• 16 July, 2020 11:44 am

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PRACHANDA A COINCIDENTAL LEADER

Prachanda. However, Prachanda had no option to be self- controlled. During that time Prachanda paid a seven day long visit to India. Most of the Indian officials and authorities not only sympathized him but also suggested to wait for the right time. They said,” The present Congress –UML government won’t last long. Apart from you others cannot resolve the present problem. It will be prudent/wise to wait for some time”. They all consoled Prachanda in this manner which led him to dilemma. Till that moment Prachanda’s inner heart had ventured to show India boldly. A program, aimed at getting refreshed mentally, to visit Qatar scheduled after sometime. 

I had been arranging the visit indirectly. We stayed at Doha in Qatar for 4 days and our talks centered on the corrupted politics of Nepal in the evening around 3 hours. I had an interest why was Prachanda trapped in Indian plan and what happened during his latest India visit. During the course of our conversation Prachanda assured one of the businessmen in Qatar, ‘ Keep on watching, I may visit Qatar after being Prime minister of Nepal very soon.’ That situation was such that we could not believe his expression. The then government had been formed with around two third majorities in the parliament including first and second largest political parties. Maoist had squeezed as the third party. They had announced that they would promulgate constitution of Nepal within one year. But the Indian authorities, during his India visit, had assured Prachanda that things might change as Congress and UML led government could not promulgate constitution and on this ground Prachanda might have been assured to be the Prime minister and expressed so. 

Exactly what the Indian side had speculated there had been no concrete evidence till the last week of Sep, 2014 that could assure people that NC – UML led government could promulgate the constitution as it was announced. Maoist and Madheshi front were getting farther and farther in the name of movement and Nepali congress was doing nothing more than lengthening its regime. Prachanda and KP Sharma Oli had a long talk at 47 

Gokerna resort at the last week of Asoj. Oli proposed Prachnda to become the president and he expressed interest to be the primeminister. Prachanda said, “Without clearly responding him I told him to co ntinue talks. That made Oli more irritating. Amresh Kumar had been to Delhi after few days of my Gokerna meeting with Oli. Amresh Singh too proposed me to be the president during our talks at the room of political dialogue committee. This was not only his opinion'( Prachanda: 2014). The ground of Prachanda’s views expressed with us in Qatarwas the underlying issues like these all. 

Prachanda’s time had been wasted from 2013 to 2014 May amidst a state of confusion. On the first week of Asar I raised few serious questions with Prachadna and said, “It must be clear about who you are and only after then we can talk about your steps to be taken in the days to come. You , in short , have been reiterating that you have been as you are is not by making any plan , but I have doubt more than trust over it and we should have at least a week long , two –three hours , discussion’. There was no chance of rejection from Prachanda. However, it took around 4 months to arrange our meeting though our daily and weekly meeting was regular. 

I talked with Prachanda from Oct, 27-30, 2014 on the top of his the then Lazimpat based residence. He explained about him in detail in confessional style. Behind that I had two objectives. First it would be my foolishness not know Prachanda despite my long and intimate relation with him and secondly, I was mentally prepared to go overseas for my further study at that time and after than there couldnot have long talks with him. Moreover, I was thinking to write about Prachanda. I don’t know why he had deep worry about my going to overseas. We had promised to discuss for at least five days, he could not endure /sustain/ bear or the last talk, he felt a bit uneasy the very last day’s talk. Our talk continued as a 4 day long marathon style. Nobody came to intervene us except people to serve us tea and edibles and nobody accompanied us during our talk. I had, with his permission, also recorded our talks. On the final day after we could not resume our talks for the fifth day, I told him about the 4 day long record that I had made but he only smiled inside which there were multiple issues. 

In the conclusion of our talks, he succeeded to convince me that he never had well –thought -out plan with the objective to be this and that but occupied/held the present 48 

space through marching ahead, fighting, and raising ( became the supreme commander of people’s war and the prime minister of the nation). During that conversation he told that things would not go/run like that. He deeply realized the need of well –thought -out plan and strategy. 

Most probably, because of that understanding / acknowledgement, in Prachanda’s own version, he might have been successful in starting the new chapter finishing CPN , Maoist exactly in the same manner as CPN Mashal. He is such a leader who has been successful to institutionalize main agenda in the new constitution and establishes cordial relations with leaders who had fixed the value/price of his own head. Maintaining a firm relation with Sushil Koirala and KP Oli, known for their ungenerosity towards republic and the agenda of change he has been successful to promulgate constitution ( BBC: 2017). 

