Special conversation with Mohan Bikram Sing, general secretary of Nepal Communist party , Masal on the condition of Nepal’s the then political situation, power equation and struggle and contemporary political situation including forthcoming political guiding principles on the occasion of 42nd Pushpa Lal Memorial day and 38th B.P. memorial day.
- How did you recall the then political history at a time when we are celebrating Pushpa Lal and B.P Memorial Day?
Nepali Congress and Nepal communist party can be considered to be Nepal’s two streams of the democratic movement of in the primary political history of Nepal. Pushpa Lal has a very significant place in communist movement and B.P has a significant historic contribution in Nepal’s democratic movement specially, anti-Rana movement. However, there are political questions and disputes between them. We worked with Pushpa Lal for a long time and struggled for constituent assembly election. Pushpa Lal and B.P are both towering political figures.
-How do you analyze Pushpa Lal’s New Democratic Revolution and B.P’s Democratic Socialism today? How has the relevancy of these two political theories/principles been moving ahead? What is the essential difference between the two?
Pushpa Lal’s New Democratic principle was Mao’s Democratic principle which Pushpa Lal, for the first time, translated, interpreted and applied in Nepal and it has relevancy in Nepal till date because its relevancy remains in a country till the presence of semi-feudal and semi-colonial reminiscences. Our country has not yet been able to be free of it. So far the question of B.P’s democratic Socialism is concerned , we have some disputes. Socialism means to work against semi-feudal and comprador capitalist. But Nepali Congress has been nurturing feudal, comprador, and capitalists. Nevertheless, Nepali Congress carried significant struggle against Rana regime and Panchayat system. We joined hands with Nepali Congress in such struggles. But Nepali Congress has made regressive decisions to support the king against the principle of democracy. Nepali Congress has been deviated from socialism and democracy.
- What is the current position of Pushpa Lal’s Democratic Revolution at present?
Loo, the democratic revolution that Pushpa Lal brought on the ground of Mao’s thought is our strategy. We have to struggle for a long time. For instance, NCP follows Pushpa Lal these days but they have already been deviated from the path that he showed. NCP Masal has been emphasizing it since our establishment and we are working hard to prepare its objective ground and we are having preparation to lead such movement forth.
-What is the principle of NCP, Masal in the present context?
We should understand specially its three aspects. First, our long-term program is communism, all can’t be changed at once but should keep on changing in accordance to the circumstance. Only then communism is developed to a high phase, all essential commodities for human being gets started, there will be no exploited class, and the condition of communism emerges after the advancement of society at higher scale. Therefore, we should establish communism first. Socialism can be introduced in European and American countries but there is no condition to introduce socialism in Nepal. Nepal is an agricultural country and industries have been back warded and we are not being able to socialize the scattered agriproducts. In fact, we are in primitive stage. Therefore, our party has divided democratic revolution into two parts, strategy and party line. Communism is impossible without armed revolution. However, only rational feelings do nothing, we should renounce state of affairs. At present the main path is peaceful movement not an armed struggle.
- When did you begin collaboration with Pushpa Lal? How do you observe the DR. KI Singh’s scandal of the seizure of Singh Durbar in 1951?
I had gone to meet him, Pushpa Lal and his followers were also going to by vehicle. Since he had acquainted me, he called me. For the first time I had formal introduction with Pushpa Lal. I joined communist party in 1953 and went to Kathmandu to participate party training many times. After we got acquainted, I got an opportunity to participate Pushpa Lal’s training. As we had to struggle long against monarchy and king, our collaboration advanced nationwide after in 1967. We became close during that struggle, we agreed for constituent assembly election, we did not have dispute till 2nd general convention, and we all were unanimous on the issue of constitution. After the king disputed on the issue of constituent assembly, Tanka Prasad Acharya left the issue of constituent assembly, B.P. too renounced it, king’s influence increased, Dr. Kesharjung Rayamajhi also left the issue and all started to oppose the issue of constituent assembly. We, Pushpa Lal, Hikmat Singh Bhandari and his friends and myself stuck on the issue and kept on continuously struggling for republic and constituent assembly. As a result, my intimacy with Pushpa Lal increased. Though we had decided to hold our general convention in 1960, we could not hold it due to the king’s take over.
