These questions and answers are from the press conference that was organized on the 19th of June 2012 by the newly formed Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, which finally ruptured from the then Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) after a 2 day long National Convention held in Kathmandu, Nepal. Chairman of the newly formed CPN-M, Comrade Kiran (Mohan Baidya) answered the questions raised by journalists during the press conference. There is a minor edit for clarity.
The uncut-hour long audio of the press conference question and answer session can be found on the link http://soundcloud.com/ignitemagazine/cpn-maoist-first-press-meet-1 . Only useful to Nepali listeners.
Thanks to Comrade Pooja ( http://kalishakti.info ) for taking her time to make this speech available in English.
Q: - How do you justify the formation of the new party? How should general people understand this?
A: - Communist party is a party for the benefit of the proletariat and the people. In the case of Nepal, the aim of a communist party remains to move forward, raising the issues of safeguarding national sovereignty; people's democracy and livelihood then ultimately leap towards socialism and communism. This is self-proven. In the process of attaining this aim we went through people’s war, and did considerable amount of work among and with the people. We built our base areas, practiced our newly formed people's power but then conciliation took place amidst as we moved forward to build a new Nepal.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t compromise, we should but while compromising, the act of abandoning our entire basis (achievements) has happened. The act of slipping down from our mission and objectives has happened. The dream we carried was of a constitutional assembly but where is the constitution? How did the constituent assembly function? Talking about people’s livelihood, how has the corruption been mounting-up? That fact is clearer. In the process of making a constitution there was an agreement to move forward institutionalizing the rights of the working class, indigenous people, ethnic minorities, women & dalit; including the rights of all oppressed class, region and gender but ditching all these primary issues of constitutional thematic committees it is apparent that ex-chairman, Prachanda surrendered everything to Congress & UML by forming a dispute resolution sub-committee under the constitutional committee.
In the process of making a constitution the question of ethnic-identity-based federalism is extremely important. Our party takes the decision of an ethnic-identity-based federalism while in process of restructuring the state Prachanda & Baburam joined their necks together with Congress-UML and agreed up on eleven anonymous federal states. The situation was that they were forced to take their decision back, as we and all others in the constituent assembly carried-out a signature collection campaign against their decision. They have failed to institutionalize ethnic-identity, it is important for us to do it.
Where are the perquisites for women and dalits? There have been serious betrayals on these issues. That is why we want to raise all these issues again. Not only that, we are also talking about issues of national sovereignty. Since the bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement (BIPPA) was signed, now the issues of water resources agreement and extradition treaty have come to surface.
The main thing is that there has been a wrong tendency to maneuver our party as a puppet of imperialism and expansionism; along with this all the core concept of the party including the guiding principal has been distorted. We are against this. We cannot let our party function as a puppet of imperialism, expansionism and feudalism. We had to revolt in order to safeguard people’s rights, interests and benefit. This is the main justification of the split.
Q: - In the past we have witnessed vicious confrontations between two factions after the split of Naxalite struggle in India. How are you cautious about bloodshed happening after the party split? What is your view on the question of the government?
A: - You raised the question of possible confrontation between two parties and the question of the Naxalite struggle in India, we are very cautious about this. There won't be any such confrontation from our side. We won't go into confrontation. It has been proven even in the course of history of our two-line struggle that we never exerted any physical force anywhere. Instead we have heard many cases of exertion of force by the Prachanda's group in places. During that time we alerted the concerned party to be serious on the matter.
Therefore, firstly what I want to assure you is that we will not be exerting any physical force anywhere from our side. Secondly, we have to be extremely aware. There has been talk with Prachanda and other people within his circle that we have to be very serious in these matters after separation of the party. Therefore, how to move forward is primarily dependent on Prachanda's group. Not to become serious in this matter and exert physical force is against the democratic norms, it is a dictatorship to exert force instead of seeking a solution to the problem through discussions and debates in a communist party. That is fascism. No one accept dictatorship and fascism, including us. In such a situation the masses will resist these acts.
There are two things on the issues of how to move forward with other parties. Firstly we have to initiate talks with all the parties and reach an agreement in any issue that can be agreed upon. If anybody raises an issue that is in favor of the nation and the people we must have to support that. We have been supportive so far and that will continue. It doesn't matter whether that be Congress-UML or a neo-revisionist camp, if they raise similar issues as we do, we support that but again the other important thing is that we should neither merge in the coalition of Congress-UML nor in the coalition of Baburam-Prachanda's coalition of neo-revisionism. We will carry forward an independent revolutionary line of Nepalese politics.
