By Shambhu Deo
Constitution of Nepal
Amidst of the discrepancies, Nepal promulgated the long awaited constitution on September 20, 2015 through the second Constituent Assembly with a 90 percent voting. A 12-Ponit Understanding signed with supportof some Indian political forces in Delhi, India, between the Seven Political Parties within the Parliament and Nepal Communist Party (Maoist) on 22 November 2005 laid the foundation for the constitution. The constitution has restructured Nepal into a secular federal republic with seven states. Wide range of human rights and fundamental rights are provisioned. The constitution was claimed to be one of the best in the world now facing a series of dissatisfaction. The demand of an executive head of the state, directly elected executive, provision or referendum for constitutional monarchy, Hinduism, federalism is a bet on national integrity, inappropriate demarcation of states and unfair representation of Madhesi are some of the examples. Various nationalist political groups including Madheshi parties are protesting against the constitution. Besides this, some Indian political corners seem intended for amendment in the constitution.
Cultural and territorial Integrity
British East India Company made Nepal to fight at different fronts in the preceding context of conspiracy prone unification campaign ceased Nepal lying on back foot with the sacrifices of lives of patriotic Prince Bahadur Shah and others. As a consequence, King of Nepal and East India Company in 1815 entered into ‘Sugauli Treaty’ the biggest tangible loss to Nepal. Later, many more patriotic forces mainly “Thapas, Pandeys, and Basnyats” had to sacrifice their lives in conspiracies. After that, Rana oligarchy has ruled the country. Rana were dictators but secured the territorial integrity, public press and huge infrastructures were built during Rana regime.
Now after almost two hundred years, the heirs of East India Company, some of the other external forces and a few local people seem to ravage Nepal’s religious, cultural and territorial integrity worse than of Sugauli Treaty. It started through creating the pre-context by sidelining the patriotic forces and trying to impose puppets through naturalized (angeekrit) citizenship provision for constitutional higher position, economic allure and other means. An escalatingconversion of Hindu and Buddhists into Christianity in Nepal is one of the prominent examples of ravaging cultural integrity.
Airing the demand of separation of Madhesh from Nepal through creating a group can be an initiation targeted against Nepal’s integrity. Threating with the demands of separation in the name of protesting the constitution add to it. Most of the Madheshi do not favor separation and those leaderships pelting stones from Indian territory (Raxaul) to Nepal (Birgunj), energized with outsider’s meal during the protest. Merely economic packages or forceful coercion may not be enough to satisfy the agitators, which is evident by the examples of Cosovo, Bosnia, Serbia, Bangladesh and others. The political and livelihood concerning demands of own people need to be addressed judiciously on time. The true culprits against Nepal’s integrity, law and order need to be identified soon and convicted for stern actions and punishment.
China and India engaged in different agreements, exchanged visits and establishedgrowing economic relationship for their national interest since long past. Nepal simply observed their bilateral relationship, keeping neutral in all the cases including the war of 1962 in a lucid manner and the belligerents respected Nepal’s neutrality. China and India seem to have paradox in their foreign policy concerning Nepal, which claim neutrality and non-interference. Both these giants recently entered into an agreement concerning “Lipulek”, a Nepalese territory, without involving and informing Nepal. Nepal definitely has its own stance and has come up and will come forth in the days to come. Whenever Nepal tries to strengthen the relation with one neighbor, other feels itself uncomfortable due to own concerns. India shows more reluctance to accept the proposals for Nepal’s well being in some cases. For example, Nepal received supports from all over the world on aconsiderate proposal to declare Nepal a “Zone of Peace” and was not endorsed by India in the name of common defense principle and her ally now fallen apart Soviet Union. Nepal needs peace more in present context before the probable accession of India to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Permanent Membership. Nepal as a true friend recently supported Indian proposalfor UNSC.
India’s ephemeral position of emerging economic power probably leads India tries to reflect that Nepal isan Indian shadow on international arena. India with an enormous zeal intervened in internal affairs and micro management including personnel management of Nepal like in the decades of 1950 and has enervated to some extent. Economic blockade lacking apathy was a disaster to Nepal and Nepalese people and resulted in a great economic loss to the country. In turn, Nepal extremely enriched with the enhanced patriotism among all population especially in youths.
Implementation of the constitution
Nepal and India exchanged high level visits recently. The visits claimed for normalize relationship and for smooth implementation of the constitution. The first visit fetched smooth relation keeping Nepalese agenda intact which resulted to placate India but without producing a joint statement. Later, stakeholders are surprised and annoying to certain extent that ‘what abnormal relation has to be normalize with India’. Other important issue, ‘does it come under diplomatic codefor Nepal to convince India to accept the constitution of Nepal’? India has never extended such activities to Nepal in long history till today. The joint statement of the last visit to India is an effort to corroborate that Nepal is an allied partner to India in all international matters. Nepalese current policy makers, seem in oblivion, should make Nepal’s position clear before people. Otherwise, Nepalese people are capable enough to decide the fate of foreign reared leadership and institutions of public, private and all sectors. Nepal should manage internal dissatisfactions as earliest possible rather exchanging visits for normalizing the relation with only one country. This havoc in Nepal’s foreign policy will not last long.
Entwined reasons for creeping implementation of the constitution of Nepal are inefficiency, lack of commitment and consensus among Nepalese leaders and hindrances created by some Indian political corner.In such a circumstance, there is a need of reconciliation to implement the constitution.
(The writer is a senior agriculture extension officer in the Ministry of Agriculture Development, Nepal. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nepal’s integrity and implementation of the constitution
By Shambhu Deo