We had to separate with Pushpa Lal in Darbhanga. A serious dispute brewed between us as Pushpa Lal proposed us to join hands and forge unity with Nepali Congress including other parties but we opposed his proposal. Though we were unanimous to oppose Rayamajhi, we forged an agreement in Delhi. At a time when we had made a plan to support each other and take action against Raymajhi, I got arrested and had be confined for 9 years in the jail and I could not be physically present on the stage of general convention. We made an effort to unite communist parties split into various pieces but in vain. Manmohan and his friends, Sambhuram and his friends, Bharat Mohan and his friends, Kamal Koirala and his friends, Bhakta bahadur and his friends, myself and my friends including Chitra Bahadur KC got united but we could not unite with Pushpa Lal. Since he told that he could not unite with outsiders and proposed to accept the team formed through the 3rd general convention 1968. Then unity between us could not be made. Had Pushpa Lal accepted our proposal, we would have been together in the same party this time and Nepal’s Communist party would have gone to different course and the history too would have been different, but it could not happen so.
-How do you analyze and evaluate Pushpa Lal’s weakness these days in terms of failure and success?
I think, it would be important to discuss on the issues of the disputes that we had with Pushpa Lal. The dispute is related to Nepali Congress. Mao thought says, “National capitalist class is our friendly power”. Our party has accepted it. We were in Bhadragol Jail, Kathmandu in 1969 and we had discussed a lot that time. We had an analysis, after a month-long discussion, that the previous views initiated by Nepali Congress are not correct. We reached the conclusion, “Nepali Congress is not a friendly power but an enemy and it is not a national capitalist party but a feudal, bureaucratic, comprador capitalist”. Rayamajhi and Pushpa Lal had been viewing Nepali Congress as a friendly power. After our release it obstruct to forge party unity because we could not consider Nepali Congress as our friendly power. As a result, we had to blame Pushpa Lal for being a traitor. I also wrote a book entitled “Traitor Pushpa Lal” (Gaddar Pushpa Lal).
- What would you say, who is more traitor, Pushpa Lal or B.P ?
Nowhere in the whole book He has been mentioned as a traitor but it is only the name of the book. We formed separate party later. After 5/7 years of his demise, we held our general convention and we analyzed that Pushpa Lal was not a traitor. The view that he forwarded towards Nepali Congress is pro-congress and our views in this context is same till date. Despite our disputes and differences in political ideology, his contribution to communist party remained significant. He kept on struggling for communist party till the end of his life. B.P. forged an agreement with monarchy adopting the policy of reconciliation. But Pushpa Lal kept on continuously struggling against monarchy, Panchayat, and Rana. We drew our blame of traitor imposed against him concluding that our decision was not correct at that time. Moreover, I published my book changing its title to “Revolution or Delusion?” Most probably, our unity and struggle might have taken another form and we could have been made for a new collaboration in course of our general convention, had I not been confined to jail.
- Did you beg excuse?
Discussions regarding our blame against Pushpa Lal keeps on staging in many places. We used the word traitor once in the whole book. But those who were in coordination have become ML, UML, and NCP, all have accused him of being a traitor in hundreds of places. ML published its party journal under the title of ‘Class Revolution” that has blamed Pushpa Lal of being a Traitor more than hundred times. They have blamed Man Mohan and me for being a traitor. We made self-criticism and rectify our weakness but neither anyone has raised questions against the accusation till date nor made self- criticize. I have objected them through my writings and raised questions. But friends associated to ML never questioned. They renounced Pushpa Lal’s policy and program. They regard Pushpa Lal but do not accept that they blamed him. Because of such tendencies true evaluation of history can’t be made.
There persons have significant role in Nepali Congress. The first is related to B.P. for his struggle against Rana regime, second to Ganeshman for his struggle against Panchayat System, and the third goes to Girija Prasad Koirala for his struggle against regression. I would like to express my honor these three leaders. However, a large force of Nepali Congress is going towards the restoration of monarchy, Hindu nation instead of secularism, and they all dragged B.P. to justify their pro-monarch thinking. To claim B.P.’s view of national reconciliation to be pro-king is wrong interpretation because the condition was not favorable to raise the issue of republic in his time. However, he struggled lifelong against autocracy. Even after we introduced scientific democracy, the king kept on ruling the country time and again and introduced autocratic system. But Nepali Congress introduced republic in that context too. Girija Prasad Koirala concluded the need of scientific monarchy and constituent assembly. Had he been alive, he would have adopted the same system. He was a revolution in terms of his thought.
