Rajendra Shrestha partially correct about communist party’s 1954 document
Injina Panthi / May 18, 2018
Co-chairman of the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal and Member of Parliament Rajendra Shrestha, in an interview aired on Sagarmatha TV on May 16, 2018 said the following:
“Whatever issues have been raised today are in that document. Issues like proportional representation, federal structure, a necessity for federalism in Nepal, ethnic self-determination and equality for languages [are there]. All languages should be respected; everyone’s right to get education in mother tongues and use mother tongues in governmental work should be respected… multi-party system with proportional representation.”
South Asia Check has examined Shrestha’s claim:
The document cited by Shrestha was presented at the 1954 general convention of the Communist Party of Nepal by Man Mohan Adhikari, the then general secretary of the party. This document was presented by Adhikari at the general convention held on 26-29 January 1954 and was approved by the convention.
In the publication titled ‘Historical Documents of Nepalese Communist Movement and People’s Revolution” the following points have been mentioned under the header “Programme of Communist Party of Nepal” and sub-header “Structure of state.”
- Sovereignty should lie in the hands of the people, in other words, all powers should be handed over to the people. Sovereignty should lie with the popularly-elected parliament. There should be a provision allowing recall of elected representatives, if the majority of the electorate so wishes.
- The locals should be allowed to elect their local and regional governments and such government be given autonomy. The practice of the center appointing officials at the local level should be ended.
- All ethnic groups should have the right to self-determination. Let a United People’s Democratic Nepal be created based on the principles of mutual harmony among all ethnic communities.
- People should have right to get education in their mother tongues. They should be allowed to use their mother tongues for official business. There should be no mandatory national language, all language should be treated equally.
This document has no mention of federalism and proportional representation system. Therefore, Shrestha’s claim is correct except for these two issues.
Basnet, Tek Bahadur (January 2013). Historical Documents of Nepalese Communist Movement and People’s Revolution, Volume I ; Ekikrit Nepal Communist Party (Maoist). Pg. 3-8
Bhusal, Beduram (June 2013). Nepal Communist Party Dastabej Sangraha ; Puspalal Smriti Pratisthan. Pg. 68-78
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