Nepali Times
Constitution Supplement
So far, so ok


The 28th of May, 2008, was a momentous day for Nepal. The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly (CA) declared Nepal a 'Federal Democratic Republic'. But much that followed that bold and historic declaration has been muddied not only by the ambitions of the political parties that make up the CA, but also the many contentious issues that have arisen in the last two years.

So what has actually been accomplished, and what does the CA have to deal with in the year's extension that it has been granted?

Two years of the CA have passed, during which the following tasks were completed:

* declaration of the republic
* election of a president and a vice-president
* formation of 14 committees (Constitutional Committee, 10 thematic committees and 3 administrative committees)
* first collation of public opinion on the new constitution
* preparation of preliminary drafts by the thematic committees
* proposal of a 14-province model by the State Restructuring and Power Sharing Committee

CA Chairperson Subhas Nembang claims '80 per cent' of constitution writing has been completed, and many other political leaders agree. But the reports of the thematic committees are like thesis papers that haven't yet been submitted for peer review. Contentious issues have not yet been discussed, only compiled and stored in lawmaker Agni Kharel's Report Study and Suggestions Committee. It may be the remaining 20 per cent that is the most difficult. The tasks that remain include:

* preparation of the preliminary constitutional draft by the Constitutional Committee
* receipt of 7 thematic committee reports by the Constitutional Committee (only three have been submitted so far)
* second collation of public opinion
* preparation of the constitution bill
* passing of each article of the constitution on the basis of consensus as far as possible, if not by a 2/3 majority of CA members
* signature by all CA members and verification by the CA Chairperson

Much of the delay in the submission of the thematic committee reports can be attributed to disputes related to:

* fundamental principles of the new constitution
* type of political system to be adopted
* basis of federal structures and province models
* structure of the judiciary and its independence
* management/integration of Maoist ex-combatants
* addressing concerns about ethnic and regional identity

Instead of forging ahead with the drafting process, the politicians continue to wrangle over who should succeed Madhav Kumar Nepal. Constitution writing is still not a priority, despite the last-minute extension of a fortnight ago. The song remains the same: integration first, or a national government?

According to NC central committee leader and CA member Man Mohan Bhattarai, we need to officially put an end to the 'gun-loving culture' by disbanding the parallel army of the Maoists. Only then, according to Bhattarai, can we embrace peace and give constitution writing some momentum. But Maoist politburo member Janardan Sharma insists that Madhav Kumar's resignation has to precede a timetable for concluding the peace process and forming a national consensus government. The clock is ticking once more.

Constitution 2010 - Nepali Times' coverage of the constitution writing process

1. yam gurung
If you guys have read the book written by Dor Bahadur Bista about 'Fatalism and Development'.We all will get the clear picture how high cast system and sycophancy attitude have undermine the others religions and cultures and development.He has also express in his book to end the cast system of Nepal.My main concern is this high and low cast system is creating a very unhealthy environment amongst the Gurung communities and others in home and abroad.This constitution must be written to end the cast system, to establish peace and securtity of Nepal.

2. kale


Caste is the football in the political game  which politicians in public life play.We have to abolish casteism in every shape and form. There are no backward castes but only backward individuals.Yes it should be put on the scrap-heap of history.In  totalitarian systemof governance ,you can enjoy privileges only as card-holding members of the ruling party. Be careful during constitution drafting.

Gandhi regarded the Seven Deadly Sins:

"Commerce without ethics:;

Pleasure without conscience:;

Politics without principle;

Knowledge without character;

Science without humanity;

Wealth without work;

Worship without sacrifice."

So the only one agenda for  constitution making  is: Democracy with social justiceor communist . party dictatorshipEverything will be decided by this.

3. Arthur
#1, yes Bista's book is very valuable in explaining the fatalist mindset that lies behind the inability of Nepal's "elite" to achieve anything at all.

The issues mentioned in the article are relevant. But the deeper problem is that the old parties don't want to agree to any Constitution at all because that would be followed by elections and the Maoists would then "capture the state". The only way they can hope to keep their grip on the state is by dismantling the PLA and unleashing the Nepal Army against the people again.

As fatalists they cannot actually formulate a coherent plan to do anything, but can only complain endlessly about their fate and hope that some miracle will enable them to wipe out the Maoists.

4. Daniel Gajaraj

# 1

Karma versus Fatalism.

With due apology to  Dor Bahadur  Bist and the lot who  are confused or  are  unaware of their own tradition  and imitate western writers  and make caricature of them, the following explanation is given.

Karma-is the unalterable law of effect from the previous causes. Karma means work.

Fatalism-is a breakdown of faith in human effort.

Without under-estimating human effort,one should expect only the fruit of one,s action and nothing else.If you do some thing ,it will produce its result from which you cannot escape,; it may not be to your liking.The thoughts entertained,words spoken and deeds done all produce  appropriate results or fruits.It is not pre-determined by the karma of the man,s previous births.It never says that human effort is vain.-:The word karma means work and in  no wise refers to any mysterious pre-determination by an outer power. Amd vidhi means law, and any doctrine denoted by either of these names  cannot be -.equated with mystey  or external pre-determination.So it should be definitely understood that karma is not fatalism.:"-C.Rajagopalachari.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)