Nepali Times Asian Paints
Constitution Supplement
"Ethnic states a mistake"



What is the current status of Dalits in Nepal?

The state says 14 per cent of the population are Dalits, but the actual figure is much higher. They are still subjugated. They used to stitch clothes, make tools and entertain people in the past and have no alternative but to continue these professions today, so poverty has become more acute. They lack education, so can't enter the state mechanism.

Will the proposed state restructuring benefit Dalits or not?
Restructuring is not just a geographic division, but about eliminating traditional thinking, culture and norms in order to build a civilised society. Dalits will not get anything from the ethnic division of territory.

How can Dalits be helped then?
Power should be decentralised so commoners can more readily enjoy their rights. This is why we need federalism, not to parcel out territory to ethnic communities. Dalits have never demanded and are against ethnic provinces with special rights for ethnic communities.

But your party proposed a federal model based on ethnicity.
An ethnic federal model is not possible in a country like ours. Ethnic autonomy is about freedoms of language, culture and tradition, not distributing provinces. If we create a Newa state, where will Pradhans, Shresthas and Podes have their state? Which Dalits deserve a state, Kamis, Damais or Sarkis? This is either an innocent mistake or a malicious lie. They advocate human rights but withhold political rights. How ridiculous is this?

READ ALSO:
Constitution 2010, Nepali Times coverage of issues related to writing the new constitution



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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