RSS National Executive Member and senior Pracharak Shri Indresh Kumar keeps a close watch on the developments in the whole Himalayan region. He is the inspiration behind many organisations working for the protection and development of the culture of the Himalayan region. Organiser representative Pramod Kumar spoke to him in New Delhi on recent developments taking place in Nepal. Excerpts:
How do you look at the recent political developments in Nepal?
Sometime back the election to the Constituent Assembly was held there. The objective of constituting the Constituent Assembly was not only to frame a new constitution for the new democratic republic but also to run the administration. It was not a stable or permanent government. Though, the Maoists emerged as the largest group after the election, they did not get the mandate for forming the government, as the seats they won were hardly 35 per cent of the total seats (238 out of 601). Despite the fact that the non-Maoists parties could have formed a government at that time too, they came to the conclusion that since the Maoists too struggled for democracy, they should not be denied a chance of sharing the power. Finally, a government under the leadership of Maoist leader Shri Prachanda with outside support from some smaller parties assumed the power.
The Maoist government took 26 important decisions during its nine-month rule and 21 of them were controversial. By and large, it was a failed government. The Maoists’ topmost agenda was to accommodate their armed cadres in Nepal army and other security forces, which was unacceptable to the nationalist citizens, top army officials and the political parties there. The people thought that since the activities of Maoists have been illegal, unconstitutional and undemocratic, they, if accommodated in the army, would not obey the chief of the army and would continue to follow the instructions of their political bosses. But to materialise their agenda, the Maoists adopted all kinds of unfair means including to pressurise the Nepal army chief Gen. Rookmangud Katawal. They also went to the court but did not get any relief from there. Finally, Prime Minister Prachanda, without even consulting the President and other coalition partners, tried to sack the Army chief, which was not allowed by the President Shri Ram Baran Yadav. Meanwhile, a statement came from the Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai claiming that they would dethrone the President too as they dethroned the King. It angered the Nepali people. A CD also surfaced in the media exposing the blueprint prepared by the Maoists about one and a half years back to capture the power of Nepal and also to accommodate their cadres in the army. That CD has not been disowned by the Maoists till date. This CD basically exposed the hidden agenda of the Maoists in the guise of participating in democratic process.
Now a national government under the leadership of Shri Madhav Nepal, involving 22 of the total 24 parties representing in the House, has been formed there. More than 356 members in the House of 601 have extended support to Shri Nepal. We congratulate Shri Madhav and his entire team on this occasion.
But the Maoists have taken to the streets opposing the new government.
They will naturally oppose as they have been dethroned. We should not forget that Shri Prachanda was till recently an interim Prime Minister and Speaker of the Constituent Assembly was also a Maoist. They did not want any democratic government to assume power in Nepal. They staged dharnas and organised demonstrations against this democratic process. It is wrong. The Maoists should support the democratic process in the country. Since their dictatorrial and fascist face has been exposed they created all kinds of problems in the formation of the new government.
The new national government wants to have cordial relations with neighbouring countries. They want to have better relations with India where lakhs of Nepalese live and the country also shares open border with it. But the Maoists and certain other agencies like ISI of Pakistan, China etc. do not want these relations to be cordial. These forces have been hatching conspiracies to establish their control over the whole Himalayan region, which appears to be collapsing.
What should be the role of India in this situation?
India and all other democratic forces of the world should extend full support to the new democratic government of Nepal so that Nepal could be built as a literate, developed, happy, powerful and prosperous nation.
What do you say over the removal of South Indian pujaris from the Pashupatinath temple by the Maoist regime?
This is not a good development. Let us see what steps the new government takes in this regard. Basically, that was not a right but a tradition developed centuries ago to unite the people from Indian Ocean to the Himalayan region. The pilgrimages to Dhakeshwari, Katasraj, Nankana Saheb, Jhulelal, Hinglas, etc., are still conducted to promote peace and brotherhood in the region. It is not dominance by India anwhere. The step taken by the Maoists government was wrong.
What do you expect from the new government of Nepal?
We expect the democratic values are restored, Sanatan pravah is strengthened, the downtrodden get justice and there should be no division in the society in the name of ways of worship, castes, etc. The Government of India should extend a helping hand to Nepal in its progress. I hope, Nepal, under the new government following democratic values and maintaining its ancient cultural pravah, will emerge as a powerful, happy and prosperous country where the people work unitedly for their all-round progress.
But certain forces in Nepal term any advice or help from India an interference in the internal affairs of the country. How do you look at it?
It is a sponsored propaganda on the part of the anti-India and anti-Nepal forces. It is propagated by the forces including ISI and China to widen the gap between both the countries so that they can establish their control over Nepal. It is a known fact that ISI wants to create a corridor from Pakistan to Bangladesh via Nepal. During the last 60 years, India has extended all possible help to Nepal. Therefore, this propaganda must be eliminated. Nepal and India may be two countries but they are one by soul and culture. Nepal does not have any threat from its southern side. If there is any threat it is from the north as China has already grabbed Tibet and Kailash Mansarovar and still has its eyes on Laddakh and Arunachal Pradesh of Bharat. We must be alert against all these threats.