answer: I am 52 and have been in the movement full time for the past 34 years. I drew close to communism when I was 16, as a student in high school, and became a whole-timer when I was 28. I did a B.Sc. at the Chitwan agriculture university and was studying for a Masters in Public Administration when there was a big movement around the time of the referendum Birendra was organising. That is when I joined the movement, and couldn't complete my course. Since then I have been active, most of the time underground.
Question: And family life? Are you married?
Answer: Yes. My family, of course, is also in the movement.
Question: Thank you very much for this interview.
Answer: Thank you.
MONARCHY WON'T BE ABLE TO SURVIVE FOR LONG
(This is an interview with Comrade Baburam Bhattarai to freelance journalist, Boris Mabillard, Geneva on Dec. 19, 2005)
Question: Marx and Engels based their theories on an urban proletariat, Lenin used to see peasants as class enemies. But the situation in Nepal is quite different. How did you adapt these ideas to the Nepalese context?
Answer: It is not historically correct to say that Marx & Engels relied only on the urban proletariat and Lenin 'saw peasants as class enemies'. The founding fathers of scientific socialism obviously gave prominence to the role of the industrial proletariat but they never denied the necessary but subsidiary role of the peasants in the revolution. In fact they always talked of the need of worker-peasant alliance for a successful revolution. It may be recalled that the historic defeat of the Paris Commune in 1871 was attributed by Marx & Engels to, among others, the failure of the Paris proletariat to unite with the peasants in the French countryside. When the centre of revolution shifted towards the East, first to Russia and then to China & other Third World countries, where there was lesser industrial development, lesser class differentiation and larger chunk of the peasantry, the role of peasants vis-à-vis the workers went on increasing in a proportionate manner. This is evident from Lenin's stress on worker-peasant alliance in his famous work "Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Russian Revolution", which Mao further developed in his concept of New Democracy in semi-colonial & semi-feudal countries like China. Nepal being a typical semi-colonial & semi-feudal country, with an overwhelming majority of peasants, it is just inconceivable to imagine any revolutionary change without the active participation of peasants. Of course, as a class of petty proprietors peasants cannot lead themselves but have to be led by urban workers, which may be small in numbers but would be more advanced & revolutionary in class consciousness. Also it must be noted that more than class origin it is class consciousness that is decisive, and a person of peasant class origin can acquire proletarian consciousness in a revolutionary Party and through revolutionary practice. This is what is being practiced in Nepal right now.
Question: Do you think farmers can accept ideas of collectivism? In a sense, every farmer is potentially a small owner and businessman. Will you accept small market economy?
Answer: Being a petty proprietor, the peasant is by nature individualistic and against collectivism. But constant exploitation & oppression by the landlords, usurers and state functionaries, force the peasants to think and act collectively. Hence a revolutionary Party trains the peasants step by step, first to fight collectively against the common enemy and then to produce collectively as well. But one has to be very patient in inculcating collectivism to the peasants, first through cooperatives, then to collective farms and finally to socialization of production. As we are now in the phase of the democratic revolution, i.e. a bourgeois revolution with the right to private property, we are not aiming at any form of collectivization. Hence in this phase, we will definitely accept market economy. Our current slogan to the peasants is, 'land to the tiller', and nothing more.
Question: With the exception of Rolpa district, you haven’t implemented your social ideas (collective farms…), when do you intend to do it?
Answer: Since we are in the phase of a democratic revolution, we just want to liberate the peasants from semi-colonial and semi-feudal exploitation right now. In this phase we are aiming at carrying out a radical land reform based on the principle of 'land to the tiller'. Simultaneously we are promoting cooperative movement among the small peasants. In Rolpa we are developing some model collective farms for demonstration. Only when the agenda of radical land reform is completed, can we move forward to cooperativization, collectivization & socialization in that order. But mind you, this wont be done forcibly but in a democratic manner and with due consent of the peasants.
Question: In Rolpa, a big fresco shows at the same level Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao and Stalin. Do you really think brilliant intellectuals like the three first ones can be put at the same level with a stupid, brutal and autocratic leader like Stalin? Could you tell me your personal thoughts about these five leaders?
