This video first went up on the Revolution in South Asia website. Below is an article by Bhattarai in the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) newspaper, The Red Star. Dr. Bhattarai is a top leader of the CPN-Maoist and the Finance Minister of the revolutionary coalition government of the new Nepal.
Prachanda: leader of the new era
– Baburam Bhattarai
Today, the history of Nepal will be written in gold. We have ended the epoch of the rule of feudalist monarchy, and entered into the era of Federal Democratic Republic. Unfortunately, for four months we were unable to elect our chariot driver for the new era. At the moment, we can hear the cries and excuses of the defeated. We know that the old train driver who drove the train for many years had become too old to drive. But he refused to hand over the authority to the new younger driver. Instead, he tried to pull the train back.
It was not that the Maoist could not assemble a national consensus; rather they were denied the possibility of forming a national consensus. Who were creating these obstacles? Yet, by overcoming these obstacles, the process is moving ahead. The march of history cannot be stopped. Listen, friends from Congress; this is not the time to weep and cry, instead it is time for all to respect and follow the verdict of history. During a certain period of history, the NC also was also more or less against the monarchy; the NC also struggled for democracy. Therefore, we worked together with the NC since the 12 point understanding; the Comprehensive Peace Accord; and the election of the CA up to the declaration of the Federal Democratic Republic. However, a new era demands a new leadership; the Nepalese people have demanded a new leadership for a new Nepal through the electoral mandate. The new leadership should have come into being right after the people’s verdict, but it was prevented from doing so. Because of this, we were forced to live without any leadership for four months.
We wanted to move ahead with the NC, but they would not agree. The issue over the Defense Ministry was only a pretext to stall the process. Essentially, the NC wanted to form a government excluding the Maoist. After becoming aware of this, friends from other parties also became aware of it and working together became possible. To some friends, working together has been caustically called ‘unholy’. The definition of ‘holy’ and ‘unholy’ is not absolute, rather it is relative. If the cooperation is for the people and progress, it is holy, and if it is for the status quo and reaction, it is unholy. If cow-dung is mixed with potato, it is unholy, but if ghee is mixed into potato it is holy. We want to remind our NC friends that their great leader BP Koirala said that his neck was conjoined to the neck of the King. We have been trying to break this link. We have been working together with the NC since the 12 point agreement until now, all the while trying to separate the neck conjoined to the neck of the King. The King has left the throne, but the NC has not tried to separate their neck from that of the King. Instead, they are trying to go along it. We tell you not to go with the fallen King, but rather, let us together create a new Nepal.
We have to build a new Nepal, a Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. We had even called on Royalists to unite on the issues of nationality, the Republic and socio-economic transformation. We have no regrets. But, if you do not change yourselves, and remain reactionary and status quo, history will not wait for you, and you will be left out.
We are ready to work together for creating a government of national consensus. The Maoist party is not arrogant. We are trying every effort to let all the parties be in the government. Now, the 24 parties, except the NC, are ready to work together. We are happy that we are making a government of national consensus among 24 parties. The NC has only 19% of the vote while 81% of the vote is not with the NC. If all of them unite, there will be more than a two third majority. The house is capable of advancing the peace process and creating a new constitution. The vote percentages show that the vehicle of history is ready to move. The CPN-Maoist desires this most heartily. After the formation of a new government under the leadership of Com. Prachanda, the principal agendas will be of nationality, people’s power and socio-economic transformation. For this, we have built a common programme and code of conduct.
We are going to elect Com. Prachanda, the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Nepal. In actuality, Nepal has its true leadership. Every era gives birth to its leader. Europe gave birth to Napoleon Bonaparte in the capitalist era. Lenin was born to institutionalize socialist revolution. Nepalese people have given birth to Com. Prachanda to institutionalize the Federal Democratic Republic on the firm-basis of a decade long People’s War and the People’s Movement. We believe that he is the leader of the new era. A genuine new Nepal will be created under his leadership.
This is an unofficial translation of Bhattarai’s speech given in the Constituent Assembly before the election for the Prime Minister.