Kathmandu: Elated with the materialisation of nearly 70-year-old dream of getting a democratic statute through the popularly elected body, the entire country, except some classes and groups, is in a jolly mood following the endorsement of new constitution on September 20. Stating that the Constituent Assembly (CA) used its sovereignty and it refused to bow down before any external forces, the top leaders, lawmakers, intellectuals and professionals have added thrill to the public celebrations in the country and abroad.
Likewise, international recognition for the constitutionâ€™s endorsement from around the world has also indicated a semblance of legitimacy of the charter. The United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon has acknowledged the adoption of new constitution while the United States of America (USA), China, Russia, Norway, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, Germany and other neighbouring countries have welcomed the new constitution by terming it as an â€˜important milestoneâ€™ in Nepalâ€™s democratic journey. The friendly countries have also congratulated the political leadership and folks in Nepal for guiding the nation into a new chapter in its history.
Now, Nepal has expected diplomatic courtesy and gesture from India in the recognition of the new constitution. The political leadership, diplomats, intellectuals and professionals have expressed their hope that India would soon offer its warm felicitation for the new statute in Nepal, a dream of Nepalis that comes true nearly 70 years after.
With this glorious achievement, Nepal has stepped ahead into the new era with its implementation. Besides multiple reasons, the new constitution should be hailed for breaking the terrible political impasse, and institutionalisation of republicanism and federalismâ€”the twin achievements of the historic Peopleâ€™s Movement-II and decade-long Maoist insurgency.
The constitution in itself does not yield anything as such. Propriety of the actors matters more for the successful implementation of the constitution and political stability and lasting peace depends on the same. But, it has paved a clear way for establishing foundations for the countryâ€™s socio-economic prosperity.
An eminent columnist Narendra Jung Peter observes that Nepal has shifted into a new historical phase of political exercise after the new statute. â€œConstitution would largely help to stop anarchy in the country. It is a document that has legitimized the federal republican and justified the Maoist rebellion.â€ He, however, expressed dissatisfaction for India’s lukewarm response after the constitutionâ€™s declaration and argued that it is both the possibility and challenge for the country.
Given the volatile situation and rising voices of extremism in the Terai belt, situation seems somehow aggravated but not beyond the control of the political parties provided that they sit for talks sincerely to hammer out concerns of the disgruntled parties. The genuine demands of the Tharu, Madhesi and indigenous groups should be incorporated even by amending the constitution. This should be done as the constitution is flexible and a living document. On the other hand, the leaders of the Madhes-centric parties too should do away with the politics of bargaining and protest. Equal seriousness is demanded on their part too.
Analysts believe that the widespread tension for more than a month and the disgruntled partiesâ€™ denial of the ownership of the constitution amid the CA boycott is a matter of serious concern and that should be taken into considerations to deal it with the high level of seriousness.
“This constitution is a good platform for all to fight further for their respective rights. This has opened up some avenues albeit some flaws. The leaders are required to quit their arrogance and prejudice as well as offer equal treatment to opponents, Peter adds.
The top leaders of the major political forces have already pledged to incorporate the concerns of the agitating parties though they were not on board the constitution writing process in the last phase. As the constitution is not flawless, the Dalits have also not received all rights they were demanding and so is the case with the women and Muslims too. But, itâ€™s not the time to be oblivion because the existing rights are not less and with the evolutionary process of the constitution can grant all the requisite dignity and social standing to all those remaining in margin.
So, effective implementation of the new constitution with sharing of power in all three levels of government namely federal, provincial and local for the empowerment of all community is appreciative. Let us bring under an ambit of system to all including the politicians and lay foundation for a matured democratic practice.
By Mahendra Subedi