-Where has Nepal stood at present on the ground of the significant contribution made by two eminent leaders, Pushpa Lal and B.P. Koirala to Nepal’s communist and democratic movement, the path they initiated, and thought? What type of contributions did they make to the communist and democratic movement of Nepal? Have the successors of these leaders really exhibited honesty towards their predecessors?
Pushpa Lal and B.P. Koirala seem to be complementary to each other in terms of establishing democracy against autocracy, though the issue whether they were complementary to each other in terms of their thought and behavior have been disputed. Nepal Communist party has come to this stage adding various names and tails around Pushpa Lal’s democratic revolution and heading forth on Pushpa Lal’s line. Nepali Congress to has come to this stage chanting and sticking around the Mantra of Democratic Socialism that B.P. had propounded. Coming to 1990’s people’s movement, the thought they initiated succeeded to abolish Panchayat system and democracy was established in Nepal then after. Following is the excerpts of an interview with one of the followers of Pushpa Lal and Marxist Scholar, Lok Krishna Bhattarai taken by Shubha Shankar Kandel, Chairman of ABC Television and the editor- in-chief of Nepalpage.com.
- You remained associated with Pushpa Lal from 1979 to 1975 and Pushpa Lal passed away during your ten-year long jail life. However, you kept on following continuously the path of his thought. Have Communist parties in Nepal been active in accordance to the line of Pushpa Lal if you review the past 50 years?
We have to view it through analyzing every single issues and segments. Mainly, I went to his contact during his waning period. During that time, he titled me “Excellent Youth” and deputed me as the secretary of Bagmati Zone at the age of 17/18. Gopal Pokhrel from Gulmi arranged my meeting with Pushpa Lal at that time. I used to study books including Beijing Review, Red Book of Mao Ze Dong including others a lot. Due to my rigorous study Pushpa Lal used to ignite a passion in me regarding revolution and he used to be so. We achieved something in 50 years. We are moving round in accordance to Pushpa Lal’s policy and line. He brought long term armed agriculture revolution in New Democratic program from party’s 4th national convention convened in1968 and accordingly he launched armed revolution. Chuwa incident, Harre Barre incident, peasant movement, Saptari Siraha movement, land ownership movement, 1951 had been launched under his initiation.
Had Pushpa Lal survived long, republic would have been introduced very earlier in Nepal. During 4th convention of Communist party Pushpa Lal had told, “Chinese are first nationalist and then communist=” Had there been no Stalin’s support , revolution would not have been possible. It was Pushpa Lal’s study. Revolution in Korea and Vietnam succeeded due to the support of Russia. Due to various reasons support from China and Russia had been impossible for the revolution in Nepal.
Therefore, Pushpa Lal, realizing the impossibility of revolution only through communist movement, submitted his report to dismantle monarchy through urban people’s struggle supporting Nepali Congress to launch democratic movement. Those who had left him citing to initiate revolution came back and joined with Pushpa Lal. On that ground there was no condition of Indian support because there was monopoly capitalism in India that time whereas, China was busy in his own job.
Pushpa Lal used to say that revolution could be successful only through forming revolutionary parliament elected by people, intervening, defeating the enemies through democratic struggle and bringing overall change through democratic struggle. Madan Bhandari had propounded Peoples’ Multiparty Democracy coding Pushpa Lal’s line. Madan Bhandari’s Peoples’ Multiparty Democracy was no more similar to present KP Oli and Prachanda. Madan Bhandari’s line was revolutionary. He had not conceived the current model of election. Now a days, we collect votes for First Past the Post and proportional election investing a huge amount of money. Madan Bhandari’s line was that not an individual candidate but state had to spend money. According to him a candidate does not need even a single penny. He had proposed all these being based on Pushpa Lal’s election manifesto 1949. At that time Pushpa Lal had made through study of South Asia. Most of the time Pushpa Lal stayed in India. Indian leaders D.P. Tripathi and M.G. Bhagat had appreciated Pushpa Lal and said, “Pushpa Lal is a communist leader He is not only a communist leader; he is a democratic leader. He is also the leader of South Asia. That’s why we respect him”.
Pushpa Lal had concluded that Indian monopoly capitalism was exploiting South Asia and the government of India was an enemy, British feudalism was our enemy and monarchy was our first enemy. Therefore, Pushpa Lal had submitted his thesis that with the collaboration of Nepali Congress including all parties and intellectuals we could initiate joint people’s movement and abolish monarchy.
