Biplap: Against conspiracies to dissolve Nepal’s peoples army
Posted by Alastair on July 2, 2011
Interview with Netra Bikram Chand (Biplap), Standing Committee Member, Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
Q1: What is happening inside your party’s ongoing Central Committee meeting?
Chand: The CC meet has two objectives.
First, we presume that since Nepal as a nation-state is currently undergoing through a period of sheer confusion and thus a clear policy needs to be developed to get the country rid of the confusion prevailing. Talks are there to be discussed on militia integration, of the constitution drafting and of course the issue of state restructuring.
Secondly, we have been discussing about the internal matters of the party as well. Of late, some issues have cropped up to the fore about our party which have made the general population serious. It is thus our bounden duty to dig the truth out for the sake of the avoiding people’s concerns.
Q2: Your party is mired in internal rivalry. How will you then proceed with the issues of peace and draft of the constitution?
Chand: Well, so many things have already been decided by the party beginning from Chunwang, Palungtar, Kharipati and the CC. We have to take lessons from the past and write the new constitution accordingly. If done so, it will pose no harm to anybody. That will not even pose any sort of threat to the NC and the UML instead will in all likelihood benefit the entire nation. The talks that we are not in favour of peace and new constitution draft will be an erroneous conclusion.
But the constitution must not be made an issue of just a formality. The constitution must be drafted which transforms the society and benefits the people.
Q3: On what issues or say points you beg to differ with others for example even with your party Chairman?
Chand: We wish that whatever has been agreed upon with the signing of the 12 point agreement on issues of the constitution to be drafted, I think the NC and the UML appear to have abandoned to what they agreed in the past. We feel like that. The NC and the UML’s reluctance in not agreeing on state restructuring procedure and for the formation of a national army and side by side the attitude of our own Party’s Chairman Prachanda to go by their instructions has not been taken in good taste by us. We have taken those as faulty decisions. The people will finally reject those. The current discussion is centred on state restructuring, land reform, formation of a national army and also of awarding rights to the women folks and the dalits. We wish that these above mentioned issues be well incorporated in the constitution so that the rights were a guaranteed one. This is what I feel and wish also. I wish that our leaders do not yield to any sort of pressure which ignored the people’s aspirations.
Q4: You and your friends halted the peace process which had taken a start. Why so?
Chand: The decisions that have already been made were done so without managing the country on how to get it out from the prevailing transitional state and also without finalising the details of the new constitution, to me, were done so in order to weaken the morale of the Maoists and the Militias. The lifting of the dual security system is not a wise decision. The decision in itself was a wrong one which sans the required procedure with which it should have been decided primarily. Any decision that appear to be a binding one and which looks to have been an imposing one doesn’t do good ultimately. Such decision finally doesn’t work. The leaders of the NC, the UML and our own party claim that the situation was not that favourable but on the other hand made such decisions in haste which are faulty ones, for example, the lifting of the dual security system.
Q5: Did you lift the dual security system?
Chand: No! I haven’t yet. One needs to jump onto another decision when you manage the first. This is what I want to say. The analysis that there prevails great threat remains itself in a limbo or at best has been completely ignored. The decision in itself has become parentless.
Without even providing suitable alternative to the dual security system and without convincing Mohan Baidya aka Kiran, the system was scrapped. This is what has pained me.
Q6: Your party is in government and more so your own party’s person now is the Home Minister but yet you appear to not to be comfortable with the decision? Why it is so?
Chand: Don’t talk of us. Even the police men are not secured. They themselves appear insecure. Thieves have entered their houses. Police men at times become the victim of abduction. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have any trust left. One can’t depend on the assurances of the establishment without having the needed political consensus. This has been proved in practice.
Q7: What you say of the proposal that has come from the Nepal Army that the Maoists army will remain under the command of the NA through a directorate?
Chand: The entire proposal which has come from the Nepal Army is a positive one and the rest all bogus. The proposal which talks of the formation of a directorate under the NA command is itself a matter of joke and distressing as well. Responsibilities (of the district development, forest department, land reform, industrial sector) should be shouldered by the Maoists militias but the command should remain with the Nepal Army? What a funny proposition? It was a puzzling proposal indeed. Look at this proposition which is nothing but a ploy to dissolve the Maoists Militia structure. Nothing more than that it is. This is not acceptable. We have been discussing on these very issues. The entire 19, 000 militia must be allowed to go through integration. Why they be not allowed? Provide logical answers. To which Maoists militia brothers should we tell them to pack for his or her homes?
Q8: Then how the peace process will proceed ahead?
Chand: Let’s not make it an issue of tension. Problems come and go. Issues confronting will be sorted out. First the Nepali Congress and the UML must abide by the politics of consensus and coexistence. This should be the party’s mentality primarily. We have done so in the past, if one were to recall. If it is a matter of coexistence then shouldn’t they come to terms with the Maoists in building confidence on issues related with the organs of the state? Shouldn’t it be so? Is it possible for the prevalence of the talked coexistence without the presence of the Maoists in state organs? Can we go together without coexistence? Should not the state structure of the bygone era need to undergo through a characteristic transformation? If done so then the Maoists militia will definitely come out with a substantial support. It could not be a desired solution to the current problems if we go on thinking on how to frustrate the combatants now residing in various cantonments and force them to go astray and finally force them to devastate their weapons. It can’t provide a solution.
Q9: The 18 point allegations that you have labelled upon Chairman Prachanda appears to be more aggressive one. How then the party’s internal disputes will come to an end?
Chand: Those are not allegations but presented as corrective measures that need to be taken. The insertion of some words in those allegation sheets is not in itself the final decision. Well, it has just been tried to exhibit that look such allegations remain. If you look at those 18 point charges you could see that those points have been a compilation of the errors and mistakes made from the very beginning. It has just been compiled in an orderly fashion.
Q10: It is widely believed that you have remained instrumental in bringing the differing opinions against Chairman Prachanda?
Chand: I take Chairman Prachanda as a capable leader of the party of the old generation. When we have made a theory under his name-Prachanda Way-then let’s not talk of other peripheral things. He is our ideal. We have just wished to tell him that not so many charges have been labelled against you for your ideals and thus we wish that he himself takes corrective measures and also have suggested him that if you need supplementary support then please accept it in a pleasing manner. At personal level, I still enjoy cordial relations with Chairman Prachanda. Initiation of internal struggle shouldn’t mean that it is aimed at blocking everything.
Q11: It is talked that your group is making an equation with Dr. Bhattarai in order to corner Chairman Prachanda?
Chand: I am surprised to observe as to how the Maoists are being taken? Some feel that if he or she meets Dr. Bhattarai then his or her sanctity is gone forever. It is also talked the other way round. However, the fact is that our leaders are Maoists and the party is the Maoists. We are free to talk with anyone who belongs to our party.
Q12: You quite often talk for the need of the emergence of new leadership. Do you mean to say that the leadership now should go into the hands of new generation?
Chand: The central leadership has an important role to play in sorting out party internal disputes. I mean to say that the old leadership prevails in the party’s position now. We have just been telling the leadership that if you need our support then we are ready to help you. I have not also told that there is a big gap in between the old and the new leaders. If the leadership think so then they are in an illusion. I haven’t said so. However, one shouldn’t think that an individual can do everything or is capable enough and that the others were just redundant. One should abandon such considerations. We have not demanded that leadership be awarded to us. All that we have been saying is that let’s have “intimate” relations with each other. A relation must be established. This is all what we wish in the party to prevail.
Courtesy: The Kantipur daily dated June 26, 2011.