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Saturday, September 26, 2015

The consequences of the New Constitution of Nepal

Nepal officially promulgated the new constitution on Sept. 20 remarking the historical day of the nation. But, the celebration didn’t happen to all the people of Nepal instead, indigenous nationalities, Madhesi, Tharu and Dalit community ripped that because they have been deprived of their fundamental right in the new constitution. The interim constitution of Nepal 2007 has declared that the nation will be a secular nation and go into democratic republican restructuring the nation into federalism, but the new constitution has indirectly cheated them, keeping the ‘Sanathan religion’, which is called the ‘Hindu religion’ as the main religion of the country.   

The indigenous people of Nepal have been seeking an autonomous state with self-determination based on their identity, capacity and historical background, which are not addressed in the new constitution.  It is said that the country will go into federalism with seven provinces; the borders and demarcation are not  according to their will. Nepal ratified the ILO convention 169 in 2007, which guarantees the right of indigenous people in the participation of their own development but the new charter ignores that provision too.

The new constitution of Nepal is the dream of 65 years of age and result of about 15,000 of blood that lost their lives during a decade-long civil war called Maoist Insurgency period.  Many of them were indigenous people because Maoist had assured them to provide autonomous state based on their ethnicity and religion, but all of them went in vain when they reached for power and rule the nation.   The major political parties were collecting the vote to pass the bill of the new constitution while the Madheshi and Tharu people in the east were protesting for the demand of autonomous states. The government deployed the security force to the peace movement, which is against the international law.  About 40 people, including two innocent children lost their lives during the clash between agitating group and police force.   

Total 2 hundred and 16 indigenous CA member were involved in the constituent  assembly representing the different political parties. Though there were a provision to nominate 26 indigenous and minorities as a CA member from the community not represented before. But, the major political parties divided their quotas and picked up their own candidates for those positions. They were not allowed to stand on their own issues because  of their parties  political norms. In addition, only two days were segregated for the feedback and the indigenous CA members were restricted to form caucus.  The constituent assembly had begun when the Maoist and major seven political parties signed a comprehensive peace accord in 2006. The first constituent assembly was held in 2008, which collapsed without any end result in 20012. This new constitution is the end result of fresh CA, which was held in 2013. 

Nepal has been pouring in political crisis, as the new constitution couldn’t provide the ownership to all the people of Nepal. The agitating group is still in the protest and major political parties are unable to bring them in dialogue. Unless and until all the minorities and indigenous will be addressed by amending the new constitution, the crisis will continue making general lives in difficulties