Nepal Constitutional Committees to Be Formed Today

Extract from Constituent Assembly Election: NEPAL-Historical Polls: A Memorable Report of International Observers Team

The high profile team for Nepal International Observation Programme did ask us to provide suggestions for drafting the new constitution of Nepal already in process after the elections were over and stay for more days. I did convey my personal experience in brief, but not as an expert, that the law and supporting mechanism must be such to protect the needy by automatically coming into action of its own as poor are unable to get the justice under present set up and the Constitution of India. Secondly, there should not be room for discretionary powers to do injustice and avoid Rule of Law in the name of sovereignty. Then, the team gladly paid due attention to my suggestions. I feel pleasure to add to that, through this report, the following text supported with examples as under:

1. Interpretation of words should not be left for Judges and legislature while drafting the new Constitution of Nepal for passing their arbitrary decisions thereafter by enacting any law and rules under any of the Act or Article of the new Constitution of Nepal.

2. Every official and ruler and their associates or acting on their behalf in any manner must be personally responsible along with their master for the misdeeds and misconduct. From top to bottom, it must be obligatory on the part of all working in or on behalf of the State machinery to issue express orders only and the verbal orders of any form should never be enforceable or acted upon by anyone under the new Constitution of Nepal. There must be specific provision to that effect in the Constitution itself.

3. Law should not be as Article 14 of the Indian Constitution that says, “Equality before Law-the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.” Mr. Shyam Sunder, former Deputy Speaker of Hyderabad Assembly who was a legal expert rightly interpreted the language of Article 14 thus: “that the obvious implication is that if any person or group of persons has the courage, the resources and enough popular backing to claim equality before law, then alone the state shall not deny it. If there is no claim, the question of denial does not arise (emphasis added). The wording of Article 14 does not envisage a willing and graceful conferment of equal status on all Indian citizens without putting them into the necessity of incurring large expenditure on organisation and litigation. Any child born to Indian parents should automatically have equality of status conferred on him or her by the constitution. Article 14 as drafted denies him this status. The onus of claiming equality is placed on his shoulders. How many people in Indiacan take the trouble of going through this ordeal?” The law must come into action of its own for the protection and justice to poor and downtrodden under the new constitution being now drafted in Nepal.

4. Article 17 of the Indian Constitution is meant to abolish untouchability. Its practice too in any form is also forbidden. This Article directly counters all Hindu scriptures, beliefs, traditions and Smrities. If the Indian constitution was intended to over-ride and scrap Hindu religion, so far as untouchability is concerned, then this intention should have been clearly expressed in the Constitution itself. The fact that this has not been done proved that Article 17 was never meant to be implemented in India. Both Articles 14 and 17 of the Indian Constitution have no meaning but were intended only for external propaganda.

5. The learned Mr. Shyam Sunder, had also preached that if we (Mool Bharatis) have any sense of self-respect and regard for our forefathers left in us, then how can we agree to be classified as Hindus when their scriptures proclaim from house-tops that we do not deserve to arrogate ourselves that “sacred” status. Let us continue to be known the world over as Mool Bharatis (aboriginal Indians) and not Hindus. He further said that cowards amongst us may say: Hindus will withdraw the concessions given to us in the constitution, if we refused to be counted among them. We may suffer temporarily but we will triumph in the end but what we need most is unity amongst our teeming millions. Then alone can we regain our soul, which is now mortgaged with Hindus. He used to say that if joint electorates continue, original Indians and (Minorities) will always be represented in the legislatures and parliament by those who pledge or are willing to sign in advance a pledge of slavery to their caste Hindu over-lords. Is it democracy? The Congress is also hundred percent a party of Hindus and no justice can be expected from it, Shyam Sunder said. The constitution must have provision to create harmonious conditions of living and movement of people even beyond the boundaries of the country for open trade and business without compromising the regional development in all spheres in view of their self dignity and imparting them justice adequately and meaningfully by effective enforcement of the new Constitution of Nepal. The new model of Nepal must be personified for the complete South Asia, lagging behind in democratic values so far.