We have disputes with Nepali Congress and we have criticized it. The then Indian Home Minister had said, “Nepal should be assimilated to India as “Hyderabad of Nizam”. Indian Janata party is imitating the policy to change the present government in Nepal. It has been working in planned way to assimilate Nepal in India. Modi is still honestly carrying his business of dividing and separating Terai. That was why B.P. while forming Nepali Congress had raised a question, “Why did British separate Nepal since Nepal is artificially separate from India”? His thinking fundamentally was to assimilate Nepal with India. Since B.P. had begun his politics from this point we claimed the issue to be wrong. However, we are not in the position to blame him perpetually on that ground. We can see, Indian Congress was formed by British in India in order to weaken the ongoing anti-British movement. But later it did not become congress but became an opponent force to fight against it.
B.P. too adopted the policy to struggle in favour of national interest and that was also his compulsion because Indian government started to impose pressure upon them. As result all the struggles carried in India for the sake of safeguarding existence got ruined and finally, he came to join hands with the king in Nepal. That was his mistake but it was his compulsion too. We don’t accept if any one tries to restore the king on that ground. On the other hand, we have criticized him on two accounts, his interest to assimilate Nepal with India and his policy of reconciliation. The next one we criticized is the view of Pushpa Lal and man Mohan to consider Nepali Congress a friendly power. It is our enemy power.
We regard Pushpa Lal as our comrade after we realized the fact these days. We opposed Nirmal Lama for considering Pushpa Lal as a comrade because to claim so to a person blamed for being a traitor was in itself not correct. But we have withdrawn the blame. Likewise, we blamed Nepali Congress for being our enemy placing equally with the king because many of our comrades were murdered by Nepali Congress at that time. However, we concluded that it would be injustice to view autocratic king in power and Nepali congress struggling against autocracy mixing them into a basket. We launched a movement joining hands with Nepali Congress. We fought jointly and united. Therefore, we adopted the policy to forge unity with Nepali Congress in 1990 and similarly we adopted the same policy in 2005/2006. In this manner we made political analysis of a power not being prejudiced but being objective.
- There was no question related to the collaboration with Pushpa Lal. Had he not been pro- Nepali Congress, the traitor would not have been tagged against. What is comment on these remarks?
We should analyze the overall poetics. We had been considering Nepali Congress as our enemy power. It was our mistake to tag him as a traitor simply on the ground of his collaboration with Nepali Congress. But they blamed me, Man Mohan and Pushpa Lal for being traitor. However, no discussions so far have been raised in this issue till date.
-NCP has been existent as a strong power with the integration of the then CPN, UML and CPN, Maoist Center at present. We have been reiterating that Communists have renounced the policies formulated by Pushpa Lal and Nepal Congress has already renounced B.P. Koirala’s policy. What ideology should Nepal Communist party adopt in the future?
We don’t recognize the NCP that has been formed these days as a communist party. They have been deviated from communist principle on three grounds. They have left Mao thought and new democratic revolution if we observe Leninism of Marxism. They have many times adopted the policies of agreement as their party line. They used to blame India for being expansionist but they have left this too. In their view India is reaching to the stage of socialism. It is their affair to accept it. That is why we don’t consider them as communist. As we have considered Nepali Congress, Rastriya Prajatantra party, and Madhesh based parties as enemy forces but we can’t blame NCP like them.
