Central Committee member, RJP, Nepal
TGQ1: We heard of late that the unity efforts in between the RPP-Nepal, RPP and the RJP-Thapa got aborted. Tell us what is the matter which caused such a sad event to happen?
Though you knew in advance that the RPP-Nepal adheres to a different line but yet entered into unity negotiations? Why it was so?
Bist: To remind you, the unity bids in between the RPP-and the RJP were in progress since over two years or so. We have already concluded district level conventions in some thirty to forty districts. The rest of the districts will soon observe such conventions. For which our party colleagues have been making serious efforts. This will follow the central convention of the party. While the RPP and the RJP unity talks were going on, the meeting brought up the idea, in the mean time, as to why not have unity also with the RPP-Nepal. The unity talks were heading in a positive manner but some ideological snag hit the unity talks.
Matters differed over the stances taken up by the RPP and the RJP which have adopted the republican order after the change, the RPP-Nepal still sticks to the notion of constitutional monarchy and for having a Hindu state. This is what caused the differences to widen which disrupted the unification bids?
Yes! That factor we knew in advance. We thought that the country has now adopted republican order and by abiding the same constitution and order, the RPP-Nepal faced the elections and even participated in the now dead Constituent Assembly. That party has well accepted the existing state organs as per the constitution. If so then how one could take the RPP-Nepal as to have been a party outside the ambit of the constitution now in force? Moreover, the entire population too has accepted the republican order. We thought that they too would understand the changed political circumstances and hoped that they too will accept the present day realities. We further hoped that the RPP-Nepal will accept our own party’s stances. Though basically a Hindu state, yet Nepal now stand for a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society which has now been globally acknowledged and thus had hoped that they may have come realizing the aforementioned issues. But at the end, they changed their political stances.
TGQ2: But the Kamal Thapa team claims that unity efforts got aborted due to Surya Bahadur Thapa-the Chairman of the RJP? Is this allegation true or false?
Bist: I can’t imagine as how many people will believe his words? They will better understand this. Mind it that S. B. Thapa has already become like a political institution in himself thus let’s not talk of his being the prime reasons for aborting the unity efforts. His stances have already become a national thought. Not only this time alone, was he made the target even when the erstwhile Panchayat regime was in place. His thoughts are being made the target since long. The manner Senior Thapa has understood the Nepali reality, that way he was also made the target in the past also. He even had claimed that Panchayat system is not a permanent or say an immortal structure and thus he had advised that the country should embrace a multi party democratic system by avoiding bloodshed in the nation. He made tire less efforts in this regard and he spent his entire energy in making others to understand his line of thoughts. In effect, it is not due to Thapa that has aborted the unity talks. Instead, it got terminated because of the double talks of the RPP-Nepal and its leaders. First they accepted to remain under the realm of the constitution. Based on these lines all the three parties had sat together to initiate final unity talks. While it came to the crunch, they did not like to initiate the unity talks along the line of the constitution now in existence. They took it in a negative manner. They boycotted the talks unilaterally. The talks failed because they even ignored to abide by the agreements made in the recent past. Now you yourself say as to who marred the unity talks?
TGQ3: Let’s talk of the present. Isn’t it that Kamal Thapa is a Royalist and S. B. Thapa is political man who prefers now republicanism? Or is it something different? What say you Mr. Bist?
At yet another plane, theoretically Senior Thapa prefers the formation of a broader democratic front yet the tragedy has been that very freshly Keshar Bahadur Bista abandoned him. When it is so then how others will take him steps for granted?
Bist: Yes! It is very much close to what you have just stated.
But senior Thapa advocated the Nepali Royalty thinking of the institution could be a symbol for national unity but his stance was not out of love for the King. What to talk of Kamal Thapa, he backed out from the current unity talks as he did the same in the past. He has joined the unity talks considering either to take up our party’s agenda or would abide by the final decisions taken up by the General Convention of the party. But I don’t know from where he received a “Telephone call” and he immediately abandoned the ongoing talks.
