N. P. U padhyaya
The Oxford Dictionary defines Constitution as “system of laws and principles according to which a state is governed.
To elaborate it further for more clarity, I think every state, in effect, every political entity has a constitution, or a set of agreed upon rules by which power is distributed among the population.
Such a set of rules, that is the constitution, is the main document that governs the nation and is expected to address the issues and concerns of each and every person, groups, ethnic tribes, the oppressed, neglected and the ignored sections of the society.
A constitution that remains sensitive towards each and every section of the society and ensures everything to the population that is demanded in a civilized society could be taken as a real Charter of the nation.
A lopsided constitution that we have had enough in the past remains near to a collapse and why the constitution collapses? The answer is simple. When it summarily fails to address the pressing issues and the grievances of the population. It is this set of the rightful disgruntlement of the population that forces the ruling elites to bring in a much more inclusive constitution that secures and ensures the equal participation of the population in the mainstream politics.
When the population conclude that he or she is not a part of the society or is being deliberately ignored by a special set of ruling elites, simmering discontent appear on the surface. At time such discontent takes a much dangerous dimension which catapults the entire politics of the country or even a regime is changed.
After having experienced such phenomenon in the recent past, wisdom would demand that our Constituent Assembly members act fast and do not waste time, as they have been doing under one pretext or the other, and draft a new constitution that is inclusive in both nature and content; that embraces all the sections of the society; allows the population to live a secured life with dignity and facilitates even one single individual to become a part of the society and the nation at large. Let the people participate in the mainstream politics. If done so the system will last long. No more CA extension would be now accepted.
William Kornhauser, a German scholar perhaps, suggests that a person exposed to members of a variety of ethnic, class, regional, and other groups-to, what the scholar terms as “cross cutting cleavages”-from an early age has a better chance of growing up to understand other groups ideas and needs.
On the contrary, a person exposed only to his or her own cultural, regional, religious, and ethnic group-to what the same scholar terms as “cumulative cleavages”-may understand only that groups’ needs.
What we need today is a crosscutting cleavages that should speak, “people from my region-people from other regions; people from my class and people from other classes; people from my race and concurrently people from other races”.
Crosscutting cleavages allow a person to cut-across divisions and gain knowledge of other types of people whereas the cumulative cleavages allows a person to accumulate divisions around him or herself thus cutting off contacts with other equally competent groups.
Fortunately, the jumbo Constituent Assembly of Nepal has people from all possible sections of the society.
There is the representation of those who were completely ignored in the past by the ruling elites which caused irritation in the ignored camps which was only but natural.
My long association in the media sector has so far failed in establishing a sort of co-relation in between the writing of a new constitution with that of the buying of the Condoms?
Well! We in the media are not going to write the constitution. At best what we can do is to pressurize the CA members and the ruling caretaker government to act fast so that the nation is provided with a constitution.
Pocketing salaries will ultimately invite insult that is perhaps in the pipeline.
What we can also do is to warn the ruling and the CA elites to draft a constitution that allows each and every single individual to feel that this is “my constitution”, and “our constitution”.
The media can at best forward suggestions to the CA members to sense the heart beat of the population and draft a charter that takes care of all the ailments that have had gripped this country in the past.
Needles to say, being a media man, I would demand that the new constitution ensured and secured the freedom of the press under any circumstances.
I invested some forty years in this profession. I have no qualms in sticking so long in a profession that is generally taken by the people in distaste. Nothing of that sort I came across.
My profession is good as long as we in this sector abide by the ethics, some basic fundamentals that are demanded of us.