Chitra Bahadur K. C
Chairman, National People’s Front, Nepal
TGQ1: So where the country’s politics is leading towards? Your comments please.
Chitra Bahadur: It is definitely moving towards a complicated situation. The Constitution which had to be drafted/promulgated well within two years of time, could not be written even after the lapse of four years. When the Constitution could not be made then automatically we can’t institutionalize the Republican order that we have now. Constitutional organs remain in a vacated state and the parliament too is not in existence because of the non-draft of the new Constitution. The local governing bodies are not is scene since 12 to 14 years. When the country is in a locked state and demanding an outlet from the present political mess, I for one believe that consensus among the parties have become must in order to get the country out from the present deadlock. This is necessary and very urgent. But one set of special people wish to forcefully rule the country under their whims and also wishes to make others to follow their agenda. This could be taken as an undemocratic attitude. They just want to exploit from the volatile situation of the country and prefer to fulfill their entire political ambitions through unfair and undemocratic processes. This appears to have been their inner intent. Such practices will not benefit the nation’s cause and purpose. If it is so then, it may consume much time to find an outlet for the country’s current problems.
TGQ2: You talk of forging consensus. But on which issue we need consensus or prefer conflict? Tell us whether you see the chances of consensus or of conflict?
Chitra Bahadur: Since we do not have at the moment the existence of parliament and some other constitutional organs and that is why we must forge consensus and later conduct the election for the next Constituent Assembly. For the formation of a new government which also demands consensus among the parties. We must initiate some sort of struggle against all those who possess the authoritarian mindset and wish to rule the country ad infinitum even if when they have already been declared of being in a caretaker status. We must fight for having a new CA body. Struggle is all the more urgent and necessary in order to keep the country going in a normal manner.
As regards the tagged question, well! As I see to it, chances for having consensus is getting slim. We brought the people several times on the streets and waged struggle. But those struggles made by the people could not bring the needed changes and deserving facilities to them. They did not receive any substantial benefits from the past struggles. The people had nothing to gain. In the process, Panchayati raj collapsed and later the Nepali monarchy also overthrown and we have had the advent of this Republican order yet, the people, I mean the general population, became even poorer. The laymen are sunk in a myriad of problems and pressing issues. At a time when we should have constructed factories and awarded employment to the unemployed ones, some forces of the country itself have been engaged in acts of forming states based on single identity or a community based states.
Instead of safeguarding the nationalism, national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation-state, what we observe is that the acts of foreign powers are on a sharp increase. Efforts are being made to remain in power with the blessings and assistances of the same alien powers.
Because of all these, I think, the people will not come to the rescue of the political parties even if the parties appeal the common men to come for their support once again. But yet, when the country has already taken a downward slide and having angered with the behavior of the political parties, the people will not now remain in a frightened state. They will not keep quiet now. That’s why, I feel that the people should come to the streets sooner than later initiate struggle against all the anomalies that have gripped the nation of late. The people must now take the lead in order to do away with the present day country’s problems.
TGQ3: You quite often talk that the federal system for Nepal is not a suitable proposition. What is your logic when you say that Nepal will split after adopting a federal system of governance?
Chitra Bahadur: The countries which have had unitary system of governance in the recent past were pushed to the federal system of governance under the excessive pressures from imperialists and the net result of such acts have been that most of the countries thus pushed have vanished from the globe. Those countries which have yet to collapse have at best found themselves engaged in fierce conflicts amongst themselves. Talk of Russia or of Yugoslavia. The latter split into seven units after it embraced federal order. Now Yugoslavia has become a matter of rare commodity and demands searching. Sudan is the latest example, so is Nigeria. Yes, the countries which have a sound economic and social base can have this order and sustain it. Those countries which have been pushed to federalism by the imperialists have either vanished, as told earlier, or mired in internal community based conflicts. Look at the countries in South Africa. Economically unsound Nepal has become the venue of foreign players. There is excessive pressure and intervention in Nepal of late. Nepal can’t sustain this order. Its logical alternative is excessive democratic decentralization in real terms. The oppression that the people received during the past repressive regimes doesn’t mean that we should adopt federal system. The solution now lay in effective democratic decentralization. Look at the facts. We have vacant local bodies since one and a half decade. These bodies have been pushed to the wall when we begun talking of a federal system. If tomorrow we begin talking of community based federal order; multi-nationalism; One Madhesh-One Province and right to self determination then we are sure to become another Nigeria. We must remain alert over these issues.
TGQ4: The Maoists who adore Chairman Mao’s line of ideologies have floated the federal idea to which Beijing appears to have rejected. How you take this?
Chitra Bahadur: Even laymen understand the fact that if the neighbor’s house is burning then it may come to them as well. China has been watching the capabilities and the political acumen of the Nepalese leaders. China understands it better now as to why the foreign forces were championing the cause of federal system in Nepal because she understands that such overture in Nepal will endanger its own future. China also is in knowledge of the possibility that if Nepal approves the state restructuring model as per the preferences of the foreign forces then that would have a negative impact on China’s own sovereignty. The things what the Chinese have already marked is not in notice of our own leaders. China which has always been talking of Nepal’s national independence and sovereignty, told what she had to. Some have even taken the Chinese instance as interference on Nepali affairs. If countries talk of our benefits then not only China but we should appreciate all those countries who talk in favor of Nepal. There is nothing to register protests on such matters. Some responsible men from responsible countries too have said that federal system will not suit the Nepali soil.
TGQ5: Do you mean to say that Nepal has become a foreign play ground because of the Maoists now ruling the nation? Is this what you want to ventilate?
Chitra Bahadur: The Maoists first commit mischievous acts. If pressed to the wall, they will seek pardon. For state power ambitions, Bhattarai-Dahal duo floated the slogan of community based state; multi-nationalism/nationalities and regionalism as well. The Maoists have already become friends of the landlords now. They have no feeling towards the welfare of the nation. They only see the state power. This has come to the fore that they can submit to any forces if that makes them to remain in power. They now have forgotten the communist ideologies save they know or prefer is to remain in power corridors even if it be at the high cost of the nation. This has become the prime target of the Maoists. Because of all these, the nation is undergoing through an unprecedented critical period. The nation is paying because of their follies. The Maoists went in for a struggle with the Indian regime only after they had submitted a letter to the Indian PM assuring that they will not cause any harm to the Indian prime interests. In essence, the manner they submitted themselves to the expansionists, some more layers remain yet to be exposed. S. D. Muni has just given a single instance. Many more mysterious revelations appear in the pipeline, hopefully. Why the Maoists aligned themselves with Chairman Mao? After all, they just needed power. For then, nation, nationalism and nation’s existence were not at all a matter of preference. Interestingly, Prachanda and Babu Ram have themselves become quite unable in handling their own party. Yet they have begun playing role in other parties.
Text courtesy: The Dristi Weekly dated August 28, 2012. Thanks Editor Mr. S. Shrestha: Ed.