KATHMANDU, MARCH 14
The new constitution defines the nature of the Nepali state and the model of democracy it ought to adopt. However, in recent times, a mismatch is being observed between what is said in the constitution and what is done in practice.
Apart from internal political dynamics, factors such as globalisation, migration and technology have brought about changes in the country, from restoration of multiparty democracy to the Maoist insurgency to the federal democratic republic.
These factors have brought about some changes in sovereignty and nationalism. Despite this, the present political hegemony has urged us to revisit the idea of democracy; otherwise, it will lose its relevance in the future.
In fact, a spirit of forgiveness, farsightedness, quality of integrity and charismatic power to bring together opposition ideas are the underpinnings of democracy.
But most of our leaders hardly show such quality.
Instead, they incite their cadres to attack others who do not back up their parties.
Although the constitution has guaranteed the right to information, the present government has taken coercive measures to weaken the free media, keeping the cabinet decisions secret.
By doing so, the government is not only moving towards tightening the noose on the media but also violating the right to information, which is indispensable for every citizen.
In recent years, the governance mechanism has also become blurred among the three organs of the state.
Actually, democracy presupposes the separation of powers between the judiciary, legislature and executive; and the state affairs have to happen accordingly.
However, the party policies being very influential, it seems that one arm of the state is becoming heavy on the other. For example, the subjugation of the judiciary by the executive and the reduced role of the legislature in the policy-making process testify to this fact.
Usually, in recent times, policies are drafted outside the legislature and are tabled in the parliament for their approval.
Policies developed through such a process not only fail to fulfill the intended desire but also become counterproductive.
The protests against the civil and criminal code brought out by the government prove this fact.
In recent times, the very spirit of democracy, which rests on the will of the people, is evaporating quickly. The government's activities under way are not up to people's expectations.
If this trend continues, the worse is to come soon because neither the fundamental nature of politics has changed nor its objectives.
A version of this article appears in the print on March 15, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.