Q: - There are allegations that the monarchy assisted you to split the party and you have got close tie with Gyanendra, do you have RIM's support or not? Who played the role from the international community to split the party? Has the president got the right to dismiss the prime-minister, what is your say on this?
A: - Firstly, you raised the question of collaboration with Gyanendra, who told you this and where? Reveal the factual basis of this, substantiate and tell me. Secondly, in the process of a two-line struggle Baburam had accused Prachanda as pro-king and Prachanda had accused Baburam as pro-expansionist. This was documented in writing. Have you studied that written document or not? Did you understand that the pro-king and the pro-expansionist forces united together to attack us in the process of the two-line struggle? Thirdly, each and every political party has to have a capacity. That capacity means capacity of logical argument. When it’s not possible to annihilate someone through the means of factual arguments and debates then there will be malevolent attempts to label them as corrupt, to denigrate them through the means of conspiracy and deception. Fourthly, if look at our programs, we ask for establishment of people's federal republican state, emphasis on safeguarding the achievements of the ten years of the great people's war, let us look at things from a factual basis; when we look from this basis those baseless allegations bear no truth at all. This isn't anything but only false allegations hatched by the pro-Indian-expansionist elements.
Yes, we are in the RIM. There are many different parties in the RIM. You may even know what sort of discussions there are. Do you raise a question with the knowledge or without? We used to be involved in the decision making in the RIM. The RIM is actually not operative at this moment. Perhaps, you are trying to point to a particular party but we had fraternal relationship with all the parties involved in RIM and that continues.
Fraternal parties reserve some rights. Our communist party is a proletarian internationalist party. If any party involved in such an umbrella organization slips into the quagmire of opportunism then the other parties oppose this and the international community has clearly said that the Prachanda-Baburam gang has slipped into the quagmire of revisionism. Therefore, let's forget about RIM, any other genuine communist parties do not acknowledge that this gang is Marxist anymore. So, the issue of RIM etc. is totally nonsense.
Again, power & greed; look at the agenda– the only and one agenda of Congress-UML is that the Baburam has to step down from the government. Probably this is a major cause of the dissolution of the constituent assembly without forging any political resolution. On the other hand, the only agenda of Baburam is that he has to retain power. So, these two camps are ready to abandon, and will abandon everything for power. Therefore, we are not in this controversy.
We are not in the row of their greed of power. As a tactic we have forwarded the agenda of multilateral roundtable conference. The so-called top leaders of these parties have become incapable to solve people's problems.
We have put forward the agenda of the United Interim Government, and we have said that the problem can be solved from there. Therefore, we won't involve in the corrupt power play of the government.
Q: - How will you make the constitution, you have claimed that there has been massive intervention by India, how have you scrutinized the new developments? In the past you had formed COMPOSSA, will it be continued?
A: - In the process of making the constitution the issue of Indian intervention has always been there since B.S 2007 (1951).
Firstly, making a people's constitution is not possible by collaborating and wrangling day and night-out with feudalists, compradors and bureaucratic bourgeoisie class. Secondly, making a new constitution involves the participation of all the oppressed people. Now this has been clearly proven. Therefore, in such a situation the constitution cannot be made.
So whether the agenda is of reinstating the constituent assembly or yet again another election, this is all incorrect. Now the political outlet has to be forged by conducting discussions and debates through a roundtable conference in a multilateral convention. Even if this process fails to make a new constitution then those who are in the line of federalism should begin the process of establishing people's government at a local level. We have to move forward with the concept of establishing a people's government even at the central level. It is completely nonsense to talk about making constitution without forming a pro-people government. We are very clear in this issue.
We are also very clear about what we should do on the question of Indian intervention. Basically, it won't be wrong to say Nepal is a neo-colony of India. The act of destroying border-pillars by the Indian side has been talking place on a daily basis, the border has been encroached in many places including Sustaa, Maheshpur and Kalapanee. Forget the other governments, even Prachanda and Baburam, who led the government from our own Maoist party could do nothing to stop it happening but just became hopeless spectators. The intervention of Indian expansionism in all sectors– economic, political, social and strategic has been rapidly gearing up. Indian expansionism is fulfilling its self-interest by providing space to Indian puppets in Nepal. Indian expansionism has no respect for the Nepalese. We respect Indian People but the Indian government points its evil eyes on the Nepalese on a regular basis.
