Nepal a nation where saints and sages practiced penance

Jhal nath Khanal

Chairman UML Party, nepal

TGQ1: Is it that with the approaching General convention of the UML party, some sorts of debate and discussions have begun over party's views and thoughts? Is there then no alternative to what is called People's Democracy? But some people say that you are one of the opponents of the People's Democracy? What say you Mr. Khanal?

Khanal: The UML is a party that has a long history of six decades in existence and is also a party that has been pushing the Nepali society towards forward looking direction. The party has its own program of action, policies and theories and remain in a well managed state. But yet we at times discuss among ourselves to ascertain whether it has some lapses and that it demands any sort of reformation or not? The debates may be inside the party or even outside the party paraphernalia. During each general convention we do bring such discussions into existence to make it a lively one. We are at the moment on the eve of our party's ninth general convention. That is why I have been saying that the debates and the discussions are open for all. Anyone can forward his or her claim and point out his or her views as regards the adopted policies and theories of the party.

We are not talking as such of any suitable alternative at the moment. The people's democracy in itself is an established theory in the politics of the Nepali society. We just want to further reform in these established theories. Just that is the concern. There is nothing as such which has no alternative; however, the alternatives which have emerged as possible choice have been sidelined.

As regards your tagged question, I would say that it is just wrong. I was the one to reiterate this theory when the party approached the fourth convention. From there we began claiming that henceforth the new democracy will take the form of people's democracy. We are still the supporters of new democracy. We take people's democracy as new and the more refined form of new democracy. We are not at all detached from the new democracy. In today's world when we talk of democracy then that should mean that we mean new democracy. That is why the people's democracy is also the new democracy. 

TGQ2: So you are in the camp which demands to refine the people's democracy? But aren't there some in the UML who opine that the People's democracy should remain as it is? Isn't it that KP Oli said it?

Khanal: Yes! For sure. The theory of people's democracy is in itself a dynamic proposition. This can't remain in an erected or in a stand still state. The theories have got to refine itself as per the changes in the society, and revolution flows with the change. The theories do also get refined in the process. It gets developed and refined. People's democracy is also such a theory.

Well, I haven't seen such a person as of now.

Comrade KP Oli too has to admit that people's democracy is a dynamic theory.  I think he will accept this fact which is an established one. Our unity is the net result of the programs and policies which we have adopted as per the notion of people's democracy. We will even go further in refining and making it more suitable to the Nepali context. I don't see any leader as such who could ignore or dare to reject that we all should move ahead with the refined theory of people's democracy. None have so far rejected this theory but that needs further refinement.

TGQ3: Why it is that the UML leaders' even tend to split at time of the General Convention? Are there chances for a split in the party? Will not there be fight for capturing the party leadership?

Khanal:  Mind it that Nepal is such a nation where great saints and sages practices penance. It is also a land wherein great scholars have practiced debate and made academic discussions. In the process some five thousand years ago, it was this land which awarded this universe with a new theory that "discussion ultimately brings one closer to the truth (Bade badey Jayatey Tatwa Bodh). In this background, we must allow such debates and discussion to take place. The debates should be from different angles so that it encompasses the entire discussion. We can arrive at a meaningful conclusion if we continue with the process of debate and conversation.

The UML takes debates and conversations or say dialogue as a dynamic tool which is forward looking one. In each and every convention we practice debate and dialogues. And after such events, the party attains a new surface and remains in a united manner.  It has been so each time after the convention.

Well, as regards your associated question, we remain engaged in such heated debates and discussions which create ripples indeed. That awards us with a new height. We later emerge as a strong organizational force and yet the unity remains intact or say even more strong bond is observed. After the convention, not even a single differing opinions remain in existence.

TGQ4: So who shall be the new Chairman of the UML party? Will it be possible to have a consensus candidate? Are you also one of the contestants for the post of the Chairman Mr. Khanal?

Khanal: The question of Chairmanship will surface when the discussions and debates will be initiated and the one who brings in new ideas and thoughts which later would be evaluated by the party leaders and then we shall select the leader. We don't have a practice inside the UML to declare a leader through abrupt nomination. And more over there will be no heir apparent as such in our party. The one who plays an effective and valuable role in giving new ideas and thoughts for the benefit of the party shall be the Chairman of the Party.

Yes! The consensus formula may work. Why not? That has some criterions and if those are met then this is also possible. We will make sincere efforts to further refine the party policies and programs in an effective manner.  But as of now, the personality has not been finalized. Now it is time to play the role since the dates for the convention has already been announced. If no role then you can't become the leader of the party. That's it. 

As regards your tail question, yes! I am also a candidate for the Chairman post. If friends agree on my candidacy then I will be the Chairman. If not then someone who enjoys the consensus then he will command the leadership role. We will select a person on whom consensus is centered or the one on whom the colleagues converge with consensus will be our leader. At time of the fist CA body, we have had a decline in party seats to some thirty three seats. That time the party's ideologies and organizational strength had gone down. The party came to this second position due to the tireless efforts made by the party men on matters of rejuvenating the party with unity. This is the fact that we are here at the moment. During the last convention our party's strength, the membership, was just to the tune of one lakh and thirty eight thousand only which has swelled now to the tune of two lakhs plus members. The UML has attained new heights thanks to my central leadership. But I don't claim it to be the gains of my leadership. I think, my tenure as party leader is perhaps the best time for the party. If my comrade-in-arms accept this fact and evaluate my rendered contributions then I am ready to steer the party once again.  I will not hesitate then.

TGQ5: Tell us as to how are your personal relations with Madhav Kumar Nepal?

Khanal: I have also intimate relations with Madhav Kumar Nepal. Similarly, I also enjoy friendly relations with KP Oli, Bam Dev Gautam and Ishwar Pokhrel. I have also very comfortable relation with the comrades who are in the central committee Polit Bureau and steering committee.

Text courtesy: The Jan Dharana Weekly dated March 13, 2014. Thanks: Chief Ed.

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