The phobia of guerilla war is hounding the reactionaries.
Maoist Samyukta Jana Morcha (SJM) or United Peoples Front President Baburam Bhattarai, 48 is at least in his own apprehension a Nepali Gonzalo in the making. Viewed by many as a rare blend of academic brilliance and revolutionary zeal, this Urban Planner-turned-politician has become once again the most talked about man around after a serious debacle in the wake of SJM's split two years ago. A massive police operation is being carried out in the Mid-Western hilly district of Rolpa a SJM stronghold where allegedly as a test-case Bhattarai ordered his cadres to launch a 'class-energy-elimination-campaign' victimising mostly the non-communist political activists. A vehement critic of monarchy and the present parliamentary system, Bhattarai although refuted the charges of resorting to the violent class struggle exudes confidence that one day he will succeed in bringing down the present dispensation and establish a Hoxa-ian prolatarian regime. The wild mannered never-to-be-second engineer talked to the interviewer on the burning issues of the moment including the Rolpa episode and his political mirage. Text follows.
Q. How do you assess the present political situation of Rolpa?
A. The situation in Rolpa is extremely tense and explosive at the moment. The present reactionary state managed by the three-party coalition of the Nepali Congress, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and the Sadbhawana Party, has launched the so-called 'operation Romeo' in the district since November 4. Under this armed police operation around 1500 policemen including a specially trained commando force sent from Kathmandu have been deployed to let loose a reign of terror against the poor peasants of that rugged mountain district in western Nepal. So far about one thousand people have been arrested, of whom about three hundred are kept in police custody or sent to jails under fictitious charges while the rest have been released on bail or after severe torture. The people arrested range from 12 to 70 years of age and most of them have been subjected to inhuman torture while in police custody. An eighteen-year old girl from Gam VDC was raped in Sulichour police station; eight girls from Oowa VDC were stripped to nudity and tortured with Sisnu Pani. A numerous houses of poor peasants in Kotgaon VDC have been set ablaze and there has been indiscriminate ransacking and looting of properties of common people by the ruling party hoodlums under the protection of the police force. More than ten thousand rural youths, out of a population of two hundred thousand for the whole district, have been forced to flee their homes and take shelter in remote jungles. The armed police operation is still continuing and the virtual reign of white terror seems endless at the moment.
Q. What, in your opinion, is the root - cause of the worsening law an order there?
A. The various independent human rights organisations have investigated this police operation and published their report recently. Their report also has verified our position that the current armed police repression is aimed at nipping in the bud of the developing class struggle of the poor peasants in Rolpa district and other parts of the county under the leadership of the communist party of Nepal (Maoist) and the United People's Front Nepal. What you term 'law and order' problem is basically a socio-economic problem of extreme poverty and exploitation is the rural areas of Nepal under the present semi-feudal and semi-colonial dispensation. How do you expect social peace and harmony to prevail in a socio- political system which increasingly generated poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and all round underdevelopment for more than ninety percent of the toiling population in mostly rural areas and filthy richness and extravagance for a handful of parasitic classes in rural and urban areas.?
Q. The law-enforcing agencies have charged your party with having started a violent class-struggle aiming at eliminating non-communists. What do you have to say?
A. That is absolute nonsense. Class struggle led by revolutionary communists, i.e. those upholding Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, is never aimed at eliminating 'non-communists,' as you charge. The aim of revolutionary class struggle in the current phase of New Democratic revolution is to eliminate feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism. Please do note the difference - we want to climinate the 'class position' of these parasitic classes and not necessarily eliminate the class enemy physically.
Q. Is this the starting point of a guerilla war?
A. The phobia of 'guerilla war' is haunting the reactionary ruling classes of Nepal for quite some time. That is why they have been projecting the poor, illiterate peasants of tribal Kham Magar stock of Rolpa as prospective 'guerillas' through their T. V. channels. Had that been true ninety percent of the poor and toiling population of Nepal could be branded as respective 'guerrillas'. It is not our business to forecast when these poor and exploited people will rise in arms against this reactionary state for their genuine rights.
