INTERVIEW WITH PRACHANDA

Amidst high expectations the Summit Talks is going on in Baluwatar this very moment. Here are the excerpts of an interview with Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Prachanda, taken on the eve of the much-hyped October 8 Summit Talks between his party and the ruling seven-party alliance as posted in Ekantipur:

Q. Will the CPN-M be participating in the October 8 talks?

Prachanda: There is no certainty as to the question of participation in the
talks. Interactions to this end are going on with the parties, but nothing is confirmed yet.

Q. So what is the reality then?

Prachanda: We haven’t been able to agree on the way forward. What we feel is that the 12-point understanding against the feudal autocracy was aimed against the excesses of the then Royal Army and the present Nepal army. The 8-point understanding was the result of an attempt to move forward with the 12-point understanding. But since then the seven-party government has deviated from the spirit of these historical understandings.

Q. Could you cite some examples of the deviation?

Prachanda: The way in which the letter to the UN was written, with the intention of separating the Maoist army from its arms, contrary to the initial agreement of managing both armies and their arms in the same manner and calling the UN for monitoring, is the most potent example of this deviation. This is a very dangerous thing. This was an attack on the spirit of the April movement. The political outlet the eight- and 12-point understandings had promised was effectively blocked for us. Our greatest objection is to this very issue.

Q. And yet, after all the dispute, you are still in the talks. Sometimes your relationship with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala looks cold and sometimes warm. You look extremely optimistic as soon as you step into Baluwatar. And a couple of weeks later you again look hopeless. What kind of spell has the PM cast over you? Or is it the other way round?

Prachanda: This no spell. This time around too we have made it clear that we will neither head back to the jungle, nor will we leave the negotiating table. A power centre seems to be in a hurry to detach us from the dialogue process. But we are not willing to be detached. Issues like restructuring of the state, constituent assembly, democratic republic– issues which were raised through the sacrifice of thousands of lives during the people’s war—have today become national slogans. Because, these issues have fallen within our rights, within our responsibilities.


Q. What kind of environment marks the informal talks between you and the PM? It seems there is lot of love and affection between you two?

Prachanda:
Frankly, the two of us have always been at odds ever since our first meeting four and a half years ago. And yet, the country’s overall situation compels such interactions between us.

Q. Hasn’t the goodwill between two of you increased in these four years?

Prachanda: There have been occasions where this did happen. During the forging of the 12-point understanding, this goodwill had gone up tremendously. Similarly, the rigors that went into the formation of the eight-point understanding had shown the courage Girija Babu had displayed. Because our agreement on dissolving the parliament and forming a new (interim) government definitely enhanced our mutual respect for each other. But later, the manner in which the letter to the UN was written arose our suspicion. The kind of political stability that was needed in him was missing. After that, the way he spoke in public let down the masses. We were also disappointed by his comments. Despite all those agreements, he couldn’t stand by his words.

Q. But there is still some hope, isn’t there?


Prachanda:
Let’s not say there is no hope. The talks are going on because there is still some hope left. But then, the kind of a sea of good feelings you are hinting at is not there. At some points, the situation demands it; at others, it is genuine goodwill.

Q. But there’s no bitterness?

Prachanda:
There isn’t. I think he (Koirala) has the role of a very important character. Despite the apparent barriers, he is very important for a political outlet in Nepal. And I believe that at this point, he stands at a crossroads—one that will determine whether he will be remembered as a great hero or a villain. The way I see it, at this point, he teeters on the brink. Looking at his recent activities and comments, the people are worried that he might be becoming a villain instead of a hero. He stands on the edge—he can slip and fall any time.

Q. Will you put forward this very thing during the October 8 talks?

Prachanda: Not only on October 8, let me frankly tell you that I am going to meet him (Koirala) in a very short while. I will tell him the same thing in this meeting also.
People may think that we (Prachanda and Koirala) have reached some secret agreements during our meetings. Last time also, I had flatly told him “Girijababu, our role has come to a very critical point. You are in such an important place. If you still side with the repressive elements of the royal army, it will be a really bad thing in history. If you move forward as directed by the 12-point and eight-point understandings, you will become the main character in history. I will also have a role, but that will be only a supporting role.” I have clearly told him that he will become the main character. I have told him to stick to the role of that historic character. I meet him again and again to remind him of this.

