While the CA, elected to draft and promulgate a constitution, failed to live by its self imposed deadline of 22 January to finalize the works on a new constitution, a growing political movement called BibekSheel Nepali just released its own version of Nepali Constitution — yesterday on ८ माघ (22 Jan).
Ashutosh Tiwari asked 5 quick questions to Ujwal Thapa, Chairperson of विवेकशील नेपाली BibekSheel Nepali, a political party.
1. Why do you feel the need to come up with your version of Nepali Constitution when those who were actually elected to do so have not?
- To prove that constitution can be built if there is good intent and honesty involved.
- To prove constitution can be built by diverse group of people from different walks of life without wasting billions and years fighting.
- To prove that Nepalis can come up with an alternate if the ones who are sent to do the work, don’t make one.
- To make sure Nepali citizens have an option.
2. What are the major attributes of your version of Nepali Constitution, and why should the Nepali janata care about them?
- We asked what kind of constitution would create the right environment to create equitable prosperity for Nepal and Nepali?
- We asked what kind of constitution would create a system that gives timely, adequate justice to Nepali citizens?
- We asked what kind of constitution delivers the right leadership engine in the government who can deliver directly to people without being held hostage by his/her affiliations (party or tribe or caste or sex etc etc ) ?
- We asked what kind of systems create timely elections, and gives strong enough mandate (space and time) for leaders to deliver their promises to people ?
We asked what system enhances equality among its citizens without having to discriminate one above the other?
- We asked what system protects the tradition and culture of Nepal’s diverse groups?
- We believe this constitution has in it a proper balanced solutions for the all the points mentioned above. It is designed to be a pragmatic and evolving law of the land.
3. How did you prepare this Constitution?
- The process actually started the day after the first Constituent Assembly dissolved on May 28th 2012, nearly 3 years ago. We took lessons from citizen’s gatherings in the last 3 years to understand the society we were part. We brought in experts holding differing opinions to educate us. Then painfully slowly we assembled volunteers from all walks of life who believed in the same vision of creating a prosperous Nepal within our lifetime. We used internet technology to bridge many distance and collaboration gaps. We also looked outside to research 18th century old constitutions like that of the USA to 20th century constitutions like South Africa to the Swiss models to one’s that didn’t have like the UK. We looked at the problems inside Nepal by literally walking for months, collecting dreams of Nepali from all fourteen zones of Nepal. We looked into the differences inside Constituent Assembly. We finally came together to work on a constitution that would be simple enough to be understood by ordinary citizens and mature enough to become the law of the land. Not a single paisa has been paid to the hundreds of reviewers and contributors involved.
- The process still continues today as this is just a first draft. We hope to incorporate more citizen issues so that Nepalis will come to own this constitution. After all it is meant to be a constitution made from all the dreams of Nepali we collected in the past few years.
4. Now that you are out with this Constitution, what do you hope will happen next?
- We hope this constitution will be owned by the citizens of Nepal who will help improve it and tell the constituent assembly what they really want clear once and for all.
- We hope this will inspire the Constituent Assembly to find the answers they are seeking to their differences here and learn from the models we propose.
- We hope this will bridge the gap between people and unite huge majority of Nepalese citizens who believe in common sense.
5. You are using social networks (offline) and social media (online) to reach out to people in many districts. Do you think this is how a new power emerges in Nepal?
- Sure. By the way, new power has already emerged. New power is not going to be one homogenous force any longer. it is an alliance of many positive social network that have similar values. It just needs time and resources to be cohesive. In time, Nepal will be ruled by an alliance of positive forces. I am certain of this.
BSN’s Nepali Constitution can be viewed here: http://leadnepal.com/nepalconstitution/
(This article was originally posted as facebook status by Ashutosh Tiwari. We have reproduced here with his permission.)