Federalism Is Not Panacea

Federalism Is Not Panacea

May 12, 2013, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 06 No. -22 May. 10- 2013 (Baishakh, 2070)

I am glad Mr. Prachanda, the Maoist leader, changed his demand of caste-based federalism to language based after his trip to India and suggestions from Indian counterparts. This proves my saying that federalism is not the demand of the country, but the political game of a few power hungry politicians to fulfill their lust of power. Long back, I wrote one article entitled, ”federalism will not solve the country’s problem” (published in Himalayan voice ) explaining in detail why I am against federalism in Nepal right now. One of my logics was that the present demand of federalism is neither the requirement of the country, nor will it solve the country’s problems. Rather it will help disintegrate the country and threatening our long existing harmony among the Nepalese people, irrespective of their differences in various castes, regions, languages and religions, etc.

The present change in  advocacy for the language based federalism from the caste-based by its main propagator, the Maoist, suggests that federalism was the political demand  of a few elite cadres to fulfill their power lust, as the present quota of 1 PM and 40-50 ministers are not enough to fulfill the aspirations of all the cadres of different political parties, and was politically floated without any serious homework and was not the requirement of the country to fulfill the different problems that are existing in the country as they are unable to present any road map explaining how federalism will help to solve the country’s problems.

The time gap between my publication of the said article and the present change of its main base of federalism from caste-based to language-based, by its main propagator, is long enough, and in this period, I have given many interviews and comments on the issue and attended many programs related with federalism. From the participation in many such interaction programs, I noticed that leaving aside the various covert agenda on the demand of federalism, the only logical issue I noticed was the issue of identity. I really wonder what is this identity based issue, as I understand my or anybody’s first identity is Nepali. Then only comes my individual identity as Kalyan Dev Bhattarai. Other than this identity, why do you need other identity? Is not this identify as Nepali more than enough to make you proud enough and your individual identity will provide you scope to do any good work that will be credited to the nation or international  level without any identity problem. Who you think is authorized to prove your identity other than yourself. Where do this caste, religion, and regional identities help you to do or not to do any good work? Is there any relationship of corruption and other identity which you are demanding, will such identify help to curb corruption, which is the main cause of our failure in terms of development so far. How will all these castes, languages, religions and regional based identities help to solve tons of our problems? Can any proponent of federalism explain to me?

As I said before, I am not against federalism in principle, but it should be the demand of the country and based on the logical requirement to solve the existing problems and to develop the country fast and vastly.

Kalyan Dev Bhattarai

Kalyan Dev Bhattarai

Khatiwada is Secretary at Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction

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