Even after three years of elections, CA is unable to write the new constitution. This is a major setback for the country. It has already invited unwanted situations. The only way out now is the political consensus. Given the growing differences among the major political parties, I don’t see consensus in the horizon. Knowingly or unknowingly and like it or not, we have already chosen the new destiny for the country. In choosing the new destiny, we even gave up our basic belief and conviction like equality, freedom and liberty. This is a very tragic part of the change. Instead of taking up the cause of the country’s poor people and overall development of the country, we are encouraging sectarian and ethnic politics. This kind of thing is nowhere in democratic politics.
Nepalese had a high expectation from the CA about the promulgation of the new constitution. They harbored a fallacy that within two years, a new constitution would be in their hands and the peace process would have reached a logical end. Even we (politicians) promised political stability and directed the country towards prosperity with social security and peace. It is unfortunate that we are unable to promulgate the new constitution in time. People are angry with us and that is natural from their part. Had we promulgated the new constitution in time, we would have done justice to all the Nepalese. As the deadline is approaching, I don’t think the new constitution will be promulgated in time.
But in the given timeframe of two years, if you ask me personally, nothing was done. The interim constitution has it that within six months there should be a logical end to the peace process. Sadly, even in two years the matter is still in debate. Now one thing is for sure that we have lost faith among the public. Nobody believes in what we talk. Important point to note is: whichever agendas protracted the promulgation of constitution in the two years period, still, they are the ones to hinder. And if we really want to make a constitution then Maoists have to leave their dual characters and we also have to work wholeheartedly. And within a short time span we can revive the crisis of faith prevalent among the public. Even if you extend the CA term there is a problem and even if we don’t there is the same problem. We are on such a dilemma.
There has never been such debate of races, castes and ethnicities in the history of Nepal which has spawned in the recent years. And this is sure to have a long term effect in the national stability. When I recently visited my constituency, I faced an awful situation. The law and order situation is getting worse and there are racial and ethnic tensions. By raising the question of ethnic states, we are creating tensions in society. With this I don’t mean that the debate should not be held. It’s our duty that the backward castes should be brought to the forefront. But there are procedures, many experiences for its processing.
Peace and constitution are the two sides of a coin. Without peace even the most democratic constitution would be impeded. I sometimes give an example of Hitler: he was elected as the head of the state from the most democratic constitution; however, he transformed himself as a ruthless dictator. The blame game is an easy task. Nepali Congress is not a hindrance in making a democratic constitution. And Nepali Congress wants peace and constitution to go along.
Extending the term of CA will not bring joy among the people unless we assure them that within this time frame constitution will be promulgated. So you should give a basis for the extension of the term. And there is no assurance that the peace and the constitution will go hand in hand. But, on the other hand, if the existing CA is dissolved then what next is the question. And what will be the fate of the nation then? It’s not clear. So Nepalese people should forget the anguish and let the CA members do their homework.
The role of Nepali Congress is very important in the present context. As an oldest democratic party, we need to play the leadership role in the coming days. Frankly speaking, we are yet to play the role given to us. Our party needs to unite and reconcile within. If we go as a divided house, our party will lose its base further. The party’s elected leadership must agree on reconciliation and unity in the party. The leadership must agree on give and take. This is the need of the hour.
I don’t hesitate to say that our party has sacrificed its own conviction and ideology in the course of making the peace process successful. Our party went to the poll allowing Maoists rebels to carry guns. Frankly speaking, we have even compromised our ideals. Due to this, we are paying the price now. The time has come now to speak and defend our convictions on equality, fraternity and democracy. National reconciliation is our heart and we need to retain it.
Federal Democratic Republic is now the fate of this country as Constituent Assembly has already declared it by abolishing the monarchy. What is required now is to unite all the people together to make Nepal’s federal democratic republic workable. I don’t think we will reverse the change. Whether one likes it or not, Nepal needs to go with the changes by preaching the tone of reconciliation.
Karki is a member of Nepali Congress