INTERVIEW with SD Muni: ‘
THE KATHMANDU POST, SEP 15 - SD Muni, considered to be one of the
Q: What are causes of the current problems in the peace process?
Muni: What has gone wrong is that once the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections took place, the basic consensus eroded. The elections were seen more as one for Parliament than for a CA. It was seen as a power exercise; the question was who would get to lead. Very unfortunately, the power sharing arrangement couldn’t be worked out. I still don’t buy that the principles [of the peace process] have been thrown out; people still talk about them, at least. What has really driven the parties apart from each other is the differences over power sharing. This happened because nobody expected the Maoists to get the number of seats that they did. Unfortunately the numbers they got were large, but not large enough to get an absolute majority. The interim Prime Minister G.P. Koirala refused to hand over power for four months or so, largely because he was thinking of ways to keep the Maoists out of power or under control. The Nepali Congress, in particular, was sure that it would remain in power. If the Maoists had gotten 50 seats less than they did, perhaps they would have managed to keep the Maoists on the fringe. The power arrangements still haven’t been settled since then.
Q: Do you feel that the process can’t move forward unless this arrangement is settled?
Muni: This is my fear. Politicians being politicians are wedded more to power and patronage, than to changing societies. In any case, the NC and the UML are not committed to an agenda to change society. And the Maoists are unduly, seriously committed to one. They don’t want to compromise on what they think should be the vision for the country. They have been very inept in understanding the reality that their emergence has not been digested, nor been reconciled to by the others. It is as much their responsibility to take others along, as much as the others responsibility to see that the Maoists get their feel in the politics of
We have all been saying that the Maoists shouldn’t have opened all the fronts. They are total novices in managing the power components of a democratic political structure. They have never done it before. The vision that they developed in 10 years, they wanted to complete in a year. They antagonised the judiciary, the media, and the Army; that doesn’t work in a democratic structure. And I think they’ve gotten the shock of their lives.
Q: So you think the Maoists made a mistake in trying to sack (former) Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal?
Muni: Whatever General Katawal did was not all right. He needed to be put in his place. On the three or four counts on which he was asked to provide an explanation, he did not do it in a proper way. More than that, he went around town making political statements. If the same situation had arisen in
Q: Do you have views on how the peace process could be brought back on track?
Muni: Today you have a very unfortunate situation. I am very worried about it. Anybody who is concerned about
Q: What are the reasons?
Muni: Everybody is talking of two options. First, drive the Maoists to the wall. If need be, unleash the Army on them, with the help of
The other option is to evolve and recreate the consensus that is broken down. This is the only option left if
Q: How is the Indian foreign policy establishment looking at
Muni: There are two things I want to say. One, this
So the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has a
I have been writing that there is a new
Q: Some people here accuse you of being prejudiced in favour of the Maoists.
Muni: I am very angry at these accusations. People here do not know my background. I heard yesterday that they still call me a RAW agent. I started working on
Yes, I have been a republican. I was one in 1968, in 1991 and in 2005. If by that, you derive only the conclusion that I am a Maoist, please go ahead.
Q: What are your current academic focuses?
Muni: I have just finished a book
The other book I have finished is SAARC: The Emerging Dimensions. This is an edited volume. The third book that is in progress in
(Original link: http://www.ekantipur.com/news/news-detail.php?news_id=300260)