Recalling a context of the third day of our conversation Prachanda reveals, ” Sometimes I go to a talk program or meeting and gatherings unprepared but when I start to talk unexpected and surprising expressions come spontaneously’. Prachanda had given similar expression in a seminar during the premiership of Babu Ram Bhattarai. 

We very often think that a thing once created should be very pure, holy, and go ahead in a spontaneous pace. Party is formed, party splits , becomes chaotic and again formed. That was why Mao said, ‘ Party is not like afrozenpond , but it is like the Yang shi river that flows roaring and crumbling/cutting the land’. I have many times topple down /demolish party in my life time and many times I have made/formed party . I trust that I have led this process. Because as soon as I entered I finished mashal. After Mashal’s funeral I formed Unity Center thinking that nothing would come out following Mashal. The Unity Center too , we demolished and Maoist was formed and again we demolished Maoist and formed Unified/united Maoist, and keep on watching , what may happen tomorrow ( Prachanda: 2012). He had briefly explained with me during our conversation. The natural question arises how we can simply consider Prachanda as a man raising to the apex came out bluntly.

At last Prachanda finished Maoist. He had made up his mind to accomplish the mission immediately after his India visit during his second premiership. But he never mentioned it neither in party meeting nor in any document, still did he use to signal it. Prachanda had from the core of his heart felt that the command of politics should be in the country if Nepal’s independent existence has to be secured /preserved. He used to signal such issue, however, the tradition of understanding such signals has not been established in Nepal. This is a different issue. 

The conclusion of what Prachanda expressed about himself during our conversation is as follows. Prachanda came down to Chitwan from LebadeKaski with his father, MuktiNathDahal, in the year 2005 when he was only 8 years old. MuktiNathDahal had only 1 thousand and 2 hundred Nepali currencies with him. One of the relatives of Prachanda NarayanDahal had already been there in Chitwan. Narayan’s father lent MuktiNath 1 thousand and 5 hundred and he bought 5 Bigaha12land at Gitanagar and Dahal family settled in Chitwan. Prachanda passed 3 years heading cattle. Then he joined class three for the first time. As he was sharp in study he was upgraded and finally stood first in the final exam of class 10. After he passed SLC (School Leaving Certificate) he joined ISC (Intermediate in Science) in Patan Multiple College from where he got ISC degree. He had deep longing to be a pilot as a science student. 

As he could not secure good marks in I. SC he joined NCC (National Cadet Corps Nepal) training courseto compete the selection process of Second Lieutenant. At that time he had already been acquainted with the then famous communist leader Rup Lal Bishwokarma. He left the training without in the meantime and started to study Bachelor in Science, BSC, in Rampur Agriculture College, Rampur, Chitwan. As a mandatory system of teaching after the completion of BSC degree, he started teaching at Arughat in Gorkha. He had been there as a teacher for only one year but he made up his mind to be a teacher for 2 years and involve in politics and he became party whole timer in 1979. 

In an amusing style, Prachanda tells, “Coming to 1983, I faced Mohan Bikram and Nirmal lama. In 1989 knowingly or unknowingly I became the general secretary of the

party on the proposal of our leader Kiran who , for me , was thought be a great / highly intellectual leader. It was not the post of my thought and dream. Discussions on people’s war used to be continued in the party and magical stories on it used to be narrated. There were contexts of responsibility with Prachanda for the preparation of people’s war. Prachanda opines,’ party launched people’s war without a plan of future possibilities. My political career had been just started for my life. However, I kept on leading the party thinking to face whatever comes ignoring what would happen in the future. Trusting people immediately and becoming emotional remained my weakness. This weakness has troubled me a lot. The greatest weakness with me is not to have long term thought, not to premeditated plan . 

Apart from these issues Prachanda candidly explained about sex, love, marriage, family, hobby, and attraction towards few people as does a narrator in a novel. After Prachanda presented all mystery and colour of his life, a question struck me , ‘ Can such happen ?’Moreover, I used to find myself very near to the personal incidents occurred in Prachanda’s life. A separate creation with a detail analysis of such issues is essential. I think time has not come so far for the purpose. 

On the third day of our conversation I had handed him two books advising him to go through at least the underlined sentences. The first book was ‘ World Order’ written by Henry Kissinger , the then foreign minister of India and world famous diplomat who had been successful in holding talks between Chinese leader Mao Zedong and American President Richard Nixon in 1972, whereas, the second book was’ Mission Raw’ written by the former officer of Indian Intelligent Agency , Research and Analysis Wing, RAW, R.K. Yadav. Our conversation the next day had been prolonged for around 4 hours and we had snacks there twice. 

