KATHMANDU, July 30 As the Madhesi community continues to object to the draft constitution over a number of provisions, Dalits are saying the draft has failed to ensure their proportion representation in state organs. Nepali Congress Constituent Assembly member Jivan Pariyar said situation of Dalits was not going to change just by mentioning Dalits’ rights under the fundamental rights section in the draft, as most of the rights would be determined by the relevant laws. Pariyar said most of the rights clauses stated that ‘as provided by law.’ Dalits’ proportional inclusion in employment opportunities must be ensured by the constitution, but the drafters have mentioned that Dalits would have representation in employment opportunities on the basis of principle of inclusive in Article 45 of the draft constitution, said Pariyar. Pariyar said empowerment of Dalits would be possible only if their proportional representation was ensured in all state organs. “It was agreed in the first Constituent Assembly that Dalits will have 15 per cent representation in the federal legislature and five per cent more representation, beyond the PR representation, of Dalits in the provincial assemblies. The second CA had owned up the issue, but the draft has failed to ensure this,” Pariyar added. Dalits’ rights, Pariyar argued, ensured in Article 45 and its sub-articles had become conditional as those provisions mentioned the phrase ‘as provided by law.’ Pariyar said Dalits were the only group that suffered worst discrimination for hundreds of years and that the state should take affirmative action to empower them. Executive Chairperson of Samata Foundation Padam Sundas said the draft constitution gave an impression that all the rights of Dalits were ensured in the constitution but in practice Dalits had nothing to be happy about. “In the women’s rights clause and clause related to the right of senior citizens, the provisions do not mention the word ‘ as provided by law,’ but in Article 45 which ensures Dalits’ rights, in almost all the provisions this phrase has been used,” he said.
‘Ensure Dalits’ representation in state organs’
Published: 09:27 am Jul 31, 2015