Leader, UML, Nepal
TGQ1: Is the country really in trouble or it is not so what is being observed?
Bhattarai: I must say that the twelve point agreement that was signed in between the then seven parties together with the Maoists continued for all along until May 27, 2012, the day Nepal’s Constituent Assembly died. We were all in a collective political journey since then. The country is really in a grave crisis after the Maoists led government caused the death of the CA body. After that the country is in a constitutional mess. Indeed, all the major stakeholders are trying their best to get out from the current crisis. But the ruling government instead of finding a suitable solution to the current political ailments is busy in forming a sort of Front which is what has been encouraging some sort of polarization in the country. The journey that began with 12 point agreement is and was not for polarization but of working together in consensus. The Maoists have been breaking the promises and the agreements made in the past and are moving ahead with its own strategies. In order to execute its authoritarian and social fascism, the Maoists have been aligning itself with various foreign power centers. This alliance is an illegal one which is what has been pushing the nation into further grave crisis.
TGQ2: So after seven years of the signing of the Delhi’s 12 point agreement, you could feel that the Maoists were proceeding towards authoritarianism? Is it so?
Bhattarai: It has been registered in the world politics that the extreme radicals sometimes later turn into the path of terrorism in practice or behaviorally speaking. Either they have got annihilated or at best turned into what could be taken as to have been transformed into social fascism. Our effort in Nepal is to provide an outlet to the Maoists extremism. We thought to provide them with some political space in order to transform them through the process of consensus. It was this thought which brought us all here up to this stage from the beginning. We knew in advance that this party not only practiced extremism but also was a party adhering to social fascism yet we travelled together with the Maoists with the hope to relieve the people from chaos and signed the 12 point agreement for having consensus and the aim was to transform this party from whatever it was practicing then. We brought them with this objective to the peace process. I must admit that the Maoists’ transformation led us to bag some important political gains. But as of now, it appears to me, that the Maoists have directed their transformation move towards a different direction. As I see to it, the Maoists are heading towards social fascism. We hereby promise not to allow the Maoists to take up those directions. If they move as per their present preferences then the Nepali population may have to fight a decisive war with the Maoists.
TGQ3: You claim that you have transformed the Maoists. However, the Maoists claim that they have brought the parliamentary parties to their declared agenda and have been insisting the NC and the UML to transform themselves into their line of thought? What say you?
Bhattarai: The extremists wish to proceed ahead by dubbing others as status quoists and rightists. Extremism doesn’t understand who is a friend or a foe. The extremists more often than not adhere to the Dhritrastra line of thinking and pattern and they appear reluctant in proceeding ahead with a clear cut vision. When it is so then the pattern which resembled the Dhritrastra thoughts, one doesn’t need to ponder over such issues in a serious manner. But as regards your question, I wish to say that we have tried to bring about a fusion in between our line of thinking with that of the Maoists after the signing of the 12 point agreement. We the seven parties had then demanded the restoration of the dissolved parliament. The Maoists had around that time had raised the issue for having a Constituent Assembly. The overthrow of the Monarchy became a reality only when we fused our two theories into one. It was this fusion which landed our movement against Nepal Monarchy to a grand success. We made a striking idea which was to let then enter into mainstream politics through the revived parliament and make our exit from the Constituent Assembly. Let me remind you that the revived parliament then accomplished its duties quite successfully; It drafted the interim constitution and parliament. Later this process allowed the Maoists weapons and the militias to be deposited in the containers and also in the cantonments respectively. The election to the CA body went successfully. Let’s admit that these extraordinary tasks had been performed by the revived parliament which will go a long way in Nepal’s history. But when we entered into the CA body, failures began chasing us one after another. Political consensus was broken and the peace process remained in a limbo. Political differences widened in between the parties which had in the beginning forged consensus. Now if you analyze the entire issue then what comes to the fore is that the Maoists which championed the case of the Constituent Assembly failed miserably. Yes! The seven parties which had advocated the revival of the dissolved parliament was a grand success comparatively speaking.
TGQ4: What you say of the freshly constituted Federal Democratic Alliance? Have you anything to tell in this regard so that our august readers benefit from your brilliant comments?
Bhattarai: The political polarization would have certainly taken in the country what it has been today, however, such a polarization should have come to existence only after the system would have remained in an institutionalized state, the country would have moved ahead with the competitive system of democracy. But coming down the lane from 12 point agreement to this stage, what I presume is that there do exist some substantial differences of opinions in between the parties that is the UML, the NC and the Maoists. These parties yet need to forge consensus. This is the existing reality also which can’t be ignored simply because this is what the entire international community also desires. Ignoring all these basic norms, the Maoists have formed a federal democratic alliance which comprises of anti-nationals and the rightists under its own party’s leadership. Yet I would say that such an alliance would not work for the better and can in no way have a far reaching positive impact in the national body politics. To put it candidly, I think the federal alliance comprises of those who have been serving for others than caring their own national interests. The four point agreement which facilitated the formation of the incumbent government thus it should be this four point consensus which must have encouraged them to form this alliance. We have been airing that such an alliance in no way in the overall interests of this nation. Time permitting it would be this federal Alliance which will Sikkimise Nepal ultimately. Mind it that a sovereign Sikkim was not assimilated into the Indian Union through the declaration and acceptance of the then King. It were the people who facilitated the annexation of Sikkim into the Indian Republic who had been elected by the people who ultimately had dissolved their own country’s sovereignty and independence. The annexation ploy which the elected members of the Sikkim’s assembly (parliament) played at time of the assimilation somehow or the other resembles here as well. This federal alliance, to me, has taken up the same mode of politics.
TGQ5: How can you claim such things? What has been your logic to substantiate your claims?
Bhattarai: In my opinion, the day this alliance began ruling the country, Nepal as a nation-state had begun taking slide to the extent that we have become overly dependent on others and that too with a fast speed. This coalition has surrendered itself to the mercy of the foreigners and more specifically saying, it has acquired a one sided foreign policy. The entire international relations remain now in a tilted state towards one single country. Because of such a tilt in the conduct of Nepal’s foreign policy, many international friends have begun taking extra interests in our internal affairs. Whether you talk of the northern neighbor China or for that matter the Western countries. At a time when the international community has been taking interests in Nepali affairs, our country unfortunately is becoming the play ground of the foreign powers. The situation is being created like that. A personality of the stature of Nepal President at a collective gathering comprising of the Nepali leaders point blank had told them all that “Look the country is likely to become Afghanistan, be careful”. The President was forced to make such comments. Mind it that such words must not have come from the President all of a sudden and not for nothing.
Text courtesy: The Dristi Weekly dated August 18, 2012. Thanks Editor Mr. Shrestha: Ed.