Q. These days the SPA leaders say that you (Maoists) are interested more in another mass movement than in the ongoing peace process. What do you say?

Prachanda: We want a peaceful exit to the crisis. We have come up to here with the same intent. After forming the government, the seven parties are getting closer to the structures of the old regime. This makes us worry that a peaceful solution to the crisis may not be possible. Therefore we have said that the preparation for another popular movement should not be abandoned because the SPA government may eventually decide to take the side of the feudal elements.

Q. What is the possibility for such a movement?

Prachanda: It’s quite possible. We haven’t said that we will break the ceasefire and walk out of the talks. It’s our assertion that if the SPA government goes against the spirit of the April movement that created a new history then the same people who took part in the April movement will stand up for the new uprising.

Q. Now it seems both you and the SPA need each other. You need the SPA’s support to balance the international situation. And they need your support and participation to keep the national politics in balance. But instead of consolidating your ties, both of you seem to be blaming each other?

Prachanda:
We had said in the very beginning that whoever will try to go against the earlier agreements between us (SPA, Maoists) will be betraying the Nepali people. We have told even Girijababu (PM Koirala) that the seven parties are now quarrelling over the same agreements. But they raise the issue of donations and all.

Q. What if the issue of monarchy is decided through a constituent assembly?

Prachanda: We don’t have any objection to this idea if there is a consensus on other issues. Because the 12-point and eight-point understanding were reached to make the constituent assembly possible. But we are talking about holding a referendum (to decide the fate of monarchy) because we think this is more democratic. The elected representatives of the constituent assembly will draft the new constitution. And it will be more democratic if all the people are given a direct chance to decide the issue of monarchy.

Q. But it is the UML’s proposal, isn’t it?

Prachanda: Certainly, this proposal was put forward by the UML. But during the course of discussion, we thought that it is more democratic and therefore we agreed on this proposal. But we haven’t made the referendum issue a precondition.
But the prime minister is saying many elements will get a chance to become active in a referendum. This risk will be there in the constituent assembly elections as well. Both processes (constituent assembly and referendum) face this risk.

Q. It seems both the SPA and the Maoist leaders have not been able to understand the people’s desperation. Don’t you feel you may de-link yourselves from the people’s feeling?

Prachanda: Definitely. But the situation is not the same for the two sides. Because they (SPA leaders) are now in the government and have become MPs and ministers. But we have a compulsion of moving forward in a different way. During the Dashain holidays, I visited Sindhupalchowk, Tatopani, Naubise, Daman of Makwanpur and Pokhara. I also experienced the cable car journey and visited Mankamana as well this time. In my experience, the people are desperate and are agitated within.


Q. Don’t the obstacles seen in the peace-talks increase the people’s desperation?

Prachanda: Kishor ji, I don’t think this (situation) will last long. We are also intensely preparing for the talks. In case the talks fail, we feel that we will have to take certain steps to address the people’s desperation. You will know about these steps after a week. Let’s keep it a secret for now!

Q. How optimistic are you about the October 8 Summit Talks?
Prachanda: I am not very optimistic.

Q. Is there any possibility that the talks will not go ahead?

Prachanda: I do see that possibility. But the possibility that the talks will be held is also there. Shortly, I am going to put my things to Girijababu in black and white.

Q. There is also this rumour that the talks will be deferred for a week?

Prachanda:
That’s not true. We want to hold the talks on October 8. But we don’t want the gathering of the leaders on October 8 to look like a Gaijatra. The Nepali people desperately want a positive conclusion; they are hoping for the country to take a clear direction. If that is not fulfilled, there is no point in holding the talks. We don’t think it’s necessary to sit for talks just to conclude that no conclusion could be drawn.

