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PRASHANT JHA
Plain Speaking
Fork in path in Nepal



PRASHANT JHA


Even as professional Maoist baiters take great delight in the latest public spat within the party, it is almost impossible to conceive of a successful conclusion to the peace and constitutional process till Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Baburam Bhattarai revive their partnership, or at least develop a working relationship again.

But this will be an enormous challenge given the deep personal and political rift between the top two leaders. Sources inside and outside the party who have had conversations with both the leaders on the issue have given us a peek into the depth of resentment. Here is Prachanda's version: Bhattarai never treated me with respect, he is arrogant and thinks he is smarter than everyone else just because he topped the school board exams, his relations with India are deeply suspect and Delhi is using him to stoke divisions, he does no organisational work, he wants to create an alternative power centre in the party and become PM, his public statement undermining my candidature right after proposing my name as PM was the breaking point, his contribution to the movement is genuine, but now he is willing to make too many compromises with revisionist forces.

Bhattarai obviously has a different story to tell: I have never challenged the chairman and his leadership position within the party, he believes in a use-and-throw policy and has instead worked to isolate and undercut me; he is behaving as the next Gyanendra and wants to concentrate all powers and finances, I do not want to be PM but when there was a possibility of consensus under my leadership, he blocked it and filed his candidature instead; he is conspiratorial in his functioning and is now collaborating with royalists, I am not given any organizational responsibilities to prevent contact with the cadre, he is a petty pragmatist who vacillates between different streams, he knows a people's revolt is not possible and has privately assured India he is willing to do anything to become PM, but is dishonest in public about it and instead branded me an Indian stooge.

Add to this the genuine differences over the political line.

Bhattarai is not in favour of 'surrender'. Given his deep ideological commitment to Marxism and Maoism, he is in fact least likely to make any fundamental compromises in the party line or organisational structure. Indian and NC negotiators from the 2005-07 days often recount how it was easier to deal with Prachanda than Bhattarai. But he recognises the limits of the political moment, how a 'revolution' before its time is doomed to fail, and is willing to make major compromises to institutionalise a secular, federal, republican Nepal and then focus on the economy.

Prachanda however wants to keep his options open. To be fair, this could be because unlike Bhattarai, he has to deal with internal party pressures, restive PLA commanders, and reconcile conflicting viewpoints while maintain party unity. But there is also clearly an overwhelming element of personal ambition: "If you make me PM, constitution and peace can take place, if not, be ready for a revolt." This duplicity only helps strengthen those who want to keep the Maoists out of the power structure.

The real crisis in the relationship, however, is the breaking down of the old compact.  'Prachanda's leadership, Bhattarai's line' was the principle till 2008. Now, Prachanda's leadership is no longer unquestioned, and Bhattarai's line has been sidelined. Till that old compact is revived, or a new arrangement worked out, the party will remain deeply divided.

In early 2010, the columnist Adtiya Adhikari and I travelled with Dr Bhattarai to his constituency in Gorkha. During a walk back from a village where he was addressing a mass gathering to the main highway, we asked him whether differences could lead to a split in the party. His reply is worth quoting in full: "Between 1960 and 1990, many people left the NC and formed small groups. But there was no vertical split because NC was not a party, but a movement. Individuals may leave and form splinter outfits, but there will be no split because the Maoists are not merely a party. It is still a movement."

If the movement has to find its way, it is time for Prachanda to make a phone call and make peace with Bhattarai over several long one-on-one meetings. Otherwise, history will not judge them kindly.

READ ALSO:
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1. Anil

The two major disagreements between these leaders seems to be on two points only.

1.      Both want to capture the state, Prachanda wants to do it sooner and Bhattarai later.

2.       Bhattarai believes somehow India will be helpful to achieve this, and Prachanda believes India will be an obstacle.

     On all other points they agree. Both are devout disciples of  Gurus Lenin and Mao. Here are some of their guru�s teachings:

To rely upon conviction, devotion, and other excellent spiritual qualities; that is not to be taken seriously in politics. 
Vladimir Lenin 

There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel. 
Vladimir Lenin 

One man with a gun can control 100 without one. 
Vladimir Lenin 

When one makes a Revolution, one cannot mark time; one must always go forward - or go back. He who now talks about the "freedom of the press" goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards Socialism. 
Vladimir Lenin 

The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses. 
Vladimir Lenin 

 



2. jange
The Maoists are neither a movement nor a political party. It is a Mafia organisation and the behavior of its leaders is consistent with this fact.