Answer: We can understand people's general aversion towards Stalin. But it would be a gross injustice to history if he were discarded root & barrel and be branded as "stupid, brutal and autocratic". Of course, grave mistakes were committed by him, particularly in resolving contradictions within the Party and among the people. Also he taught metaphysics to a whole generation of proletarian revolutionaries rather than dialectical materialism, and the international communist movement is still grappling to free the science Marxism-Leninism from the rigid dogma he reduced it into. But one cannot blame only Stalin for these historical mistakes as Khruschov & company vainly tried to do. Also one should give due credit to Stalin for serving the interests of workers, peasants and the poor of the world as long as he lived and for saving humanity from the fascist onslaught during the Second World War. Hence it would be appropriate to evaluate Stalin as 70 percent correct and 30 percent wrong as done by Mao.
As regards to Mao, one has to relate with the complex historical context and the type of extremely backward society he was dealing with to understand his greatness and original contribution to the science of revolution. His insight into the revolutionary dynamics of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal societies and his theories of People's War, his philosophical exposition of the universal laws of contradictions and above all his concept of continuous revolution even in socialist societies, are simply marvellous and constitute and inseparable part of the proletarian science of revolution. In fact it was Mao who defended and developed the theories expounded by Marx, Engels and Lenin, by freeing them from both the revisionist vulgarizations and distortions and Stalinist rigidity. It is quite unfair and unfortunate that quite a many western Marxists fail to understand the real Mao and tend to project or dismiss him as a rustic simpleton. It would be worthwhile to extricate revolutionary Marxism from this arrogant Euro-centrism.
Question: Some of the biggest problems in communist regimes were first autocracy, second ego and third cult of personality. Even the cleverest leaders failed to ensure the posterity of their ideas. When Mao died, the system collapsed. I’m afraid that no one will keep on the fight when Castro will disappear. What would happen if Prachanda disappeared? What have you done to ensure the future of your ideas?
Answer: Yes, you have raised a very pertinent question. But it would be misleading to pose the question only as a problem of "first autocracy, second ego and third cult of personality". That would be too simplistic and certainly nihilistic. The real problem is the development of a correct theory of fusion of ideological-political line and organisational leadership and a system of generating a continuous flow of revolutionary successors. This is also related to the question of practicing democratic centralism within the Party and the dictatorship of the proletarian class (and not only Party and the leader) in the state system and society. Our Party has summed up that the question of proletarian leadership has been one of the most significant subjective factors, apart from other objective factors, for the downfall of socialist regimes in the twentieth century. Keeping this in mind our Party Chairman, Com. Prachanda, has recently put forward the proposition for a great debate within & outside the Party that the practice of life-long leadership should be abandoned and at a certain stage after the revolution a new group of leaders should be handed over the leadership of the Party and the state so that their authority would be established before the old leadership is gone for ever.
Question: Do you think cult of personality is a necessity for communist regimes or will you try to avoid this tendency?
Answer: Revolutionary Marxism does not view anything in absolute or abstract terms. Rather everything should be seen dialectically and in concrete terms. Accordingly the question of 'cult of the personality' should also be seen in historical and concrete terms. No revolution has ever succeeded without the role of good leaders, who can synthesize and fulfil the historical needs of their times. Revolutionary leaders appear in the horizon of history as a matter of both necessity and chance. In other words, leaders are a historical necessity, but who such leaders would be is just a question of chance. What should be kept in mind is that a leader must be seen as a centralized expression of collectivity and the leader should be subsumed under collectivity and not the other way round. The problem arises when certain leaders start placing themselves above collectivity, and that is certainly against revolutionary Marxism. Also, the other tendency of completely negating the role of leaders leads to anarchism & nihilism and causes great damage to revolution. We are cautious of and fighting against both these erroneous tendencies.
Question: Many communist regimes collapsed in Eastern Europe. How do you explain this? What mistakes have occurred? What will you do to avoid them?
