National Human Rights Commission: Challenges of Biswo Nath

biswo nath upadhyay. nhrc chairman

Many of us have admired the role of Biswo Nath Upadhyay. The former Chief of Justice in the Supreme Court is a tested democrat and his role in the movement against king Gyanendra’s autocracy was lauded by the public. And he has been awarded by the Nepal government for his contribution: Biswo Nath Upadyayay has been appointed the the new Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission. [Upadhyay has said that the will consider the appointment only after studying the the list of the members. He expressed his dissatisfaction over the fact that Prime Minister didn’t consult with him while appointing the members of the commission. Other members are: Udaya Nepali, Gauri Pradhan, Tulsi Bhattarai and Lila Pathak.] The Commission will have the status of a constitutional body in the interim constitution. Upadhyay will have tough challenges as the head of NHRC because we are going towards crucial time ahead. Nepal will be holding the election of constituent assembly, the country is in transitional phase and we can expect challenging times for the Human Rights. Let’s face it: Upadhyay has been branded as Kangresi (loyal to Nepali Congress). His first challenge will be to prove that he is not a Kangresi but a true democrat. Though Kangresis love to say that Nepali Congress is democracy and vice versa or Kangresi is a democrat and vice versa, the country will demand high level of fairness from the new chairman of the NHRC. CPN UML must be still skeptical about Upadhyay for his alleged controversial role as the Chief Justice. He should also win the trust of UML.

It’s almost sure that Nepali Congress will lead the interim government. Even in democracy, governments tend to bend rules and play by their own rules when it comes to human rights. The interim government will be extraordinarily powerful. With such power governing leaders might think that they can do anything. In that situation, NHRC must play the role of a true watchdog. NHRC must see things from peoples’ perspectives. At the height of autocracy of king Gyanendra, the Commission played the role of a government ministry and a former Chairman advocated the repression in international forums. That was a shameful act which discredited the Commission internationally. Upadhyay must restore the image of Commission to the level that people could undoubtedly trust its reports and statements and government must be forced to act as per its voices. Good luck, Biswo Nath Upadhyay.

In the mean time, we still admire you for what you said in this interview: “King Gyanendra Should Backtrack

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13 thoughts on “National Human Rights Commission: Challenges of Biswo Nath”

  1. Bishwonath was slated to be the first chairperson of the NHRC. because of the palace’s strong objection he was never appointed. it even delayed the creation of NHRC.
    and yes, uml too doesn’t like him because of his verdict on manmohan’s case.

    in nepal if you dont subscribe to communist ideology and still object to monarchy you’re automatically kangressi. and if you’re radical then you’re sure too be branded as maoist even if you hate them.

    i don’t think bishwonath is a kangressi.

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  2. I am very skeptical about B. P. Upadhyay for his controversial and partisan role as the Chief Justice. I believe that his controversial decision at that time is one of the factors which lead Nepal to the political instability and increased Maoist insurgency.

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  3. Can the old man head the NHRC effectively? Though it’s honour for Mr. Upadhyay, I think he cannot do with the rush and work pressure of the human rights watchdog in the country amid this mayhem.

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  4. Gajadi,
    How do you find my comments patisan? I was just mentioning the logical truth.
    In such a demanding job, why should we appoint a controversial and an old man with a bad health or any active job for that matter. Cannot we pick up from amongst more energetic Krishna Pahadi, Devendra Raj Pandey etc.

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  5. It seems Prime Minister Koirala has put Bisonath Upadhayay in ambus. PM nominated the members of the commission without consulting Upadhyay. How can Upadhyay work when he doesn’t have any idea about the team in advance? How can one expect members will work under his leadership when someone else nominates them? Upadhyay has said that he will consider the appointment only after studying the background of members.

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  6. I know Gauri Pradhan and Mina Pathak and I do feel they deserve to be the members of the national human rights commission. Especially the efforts of Gauri Pradhan are laudable for what he has done to help the street children in Nepal.
    However, I was slightly disappointed when I visited the office of CWIN. The institution which was claiming to work for the street children had its office floor carpeted with some expensive carpet and other decors. I just thought that money could have been utilized for the benefit of the children rather than increasing the comfort of their office.
    In any case, we should appreciate what he has done…we haven’t done anything as such yet…

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  7. gokarna: i don’t want to label above your comment as partisan but my comment still holds…
    frankly speaking i don’t know about his health. so can’t comment.

    but one thing i know for sure that krishna pahadi and devendra pandey won’t accept any post at least till CA election is over.

    i don’t know about the provision in the interim constitution that is yet to come into effect, but as far as i remember no one but only former chief justice can hold the post. correct me if i’m wrong. so there weren’t much choices…

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  8. Bibas,
    I’ ve no personal enmity with Gauri Pradhan but sorry to say that CWIN is the organization which destroyed Carpet export of Nepal (indirectly helping Indian export instead!) in the pretext of child labour. INGO-pernonnels like him spend most of the time out of the country touring here and there and staying in 5 star hotels worldwide for seminars and cultivating green dollars, in the name of poor Nepalis. They in turn are drastically improving their own financial status. If not, why they oppose auditing their transactions? Hence I propose the property evaluation of these INGO peoples before giving any posts.

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  9. Democratic institutions like this one should not be under political influence. Otherwise, it will be used more for fulfilling political enimosity than its functionality. I hope Mr Upadhyay will be able to maintain that.

    Human Right can be violated by anyone – ruling or opposing political parties or Maoists or any one. They are all subject to punishment if found guilty of any violation.

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  10. Like Mr. Jhapali says! NHRC is supposed to be free from politics raising human rights issues and concerns of all, irrespective of one’s political inclination, most often against the decisions made by the politicians themselves. Political appointment of Mr. Upadhyay has killed NHRC. Mr. Upadhay, being a respected person, should not accept the offer in this manner.

    Hope they do not appoint the army chief, police chief, bank chief, and cheif justice, and all other chiefs as well (in addition to all embassadors).

    Then Nepalese have definetly lost all the rights to these self-proclaimed leaders of Nepal who have left no stone unturned to prove their competence. People have already lost their rights: to security of life, to property, to make a reasonable living wiithin own country, and right to elect their leaders. Looting and intimidation is rampant, more than half the productive workforce has been forced to look for a job elsewhere, including the women. I almost forgot when was the last time I cast my vote to elect my genuine political representive. These leaders have no rights to blow up up various the resources collected from various donors, including loans, in the name of general Nepalese. Is this really empowerment of the pople and democracy ??? Cannot they wait till there is a ligitimately elected body in place or make only temporary appointments till the genuinely elected body is in place. We must protest against these irresponsible and manipulative decisions – No long term decisions by the temporary government working under temporary authority and temporary constitution!

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