| We do not think India’s
democratic system has solved the
problems here. - Baburam Bhattarai
New Delhi, Nov. 19: Nepal’s Maoist leaders Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda, and Baburam Bhattarai are not impressed enough with Indian democracy — not even the kind their Left comrades practise — to want to emulate it.
“Our movement is not over yet. The monarchy is down but not out. The army is still loyal to them. The danger lurks. We have to abolish the monarchy and institute democracy. In that too, we have to be careful how to develop democracy so that the people’s genuine aspirations are fulfilled. We do not think India’s democratic system has solved all the problems here,” main ideologue Bhattarai said.
The Indian political system has not addressed the basic problems of the people, including poverty, hunger, casteism and feudalism, he said at a programme organised by the Nepal Democracy Solidarity Committee (India).
Both Bhattarai and Prachanda admitted that the Indian government and political parties, including the Left, were not supportive of their movement initially.
The Left’s support in the later stages was crucial for the success of the Maoists’ negotiations with the Seven-Party Alliance, they said, but Bhattarai reminded that some Nepalese Maoist leaders were still lodged in jails in Left-ruled Bengal.
“Two of our leaders are lodged in a jail in Jalpaiguri. We have spoken to Sitaram Yechury. He has assured us that they would be freed within a week,” Bhattarai said.
When pressed for his views on the Indian Left, Bhattarai said: “It is a question that the people of India and the Left leaders must answer.”
Denouncing Stalin from the platform where leaders of the two mainstream Left parties who idolise him sat listening, Prachanda said: “Our understanding is that without multiparty competition, it is not possible to evolve a vibrant society. In the Soviet Union, Stalin created a negative situation. If Lenin had lived for five more years, things would have been different. In the New Economic Policy, Lenin had admitted that the idea of socialist competition is important for a society to be free.”
An important feature of the policy — introduced by Lenin at the tenth party congress in March 1921 and a big departure from the earlier approach to running the country — was the introduction of a tax-in-kind which permitted peasants to sell their food surpluses in the open market.
Prachanda’s reference to policy was in the context of evolving a political system that recognises mistakes.
“I have to say that our success so far would not have been possible without the help of our comrades and the establishment in India. The Nepali autocracy has so far played India against China and vice-versa. We want to create conditions for both India and China to develop mutual trust. We are all neighbours, why fear each other'” he said.
Prachanda also sought to allay Delhi’s fears of their alignment with the Indian Maoists, who have spread terror in large parts of India.
“We have ideological affinities with the Indian Maoists as much as any Left group anywhere in the world. But there is no working relationship. There is no underhand deal with them, no agenda to develop a red corridor from Pashupati to Tirupati,” he said.