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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Identity politics in Nepal

Political background of Nepal

The dream of new Nepal had been overwhelming when it was formally declared that the country will be the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal by the interim constitution in 2007. It was the achievement of almost more than 65 years of struggle. In addition,  the abolishment of the dominant Hindu nation through the declaration of the secular nation had added the extra excitement to build the new Nepal which was the sacrifice of more than 15,000 of people who lost their lives during the decade-long Maoist insurgency period.
Mt Everest. Source ABC news

Nepal is a multicultural, mutltilinguistic with the poeple the who believe in different religion, speak more than 193 languages and more than 100 ethnic groups of people riside there. Plularism and multiple hertigate its part of beauty, but Hindu had dominated all other religions forcefully to assimilate faith on this religion making the Hindu as the national religion. The 2 hundred and 40 years of the long Shah dynasty had been ended because of the unitary and feudalism political system. That dictated the basic human rights of the people living there making as the second class of citizen.

The historical achievement was expected after the constituent assembly which was held twice. The first constituent assembly that held on 2008 couldn’t promulgate the constitution and the second constituent assembly held in 2013 that officially promulgated the  new constitution of Nepal on Sept 20, 2015. Unfortunately  celebration didn’t happen to all of the people of Nepal as the provision of the constitution indirectly betrayed the indigenous and minority people of Nepal. Many disgruntled groups ripped up the constitution on the same day of its promulgation.

The voice of federalism based on the identity, capacity and historical background as per the demand of  indigenous, Madhesi and other marginalized groups had been raised for a long time, but many give the credit to Maoist as it was vigorous after the Maoist insurgency.  The political parties with the agenda of constitution assembly and federalism of the nation based on self determination with pre prior and concent on the lands  were the  major concern for indigenous people that's why they sacrificed their lives for the sake of the same involving the in Moist and hiding underground. They realized that they  had been used  by that party when they left their agenda in the name of peace accord and understanding with the other major political party.

Identity politics

The voice of federalism based on the indigenous people’s history, language and their identity has been raising by the different political party. Still, the credit for this agenda goes to the Maoist even they have given up some of their issues in the name of a bargain with the other major political party. Many small political parties have been fighting for their rights which will be established only when the federalism will be established based on their identity,  capacity and historical background.  The major political parties are ignoring  their voices even after numerous conflicts are happing in the nation.

The interim constitution had already declared that nation as a secular nation, but the new constitution has conspired  indirectly stating that the ‘Shanthan’ religion that means  the Hindu religion will be the main religion of the country. This is one of the major challenges for the implementation of the new constitution for the major political parties of Nepal who have been ruling in the nation now.

Both the major political party Nepali Congress (NC) and the Communist Party of Nepal ( Unified Marxist- Leninist), UML have accepted federal restructuring of the nation and had actively participated in drafting the federal model of the new constituent of Nepal, but they have not agreed on the segregation of the power to the federal provinces as per the indigenous and minority people.
The major fear for establishing the federal structures based on their demand is that they think it will disintegrate the nation, more than that the dominant caste so called the ruler of Nepal want to have the power and access only on their hands and want to still dictate all other remaining indigenous and minority people forever.

Achievement of the movement;

Even the registration of the political party based on the ethnicity was banned by the constitution of 1990 many minor political parties had been established on the different name  associating with the diverse functions. The movement began even from the ground root of the different social organization for the purpose of right. Ethnic social organizations involvement for the identity politics has mingled the power of all the people of the communityfor the same purpose. Even though the rights of indigenous and minority people haven’t established yet, but the concurrent movement has been raising the higher level of voice which is one of the  positive aspect of the mobilization for the identity-based politic. It has also cautioned  all the marginalized people that they have been deprived of the resources by the ruler of the nation, not by destiny neither of that was the fault of their parents. Indigenous and minority came to the movement after realizing that their rights had been abolished and they were excluded from the mainstream politics of the nation.

Due to the identity politics movement, the major political party has defined the quota system on their structures and many indigenous people have put in the parliament as the member of the constituent assembly. But they have been still conspiring in the name of giving them some opportunity for the resources and decision-making level. They put some of the intellectual indigenous people making some place and close the mouth of all other in order to assume that they have provided the equal rights and access to all.


It is difficult to fulfill the demand of the Indigenous people, which are an autonomous federal government with self-determinant  based on the identity, capacity and historical background, but the dominant caste so called Brahmin and Chhetri have a fear that they will lose the power if the nation will be restructured based on their demand. The new constitution has a provision of the Federal Nepal with seven Provinces, but the borders and demarcations are against the will of indigenous and minority people of Nepal. They are trying to play a hide and seek game with them yet. Just in the name of federalism and restructuring of the nation, they want to keep the power in their hand and try to be generous in front of the other eye.

The major political parties which are against the identity politics are also playing the role of divide and rule. It has been proved by the segregation of the minor political party which has been advocating for the indigenous rights and rights to restore back, which was seized by the ruler in the name of nation building. Their voice hasn't influenced to the major  political party and hasn't been able to take the power yet because of the internal disintegration. Even with common thought, a common goal and common mission, the small political party with the same ideology segregate into  multiple pieces will not have possibilities to achieve the dream .

It is highly recommended to all the political parties which are fighting for the sake of the rights and under the identity politics should be reintegrated once. Once the voice will be integrated into the single stick, no matter how much the dominant try to suppress, the victory will be in the hand of integration. The dream is not achievable  until and unless all the countless political parties with the common goal will be united under the same mission. It will be attained and possible only with keeping the faith with each other and joining the hand together otherwise the fight against the ruler will be a never ending process