Answer: Both objective and subjective factors should be considered while probing into the causes of collapse of socialist regimes in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Objectively, in a concrete world dominated by imperialism it is very challenging, if not impossible, to build socialism in one or several countries. The very dynamics of the process of expanded reproduction of capital keeps on battering the nation-state boundary and sucking everything under its fold. Secondly, habits die hard and even in socialist societies the defeated old bourgeois forces and new exploiting classes rise and consolidate themselves in course of time, if there is no continuous revolution under the leadership of the proletariat. In the concrete case of Eastern Europe, both these factors were in operation, and in addition there was the gross subjective error in practicing socialist democracy as envisioned by Marx, Engels and Lenin. The socialist democracy should have surpassed the formal democracy of the bourgeoisie and empowered the real workers and masses of the people. On the contrary, the post-revolutionary regimes there gradually degenerated into a bureaucratic capitalist dictatorship ruling over the masses of the people. The new revolutionaries of the 21st century should draw appropriate lessons from these experiences and make new advances particularly on the question of dictatorship and democracy. Our Party has already adopted a resolution entitled "Development of democracy in the 21st century" and has put it for discussion both inside & outside the Party. [See "Some Important Documents of CPN (Maoist)", 2004].
Question: Is there any big wave that brings market economy everywhere? Is it just accidental or is it the sense of history? In other terms, communism has replaced capitalism, but now globalization is replacing everything, don’t you think?
Answer: There is no need to get swayed by the big hype about 'globalization'. Globalization is nothing but another form of imperialism which is in existence for the last hundred years or so. You may just say, the so-called globalization is the imperialism of the era of predominance of finance capital. Furthermore, globalization is not the expression of strength but weakness of imperialism. Any numbers of statistics produced by the imperialist financial institutions themselves establish that imperialism is in deep structural crisis since the seventies of the last century and the crisis is ever deepening and widening. Globalization is just a response to this crisis and the experiences of the past thirty years prove that imperialism is headed towards greater crisis in future. One should also not forget that globalization of capital is bound to create its own nemesis in the form of globalization of resistance of the oppressed nations and peoples, ultimately preparing an objective basis for global revolution. Hence in our view Mao's formulation of imperialism as a 'paper tiger' holds good even today and there is no need to be cowed down by the false triumphalist propaganda of world imperialism.
Question: When taking power, will it be possible to ignore the rest of the global world? Will you maintain political and economical relations with your neighbouring states? With Europe? With USA?
Answer: We are not narrow parochial or chauvinists but proletarian internationalists. Hence we never think of ignoring the rest of the global world while making revolution or making peace. We will definitely try to maintain political & economical relations with all the countries of the world including our immediate neighbours, Europe and the USA. This is already formally enunciated in the 75-point policy and programme of the United Revolutionary People's Council (URPC), an embryonic central people's government headed by the CPN (Maoist).
Question: There are differences between Prachanda and you concerning the relationship with India. Are your different approaches complementary or contradictory?
Answer: There is no difference of any sort between Com. Prachanda and myself concerning the relationship with India. Of course, in the past there were certain rumours in the media to this effect and some of our own public utterances had fuelled such rumours. Particularly one audio tape recording of internal instructions by Com. Prachanda that was released to the media by the royal army spokesperson in May 2005 had fuelled such speculation. Com.Prachanda has subsequently made self-criticism for the said tape episode and we have both realised and the Party has formally passed a resolution unanimously that there was no basis for doubting and branding each other pro-Indian or pro-King. The Party is now unanimous on the policy to be adopted towards India or other international power centres.
Question: What about Indian influence in Nepal?
Answer: There has been long-standing unequal and dominance-dependence relationship between India & Nepal since the days of infamous Sugauli-treaty of 1815-16. This unequal relation has been perpetuated through the 1950 Indo-Nepal treaty in recent times. Without progressive restructuration of this semi-colonial relation, it is just impossible for Nepal to march forward on the path of self-reliant development. So one of the key issues of our revolutionary movement has been to break the unholy alliance between the reactionary ruling classes of Nepal & India and build cordial relations between the people of the two countries based on equality and mutual benefit.
Question: It seems that recently India has changed its policy towards Maoists. In what sense?
