The Issue of Federalism in Nepal Appears More Complex than the Peace Process and Constitution Writing

ASIA--PACIFIC, 30 Jan 2012

Dr. Bishnu Pathak (Nepal) – TRANSCEND Media Service

Although, this article has been written sometimes ago, it is still relevant in the case of Nepal on the course to complete peace process concluding constitution writing and Maoist Army integration into society and security forces.

Federalism in present Nepal has become a topic of great contention. Nearly 5-year later to compliance the constitutional provision and after long drawn debate, the Government with the decision of major parties have finally formed nine-member State Restructuring Commission (SRC) to recommend the Constituent Assembly a best possible model to federate Republic of Nepal. Except a few, none of the member of SRC does have expertise in this subject. It means they simple put parties stamp on the blueprint for federalism rather than focusing to the need, desire and benefit of the people and the nation at large.  The SRC divides into two bickering: five-member favors 11-state modality, the Maoist proposal of socio-cultural concept whereas four commissioners advocate for six-state federal modality. The minority commissioners walked out of the review meeting of January 27, 2012 dissatisfying with the working style of the Coordinator. It is to true of that the number of federal state should be concluded on the basis of consensus rather than dividing minority and majority voting. The main opposition political parties, namely, Nepali Congress and CPN (UML) will reject the majority vote at the SRC (Republica: January 28, 2012 and Kathmandu Post: January 28, 2012). Without a decision of federal state, neither the writing of constitution nor the integration of the Maoist Army into society and security forces shall be concluded before the last Constitutional deadline of May 28, 2012. The extension of the tenure of the Constitution Assembly for the final six months is the verdict given by the full bench of the Apex Court on November 25, 2011. On December 7, 2011, the Supreme Court refused to register review the applications filed by both the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly stating “the final verdict given by the full bench cannot be reviewed”. It is to be remarkable of that the Court gave a verdict respecting the voices of the people in general as most of them are against the extension of tenure of the CA repeatedly.

Nepal has been a witness of several armed and unarmed struggles conducted by the Gurung, Tamang, Lama, Dalits and so forth. They have struggled against injustice, inequality, repression, absolutism, and for their freedom and livelihood. However, such movements could not attract much of the general population due to lack of strong organization, competent leadership, enough preparation, and strategical skills.  The popular movement I of 1990 made the people conscious of their rights and duties. They were also made conscious by the world’s politics. Namely, the cultural, regional, and ethnic-based dimensions that emerged in the 21st century after the US tried to impose free market and human rights policy on the communist regimes of the 20th century. The zeal of the multi-caste, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-religious, and multi-regional Nepali people was finally fueled when the Communist Party of Nepal – or CPN (Maoist) – initiated the armed conflict termed the “People’s War” on February 13, 1996. The issues of federalism, national-regional and cultural autonomy, secularism, and  the right to self-determination became prominent along with the intensifying of the People’s War. Federation with autonomy has now become the prime agenda of all ethnic, regional, lingual, and cultural based groups in Nepal.



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 30 Jan 2012.

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9 Responses to “The Issue of Federalism in Nepal Appears More Complex than the Peace Process and Constitution Writing”

  1. Dr. Dibya Nath Koirala says:

    Thanks a lot. It is very much eye opening to the haste decision makers and emotional authors. Regards Dr Pathak and your team.

  2. Dr. Ravi Bhandari says:

    Bishnu ji,

    let’s publish this in a journal if you are interested!


  3. Dr. Krishna Aryal says:

    Thank you for sending the link. This is an important ARTICLE.

  4. Dr. Gal Harmat ,PhD says:

    Fantastic! thank you

  5. GM Focus says:

    Dear Bishnu

    Many thanks for this and other updates

    Kind regards

    Graham Mathias

  6. Govind Prasad kusum says:

    Liked your article. deeply analyzed. Hope to be reference material to the law makers .
    Have a good day,

  7. Dr. Raman Raj Misra says:

    Thank you for this.

    Federalism as a slogan was useful from the view of parties.

    Federalism at implementation and operational level, could take maybe another 100 years or so, if not hindered by circumstances.

  8. Ram Bdr Chhetri says:

    Many thanks for this.Will share it with others including my friends from other parts of the world.

  9. Kalyan Dev Bhattarai says:

    I fell the things are made complex by the corrupt power lusted so called politicians and their self interested puppets. Being a science student i agree to the basic principle of life that” necessity is the mother of invention” and in my opinion the federalism is not the necessity of Nepal. This issue was politicized by the power lusted so called leaders to fulfill their vested interest of grabbing to the power and looting the nation’s treasury.

    Yes Nepalese people are suppressed, marginalized, and looted by the rulers of the country be it King or political leaders. To continue this looting the political leader’s main objective is to divide the innocent hard working Nepalese people so that they could rule them without any disturbance .The federalism is put forward as a solution to solve the problem but so far no one has explained how the federalism will solve the Nepalese problem like the corruption, impunity, illiteracy, poverty suppression marginalization, and many others. .attached is my article federalism is not the solution…. for your reading