September 15, 2011
Chandra Prakash Gajurel ‘Gaurav’, the Secretary of the UCPN (Maoist), is best known for his outspoken personality and reasoning capacity. Gajurel is one of the proponents of the hardline politics within the Maoists led by its senior vice chairman Mohan Baidya ‘Kiran’. Gajurel has been constantly stressing the need of another ‘revolt’ to safeguard the long attained achievements and write a people’s constitution, and has been demanding to review the party’s strategic policy. Gajurel spoke to Chandra Khaki and Bidhan Shrestha for Greatway on various issues ranging from party line, ideological debate, internal rift, peace and constitution, among others. Excerpts:
Your faction stood against the party’s decision to handover the key of container containing arms and ammunitions of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to the Special Committee. What are the logics and reasons behind it ?
The key of the container should not have been handed over to the Special Committee before the completion of certain processes like the finalization of modality for integration of two armies, determination of the number of PLA fighters to take part in the integration process, their rank division and the regrouping of PLA fighters. To handover the key of the container before the completion of these processes is to make the PLA fighters unarmed and the integration process cannot take place making the PLA fighters unarmed. According to the principal of army and other armed forces, the key of the container containing arms and ammunitions has its own significance and it has its own procedure to keep command on it.
The Nepal Army (NA) never hands over the key of the arms and ammunition storage to the Defense Minister or even the Prime Minister and they can not ask to take control over it. We should not forget that Peoples liberation army is also an army and there is no questions of hand-overing the key without reaching to any conclusion about its respectful integration.
Therefore, it is not the SC to whom the key should have been handed. The key should have been handed over to the commander of new force formed after the integration, which can either be from PLA or NA. It is a rule of the army and it should be followed. Therefore, the handover of the key of the containers of PLA does not indicate a respectful integration. This will only guide towards capitulation.
According to you what should be the modality for the integration?
We had proposed two modality for the integration of two armies. First, we had proposed to form a separate security force containing PLA fighters only under the directorate of the Nepal Army. We had proposed that the new security force to be a combatant force and provide them the responsibility of border security. However, other parties were skeptical that the Maoists would use the force for their own benefit. So, we again proposed to form a mixed security force commanded by PLA fighter in which PLA fighters would cover 50 per cent and remaining 50 per cent by the personnel from NA and Armed Police Force. As other parties have already rejected the first option, we are holding discussions to forge an agreement in the second modality for integration.
What should be number of PLA fighters for the integration?
I strongly believe that the number should not be ascertained in advance. The number should be fixed after holding with the PLA fighters themselves because there are many fighters who are injured, who may want self retirement, many female fighters are now mother and some may turn out unfit according to the fitness standard of new force. If we fix the number in advance what will the others competent fighters do? They might feel that they have been ignored and may resort violence again.
A large number of PLA fighters who had supported your party during the People’s War were declared disqualified and forced to leave the cantonment. Those who supported you during armed struggle are now living in a misery. Why your party has ignored them?
This is an outcome of unscientific procedure followed during the rehabilitation of the disqualified PLA fighters. Without proper management of their future, they were forced to head out with limited cash. They were just handed money without showing what to do next. So, this problem is likely to prolong. The disqualified PLA fighters have already captured the party headquarters twice in protest. The party has somehow has been successful to convince the disqualified PLA fighters to be calm and wait for the time being but this is not the permanent solution. Even if we provide them financial support, the question for their living will rise as they consume it. Again, they will come to party headquarter and raise their voices. They are thrown out from the cantonment without settling their issues. Therefore, if a scientific and respectable approach is not followed in favour of these ‘disqualified’ combatants and during the integration of two armies as well, the nation is likely to be hit by yet another disaster.
It is said that the issue regarding the handover the key was raised after the disagreement in the party regarding allotment of ministries . Is it true?
