Chairman, Student Wing, UML, Nepal
TGQ1: At a time when the parties should have taken steps for having a national consensus government and conducted the fresh polls, your party is talked to have been engaged in waging some sort of movement? How you feeling? More so your movement is close to the festival seasons? Isn’t it so?
Mr. Basnet: Yes! It is true and the fact is also that we too do not wish to go in for a movement instead wish that the country’s politics proceed ahead abiding by the politics of accord. The last movement was fought to gain rights and that was a success but they have had also concurrently assured the population that now we all should move towards achieving total prosperity. But neither the constitution could be drafted nor the rift in between the political parties narrowed down. As I see to it, the country is very much likely to bear once again the brunt of a fresh revolution. It could be just taken as some sort of circumstantial gift of the prevailing state of affairs. Because what is being observed is that the parties now in ruling coalition that they have been drifting from the democratic practices; exhibiting mood of capturing the state authority, and more so the lust for capturing the entire resources of the country and thus looking at all these emerged anomalies I thing we have to call for a movement in order to preserve the gains of the last popular movement. The situation is leading us all towards that direction. That is why we are engaged on how to make the impending movement a grand success.
As regards to your second question, well, let me tell you that those who possess authoritarian and feudal mindset tentatively use the festival time for their gains. For example, King Prithvi used the Indra Jatra festival day to attack on Kathmandu or say the manner the former King also used the Dashain festival time to announce his heir apparent Paras. I think even during transitional period during the festivals, we must remain on high alert. The parties have felt the need to go for a movement and the preparations for the same are going on. We are just here to extend our support to whatever the parties decide. We will just play the role of supporters.
TGQ2: But do you think that the people will come to the streets only for unseating this government from the current Chair?
Mr. Basnet: The fact is that the change of this government has been the main agenda of the impending movement. This is the basic premise of the coming movement, so to say. Neither this government wields legitimate authority nor there do any legal provisions exist to unseat this regime led by Babu Ram Bhattarai. In some indirect manner, the present state of affairs could be taken as State Capture by the Maoists party. In the absence of the officials of the constitutional organs of the State, the government is trying to run the country through the issuance of the ordinances and committing anti-national and anti-people acts. That’s why the prime duty of all should be for the ouster of this government. In effect, the class movement initiated by the Maoists has now been transformed into community based movement which is now shadowing the previous one. It is because of the Maoists, the country is in a critical situation. The talk of Madhesis and Pahadiyas and the slogan of One Madhesh-One Province is being initiated in order to disintegrate the nation. The Maoists party which claims itself to be a revolutionary party is hell bent of making States based on community lines and wherever the party moves declares whatever the local people wish for or demand. States are being declared instantly. The Maoists wish to create 14-15 federal states inside Nepal in order to create disturbances to the northern neighbor and prefers to damage the prospects of China’s economic prosperity. Such States are being created which definitely would have impact on China’s economic progress. This government is submitting to the dictates of various international imperialist forces. And because of the acts of the Maoists, Nepal’s economic agenda and priority are being pushed in a shadow. That’s why this government must go. Having consensus among the parties, new election should be conducted and a new constitution should be promulgated. There is no other alternative to this what I have said.
TGQ3: So how long the Madhesi-Maoists alliance will continue? What you say about its tenure?
Mr. Basnet: Basically the Madhesh based parties took birth as against the Maoists attack. It emerged as a retaliatory force. Be it the sad event of Siraha or that of Gaur, Rauthat. That’s why the current alliance of the Madhesh based parties and the Maoists is generally taken as an unholy and impractical coalition. If the one is extreme rightist then the other claims itself to be ultra revolutionary which is in effect a highly extreme left. On the very surface, it looks like an unnatural one. But yet matured analysts claim that the relation in between the extreme rightist and extreme Left is very much similar to a sickle whose body doesn’t match save the top edge-end. In fact due to the existence of this very alliance, nation’s nationalism has remained in an ever weakened state. The acts that this government has committed so far, for example, signing of the BIPPA with India and handing over of some sixteen Nepali airport management scheme to the Indian companies, could be taken as measures only to please the Indian establishment. Professor Sukh Deo Muni very recently exposed as to how the Maoists leadership signed an agreement with the Indian government during the time of their People’s War. Mr. Muni brought these things to public. The Maoists doesn’t possess the morale to lodge a protest to what the Indian professor said of them.
