Saturday, August 15, 2015

Feeling Sorry For Province Two?

Why Does Karnali Want To Be Its Own State?

First of all, let's not talk like this is a settled debate. यो ६ अंचल वाला नक्शा पारित हुनु अगाडि संविधान जल्छ, देश टुट्छ।

Second, I wonder why these districts are so poor, the poorest in the entire country. Answer: internal colonization.

Third, we already tried the unitary state. We already tried the Madhesh-Pahad integration. These were in the China-India-touching Eastern and Central provinces, remember? We already tried Kathmandu. For 200 plus years. It did not work. It has not worked.

But it is not federalism when four million Madhesis are denied citizenship rights and another four million are kept second class citizens for life. This is not a matter of negotiation. This is the bottomline. Either all Madhesis get citizenship certificates, and equality, or we go our separate ways. मधेसी क्रांति १ र २ संघीयता र समावेशीता का लागि थियो। मधेसी क्रांति ३ यदि हुन्छ भने अलग देश का लागि हुन्छ। देश टुट्छ।

The proposed map is wrong for all parts of the country. And the power devolution is not federalism, it is not even decentralization. Provinces are designed to have less power than districts used to have.

This dog won't hunt.

Feeling for Province Two
Unexpectedly, the flashpoint of the federal agenda appeared not in the hotbed of identity-related tension elsewhere in the hills and the plains, but in the mid-western region which has been relatively aloof from the charged debates that have buffeted our two constituent assemblies. ........ Amidst the push and pull of constitutional politics, the ethnic group that has been left most vulnerable is the Tharu of the plains, which is about as ‘indigenous’ as anyone can be in this country. By volume and depth of poverty, however, those who are most likely to be further impoverished by the federal formula are the inhabitants of the eight districts in the proposed Province 2. ...... Even though the plains-only agenda was expanded to concede two provinces by the time of the second CA, it ignored all kinds of demographic issues on the ground. These included the class-and-caste differentiations within ‘core Madhes’, the language spectrum from Awadhi to Maithili, the place of the Muslims, Tharus and other smaller ethnicities, separate issues of Tarai and inner-Tarai, and the sizeable number of pahadiyas living in the flats. Most importantly, the formula overlooked economics and equity. .......

the constitutional draft emerged as a sub-optimal hodgepodge because of the failure of civil society and academia to engage in the discussion on the basis of social science and constitutionalism.

The constitution-writing was hijacked from the Assembly floor by a cabal of political leaders........ Within and without the second CA, over the years, there was an absence of open debates between the plains federalists and the mixed-region federalists. The latter argued that the density of poverty was to be found in the plains, that one must link the Tarai/Madhes to the north (either all or part of the way) so as to guarantee that hill-based resources would, by right, subsidise the plains. The plains citizens never really got to hear this argument. ....... Many personal, collective and institutional failures have contributed to the band-aid, patchwork exercise that has been Nepal’s constitutional writing as a whole and federalism demarcation in particular. But at the heart lies the refusal to take the identity vs. economic geography debate to the Madhes heartland of central-eastern Tarai, which in turn vitiated the delineation countrywide. ........ It bears keeping in mind that once the federal demarcation is locked in the promulgated constitution it will be difficult to reverse, because no well-off province will want to surrender natural resources and privileges already granted. The time to save the future is now, before the key is turned. ........ Meanwhile, those who went to the Supreme Court with the writ petition to block the formation of a federal commission of experts by the constitution framers may themselves want to seek a ‘vacating’ of the stay order that was granted. This would make it easier for the CA, if there is violence and deadlock, to leave the task of final demarcation to such a commission, basing itself on the issues as debated in the Assembly. ..... we must work to ensure that the ‘equalisation’ principle is applied.

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