During the previous day’s conversation I had presented information and analysis that might be useful for Prachanda for about an hour. While bidding goodbye that evening Prachanda proposed to talk on different issue the next day and flattered me, ‘ How do you analyze these issues sharply? I have not seen such a man like you.’ Prachanda time again kept on recalling this context whenever we meet although there is not a significant context and concern between his course and my life. This is a coincidence of awonderful context and discourse/ attachment. 

Regarding the personality and oratorical skill of Prachanda, Janardan Sharma recalls an interesting meeting with Prachnda at a time when he was deeply interested towards communist politics and revolution. Sharma recalls: 

Two youths had been to Rukum during 1985 in course of party meeting. The training by a youth named Bishwash made us almost spellbound. We all had a kind of haste to know many things. We asked him questions like, ‘ Where should we go for revolution? , Where should we go for the training? When does revolution begin? How is party preparing for the revolution? He satisfied us through responding our queries for 45minutes . There was a dumb like boy who didn’t speak a single sentence. I told my friends to have a wonderful leader. His name is Bishwash and he will rule the country.’ 

During the year 1989 we heard news that Prachanda replaced Kiran. We had been summoned to Chitwan for a gathering. There we knew that Prachanda was the same man, Bishwash, who had provided us training in Rukum 4 years ago. I felt good at that time. We hadalready felt that he was a promising leader. The other young man sitting behind like a dumb had been Ram Bahadur Thapa( Sharma: 2018). 

Prachanda have become more calculative since Feb, 2015. There had been a vast difference in the then Prachanda and Prachanda at present. Prahnada was intensely working to make new constitution as mythical Eklabya13. In course of our conversation on the context of constitution Prachanda says, ” keep on watching /looking, Babu Ram cannot be saved (The time of not only to remain with but also the ruin of his political life has come) though my effort will be to save him from the peril. Up to that time Baiddhya and his followers had been trying to merge with Maoist after separation and union where as Babu Ram was imposing tension on Prachanda under manypretensions.

Foreigners too  were playing with the adverse situation. The devastating earthquake became another political turning in Prachnda’s political life. Congress and UML after reaching a 16 point agreement with Maoist started to applaud Prachanda. To defend 16 point agreement and baffling people in and out of the country, he paid a visit to Delhi despite being criticized. Prachanda had to settle some issues with the political authority of Delhi. He did the same business through the promulgation of new constitution without India’s involvement through 16 point agreement. At a time when Delhi had been in a state of confusion, Prachanda, heading a step farther than Congress and UML and renouncing his previous norms/assumptions and stancesreached the 16 points agreement. Even Babu Ram Bhattarai became highly baffled. Bhattarai could not recognize/know Prachanda despite 25 year long experience in the same committee and 30 yearlong political togetherness. Bhattarai kept on identifying Prachanda, but Prachanda had already been changed. At a time when agreement on constitution was under the process I had jokingly told Bhattarai during a long conversation one evening, ‘Prachanda will be really accomplishing remaining things.’ Baburam, not believing me, smiled and responded ‘ He will do nothing. 

There is no space to doubt what Prachanda had revealed with me during our conversation and moreover, Babu Ram too spoke from the very core of his heart. Babu Ram used to hesitate more to reveal the clue of the issue but Prachanda used to tell carelessly, however, they had not been the issue for media/ news purpose. 

Prachanda reveals, “I never moved thinking to be a leader ever. As a son of simple poor peasant, I reached such a destination full of responsibility, always hoping to serve the nation and people. I felt myself emotional and a bit responsible when Girija Prasad Koirala, who was on the hospital bed accompanied with other Congress leaders told me, now the nation is under your charge /your responsibility. He was about the end of his life. Now the responsibility of the country has fallen upon you and you should handle it, said Girija Prasad Koirala. I had never thought that I would have to take the charge of the country while I started my political career. I was of the view that there were great leaders and I had to obey them.’ 

‘The other facet of my life is my extreme activeness.’ Even these days if you view my activeness it seems to be strange to other friends to my movement. This has been my childhood character/feature. My particular feature is not to be stuck to one, dragged and beaten, ring the bel14l till you are the monk, and it was not my habit to keep on blowing. This way I internalized what Girija Prasad Koirala told me at his last hour. If Nepali people provide me a responsibility, I have the sense of responsibility to incorporate and handle all the workers of the country, peasants, ethnic people, Madheshi, Himalayan, easterners, and westerners at a time. However, I am not the man to decide it. You people have to decide it. If you ask me to accomplish certain job, I am ready to move ahead to at any cost. If you don’t have such verdict to ask me to do something for the nation and people, let the country face its own destiny ultimately. We all face/endure it and will face it( Edit. Kandel : 2013, P. 55). 