There have been many unequal treaties with India since 1950. Instead of nullifying these unequal treaties, arrangements are being made to sign even more unequal treaties including Upper-Karnalee and Arun-III. Baburam's government has signed another water resource agreement with India. Therefore, we have been relentlessly insisting to nullify all these unequal treaties. In an interview with The Hindu, an Indian Newspaper, Prachanda claimed that we (Nepalese) have an exceptional relationship with India. Those who have exceptional relationship with India are parties like the Nepali Congress.
Now, Prachanda has also started to follow Nepali Congress. Therefore, we rigorously oppose all these trends. What we have said is that all the unequal treaties signed so far in this 21st century between India and Nepal has to be nullified, and new arrangements to sign new coequal treaties that benefits Indian and the Nepalese people need to be made. If the intervention doesn't stop, as we have been saying– we also have principal contradiction with Indian expansionism, we will target our struggle of national sovereignty against bureaucratic bourgeoisie in Nepal as well as Indian expansionism.
Finally, you asked about COMPOSA (Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia), COMPOSA is not something to fear! This is an umbrella organization to struggle in the interest of patriotic, leftists and all other pro-people elements in the South-Asian region. This organization has been weakened for sometimes now. We think about the ways to strengthen it again and carry on with it. The main thing is that if the imperialists, expansionists and opportunists conspire to weaken the people of any countries then the people and the pro-people forces also have to unite in tactic and form a united front to struggle.
Q: - In the process of forming a new party there are allegations that the new party is reminiscent of old alcohol in a new bottle, what do you want to say on this? And, what is the assurance that you will also not deviate from the revolutionary line? What do you think of a unity with Prachanda? Now, what will be your relationship with the existing state, will you divorce with it and begin to declare people's governments as in the past?
A: - You indicted the new party as an old alcohol, on this what I want to say is– please at least look at our decisions carefully. If you examine our decisions carefully, then you will be able to discern whether the new party is old or new alcohol. I think the word alcohol here has been fairly tainted but it would be better to understand the crux of the matter. We didn't separate without valid reasons. Many things justify the reasons for this divorce. I have already said a lot about the issue of Indian expansionism– think about it, can patriots and genuine republicans progress together with those who signs treaties like the bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement (BIPPA) and those who claims exceptional relationship with India? Can revolutionaries progress together with those who renounced all of the promises that were made to people in the process of the great people's war and with those who cremated the constituent assembly by joining their necks together with the reactionaries and opportunists? We have to look at things from this prospective.
Talking about unity with Prachanda–unity is not feasible in such a situation. It is not possible at all. We have kept the door to remain open if someone transforms themselves and comes to unite. This is the main thing. Even under this condition we will not go to Prachanda, he has to come to us.
On the question of separation with the old-state, even a person with a very basic knowledge of Marxism knows that communists want to smash the old reactionary state and replace that with new people's government. The great people's war we fought, the agenda of socialism, the journey to communism all this means to smash the old-reactionary state and replace that with new people's government. Not just this, beyond here we aim to abolish the existence of the states as a whole to establish a new world of humanism by creating stateless, classless society that is completely free of all forms of exploitations and oppressions. Our politics is fairly farsighted. We won't stick to the government as a leech like other rulers here do. We will continue to struggle to establish a new state, this is our main goal.
In the current situation, we will carefully think about what can be done for the benefit the people and the country by limiting ourselves within the limitation of the current state and the existing law. Proletarians have utilized the parliament and the elections in the past. We cannot detach ourselves entirely from the principals of Marxism. We will decide what to do where by formulating policies through concrete analysis of the concrete situation.
Q: - What is the decision of the National Convention on the question of dissolution of the constituent assembly? Now that the party has ruptured, which faction has the majority, the new party or the establishment faction? You have mentioned about united front, who would you unite with in united front?
