Interview with Maoists Chairman Prachanda
Q. Earlier you used to talk about making Girjababu the founder president, but lately there are talks about you yourself becoming the president. What is the truth?
Prachanda: We are not talking about becoming the president before the constituent assembly. It is still true that Girijababu will be the president if the country is declared a republic before the CA polls. We don’t have any problem with that. As far as the decisions of our central committee and the recently concluded national assembly, Republic Nepal’s first president should be our party chairman.
Q. Does that mean you will be President by 2008?
Prachanda: Our party will definitely win a majority in the elections. Even after that the situation will be in favour of our party, thus the announcement was made confidently.
Q. So, you will be the first president…
Prachanda: Our party chairman will be, not me.
Q. Lately you have been stating Nepal needs a new Jung Bahadur and Buddha. What does that mean?
Prachanda: I said so metaphorically. The Nepali people want peace, which means they want a new Buddha. And they also want a new form of Jung Bahadur to end the prevailing anarchy. If we look up in history, there was excessive anarchy and confusion in the country after the signing of the Sugauli Treaty until the rise of Jung Bahadur. I don’t have sympathy for Jung Bahadur, nonetheless if a character like his had not appeared, the situation would have gotten worse.
Q. You mean a kind of dictator is needed even now to establish peace?
Prachanda: To establish peace somebody with a “broad” mind like that of Gautam Buddha is needed. But, the authority has to exercise tyranny as well to end anarchy. Authority means tyranny. There won’t be authority if it can’t practice tyranny. Therefore, I mentioned Jung Bahadur and Buddha metaphorically for dictatorship and peace. However, now a people’s democratic tyranny is needed and not the kind of tyranny Jung Bahadur practised.
Q. Is your party trying to play the role of a new form of Jung Bahadur and Buddha?
Prachanda: The point is peace has to be maintained and anarchy ended as well. Only the CPN-Maoist can and must play that role. The whole implication is that we who are in leadership must prepare ourselves for this.
Q. Another topic again; how will the King be sidelined whilst implementing a republic? Earlier there were talks about making him the founder president, but now that you yourself are a candidate?
Prachanda: First of all, the King had a chance to become the founder president before February 1, 2005. But now the people won’t consider that. Secondly, the Nepali people have a big heart and will spare (the King) if he says he wants to live a normal life peacefully. And, our party will also work towards creating environment for him to live like a normal citizen and do his business since our party feels the transformation of republic must not be necessarily done violently. However, I think the Nepali people also know how to punish those who maintain their old notorious character.
One does not become a Buddha just because one has a “10 million rupees” worth building at the Buddha-nagar, Kathmandu.
Former president of the Nepal Student Union
Young leader of the Nepali Congress
(On his recent speech in Dhangadi, during the Nepali Congress’ electoral mass assembly, which the cadres of YCL tried to disrupt)