NIRJANA SHARMA/CHHABILAL TIWARI
PARBAT, July 19
“We have been asked to read and comment in a few days as if this was not a constitution draft but a light novel,” said Shova Kanta Rijal, a resident of Huwas VDC in Parvat while getting the draft distributed in his village on Friday, a week behind the schedule.
Headmaster of Janasewa Sanskrit Higher Secondary School, Rijal stated it coinciding with a common concern of the public who are dissatisfied with a short time frame set for collecting feedback on the constitution draft.
“This is merely a process, that the CA members want to skip with a formality,” said Yam BK, coordinator of Dalit Common Forum in the district while interacting with the Lawmaker Bikash Lamsal of Parbat-1.
On one hand, the draft distribution to the public from municipality and VDC officials is moving at a snail’s pace even on the eighth day of 15 days of CA deadline to collect feedback. On the other hand, the people are not convinced that their feedback would make any difference in the draft amendment.
“Knowing that the country can’t bear the cost of eight provinces, we are dissatisfied with the model will the lawmakers minimize it to respect our disagreement?” questioned Guru Prasad Upadhyay, forum coordinator at Ward-8 in Kushma Municipality.
Shukra Raj Dhungana, 64 is a disabled elderly ridden to a wheel chair. He says he was disappointed to read the provisions of fundamental rights, where the CA has failed to guarantee education and job to each and every disabled in the country.
“It is the state’s responsibility to patron its disabled citizens. An indifference towards that side has left us to suffer forever,” said Dhungana. He suggested CA member Lamsal to add the point.
Responding to the public concern, CA member from Parbat-1, Lamsal tried to convince the participants arguing that the draft was based on four million questions raised by citizens earlier in 2008 when the lawmakers went to people asking their expectation from the new constitution.
“Each and every suggestion is the part of CA history even if they can’t be comprised in this single document,” Lamsal told the participants. He further mentioned that the feedback would also be useful for amending the constitution in the long run.
The draft missed the philosophical and theoretical approaches of constitution making, which gives it a general shape of an act rather than the constitution, said Dilip Paudel, Chairperson of Nepal Bar Association, Parbat.
Points dealing with local governance, rights to property among others are too lengthy, which could be included in the separate act, he added.
“This draft fails to maintain the supremacy of the constitution rather looks like the compilation of various agreements between the political parties,” he argued.
A political science lecturer at Gupteshowor Multiple Campus, Yadav Prasad Paudel argued that the document was a wrapped up of jargons. Likewise, the use of vague statements confuses people, giving loopholes for misinterpretations.
“The draft is still immature and demands a wide range of understanding and expertise to take a shape of constitution,” he mentioned.