Q. It’s not that the talks will have to continue if the October 8 talks do not take place, or is it?

Prachanda: It’s not like that. We don’t say to postpone the talks to leave the talks process or to break it. What we have said is let’s take some more time to prepare for the talks if the homework done so far is not enough. Otherwise, the leaders gather and the gathering gets much publicity but nothing comes out at the end– this will only send out a negative message. In reality, our emphasis is on reaching a consensus. If that does not happen, we will take a big decision for the people within a few days. The people are in a huge uncertainty for the past four months; we won’t let this situation to continue. We are ready to make another sacrifice from our side for the sake of the country. We won’t let a situation come where the Nepali people could blame us.

Q. Could that sacrifice be remaining silent on the issue of monarchy?

Prachanda:
No, not that. We may walk out by handing over everything to the seven parties. Let us just go to the people. We can move ahead with this much right. Then the seven parties can do whatever they want; we may say that constituent assembly is enough for us.

Q. Mr Chairman, it seems you are very disappointed. These expressions of yours indicate that you feel weary and tired?

Prachanda: The people are desperate for peace; I am concerned that if that desperation is not addressed in time, there will be another danger. What you see as disappointment in my expressions is definitely not disappointment. Yes, it may be the reflection of my concern. It could be a reflection of my agitated mind. The people should not be left un-addressed for a long time. Last year also, we had declared a three-month-long unilateral truce. Now, the seven parties are preoccupied with their own things even as the royalists are looking for a role again. The people feel suffocated. What we say is we should even be ready to make some sacrifices for a way-out. It’s not disappointment.

Q. That way-out could be reached on October 8 itself?

Prachanda: May be, may be not.

(Interview by Kishor Nepal)

Published by UWB

Pioneering blog from Nepal...since 2004.

66 thoughts on “INTERVIEW WITH PRACHANDA

  1. Prachanda certainly knows what he wants. We all know the cracks within SPA who never seem to agree on anything. And Prachanda is taking pot shots at it. Worse still Prachanda has become very bold and is engaging in arm twisting tactics through his veiled threats (what do you expect when your opponent has no testicles).

    It is a shame how bad politics within SPA has failed to mobilize the very encouraging international support thats there for grabs and which could neutralize the over ambitious Maoists.

    The SPA should come up with a strong strategy to check Maoists and not waste time on talking about reviving KG coz the people have already given their verdict on it … democratic republic Nepal!

    But right from day 1, I always knew Girija wasnt the right man for this job (not that I knew anyone else competent enough).

  2. If the outcome of this whole so called “peace talks” goes agaist the spirit of the people, it is Girija and only Girija to be held responsible. For he never intended to negotiate on behalf of the people.

    Surely the list will be followed by the likes of Deuba, Makune and many more. Lets not talk about Maoists here, coz we know what they want and they are all out to get it. Lets talk about how SPA is almost about to fail us.

  3. Girija has alot more leverages then he realizes. He needs put his foot down very firmly and demand the Maoists lay down their arms. Baburam and Prachanda don’t want to spend the rest of their lives hiding in the jungles.
    But first the SPA needs to show a united front to the Maoists! Otherwise the Maoists will surely exploite this weakness!

  4. Today in one of the headlines it was reported that Prachanda said NC should drop monarchy and everything else will be solved in 30 minutes. He called the NC stance on monarchy a roadblock to the peace summit. I strongly suggest NC to do so, this man Prachanda has nothing else to shout about. If the NC drop it, then they can start talking about maoists dropping their arms and go on to the real issues. After all what does it matter whether NC says ceremonial monarchy or not, because monarchy should be left to the people to decide via a referendum and should definitely not be up to parties to decide for us. NC drop it then you have this power hungry communist by the ball$! He will have nothing to create headlines with. Only issues left for immediate resolve will all be issues related to the maoist arms, extortion, peoples court, hijacking of schools for their use, forced taking of other peoples property, child soldiers – the list goes on.

  5. I am not in the position to tell Girija and Maoist what they should or should not do, I am darned sure about one thing here that this idiot Bhudai pundut should lick donkey’s arse. When the going gets tough, only the tough gets going. SPA’s are spent force, King is a dead horse, maoist rule Nepal U like it or not. SPAs are kneeling down and begging for mercy from Maoist and stupid bhudai pundit brags on their capacity.BTW how much does a kilogram of potato cost in Asan Bazaar, bhudai Pundit? If you know the answer, you can be King of Nepal hoo

  6. Once the NC drop the monarchy and more NA then what is going to happen everybody knows about it. NC will be fall down and vanish from the politics (how long it depends) and maost will be be in royal palace and PM quater. Many communist sympathetic parties merge with maoist (maybe with the condition).

