Estimates show that the Citizenship Bill will affect a large percentage of the population. At present 30 percent of Nepalis have a difficult time getting citizenship papers. In other words, around four million people of Nepal are affected.
The problem is more acute in the tarai region. The young and smart, rich and the powerful, and those with money to spend can get citizenships through improper means, and even foreigners with purchasing power can get the papers immediately. The problem is only for poor Nepalis.
The objective of the bill was to solve the problem of citizenship. But now the Parliament is at the crossroads. The House of Representatives passed it once, but was rejected by the National Assembly. And it has now evolved as a source of friction between the two Houses of Parliament.
The National Assembly sent it back to the Lower House. The National Assembly cannot be taken so lightly. It is also a place where bills can be introduced. The National Assembly it is taken as the place where solutions to problems faced by the House of Representatives can be found. In such a situation, we must think of a creative role for the Assembly. But how can this be done? This issue (of the citizenship bill) should not be taken as an ego problem. In other words, the issue is not just about disagreement. Instead of conflict, the issue should be taken as consent since the rejection of the bill proves that there is as much difference between the rwo Houses as there is between political parties.