In Conversation with Tilak Pariyar
Vidya Bhushan Rawat, a Radical Humanist, political analyst and human rights activist based in Delhi, speaks to Tikal Pariyar, Nepal
Tilak Pariyar is Member Central Committee, Communist Party of Nepal. He is the first member of the Dalit community to have reached to such a high level of position in his party. A very senior member of the party, Tilak Pariyar is senior to many of the top leaders of the party. He is a very articulate politician who got his degree from Delhi University. He has been very vocal on the issues of Dalits and other marginalised and is fighting for their representation in his party.
Together they start the conversation with Electoral Reforms (proportional representation) as key and central focus of the conversation, with periphery of reforms in Political parties and how to control dictatorial behaviour in Political leadership. They debate over equal participation and justified participation of all sections of society in politics, political parties and governance. The idea of Right to Recall is deliberated in the same light. Honourable participation of all sections of society is important for better governance and judicial system.
They talk of reforms and revolution, and how to go ahead with it, also the people’s movements and the contribution towards the goal of upliftment of the depressed. Also the idea of leadership from community or from outside the community is debated.
They discuss the political scenario with the backdrop of Individualism, Brahmanwad, Maoism, Feudalism, Communalism and leftist ideology with centre of Dalit and people movement. And also why Dalits fail to get space in political parties.
He highlights the journey of Dalits so far in the history of Nepal, analyses it against the backdrop of current scenario and discusses untouchability and its various forms. Even the Army was prone to practice of untouchability. The Dalits are the ones who have sacrificed and suffered the most in the Maoist movement of Nepal.
Questions are raised on the totality of the Dalits and why certain castes from the Dalits and specific regions are not included in mainstream Dalit movement and reforms. Is there an discrimination between different castes of Dalitfold. How the Dalits from caste which involved in “Dirty Occupation” be integrated in mainstream.
He explains how he spoke for representation be given to Dom in parliament, Sunita Dom, and the need for such inclusive governance. He explains the professional difficulties of the Dom and their sub castes, and how they are dealing with the issues, especially with respect to Manual Scavenging.
It has to be noted that the upper caste who are involved in the domain of Manual Scavenging are only contractors and not the ground personnel. The ground work is still being done by the Lowest caste and they face discrimination and untouchability at various levels.
They also discuss the shortfalls of Nepal Constitution and how it needs to be improved keeping the larger interest of the people of Nepal. They broaden the definition of Politics to suit the interest of people, socially, culturally, scientifically, beyond self-interest.
During the conversations, it also figures how the communists failed to give Dalits the due justice, representation and recognition. They always spoke of the oppressed but feared the use of term Dalits. He highlights the need of reforms within the communists themselves and also seeks clarity on their ideological stand.
Tilak, promises to bring this debate in his party and see reforms with respect to the Dalits. He also says to take this issue in governance and other groups to discuss their upliftment within the framework of Constitution, while humbly accepting the framework also needs to be reframed.
They discuss on the Madheshi and Indian government interference with the movement at the borders, while being of firm opinion that this is an internal matter and should be dealt by the people of Nepal ONLY.