Before calling Baburam a democrat, Prachanda should answer the following questions:
By Siromani Dhungana
Speaking at the seventh General Convention of the UCPN (Maoist) in Hetauda on February 2, comrade Prachanda, after encouraging his followers against main opposition Nepali Congress, posed a close-ended question to his cadres: “Is Baburamjee against peace and constitution? Is he an undemocratic leader?”
His cadres clapped and laughed but did not dare to answer because it was a close-ended question and Maoists cadres are not free enough to oppose their headquarters.
Dear comrade, yes you and your fellow incumbent Prime Minister (Baburamjee) both are indeed undemocratic leaders. Your deputy has dual character. He talks about uplifting lives of the poorest of poor but in practice he does nothing for them. In an interview with the Indian newspaper DNA, he says:
Q: Yet, Maoists in India are popular with the poorest and with many intellectuals, including the likes of Anuradha Ghandy, whose memorial lecture you will be delivering. So why did it not capitalise on this support?
A: (Smiles) I think this is for the Marxists and Maoists of India to asses as to why they failed to make an impact. But seeing this from a theoretical level, parliamentary democracy does not address the problems of the poor masses and people in backward countries like India and Nepal. There is too much disparity, with one section enjoying the fruits of democracy and the majority in the country — the dalits, the tribals, the women, the poor — are deprived of their genuine democratic rights. This contradiction is there. I think the radical communists are trying to champion the cause of the downtrodden.
Comrade Prachanda, your deputy thinks ‘parliamentary democracy does not address the problems of the poor masses and people in backward countries like India and Nepal’. So, which is the most suitable model of democracy for a country like Nepal?
Comrade, let me now evaluate your deputy’s character based on what he has said and has done so far.
Your deputy Dr Bhattarai, while leading a faction of then Janamorcha Nepal, had submitted 40-point demands to then Nepali Congress Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba just before the launch of people’s war. He went underground and to jungle to wage the decade-long war even before the deadline of his ultimatum to Deuba ended.
After 15 years, he reached to the position where Deuba was in 1996. Could he translate his own 40-point demands into action? Has he abrogated the 1950 Nepal-India treaty (the demand number 1)?
You and your deputy used poor people to fight against ‘totalitarian and feudal’ state since, according to your party documents, feudal rulers had been ruining Nepali peoples’ lives and were indulged in nepotism and favoritism.
And here comes your deputy, becomes the prime minister and gives lucrative government posts to his wive’s relatives. Does your equality is all about appointing nearer and dearer ones at government post? And here you are defending him as a true democrat.
Your deputy has every time and again openly criticized judiciary and said that he does not believe in judiciary. Can the opponent of an independent judiciary be a democrat?
Your deputy has proved that all crimes are excusable if you are a communist, especially a Maoist. By turning deaf ear to the Supreme Court’s January 2010 verdict regarding your comrade Bal Krishna Dhungel who was convicted by the district court for murder and whose convection was upheld by the Supreme Court and condoning a convicted criminal, what is your deputy (and you, for that matter) trying to prove?
Talking about a recent incident, speaking publicly against the arrest of Maoist cadres in connection with abduction and subsequent murder of Dailekh-based journalist Dekendra Thapa, what message your deputy has given to Nepali people? The problem is your deputy is just a reflection of yourself.
In your remark on February 2, you said you had offered leadership of Home Ministry and Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to Nepali Congress. This statement demonstrates your true character. Do you think appointment in a constitutional institution like the CIAA should be bartered among political parties? If so, who will maintain the check and balance?
It is you or people who should determine the fate of political parties? Do you think your version of democracy is compatible to the universally accepted one? Dear comrade, think twice before giving someone the title of a democrat. As of this day, you are not qualified to use that word.
George Orwell once wrote: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others“. Your democracy is all about “some animals” who are more equal than others. Happy to be proved wrong.