Civil society leaders criticise draft statuteTerming the draft constitution “regressive”, civil society members have urged people to speak out against political parties’ attempts to push through their agendas, disregarding protests from various quarters across the country.
Terming the draft constitution “regressive”, civil society members have urged people to speak out against political parties’ attempts to push through their agendas, disregarding protests from various quarters across the country.
Addressing a gathering at Bijulibazaar in Kathmandu on Sunday, civil society representives CK Lal, Khagendra Sangraula, Pradip Pariyar, Kala Rai and Anubhav Ajeet criticised the Constituent Assembly for blocking progressive issues like rights of women, Dalits, indigenous nationalities, Madhesis, minorities and other underprivileged groups for which it was formed. They also highlighted the importance of raising voices for keeping dishonest intentions of politicians at bay and bringing about positive changes.
Sangraula said the country is currently divided into two poles–one inside the CA and entire country outside it. “They [parties in the CA] are coming up with a constitution which favours those groups which have ruled the country since time immemorial, instead of the marginalised,” he said. “They are breaching all procedures of constitution in the name of fast-track process,” he said, urging people to tear down such a document which perpetuates status quo.
Likewise, Lal accused major political parties of trying to impose authoritarianism into the constitution by misinterpreting concepts of federalism and inclusiveness. “We have to speak against the marginalisation of the already oppressed groups,” he said. “A time comes in the society when it is a crime to remain silent against these injustices.”
Rai said the draft constitution has discriminatory provisions against women. “We are disappointed as the constitution has not guaranteed equal rights for women and treated them as second-class citizens,” she said.
Ajeet said all disgruntled groups should be united to ensure inclusion of the rights for which people have fought for so long. He said leaders in Kathmandu should listen to the dissenting voices in Tarai to avoid any untoward situation in the country.