3. K. K. Sharma
or the movement can continue unhindered, if one of them is made  a Trotsky or Lin Piao of Nepal. No.?

4. Yudhisthir
An effective leader doesn't just reconcile ideas of his fellow men, but tries to convince them of his model ideas. As for Prachanda, if he doesn't have his own ideas and keeps changing his positions, it will be hard to believe and follow him; he will never become an effective leader. Pranchada's world views are based only upon his experiences of growing up witnessing poverty and inequality in the society, and later as a low-earning teacher. It always appears that he has been influenced by idealistic but failed ideas of Mao and Marx and does not understand, or want to understand the realities of a modern world. So is he sidelining Bhattarai because he did not show respect? Why does he think he deserves respect?

Bhattarai on the other has experienced more than Prachanda during his study abroad. He better understands the realities of the modern times, and seems capable of taking a just stand. In this respect, Bhattarai will be a more effective leader. As Bhattarai claimed, Prachanda is poised to become another Gyanendra if not stopped now.

Although I am not politically affiliated, I see it in the best interest of the country and people to get rid of people like Prachanda, and leftover old-generation (Vanarashi) politicians in other parties including NC- Sushil Koirala, Sher Bahadur Deuba, UML- Nepal, Khanal and so on.


5. Arthur
"Add to this the genuine differences over the political line."

Why not skip the gossip as though you were quoting Prachanda and Bhatterai? Neither of them said anything like what is said on their behalf by Prashant Jha. It is just pure gossip.

Why not discuss the "genuine differences over politial line".

Wouldn't that be more useful?

There seems to be a difference of opinion in estimating whether the anti-Maoists will agree to a constitution and elections without a people's revolt.

A phone call between two Maoist leaders will not settle that. It will ultimately be decided by the anti-Maoists. If they try to rule without elections there will be a revolt. Either way there will be no split.



6. Atul Kumar Thakur

Essential Reconciliation
Two most remarkable politician till date in the democratic history of Nepal,Prachanda and Babu Ram Bhattrai is indeed sharing a symbolic bond by wearing this meaningful "Paag'{Maithil Cap}for public but their internal differences have even crossed the level and dignity of spat.Prachanda, with whom the genesis of radical politics begun in the Himalayan state had always remain averse to allign his whole agenda with public or even trusted cadres..with immense merit and acceptance,it's hardly unlikely that he is not finding easy to cohabit with another high rank man in his camp.

The tantrums regarding the potential Indian role in  hijacking the key of Maoist brigade is one of biggest folly of Prachanda which have been so far and may be in future will be keep haunting the internal as well the external prospects of Nepal. Baburam Bhattarai has reason to be closer with India as he spent his formative years in this nation,even during the long insurgency era, he received overt support from like-minded Indians.Yes, Bhattarai is very much right if he has dare to look on Maoism as movement instead of political conglomeration since he knows the future of revolution and compulsions of liberal democratic system very closely.

For now,theirs spat hammering the Maoist's prospect more than any other possibility albeit it would indeed possess a big risk for Prachanda himself and his party's further prospect as an alternative hope in national politics.Through my personal sources,I found the peoples growing apathy for this forced political stalemate in the country...they,especially the young generation is badly enchanted towards the politician's role.They no longer want to entwine with the theories which given them even worse political leadership since the end of Monarchy. In no way,I am contemplating any nostalgia for Monarchy but this was the mass reaction following the 17th round of failureness to choose a dignified PM and a working constitution.

Breaking of ice is impossible with the stubbornness of top Maoist ranks as they still have no mood to leave their demand for exorbitant absorption of theirs army with the National Arm Force. These are undeserving demand and at the same time a sort of force dealing with the strife ridden country.In their complacency both the chief Maoist ideologue, Prachanda and Babu Ram Bhattrai had forget to recall that they are part of democracy rather than the upholder of Maoist state; their cynical demonstration in front of official royal set-up with five thousand strong armed cadres for maneuvering the replication of Balkanization in Nepal was out rightly shocking, the way they were pronouncing that Newar community would be given more rights than others in newly formed province had sparked the fuel of mass sentiment.

As Maoist ideologue Babu Ram Bhattrai believes their participation in peace process or constitutional development merely as �tactics� to enter among the bourgeois and a pre-exercise before grabbing the throne and later shaping it into their ideological fervor (Communist utopia) instead of sharing existing democratic model in which they have given fair chances-such game plan is entirely contradictory to their erstwhile preaching when they avoiding such faux pas and desired on numerous occasion for political peace process and constitutional making task.
Now Maoists and other political parties know the fact that the deadlines of constitutional making process wouldn�t be met by easily in the situation of flux that also grew up after the departure of UN Mission in Nepal, so they are adopting different stand-Maoist Babu Ram Bhattarai�s stand is seems explicitly deadly as he thinks  in that case they will declare the constitution from the street and capture power albeit they are forgetting their lowering popularity from mass psyche since they couldn�t copied the pious motives of socialization as the communists of Cuba or many other country did in past.

