Nepal has adopted its constitution today, after 67 years of democratic struggle. India’s biggest concern is that Madhesis are up in arms against the secular and democratic constitution that Nepal has put into effect on 20 September.
Nepal faces a major challenge as the new Constitution has to bring together the people of pahad (hill) and Terai together. After the enactment of the Constitution to pave way for new government can abdicate Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. The country’s almost 240-year old monarchy ended in 2008 when the Maoists won elections, but internal differences scuttled the creation of a new constitution at the time, the BBC report added. While setting off celebrations in the capital, Kathmandu, the moment was marred by deadly clashes that killed one person and raised fears of ethnic conflict in the country.
“India has always been strongly supporting constitution- making process in Nepal and we would like its completion be an occasion of joy and satisfaction, not agitation and violence”, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said, wrapping up his two-day visit to Nepal.
Hundreds of thousands of people across Nepal lit lamps to celebrate the event.
The upper-caste leaders crafting Nepal’s constitution – to come into force 5 pm on Sunday – have included provisions on secularism that leave room for future conflicts over religion, lawyers warn.
Nepal was ruled by the Shah dynasty in 239 years.
“The protesting parties see the current design of federal demarcation plan in the new constitution as a way to minimize their demographic power, and lessen their political bargaining capacity”, said Dipendra Jha, a lawyer at the Supreme Court and a Madhesi practicing in Kathmandu.
The new constitution has given an opportunity to maintain unity in diversity in the nation and ensure rights of all, he said while addressing the final meeting of the Constituent Assembly.
This has made the some Hindu groups unhappy.
The authorities says an imperfect doc is best than nothing, and the constitution may be amended to mirror the aspirations of dissenting teams.
Other issues have also upset both ethnic minorities and women, who say the constitution discriminates against them in terms of passing on citizenship to those who marry foreigners.
Under the new constitution, the executive rights of the country shall vest with the council of ministers.
Seven provinces are opposed to the federal structure of the minority Madhesi group. The first draft of the constitution released last month for public consultation, too, was clear about Nepal’s secular status.