Q. Are you ready to take responsibility for a series of politically motivated killings that occurred in the districts of Rolpa, Rukum and Baglung in the last 4-5 years?
A. We have already made our position clear that class struggle does not necessarily mean the physical annihilation of class enemy. How can we take responsibility for the stray incidents, you have mentioned, which go against our known ideological and political stand?
Q. It is said that drugs like the hemp and hashish have a very important role in the economic life of the commoners in mid-western hills. Violent clashes in those areas usually take place just because of this contraband trade. How many of your party loyals are involved in this nefarious business?
A. Reactionaries of all hues are so scared of their own criminal deeds that they have to manufacture different white lies to cover up their crimes and instead shift the blame to the revolutionary forces to hoodwink the public opinion. This charge levelled aganist us as also against the Shining Path guerilla of Peru is an imperialist ploy of the US and its lackeys all over the world. Who does not know that drug trafficking is one of the pillars of the unperialit world economy and their stooges in underdeveloped countries, particularly the bureaucratic capitalist classes, thrive on this illicit trade? Do I need to answer your motivated question when you know one of the targets of our New Democratic revolution is to destroy imperialism and its stooge bureaucratic capitalism?
Q. You proclaimed the other day from the open air theatre that your party is going to turn this kingdom into a 'Red-fort' very soon. Isn't that rather a tall claim?
A. Yes, we want to turn this beautiful Himalayan country into an invincible 'red-fort' and a shining trench of world proletarian revolution. We are sure we will hoist the hammer and sickle red flag atop the Mt. Everest one day. Every revolution sounds a dream or a 'tall claim' before it is made. Remember the French Revolution or the Great Bolshevik Revolution or the Chinese Revolution?
Q. You have given the CPN-UML a very bad name saying the largest left formation has become a stooge of the likes of Damodar Sumsher. How do you justify this charge?
A. We don't give bad name to anybody as you charge us. We only call a spade a spade. The CPN-UML is an extreme right revisionist party which has degenerated into an openly reactionary one after it vowed to serve and strengthen the existing constitutional multi-party system and formed its own government under this rotten reactionary system. Through its deeds of prostrating before the feudal monarchy and US imperialism and Indian expansionism during its 9-month rule the UML itself has verified the charges we have levelled against them.
Q. It seems that your party CPN (Maoist) along with its frontal wing United Peoples Front has been losing its support base and is being confined to a limited area of mid-west region. What future course are you taking to widen support base?
A. If we had been losing our support base among the masses as you allege why should the state launch such a massive armed police operation to wipe us out? It you had cared to see or report the massive public rallys and meetings we have recently organised in about 25 districts of Nepal from Bhojpur in the east to Humla in the west and with a fitting finale in Kathmandu on December 8, I am sure you would not have asked such a question.
Q. What about the left unity? Don't you feel like contributing to it?
A. We are always prepared for genuine Left unity for the cause of accelerating the pace of proletarian revolution and have been successfully working for it. But we are not prepared to join hands with the revisionists and opportunists who have been 'left-out' by history. Genuine left unity will be forged in the course of advancing revolution and not by aggregating splinter opportunists groups together.
Q. Capture of power through armed class struggle and establishing a communist state in Nepalese context seems to be a dream never to be fulfilled. But you are insisting on this sure-to-lose politics. Why?
A. I have already told you every revolution appears a dream before it is made. Moreover, it appears like a 'nightmare' for the reactionary classes before and after it is made. I am firm in my conviction because I believe in the science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and know that this class-divided society cannot last for ever and one day a classless society has to emerge if we want to perpetuate humanity on this earth.
Q. Doesn't it show your lack of sincerity to the cause. Or you are guided by something else which is hidden?
A. What do you mean by sincerity? In a class-divided society you cannot be sincere to all the classes. A Maoist revolutionary is sincere only to the proletarian class. And I am sincere to my class.
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