Way back from the Maoist�s insurgency in 1996 and later their mainstreaming and emergence as single largest party in Nepalese politics have been relentlessly co-inside with the large scale violence and civil war like situation, which�s still being far from over as the collapse of central authority with the end of monarchy, any alternative retrieval plan from major political players only creating void and a loose regime that propelled swiftly on hatred, intolerance and violence-far from stable and peaceful state of affairs.

High expectations were prevailing from Maoists prospective role in the wake of their democratization and accession to the highest political order of the country but they couldn�t endured the expectations for long and very soon started to jeopardize the situation over a standoff between the army and the Maoists, and later between the Maoists and their coalition partners�and now eventually within party itself.Maoists consistent distrust in sharing the state authority and their wayward opportunist expediency now forming furore among a large chunk of population including the media who now for the first time explicitly supporting the Nepal�s official army as they feeling the potential fallout of Maoists strategic domination in the country.

Maoists views are extremely critical on past agreement with India including the border issues; they are in favour of tectonic shift in alliance with the Indian state by daringly asking for removal of Indian army from Kalapani and restraining their so-called encroachments in Susta region-most of claims are prejudicial and could cause for large scale misunderstanding between these two very interdependent and cordial nation.Whatever the Maoists oral assertions like-abolition of the President�s un-constitutional move, maintaining civil supremacy, safeguarding national independence, checking foreign interference etc, they act entirely opposite from their own front with preoccupied contentious motives.

Maoists have shown terrible performances on most of issues since their arrival as a force in 1996-frequent human rights violation and barbaric suppression including murder of dozens of journalist for merely their ideological opposition with Maoist functional methods. Situation is indeed turning in very grim shape as things are again being ready to be fall apart-presently little hopes persists to visualize consensus among the political parties in near future to look after on the crucial issues of peace process and constitutional drafting. Political parties and members of civil society must refute any maneuverings of Maoists to merge their arm cadres with national army, otherwise stalemate would be never halted; international community have also play a major role to lift Nepal from this very unfortunate state of affairs.

Today India�s neighborhood policy cries for greater attention, so India must monitor the situation closely and assist in stable and united Nepal-where there is will there is always a way�we can�t and shouldn�t see Nepal moving like Bosnia. I think nobody could suggest the exact way to resolve his  trust deficit with Babu Ram Bhattarai, even if the reconciliation would take place, there is little chances that they would think better than theirs past action for the nation. Anyway, there will be no wrong, if we wait for another turn�hope the wait this time will be much shorter than the Godot in Samuel Backett�s immortal political play-�Waiting for Godot�!

Atul Kumar Thakur
January 22nd 2011, New Delhi

Blog: www.onesstandpoint.blogspot.com
[email protected]


 



7. Nirmal

I do not understand why many people in press, unlike the wise man Mr. Ghimire have this penchant for strident polemics while defending Baburam Bhattarai and his aides. In the case of Hisila Yami, who pretends having enjoyed a ride on a horse at a gallop by the drama that came through the front door and in the middle of the Maobadi show, perhaps an effort to stop muzzling? At the begining I thought "What a delicious soup Hisila Yami is preparing, yummy yummy yummy!" And analysing her outbursts, pondered from the commonplace of ALL �Democracy-, the Bhattarai camp�s recent statements are not as common(although democratically understandable) and have the power to activate my sleepy interest for the Maoists. They say that they defend freedom to express, as their own volition and not as an element of submission to big-men, Janabaad in their own terminology. What?

 

Let's see: does it say about the ignorance of the topic (which is ugly), and a twisted sense of humor (which is stupid) or because the Maoists has a considerable mental mess on basic fundamental rights (which is serious)? In any case, the party whose position is precisely defined by the idea of liberation of people have such confusion in a matter of rights, freedoms and democracy, the Maoists(not sure If Bhattarai is) come to believe that freedom goes through the fabric of party structure segregated from the society. How lovely oxymoron it is to mix liberation with slavery! At this point, then, this has only one name: the Maoists� fundamentalist mess, OUR PRESSMEN should know that behind the defense of the Bhattarai and his position there is the concept of individual liberty which needs to be defended at all costs, by the way in case of Bhattarai it was absolutely denied in the content by the fundamentalist but a locked organizational network of Prachanda & Co. who imposed norms parallel to �their agreed Janabadi ones� that you find in any text, lecture, sermon or plenum that the illustrious and fierced Maoist defenders like Bhattarai are pleased to read. Did not Bhattarai already know anything about this hairy issue?

