(We are pleased to present a reprint of an interview of Chairman Prachanda, leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) for the mainstream daily newspaper published ín India 'The Times if India'. The interview took place on 3 December 2001.)
Why have the Maoists broken the cease-fire?
Anyone with a democratic mindset and a capacity to delve into the essence of the problem will realise that it is not the CPN (Maoist) but the feudal palace murderers and the corrupt and fascist Girija clique that have broken the cease-fire. We had emphasized on the political solution of the problem from the very outset of the negotiation with the government. For that purpose our major proposals were: an interim government, anew constitution and institutionalisation of the republic. However, instead of grasping the political essence of the problem with due seriousness and creating a conducive atmosphere of dialogue accordingly, the Dueba government under the pressure of the feudal royalists and the corrupt Girija clique, not only made nation-wide preparations for military offensive but even banned the peaceful mass rallies. Even then we exercised Marx mum patience and flexibility and proposed the convening of a constituent assembly, which was proclaimed even by King Tribhuvan after the Delhi Agreement of 1951 but never implemented, so as to make the people the ultimate decision-makers on the question of monarchy or a republic. But the government not on y rejected this foremost democratic method of resolving the problem but intensified the preparations of military offensive by procuring arms and ultra-modern military helicopters from the USA. In this situation of closing down of all political avenues we had no alternative but to continue with the people's armed resistance.
Why did you not try for another round of talks?
How can somebody continue to clap with one hand? When the talks were reduced to meaningless drama with no political outlet and the condition of forcible acceptance of the discredited feudal monarchy were sought to be imposed on the people, which amounted to virtual surrender and renegacy by the revolutionary forces, the government had, m essence, closed the door for the Fourth round of talks.
What will be the next course of action? Are you still open to dialogue ?
The rapid growth of the six-year old people's war and the prevailing public opinion across the country have amply demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of the people in Nepal are m favour of our Party and the republican form of the state. In this context, if the right to determine their own political future granted to the people we are once again prepared to suspend our armed activities and sit down for the talks. On the contrary, if the lunatic course of action of imposing military dictatorship under the leadership ot the perpetrators of recent palace massacre is to be continued, we will fight till this so-called monarchy is com- pletely abolished.
How do you justify the use of violence ?
It is not us but the feudal palace and the corrupt Nepali Congress government that have initiated political violence m Nepal. When we were present m the parliament as the third largest Party after the first general election m 1991 the then Girija Koirala government unleashed widespread state terrorism of the most barbaric nature against our Party leaders and cadres for their revolutionary political views. Hence we were forced to raise arms for the defence of the people. Even now, only after the Deuba government mobilised the royal army against the struggling masses and in favour of the feudal palace intriguers, that we were forced to resort to armed resistance.
What is the difference between Maoist fighters and terrorists?
There can be no comparison whatsoever between a terrorist and a Maoist revolutionary. The terrorists make senseless and suicidal attacks against the innocent and unarmed people and have no ideological clarity or a very reactionary ideology. The Maoist fighters, on the contrary, do inevitably possess a clear-cut political goal of liberation and progress of the country and the people, are equipped with the most scientific ideology of dialectical and historical materialism, and target the attacks against the feudal monarchical (or any other reactionary) state backed by imperialism. Another distinguishing feature of a Maoist movement is the pursuance of the mass line, or the involvement of the large masses of people in every military and political action, which the terrorists completely lack.
So you think the Sept. 11 attacks on the WTC and the international coalition against terrorism will make it more difficult for your movement to survive?
We don't see any reason why that campaign should affect our people's revolutionary movement. We view the nature of action on the September 11 as terroristic; though we regard US imperialism as primarily responsible for that. We would also like to caution the world public opinion against the tendency of the reactionary ruling classes of different countries to join the bandwagon of anti-terrorism' to suppress genuine people's (or national) liberation movements in their respective countries.
What is the role of monarchy in your set up?
The archaic feudal monarchy in Nepal has been the biggest obstacle in the path of progress of the people and the country. After the conspiratorial palace massacre of last June, the traditional rationale of the institution of monarchy has ended and the people are not prepared to accept fratricidal and regicidal Gyanendra and his hooligan son, Paras, as the 'king' and the 'crown prince'. It is now high time that a republic be proclaimed in the country.
In your concept of 'New democracy' will other parties be allowed to function?
We are definitely against a one-party dictatorship. There will be full freedom to all the anti-feudal and anti imperialist political parties m New Democracy.
What kind of relationship do you envision with India ?
We want to develop good neighbourly relations based on equality and freedom, in accordance with the five principles of peaceful co-existence, with India. We fail to understand why the Government of India, being it self a republic, should oppose the people's movement going on in Nepal against the feudal monarchy. We appeal to the democratic forces m India to fathom the ground reality in Nepal and not to precipitate any action that will touch the sensibilities of the Nepalese people.
Would you be prepared to take on the Indian army if the Indian govt. decides to help Nepal govt?
If the government of India sends troops in aid of the tottering rule of the feudal reactionary and corrupt bureaucratic forces in Nepal we will be forced to wage a resistance struggle against it as well till the end. We hope friendly Indian people will put pressure on their government not to interfere in the internal affairs of
Will there be a pro-China tilt if the Maoists come to power in Nepal ?
In keeping with the geo-political specificities of Nepal and historical experiences, we will maintain non-aligned and equi-distant relations with both our giant neighbours, India and China.
What is the 'Prachanda path'?
'Prachanda Path' is the product of creative application of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist science in the concrete conditions of Nepal.