This is not true. We were close to agreement regarding the division of ministries within the party. Dr Baburam Bhattarai had asked me to join the government as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs as Chairman Prachanda had asked for Finance Ministry. Although chairman had asked for the ministry, he did not have any competent candidate with the adequate knowledge in economics. Therefore, there was not really any big disagreement and the issue was almost solved. The problem started when they abruptly handed over the key to the SC.
There are also reports that your protest has been backed by COMPOSA and RIM. What do you say?
This is not true. Why should COMPOSA and RIM back our protest? COMPOSA is not an organization which directs a party. It just a coordination committee of various organizations. Likewise, RIM is also not very active recently. It is completely a choreographed propaganda.
Your faction has time and again demanded the revision and assessment of the policy, tactics and strategy opted by the party after the Chunwang meeting. Does it mean that your faction believes that the policy and strategy followed after the Chunwang meeting is theoretically incorrect?
When a party formulates a policy, it can have both positive and negative outcomes. Therefore, the time has now arrived to evaluate the policy opted by the party after the Chunwang meeting as it has failed to meet the expectation of the decision made during the meeting. I want to put forward an example to justify my points. During the Chunwang meeting, peace and constitution writing process was termed as party’s tactics and a new peoples’ movement should be completed standing on this base. In practice, however, it turned as the strategy of the party. Thus, it has created a threat of conclusion of our revolution in the midway. The party is slowly forgetting populistism. That is why we have demanded the assessment of the decisions made during the Chunwang meeting sooner or later. I think, general convention of the party will seek the solution for this.
After the Chunwang meeting, your party has adopted the federal democratic system abandoning the line of New Democracy as the minimum program of the party stating that this should be the transitional mean to reach in New democracy owing to the current national and international situation. Do you think it was a correct decision?
There was clearly mentioned in the Chunwang meeting that federal democratic system will be the tactics of the party but it is implemented as the strategy in practice. There is no concrete base for doing this. This is why, we have demanded to revise the policies, tactics and strategies adopted by the party after Chunwang meeting.
Do you mean that party is abandoning the policy of New Democracy ?
Exactly, this is happening in the practice.
But the leaders of the party has clearly stating that they have adopted federal democratic system as the transitional means to move ahead towards the new democracy. According to them, going through this step is necessary in the present national and international context.
We don’t have any differentiating view that the federal democratic system should be taken as the party’s tactics. We had decided to complete the new people’s revolution making federal democratic system its base. However, instead of making it a base, we have been trapped in the same. The party has slowly started to renounce the ideology of revolution.
In which level is the contradiction within the Maoists, is it in ideological level or just limited to the political level?
The contradiction is at the political and tactical level up to now. However, politics and tactics is also related with ideology. Currently, we are holding debates with in the party referring it as a political and tactical contradiction but it is certain that in the due course it will turn into an ideological debate.
Your faction has been portrayed as the anti peace and constitution due to your constant demand for revolt and revolution? What is your say?
I think we have been portrayed incorrectly. Recently, we had protested the decision to handover the key, it was also misinterpreted and a disinformation campaign was launched against it. We have been portrayed as a force dead set against peace and constitution. However, we have never said that we do not want the completion of army integration, we have only demanded a scientific and respectful integration. Similarly, we have never said that we do not want constitution, we have only demanded a people’s federal republican constitution, which is not only the policy of our faction but also the policy of the party.
Why do you constantly raise the issue of people’s revolt?
The issue of people’s revolt has not been raised by us only. Six days strike in the past was also the part of the exercise for the people’s revolt under the policy adopted by the party. It was raised by the party as a whole. No one has ever said that there should not be people’s revolt. There is a strong need for people’s revolt as the aspirations of the people have not been met and none of their problems have been solved. The people want to see change in the field, which has not been fulfilled. Therefore there is a need of yet another movement. The transitional democratic republican system has turned out to be failure. So, the people’s movement has been essential to establish people’s federal republican system. Although other factions of the party speak of establishing federal republican system, they have failed to put it into practice. For instance, during the four point agreement inked with the Madhesi Front, the inclusive democratic republican is mentioned instead of people’s federal republican system. Therefore, the party leadership is turning reformist setting aside the path shown by yesterday’s revolution.
