Interview with comrade Gaurav
‘India doesn’t want Maoists to come to power in Nepal’
A senior Politburo member of the Maoists in Nepal and in-charge of international relations, CP Gajurel was until recently jailed in India. In Delhi for the first time as an overground leader, he speaks on what lies ahead he reveals further strategies of CPN(M).interview is taken by tehelka.
What is your understanding of what is happening in Nepal today?
Something remarkable has happened in Nepal. We have a situation in which probably for the first time a despotic monarchy is going to be overthrown by the ballot. Monarchies have always been overthrown through violent revolution, but in Nepal, because of the 10-year people’s war and the 19-day street rebellion last year, we have a situation where the monarchy is going to be dismantled by peaceful means. That is what we are trying to accelerate. And the struggle the Maoists waged has meant even the so-called mainstream political parties are now pushing for the removal of the monarchy. And it appears to me that India is supportive of that, although India seems to want the Maoists not to get the majority. India would rather have the other parties in a majority.
Why do you say that?
Because once the Maoists get the majority, India thinks that a genuine people’s republic will be created and India would not like that.
But are you saying this on the basis of something concrete?
I do not have any concrete proof of the Indian thinking but the political line of its establishment is very clear. This is true of the main parties both in government and the opposition. Initially, India supported the monarchy because it thought only the monarchy could suppress the Maoists, but the people of Nepal have changed all that and India has to recognise the new reality. But even then, India will want a convenient sort of republic.
What do you mean by that?………
I mean a republic that Indians are comfortable with, like their own parliamentary type of republic.
So what sort of republic do you want?
A people’s republic.
Not a parliamentary republic?
You can say something like that. There will be a parliament, of course, but not of the sort that exists today. Essentially it will have to be a people’s republic which can solve the basic problems of Nepal. An anti-imperialist and anti-feudal republic.
What you are saying is very significant. You are saying that the biggest roadblock in your struggle was the monarchy, which is now in the process of being dismantled. That done, your next battle will be with what we know to be the mainstream political parties, the Nepali Congress etc.
At the moment we cannot speak like this because our main target still is the monarchy. It has lost support among the masses but it still has its backers. For example, the US is backing it, there are also political forces within Nepal that are for the monarchy. With their help, the monarchy is still trying very hard to survive. In terms of strategy, we want to target only one force at a time, and now it is the monarchy. Once we overthrow the monarchy, we will think about the mainstream parties.
You have given up a decade-long armed struggle to come into the political process. Looking back, do you think the struggle was wrong or would you say it was an inevitable process Nepal had to go through?
First of all, we have not given up either our arms or the armed struggle. We have only suspended that strategy. Armed struggle was an inevitable process, we could not have come here without waging the people’s war. And what we are trying to do now is also part of that process, through which we want to achieve a people’s republic. This is the continuation of the people’s war in a different form, but we have not given up the armed struggle. If we think it is required, we will resume it.
Do you have a timeframe in mind?
Yes, definitely. If all moves smoothly, elections will be held and the first meeting of the elected constituent assembly will decide the fate of the monarchy and the character of the future Nepali state. Of course we will win that election so we are hopeful we will be able to implement the roadmap we have. Mid-May is the time elections should be held and that is when the changes will come. We will have a people’s republic after that election.
What is the basis of your confidence about winning the election? You have never contested elections, we have no idea of your real strength.
We have the support of the overwhelming majority of the Nepali people, we control more than 80 percent of the country, we were the virtual government in those areas. We have been working among the people, so we have a fair idea of what our strength is. And it is not that we have no experience of elections. When democracy came back to Nepal, we contested the first election; this was before the Communist Party of Nepal split and we went underground. There is no question that we will get the majority if it is free and fair.
A lot of people say that the hold you had in large parts of Nepal was because of the fear you created with the gun and is not genuine support.
Of course, there are people who will complain about it. They are the class enemies, the enemies of the people, and we drove them out. We cannot work to please them. But as far as the masses are concerned, they are happy because they feel liberated from the feudal system.
What happens to the King of Nepal once the monarchy is gone?
No privileges. He will be just another citizen. A lot of his property is really the property of the state which he has been using as his own. That the state will take back from him. As far as everything else is concerned, the law will apply to Gyanendra as it applies to everyone.
What has brought this change from the king being treated as Vishnu’s avatar to being a common man?
Those are all myths, this avatar-of-Vishnu business. The reality of the people of Nepal is that they have been suffering at the hands of an exploitative system. It is our scientific ideology that changed the temper of the people. Maybe a long, long time ago, the king was worshipped as a god, but the struggle against the monarchy has been on for a long time. But there was no good leadership. It is the success of the Maoist leadership that has brought victory to the democratic and republican sentiments of the people of Nepal. And, of course, Gyanendra’s behaviour in power forced to people to oppose him more determinedly.
But some parties you are in alliance with are themselves feudal and status quoist in nature. How long is this partnership going to last?
It is not going to be smooth. The alliance was their compulsion, not ours. Earlier these same parties were allying with the king to fight us. They tried to physically finish the Maoist movement, but they have come to realise it would not work because the will of the Nepali people was behind the Maoists, we have forced them to change and, instead, ally with us. Also, I think they realised that they cannot work with an autocrat like Gyanendra who only wanted all the powers for himself.
Do you think India’s suspicion of the Nepali Maoists has something to do with the Maoist movement in India?
Definitely, it does. We have clarified our relationship with the Indian Maoists.
What is it?
We have ideological and political ties that we will not hide. That is what the international proletarian movement is all about. As a Maoist party, we have to have that relationship, we cannot escape that. But we do not have a working relationship, we never had one and don’t plan to in future.
But a lot of the Nepali Maoist activity has been based out of India.
Yes, but we have seven million Nepali people in India, don’t forget. We have our own networks. We don’t need anybody’s help, we can do that in our own way, with the help of our people. There has never been cause for us to worry on that count.
What is your understanding of the way the Maoist movement in India is going? Is Nepal a model?
Look, there can be no photocopies. Every movement has its own course, so Nepal is not necessarily an example to follow. But they have to evaluate why the pace of the development of revolution in India is so slow. It is not our responsibility to tell them, they must think about it and make their strategy accordingly.
Feb 24 , 2007
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