On the other side, the coalition appears to have been enjoying the State loot that is in progress. Consensus is there for the loot. People say that corruption has two faces, one of pre paid and the other is post paid. The Maoists are indulged in post paid corruption while the Madhesi parties are enjoying the pre paid corruption. The Maoists are engaged in corruption to the tune of billions and billions. In the name of the management of the Maoists Militants, the Maoists embezzled an amount to the tune of four billions. On matters related with the Pokhra airport encirclement plan, it came to public that one Maoist leader, a former CA member, gulped some five million rupees. This has already been proved. None dared to take penal actions. Persons like D. B. Karki by this time should have been packed up in prison but the fact is that the Maoists are free from state penal actions. Persons like J. P. Gupta and Khum Bahadur Khadka go to imprisonment abiding by and honoring the Supreme Court’s verdict which could be taken as an honorable act. But why the Maoists leaders like Bal Krishna Dhungel, Prabhu Sah and Agni Sapkota were not sent to prison? Simply because they are from the Maoists party? The situation is taking a critical shape. Likewise this government has so far increased the price of the petro-products for over four times. The prices of the consumer goods are in a sky rocketing position. Unavailability of fertilizers has created some sort of havoc in the country. But the ruling coalition has no connections with all that has been happening inside the country. That is why if we do not unseat this government and form a new one would mean that we will even be pushed back. This is for sure.
TGQ4: You just talked of waning Nepali nationalism. But isn’t it that the Youth Organizations too could be held responsible for this along with the parties and the government. What say you on this issue?
Mr. Basnet: Frankly speaking, we have always remained divided on questions and the gravity of the preservation of Nepal’s nationalism aspect. It has been noted that the political parties belonging to the developed countries become united as and when question of nationalism crops up. For our two neighbors that we have India and China, economically prosperous nations now who have been challenging the entire world, we have not been able yet to assure both the giant nations that we will remain alert in ensuring their security interests from our soil. Today our immediate neighbors remain suspect of our political instability because they both think that an unstable Nepal may have its profound impact on their genuine security interests. We must assure both that we will not allow our soil to go against their genuine interests. We must not bow down when it comes to the preservation our sovereignty and nationalism. We are poor because we have not yet entered into the industrialization scheme. Neither have we had an agricultural nor an industrial revolution. In such circumstances, it is a very difficult job to preserve our national pride intact. Many small countries in the world like ours have kept their pride intact. Nepali leaders are suffering from Inferiority complex syndrome. But yet all the political parties must sit together and formulate a common policy for the nation.
TGQ5: Do you think that the political parties are grave on such issues which have just been discussed? What would be your comment Mr. Basnet?
Mr. Basnet: When you talk of the political parties, naturally the Maoists party comes to each and every mind first.
When this party approaches the house of an uncle, the party becomes Uncle-ism and when the party enters into the house of its maternal uncle, it acquires the same ism. When the party visits India, it become Indian and when it makes a trip to China then naturally the party become very close to Beijing. Even this party can seek donations to the tune of 500 thousand million for buying parliamentarians. The Maoists party is exhibiting childish diplomacy. We could notice two aspects in Indian interests in Nepal, the first being the open border phenomenon and the other is fake Indian currency transactions. We must convince the Indian regime on both of these two aspects. Likewise, we must also necessarily convince China about her security interests for Tibet autonomous region. We must encourage both of our neighbors for the development of our basic infrastructure and also for harnessing Nepal’s water resources. We must also bring in investments. But it appears to me that some of our leaders for short term gains or for that matter for grabbing free scholarship to their kids remain engaged in such trifling matters. Obtaining scholarship may not be that much a crime but that should not be at the cost of the national pride. I think on issues such as the one I just mentioned, the Nepali leaders have not become serious and grave.
Text courtesy: The Dristi Weekly dated October 2, 2012. Thanks: Chief ed.