The demand for ethnicity-based federalism stems from centuries of feudal neglect, centralisation, and the domination of hill caste groups of Nepal’s politics and economy. This needs to be set right. However, as the 2011 census results show, carving Nepal up with ethnic boundaries is fraught.
In the picture sheep herder Umesh Lama poses with his sheeps on a high pasture on Wednesday. The ridge line above is the proposed future border between the Magarat and Tamuwan provinces in Central Nepal. The challenge for the next four months to constitution deadline is to find a balance that doesn’t leave any party aggrieved. If it looks too fragile to handle now, it may be wiser to address exclusion in other ways and leave state restructuring for later.