Personal tools
You are here: Home News Analysis and Views Happy Constitution Day Of 2019
Log in

Forgot your password?

Happy Constitution Day Of 2019

Issue September 2019

Happy Constitution Day Of 2019

Siddhi B. Ranjitkar


The government is celebrating the Constitution Day in a grand manner at Tundikhel in Kathmandu on September 20, 2019 preventing the common folks to participate, and making them to be mute and to stand outside the fence to watch what those guys on other side of the fence are doing. However, the prime minister and ministers have not be tired of calling on the public to mark the Constitution Day in a grand manner. Marking a Constitution Day is one thing institutionalizing it is another but the government has been disregarding the Constitution in so many cases and even going against it doing so many peculiar and shameful things the duly elected government could do.


Let us start with what Prime Minister KP Oli and his deputy Defense Minister Ishower Pokharel did last year at the time of marking the anniversary of Prithvi Narayan Shah. Everybody having a little bit knowledge of the nineteenth century history of Nepal knows that he was the most cruel and barbarous king and he could do everything if it would meet his interest. The historical evidence had already proved that Prithvi had cut off the noses and ears of at least one thousand Kirtipurians after he won the battle against them after several failed attempts.


Since then Kirtipurians had been spitting at Prithvi Narayan Shah in a stone where he was tripped over and one of the Kirtipurian soldiers was about to chop off his head but another soldier saved Prithvi saying the colleague a soldier should not kill a king. Even during the Panchayat regime nobody dared to stop this tradition of spitting at Prithvi Narayan Shah.


However, KP Oli: the prime minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal sent his army during the last year celebration of marking the anniversary of Prithvi to stop the Kirtipurians to spit at Prithvi Narayan Shah insulting the sovereign people who had probably voted for his party and made it possible for him to be the prime minister. It was in violation of the people’s Constitution of 2015 that made the people sovereign. Obviously following the communist ideology, for every communist, Prithvi Narayan Shah must be the most authoritarian ruler but one of the communist leaders, Prime Minister Oli had been worshipping Prithvi Narayan Shah as a divinity.


That was one thing Prime Minister Oli made Prithvi a deity for himself but another thing he did was he went to inaugurate the statue of Kalu Pandey at the Chandragiri Municipality again insulting the descendents of the folks who had been the victims of Prithvi and his general Kalu Pandey. Unfortunately for Pandey and his boss Prithvi, Kirtipurians killed Pandey while he was attacking them. Then Kirtipurians also smash the Prithvi’s brother over his eye and ruptured it. Instead of appreciating the bravery of Kirtipurians fighting against the authoritarian rulers the communists labeled, Prime Minister Oli insulted them showing so much of respect and giving unimaginable honor to those authoritarian rulers the communists had labeled, who looted the most civilized people brutally. That certainly went against the people’s Constitution of 2015.


Deputy Prime Minister Ishower Pokharel led a grand procession celebrating the anniversary of Prithvi from the compound of the Nepal Academy at Kamaladi to the statue of Prithvi at Singhdurbar in Kathmandu last year. Again the communist minister was celebrating the anniversary of the most brutal and authoritarian ruler in a grand manner. In fact, the communists always treated former kings as their enemies but the Nepalese communists had been apparently different from other regular communists. So, the Nepalese communists had given so much of honor to Prithvi because he had set up a system of the rule that had repressed the common folks for 240 years making them the poorest in the world community. Is it not going against the peoples’ Constitution of 2015 not to mention the communist ideology?


So, it was not surprising that today (September 20, 2019) the Oli administration did not let in the common folks to participate in the grand celebration of the Constitution because it was only for the people in the power not for the common folks, who got only words of promises. That was precisely the way the Soviet communists celebrated their victory day. Then, the then king copied the Soviet style festivities for celebrating the anniversary of killing democracy in Nepal for thirty years after taking over from the elected prime minister in 1960. Now, the two-thirds majority communist administration is doing almost exactly the same in marking the Constitution Day, as did the king in the past.


Speaking from the army-built pavilion at Tundikhel on September 20, 2019, Prime Minister Oli has said that the country is taking a new turn. He had already stopped saying that he did not tolerate the corruption, and he had already forgotten his slogan “Prosperous Nepal and Happy Nepali”. Now, he has a new thing to tell the people at least to divert the attention of the common folks from the failure in delivery of the promises he had made to the people, and in stopping the heavy corruption prevailing in the administration, and the failure in making the country better.


The people had cast the two-thirds votes to the two communist parties together to run the country and safeguard the peoples’ Constitution of 2015. So, the Oli administration is held accountable to the people and to preserving the Constitution. But what the Oli administration had been doing was bullying the Constitution for taking away the fundamental rights from the sovereign people.


First thing the Oil administration did was the crafting of a Media Council Bill to replace the existing Press Council Act with it practically for denying the people the freedom of expression the Constitution of 2015 has guaranteed. Nobody could do so no matter what majority the party had, how strong the government was, it could not violate the people’s Constitution. If any government were dared to do so then the common folks would certainly fight to the finish.


