Nepal gets Constitution: Dissatisfaction, worry on Indian side of border

Madhesis are those living in southern Nepal, in the Terai region bordering India, while Janjatis are the indigenous tribal people from the country’s hills.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | Lucknow | Updated: September 21, 2015 7:40 am
nepal,nepal constitution Nepalese firefighters spray water to douse a burned out bus in Kathmandu. (AP Photo)

India is “dissatisfied” with the new Constitution adopted by Nepal on Sunday because it is “not broad-based” or “equal” and does not represent “two-thirds of the population”, comprising Madhesis and Janjatis, according to official sources.

India believes that an “unrepresentative Constitution” is at the heart of the protests that has claimed over 40 lives in Nepal, leading to concern in South Block, the sources said.

“It leads to an unstable border, which is an open border, and affects the lives of people on both sides,” an official source told The Indian Express.

Madhesis are those living in southern Nepal, in the Terai region bordering India, while Janjatis are the indigenous tribal people from the country’s hills.

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”The fact that not a single Madhesi or Janjati leader has signed up shows the dissatisfaction among Nepal’s regional parties. This disaffection, especially in the Terai region, is spilling over to the Indian side, and that is creating concern,” the source said.

On Saturday, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had returned from Kathmandu after holding discussions with all political parties during which he conveyed India’s “concern” to the top political leadership and asked them to adopt a more “broad-based” approach.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told Nepalese leaders last November that the Constitution should be a bouquet, which has flowers from every region and community. That has not happened in the present Constitution,” sources said.

Reacting officially to the promulgation of the Constitution, the Ministry of External Affairs said: “Throughout the process of Constitution-making in Nepal, India has supported a federal, democratic, republican and inclusive Constitution. We note the promulgation in Nepal on Sunday of a Constitution.”

However, the MEA expressed concern “that the situation in several parts of the country bordering India continues to be violent”. Our Ambassador in Kathmandu has spoken to the Prime Minister of Nepal in this regard,” the ministry said.

It added that issues on which there are differences should be resolved through dialogue in “an atmosphere free from violence and intimidation”, and institutionalised in a manner that would enable broad-based ownership and acceptance.

“This would lay the foundation of harmony, progress and development in Nepal. We extend our best wishes to the people of Nepal,” the statement added.

Nepal’s Constitution was endorsed on Sunday by over 85 per cent of the 601 members of the Constituent Assembly, but without the stamp of approval of at least 60 Madhesi and Janjati representatives.

During his two-day visit, Jaishankar had called on Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, and met CPN-UML chairman K P Sharma Oli and UCPN-Maoist chief Prachanda.

The Foreign Secretary had also met a number of agitating leaders of Terai, including Mahantha Thakur, chairman of Terai Madhes Democratic Party; Upendra Yadav, chairman of Federal Socialist Party Nepal; and Bijaya Gachhadar, chairman of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum Democratic.

“India has always been strongly supporting the Constitution-making process in Nepal and we would like its completion to be an occasion of joy and satisfaction, not agitation and violence,” Jaishankar had said on Saturday.

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  1. N
    Nepali
    Sep 21, 2015 at 7:34 am
    rags is a son of a brahmin(308).
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    1. A
      Ahgh
      Sep 21, 2015 at 7:37 am
      India should stop poking with its mlfgr at Nepal.
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      1. N
        Nepali
        Sep 21, 2015 at 2:56 am
        Who the heck is India to be dissatisfied about our consution?
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        1. Rabindra Adhikari
          Sep 22, 2015 at 9:23 pm
          Modi government has pla very poor diplomacy in this matter. Nepal wasted 9 years and had gone through two elections of consution embly trying to forge consensus between all. So to insutionalize the political gains achieved so far , they went for majority and the consution was signed by more than 95 % of the members of consutional embly. The members of consutional embly includes madhesi and janajati leaders as well. Yes there are disgruntled groups and India knows well that it is impossible to satisfy all in the democratic process. What is the meaning of election and democratic practice if 95 % people has to bow in front of 5 % just because they are violent, anarchic and supported by Modi government. In the last election, people have clearly voted Nepali congress and UML against ethnic based federalism.
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          1. R
            rosan sakya
            Sep 23, 2015 at 9:58 am
            Come and visit Nepal in person who is making all this political manifestation In Nepal.. Few people calling themselves a leaders of Madhesi are the culprit .. Visit to Madesh and ask them what worg that Nepal have done in consution and Ask people of India that have long migrated to Nepal whether muslim or hindu.. Have we ever torture them and made them a slave just because they are from India.. Answer is "NEVER" .. we are all living as a brother and sister.... This is how you treat back to Nepal being a true neighbour to India.. What is wrong with the the intellectual group of India saying that our consution is not democratic when it was approved by more that two third of embly members of consution .."check out the figure of the voting members and reprint the right news.." Moreover the front pic of burning a bus itself shows that news is negative towards Nepal.. It was only that incident took place and no one supported it ..so how can this be a voice of Janatantrik and Madhesi protesting against consution..
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