The famous Dhobighat alliance had helped Dr Baburam Bhattarai to be elected as the new Prime Minister of the country. However, the alliance has been broken and a new alliance with the leadership, against whom the Dhobighat alliance is formed. How do see this?
This is true that the Baburam Bhattarai’s faction have left the Dhobighat alliance and swayed towards a new alliance. Although that was an alliance within the party, he has now come close to the party chairman.
Then do you see that after Bhattari’s accent to the throne of prime minister, the practice of centralized leadership will resume in the party, against which Dhobighat alliance was formed ?
Yes, we again see the threat of party leadership being centralized and making hefty decision solitarily. Some recent activities has also indicated the same. For instance, the party had formed a seven member dialogue team to hold discussions with the Madhesi Morcha during the Prime Ministerial election. However, the four point deal was inked only by keeping remaining five members of the team in bay. Similarly, the decision to handover the key was also made by only two people in the party leadership. If they had to make the decision, they should have at least called the party official’s meeting and informed. Such meeting can be organized with in an hour but our leadership doesn’t bother to do so and handed over the key without the cosine of all party officials.
Recently there has been statements that those who does not want to stay in the party can leave the party which clearly reflects the conflict within. Isn’t there threat of party’s split?
Yes, there is threat of party’s split but not from us. The threat is there from those who are making such statements. They are the pro-splinters. We strongly condemn these ill-fated statements.
We have never asked anyone to leave the party but demanded the implementation of line endorsed by the party by all. Our demand to the leadership is to retransform themselves correcting their derailed activities.
What do you think is the procedure to resolve the contradiction and conflict emerged within the party?
There are so many procedure developed with in the international communist movement to resolve the conflict and contradiction and save the party from being split. In the present context, many issues of debates are not limited within the party. Therefore, there is a need of holding debate in external level also. Therefore, a healthy and well-managed debate should be continued both in internal level as well as external level to solve this intra-party struggle. Along with this, the party should be taken ahead unified. The issue of adding this procedure to solve the conflict has been raised but is yet to be implement. Probably, the next Central Committee meeting of the party will endorse this procedure as well.
It is said that after the economic and cultural disparity has amplified after the party’s induction in the peace and constitution writing process. Although many committees were formed to solve this, they have been effective were unsuccessful to manage this. Now, many say that this is slowly turning the revolutionary party into a bourgeoisie party. What do you think is its remedy?
Yes, it has been issue of concern in our party. Therefore, purification of the party is the best remedy to end this disparity. Purification here means to make those responsible admit their mistake, allow self-criticism and rectification and punish the guilty. The more effective procedure can be to take the whole party for struggle to complete the revolution which has been left in the middle. This include preparation for people’s revolt, awareness campaign and various movements. Therefore, the problem of economic and cultural disparity can be solved either through class struggle or purification within the party. The leadership has failed to provide any program for struggle, so how can the party purify. Moreover, the process of purification should be started from the top, but this is not happening. This is the main reason behind the failure of various committees as well.
You are constantly emphasizing on the need of people’s revolt but don’t you see the possibility of strong suppression over your movement in the present adverse global and national context?
No, I don’t think so because we have not said to begin any armed struggle or have plans to confront with the security forces. As already the nation has gone through a historic transformation and Monarchy already ousted, there is not need to fight with the security forces. If the movement for ensuring peace and constitution is suppressed then, it will only spark yet another people’s movement.
Is there any thing you would like to add?
We have been deliberately projected as the anti peace and constitutional force by various media when we are in fact demanding a scientific and respectful integration and people’s constitution. If your media portrays our reality, then it would be easy for the people to understand the ground reality.