two faces of baburam bhattarai

Deconstructing Baburam Bhattarai: Conflicts and Contradictions

Two Baburams: Baburam Bhattarai, left, talks to a Kantipur journalist four days before the Maoist started “People’s War” in 1996. He goes to assume office of the Prime Minister in Singadarbar in August 2011 after taking oath to secrecy. Pics by Bikas Rauniar via Kantipur
Two Baburams: Baburam Bhattarai, left, talks to a Kantipur journalist four days before the Maoist started “People’s War” in 1996. He goes to assume office of the Prime Minister in Singadarbar in August 2011 after taking oath to secrecy. Pics by Bikas Rauniar via Kantipur

On Friday (9 August), Kathmandu Post published a piece by Suman Khadka (a PhD candidate at Monash University, Australia) that critically analyzed Baburam Bhattarai’s contradictory personality with focus on his bourgeois education that the Maoist leader stopped many Nepali youths from pursuing. (His party forced many students in rural Nepal out of schools to join the Maoist ‘militia’ reasoning that they shouldn’t waste time pursuing bourgeois education. At the same time, Bhattarai sent his daughter Manushi Yami Bhattarai to prestigious schools in India.)

De-schooling doctor Baburam

Baburam Bhattarai’s rise in politics has much to do with this perception of him being a ‘learned’ man. This reverence largely stems from the degrees he has earned, rather than wisdom per se. His wisdom is difficult to ascertain because his writings are abstract. Neither have many of us have read his PhD thesis or his books, which I find far too incomprehensible, even though I don’t consider myself stupid. Even CK Lal has noted the difficulty of deciphering Bhattarai’s writings. But it is precisely such writing and rhetoric that succeed in creating a feeling of intellectual inferiority among others, so successful that even the opposition parties once wanted Bhattarai to be prime minister. Although Bhattarai’s popularity has nosedived recently, many accept that he is the most knowledgeable politician, not because they understand him but rather, because they don’t. When Bhattarai defended Dekendra Thapa’s accused murderers, a question people had was “how can such a learned man do so?” Interestingly, this group forgot that Bhattarai is the Maoist ideologue based on whose scholarly arguments many people like Thapa were killed in the first place. This article continues here

Yesterday, the Post carried a rebuke to the Suman Khadka’s piece, a hagiographic defense of Bhattarai by two men (one of them a fulltime Maoist cadre who also writes articles idealizing Bhattarai on Maoist publications including a pro-Bhattarai website that is promoted by Bhattarai.) The article, by Resham Thapa, who teaches in TU, and Dhruba Raj Adhikari, states setting up of a complaint box, branded ‘Hello Sarkar’, in Singhabarbar during the tenure of PM Bhattarai as one of his biggest achievements. The piece was so adulatory that it prompted a well-known pro-Maoist (pro-Prachanda, to be specific) journalist, Kishore Nepal, to tweet this: “Glorification of Comrade BRB in TKP: “Bhajan-Kirtan” of politician in this season of Bird flu! It is highly infectious. Beware Dr Saheb!”

Of heroes and villains

Many of the charges hurled by these people against Dr Baburam are flimsy and lack credible evidence. For instance, the role of his academic degree or the ‘Board First’ tag. If it were merely his PhD degree or exam-topper qualification that catapulted him to his current position, what about the thousands of PhDs and exam-toppers every year? This is a mundane and simplistic argument. Moreover, how many PhD holders and Board Firsts have renounced their private properties and privileges to lead a revolution and devoted their entire life for the cause of the oppressed and downtrodden? It is this profound sense of sacrifice and devotion for the exploited and oppressed people, along with a sound ideological political thinking and commitment that has made Dr Baburam what he is. For sacrifice without scientific thinking can only produce yogis and sadhus, and knowledge without revolutionary practice can only make distinguished professors and scholars. It is noteworthy what Dr Baburam has quoted in the very beginning of his PhD thesis, later published as a book: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it”. This article continues here

I want to use this opportunity to reproduce three articles on Bhattarai that journalist Dinesh Wagle wrote in Kantipur daily when he was working with the newspaper and was associated with this blog at that time. These articles, written soon after Bhattarai became prime minister, analyze two contradictory aspects of Baburam Bhattarai as a politician, critique his first 100 days in office as prime minister and look in depth his opportunistic attitude towards India (comparing the stand he took against India when he was in opposition and taking an u-turn to appease the southern neighbor by completely ignoring first 9 of his famous 40 demands that were related to India when he became prime minister and visited India in that capacity.) By SD

