Category Archives: Nepali Constitution

Did India deceive or did Madhesi Morcha misunderstand?

Five Madhesi Morcha Leaders with Bihar (India) politician Lalu Yadav at his residence (Picture: Kantipur)

While talking for about an hour in Anamnagar, the leader’s two mobile phones rang continuously. He mostly ignored the calls, but when he did pick any one up, he would answer with exasperation, “Please wait a few days. We will sit and take a joint decision.”

The end of Srawan (mid-August) is the deadline for renewing government licenses, factory registrations and the like. By that time, the Morcha had already started its protests against the constitution-writing and federal demarcation. The Government offices in the Madhes plains were closed, making it impossible to renew any document. The cadre and supporters have been pestering the harried leaders to get the Government to cancel the fines slapped in the intervening six months.

Then there are the ordinary citizens, who have nothing more than their lives, their families and children, and perhaps a little plot of land. Among them, there are many who have been maimed or disabled. The Morcha does not have a count of how many died or were wounded during the movement.

The leader said, “If the talks (with the Government) had reached a certain point, we would have been in a position to make strong demands on all these matters. But right now, our self-esteem does not allow us to approach the Government. After all, we are in a movement.”

A general strike had been called in the plains by the Federal Inclusive Mahdesi Alliance on 15 August and by the Madhesi Morcha on 16 August. When the Constitution was promulgated on 20 September disregarding the Morcha’s displeasure and hectic Indian lobbying, India decided on its own to stop the transport of petroleum from the border points into Nepal.

[Related: A controlled Indian blockade on Nepal (BBC Report) ]

After India started the blockade on 22 September, the Front felt pressured to act. In informal meetings, India asked the Madhesi Morcha leaders to formally declare the blockade.

“The fact is, in earlier meetings we had ourselves suggested obstructing the border after violence escalated (against) Madhes. We had even gone to Raxaul to ask Indian officials to prevent passage of goods,” said one Morcha leader. “At first, the Indians did not come forward, fearing financial loss. Later, it was they who forced us to take the formal decision to blockade.”

A debate ensued among the Morcha members at the Rajbiraj meeting, which got extended. The meeting ultimately declared the blockade on 24 September, but by then transport of petroleum products had already been halted (by India) at all border points.

Leaders of Madhesi Morcha (Picture: Kantipur)
Leaders of Madhesi Morcha (Picture: Kantipur)

By the time of the Chhat festival, all the transit points had been closed, barring some consignments of fruits and grain that were allowed across. Thereafter, however, only the Birganj-Raxaul transit point was completely blocked while the others were all open.

Today, the Morcha’s senior leaders are pained to ask, “Why did India, after urging us to declare the blockade, proceed so enthusiastically on its own to lift it.”

[Related: Debunking Dr. Karan Singh’s misinformed comments on Nepal at Indian Rajya Sabha]

The second-rung leadership of the Morcha is even more confused: “At the Bijuli Bazaar meeting in the middle of January, our senior leaders had already announced that they would change the nature of the movement after 1 February. So why did India deceive our leaders? Or did our leaders fail to understand India’s suggestion.”

The ongoing turbulence within the Morcha today is the result of India’s diplomatic carelessness, maintains a leader of Sadbhavana Party. He is also perplexed as to why India opened all the other border points and kept only Birganj blocked for such a long time.

The Morcha has come out with its new schedule of protests, but they seem merely symbolic. Meanwhile, differences within the Morcha are escalating. On 3 February, TMLP Chair Mahanta Thakur went to stage a sit-in at the Miteri Bridge on the Birganj-Raxaul border, together with Vice-Chair Brishesh Chandra Lal and General Secretary Jitendra Sonal. There, Thakur said the blockade would continue.

[Related: India puts Nepal on Ventilator Support by blockading the country’s imports (BBC Report)]

The Sadbhavana Party Chair Rajendra Mahato arrived in Biratnagar the next day, on 4 February, and proclaimed there was no logic in keeping Birganj closed. This created a furor within the Morcha. When in a 8 February meeting the Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Chair Upendra Yadav and TMLP leaders demanded that Mahato retract his statement, the latter staged a walk out. He has since threatened to start his own grand coalition or front.

TMLP’s Sonal said he did not believe Mahato would be able to start an independent front. He said, “We have asked him to correct himself and join the common platform. He has yet to announce his plans. Meanwhile, we will analyse the situation gravely and go before the people.”

Sadbhavana Party General Secretary Manish Kumar Suman said that while there were some misunderstandings within the Morcha, his party would not be diverted from the movement. Even though there is propaganda that the blockade was conducted by India, he claimed that in reality it was the Morcha’s doing.