Answer: The autocratic monarchy in Nepal has been surviving with the overt & covert help of the reactionary ruling classes of India and other countries for long. However with the rising tide of republican movement in the country, the King's foreign benefactors are forced to review their Nepal policy in recent times. On our part we have been publicly appealing to the international power centres, particularly our immediate neighbours India & China, to stop backing the monarchy and extend moral support to the democratic movement. We hope the foreign powers will realise that in the long run their interests will be served better if they side with the people against the monarchy.
Question: What were the real reasons you to be dismissed from your functions in the party? Could we describe the argument in the following way: democracy or autocracy inside the party (you representing the democratic tendency)? How to explain Prachanda wanted your eviction from the front?
Answer: The recently held Central Committee meeting has concluded that some of the differences among the top leadership of the Party, particularly Com. Prachanda and myself, were merely based on doubts or misunderstanding and some were just differences of shades of opinion on certain long-term ideological & political questions (viz. the questions of correct fusion of democracy & centralism, etc). This has been agreed to be resolved in the course of a great debate in preparation for the next Party Congress. Thus a higher level of unity on a new basis has been achieved in the Party. It is not true that Com. Prachanda wanted my eviction from the front and I am the head of the revolutionary united front, i.e. the URPC. It may also be clarified that there was never any dispute on the question of leadership in the Party and Com. Prachanda is our undisputed leader.
Question: The alliance with the political parties is really strategic. It appears to be like a chess game; every player wants to win and thinks he’s the strongest player. Koirala is sure he will be the next president. Makouné thinks he has the strongest popular support (more than the Maoists!?). The king is sure he won’t be defeated because of his army; he doesn’t care about the insurgency in the countryside because his money is not there, he just wants to keep Kathmandu. And you, what do you think about the respective forces? What is your support in the capital? In the countryside?
Answer: It is not the subjective intent of the different political forces but the objective reality and the historical necessity of the society that ultimately counts. In that sense the unity between the parliamentary democrats (i.e. seven parties) and revolutionary democrats (i.e. the Maoists) is a historical necessity to defeat the age-old monarchy and establish democratic republic in the country. The recent 12-point understanding between the seven parties and the Maoists is the manifestation of this historical necessity. We don't think it is proper to regard the recent developments as a mere chess game between different political forces. We are fully committed to uphold and implement the 12-point understanding as it serves the interests of the masses and is based on the existing balance of forces both nationally & internationally. We have entered into this understanding by correctly assessing our strength or support base both in the cities & the countryside.
Question: Did you make any promise to UML top leader for the next presidency?
Answer: No, we have not made any promise to UML or anybody else for the presidency. It is the
Prerogative of the sovereign people to choose their own leaders.
Question: I’ve got the strong impression the time is short for the alliance, it can’t last too long. How many months have you got to kick the king out of his throne?
Answer: Let's hope for the best and not be pessimistic at this stage. Even if there are strong forces, national & international, aligned to wreck this alliance and the leadership of the seven parties is not very reliable, if the immediate past is any indication, there is formidable pressure from the overwhelming majority of the cadres and the masses in favour of this alliance. Given the revolutionary mood of the people at the moment, we can foresee that the monarchy won't be able to survive for long. It won't be prudent, however, to fix the month.
Question: Did you decide to bring insurgency in the streets of Kathmandu?
Answer: Insurgency is bound to come to the streets of Kathmandu sooner than later. The recent massacre of a dozen unarmed civilians at Nagarkot near Kathmandu by the RNA has ignited spontaneous protests of the masses. It would be the legitimate rights of the masses to resist it by any means.
Question: Discussing political issues with Maoists in the countryside, they all told me, they were not ready to enter a democratic process. When the king will be out, will you really accept principle of free and fair elections? If so, how will you do to convince everyone in your troops? Many differences between the base and the head? Between Party and military wing?
Answer: Please don't mix up a 'democratic process' with 'parliamentary process', because they are not one and the same thing. Our cadres will definitely enter into a democratic process, but not necessarily the parliamentary process which is so fake and bankrupt. We have already committed ourselves to a competitive multi-party system of governance. So where is the need to doubt our acceptance of the principle of free & fair elections? Please don't attempt to drive an imaginary wedge between our Party & the military wing. Since in our case the Party commands the gun and not the other way round we don't have an iota of doubt about convincing our cadres and the PLA to honour any agreement signed by the Party leadership.