A: - We have already said a lot about the dissolution of the constituent assembly. There is a direct conspiracy of national and foreign reactionaries in dissolving the constituent assembly. The greediness of Baburam and the Nepali Congress to hold on to the power has also played some role here. It is well known to all that the autocratic behavior of those who have been proclaiming themselves as top leaders of the main four political parties has played a vital role in dissolving the constituent assembly. The autocratic behavior of these top leaders, which completely mismatched with the democratic practices and also bypassed the dignity of the 601 members of the constituent assembly, is a major cause of the dissolution of the constituent assembly.
While talking about which party is smaller and which is bigger– the world knows who is in the majority and how.
Firstly, the issue of majority is transparent, those who came in the party through the unification process, some of the comrades are fine, no argument there, but the majority of them are total rubbish.
We would be in the majority in the Maoist Party– in this situation; the fact is that there had been malevolent attempt to change the color of the party through absolute unification. Secondly, talking about which party is larger– we can evidently claim that even though we are in the minority in the central committee we have parallel party committees throughout the nation. If necessary we can demonstrate our strength. Thirdly, the issue of which party is bigger and which is smaller– perhaps this issue is not very significant.
Throughout history smaller parties have become bigger and the big ones have diminished. This is the way we have to understand the dialecticism of party unity. We have come thorough a long history. UCPN (Maoist) was also tiny in the initial phase. The issue of smaller and bigger– the party with correct thought, politics, ideology, which can substantiate politics in practice advancing resolutely in capacity of a genuine revolutionary communist party, acting in the interest of the country, people and proletariats expands. Those who betray the country and the people, gradually evaporate.
I have already clarified with whom we need to form a united front. A united front has to be formed. And we advance ahead forming a united front including the patriot republicans, leftists, federalists, women, workers and dalits. Another thing, the issue of party registration is the issue of conditional necessity. We will think about whether we should register the party and if we deem it is important then, we may register. If not we may not register at all because we are resolutely convinced that through parliamentarianism the people's problems cannot be put to an end. Therefore, whether to register the party depends upon the situation.
On the question of comradeship with Prachanda and Baburam, we came throughout our life in comradeship with them. Now, we did not leave Prachanda and Baburam but they left us. We did not separate from the party as well but they split themselves ditching the political ideological line of the party. Therefore, now the issue of their class categorization is a real bizarre. An independent political line of Prachanda and Baburam has come to an end. What should we label those who are the puppets of foreign reactionaries and expansionism? It is not possible to join neck together with the puppets. We cannot join our necks together with class capitulation-ists.
Our desire and proposal to them is that they have to break all ties with all sort of reactionaries, only then we can go ahead together. As long as they have ties with those reactionaries, we don't trust them.
Q: - As heard, you are ambiguous about whether to go for people's war or people's revolt? What is your say on the question of corruption thought have been taken place in cantonments? How will you treat the journalists?
A: - We are not ambiguous about whether to go for People's War or People's Revolt.
Firstly, we will revolt for new democracy against parliamentarianism. We don't acknowledge parliamentarianism. The democratic republic, the aged-decayed parliamentarianism of which all the parties here sing the retro song of democracy deafeningly, that democracy has completely failed, the Constituent Assembly has also failed. Therefore, as an alternative, in the interest of the country and the people we move ahead to establish New Democratic Republic in Nepal against Feudalism, Imperialism and Neo-Colonialism. This is our key agenda. To attain this goal, if asked how we move ahead, both ways, legal and underground, a revolutionary party can utilize every essential method. We came to the peace negotiation honestly. When we arrived only the Maoists had to make all the compromises but now we don't compromise up to this excess.
So, that is beyond doubt, if necessary– People's War or People's Revolt, anything can happen, this is the key issue.
And you talk about money and corruption in the cantonments; I’m not here to talk about that. This is not a place to investigate corruption. So lets not talk about these things here. People are finding out where there has been mischief; most definitely the revolutionary members of the people’s liberation army are investigating it. That space is there. On your query about the role of Baburam-Prachanda while our arrest took place in India, but these are not things that only we look into. This can be a case of a serious investigation. This is also something that the masses and you people (journalists) can look at. Our journalist friends are very far-sighted, introspective and detail oriented. I am convinced that you will help us through this. We want to respect the media on how media is being treated. We will continue to fight for the rights of working class journalists; we will fight for the rights of the working class people.
What we are worried about is that in the veil of professional journalism, mission journalism happens, and that is not a good thing. Let this not be the main issue, and we will respect you. If any shortcomings on our part we are committed to self-criticism.