Once Prachanda asked me to send him Pushpa Lal’s book. I sent him as per his interest and Prachanda and his party offered high honour to Pushpa Lal after he studied Pushpa Lal’s book during people’s war and Bhatinda conference. Similarly, Mohan Bikram who once had tagged Pushpa Lal as the traitor has confessed his mistake these days and realized that he could not have studied Pushpa Lal. Thus, Pushpa Lal is the leader of republic, communist movement, and simple life high thinking.
What was the relation between B.P. and Pushpa Lal like?
Their relation was quite good. B.P. used to stand to welcome us whenever we went to meet him with Pushpa Lal’s letter so as to show his respect to Pushpa Lal. There was a meeting place in Banaras where they both used to sip tea together and discuss. Both of them used respect each other. B.P. Koirala once in a program held in India has told, “I will sign Pushpa Lal’s Marxist economy, we have to adopt socialism, However, Pushpa Lal should accept multiparty democracy”. In response Pushpa Lal said, “ I am more fanatic democrat than you. Study my manifesto. We have already accepted to have elected parliament, rule the country, and improve the country”. He further said, “We have insisted to have elected judiciary”. I this sense, Pushpa Lal was a farsighted leader. Pushpa Lal had explained federalism too. He had made a concept of 3 provinces and 19 districts and Koshi, Gandaki, and Karnali were the names of 3 provinces. He had also hypothesized to form 19 districts like sub provinces and name them on the ground of caste, religion, culture and identity. Pushpa Lal himself removed his family name and always wrote only Pushpa Lal considering that the issue of caste should not be raised in the fight of class struggle. I have also removed my first surname and the first two letters of my family name, ‘Bhatta’ and written Krishna Rai in my works on the direction of Pushpa Lal.
-Where did you use to see difference between B.P. and Pushpa Lal?
B.P. and Ganesh Man had gone to Banaras in order to bring Pushpa Lal to Nepal prior their return to Nepal with the policy of national reconciliation in 1976. During their meeting in Banaras, Pushpa Lal had told, “The king is cruel. It does not bring any reform. You do not go. If you have to go, stay underground within the country. Lets jointly form a squad wherever we are. Lets go for multiparty democracy and periodic election as we had signed, communist party certainly returns back to Nepal. B.P. agreed the historic issue forwarded by Pushpa Lal to fully nationalize socialist economy. B.P. could not ignore Pushpa Lal’s proposal. Had Pushpa Lal survived, multiparty system would have been established in 1979. After Pushpa Lal there were no one to bring on main stream politics. After his demise we, his followers, did our level best to establish democracy. Pushpa Lal used to say that people will have opportunity to speak whatever they wish and development will get a momentum. Then we brought dogmatic communist and Nepali Congress together.
– Communists of Nepal became the most powerful force from 1990 – 1993 across the world within a short period on the ground of Pushpa Lal’s contribution. How do you observe the peaceful Schooling from 2005 to 2006 after Madan Bhandari’s murder?
Pushpa Lal was very popular figure not only in Nepal but also in foreign countries. Pushpa Lal died at Govinda Ballav Pant Hospital, India. Pushpa Lal rejected the proposal forwarded by the then India’s ruling Janata Party’s chairman, Chandra Shekhar for his treatment in a cabin instead of general bed at the hospital. He even rejected for his treatment at the best hospitals available in India and England. Responding the then government emissary, George Fernandez’s same proposal, Pushpa Lal said he would undergo such treatment in case Nepalese people would spend. That was almost his last day. Unfortunately, he died before we collected money and went to India after we came to know his wish.
He died on the lap of Keshav Khadka. His last sentence was, “Party workers must be organized, peoples must be conscious, revolution is inevitable, no one can stop it even if he wishes”, With this last sentence Pushpa Lal passed away.
So far, the time between 1993 to 2006 is concerned people fell into dilemma after leaders reached to the parliament, got intoxicated of power, their revolutionary nature got deviated due to government facilities and comprador bourgeoise class injected them slow poison and these days too it is injecting the same. People’s war succeeded after the change of thought in our friends. Maximum of population joined people’s war. Its other facet has to be analyzed and reviewed but republic became possible through the struggle for change.