Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
"A revolution is no joke."

Excerpts from an interview with Amrit Bohara of the CPN (UML)

Will public pressure or a people's movement help correct the faults in the constitution?
A revolution is no joke. Our party would like to solve the current problem through talks and understanding, not through violence. People don't revolt through choice. They do so because of circumstances, and we don't want to create such a situation. If people think that is a weakness on our part, they're wrong. Knowingly or unknowingly, they should not push us towards a revolution. We've revolted in the past. We can do it again if the need arises but a revolution should not be taken lightly. An aware public can help correct weaknesses in the constitution. In a way, it's a revolution brought about by thought. It creates public opinio. As long as the party workers and party hierarchy don't understand the party's stand on the present situation, the public's reaction will remain normal. We are concentrating on strengthening our organisation and thought. If the situation does not improve with time and the peoples' rights are violated, we won't keep silent. We will mobilise our party workers to make our point of view clear. But one has to be careful as a revolution is not something you play with. It can have serious and frightening consequences.

What is the party's view on a constituent assembly?
We are not against the word "constituent assembly". Historically speaking, the Nepal communist party was the first to raise the issue of a constituent assembly. A constituent assembly is one of many processes involved in framing a constitution. We formed this constitution through a specific process because after the fall of the Rana regime the constitution that was formed did not protect the rights the people had fought for. At that time it was an interim constitution. The situation is different now. After the 1990 people's movement, a new constitution was formed based on the understanding of various revolutionary powers. Apart from some rigidity, it upholds the fundamental rights of the people. We don't feel this constitution is old and worn despite the last 12 years and we shouldn't think in this manner. At this time, I think it is meaningless to dump the constitution and talk about a constituent assembly.

The Maoists say a constituent assembly and an interim government are solutions to the present crisis. What do you think?
At this point, it is inappropriate to talk about a constituent assembly. I've already made this clear. So let's leave it at that. People are repeating themselves like parrots without understanding the circumstances. First, they have to be clear on why we need a constituent assembly. If the reasons are to strengthen parliamentary democracy and the present constitution, or if we require an interim government to hold polls, then we should think about it. But if the demand for a constituent assembly is part of a workplan to dump the present constitution and system, then we are not in agreement.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)