Question: What are your recent contacts with the US? With EU? With China? With India?
Answer: We don't have any direct contacts, with the US, EU, China & India. But we are in communication with all relevant power centres through different means.
Question: Mao never gave much power to Chinese minorities. He knew it was dangerous for the unit of the country. However, you created autonomous areas; they’ve got much power but they even want to have some more. How do you explain these differences between you and Mao? Will you accept to give more power to ethnic groups?
Answer: It is not true that Mao did not give much power to the minority or oppressed nationalities. He did unequivocally support and apply the principle of rights to self-determination to all the oppressed nationalities. Our policy of national & regional autonomy with the rights to self-determination is fully consistent with the universal Marxist-Leninist-Maoist principle on the question. Of course, the specific nature of the autonomy and the mode of self-determination are to be worked out in the concrete condition of each country. Recently the newly reconstituted central committee of the URPC has constituted a sub-committee to work out a detailed policy, plan and programme on the national & regional question. There should be no doubt to anybody that we are fully committed towards the total liberation of oppressed nationalities in the country.
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Raising to a new height the people’s resistance movement on the very day when adventure of Gyanendra Shahi, who has let loose feudal sword of medieval tyranny against the Nepalese people’s aspiration of democracy, peace and progress had completed one year, the western command of the PLA has carried out a successful and courageous attack in Tansen, the district headquarters of Palpa. In the course of that fighting, dozens of police and military personnel have been killed and dozens of policemen captured after surrender have been released, while some of the soldiers of royal army and police, including the chief district officer are, even now, kept unharmed under the control of the PLA. Following the attack, PLA has secured a huge amount of modern weapons and other ammunition in its possession.
The military actions going on all across the country, including this one, have proved the proclamation of fugitive yester-Panshas, who, by presuming our responsible initiatives -- the four-month long ceasefire and 12-point understanding with seven political parties our party had asserted to ease the environment for the forward-looking political way out and peace -- as a weakness, had said us "backbone broken", to be a mere stupid clamor. The centralized and successful attack carried out at Tansen not only proved Gyanendra Shahi’s so-called address, prepared beforehand to recall Feb 1, to be a fake and leftover argument but also a comedy with no rhythm. On behalf of the central headquarters, I would like to heartily congratulate the participant PLA commanders and fighters, who correctly and successfully attacked in an appropriate time, and other comrades and the broad masses, who played necessary role for its success. Furthermore, paying emotional homage along with revolutionary greetings to the comrades martyred in the course of attack, the central headquarters expresses well wishes for the rapid health recovery of comrades injured in the battle.
Even when the seven political parties, the entire country, including our party and the international opinion too, have agitated for and agreed upon going ahead along the lines of the verdict of the Nepalese people through the constituent assembly to resolve the conflict, a tiny clique of Gyanendra Shahi and feudal elites is idiotically adventuring to impose absolute rule with the force of army, gun, murder and terror upon the conscious masses of the people in the 21st century. The obstinacy and shamelessness of the Nepalese feudal, who do not feel disgraced even when they have been naked by means of the so-called municipality election exhibited to legitimize its autocracy becoming "The Emperor’s New Cloth", has become an eighth surprise for the world.
In this situation, our party heartily appeals yet again to the entire pro-people democratic forces, including seven political parties, for a powerful front in order to raise the resistance movement to another new height. It is a historically proved fact that the feudal autocratic elements do not want to relinquish even a little bit of power to the people with their mercy until they are disposed of forcefully. It is sure that sooner and broader the resistance is made, faster the democracy will be achieved and lesser will be the loss of lives and property of the Nepalese people. Also, our party especially appeals the entire personnel of the royal army and police to create a new history by standing in favour of the democratic aspiration of the Nepalese people through a rebellion against the obstinate and shameless feudal elites. It will be a big historical sense of responsibility to grasp that one can ensure the protection and progress of Nepal and Nepalese people only by uniting the PLA and the soldiers of royal army. Furthermore, our party especially appeals the entire civil servants to provide help for the movement of building a new democratic Nepal by way of total boycott and non-cooperation to the electoral drama and other activities of the absolute feudal elements that have defamed Nepal in the world. We also would like to request the honest patriotic and democracy-loving civil servants of today to remain assured on the fact that they will become the civil servants in the upcoming democratic Nepal too.
