मंगलबार, कार्तिक ५ २०७६
काठमाडौं १४:१२
वासिङटन डिसी 04:27

CELEBRATING CONSTITUTION AND NATIONAL DAY! SOME REFLECTIONS ON ITS SIGNIFICANCE !!

Prof Gopi Upreti Virginia, USA २०७६ असोज ३ गते २१:११ मा प्रकाशित

 

Prof Gopi Upreti, Virginia, USA

Four years ago, Nepal entered into a new chapter of its history with the promulgation of the constitution of Nepal in 2072. For the first time in the history, this constitution has made Nepali people truly the sovereign ruler of their country. This constitution has institutionalized the federalism with republican and secular character of the statehood. Today, in Nepal and all over the diasporic world, we are celebrating national day as our contribution day!!

The constitution is not a rigid and fixed book of law, it is a living document and can be amended as and when it is deemed necessary to incorporate the evolving aspiration and needs of all nationalities and the society at large. There is no constitution in the world that was promulgated with 100 % support and acceptance by all, nevertheless, it is remarkably spectacular to note the fact that the new constitution of Nepal has had the endorsement of 91 % of the members of the constituent assembly (CA). Those who are cognizant of the constitution write up in other countries including India know that it is impossible to write a constitution with 100 % endorsement by the people of all social and cultural heritage. Even in a monolithic social and cultural backdrop, a constitution with 100 % acceptance by all may simply be a matter of wishful thinking let alone talk about socially and culturally diverse society like ours. The most crucial point is how inclusive and progressive is the constitution and whether the constitution represents the aspirations and the needs of the vast majority of the people or not. The Indian constitution had the endorsement of 62 % and is far more regressive than the constitution of Nepal.

This constitution may not have represented the aspiration and the sentiments of every nationalities including madeshis but entails progressive and inclusive features such as proportional representation (40 %) along with direct election (60 %), mandatory 33 % women candidates in the electoral process, reservations to the socially oppressed communities and nationalities, Dalit, Janjati, Tharu and Madeshi commissions and seven federal states with delegation of political power. The CA members of Madeshi origin within Nepali Congress, UML and Prachnda Maobadi party (now NCP) played a very positive roles in convincing their respective leaders to address some reasonable issues raised by the Madeshis and were able to incorporate them in the constitution through a number of amendments in the past.

Today, Rastriya Janata Party (RJP) has noted as a BLACK DAY which is unfortunate and immoral because this party is in the government of Province number 2 and also in the parliament serving in many parliamentary committees. They have taken oaths under this very constitution and have got elected in the parliament and have formed government in the province. Nowhere in the world such grotesque display of immoral and anarchic behavior of a political party can be seen. Instead of staging this drama, they should have done the followings:

1. Clearly spell out in writing with facts where in constitution and which articles of the constitution have discriminated Madeshi people?

2. Clearly spell out in writing what articles and the sub-articles in the constitution need to be amended??

3. Bring all these agenda in writing to the notice of Nepali people and go to your constituencies, inform and interact with people.

4. Conduct all party interaction and dialogue involving intellectuals from various walks of life and constitutionalists and create favorable public opinion.

RJP simply cannot do any of these things because they do not find any fault in the constitution that actually does injustice to any particular ethnicity. Actually, they should have played a very proactive role in the implementation of constitution that has guaranteed the rights of marginalized and oppressed communities in the Madesh. They simply don’t represent those people.

SAME thing can be said to Dr Baburam Bhattarai/Upendra Yadav and their Socialist Party. I request Dr Bhattarai to bring in writings exactly where in constitution and which articles in the constitution have discriminated against people belonging to different ethnicities? AND what amendments exactly he is advocating for? It is one thing to capitalize on the sentiments of ignorant propel (which is what you did in the past) but entirely another thing to come up with rational solutions of such complex issues? Remember one thing, you can benefit from political opportunism some time but not all the time??

The most important thing is the implementation of the constitution through the creation of appropriate laws and legal instruments that carry the sprit of the constitution. Nepal has just entered the implementation phase of this constitution and there are still some important bills like citizenship bill in the process of becoming a law. The implementation phase especially during transition is a very arduous process and challenging. This is true not only for Nepal but for all the countries in the world that have gone through this process.

Let us celebrate our national day and call upon the government, parliamentarians and the judiciary for the correct implementation of constitution. After all, it is the right implementation of constitution that matters most than what is not there in the constitution!! What is not in the constitution will be incorporated in the constitution through a natural evolutionary process which may sometime but this is not that time. This is the time to rightly implement what is in the constitution!!!!

Fairfax, Virginia, USA

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