PRACHANDA: IN OTHER’S VIEW 

A book in edited form entitled ‘ People’s Question, Prachanda’s Reply’ was published incorporating Prachanda’s views expressed during comprehensive discussions, and live interview with civil society leaders and general public conducted in Biratnagar, Janakpur, Pokhara, Dhangadi and Kathmandu in the context of the second constituent assembly election after the proposed election to the first CA had failed . Following are some of the representative comments made by scholars, intellectuals and analysts that have been incorporated in the edited book. 

DR. SUNDAR MANI DIXIT 

Neither native nor the foreigners intended to see Prachanda as the prime minister of Nepal that remained a tragedy for all of us. This is the fact that we kept one telling as ‘ a country cursed by Sita15 since 1950. This is the country where leaders are bornbut can’t have opportunity to perform. Late king Mahendra did not let BP Koirala work, other leaders, parties, and foreigners all jointly didn’t let Prachanda work and plotted / designed 54 

Katuwal16 scandal(edit. Kandel: 2013 ,P.26). If there a man who can handle this society, that is Prachanda. This is absolutely correct (ibid: 2013, P.27). 

16 The then army chiefRukmangadKatuwal who defied government’s direction and Prachnda had to resign on the f ethical ground. 

Let Prachanda be not peeled off. Let his bare leg be not peeled off.If we praise his performance open heartily and intend to help him, it will encourage him to move ahead. We have needed a leader. We don’t have leaders. We need such a leader who may work for the poor as well as the rich one. He raised the gun for the poor and says he works for the economic revolution in favour of rich people. I have never seen such a great leader across the world ( Ibid: 20130, p.27). 

RAMESH NATH PANDEY 

History has taught us that it can’t create a leader but leader creates the history. That is why Nepal needs a leader who can create a history. The constituent assembly should fulfill the need of the leader so that nation can be strong and internationallyhonoured ( ibid: 2013,P.31). 

SHYAM SHRESTHA 

Our country has come to this juncture according to your( Maoist) agenda. People have not got an opportunity to perceive the agenda of change and it has not reached the people especially working class people. Let your attention be focused on it. (ibid: 2013,P.64). 

PROF. KRISHNA KHANAL 

Prachanda has an ample/ abundant/ pervasive capacity to mobilize people and people are mobilized upon his call/invitation/request. No matter whether they are convinced or not with him, he has built up capacity to mobilize people raising above party. Similarly, he has the capacity to transfer .he mobilized people, he launched people’s war that picked up a height and again he mobilized and the 2005/2006 movement became successful. This in one sense transferred or transformation took place. Republic has been institutionalized in the country which the real fact and whatever any one surmises republic will not be vanished from Nepal. The road to republic has already been built though the form may 55 

change. Prachandaji has reached the capacity of a transformer from a mobilizer( ibid: 2013,p.64). 

KHAGENDRASANGARUALA 

I am of the view that despite continuous despise/despising Prachandaalmost of the country people are hoping from him( ibid: 2013,p.101). 

KRISHNA HATHECHHU 

I say , you are not only the leaders of United Maoist but all of us. You might be the leader of your party but in the context of the country you are also the leader of the whole/ single Nepal( ibid:2013,P.107). 

JHALAKSUBEDI 

Prachanda, a rebel image, struggling leader, or if viewed from outer side /angle a terrorist and extremist but after all traits and labels transformed and became a great leader of the nation. If the movement of 2006 and after it is viewed he has transformed him aptly. I would like to link this again with the reference of BP Koirala who had been unsuccessful because of international marginalization, similarly the leadership of Prachanda ,after 2006, fundamentally international forces never considered him a challenging /contesting leadership in Nepal. However,the role of India on the issue of taking this whole process to the right destination and establish his leadership as demanded by the history has always been a major challenge. I am of the view that in case we are able to lacerate /diagnose /penetrate it , we can find him not a leader adorned with all the good traits of human being but a successful leader or as a leadership with strength and weakness with the ability to lead our society( Ibid: 2013,p.142-43). 

KISHOR NEPAL 

Among the contemporary politicians seen in our society these days, Prachndaji is such a leader who has little bit vision and convincing ability ( Ibid:2013,P.147). 56 

In this way Prachanda became a leader from his infancy to adulthood. Considered to be Rumani dream/imagination, he conducted/launched people’s war for a decade. Crossing another decade long intrigue, time has favoured him to be the leader the largest political party. In reality Prachanda has been the tallest leader among the other not because of formulating plan of his own but dismantling others’ plan. 

Source : Author’s Book – The Safe landing (2019)

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