 Did not Bhattarai realize that he has been pushed to the corner of minority on the horseback of his own idea- the peace process-? Kamreds are too fat now with Baburam�s Loktantratik and Ganatantrik path that Bhattarai became the most exemplar victim of Prachandapath�s obesity. Do not you, Mr. Bhattarai, read the words of your own kamreds on you? Do not you know that in the party where you are is impossible to defend the idea of liberation, let alone your political freedom and where the party henchmen  come from old school of communism, anywhere on the map fundamentalist is there political freedom dear comrades? Do not you ever heard of people doing the role of bad-police during Lenin or Stalin era ? Don�t you know anything about the radical Maoists who preach their hatred of freedom in your own party? Then, you have no idea why you thoughtlessly put your opinions in front of public? Because there is something worse than to let happen the unhappy fate of fundamentalist ideology of the Maoist Party, and that, it is using the name of liberation to justify the segregation.. If you do not know all this Mr. Bhattarai, what are you doing till now from your position?


Last but not least:

His reply is worth quoting in full: "Between 1960 and 1990, many people left the NC and formed small groups. But there was no vertical split because NC was not a party, but a movement. Individuals may leave and form splinter outfits, but there will be no split because the Maoists are not merely a party. It is still a movement."

I don't know If Prashant is being emotional or it is Dr. Baburam Bhattarai as claimed by his own party colleagues. I suppose anyone is free to presume.......

P.S. Inspite of PLA handover, the strategic climate of distrust prevails.


8. Kurkure Kanchhi
who cares? both are bahuns.

9. kabulekanchho
Patch up between these two self-styled Maha-Pandits of Marx-Shastra?
Impossible.
We are going to witness some more dirty linens washed in public before these two bajes finally decide that their days of cohabitation are over for the good of their own, Mao-Baddie Party and the glorious souls of Stalin and Mao! And we will see one more round polarization (rather grouping) of like minded "leftist" parties in the Gairatraland into mainstream (other side would term it as revisionist!) and revolutionary (mainstreamists would call it leftist extremists!) "dhaar".


10. Naresh Neupane

We don't need some Grand Rhetorics. By rhetoric, I mean Babu's literary rhetoric and Prachu's speech rhetoric. We need pragmatists; there's always error, mend it, relearn and reflect, go on, and still judge your instinct. Revisionist? Who's not at all?

Every age makes it's own narrative based on culture, expressions and personalities and time. If time changes, we must not be in double deficit. After all, we've already been changed, may we spout theories or not, and we feel uplift - or redemption - lies in Marx, Lincoln or this or that.

We need Prashant Jhas and CK Lals and some living nepalis (not dead ones). Phonecall maybe a nice option for Prachu! May he!



11. jange
Thousands of people were murdered, maimed and looted- for this?

12. Krishna
Mr. chhabilal and Babu both look in maithila Pag (cap) when one has it ,orient to wisdom and peace.see smile one the face of Baburam but Dahal thinking for Gurkha Cap symbol of malitancy.
When he will return to usual smile he will understand the value of peaceful
dialogue and baburam.


13. Gajendramani Ganataula
गाइजात्राल्यान्डमा मार्क्सशास्त्रका दुई धुरन्धर महा-पन्डितहरु, प्रसन्न मुख देख्दा पं लालधोजले पं प्रचण्डेले भन्दा बढी दक्षिणा उछिट्याए जस्तो छ !



14. chasing_cheq
# 11 , "Thousands of people were murdered, maimed and looted- for this? " The death won't get unnoticed, you can trust on that. as far as looting is concerned, the genuine looters are still in the Durbars and the Bungalows of the Nepal Khaldo.

15. Vija Srestha

Why do we need to wait for these two to agree ?????Do they represent you or me.Just because two people can not compromise ,it must be their personal problem ,not the problem on the scale of government.Keep the agreements with them in tact and get on with the life.Oh God,I really pitty these two,what a distortian of minds.There would be bigger help if they took showel in the hands .



16. Vija Srestha
I disagree with you Mr.Jange.It is not a waste.You seem to dismiss the fact that every human being is human.The reasons why I disagree is another topic as I do not categorize people like you did.I am not surprised that politicians can not agree because the thinking about basics is even not humanly right.At least for the sake and the respect of life do not dismiss lifes of all those who suffered and do not dare to compare it as a waste.In that case your own life is a waste as till now you have not been able to make politicians hear what are the rights of every human beeing and implement them.Make your life worthwhile  Mr.Jange



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