Loose Talk Indeed! [Mr. Chairman, Better Mind Your Tongue!]

Why is Prachanda so reckless when it comes to his public utterances? The answer could be worrying.

By Ameet Dhakal

Public perception of leaders changes with time. But the public image of Maoist Chairman Prachanda is changing rather fast.

Before the April Movement, when the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) was still at war, the public image of Prachanda (left) was true to his name – the fierce one. In the post-war period that image underwent a metamorphosis: With his broad grin, often ear-to-ear, people found him friendly and amenable. During crucial negotiations he demonstrated much-needed courage and flexibility, building up an image of bold and practical leadership.

Lately, however, another defining characteristic of Prachanda’s is emerging – that of a loose talker. Don’t agree? Consider these eight public gaffes he committed over the past one year.

June 8, 2006: He actually bungled his first public appearance. Addressing media persons after he first met with the eight-party leaders at the prime minister’s official residence at Baluwatar, Prachanda said the army should be reduced to 20,000 in size since it had no purpose but to kill the sons of the people and engage in rape. A week or so after making the comment he apologized for it.

November 20, 2006: Addressing journalists in New Delhi, he said that the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI had offered help to his party through direct and indirect means but he had turned down the offer since it was not in the interest of the Nepali people and India.

March 2, 2007: When journalists asked him why the Maoists had surrendered only a little over 3,000 weapons while they had placed over 30,000 combatants in the cantonments, Prachanda said, “A sizeable chunk of our weapons were swept away by the river.” Next day a blogger wrote in: “Prachandaji where is the river?”, and then answered himself, “Dried out suddenly”.

March 8, 2007: Addressing a mass meeting in Pokhara, Prachanda made yet another sensational revelation. He said the royalists were trying to kill American officials and put the blame on the Maoists and he even claimed to have concrete proof. Two days later the US embassy issued a statement asking the Maoists to share the information with the government and the embassy. The statement even took him to task: “If he had no such information then his remarks are both irresponsible and dangerous”.

March 12, 2007: Speaking at a program in Baglung, Prachanda said that the Maoists had left thousands of combatants and sophisticated weapons outside the cantonments. Two days later he said he was just being satirical and the media misunderstood him.

May 6, 2007: Referring to the terai problem, Prachanda said, “Give us full authority and we will solve all the problems in the terai within 15 days”. Once he had publicly said that the Nepali Army and the Maoists army could both be mobilized to tackle the terai unrest.

June 6, 2007: Expressing public anger against India over media reports that it had suggested to the UML to enter into an alliance with the Nepali Congress to safeguard the peace process, Prachanda told reporters in Butwal, “Delhi’s statement has enraged us. India has no right to keep some parties close to itself and distance others. We want an answer why India said that.” A few days later Prachanda issued a statement saying there was no longer any misconception between India and the Maoists.

July 16, 2007: Prachanda charged UNMIN of conspiring against the Maoists. He claimed during the first phase of verification in Ilam that the Maoists had recovered a suspicious UNMIN document that revealed its intention to reduce the rebel force by 40 percent.

July 16, 2007: Speaking in Butwal, Prachanda said the government should deploy the Young Communist League (YCL) along with the Armed Police Force (APF) to maintain law and order during the CA poll. “If the APF alone is deployed, it will be a suicidal effort.”

Why is Prachanda so reckless when it comes to his public utterances? The answer could be worrying. Maybe his judgment of situations is often wrong; maybe he jumps to conclusions too fast; maybe he is so impulsive that he can’t restrain himself from making public comments even if they are not well thought out.

Some of his public statements even indicate that his trust for others is too fragile- you can call it the impact of war. Take for instance his reaction against India over its supposed suggestion to the UML to work closely with the NC to save the peace process. There was nothing to panic about. After all, the NC and UML have fought together for parliamentary democracy since 1990 and are the most trusted of political forces when it comes to commitment to the multiparty system. Maybe, the Maoists are equally committed, though they are yet to pass the test of time. But Prachanda became overly suspicious of Indian motives and hastened to call for a public explanation, only to retract this two days later in a roundabout way.

