Our party has taken the constitution-writing process seriously as it is a historic task. This is an opportunity for people to write their own constitution. Constitutions were written in the past but the CA should come up with a constitution that people can call their own. Article 157 of the Interim Constitution states, 'any matter of national importance should be made through referendum.' On this basis our party has been demanding a referendum to decide the fate of the monarchy, federalism and secularism.
But pro-republicans think your demand is regressive.
Whatever we are demanding is in line with democratic norms. It is not fair to refer to it as an anti-federal, anti-democratic move. There are clearly two schools of thought regarding federalism: those who consider it a means to progress and prosperity and those who think it will break up the country.
Which category do you fall into?
We have been demanding a referendum to decide on it. We accept the verdict of the people whatever it might be. The people's decision should be inscribed in the constitution.
How should we interpret the charge against you of attempting to reinstate the old regime?
This is a baseless allegation. Change does not mean all established norms and values should be destroyed. Change means creativity. But the annihilation of all matters of national importance in the name of change will ultimately bring destruction to this country. The 12-point agreement signed in Delhi does not talk about the abolition of monarchy but the end of a tyrannical monarchy.
What about the demand for a Hindu state?
Our country is the land of the origin of eastern civilisation. There are Christian and Muslim states where there are Christians and Muslims. Why can't a country where 85 per cent people are Hindus be declared a Hindu state? More than a billion people worldwide are Hindu, this is our identity. No one raised voices against Hinduism during Jana Andolan II. The decision came all of a sudden under the influence of foreign forces. But it is against our identity. Therefore, we have been demanding it should be decided on through a democratic process.
The question of ethnic identity is being raised instead of the religious identity of the past.
This is an absolutely wrong move. The way communal issues are being raised in the name of ethnic identity, this will disintegrate national unity and ruin the social fabric, pushing the country into civil war. Consequently, Nepal could be the next Nigeria or Uganda. We need to be cautious about the possibility of such a situation in Nepal.
Do you think you will get votes by opposing federalism in the future?
The demand for economic, political and social rights was raised as the state denied us those rights in the past. We demanded representation of Gurungs at all levels of the state. But in the name of identity, a conspiracy is being hatched to ruin Tamus.
What is the point of creating a Tamu province when a Dhakal will ultimately be the chief minister? About 85 per cent of the people in the proposed Tamu province are non-Tamus. If they unite, Tamus will not get even the job of a peon. Constitutional provisions will probably not guarantee the position of chief minister for Tamus.
Constitution 2010, Nepali Times coverage of issues related to writing the new constitution