We in Nepal are in the process of restructuring the state. No political parties are against the restructuring but none of the key players have come to a consensus about the nature of the restructuring. There are many thoughts. Some are advocating that the restructuring should be done based on ethnicity, cast, language spoken and region.
Nepal has three geographical regions. They are the Himalayan region, the Mountainous region and the Terai (Plain) region. Among the three regions the Tarai plain is the most populous one. It is populous because this region is the most fertile mass of land of the country. There is a climatic contrast in all these three regions too. The culture and way of life are also different in these three regions including language and food habits. But within a region too, we find a lot of diversity of language, food habits and way of life. A lot of ethnicities can be found in all these three regions.
Some estimate more than 50 ethnicity exist in Nepal. However, primarily the people of the mountain and Himalayan regions are called Pahadi and the people living in the Terai are Madeshi. Some people living in the Himalayan region and are adopting a kind of similar culture that of Tibet are called Bhote. Since long people of Madhesi and Pahadi identities have been living in all parts of the country. As the Terai plain is suitable for agriculture there has been a lot of migrations to the plain.
Since Nepal was born, Kathmandu has been the capital and it lies in a valley in the mountainous region. Kathmandu valley has also seen a lot of migration of people from all over the country. With the advancement of Transportation and scientific developments even the far nooks and corners of the Himalayan regions have experienced migration of the people from different regions. Apart from regional identities the people of Nepal have other identities of cast and creed.
Nepal is a Hindu majority nation but it has all religions. The identity of a Nepali person can be made from her/his religion he/she practices. People in Nepal have the cast identities too. The language spoken also classifies the people. As in other societies the class identification is also present in Nepal. Now a big question comes. How can restructure of the nation be based on religion, cast and ethnicity as prescribed by some political parties?
People in Nepal have realized the need to accommodate wide diversity of people and to create an inclusive society where all ethnic minorities have given their rights in the regions they primarily come from. However, the critics argue, since Nepal is such a small country with so many ethnicities living it will be impracticable to provide all ethnic minorities having their own federal governments. How many governments within a government are needed to adjust all diversity is not clear. If restructure of the country is arranged in spite of all odds it will not do justice. Indeed, the majority of Nepali will be marginalized. What will be the consequences if majority of the population is marginalized? Can such a nation survive? The majority of the people living in Nepal who do not fall into the category of ethnicity will definitely be left out from the process of inclusiveness.
One can think how dangerous it will be to divide Nepal into ethnicities, regions and languages. This is the prime time to realize the need of a unified Nation and to stop the process of fragmentation. But the people of Nepal can avail democratic rights. Disrespect of certain cast or creed will make the largest portion of the people be left out from the restructuring. We can just imagine how dangerous it will be when the largest number of people feels that they are marginalized with the introduction of the New Constitution.