Nepali Times
Constitution Supplement
"Ethnic provinces will harm the nation"



MIN RATNA BAJRACHARYA
How many Muslims live in Nepal?

There are 1.2 to 1.3 million Muslims scattered across the country?- in smaller groups in the hills but in the majority in five or six districts in the Tarai.

What are the main issues the Muslim community has to address?
The main problem is that of economic backwardness, which affects other basic needs such as health and education.

The State Restructuring Committee decided to designate provinces on the basis of ethnicity, what do you think?
This is totally wrong and is sure to invite more trouble. To designate provinces on the basis of either ethnicity or language is to wound the nation.

What's the problem with ethnic or language-based provinces?
Restructuring should be on the basis of geography. But looking at the model the committee passed it seems as if the country is one of majority ethnicities, though no ethnicity has a majority here. How can ethnic provinces be created in a country of minorities? In the name of inclusion and proportional representation, unqualified and incapable people are being pushed forward, how will this establish democracy?

How will society be affected by granting political prerogatives?
State restructuring should not take place on ethnic lines, as those in the minority will be exploited. If within the same province, some are given the right to govern while others are barred from it by the constitution, then democracy cannot be consolidated.

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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