Things are not that what appear. The facts will definitely come to surface time permitting. The colleagues who could not see the situation from a wider perspective and have had a short vision, they too will join Senior Thapa’s thoughts sooner than later as Thapa in himself is an institution of ideas. He is the enunciator of some sort of political ideas and thoughts which are genuine. His vast experience and gained knowledge over the years in understanding Nepal from its entire perspective is what has brought the noble thoughts and ideas from his side. Ultimately, all will have to come to embrace his ideas and political thoughts. To recall, even in the Panchayat days he had only seventeen colleagues. Later others came to him. Even the men from the Nepali Congress will have to accept his ideas and theories. This has no alternative frankly speaking.
TGQ4: So you hinted that the King may have told Kamal Thapa not to go for unification. But isn’t it that the King would benefit ultimately from such unification in between the RPP, RJP and RPP-Nepal?
Is it that the King actively played a role which aborted this presumed unification? What say you?
Bist: Let’s not talk about this and I don’t want to stretch the matter long. Indeed these three parties alone do talk about the King. Which parties take the King in what manner; you know it better but take it in an easy manner. To tell you frankly, our parties have split and also united only over the talk on King. Had we been not grilled at various intervals of time, either in a direct or an indirect manner, the political spectrum and the power structure of Nepal would have definitely become a different one than what it is now. Ours being put into somebody through the mill has in many more ways than one benefitted the Nepali Congress and the UML parties. It has come as a boon to these parties.
As regards your tagged question, well question could well be asked as to why Kamal Thapa abruptly returned? It is because he may have received some telephone calls and he was forced to return or else Thapa has a clear cut policy as regards the matters pertaining to Nepali nationalism. Yet we are together with junior Thapa because we both understand that nationalism is waning of late. Rest of the matters could well be sorted out. What is more important that our party can’t stretch the legs beyond the ambit of the present constitution? This is where we differ with Kamal Thapa and his team.
TGQ5: It is talked that the Nepali parties albeit sit for talks but finally agree to what they receive as instructions from the foreign powers and this becomes final. Also we have several complicated issues as regards the federal order. How you think it to be solved? Finally it is also being talked that since the parties have summarily failed and thus the nation now needs the Nepali monarchy back on throne. What say you of all these Mr. Bist? Finally also tell us how the national ailments will vanish?
Bist: It is only but natural that foreign forces increase their penetration when the national level parties become weak. What is interesting of it all is that if one prefers to terrify the other, he or she has to make a trip to New Delhi. India, the US, European Union and China keep close eye on our politics which is natural as it is related with their countries’ interests. But if we deny them space then they can do little in our internal affairs. If you yourself submit then interference is inevitable. In my opinion, foreign interference has not entered into Nepal but has been invited. This is how I see to it.
As regards your other question, yes! The situation is a critical one indeed. Our leaders for serving their own petty political interests have been using and encouraging various castes, ethnic groups and communities which in effect has even complicated the issues. To recall, Chairman Prachanda encouraged some to go in for single identity based federalism by hitting the streets and now he has begun saying that single identity based order is not a viable proposition. Had he said so, the latter one, I think we would have already a new constitution at hand. Now the time has come that the people become extra alert and do not get carried away by flimsy talks.
Now as regards the King. What he can do even if he comes? He was here but what he did for the people and the nation? He went to Rolpa and the local people asked a Hospital for them. He could not even throw some ten million rupees for the demanded Hospital. The King was already in Nepal some time back. Now in order to build a new Nepal, a new generation must sacrifice themselves for the cause of the nation.
How things will come to its right shape is very difficult to fathom at this period. The main role is definitely of the three major parties influencing the country’s politics. We are just some king of political assistants.
Text Courtesy: The Nepali Patra Weekly dated September 14, 2012. Thanks.
Published in Telegraph Weekly September 26, 2012.