Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
New Pushpa Lal?


There has been a lot of commentary, both positive and negative, about the Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai. His adamant stance on 'republican democracy' is history now. It is no longer just Maoist party doctrine but has become the policy of the entire country.

But now there are opportunists both inside and outside his party, who from the shadows call him an anti-republican. People want to know how seriously Bhattarai is taking these charges, and his well-wishers want to know why he is not retaliating.

Bhattarai is a republican through and through and he has been leading the republican agenda all along. Anyone who claims that he wants a ceremonial monarchy is just stirring up trouble for their own interests. Could this even be a plot to make Bhattarai the new Pushpa Lal?

There are also people spreading rumours about Bhattarai regarding the race to become number two in the party. His personality, sacrifice, capability and intelligence are known to the public. His life is an open book. Why are they mocking his sacrifice? True, all of us and all other parties have made sacrifices for the revolution and have helped us get to where we are today, but that does not come to the kind of sacrifices made by Prachanda and Bhattarai.

Still others call Bhattarai 'pro-India.' Just because one has studied in India doesn't mean one is pro-India. We challenge these people to show us proof to their claims. It is more likely that they are scared of Bhattarai's political vision and are making these insinuations to curb his popularity.

Mohan Bikram said that Pushpa Lal Shrestha was pro-India and pro-Congress but history proved him to be wrong. Those who cannot compete on a political footing resort to calling their rivals traitors and lackeys. The true chain of events shows the emptiness of their words. People should be judged on what they do or don't do rather than what they say or don't say. Based on Bhattarai's actions, no one can call him pro-India.

Pushpa Lal was called a traitor because he wanted to join forces with the Congress to end the totalitarian Panchayat regime and the monarchy. His vision was later realised in the first People's Movement and in the recent 12-point agreement. And it is clear that the main force in ending feudalism and monarchy, and establishing a republican democracy has been Baburam Bhattarai.

He led the way for the 12-point agreement, negotiated with the political parties and international powers, and made republicanism possible. Those who were shown up by his capability are now trying to sully his name and image by spreading rumours and lies. If real revolutionaries are not able to unmask these false revolutionaries then the entire Maoist revolution and the People's War will be put to shame.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)