ठूलो पार्न क्लिके हुन्छ
ठूलो पार्न क्लिके हुन्छ

प्रधानमन्त्री बाबुराम भट्टराईका दुई पाटा

भट्टराईको प्रशंसा गर्नेहरु माओवादी मात्र छैनन्, माओवादीमै बरु कम छन् । ती प्रशंसकले बिग्रेको र अनियन्त्रित राजनितिक अवस्थामा माओवादीभित्र शान्ति र संविधानको मुद्धा उठाइरहेका भट्टराईमा आशा देख्नु अस्वभाविक होइन । तर उनीहरुका आशा भट्टराईबारे पूर्णरुपमा सूसूचित जानकारीमै मात्र आधारित छैनन् ।

पढाइमा अब्लल, आर्थिकरुपमा सफा र ‘शान्तिका पक्षधर’ भट्टराई पक्कै हुन् तर बेलाबेला उनले अपनाउने नीतिहरु अस्पष्ट र विरोधाभाषपूर्ण छन् जसले उनलाई एकनासको सोचयुक्त नेता होइनन् भन्न सजिलो पार्छ ।  यो लेखको बाँकी भाग यहाँ छ 

[SD: अर्थमन्त्रीकारूपमा तुलनात्मकरूपमा स्वच्छ देखिएका भट्टराईले अाफ्नो त्यो छविलाई प्रधानमन्त्रीकारूपमा गरेको भ्रष्टाचार र नातावादले पुरै पखाल्यो । कार्यकालको शुरूतिर अार्थिक मामिलामा शंकास्पद व्यहोरा भएकी अाफ्नीलाई लक्ष्यगर्दै ‘मेरो परिवार या आफन्तबाट कुनै दवाव आयो भने सोझै मसँग आउनु होला’ भनेका भट्टलाई चौतर्फी दवावपटछि पदवाट हट्दा गड्यौंलाको नाममा पैसा असुल्ने तिनै पत्नीको फरिया र नातावाद अनि त्रिशुली जलविद्युत अायोजनामा अार्थिक भ्रष्टाचारमा निर्लिप्त भइसकेका थिए ।]

माओवादी-भारत सम्बन्ध: पहिले विस्तारवाद, अहिले अवसरवाद
माओवादी-भारत सम्बन्ध: पहिले विस्तारवाद, अहिले अवसरवाद

माओवादी-भारत सम्बन्ध: पहिले विस्तारवाद, अहिले अवसरवाद

प्रधानमन्त्रीका रूपमा माओवादी नेता बाबुराम भट्टराई भारतको औपचारिक भ्रमणमा रहेको यो अवस्थामा नेपालमा विपक्षी कांग्रेसका नेताहरू हात बाँधेर मुस्काइरहेका छन् । उनीहरूको त्यो मुस्कुराइ झन्डै १५ वर्षअघिको एउटा सानो जस्तो लाग्ने घटना र त्यसपछिका भयङ्करजस्ता लाग्ने थुप्रै अन्य घटनामा अडिएको छ । २०५२ माघ २९ गते झ्याम्म दाह्री पालेका एकजना ‘रिसाहा अधबैंसे’ ले त्यतिबेलाका कांग्रेसी प्रधानमन्त्री शेरबहादुर देउवासमक्ष ४० वटा माग प्रस्तुत गर्दै ती फागुन ५ गतेसम्म पूरा नभए ‘सशक्त संघर्षको बाटोमा’ हिँड्ने चेतावनी दिएका थिए । ती माग पूरा हुने नहुने टुङ्गो नलाग्दै र आफैंले तोकेको समयसीमाको बेवास्ता गर्दै ती व्यक्ति फागुन एकमै भूमिगत भए कमरेड लालध्वजका रूपमा तत्कालीन राज्यसत्ताविरुद्ध त्यही दिन सुरु भएको सशस्त्र युद्धमा सामेल हुन । ती लालध्वज, धेरैलाई थाहा छ, यिनै भट्टराई हुन् जसले (र, उनको पार्टी माओवादीले) १५ वर्षपछि भारतसँग सम्बन्धित सुरुका नौ मागलाई पूरै बिर्सन खोजेको जबरजस्त अभिनय गरिरहेका छन् । ४० मध्ये कतिपय माग ०६२/०६३ को जनआन्दोलनले पूरा गरायो तर त्यो सूचीमा रहेका नम्बर एकदेखि नौसम्मका माग अहिले पनि पूरा भएका छैनन् । पूरा गराउने कुर्सीमा माओवादीका अध्यक्ष पुष्पकमल दाहाल नौ महिना बसिसेका छन् भने लाजध्वज त्यो कुर्सीमा बसेको आठौं हप्ता भएको छ । यो लेखको बाँकी भाग यहाँ छ

