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Federalism and secularism: Suicidal game

Posted by Ramesh Khati on June 20, 2009

Dirgha Raj Prasai

Dirgha Raj Prasai

Dirgha Raj Prasai is a former member of parliament in Nepal, former consultant of the administrative staff college of Nepal. He has written many books and articles, and is now a political analyst based in Kathmandu contributing to different newspapers and sites.

Secularism and federalism is not the issue of Nepal. In the context of Nepal, this will be a suicidal task. It will break the unity of the Nepalese people. Actually, federalism means feudalism which can’t give the solution for the lower castes and poor. Similarly, secularism also encourages religious terrorism. Due to secularism and federalism, the Constituent Assembly can’t do anything; it will only be a missile to destroy Nepal. The Maoist model of federalism which is based on ethnicity can disintegrate the country. Racial federalism can never develop the norms of democracy.

In an article published in The Kathmandu Post (16 Mar.2009), Professor David Seddon of London (keen observer of Nepalese perspective) states -‘ Federalism is a big mistake, for Nepal. This is not necessary to defend the interests of majorities or the interest of minorities. The cause of women, or Dalits or Janajaties can be protected in other ways. The Madheshis- whoever they may be- can divide and be a relatively autonomous. But immediately, this will provoke movements against it. I would argue very strongly that there is no need for federalism, as it is undesirable, undemocratic and profoundly divisive.

The irresponsible party leaders want to make this country another Kashmir and Afghanistan. I think you have heard the situation of Sri Lanka. Since 1800 AD, Tamils were sent to Sri Lanka by East-India-Company as workers in the rubber & wood farms from Tamilnadu of India. The King Ashoka had followed Buddhism in Sri Lanka since 2600 years ago. Sri Lanka became independent in 1948. In the meantime, there were 70 percent Buddhists there and Hindu-Tamils were minorities. After1971, religious and language discrimination between Singhalese and Tamils led to a confrontation. Then in 1979, the Tamil based terrorist organization LTTE declared war for an independent state under the leadership of the young Pravakaran. Now, the 30 years’ long LTTE’s armed struggle is over. The separatists in Sri Lanka have been defeated by the nationalist army though the war claimed 75 thousands lives, including that of Pravakaran. Meanwhile several foreign-initiated ‘peace talks,’ peace force’ and ‘mediation’ failed in bringing about peace.
But the determination of the Sri Lankan people, president, government and army enjoyed victory. So, we must learn from the lessons of Sri Lanka.

South Asia is in turmoil as India is taking the policy of aggressive intervention against the neibouring countries- Nepal, Bangaladesh, Srilanka and Pakistan. The Congress (I) government of India is working for establishing these countries by mobilising it notorious intelligence agency, RAW. RAW has long faced allegations of meddling in its neighbours’ internal affairs. In 1987, New Delhi made a pact with the Srilankan government to send peace-keeping troops to the island and Indian forces ended up fighting the group RAW had armed.

In 1991, Rajiv Gandhi, prime minister of India at the time of the deployment of the peacekeeping force, was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber. It was a matter of regret for Nepal also.
Similarlly, RAW has been fomenting violent activities in Nepal. A scholar Dr. Shreen M. Mazari says- ‘The ethnic crisis in Bhutan led by the people of Nepalese origin is also said to have been aggravated by RAW for the advantage of India. In Nepal, India has been intervening in the politics by promoting pro-Indian politicians.’ The Indian government is creating difficulty for Nepal to assert her sovereignty. The federalism with ethnic groups will be the cause of division. The ethnic division of Nepal will create only ethnic leaders, not national leaders. We are Nepali brothers and sisters, but the ethnic division will make us Bahuns, Chhetris, Gurungs, Magars, Tharus, Newars, Limbus, Rais, Tamangs and Madhesis etc, except Nepali.

(The views and opinion expressed in this article are that of the author and not of Gorkhatimes, the author can be contacted at email:dirgharajprasai@gmail.com We request individuals with interest in Gorkha Issuses to submit their views to the following e-mail address: gorkhatimes@gmail.com pictures of contributors or images that relate to submissions will be appreciated more)

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