His statement that the UNMIN was conspiring against the Maoists is no less serious. The UN has its own credibility to uphold when it comes to neutrality. That is why all of us (SPA, Maoists, civil society, media) supported and lobbied for its presence here despite initial misgivings on the part of India and the United States. But Prachanda publicly questioned that very neutrality-the UN’s greatest asset for third-party facilitation in post-war periods – and leveled a serious accusation against the world body. If he had believed his allegations to be true, he would not have agreed to resumption of the verification process three days after his public outburst.

One or two public gaffes by a high profile leader are normal. But when a pattern emerges it raises serious questions about the stuff the leader is made of.

The chairman had better mind his tongue!

Ameet Dhakal is the News Editor of the Kathmandu Post where this article first appeared today. He could be reached at ameet(at)kantipur.com.np

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24 thoughts on “Loose Talk Indeed! [Mr. Chairman, Better Mind Your Tongue!]”

  1. Do you know why Pol Pot Prachande is so reckless when it comes to public utterances? Because he is a person without any vision and he does not believe in competitive politics. He just thinks power can be grabbed through the barrel of guns. There are lots of similarities between Prachande and gyane: both of them are stupid ruthless dictators, and people like Prachande was created by Gyane and people like Jwala singh was created by Prachande. Now, both Gyane and Prachande are paying the price of their shortsightedness.

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  2. I wonder why writer has such high expectation from Prachanda?? What would a person not even a graduate, having no sense of responsibilty and no proper political knowledge be intelligent?? He’s like a shepherd who is used to roam around the jungles with bunch of sheep suddenly become a village chief.

    You must born with the abilities and talent then only you can sharpen it. It used to be easy for him to convince his herd of sheep before, as we know herd just follow it’s leader no matter what and now when he is facing some people instead the Chairman has shown his true colours!!

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  3. People had expected a lot with Prachanda before his visibility. They have hoped him as a great revolutionery leader with a great vision. I, among one of them, had also thought him a leader with perfect personality. But, now, after hearing so many interviews, talks and his physical exposures, i came to the conclusion that he is no more than a kid who have no any clear conception and understanding about anything. He has no any political maturity. He is no more than an administrator of a single party. He has no any quality of being perfiect leader. His saying is changing as like the colour of lizard, everytime. Actually, in our country, here is no any single leader who has the perfect qualities of being a leader of the country. This is our fate.

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  4. Combodia is a classic example where the maoists led the civil society and intellectuals to believe that they can be trusted to uphold democratic values and the intellectuals believed. But once they came into power the maoists revealed their true autocratic and fascist nature by killing any intellectual and civil society who opposed maoist doctrine or had a different opinion. The recent statements of Prachanda on YCL deployment for security in CA elections is nothing but Prachanda’s desire to win the election by intimidation through the YCL. It is plain for all to see. Prachanda wants to be president by using YCL as his strongarm to intimidate the general Nepali public. It is Prachanda’s intentional and calculated speak. But Nepali media and intellectuals are still giving the maoists the benefit of doubt.

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  5. When you put person or people on pedstal who have come to power by murder like Prachande or Girja who looted financially and corrupted a democratic system right in the bud- what you get is loads of loose talks and highway to hell. Now the question is do WE accept the loose talk or do something to change it. It all shows what and who we are, really.

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  6. Ameet,

    There are many reasons;

    1. Because he had not thought he would be worshiped as a god by foolish people with the expectation of making Switzerland.

    2. He had not imagined that he would get executive sit and all the luxuries from spa leaders especially by foolish and opportunist Girija and Sitaua.

    3. He had not even dreamed that his “Prachanda path” will be followed by our so-called our democratic leaders and different professionals.

    4. He had not expected that the civil societies and human right organization will totally support his crimes.

    5. Till today, he knows that he can fool not only poor people but also so called intellectuals and so-called democratic politicians of Nepal.

