I apologise for the lack of updates on lexlimbu.com. What to do, exams are too critical at this stage. Nonetheless, I have been keeping a close tab on the recent happenings in Nepal. All eyes on Nepal and why shouldn’t it be, as the country heads towards another constitution deadline; I believe things are looking bleak.
Ke bhanne? Hmm… The Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) have caused quite a disturbance in the past few weeks with several bandhs all over the nation. There have been several other parties involved in various other parts. Their demand is for an identity-based federalism, jatiya rajya as so many comfortably say. Nepal, being a democratic country needs to hear these voices. On one level, I do understand why these demands have surfaced and why the indigenous groups are taking the streets; the suppressed Dalit group, Nepali Muslim population and countless other communities that have been treated far from equal by the wider society. Many are still restricted from receiving a Nepali citizenship. Equality as a goal is very distant, million miles away but one we need to really work on.
I see hundreds adding Nepal or Nepali on their surnames on Facebook. That’s super, now please put that in practice as well. Next time you see someone slightly darker or speaking their own language, do think twice before you racially stereotype them. We tend to be very castist. Just think about reactions in our wider community regarding inter-caste marriage. Don’t say it doesn’t happen. Now I may be going slightly off-topic here but this ethnic federalism model which has aims to transfer decision making power to the regions directly may sound fine, however the question that lurks in my mind is, are we Nepalis ready to handle an ethnic federal country? Extremist ethnic federalist have surfaced, they’re apparently shouting lines such as:
“LINE HAS BEEN REMOVED”
Individuals and groups that are saying such slogans may not be representing NEFIN but this surely doesn’t paint a good picture. I view identity-based federalism as further boxing ourselves. Why can we not just work on our present model, our 14 zones and 5 development regions. I wholeheartedly agree that power needs to be decentralised away from Kathmandu. Giving MORE decision making power to authorities of each region who know the problems could do wonders if implemented well, along with giving more importance to those unrecognised by the law. My question is can we not do that without the move for an identity-based state? Several problems have already sprung up as indigenous groups have disputed the current naming of the states. Apparently, this is what is delaying the constitution making process. Buzz on the grapevine is that the government has sought another three months for the constitution making process, seriously.
Anyways’ that’s my take on what’s happening.
What do you say?
PS. Please do practice being a ‘NEPALI’. So avoid, caste bias and discrimination on the basis of looks etc.
#PS. Thanks to Ananda K. Maharjan for the title image and Binod Gautam for Mero Desh Bandha Cha image.
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