प्रधानमन्त्री भट्टराईको कार्यकालको तीन महिनामा शान्ति प्रकृयामा प्रगति भयो शुसासनको धज्जी उड्यो कुटनीतिमा उनलाई केही सफलता मिल्यो । नराम्रा कामको अपजस सबै उनैलाई जानु स्वभाविकै भयो तर राम्रोको जस उनलाईमात्र जादैन ।
प्रधानमन्त्री भट्टराईको कार्यकालको तीन महिनामा शान्ति प्रकृयामा प्रगति भयो शुसासनको धज्जी उड्यो कुटनीतिमा उनलाई केही सफलता मिल्यो । नराम्रा कामको अपजस सबै उनैलाई जानु स्वभाविकै भयो तर राम्रोको जस उनलाईमात्र जादैन ।

प्रधानमन्त्री बाबुराम भट्टराईका सय दिन

खोप्लाङ, गोर्खाका बाबुराम भट्टराईले प्रधानमन्त्रीका रूपमा यो साता बालुवाटार, काठमान्डुमा सय दिने मधुमास पूरा गर्दैछन् । सामान्य अवस्थामा उनको कार्यावधिको मूल्यांकन आगामी मंगलबार थालिनुपर्ने हो । तर कतिपय रुष्ट नेपालीहरूले आफ्ना ३५ औं प्रधानमन्त्रीको राजीनामा अहिल्यै मागिसकेका छन् ।

‘बाबुराम, पद छाड’ भन्नेहरूको त्यो सूचीमा विपक्षी दलहरूका नेता र आफ्नै पार्टीभित्रका ‘खुट्टा तान्ने कमरेडहरू’ मात्रै भए त्यसलाई राजनीतिक दाउपेचको एउटा अस्वाभाविक उदाहरण भन्दै अस्वीकार गर्न हुन्थ्यो । तर यहाँ दुई महिनाअघिसम्म ५७ वर्षे भट्टराईलाई ‘हृदयका राजा’, ‘आशाका केन्द्र’ र ‘आइडल’ जस्ता प्रेम र प्रशंसाका शब्दहरू बर्साउने कतिपयले नै सबैभन्दा ठूलो मन्त्रिमण्डल बनाएको, हत्यारालाई माफी दिन खोजेको, प्रशासनयन्त्रलाई ‘ध्वस्त’ बनाएको भन्दै गाली गरेका छन् । प्रशंसकहरू निराश हुँदै उनलाई आफ्नो अपेक्षाविपरीत, अघिल्ला प्रधानमन्त्रीहरूजस्तै, निष्प्रभावी र ‘उही ड्याङका मूला’ भन्न थालेका छन् भने आलोचक र शंकालुहरू चाहिँ ‘मैले त भनेकै थिएँ नि’ जस्ता शब्दावलीबाट कुरा थाल्छन् ।

‘पहिले घरभित्र पसेर अवस्था के छ भन्ने नबुझी उहाँले बोल्नुभयो, मान्छेहरूले आशा गरे,’ पूर्वप्रशासक तथा पूर्वप्रमुख निर्वाचन आयुक्त भोजराज पोखरेलले भने, ‘अर्थमन्त्रीका रूपमा बनेको उहाँको राम्रो छविमा आधारित भएर जनताले उहाँबाट बढी नै आशा गरे । व्यक्तिगत रूपमा उहाँ अहिले पनि बदनाम हुनुभएको छैन । ‘भट्टराईले यसो गरे, उसो गरे, खाए’ भन्ने सुनिएको छैन । शान्ति प्रक्रिया टुंगिने बाटोमा बढेको छ, त्यसको जस उहाँलाई जाला । तर शासनलाई राम्रो पाटोमा लैजान र नतिजा देखाउने सन्दर्भमा उहाँ असफल हुनुभयो ।’ यो लेखको बाँकी भाग यहाँ छ

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2 thoughts on “Deconstructing Baburam Bhattarai: Conflicts and Contradictions”

  1. Manushi Bhattarai went to prestigious school? What a joke..do you even know what school she went to? she grew up away from her parents..under a fake name like a convict..why? Because she was cursed by her parents love for their country..because of which they left high paying jobs in UK and Germany to return to the jungles of Nepal..to fight for the people..and this is what they get in return.
    Please write fact not fiction.

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