Is the CPN-M in a different place from where it was when the People's War began?
When the People's War started we had specific beliefs and strategies, but they have evolved, and we are now at a different place. Five years after the war started, we understood that we could not fight forever. That is why we made some changes to our strategies.
From reading Lenin's documents I understood that had he been alive a few more years, he would have also entered the multiparty system. Lenin's new financial policy was bourgeois. I am not trying to say that we are going against the beliefs we had when the People's War started. That would not be true. The truth is that the difference between the beliefs we had before the 10-year war and the belief system we follow now are very different. We say that they represent an evolution of principles and understandings.
So what were the reasons behind the People's War?
The poor, the farmers and the labourers in the rural areas are empowered. Women and communities that were hitherto discriminated against are also more aware. For the first time in the history of Nepal, thousands of women took up arms to transform our society. Over 2,500 women fought and sacrificed their lives for this change. Karnali, Seti, Mahakali and other regions became empowered. It took 10 years and the lives of over 10,000 Nepalis for us to reach where we are, to be talking about CA elections, a federal republic and proportional representation.
But didn't the armed groups we have now learn from the Maoist legacy of using violence as means for getting things done?
That would not be the right thing to say. The entire world knows and accepts that it is always the state that uses violent methods first. Violence means discrimination, exploitation, oppression, and suppression. In Nepal as well, the state started using violence first.
So the present violence can be understood as resistance?
There are those who use violent resistance because there are millions of people to be represented, and no means remain other than violence. There are others who think they can use violence to get all their demands, even petty ones. Those who came with us learnt to fire guns, use bombs. Those who are spreading terror in the Tarai have the same weapon skills, but what they don't have is philosophy, a political work plan, or program that would include all groups. That is why it is necessary that we stop those who are spreading violence in the Tarai. Because we Maoists are a strong group, it is our moral and physical responsibility to stop them. If we are given the responsibility to run the state, we will use constitutional means to stop them.
Many violent activities have taken place against your orders.
Rebellion is a historical necessity, but one should not be cruel to the people. In the past we have learnt from our mistakes and taken actions against the guilty in our party. We took action against those responsible for the Madi incident, but some fled the country.
Those groups, including the JTMM, that are spreading violence in the Tarai are the by-products of the Maoists.
Jwala Singh was our scribe, and member of our party's district committee. He used to ally with the chief district officer and threaten our party activists. We took actions against him when we understood that he had been involved in suspicious activities. However, I think Goit is a political person and a senior leader. His popularity came when he spoke at a council meeting during the ceasefire. He was made the president of the Madhesi Mukti Morcha because he is quite charismatic. However, when Matrika was made the president at a meeting in Patna, Goit felt slighted. Right after that the state of emergency was declared and we could not contact him for four months. We heard that he was quite confused and nervous at that time and took violent means. Goit can still think politically, but Jwala Singh is not like that.
Does violence have space in the political future of Nepal?
Nepalis fought a war, and they won, but a battle is still left. The feudal class won't let go unless there's a final push. They know that they will lose their identity after the CA elections, which is why they are trying their best to conspire against the elections. They are capable of violence and the people may have to use force against them. The international community understands that the left is becoming strong in Nepal, and they are trying their best to incite violence to stop that. We should take the violence in the Tarai as a sign that they are becoming stronger. If the violence increases in the Tarai, the people will again have to rise up and use force.