Freedom of expression is the lifeline for democracy to flourish. It makes the administration accountable to what they do or what they don’t. It also disciplines the prime minister, ministers and the State employees. It also exposes the good deeds and bad deeds of the government. That is why the Constitution of 2015 has made the provision for the freedom of expression so that nobody could take it away from the sovereign people. However, the Oli administration had made an attempt on muting the people voices crafting a new Media Council Bill. So far, the communist authoritarian rulers had seen the independent media and freedom expression as the people’s enemy elsewhere in the world. So, Nepal has not been exception for the communists.


The second thing the Oli administration did was to craft a new Human Rights Bill to narrow down the fundamental human rights Nepalis had been enjoying. Every communist government knew that the common folks would not let it to be an authoritarian if they were given the fundamental human rights. That was why the communist regime always repressed the common folks denying any human rights except for working, eating and dying.


The third serious mistake the Oli administration had committed was to prepare a Guthi Bill that would have legally taken away the assets and even land of private Guthi not to mention the public and the State Guthi with the intention of distributing the land ownership certificates to the former Maoists that had been illegally occupying the thousands of hectors of the Guthi land in the Banke district in the far western Nepal since the Peoples’ war the Maoists called launched in 1996 and had lasted until 2006.


Hundreds of thousands of the stakeholders took the issues of the Guthi Bill to the Kathmandu streets, and it went on until the concerned minister retracted the Guthi Bill from the National Assembly. This had been one of the shameful acts of the Oli administration, the logically thinking people had been saying through the print and digital media and the social media.


However, Prime Minister Oli had the power to digest all sorts of humility and keep the non-performing or negatively performing ministers in the job, for what only Prime Minister Oli knew. Any sensible prime minister would have fired the minister for communication, and the minister for land for their horrible performance causing so much of embarrassment to the administration.


Another non-performing minister or performing very badly had been the minister for drinking water, who was responsible for completing the Melamchi Drinking Water Project but she had been unable to initiate any physical work at the project site so far even after nine months of the Italian contractor quit the job, and went home not completing the remaining three percent work, which was what the government said remained to be done.


The Constitution of 2015 has made the provision for making the water as one of the basic needs, and for every person to have the rights to the access to the clean drinking water. So, one of the responsibilities of the Oli administration was to complete the Melamchi Project without any delay but the concerned minister had been taking time even to start up the remaining work at the project site even after nine months of the contractor leaving the project. What the prime minister has been doing to ensure the availability of water following the Constitutional provision, nobody knows.


Recently, ministers and lawmakers and so-called big-shots had been abusing their position for keeping the planes waiting for them causing the flight delays making the tremendous uncomfortable to other passengers and probably causing them to lose their businesses and making some of them to miss the connecting flights. Are these high profile guys above the law, the common folks questioned? Certainly, they are not above the law but they have been bullying the laws and going beyond their authority means abusing their power and authority, which could be labeled as the criminal acts following the law concerning the Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA), which could take up the issues and charged them with the abuse of authority.


The cadres of the prime minister’s party called NCP had been taking the law in their hands declaring some folks as unwanted people so prohibiting them to visit such and such districts. How could anybody take the law in his or her land and announce some folks were not welcomed to some areas? This was the extreme violation of the Constitution of 2015 but Prime Minister Oli did not give a fig for it. Consequently, Prime Minister Oli himself had not been so interested to act according to the Constitution otherwise he would have sent the law enforcement people and brought those folks taking law in their hands to justice. The Oli administration had yet to set the mechanism that would automatically force the law enforcement people to act immediately in such a case.


The main opposition party in the parliament had obstructed the proceedings of the House of Representatives several times demanding to bring those culprits who had broken the hands of its local leader to justice. The opposition leaders had been saying the ruling party had unleashed its cadres to disrupt its national campaign of political awareness held in the far western part of the country. It was the shameful violation of the Constitution of 2015 not giving the opposition party to run the peaceful campaign the Constitution has guaranteed that was why the opposition leaders had been charging the Oli administration with tending to be the authoritarian.


This was not an end of the story.


The fresh news posted on the has it that the Oli administration awarded the second highest award called “Janaseva Padak” to the Singaporean physician that had an honor to treating the honorable Prime Minister Oli and then other awards to the Indian physicians, who had so faithfully treated KP Oli in the Indian hospitals some years ago.


This story of awarding the medals reminded me other stories in the past how the national awards were given. Almost all the servants including the sweepers in the palace won the honors given at the time of the celebration of the happy birthday of the then king. Then, those folks most of them were the State employees, who had laboriously served the camp of the king in Surkhet during his annual visit to the far western region for a month no matter how corrupt those servants were, and how they made money out of the opportunity given by the annual visit of the king, received the medals.


