Officially the former kingdom of Nepal has become the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. But the country hasn’t been federalized yet.
By Bipendra Basnyat
Just came out of an evening of brain storming about Naya Nepal; the idea was to discuss some of the scholarly articles on how can Naya (New) Nepal be “federated”. In other words how can our country be demarked into various states/political regions and can they be socio-economically viable? To figure out what makes sense and what does not? It was indeed a great idea of all the people involved in organizing such an event and a way for us to “Speak Out our Mind”. More than any thing else it was a great opportunity for Nepalese staying abroad to pass on their concerns to the legal entities of Nepal. I applaud the organizer Washington Nepali forum and United States Institute for Peace for providing us this opportunity.
I felt like we are still really back in a game where we are trying to weed out our differences of being from different caste system. Some one complains about being left out in the past whereas other talk about possible exclusion of minorities, yet again. It was a general consensus that Naya Nepal is needed but no one really wants to see new neighboring states with people that they have not seen before or moved in just because they seem to be under same ethnicity.
I don’t feel ashamed to confess that being a graduate student I do not know how the federal system works in Nepal; and what kind of political division are planners making. I know from media that there has been a general consensus to autonomies states based on their ethnicity, but is it just for name sake? Does Limbuwan State will only have majority of Limbus and only Limbu speaking people can dwell in such state. I know this is not true; at least I hope that this is not true. If this indeed the case, then need to educate people about it and the name “Limbuwan” is just a name; has no significance to the other people already living there and that area was historically Limbu dominant.
Have any engineering thoughts been put into demarking the states? I have a fear that if conditions of existing infrastructures are not considered in demarcation then while Kathmandu is planning on building Skyscrapers; a state in western Nepal might be scrambling to make a Jholenge pool (suspension bridge) or even fighting hard to provide a basic need of food and shelter. If enough thought is not provided into existing physical resources then we might just increase the economic gap between states. A prosperous neighbor is good to have, but then they make my house look smaller in the neighborhood.
There are lots of people with reservations and fear about the new structure of Nepal. Fear of inadequate resources, fear of isolation and fear of ethnic violence. I know this is out of question now but there were people who even questioned about necessity of new political structure or should we look into empowering the existing system without redrawing new map of Nepal.
I know there are more questions on my write-up than answers and that’s because I belong to millions of Nepali people who have not been answered in the past. Rather imposed of the new rules and regulations. Hope this does not happen this time along as I like to think that our new constitution will be so strong that we don’t need to go into its amendment every fortnight.
Let us spread the word around, lets educate and uplift our fellow citizens where were left out in the past and unite to make our voice stronger; let the people of Nepal be more thoughtful than they ever have been. Let our future generation be proud of this Naya Nepal. I believe that we can change Nepal, a change that’s direly needed.
This entry was originally posted at NayaNepalNews. UWB received the article from the writer in email.