Prem Kaidi is an established name in the progressive student leadership and also in the left leaning journalism in Nepal. At the time when the political parties were banned and especially the left parties were underground, Kaidi was the hope for the underground leaders who could laude their voice in media. Many of the leaders in the UML and also in the Maoist parties had become communist after Kaidi’s schooling. Contrary to that, these days, one can find Kaidi delivering speech at the Purano Shakti Abhiyan (Old Force Campaign) organised mass assemblies in Kathmandu. Kaidi, noted republican, federalist and secularist has turned to a veteran pro-monarchy, pro-Hindu and anti-federalist. Excerpts the continued part of Prem Kaidi’s interview published last week in the People’s Review:
Q: You have just stated that this government is all corrupt, destroying the country and is doing everything wrong but the trouble is many of your followers are in this government and is this because of the wrong education that you have imparted to your followers?
Ans: Ha ha ha! Yes you are right many of my friends are in the government but the sad part is that they call themselves Maoists but their activities are that of “Raoist” like the prime minister of India, Rao. But slowly but surely there is a definite change among the government people and parties as Top Bahadur Rayamajhi has gone against the decision of the party and have joined hands with the agitators of No 5 province. Similarly my younger colleague, Narayan Kaji Shrestha has started wearing a Nepali cap so there are subtle changes taking place. Prominent leaders and politicians are slowly speaking out against the forcefully implementation of secularism, federal states, ousting of the monarchy, and Hindu religion in Nepal as they too have now come to realize that they had been tools of the super powers.
Q. Even at present, there are two kinds of opinions among the parties where one group is of the opinion that the constitution should not be amended as this assembly has no such right and the other group is stating that it has to be amended. Everyone has now come to realize that these parties and politicians are not speaking for themselves but are the stooges of some super powers and in the past these types of events would be hush hush but now it is in the open and people are proudly openly declaring themselves as brokers of this or that super power. People are still just keeping quiet so what is your opinion?
Ans: The main reason for this situation is that all the Nepalese power houses are afraid and the most powerful institution of Nepal and towards which all the Nepalese have strong faith and belief specifically the Monarchy was also trapped for example the Royal Palace massacre scared a lot of people, and Madan Bhandari’s murder is another such example. A lot of people in high standing know all the answers but keep mum as the powers who did it blackmailed the leaders saying that the blame would be put on them and so all of the leaders were scared and kept mum an example is Madhav Nepal refusing to be the chairman of the investigating committee of the palace massacre. Recent example is the one of the Madhesi politicians who opposed to the amendment and then after a lunch with the Indian ambassador they agreed to the amendment. But now the scenario is quite different in Nepal and all the actors and powers who openly flaunted their power have taken a back seat as there has been a change in the world politics as well and is quite different and China also has become a super power so all have to be more subtle and careful.
