A Dynamic Document
The country marked the second anniversary of the Constitution of Nepal 2015 amidst political fanfare today. Promulgated by the elected Constituent Assembly, the national charter has been hailed as the most inclusive and democratic one in the region and even in the world. More than 90 per cent of the CA members had endorsed it in a historic move to usher the nation into a republican, federal and secular era. Constitution Day was observed just when the third phase of the local poll had been held in Province No, 2, which had posed a biggest challenge to the smooth sailing of the main law of the land. The successful conduct of the last leg of local poll with the participation of the Madhes-based regional parties has broadened the acceptance of the statute. It embodies the cardinal principles of modern democracy with due emphasis on the construction of a socialist economy. It guarantees the ‘general will’ of the masses on matters of choosing leaders and running the affairs of the state. It was a dream come true after 65-year-long sacrifices and struggles of the Nepali people. Social justice, equality, inclusion, stability and prosperity characterise the statute, equipped with 31 fundamental rights. One may wonder the oodles of rights for the people, whose country’s economy is in a shambles. But the constitution is the reflection of the aspirations of the Nepalis to build an egalitarian and welfare society with the realisation that freewheeling capitalism is riddled with cyclic crises and is unable to fulfill the socio-economic, cultural and ecological rights of human beings. The new constitution is the first constitutional document written by the people themselves. So it bears historic importance and significance. This is a reason why the national and international community was in unison in commending it.
The world’s leaders have used Nepal’s Constitution Day to renew their relations with Nepal, while praising the landmark achievement of the Nepali people. US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Emperor of Japan have expressed their best wishes to Nepal on the occasion. “This is a great day for your country, the people of the United States welcome this celebration of your democracy,” observed Trump. The recognition of the constitution by the head of a leading democratic nation well testifies the broadness of Nepal’s statute before the comity of nations despite the reservation of the southern neighbour about it. No doubt, our constitution is an epoch-making document. It is also a live and dynamic charter having full flexibility for revisions and amendments as per the need of people and time. Still, it in itself does not spring into action. It does not offer intelligence, knowledge and wisdom to the people and leaders on it own. It is only with the competent, ethical and visionary leadership that the national charter gets life and becomes an animated document to ensure justice, security and prosperity of the people. What is more important is the constitutional behaviour and democratic culture that must be embraced by the individuals in seat of powers to effectively implement the constitution in letter and spirit. The political leadership needs to demonstrate commitment and determination to translate the lofty provisions of statute into practice. It is only with their integrity and meaningful participation of the people in the entire political process that the constitution can deliver on its promises.