    I am very much satisfied with the posting of funny above. How much kneeling with the maoist has become hot topics in Nepal.

  7. What does it matter what positions regarding the monarchy the parties have if the issue of monarchy is to be settled by a referendum? Do you think all NC members are for monarchy? There are many republicans there as well, so let them vote as individuals like the rest of us. Why should 1 million political leaders, cadres and a$$ lickers decide the important issues for the other 29 million of us? Frankly, is there anyone here that can say that they are completely happy with the party they may vote for? Meaning, is it me alone or are there others who believe that we would vote in an instant if there was a new party with capable leaders and none of this SPAM, RPP etc. lot? Show of hands anyone?

  8. The crux is this- Maoist leadership and militias have two sets of differring agenda and day by day it is getting wider and wider. Now, Prachanda is in a bind to do something and its not going to be a peaceful settlement, mark my word. The summits are just a process, and “necessary evil” for the Maoist. Three thing that ara against them;
    1. Time
    2. Defunct idealogy
    3. Without reign of terrot-they are kaput

    They all know this and this the danger.The higher echlon of Maoist leadership much prefers to act like a real politicians but for them its too late and if they do they are “walking dead” among their own- so it now or never. So stop wishing upon a star. The hell will break loose.

    We are champoins at desecrating institution, disparaging our own way of life, walkig out of step in order to be seen “more democractic” although we do not practice nor speak democracy. So the pain we are in is a direct result of misplaced priorities and instigated covert action in order to undermine our very existence but we are so progressive that we do not notice the obivious sign of being sold down the river by two henchmen of southern brother-SPA and Maoist. They are partner in crime without an iota of Nationalism and pride in being a Nepali. Go ask Sundar Mani Dixit, dollar farmer and failed physician is this so? He will probably answer all in Civil society’s name but not Nepal.

  9. Ooh..Sundar Mani Dixit?? Is he democrat or autocrat??? Is he fighting for the people or for himself?? Is he civil society member of general public or civil society of the maoist? Is he looking for social service or for the position addressed by the maoist??? Is he ready to re-distribute his huge property to poor people or to safeguard it and earn more dollar in the name of civil society??? Is he really fight for the peace or to safeguard maoist??? people are confused with these civil society…What I understood the meaning of civil society is that fight for the general people..are they really fighting…

  10. Ooh..Sundar Mani Dixit?? Is he democrat or autocrat??? Is he fighting for the people or for himself?? Is he civil society member of general public or civil society of the maoist? Is he looking for social service or for the position addressed by the maoist??? Is he ready to re-distribute his huge property to poor people or to safeguard it and earn more dollar in the name of civil society??? Is he really fight for the peace or to safeguard maoist??? people are confused with these civil society…What people understood the meaning of civil society is that they fight for the general people..are they really fighting at present situation as they did before…..if not then why????

  11. The truth about Mao Tse Tung:

    The Chinese are a smart people; just look at the names that make it to
    advanced science programs at America’s top universities. IQ aficionados
    tell us the Chinese and Japanese have an edge over the rest of us. But
    read the story of Mao; it makes you wonder: how could so many smart people
    do something so moronic…it would be flattery to call them stupid?

    Who would have thought that one of the planets most ancient and refined
    civilizations would yield itself over to a lame-brained intellectual whose
    principle preoccupations were creating havoc…and making sure his own
    bowels moved? What went through the minds of his followers when they
    watched him order his trusted subordinates trussed up, tortured and
    murdered…? What did they think when their own general – faced with an
    implacable enemy who vowed to ‘annihilate’ all of them – set in motion a
    purge of his own forces that wiped out a third of his entire army…or
    dilly-dallied in hostile territory, against the orders of his superiors,
    and managed to lose 70,000 out of an original 80,000 of his long-suffering
    followers? What could they have thought when the man who claimed to be a
    champion of the poor starved, robbed, and tortured them without mercy…so
    ruthlessly that any peasants with the strength to escape ran off to the
    other side?