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  7. Prachanda is just another leader with, in addition to some talent, a bundle of follies to his credit. He gave unrealistic dreams and slogans to the people of Nepal and made his revolution a success by many standards. He will have to face the wrath of people if he fails (it’s certain he will fail) to deliver those unrealistic assurances (“we will take people of all villages to Kathmandu and vice versa” and “you will not have to pay bank loans”). He appears to be frightened about the consequences. That’s why he is giving out all these inconsistent remarks that the writer of the above article has wonderfully presented. Though I am not voting for his party, I hope Chairman Comrade learns something reading this.

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  8. Prachanda has a vision: vision for himself. He is a wannabe politician but could not be elected. So he took arms and went to jungle. Due to the incompetence of the so called 1990 democratic government he rose very fast. All of a sudden he gained the status. He gained equal footing in the parliament and in the government. He shook hands with dignitaries and even traveled to Europe. All along he knew he has no vision for the country. He has ever wanted was to live in Kathmandu in style. Dream has come true for him.

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  9. All those years Prachanda was in hiding – it was all so mysterious and grand. He should have stayed in hiding. Because now he is just a clown and gradually he won’t be taken seriously. Ameet forgot his comment about him declaring that he would be president of Nepal within two years.

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  10. Maybe the guys’s cracking under the pressure. More likely…the myth was ‘Prachanda’ and the reality was just a cunning Pushpa K Dahal.

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  11. The worm who thought he was a mighty snake is now acting like a cry baby since the bigger more cunning leech (Girija) stole his cookie.

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  12. If Puspha Kamal can speak of such rubbish when the national media is focussed on him, just imagine what he must have promised to the people he addressed to when he was underground!

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  13. Good point yacc. I have been raising this point for some time now – what will happen if the Maoists do poorly in the elections. Frankly it isn’t so much a “what if” question, the way things are they will not fair well in the up coming elections. Then what?
    This is a really good article in the NT. I highly recommend reading it.

    http://www.nepalitimes.com/issue/358/MovingTarget/13769

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  14. I posted the link to the above article but since our genius friend Mr. Dinesh Wagle has set this wordpress options to moderate weblinks I posted the entire article. It is from this week’s issue of the Nepali times. Enjoy.

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  15. Bhudai – like the article points, there’ll be a bloody show down whichever way we have it. If its free and fair, surely Maoists will lose and they wont give up just like that. If its unfair and Maoists win, surely rest of the parties will declare war. And we’re not even talking abt other complexities royals, madhesis, janjatis etc will bring to the table. So in conclusion, its imminent there is another long drawn war awaiting. Lets brace ourselves for it.

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  16. PK Dahal is in a lot of pressure that he created himself. Blood has been spilt at his behest – if you take something that is not yours it will be taken from you.

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  17. Prachanda has to understand that running a nation is very different from destroying it. His war was the easy bit. Anyone can do it as is being proven by several other armed groups, as long as you have a herd of blood thirsty young and aimless souls you can influence to burn in hell. We have 25 million people who want peace and democracy, the King was ousted along with his mighty army, who is this guy trying to fool? Either tow the line of peace and democracy or face the inevitable consequences. At this rate there will definitely be a janandolan 3 – no a KRANTI by the people, for the people and of the people and it will be to rid this nation of these beasts.

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  18. This Prachanda definitely sounds and behaves like a moron. This is dangerous. The maoists should change their leadership, otherwise the command in the hands of a psycopath like Prachande is nothing short of dangerous.

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  19. I think maoist .. should let the talking to Dr. Babu Ram .. May be Prachandra is good with guns only .. and he should be kept only as a General of People Army .. May be the Master mind of Maoist success is Dr.Babu Ram and not Prachandra..

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  20. This Monster will have only one place to the Heague or German Tribunal(German tribunal can activate any time and any where but not the Heague) not the Nepali politics suprimo ! This idiots wants to leads the country ! How is the hell he evolve as a leader to them ,I am surprised.

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  21. Ameet has not included one of the most interesting public gaffes:

    Audo 5-10 barshamai deshle thulo fadko marna sakchha aba.

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