[Related: Nepal- Madhesi groups have the highest representation in government jobs]

Said Suman, “If the border sit-in and general strike has benefited the Madhesi people, we will get the credit. If it has done harm, we will have to accept the blame. Why talk of others? There is no need to feel disheartened for having lifted the blockade. We should not forget that the other leaders had already announced their intention to change the nature of the movement before Sadbhavana’s Rajendra Mahato spoke up.”

“अग्रगमनको सिरक ओढ्ने प्रतिगामी”

 प्रविधि र ज्ञानको विश्वव्यापीकरणले गर्दा अब २०१७ वा २०५२ मा गरिएका कुतर्क र हो-कि हो-कि जस्तो भान पार्ने भ्रामक गफ र आस्वासन, विषयको सार होइन व्यक्तिको नियत, तुच्छ गाली र ad hominem आक्रमणको बलमा गरिने राजनीति अब सकियो ।

डा स्वर्णिम वाग्ले

Dr Swarnim Wagle

हिजो (माघ ६, २०७१) हिंडेर सीतापाईलाबाट त्रिपुरेश्वरसम्म र त्यसपछि प्रहरीको गाडीमा संविधानसभाको बैठक हेर्न बानेश्वर गइयो । दर्शक दीर्घामा पत्रकारबाहेक अरु देखिएनन्, माथिबाट डेढघण्टाजति नाराबाजीगर्नेहरुको अनुहार एक्लै नियालें । त्यसपछि मलाई लागेका केही कुरा :

१. कराउँदै संसदनै कब्जा गरेजस्तो देखिँदा पनि माओवादीहरु हतास थिए, अवकाशको संघारमा उभिएको सेनाको असफल जर्नेल जस्तै ।खित-खित हाँसोका बीच गरिएको विरोधमा कुनै sincerity को छनक थिएन ।

“उत्पीडित जनता त भजाई खाने भाँडो वा सत्ता उक्लने भर्यांग भएको कुरो उनीहरुको अन्तर्मनमा थियो होलानै, अब यसको “सुइँको” बाँकी दुनियालाई पनि छ भन्ने कुरा थाहा भएर होला सायद हो-हल्लाको कर्मकाण्डमा कुनै नैतिक दम देखिएन ।”

उत्पीडित जनता त भजाई खाने भाँडो वा सत्ता उक्लने भर्यांग भएको कुरो उनीहरुको अन्तर्मनमा थियो होलानै, अब यसको “सुइँको” बाँकी दुनियालाई पनि छ भन्ने कुरा थाहा भएर होला सायद हो-हल्लाको कर्मकाण्डमा कुनै नैतिक दम देखिएन । त्यत्रो पद ओगटीसकेका प्रचण्डको टिठलाग्दो उपस्थिति र अस्तिदेखिनै उद्दण्ड देखिईरहेका जनार्दन शर्माको प्रस्तुति बिझ्ने खालका थिए।

२. सभामुख र मर्यादापालकहरु असाध्यै शालीन, बुढा कांग्रेसीहरु भद्र। एमाले पनि उस्तै संयमित – आज सुरेन्द्र पाण्डेले त भने रे हामीपनि एकताका यस्तै उग्र थियौं तर अहिले सुध्रेम ।लोकतन्त्रमा धैर्य र परिपक्वताले फल दिदोरैछ ।

३. यो नाटकको उत्कर्सबारे कांग्रेस-एमाले पूर्ण परिचित भएजस्तो गरेपनि, उनीहरुले जोर-जबरजस्ती नगरुन् । माघ ८ को मिति जाने भैगो, अब एक-दुइ हप्ता राप सेलाएपछि संविधानकालागि “बृहत सहमति” को प्रयास जारी रहोस, नयाँ वर्ष वा जेठ १५ लाई अन्तिम मौका ठानी । तर ठुलो जनमतलाई पनि साथ लानु पर्छ — हरेक मुद्दामाथि आफ्नो तर्क र logic खुलारूपले राखुन् । माओवादीहरू पतनोन्मुख भए भन्दैमा लोकतन्त्रवादीहरु गैर-जिम्मेवार हुनहुन्न — विगतको पीडा सम्झदा रीस उठ्दोहो, तर त्यसलाई schadenfreude मै सीमित राखून् ।

