D.P. Tripathy is general secretary of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of India. He has a long connection with Nepal and, along with Sitaram Yechury, was instrumental in facilitating the alliance of Nepal’s mainstream political parties and the Maoists against the monarchy.
Tripathy is currently on a visit to Kathmandu. Interview By Aditya Adhikari.
Q: Because the Maoists were staying in India, there were always suspicions here that sections of the Indian establishment were supporting the Maoists and using them. Do you think that was true?
Tripathy: That is completely false. We faced so much trouble in trying to support the Nepalese Maoists. Our establishment was initially not agreeable at all, they were quite hostile to the Maoists. And we were in a minority of a few. Among the important political leaders in India, there were only two — Chandra Shekhar and Harkishan Singh Surjeet — who said, “We are ready to talk to the Nepalese Maoists, and we are ready to go and meet them wherever they want.” No other Indian leader was ready to do this. It is absolutely baseless to say that the Maoists were supported by the Indian establishment just because they were underground in India. We were also underground in Nepal during the internal emergency [1975-1977] in India. I was telling someone today that we always underrate the impact of Nepal on India. During many struggles — 1857, the Quit India movement , the emergency — people from India went to Nepal to take shelter.
Q: The Maoists have tried to develop relations with China. Has this caused concern in India?
Tripathy: It doesn’t cause me any concern. My answer to that question is their names are Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Baburam Bhattarai, not any Chinese sounding names. That is very important to me. There is a bit of a problem with the Indian establishment. They have to be more cooperative. It shouldn’t treat Nepal as its colony, Nepal is an independent country and that should be respected. That should be the guiding principle for the Indian establishment. But this hasn’t happened.
SOURCE: Read the full interview in The Kathmandu Post of Jan 05, 2009. Or visit: http://www.ekantipur.com/