Leader NCP-Maoists, Nepal
TGQ1: How have you been evaluating the political developments that have taken place very freshly?
Very surprisingly when the country was going through a very tough time with the sudden death of the Constituent Assembly body, you and your colleagues have split the United Maoists party? Why it was so?
Mr. Bastola: If we take note of the entire politics of the country prevailing at the moment then one must admit that we are in a very critical point in time. The present day political contradictions remain in between those who are the agents of the Indian expansionism, let’s say the Nepali carriers, on the one hand and the country and its people on the other. This has built the inconsistency that prevails in the country politics. It is these diametrically opposing trends which has complicated the politics more. It is the bounden duty now of the Nepalese people on how to get rid of the present day incongruity. Moreover the parties also have their duty which they must collectively address.
Well, I must say that the death of the CA body has proved beyond doubt that the top hats of the major parties have failed. They all were failed leaders. They have completely failed in accomplishing their national duties. They have botched in steering the party based on ideological grounds and so they have also missed in carrying the party in a politically organized manner. Our own party, the Nepal Maoists, entered into the pool novo-revisionism and became a acquiescent force which is what resulted in our party’s failure in completing the national tasks. We could not take effective measures because of the above mentioned political aberrations observed in our own party. That’s why we have had to dissociate ourselves with those who freshly turned into or embraced novo-revisionism with the sole aim that we will work now with a new vigor for the country and its people. We have just restructured the party in order to challenge those negative trends observed in our former party.
TGQ2: It is in practice in a communist party that as and when the party embraces novo-revisionism then that matter is well discussed inside the party in order to correct those political aberrations. But you preferred to split the party? Why?
Mr. Bastola: To tell you frankly, we struggled hard for several years in order to bring back the central leadership to its charted path. The internal debates were on inside the party for long, say for more than five years. When we entered into the peace process, the party had definitely made some commitments. Where are we heading? Why we have entered into the peace process? We have had a definite structured policy on how to transform the Nepali society. One of the main features among them was to participate in the CA polls and draft a people oriented constitution through the effective use of the CA elected members. This is what we had made it like a policy issue. But the situation became different. The party slowly but very steadily parted from the structured policies which had been made at time of entering into the peace process. We began our struggle internally when we got the indication that the leadership was less inclined towards the fulfillment of those crafted policies. We had stated in our policy that first we will sideline the Nepali monarchy and then draft and constitution and finally to establish a people’s State-the Janbadi satta. But when we entered into the peace process, a time came when it was highly likely that the monarchy will once again prevail in the country. Even a situation came when the leadership got puzzled over which sort of monarchy should be accepted? The present day one (then) or having a constitutional monarchy? Later we met at Balaju with the extended plenum of the party. Intense debate and discussions were held. It was around this time that some of our own party men were in the then government. When we felt that our declared agenda will not take a shape and thus we quit the government. It was this event, after we quit the government, the Nepali Congress and the UML came together and agreed to abandon the Nepali monarchy for good. By that time the NC and the UML were not in favor of uprooting the monarchy. Had the NC and the UML remained adamant in keeping the monarchy intact would have meant ignoring of the very spirit of the 12 point agreement. By the way, our own party leadership apparently was in favor of having the monarchy prior to the Fifth Balaju extended plenum. The intra party struggle continued yet we went to Kharipati meet. This meet saw the appearance of two proposals from Chairman Prachanda and Mohan Baidya Kiran. Both were merged and made a single proposal-document. But yet we continued to keep the inner party struggle going. Finally we met once again in Palungtar. It has been five years since we met at Palungtar.
All along these five years, we struggled hard and forced the leadership to come to terms with the agreed upon decisions which were in favor of the people but the top hats began twisting the decisions and started imposing their own personal preferences. They even ignored the decisions made by the party steering committee. Chairman Prachanda and Babu Ram began taking their own decisions and imposing them all on to the heads of the party. It was somewhat their autocratic, unilateral, and despotic verdict being imposed upon the party as a whole, we then preferred to dissociate ourselves with them. We re-organized the party. And this not at all an instant affair. It consumed much time in the past.
