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Madhesi Uprising in Nepal: The Only Solution Lies in Making Constitution Inclusive


on 2015/11/23 11:49:58 ( 2507 reads )

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NEPAL, November 21, 2015 (Daily Pioneer, editorial by Hari Bansh Jha): The Madhesi uprising cannot be resolved on foreign soil as it is a fight for democracy within the country. Blaming any other country without keeping its own house in order will only complicate the matter. If at all the problem is to be resolved, it would be possible to do so through negotiation with the Madhesi and Tharu leaders.

By imposing economic blockade at the main custom points between Nepal and India in protest against the newly promulgated and allegedly discriminatory Constitution in the Himalayan State, the United Democratic Madhesi Front and Tharuhat Struggle Committee have paralysed the entire economy of the country. People in Terai have been agitating for the last three months to pressure the country to meet their demand for the formation of two undivided federal provinces in the region to preserve their identity. Their other demands include population-based electoral constituencies for Parliament, proportionate representation in the civil services, and the removal of discriminatory clauses in citizenship rules.

As a result of the economic blockade, there has been acute shortage of essential commodities like food, medicine, and cooking gas. The present crisis was caused by a handful of ruling elites of Nepal when they decided to prepare the Constitution on a fast-track basis from June 2015 to serve their vested interests. In haste, the Constitution that could not be drafted in seven long years earlier was "accomplished" in just four months to enable certain people to come to power and retain it for long. In the course of Constitution-making process, the Madhesis, which comprise over half of Nepal's population of 28 million, were deprived of several rights given to others. For centuries, they have been victims of exclusionary policy of the State. Even today, Nepal administration has the least trust in these people, and therefore their presence in various State institutions is pathetically low.

More at source.

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