Ans: I feel that China should intervene and the Nepalese people also want China to intervene and now it is slightly easy for China to intervene as India has taken no other than our Prime Minister and made him declare a 25 point agreement with India where he stated that Nepal will follow India in all international matters and so has become pro Delhi. Secondly a very senior and prominent leader of the largest party of Nepal, NC was invited to Goa, India where he was present at a function honouring Dalai Lama and seen applauding to the speech of Dalai Lama. At the same function he was photographed with the leader Lopsang Sange of the underground government of Tibet. All this has shown that Nepal’s one China policy is not being followed and the activities are quite alarming and so China has also taken a keen interest in this matter. China always had the policy of non interference in the internal matters of Nepal but now around a few weeks ago there has been a slight change in China’s outlook and I have spoken regarding this issue in Ratna Park as well. If our southern neighbour takes all the pain to bring together our leader and the leader of an underground Tibetan group then why not China. Therefore China invited our King to China to show that if India can play then China too can bring to light the King who was forcefully made to renounce his power and throne and have talks with the King of Nepal. Another incident to note is regarding the press release by the Foreign Ministry where the foreign minister Mahat had stated that there will be no joint exercise between Chinese and Nepalese army and immediately after that there was another press release from Beijing stating that there was going to be a joint exercise and this joint exercise is happening right now. This clearly shows that china is no longer going to remain silent and will take an active part in Nepal’s affairs and will not tolerate foreign intervention in the internal affairs of Nepal. We have to realize that there is a big difference between the China of Mao days and the present day China which has become an economical power house and will not do anything rash to topple their economic interest. However, if we keep on carrying on activities which is not in the interest of China and will harm the unity and integrity of China then China will definitely not stay idle and just be an onlooker but will take an active part and as far as I am concerned should take an active part. At one time people used to say that the security of both Nepal and China will be hampered if there is no Monarchy in Nepal but at present the politicians are playing with fire and endangering not only Nepal’s and China’s safety and security but the whole of South Asia. There is a danger to India as well as these same people could be in cohort with terrorist groups which could harm any country. Just for an example it is public knowledge that a big cache of RDX had entered India through Nepal even when pro Indian politicians like Girija Prasad and Krishna Sitaula were in power. This could happen only because of Nepalese who are corrupt and do anything for a price and this certainly is a danger bell for the security of Nepal and its neighbours. It is due to this very same reason and people that the Indo Nepal relationship has dipped to its lowest point.
Q. India always raises security issues while there are bilateral talks and India always claims that there is a big threat due to the open border between India and Nepal. Is it wise to close the border and what will be the effect if this open border is closed?
Ans: I do not know about India but it will definitely be a big loss to Nepal. As mentioned earlier since the treaty of Sugauli Nepal has lost 60,00 hectors of land and 7 crore Nepalese have been displaced and so as long as we do not get back all of this there is no point in closing the border as this border is not the right one but made by the English rulers. I feel that it is perfectly okay for India to raise issues regarding its security and the same goes for China as Nepal cannot raise issues regarding Tibet and allow anti China activities within Nepal’s territory. For example a two year old toddler cannot be made to carry 50 kilo weight and similarly the other superpowers should not raise issues regarding China from Nepal’s soil if they want to raise certain issue like Tibet issue or human right issue then they should raise it in their own countries and should not use Nepali soil. Secondly Nepal is a peace loving country and has never trespassed or attacked any of our neighbouring territories therefore Nepal has a special standing in the UN regarding peace issue. Why was there a big hue and cry when the army chief of India stated that Nepalese army should be kept under the command of Indian army? The reason is very clear as the Indian army has been known to attack its neighbours and be very aggressive and have been fighting very many wars with its neighbouring countries. Indian army is not neutral whereas Nepal’s army is a very peaceful and neutral one and not only the army but even Nepal is a neutral country. Nepal should not be a threat to the Indian security neither should it be a threat to Chinese security and this neutrality and security was intact when king ruled Nepal but after the advent of 2046 democracy the RDX began to enter India. In this way Nepal became a threat to Indian security. The Indian secret agencies have been claiming time and again that even terrorists from various nations that were a threat to India entered India via Nepal. I believe that these very same power brokers in Nepal were instrumental in using our country for this anti-Indian activities as well.
Q. I believe that there are no other open borders like ours in the whole world and this open border is the root of all illegal activities including cross border terrorism and crime and we do not even have the basic data of who is crossing the border and our borders are very vulnerable, so should we continue to keep this type of open border?
Ans: Nepal and India and even Nepal and China relations are very ancient one and there are certain arrangements and systems which are still in existence therefore we should not and cannot change this system suddenly. We cannot end our existing system by only looking at international norms and regulations as it could have even more setbacks. If we want to change it then there has to be a thorough study and investigation and bilateral talks regarding this matter. But the trouble is who is going to do this or who will bell the cat. Of course there could be some powers ready to conduct this type of dialogue or study but they could have vested interest and they may be wanting to bring a barrier to this age old tradition and arrangement between India and Nepal therefore I believe that we have to be very careful and conduct an in-depth study and not close the border but regulate it and bring about a very effective regulating mechanism.