Still it has not been so. This is a leftist party and our friendly power. But the question comes what type of friendly power, hesitating, opportunist, revisionist, and pro-parliamentarian. No matter we are different theoretically, we who are a bit literate in communist schooling can differentiate the parliamentary system adopted by Nepali Congress and Communist. They are different system. Nepali Congress claim parliamentary system to be democratic system but we don’t agree them. We trust in democratic centralism. NCP had already left it. NCP’s parliamentary system has been similar to Nepali Congress, they quarrel within the party and outside the party equally. If you go to their preamble, we can see them that they have already left democracy and the issue of socialism has not been implemented too. They claim it to be socialism oriented but they adopt the policy of forging agreement with foreign capitalists and forge agreements with national feudal and comprador capitalists. Confiscating the excess lands of farmers, they want to bind the farmers. If you look in totality, their program is not socialism oriented. It seems to of capitalist type and status quoist. That is why it is not a communist party at all. Nevertheless, we claim that leftist parties have firmly stood in favour of republic and secularism and stood determinately in favour of nationality. They adopt dubious and dilemmatic policies. For example, you can see their position on the issue of Mahakali treaty. Similarly, Oli has been making his utmost effort to endorse Millennium Challenge Compact, MCC. All the leftist parties opposed it and patriot and nationalist media supported them. All patriotic people are nationalist but we don’t always accept Oli who had taken stance in favour of nationality once. We support his stance in not accepting the pressure of Madheshi parties to disintegrate Terai and amend the constitution. We support it. We have supported him for his instance taken in favour of issuance of official map of Nepal including Limpiyadhura. However, we have not only supported him in this case. We have supported Nepali Congress, Madhesh based parties, Rastriya Prajatantra party and all the existing parties in the parliament and outside it that supported the move because all came united on the issue.
We are of the view that democratic forces should come to a place like others in favour of nationality whether it be Nepali Congress or Madhesh based parties and so on. For example, I want to talk in support of the king. The king took a firm stance to construct Kodari Highway but Nepali Congress rigorously opposed him and took the side of India. But we openly declared to support the king’s step of constructing Kodari Highway despite the fact that we had dispute with the king, had to abolish monarchy and Panchayat system. Therefore, we have welcomed and would like to thank all political powers and parties who supported the case of issuing official map of Nepal with united voice. Our emphasis is that the building of unity should be with the leadership. We must be united against the disintegration of Terai and Indian intervention and in support of nationality and, citizenship. So far, the issue of communist movement is concerned, it is okay up to this point. There is no question of forging party unity with them. However, we have supported even the government on the issues that are agreed among leftist forces. However, we have opposed their dilemmatic, opportunist and parliamentary dirty games and continuously protesting them from within the parliament and outside.
If you talk about the issue of unity, we forge working unity even with Nepali Congress whenever it is needed and with Madhesh based parties in immediate issues. We had launched collaborating with Rastriya Prajatantra party during Mahakali treaty. During Ganesh Man’s leadership, we collaborated wit Nepali Congress in 1990 and in 2005/2006 we collaborated with Madhesh based parties
Date. Therefore, we forge unity with any political parties, even with our enemy in accordance to the need of the time. The major issue is the context and the degree of our support and collaboration. Whenever anyone adopts wrong policy, we oppose and we support whenever correct policy is adopted.
- How do you analyze the future of Nepal Communist party at the present context?
The whole world including imperialists have claimed that communist party has no more future. But we don’t claim so and don’t accept their claim. The future of communist party is bright though it is in a defensive position at this time which is temporal. It does not apply in the case of only communist. Once up on a time there was feudalism and the age of slaves was also very powerful in its time. We had feudal monarchy in Nepal but people’s movement abolished them. The question comes pertaining to the main role in creating movement in society and the productive forces of physical conditions. Monarchy could not survive due to the physical condition and even the large Chinese Empires and British imperialism could not last long. That is why capitalist people see from out side and conclude that social system is getting perished. They saw capitalism in China and the ruin of many communist countries. They write all about its negative sides. We have seen British people struggling against autocratic rule. Look, the case of France. The struggle against monarchy had been defunct but the same sort of struggle revived and British people could establish republic. Similarly, the present situation that we are facing is the temporal one. Physical presence people have not seen the abolishment of world imperialism and the other facets. The capitalist and imperialists have been facing crisis that we have been observing closely.
The other aspect is that our historic materialist Marxist philosophy argues that the form of productive force determines social structure. Productive forces are getting social. The more capitalism is developing the more productive forces are getting social and socialization is taking place. But the structure of produced force is social but ownership has been individual. It was the reason of the growing company towards capitalism. Therefore, social ownership is essential over business, industry, and factory. This means socialism. Therefore, we have to be confident that the physical aspect that destroyed the age of slave, feudalism, and monarchy can end capitalism. Therefore, We can trust that the future of socialism has a bright future worldwide.
(This interview taken by Sapana Thami and Dhurba Hari Adhikari can be viewed in the YouTube Channel of ABC News Nepal)