We also would like to clarify here that our military resistance against the autocracy would go ahead more intensively and widely in the days to come.
February 01, 2006
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Discarded by democracy and peace loving people, the charade of the so-called municipal election, the apex of medieval feudal arrogance, has now become an affair of amusement for the civilized world. As a result of active initiative of our party, seven political parties, civil societies and the entire democracy loving masses, the question of becoming a candidate or voting in the so-called municipal election has become in itself a matter of disgrace and stain. The great success of general shutdown organized by our party has already elucidated that people’s opinion is against the election said to be held tomorrow. As the latest link of military resistance, dozens of so-called security personnel have been killed in the victorious and daring attacks taken place at Panauti in Kavre, at Gaighat in Udayapur and around Nepalgunj in Banke, while the PLA has taken over dozens of weapons, including LMG, SLR and thousands of ammunition. In this situation, our party makes a last and special appeal to the entire city masses not to embarrass and stain one by being linked in any way with the so-called election, to realize the feudal ego, but to boost, along with total boycott, the movement for democracy and peace up to a new height. Also, exclusive of a decisive struggle against the feudal autocrats, we have not seen any possibility in Nepal of people’s aspiration of democracy and peace being fulfilled. In the present situation, when the feudal elements have reached at the verge of total collapse and masses at the dawn of democratic republic, our party again heartily appeals the seven political parties, civil societies, entire pro-people forces and the broad masses to firmly go forward unitedly along a decisive impetuous struggle, not any dialogue and compromise.
February 7, 2006
NEWS OF QUALITATIVE MILITARY ACTION
Under the leadership of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) is gaining new heights one after another. After the last ceasefire broke down, all the battle has put an impact national and international level. Consequently, the war has entered into frontal and positional phase. People’s resistance movement is rising to a new height on the very day the day Gyanendra Shahi grabbed all the power one year back. Gyanendra has let loose feudal sword of medieval tyranny against the Nepalese people’s aspiration of democracy, peace and progress since then. The western command of the PLA has carried out a successful and courageous attack in Tansen, the district headquarters of Palpa in the same day when Gyanendra clique was celebrating their one year of absolute power The daring attack made by PLA in Tansen has once again proved the invincibility this and other countrywide military actions have shaked the country.
The masterstroke military strikes on Tansen (on January 31), district headquarters of Palpa (which is barely 38 KM away from Butwal, strategic base of southern base of RNA) has left 47 Gyanendra's security personnel dead, nearly 2 dozens injured. In this attack an army armory factory, district headquarters of reactionary's administration, district police office, residence of chief district officer were completely destroyed. The PLA also raided the other government offices. Following the attack, the PLA has secured a huge amount of modern weapons and other ammunition consisting of SLR, SMG, INSAS, LMG, 3-0-3 and other important logistics etc in its possession. It should be noted that night vision helicopters were sent for reinforcement to Royal troops but was forced to retreat due to heavy fighting. The CDO and others were taken into custody of the PLA and released later. 129 prisoners were set free from the district jail. In the course of that fighting, dozens of police and military personnel have been killed and dozens of policemen surrendered have been released without any harm. Comrade Anil, In-charge of Gandak Region of Western Command of CPNM issued a press statement and took responsibility of the Palpa clash; according to him the PLA has secured a huge amount of modern weapons and other ammunition in its possession. Eight PLA combatants obtained glorious martyrdom and some were injured during that clash.
Meanwhile, another valiant 'blocking and destroy' military strike has taken place in Panauti in Kavre (which is barely 25 KM away from capital Kathmandu) on February 5 by selected forces of third division of PLA. 17 RNA personnel including unified command forces (they were in Panauti Municipal Building for security) were killed and one RNA soldier surrendered with his INSAS rifle. On the same day, major battle broke out with unified command at various parts of Hatauda, district headquarters of Makwanpur. Similarly, on the same day, selected forces of eastern division of PLA attacked on RNA in Uadypur. There were heavy fighting where 6 RNA were shot more than 20 were injured. The PLA force managed to seize 10 rifles including 2 SLR, 2 INSAS, 1 SLW, more than 1 thousand bullets and other ammunition. It should be noted that this successful attack took place despite the presence of heavy concentrated armed forces in this district headquarter (Triyuga).
