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New political line is inclusive: Kiran
The Rising Nepal - December 31, 2008
Mohan Baidhya 'Kiran' is senior leader and organisation chief of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the main ruling party. Countering the party chairman, he presented a separate political document in the recent central committee meeting and the national gathering of the party cadres.
Following the meeting and the gathering, the Maoist party has recently adopted a new political line based on the slogan of People's Federal Democratic National Republic (PFDNR). Given his separate document and adoption of a new political line by his party, Kiran talked to Nandalal Tiwari of The Rising Nepal regarding ways of implementation of the new line and other current issues. Excerpts.
Your party has recently adopted a new political line following the national level cadres' gathering and the central committee meeting. How will its implementation go ahead?
The implementation our new political line will move forward through a discussion process among all the stakeholders. As the working policy is oriented to writing of the new constitution, we will adopt two ways to reach our goal. We will seek to achieve it through discussion among different political forces on the one hand and on the other hand we will mobilise people for the same.
What do you mean by public mobilisation?
It refers to intensification of discussion and interactions to create awareness among the people in favour of our immediate goal, establishment of People's Federal Democratic National Republic. Additionally, it means well-planned programmes from all the fronts: the Government, the Constituent Assembly and the street to make people stand for us. And it will be peaceful.
What are the strong points of the new political line, which is said to be an agreed upon line and a fusion of two separate documents presented in the CC meeting and the cadres' gathering?
The strong feature of the new line is that it has embraced voices of different communities and regions. We have called it federal and this basically addresses the demands of the ethnic and regional communities for autonomy. And this issue is directly related to state restructuring. We have termed it democratic which upholds the aspirations of democratic forces. National refers to patriotic and nationalist forces. The term people's means of the oppressed, the poor, of those people who are at the lower rung of the society. In totality the new coinage refers to such a republican political system which is inclusive, democratic and pro-people.
What is the difference between your line of National Federal People's Republic and the present one?
There is no difference in essence. The present one incorporates the strong points of both my document and that of the one presented by the chairman. It also has embraced the suggestions given by the cadres in course of in-depth discussion during the national gathering.
But there is a change in the tone to refer to 'People's Republic.' You have coined a phrase in Nepali that means 'Republic of the People' in your new PFDNR line. What does the change signify?
You should understand this in the light of improvement of the line with the fusion of two separate documents.
Given present political equilibrium, how is the possibility of a constitution that embraces your party line that ensures the kind of republican set up you wish for? What are the challenges?
It is a fact that we are drafting a new constitution, and unlike the previous one, the new constitution is for a non-parliamentary system as the parliamentary system has failed to address people's aspirations in our context. It is known to all that people's aspirations can't be fulfilled by the same obsolete system. We are also restructuring the state on the basis of ethnicity. The Nepali Congress has yet not come up with clear vision of federalism whereas we are focusing on ethnicity in the broad sense of the term.
Proportionality is another serious matter to be ensured. It is a challenge how we can implement proportional system. We know that there can't be real proportionate representation of the peoples in the parliamentary democracy. And we are stressing on class representation, and for all this we need data and facts. That means along with other proportionality there should be class proportionality. As proportionate system is inclusive, it intitutionalises democracy in the true sense.
There is another question of guaranteeing special privilege to a particular community, specially the women. When we consider all these aspects we have to be focused, the kind of democracy that will be established will be new in essence and in form. Such a democracy will be in line with the aspirations of the people in different ladders and shades of the society. Hence, the people will be active in achieving it. Additionally, we will try to move the country toward this goal from different fronts, the government, the CA and the street.
I don't see any reasons for other political forces to go against our line, the kind of republican set up we want. Our commitment to democratic norms and practices that includes multiparty democratic polity, human rights, periodic election and press freedom is unwavering.
So you think that the other political forces like the NC, which focuses on democratic system, and the MPRF, which focuses on federalism, will agree with your kind of republican set up?
The first thing is whether they are true to what they seem to be standing for. If they are ready to side with the people, forsake status quoism, there is no point in disagreeing on the kind of republican set up we have envisioned, which in turn also incorporates their visions. This makes me hope that they will not disagree.
Two separate documents were presented in your party's recent CC meeting and cadres' national gathering. How did this situation emerge?
In our party any one can present his/her views and thoughts. And I presented a separate document because I could not agree on some points in the chairman's report.
What were the points you differed with that of the chairman's?
Basically, I had a different view on party's political line, immediate goal. That means, tactics to push the revolution forward.
Do you think the new line has resolved the thought-based struggle in your party?
We all are satisfied with the synthesised form of the party line. I think that we have made a development in the field of our party's political line and party unity has gained a new height. The cadres' suggestions are also incorporated.
As far as resolution of all the differences is concerned, some issues related with evaluation and ideology are reserved for the party convention.
Does that mean two separate documents will be presented in the party's general convention as well?
That will be clear in course of discussions in our party before and during the document preparing period for the convention.
What are the differences between your present line and the one Mao established in China after the Revolution?
There are some differences. When we enter the new people's democracy, our present line will get perfection and we hope our present line will lead us to that goal. PFDNR embraces the needs of the people at present in our context.
More than three months have elapsed since your party took the leadership of the government. And your party leaders have also admitted that the government has so far not been successful in giving the people a sense of change. What are the hurdles?
We are not saying that we have failed totally. Some processes for the change have of course started. We are going ahead as per the common minimum programme. The Prime Minister's visits to different nations have also garnered international support in favour of change. As the present government is of coalition nature, there is a need of joint effort as well; this can't go as wanted by the Maoists alone. And we are all working hard jointly. Still we are behind where we should have been.
However, once the programmes in the budget are implemented, the people will definitely feel some change. And this process will take some more time. Although the government under our party leadership is concerned with providing relief to the people, its main job is to take the peace process to the logical conclusion and write a new constitution. Moreover, the people should also understand that this government, because of its nature and main task, can't solve all the problems related with their livelihood in a short period of time.