Why indigenous CA members must defy party whips

Friday 24 July, 2015   |   Views and Analysis

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Why indigenous CA members must defy party whips sketch courtesy: Basu Chhitis

Whether the Nepali Congress that idolizes B P Koriala and considers democratic socialism as an ideal principle or the CPN (UML) and the UCPN (Maoists) that claim to be fighting for socialism and communism, all of Nepal's political parties are now deviated from their ideals. We individuals have also deviated from our ideals and principles. We always berate the Ranas and the Shahs. But we never try to look inward.

What circumstances led to the signing of the 12-point agreement? Or, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement? Why was it written in the Interim Constitution-2007 that the country will now be federated? We all seem to have forgotten answers to these key questions. We have forgotten our principles and moral values. But Bahuns and Chhetris who have been running this country are the ones who have forgotten everything more than anyone else.

The NC, the UML and the UCPN (Maoist) have also stood by Brahminism. The MJF (Democratic) also gave up the cause of the Madhesi to benefit from the power-sharing deal. These four parties acted like the new royals of the country and signed a 16-point deal. They also staged a drama to collect public feedback to legitimize their version of the new constitution.

Like many of us, I thought the NC was a bourgeois and status quoist party but the CPN (UML) and the UCPN (Maoist) were communist and would not betray the cause of the proletariat. But that was just my disillusionment. Like the NC, the UML and the UCPN (Maoist) have also stood by Brahminism. The MJF (Democratic) also gave up the cause of the Madhesi to benefit from the power-sharing deal. These four parties acted like the new royals of the country and signed a 16-point deal. They also staged a drama to collect public feedback to legitimize their version of the new constitution.

The draft constitution is not acceptable to us because it does not ensure federalism. It says federal units will be demarcated later by the parliament after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly (CA). The world 'inclusion' has been mentioned in the preamble but not a single article of the draft constitution has provisions about representation of marginalized and backward communities in proportion to their populations. The draft constitution has provisions for National Human Rights Commission, Women Commission, Dalit Commission and Inclusion Commission. But there is no provision whatsoever for Indigenous People's Commission.

The four parties that signed the 16-point-deal, which became the blueprint for the draft constitution, have majority in the CA. If anything can stop an anti-people deal signed by the four parties, it is the unity of the CA members representing indigenous people, Madhesi, Muslim, women and other backward communities. Regardless of which parties they belong to, they must rise above party whips and stand by the people, for the people. So, I would like to request them to speak up against injustice being done by the four parties? History will value your courage and sacrifice. 

CA elections are usually held only once in any country. But we had two CA elections. We spent eight years to draft the new constitution. Even so, constitution drafting looks far from being completed. Why? Because we have a shortage of honest and fearless leaders. They are feudal in nature and unable to rise above their party interests. There are many who represent the oppressed communities in the CA. But they are slave to their parties. They never dare defy party whips and listen to the voices of their conscience.

The four parties that signed the 16-point-deal, which became the blueprint for the draft constitution, have majority in the CA. When they sign a deal, no one can stop it from being implemented even if it is against the people. If anything can stop an anti-people deal signed by the four parties, it is the unity of the CA members representing indigenous people, Madhesi, Muslim, women and other backward communities. Regardless of which parties they belong to, they must rise above party whips and stand by the people, for the people. So, I would like to request them to speak up against injustice being done by the four parties? History will value your courage and sacrifice. 

By using their numerical strength, the four parties can push through the new constitution. But it will not last long. There will always be hurdles. If the four parties want to avert future constitutional crises, the draft should be corrected in favor of the marginalized, oppressed and backward communities.
 


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