४. नेपाली जनता धेरैनै शिक्षित र सु-सुचित भैसके । प्रविधि र ज्ञानको विश्वव्यापीकरणले गर्दा अब २०१७ वा २०५२ मा गरिएका कुतर्क र हो-कि हो-कि जस्तो भान पार्ने भ्रामक गफ र आस्वासन, विषयको सार होइन व्यक्तिको नियत, तुच्छ गाली र ad hominem आक्रमणको बलमा गरिने राजनीति अब सकियो । धेरैनै आशा गरिएका तर चाडैं विश्वसनीयता गुमाएका केही क्रान्तिकारी ठुला नेताहरु यसका प्रमाण हुन् । नपत्याए एक पटक पढे-लेखेकाहरु चर्न निस्कने social media मा आँखा जाओस – जनमतलाई प्रभाव पार्ने तिनै १० प्रतिशत सुकिला-मुकिलानै हुन् | ठुलो सामाजिक मूल्यमै सही, माओवादीले ग्रामीण चेतना र हक-अधिकारको विस्तार गरे बापत इतिहासमा सधन्यबाद यथोचीत स्थान पाउनेनैछन्, तर अब बोक्नुपर्ने सम्वृद्धिको agenda मा माओवादीहरू अग्रगमनको सिरक ओढ्ने प्रतिगामीनै हुन् भन्ने धेरैको ठहर छ । “प्रतिगामी” सस्तो गालीको रूपमा हैनकि साच्चैनै उल्टो बाटो हिंड्ने अर्थमा । Median voter नै निम्न-मध्य आय आर्जने व्यक्ति र वर्ग भएको मुलुकमा सबै दल समाजमुखी र परोपकारी हुन अनिवार्य छ : सच्चा प्रगतिको मापन त अब राष्ट्रिय wealth create गर्ने र त्यसको न्यायोचित बांडफांड गर्ने/गराउने सवालमा कसको मार्ग-चित्र दह्रो छ भन्नेनै मूल प्रश्न हो । राष्ट्रिय चुनौती र विश्व अवसरहरु ख्याल गरी नेपाललाई कसरी चाडैं धनी बनाउने भन्ने हो । यो अभुतपूर्व कसरतमा उग्र-वामपन्थी सोच र कार्यशैली सहायक नहोला ।

५. नेपालमा तीनवटा ठुला राष्ट्रिय पार्टीहरूको लागी space देखिन्छ | यसमा कांग्रेस-एमाले र एउटा लोकतान्त्रिक त्तेस्रो शक्ति अटाउनेछन् । साना-मसिना जातीय वा क्षेत्रीय दल-रूपी पसलहरू त चल्दै गर्लान् । तर आजैदेखि अर्को चुनावलाई कसरी १००% स्वच्छ र निस्पक्ष्य बनाउने हो भन्नेतिर लागौं – आधुनिक प्रविधिमा आधारित राष्ट्रिय परिचयपत्र, विधुतीय भोटिंग मसीन लगायत अन्य विश्वसनीय माध्यमलाई पूर्णत लागु गरौँ । चुनावमा पैसाको प्रभाव र धाँधली कसरी कम गर्ने र पछि बल्झने gerrymandering को संभावनालाई पनि रोक्ने उपाय एवं अन्य बिकृतिहरु हटाइ कस्ता incentives हरूले राजनीतिलाई सफा बनाउला भन्नेबारे गृह-कार्य थालौं । तत्पश्चात अझ धेरै दक्ष युवा पिंढी राजनीतिमा पक्कै आउनेछ भन्ने आशा गर्न सकिन्छ ।

(This article was originally posted as facebook status by Dr Swarnim Waglé. We have reproduced here with his permission.)

The Nepali Constitutional Dilemma

With the lapse of time, whether the history of ruling monarch will repeat in changed form? This fear hangs over the mind of common people, as the present Constitutional developments are not so encouraging.

suryabahadur singhBy Suryabahadur Singh

The constitutional evolutionary phases were continuously witnessed throughout the development process in Nepal.   The post second Jan-andolan,2062 (2005) period has provided ample opportunities for stabilizing and institutionalizing the institutional democracy, peace and constitutional reforms.  The formation of Constituent Assembly has raised the common man’s hope of period getting a constitutional solution forever.  The Nepalese masses have not forgotten that, the Constituent assembly was a mere declaration by the King Mahendra in 2007(1950) and the successive constitutions were formed by the related Constitution drafting committees.  At that time, the constitutional experts were hand picked, the rigidity, abstract law, limited constitutional resources, least judicial developments and impact of ruling monarch were major hurdles in the way of making appropriate Nepali constitution.   Along with this,  soaring socio-economic problems has obstructed a lot for experimenting with past six constitutions having colors, flavor and  impact of  then existing time. Continue reading The Nepali Constitutional Dilemma

Drafting Of Statute for the Republic of Nepal Formally Begins

By Republica
Republica is upcoming English language newspaper from Kathmandu, Nepal.

Newly formed committees at the Constituent Assembly today started the process of drafting a new constitution for the Republic of Nepal, eight months after the people elected the supreme constitution-making body.

Fourteen committees including a Constitutional Committee, 10 thematic committees and three procedural committees held separate meetings to decide how they should enter the process of giving the new republican Nepal a democratic constitution within the next 17 months. Continue reading Drafting Of Statute for the Republic of Nepal Formally Begins