India, the powerful country below Nepal’s southern border, has long imposed unequal relations on Nepal — taking over from the British colonialists. A key point of contention has been the 1950 Indo-Nepal treaty which denies Nepal true independence in a number of way (by opening its border, by imposing military constraints on Nepal’s right to military sovereignty, and by asserting a specially citizenship status for Nepalese people within India). One of the demands of the Maoist New Democratic revolution in India has been the overthrow of this unequal treaty. In addition there is a long practice of recruiting Nepali youth from the Ghorka region to serve as soldiers in the British, and now Indian armies. And there is a powerful economic and cultural domination of Nepal (through film, music, trade and so on).
In the following excerpts from a larger May 18 interview, Nepal’s Maoist leader Prachanda discusses this struggle for full Nepali national independence — which forms such a key part of liberating the people from both imperialism and feudalism. He describes a “transitional period” where there will be study and debate of how to proceed — preparing for carrying through the just demands of the Nepali people for full independence (and on that basis a “new relationship” with neighboring countries.)