Development Dialogue

Development Dialogue is a language of contemporary discourses on human development which aims to stimulate each entity of the society for a new history of humanity. It stands for communicating the problems that people face and hence is more value-based than other units of human life. Envisioned with better quality of human life it admires the imagination of ordinary citizens, their daily concerns and necessities and circulate these elements in policy articulation.

8:21 AM
28th July, 2012

To say that Nepal’s transition to a democracy has been less than ideal would be an understatement. In the wake of of a post-conflict settlement meant to streamline a transition from a constitutional monarchy, the Constituent Assembly has blatantly failed to produce a new constitution within the given deadline. Mind you, their task was not an easy one. The Constituent Assembly was not only required to produce a new constitution - a monumental task in its own right, but it was also the state’s governing body at the same time.

The Constituent Assembly's inability to develop a new constitution resulted in a political stalemate, a completely halted social and economic progress and development, and finally, the international community is simply no longer engaged. The latter is especially critical because 60-70% of Nepal’s development budget consists of foreign aid. Channeling that aid occurs through political will- an engaged and effective national government. In other words, despite the state of political paralysis the country finds itself in right now, social and economic development must continue. The national government’s attention needs to be drawn to the local level - to direct that aid to community based organizations that would help the country rise to its feet again.

The greatest challenge facing the Assembly, though, was not governing and developing one of the defining documents of any country’s political, social and economic future - but coming to terms with Nepal’s rather uncomfortable history with race and ethnicity. The new Nepalese constitution would have included previsions outlining the country’s first ever Affirmative Action laws or initiatives. Prior to Nepal’s “return to democracy” in 1990, ethnic names and languages were not used in public domains due to discrimination and fear of marginlaization. Hence, the strong feelings to include some sort of corrective measure acknowledging the diverse ethnic background of the population and at the same time puts in place a rigorously researched Affirmative Action measures and initiatives that define the underlying social and cultural dynamics and applies that knowledge in a way that guarantees all citizens equal access to the state’s limited resources.

It is a complicated issue. The Assembly’s attention was divided while it should have been focused on either governing or drafting a new constitution. It has to focus on the welfare of the population and at the same time plan a future for its posterity. These debates are necessary though to the country and its future. Similar issues - citizen’s rights, role of governance, etc. - were discussed when the United States was formulating its constitution, when France and United Kingdom were formulating theirs and most recently in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia as well. This discourse is important for a state’s matriculation. Not to say all must sit back and take the role of a spectator, but rather to actively engage in that discourse and propose solutions. One might not be a member of an assembly or a political party, but initiating change at the grass-root level by becoming active in one’s own local community, opening doors for dialogue, rejecting violence and confrontations. being instigators of positive change rather than recipients of negative actions.



Nepali Thito said...

definately initiating change at grass-root level by becoming active in one's own community, opening doors for dialogue, rejecting violence and confrontation' and " Being Instigators of Positive Change rather than recipients of negative actions " will help in nation building process.

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