    If they didn’t flee, they hung themselves or opened their veins. When Mao
    first got his hands on a little chunk of China he immediately turned the
    place into a prison. Armed guards patrolled the streets and borders –
    prevent people from escaping. People were encouraged to denounce each
    other…torture was barbaric…executions were everyday occurrences.
    Families were not allowed to visit each other…as the authorities worried
    that they might be up to something. A family found to have welcomed a
    visitor was to be killed. Not surprisingly, people found this proto-Maoist
    worker’s paradise rather depressing. Even top-ranking cadres began to take
    their own lives. “Suicides are the most shameful elements in the
    revolutionary ranks,” came the slogan designed to halt the trend.

    What were the Chinese thinking, to let Mao get away with it? It was as if
    they didn’t think at all. During his career, Mao-Tse-Tung was responsible
    for more deaths – murder, starvation, torture…the usual ways of dying,
    plus a few novelties added by Mao and his thugs – than any other man in
    history. Seventy million is the sum given by Chang and Halliday. Even the
    entire Mongel reign of Genghis Khan and his whole line – who conquered
    three civilizations…Muslim, Chinese, and Hindu…and threatened to
    conquer Christendom too…didn’t match Mao in killing people. You’d think
    one or other of the hundreds of millions of Chinese who suffered at his
    hands
    would have done something about it. Surely, millions must have realized
    what was up. It was obvious from the very get-go that Mao was a homicidal,
    incompetent tyrant. Why didn’t one of them whose wife had been tortured
    abominably…or whose sons had been killed wantonly… or whose family had
    been starved or bayoneted…do something to get even? In the early days,
    it would have been fairly easy to ambush Mao. Maybe that’s the trouble
    with the modern world; people don’t take the obligation of revenge
    seriously enough. Mao died of natural causes, many decades later.

    It is a relief to many that Mao was a communist and that bolshevism no
    longer fires hearts and heavy artillery. But it is a counterfeit comfort.
    Mao never cared about ideology. He murdered his keen communist followers
    as readily as capitalist roaders. He took money from Moscow…but he also
    turned his back on the Russians whenever he could get away with it. He
    might just as well have been a Republican. He went with collectivism only
    because it was stirred the pot…and the faster it swirled, the more
    ruthless bits of slime came to the surface. It was necessary, he wrote,
    “to bring a reign of terror in every country.”

    Practically everything about Mao Tse-Tung was a lie or a swindle. In that
    sense, he made a perfect leading man for a great public spectacle. And as
    it turned out, he was perfect for the role. He was all show…all
    humbug…all mountebank.

    As a soldier, Mao was a disaster. He absented himself from the fight on
    every possible occasion…usually holing up in the biggest, safest, most
    luxurious house in the area…generally feasting and resting…while his
    gang of killers did their work. Ordered by the Marxist hierarchy to join
    the battle, he would take his army in the opposite direction…or just
    wait out the fight and then come in afterwards. Why the party leadership
    didn’t kill him is a mystery…an oversight that they later greatly
    regretted.

    Very early in his career, he experienced the thrill of brutality. It gave
    him “a kind of ecstasy never experienced before…it is wonderful…it is
    wonderful…” he said. To say that he was hard-hearted was a bit like
    saying the Peking sewer is malodorous; it fails to capture the smell
    vividly enough. Mao would take part in torture sessions. He would condemn
    entire villages to starvation. He would waste his own soldiers in
    pointless battles and unnecessary suffering. Even on the famous ‘Long
    March’ he did little marching himself. His skinny soldiers had to carry
    him on a litter!

    Military men are often blockheads, at least the best of them are, but Mao
    was in a class by himself. The Long March was so long partly because Mao
    wasn’t going anywhere. He marched his men uphill and down…hundreds of
    miles this way and that…with meager rations…and almost no medical
    attention, even to the wounded…just to avoid going to a rendezvous that
    might weaken his political grip. He was supposed to link up with another
    army boss, one just as ruthless as he was.