TGQ3: You claim that your team split the party simply because the party could not draft the constitution and a federal order did not come to its existence as per your wishes. But don’t you think that you have entered into the peace process through an agreement and also when at a time you had not won the battle with the State? So in such a situation how can you claim such things? Also tell us as to whether the 12 point agreement at all talks of the draft of a people oriented constitution? What say you?
Mr. Bastola: While signing the 12 point agreement, what had been agreed upon is that there would be the restructuring of the state; all the problems and issues pertaining to the gender, class and regional tribulations would be sorted out. At least those things must be addressed. Now, keeping aside those issues, the party is trying to take a great leap backward even pushing back the nation to the old days of 19 years situation that prevailed then. This has been the situation now which forces us all to go back to the old days as mentioned. Here lay the problem. All that we have been saying is that “let’s agree now to those issues wherein we have had agreed upon in the past”. It is as simple as that.
If not a people’s constitution then what sort of constitution is drafted then? Had we won the battle, we would have drafted a socialist constitution but not only a people’s constitution. We would have named Nepal as a socialist republic of Nepal and so would have been the constitution suiting to the very name of the country.
The problems after the 12 point agreement have been that the country still remains in a semi-feudal state and there has not been the formation of a nationalist capital. It lacks as of now. We have the prevalence of regional, gender, religious and caste oppression. In order to address all these oppressions is to draft a constitution that takes care of all these oppressions prevalent in the country. You have to have a people’s oriented constitution for sorting out the current problems and issues plaguing the nation. Once again I would say that a constitution be made which is being honored by the people at large.
TGQ4: Yet what is interesting is that your new party and the former party both have similarity in their views as regards having a federal order with community identity. But why, having this much similarity, the party got split?
Mr. Bastola: All that we demanded is a federal order associated with community identity. Our contention is not that we were in favor of community based federal order. This is not the issue for us. Our case is just having a federal order which recognizes the community identities. By that it talks of a national identity. It means that. The fact is that even if we have had agreed upon having 14, 10 or even 7 federal states, things have had already gone into the grip of the Indian regime. Parties differed on the very number and the very names of the federal order. It was a matter of lesser importance and significance to India whether Nepal had this much or that much number of states because the country had through the kind courtesy of Dr. Bhattarai had already gone under the complete control of the Indian establishment, for example, with the signing of the BIPPA and the likes. It was a definite affair that even if we have had the constitution then that would have been a constitution drafted by India and which was to be imposed onto the heads of the population. Almost this was for sure. The Indian Ambassador, Jayant Prasad, had stated that the Nepal constitution has already been drafted. He had also told that the Nepali leaders must promulgate the constitution. The Constitution could not be drafted only because of the Indian regime and the subsequent initiatives the regime across the border too as regards the matters related to Nepali constitution. We lost the CA body together with the Parliament because the Nepali leaders could not dissociate themselves with the Indian regime. The Nepali leaders could not take logical decisions in favor of their own country. They could not live up to the expectations of the people. They thus ignored the demands pushed by the general population. It should be these leaders who should shoulder the blame for the death of the CA body and the parliament but not we. We are not to be blames.
TGQ5: Is it that Chairman Prachanda and Babu Ram have already become like the leaders of the Nepali Congress and that of the UML?
Tell us whom you find closer to your party among the two, Prachanda or Babu Ram on a comparative basis?
Mr. Bastola: Yes! To tell you frankly, they have, Prachanda and Bhattarai, gone even much down the level of the Congress and the UML, speaking on legitimacy terms. They both have gone far behind than the NC and the UML leaders. To boot, in the process of acting like a broker (Dalali), Bhattarai has excelled all and become the Board First man.
For us and in our own evaluation neither of them was close nor at a distance with us. Both are on equal footing. Looking at their present working style and performances, both have joined the bourgeoisie Peoples democracy. They both remain now under the grip of the expansionist forces. They are already in their trap. They both can’t escape from the very trap now. But yet they both too remain mired in inner party struggle with difference. But to make comments on those issues would neither be suitable nor desirable at the moment.
Text Courtesy: Greater Nepal Weekly, June 22, 2012. Thanks.