Another latest major military attack took place on district headquarters of Dhankuta (it is also eastern regional administrative headquarter) on February 6 by first division of Peoples Liberation Army. under the code "Operation Thunder". According to Comrade Parvana, first division commander of PLA that more than 6 enemy forces of unified command were killed and more than dozens were injured. The PLA also raided the office of eastern regional administration, Public Service Commission, Chief District Office etc. Prem Prasad Sapkota, assistant regional administrator, and other 12 personnel were captured.
On February 9 at 3:30 P.M., an ambush and subsequent vicious fighting broke out with RNA at Rambhapur, in Sunwal Nawalparasi along Sunwal-Butwal section of the Mahendra highway. On these battle, the PLA combatants opened fire at the royal security personnel from the north-east side of Rambhapur forest and gun battle continued for around five hours. 25 royal mercenaries were killed during fierce clashes; the PLA have seized various sophisticated automatic weapons (81 mm cannon one and its bomb 10, LMG one, M-16 with TTS 4. two, 2 inch mortar and its bomb 15, and heavy machinegun 50 thousands of bullets and military bags 50 and logistics), and torched four heavy army trucks during the clash. Comrade Pravakar, Deputy Commander of the PLA in a statement issued on February 10, said that 25 royal mercenaries were gunned down in the attack and the PLA have taken one dozen royal security personnel into custody after the fierce clashes. The PLA combatants seized huge cache of RNA's arms and ammunitions from them. Four PLA combatants obtained glorious martyrdom and some comrades were injured during the heavy clash, said Comrade Pravakar in the statement.
Fierce fighting erupted when the brave PLA heroes attacked Gyanendra's Private security forces that had gone there in five vehicles to remove road blocks put by the rebels on the occasion of national wide general shut-down. No sooner had the security personnel reached the Rambhapur area than the PLA's attacked, eyewitnesses said. They said the bodies of security personnel were lying scattered near the site of clashes till next days (Feb.10) afternoon.
Nawalparasi military action has good and exhilarating influence in the masses immediately. The successful intense battle which reflects the centralization of theoretical clarity, military planning, courage, confidence and determination, now it can be confidently said that the Peoples Liberation Army under the leadership of CPN (Maoist) with great ideological weapons can win just war. This heaviest strikes clearly reflects not only loses of royal mercenaries but also down the morale of Gyanendra and his feudal butcher.
Similarly, weeklong national wide general shut-down called by the Party and Preparatory Committee for Broad National Political Conference [United Revolutionary People’s Council (URPC)] in favour of disrupting so-called local municipal election on February 5 to February 11 was a grand success. Issuing a joint statement on February 8, evening, Chairman Comrade Prachanda and Comrade Baburam Bhattarai said that the weeklong general shut-down had been called off after successfully achieving its elections boycott goal and in view of the requests made by the seven political parties, different organizations and the people. In the statement Comrades claimed that the general shut-down was a "historic success" and it had completely "sabotaged" the government announced municipal elections.
ELECTION A HOAX
Murderers Gyanendra Shahi and his handful of lackeys are going ahead in their roadmap that was charted out before royal massacre despite strong protest from all credible political forces of the country. It has been crystal clear that his sole motto is to grab the absolute power and run the country at his will. In other word it is his adventure that he intends to impose the Panchayat system which was his father's brain child with the assistance of the same old coterie of reactionary fellows who helped his father in his anti people design.
The present municipal election was an attempt to legitimize his dictatorial rule. Thanks to the Nepalese people and their political representatives that their boycott movement and armed protest proved this election a farce. Not even a single politician beside royalist goons participated in this election. It was a total mockery of state power. People responded the appeal of CPN (Maoist) and other parliamentary parties and made the boycott a total success. It is because of this reality country like US, India Japan and UK have been compelled to condemn this election.
COMMUNIST PARTY OF NEPAL (MAOIST)
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