    The communists’ main enemy at the time – almost everyone hated them – was
    Chiang Kai-Chek. But Chiang had already decided to let the Reds get away.
    Still, Mao managed to stir up fights that decimated his little army. At
    Tucheng, for example, Mao put his own troops in about the worst possible
    position – with their backs to the Red River – and faced the best of
    Chiang’s force. Naturally, the communists were nearly wiped out…while
    Mao watched from a nearby mountain. Of those red soldiers who weren’t
    killed in the fighting itself, many soon died of cold and wounds…or were
    killed by the local farmers who were getting even for way they communists
    had treated them. Wherever he went, Mao handled the locals with such naked
    brutality…he caused revolts – against the revolutionaries!

    The whole Long March is nothing but a recitation of one Mao-caused
    calamity after another. But the gods must have had a sour sense of humor
    in the 1930s…they let Mao, Adolf and Josef rise to power anyway.

    While Mao was a dud of a general, he was a bad joke of a political
    philosopher. Early in his life, he might have been a follower of Ayn Rand.
    “People like me only have a duty to ourselves, ” he wrote. We have no duty
    to other people.” Later, he dipped his fork into Marxism like a Western
    teenager sampling sushi. He was not too sure what was in it, and wasn’t
    too eager to find out. Instead, he took Emperor Qin Shihuangdi (221-206
    BC) who founded imperial China as his model. Qin’s empire lasted nearly
    two thousand years. Not only did he build the Great Wall, he also killed
    Confucian scholars, burned classical books, and persecuted thousands –
    perhaps millions – of people.

    It was his single-minded pursuit of power that made Mao so successful. His
    rivals actually believed the Marxist claptrap. They took their orders from
    the party hierarchy and earnestly tried to implement many silly and
    impossible programs. When Mao gained the support of Moscow, his Chinese
    contemporaries felt their hands were tied; they knew he was trouble, but
    they couldn’t get rid of him.

    Mao operated under no such restriction. He eliminated enemies and friends
    – as it suited him. He listened to Moscow when he wanted to; when Moscow
    gave him directions he didn’t like, he ignored them. He was not a ‘good
    communist.’ He was hardly a communist at all.

    “Communism is not love,” he said. “Communism is a hammer we use to crush
    the enemy.”

    But it is in his relations with the fair sex, that the worst of Mao is
    visible. When it came to women, the Great Helmsman was more than a
    bungler… or a brute….he was a cad.

    He married one woman…and then dismissed her. The next bore him two
    children. Scarcely 18 months later, he was conducting some atrocious
    campaign of murder…and brought his army up near where she lived. Mao
    could have and should have immediately gotten his wife out of harm’s
    way…but he didn’t. His enemies seized the poor woman and put her to
    death, hoping to strike a blow at Mao’s heart in that way. But the man
    seemed not even to notice. He had new paramour by then and had forgotten
    spouse number two.

    The new girlfriend, Gui-yuan, then became his third wife and had a baby
    during the Long March. Again, Mao was nearby but did not come to see her.
    Thinking to save her baby from the appalling conditions prevailing, she
    gave it to a local farmer, along with a sum of money to pay for its care.
    It soon died.

    Then, Gui-yuan herself nearly died when she was struck by one of Chiang’s
    bombs. Doctors said she only had a few hours to live and her pain was so
    great that she even begged her comrades to put her out of her misery. Once
    again, Mao, who was in a nearby village, said he was too ‘tired’ to come
    see her.

    What a hero…

  12. super idiotic when a MAOIST COMMUNIST HARDCORE talks about doing thing DEMOCRATIC way.

  13. Why am I being moderated for telling the truth? An old Turkish proverb: “When you tell the truth, always have one foot in the stirrup…”

  14. Is no one concerned that the Maoist leadership idolizes a murderous bandit like Mao Tse-Tung?

  15. Comrade Prachanda is a loser… he cant get excuse on still going “Chanda usuli” by saying that he is taking action against them. If Prachanda belevies that he is not hungry for power and his organisation is stable then as being the leader of his organisation he should take resposibilities of every errors done by his men (whether for or against him) and he should resign. This will give a proof that his maoist organisation is greater than every men, whether a leader or a fighter.

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