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State, Constitution and Party

editIt is ironic in the least that the oldest sovereign, independent state in the region is in search of itself. Having for decades advocated change to the point of rendering the state virtually unrecognizable, their over reach has made it difficult to distinguish between what is partisan and what is the state. Each party and every leader now defines the state on its own terms to the point of degenerating the state and each party and leader accuses the other of indulging in such largesse. Constitutional stalemates continue to confound the public on whether our leadership limit their association with the state to that of simply government. Actions on the leaderships’ part as to the nitty gritty of constitution building and implementation assert that their interest is limited to government and not the state. As a consequence, the state has suffered and the public on that account is suffering severely and is increasingly aware of this anomaly to the detriment of a leadership that has the monopoly of political power but does not serve the state. The focus yesterday was constitution drafting, the focus today is constitutional implementation; the focus imminent is local level elections. The agenda is solely that of the retention of power at the cost of the state. The tragedy is that no one is asking where lies the state?
When king Gyanendra’s attempt to restore disrupted election processes was failed by the stake-holding political parties with external support through an agitation endorsed by terror it was called democracy in action. Today prime minister Prachanda’s attempt to hold local elections threatens to isolate him amidst charges of appeasement at one end and exclusion at the other. The only real observation, on the other hand, is that he is doing what he is doing to retain his government. Again, one might ask, what of the state. However quagmire the judicial process is in this politicized environment, it is wise to appear distant in demanding elections to all tiers of the new constitution within the year. Why statutory requirements are being so belittled by government and opposition alike in order to make this a possibility is adding to the public confusion especially in the persistent presence of  assurances that that these requirements will be fulfilled. We are being told that time for legislation and its implementation is running out by very informed sources. And, yet, we are being asked to believe in a constitutional process that is being ridiculed by those very elements who are supposed to own the constitution.
And, so, we must ask who is to speak for the state. If government is to speak for government and the opposition is to speak for itself, then the state and the constitution remains undefined. This is precisely why the constitutional process has been made to go awry. For decades, Nepali politics is said to have be entangled between what seemed to be the advocates of the political party and the monarchy. At least the monarchy is believed to have taken the role of the state as a result of which the parties chucked the monarchy out. The parties made out that the monarchy was speaking of its own interest and not the state whereas the parties were talking of the state. This superficiality no longer works when the parties claim the state. This is their constitution and not the monarchies, but is the constitution the states? In other words, must the state be merely the reaction to the parties and their constitution or is the constitution the states and not the parties’?

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