Suresh Kumar is a member of the Constituent Assembly.
Lal Salaam: Please give us a brief overview of the people’s movement and party’s policies, demands and proposals right now and what they have been since the first stage of the revolutionary process.
Kumar: As you may know we have waged revolutionary war, conducted for 10 years successfully. It was basically responsible for the overthrow of a 240 year old Sahar dynasty monarchy. They had attempted their best to quell the peoples war, but they failed. Later the contradiction inside [the ruling class] became so intensified that the parliamentary parties had to make negotiations and alliance with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), which culminated in a 12 point agreement. Because of that we postponed the peoples war and began the peace process.
After so many hurdles there was the elections to the Constituent Assembly. Contrary to the expectations of all the reactionaries inside and outside Nepal, our party emerged as the largest party having more than one third of the positions in the CA.
4 months later, our Party led the government. Our Chairman, Comrade Prachanda, was the first elected Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Nepal, but again there are so many obstacles, many hurdles created on the way and in the particular case of the then Nepalese Army Chief Katawal our Party resigned. In fact our party had taken action against him because he had violated many norms and values of the comprehensive peace accord and did not carry out the directions given by the elected peoples’ government.
Then government led by Prachanda was fired from the job but all the other parliamentary parties with the help and support of Indian expansionist ruling classes and US Imperialist ruling classes they instigated him on the same post because there are 2 kinds of state power, so our party resigned, our party quit government and is now in the opposition. So since then our party has been demanding that the very step that the President took was unconstitutional and our party has demanded it must be corrected, it must be withdrawn, but also civilian supremacy must be there. Also the very sovereignty and national integrity of Nepal are in danger. So these questions we have been raising right now and we are in the struggle since then, that is about – for 6 or 7 months.
Until now 2 stages of the struggle have been successfully completed, the culmination of which was the encircling of the administrative headquarters of Nepal. Negotiations are also going on there but there is less likelihood that consensus will be reached. If no negotiation is done, we will go to the people again. The 3rd stage of the movement will start and that will be, we hope, decisive. That will topple this puppet government of Indian expansionism and US imperialism. Then, let’s see what happens now…
LS: Currently you are part of the CA, can you please speak about the process of drafting a new constitution, some of the positive aspects and some of the most challenging aspects.
Kumar: Yes we are in the CA and we have been conducting struggles. We have encircled the legislature and we chant slogans and obstruct the daily business of the legislative parliament. You may be aware of the fact that the CA has two functions to do, one is the CA and the other is the legislative parliament of Nepal. So we don’t obstruct the business of the CA but we do that of the legislative Parliament.
The CA is drafting a new constitution for Nepal but of course there are many problems. Our party UCPN (Maoist) has been raising the issue of State restructuring. There are many indigenous communities, the whole western region is oppressed. So we have been raising the issue of the autonomy for those people also. So here, for state restructuring that is basically the provision for the autonomy for indigenous people on the basis of culture, territory, language, and for the women also.
There are of course other debates going on, which are opposed by the status quo’s parties, pro-monarchists for example, Nepali congress and UML. So out of 11 committees maybe 7 or 8 have submitted their reports with their concerns, but still 2-3 of them have to submit their reports. Of them there is the state restructuring committee.
LS: I have read the Himalayan Today and the stand of this bourgeois media, very critical of the Maoist Party and Maoist movement and they were talking about state restructuring and the Maoist proposal. What can you say about that?
Kumar: The media in Nepal is very diehard critical and opponent of the Maoist movement and Maoist party. They are always against us and they disseminate news and views against us. They distort the information about us and at times they even blackout the information and the news which are related to the Maoist Party. Most of the articles published in those newspapers including MNL Times are of this kind, but this is quite a thing of satisfaction even for us that the policies, I mean the policies of our party regarding state restructuring, regarding the downtrodden communites and the peoples… they cannot say that Maoist policies are bad or wrong for the people.
At times they talk about the social issues, the issues of the most humble. Sometimes they appreciate the policies, the attitudes, the visions of the Maoist Party. They even say the issue of social transformation that the Maoist party has been raising is really appreciated, but since they are die-hard anti-Maoist articles, views are published in the mainstream newspapers and broadcast on the main television networks, studios, etc.
LS: What can the peoples movement in Canada learn from the peoples movement in Nepal? What can be the most important lessons that we can take from your own movement?
Kumar: In fact what the Canadian people, particularly the Canadian working class can learn about the movement in Nepal, and in regard to themselves is that here we have mobilized almost all downtrodden people and oppressed communities.
In Nepal we study deeply the social structure of Nepal. Nepalese society we have found has so many problems, people are oppressed on the basis of nationality, cast, ethnicity... so we have devised policies to address those problems that people have been suffering from and we made organizations for those oppressed communities, for example Dalits Front, Madeshi Front, womens’ organizations. The policies that we have devised for them are basically of autonomy which will address identity and which guarantees them their rights, which makes them their own rulers, so they are able to conduct their own administration. So identity, their rights, their history too is what our policies addressed. This is what they found very convincing, very scientific and objective policies, this is what made them rally around our party. This is how we were able to mobilize the whole people and this is why the people’s war could not be suppressed. Even though all the reactionaries of Nepal were helped by American imperialism and Indian expansionism. So of course we would appeal to the Canadian people also - particularly the Canadian working classes and oppressed communities, to help and support the Nepalese movement and the Nepalese revolution so that it can be accomplished very soon. That may make Nepal the centre for the revolution for the whole world. I meant to say revolutionary centre for the world revolution, a kind of base area for the world revolution.
LS: You have mentioned imperialism and expansionism as some of the most formidable challenges of the movement here. What kind comes next for the revolutionary peoples’ movements; will there be confrontation again or will the mass movement be able to continue growing and take state power? How long will it take?
Kumar: I don’t know how long it will take but the people will be victorious. The movement will be victorious very soon because people have experienced that the present Government’s status quo parties like the Nepalese Congress and the UML are nothing but puppets of American Imperialism and Indian Expansionism. If they are in power, the very sovereignty and idependence of the country are in danger. So we hope that if we launch the 3rd stage of the movement, the present Government will be toppled.
LS: Do you want to say one last salute to the organizations and people in Canada, or anything you want to share?
Kumar: Finally I would also like to thank you for taking this interview and to the people of the whole world in general and to the people of Canada in particular what I would like to say is today imperialism, particularly US imperialism is the number 1 enemy of the people of the whole world. This is number one terrorist in the world, there is a need for the people of the whole world to unite and to struggle against this number 1 enemy of the whole world. Thank you.
LS: Thank you. Lal Salaam!
Kumar: Lal Salaam!