Thursday, 25 April, 2024

Co-work Is The Need Of The Hour

Ratneswor Lal Kayastha


In Nepal, different constitutions were issued in different times. The constitutions were supposed to incorporate the desire and aspirations of the people, mainly to build an equitable society and provide stability. But none of these documents contributed as desired. Nepali people launched movements and protests to reject them as they had failed to follow the principle of freedom and inclusive state, which the people wanted.
The reason behind their dissatisfaction was either the constitutional provisions were seen as being imposed on the people or that the provisions did not reflect their spirit. As a result, Nepal’s constitutional journey took detours from time to time.
Government of Nepal Act 2004 was issued for the first time in 2004 BS during the Rana time. Padma Shumser had issued the Act, which had 6 parts, 68 clauses and 1 annex. Later Mohan Shumser revoked it.
In 2007 BS, the Interim Government of Nepal Act 2007 was promulgated. The constitution, issued by the king, had 7 parts, 73 clauses and 3 annexes. It had given powers to the king to form and dissolve the council of ministers.
In 2015 BS, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 2015 was issued as the third constitution. It had 10 parts and 77 clauses. The constitution did not last because of the political changes.
After this, under the Panchayat system, the Constitution of Nepal 2019 was issued. It had 20 parts, 97 clauses and 6 annexes. It declared Nepal a Hindu Kingdom. The constitution incorporated provisions of fundamental rights, duties and rights of the citizen and citizenship. It had given the Supreme Court the jurisdiction of writ on the practice of fundamental rights. The constitution had the provision for constitutional bodies such as Auditor General, Public Service Commission and Election Commission. Due to the party-less system in place, governments went became autocratic and the constitution was overthrown by a popular revolt.
In 2047 BS, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 2047 was promulgated. It had 23 parts, 133 clauses and 3 annexes. The constitution made after the restoration of democracy through a popular movement featured right to information and right against torture and reflected the main sentiment of the people. This was the reason why the constitution had been acceptable. It had accepted a system of constitutional monarchy. But when the king became active, the constitution was no longer acceptable and it was replaced by the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2063 following a popular movement.
The constitution had 25 parts, 167 clauses and 4 annexes. It incorporated the spirit of the popular movement of 2062-63 BS. The constitution mentioned that the state power and sovereign power were vested in the people. Standing on this constitution, the monarchy was removed and the system of President was installed. Religious secularism also found a place in the constitution.
If we look at the constitutional journey of Nepal, we see constitutions being made one after another. Constitutions issued in the past were not acceptable to the people because they had failed to fully include the sentiments of the people and honesty was missing in implementation.
After a long movement, sacrifice and struggle, Nepali people secured the Constitution of Nepal 2072 with an elected Constituent Assembly promulgating it, for the first time, in 2072 BS. This historical constitution has incorporated the main desires and aspirations of people such as multiparty system, republic, inclusion, secularism and fundamental rights. A federal system of government has been established in accordance with this constitution. Ending the unitary system of government, the nation has brought federal, state and local levels, of government. It has made the people fully sovereign and assigned them the onus to chart out their fate and future of states and the nation.
In the present context in which the constitution has guaranteed fundamental and basic political and social rights, our efforts now should be to focus on sustainable and inclusive prosperity through maximum utilisation of internal resources, modernisation of agriculture, tourism development, environmental conservation, building infrastructure for overall development, establishment of modern industries and employment generation.
To raise life standard of the people and maintain stability of political and governance system chosen by the country, all of us have no way but to make efforts from our sides. Only then, the loktantra, achieved by a big sacrifice and struggle of the Nepali people, can be protected and the foundation of the Federal Democratic Republican Parliamentary System strengthened.
The present constitution, by respecting the sentiments of the people, has allocated resources and responsibilities and allowed the people to retain their rights. It has made it easy for the people to get their work done at the local level by forming the local government of elected representatives to give rights to the people. Opportunity has come for the state governments to become prosperous.
The constitution has included the rights of dalits, senior citizens, social security and consumers. Under the right to social justice, there is a guarantee to participation of the socially backward women, dalit, indigenous, janajati, Madhesi, Tharu, minorities, youth, peasant, labourer, oppressed or citizens of backward areas and economically deprived khas aarya on the basis of inclusive principle, in the state organs. Under the Directive Principles, Policies and Responsibilities of the State, the constitution has included policy for protection, promotion and use of the natural resources, policy on development, policy on agriculture and land reforms, policy on social justice and inclusiveness.
It is natural for the people to have high expectations of the current constitution. The opportunity has opened for communities, left to remain backward and oppressed for years, to be included in each of the state organs in a proportional and inclusive manner.
To make the present constitution acceptable to all, the government, political parties and civil society have an important role to play. The achievements of the popular movements should not be allowed to go in waste, otherwise, the country can fall victim to conflict again. Particularly, the problems of Madhesi, Janajati, Aadibasi, backward class, Muslim and Women should be gradually addressed.
Issues of inclusion, resource allocation, equitable society, citizenship, state mapping and delineation of electoral constituency should be resolved in a just way as per the sentiments of the people. Because the support of all is needed in this effort, we should all unite and work together.

(The author is the Chief of State 2)