Wrong model to emulate

According to your news analysis “Statute must shed ample light on federal units” (THT, June 10), 14 senior bureaucrats visited Delhi, Maharashtra, Goa and some other states in order to study Indian federalism in the course of a tour organised by the Indian embassy. Is this the beginning of foreign jaunts for senior bureaucrats on donor funds? One hopes not. These civil servants would have learnt much more from their visits to Jammu and Kashmir,

Darjeeling, Dehra Dun, Gangtok, Guwahati, Shimla, Shillong and, not the least, Patna. It is not too late to immerse themselves in further studies back home to get a proper appreciation of the true state of the Indian Union. It was also pointed out that “Indian authorities feel that a state having more than 10 million population can be unmanageable”. Are we to infer from this that Nepal needs just two federal states — Madhesh and Pahad? If such a small number of states would do the job, why are the North East states in India steeped in violence? India is a federal state with unitary features carved out of 200 plus years of constitutional and administrative legacies of the British Raj.

This cannot be the model for Nepal. India decentralised its politics with a top-down approach and took nearly 50 years to move from electoral democracy to participative democracy. We must begin at the ground level, taking the bottoms-up or grass roots approach where

citizens are sovereign and not parliaments and national legislatures as in India today. Where every community is a self-governing republic, it is bound by duty to contribute through its unique culture, genius and collective might to the building of a new Nepal.

Madhukar SJB Rana, Jawlakhel

Oil price

In light of the rising oil price in the international market, the government’s decision to raise the price of petroleum products is understandable. But the fact that the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) will still lose Rs.1.5 billion every month after these steep hikes is a matter of serious concern. How will the NOC ensure regular supply as the losses mount month after month?

PN Shrestha, via e-mail

Free press

This letter is in support of G P Koirala’s vow to defend press freedom, “Koirala reiterates faith in free press” (THT, June 9). Freedom of the press is a must for the voice of the downtrodden to be heard. But the CPN-Maoist does not seem to be in a mood to allow the Nepali press to function freely and independently. The party should understand that the people’s mandate is for more freedom, not less.

Shiva Neupane, Melbourne

Wide open

Italy’s shock 3-0 defeat at the hands of The Dutch and France’s 0-0 draw against Romania have thrown Group C of Euro 2008 tournament, the quartet which has rightly been

touted as the Group of Death, wide open. The Italians have a really tough job on their hands as they are yet to play France.

France will not have forgotten the humiliation in the World Cup final two years ago in Germany. What a riveting spectacle the potentially group-deciding match will be. I, for one,

will be rooting for France all the way.

Sajan Sapkota, via e-mail