The national medals in whatever names they were called lost their value and honor they were supposed to carry with them when such medals were given to the sycophants rather than the folks really serving the country. Anyone wearing such a medal should have been a person of the great honor and dignity, and the common folks would have shown a great respect to him or her if those medals were given to the persons who had actually served the people and country, and who really deserved such decorations.


However, currently as in the past, too, the people had seen how the people in power misused even the awards to be given sincerely and without corruption so that the people wearing such medals could walk with self-esteem. Sincere and honest folks would really be shameful to wear such medals if they were to realize that they were not the real people who were to wear such medals.


This brings me to the point of thinking that if anybody were to earn a national award then the easy way to do so was to serve the prime minister, of course to the king in the past. Then, what was the difference? The difference had been the key figure had been the king in the past, now is the prime minister. At that time, touching the king was just like touching the fire. Now, the incompetent prime minister could be easily voted out of office in the next elections, no matter how power s/he had been.


Another story is about the Constitution of 2015.


Despite the warning of the Indian envoy currently the foreign minister of India Jayashanker that Nepal would need to face the grave consequences if the constitution were to be promulgated without meeting the demands of the Madheshi political parties, the promulgation of the constitution went ahead. Mind it, the demands were not of the entire Madheshi people because most of the Madheshi politicians were members of different political parties other than the Madheshi parties, and they simply followed the part line.


Members of the Constituent Assembly and the courageous political leaders brushed aside the warning of the Indian envoy and promulgated the Constitution of 2015 as scheduled provoking the wrath of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who immediately imposed an undeclared embargo on Nepal, and stopped the trucks going from either side of the border between India and Nepal, consequently causing the tremendous short supply of gasoline, medicines, and certainly certain foods that came from India.


Nepalis bravely faced the shortage of everything they needed to import from India. The Indian exporters and the Indian border market towns severely suffered from the almost no business for the period of the undeclared and unofficial embargo. So, Indian Prime Minister Modi earned the curse of the common folks living on the both sides of the border between India and Nepal. Nepalis who had just under gone the pains of the devastating earthquakes, which killed 9,000 people had to suffer from another the Indian-made disaster but they did squarely face it and forced the Indian renegade to surrender.


Thus, after more than five years of its conception, the second Constitution Assembly, which carried forward the conception of the first Constitution Assembly gave birth to this Constitution of 2015. Finally, Nepal has the constitution the people’s representatives had crafted, and the president promulgated.


Five of its predecessors were the products of the then royalties who served their own interest rather than of the common folks, and the sixth one was the product of the revived parliament. So, the resurrected parliament scrapped them, and crafted a new sixth Interim Constitution of 2007. The Seven-party Alliance and the Maoists used the Interim Constitution for creating an Interim Parliament including the unelected Maoists. Then, the Constitution Assembly was elected in the elections held following the Interim Constitution, and then the Constitution Assembly acting as the parliament dumped even the monarchy.


The Madheshi political parties had been demanding to include in the current Constitution at least the most progressive articles included in the Interim Constitution of 2007; however, the regressive political leaders had refused to carry them forward to the Constitution of 2015. In that sense, the current constitution is less progressive and less people-oriented, and the Madheshi leaders have been fighting for making it at least as progressive as the Interim Constitution of 2007 had been.


Some of the communist leaders such as the current deputy prime minister, the communication minister, of the course the prime minister and some others following the prime minister have been strongly speaking against any amendment the Madheshi leaders have wanted to the Constitution. So, certain section of the politicians might remain dissatisfied with the most progressive Constitution of 2015 that has been claimed to be the inclusive of rights to women, ethnic people, dalits (underprivileged people), Muslims and the people of other faiths.


Following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the government of Nepal had signed off with the Maoists, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Commission on Investigation into Disappearance of People were set up to heal the sufferings of both the Maoists and the Security people who fought against each other during the ten-year conflict. However, both the commissions died before resolving any problems of so many folks that had shed the blood and that had fought for the republic and for the Constitution of 2015.


Families of the folks made disappeared during the conflict had been waiting to know the whereabouts of their loved ones. Many parents, spouses, and sons and daughters had been waiting for knowing the status of their loved ones made disappeared both by the security and the Maoists.


Many folks who had been disabled while fighting for the republican setup had remained unattended both by the State and the Maoists, too. Their sufferings had continued but the concerned agencies had not been able to provide them with any remedy, and any financial assistance for their survival.


So, the Constitution of 2015 would be completed only after the folks who had fought for it would receive the due attention of the State they so deserved. However, the current two-thirds majority government seemed to be so highly unresponsive to resolve the problems of the victims of the conflict.


The logical-thinking folks believed that both the Maoists and the Nepal Army were probably not so keen to go into the business of finding the whereabouts of the disappeared people, as both of them would have to painfully expose the misdeeds they had committed during the conflict. So, probably, both the Maoists and the Nepal Army in secret agreed on not reviving both the commissions on disappearance and truth and reconciliation.


September 21, 2019

Document Actions