President Ram Baran Yadav with the constitution.
On 20th September, Nepal formally put to effect its new constitution. This comes after a period of seven years of debates discussions and deliberations and one failed constituent assembly. The constitution has a number of progressive elements right from the republic and secular character to addressing the needs of marginalised and LGBT community.
Although this is a huge achievement for the Himalayan nation and this moment shall go down in history. Yet there still are number of follies in the statute that become evident right from its preamble. Besides, it fails to address some basic concerns of certain communities that form a large chunk of of the Nepali population.
On the Indian side of the border too, as the Indian Government in its statement said that the new constitution was “noted”, instead of welcomed.
Massive violent protests have followed the adaptation of the constitution. The significant ones include those by the Madhesi community which mainly resides in the lower Terai region, in the area adjoining Indian Borders. Incidentally the Madhesis, that reside in the Terai region occupy only one-fifth of Nepal’s total land area. But they account for more than fifty percent of the country’s population.
Violent clashes following the adaptation of the constitution.
How is India affected?
India has for long shared an open border relationship with Nepal and the ideologies of both neighbours are based on similar theories. So the protests and its violent nature has become a matter of utter concern and has highly upset India, who expects Nepal to make amendments to its constitution, so that it becomes more adaptive.
The lower Terai region borders Bihar, the poll bound eastern state of Bihar. And India does want not violence or turbulence at Nepal to have averse effect on the State.
The major changes it proposes includes those based on giving larger representation to communities that have larger population and citizenship rights. Most of the changes it suggests are genuine and the needs well reasonable.
Nepal, who looks up at India as and elder brother should sincerely consider its suggestions and pay heed to the demands of the people that reside on its own land. Similarly India should handle the matter delicately, with a mature diplomatic acumen. And instead of dictating terms to Nepal, she should register her suggestions subtly. Thereby respecting the sovreignity of Nepal.