The Raute, The Chepang And Federalism In Nepal
Say there are 50,000 Chepang in Nepal. 50,000 Santhal. 5,000 Raute. We can't just design a federalism that works for the Madhesi, the Tharu, the Limbu, the Kirat, the Sherpa, the Tamang, the Magar, the Gurung. These are groups that have sufficient numbers that sooner or later will get their fair share. But federalism will also have to be designed for ethnic and cultural groups that are small in number, and might as well be close to extinction. Our approach to cultural diversity has to be like the healthy approach to biodiversity in the Amazon forest. We have to preserve and protest. We have to empower. Their small numbers should not work against them.
I would like to add to my 3 states, 25 regions formula that there should be autonomous regions created for these culturally distinct small number groups that are quite vulnerable to extinction. These autonomous regions should have direct relationships with their state governments, and perhaps to the central government. They should be allowed their own income sources, and should be given special aid packages for their educational upliftment, socio-economic advancement, and cultural preservation.
It is not a long list. And the country of Nepal has to do right by them.
These autonomous regions would be different from local governments, different from village and city governments. They would be given special treatment. They would have their own police, their own courts. They would elect their own leaders. They would hire bureaucrats among themselves.
We have to act progressive on the issue of their welfare.