I am very skeptic that the new constitution that is being promised to be delivered pretty soon in Nepal is really going to be delivered anytime soon. Although this may sound banal, what a shame to the political parties!
The first constitution assembly got dismissed as the parties failed to come to consensus and it was a major blow to the hopes of Nepali people. The second one is also on the verge of failure, even with a major shift in balance of power from higher weight of Maoists to now a Nepali Congress and UML coalition.
I personally think Maoist's demand for breaking the country into many states is foolish. I do think Nepal needs decentralization (a real one) but that can be done with existing structure of the nation, five development zones. Just a true implementation is lacking. The idea of breaking the nation into many states and having separate parliaments and all is just beyond my comprehension. Nepal is so small, we do not need all of that.
So, now that all the major parties are ready for re-structuring anyways, my wish is that they keep the number of states to a minimum. The only optimistic side for me is that the new structures may bring some freshness and enthusiasm to move forward. However, the new structures have to be efficient and they should reduce burden on the nation and its people.
On the issue of election of the executive, I like the idea of direct election from people, whoever is the executive, be it the president or the prime minister. The idea of the parliament electing the executive sounds senseless looking at the history of instability of governments in Nepal. On this issue, Maoists have it right. However, UML who earlier was in favor of direct election of the executive during the elections is now backing out.
I understand that the direct election could present a danger of a party getting elected once and it using the power of state to influence other elections to hold on to that power. However, that is a separate issue which has to be checked and balanced by opposition and the citizens. The idea in itself is good and necessary in the context of Nepal. Direct election of executive ensures stability of governments and helps in doing some actual work during the tenure of the government. Unlike now, where governments could change every six months and everything is focused only on how to keep the government stable or to bring it down. Even under direct election system, if things are going extremely wrong, there will be provisions to impeach the executive. And, the laws would be made by parliament anyways.
On the issue of Madhesh, janajatis, and ethnic groups, we have to be inclusive and sensitive in shifting power to actual people in the grassroots. We also have to respect everyone's rights to non-violently and freely express their dissatisfaction toward the status quo. This is not going to happen if we only follow the political rhetoric of dishonest politician like Pushpa Kaml Dahal aka Prachanda, who has a history of leading the rebellion army primarily consisting of ethnic groups and using them violently to get to power and compromise anything for his own gain of power.
Look what 10 years of Maoists insurgency has accomplished? Yes, it may have had some positive impact on few changes that occurred, but who knows, they could have happened in the course of time themselves. As we don't know the counter-factual, we can only see what has happened. And it is safe to say that the country has moved backwards 50 years due to the Maoist insurgency. And now their obsolete theory of dividing the nation into many states with ethnic themes in the name of decentralization shines their sheer stupidity. Look what a mess they have created in politics of Nepal, even their own party has split into many parties, and the so called mainstream Maoist party has multiple factions. Were they not the ones who sacrificed thousands of innocent Nepali people's life in the name of change? If they were able to induct, unite and mobilize that kind of army; why can't they unite in true interest of Nepal. It does sound fishy doesn't it? Because it's not about country or the people; guess what? Its all about THEMSELVES.
Now this doesn't spare other parties either. They do not get vindicated easily. They have their own splits and self-centeredness. But, at-least they didn't wage a war that pushed the nation backwards. Now, not one party is correct in all issues. Not one person. We, the people have to be critical and decide what is appropriate for us. What is a common sense solution? What is a rhetoric and what is of substance? What do technocrats say? What is being decided by us and what is being imposed on us?Then we have to pressure our politicians to do the right thing (many times, the best among options - when there is no right or wrong).
For politicians, now is the time for them to deliver a constitution that is in interest of Nepal and Nepali people. If not now, when
May we see a constitution soon and a Nepal moving fiercely towards development and prosperity. That is always my hope although I am guilty myself of leaving Nepal and spending the most productive years of my life abroad. However, I do this for my own self-interest without promising anyone anything. If things were different in Nepal, I am not sure I would have ended up abroad in the first place. But let's not get into hypothetical situations!
लेखक : Santosh Lamichhane
मिती : November, 2018
लेखक : एन. पी. खतिवडा
मिती : 2016
लेखक : Laxmi Prasad Devkota
मिती : Evergreen
लेखक : Santosh Lamichhane
मिती : September, 2015