The people have shed their tears and blood to achieve a historic victory. During the Jana Andolan, Nepalis of all castes, creed, religions, including the Janajatis, Dalits, minorities, women and the disabled marched in the streets to make the movement a success.
Nepal is at a historic crossroads. Time has come to write a new constitution where the aspirations of Nepalis from every segment of society are reflected fairly. However, on the question of secularism, it seems that the people are divided and many want the status of a Hindu state retained.
At this decisive moment, we must follow India’s shining example of religious tolerance and equality.
India and Nepal are both predominantly Hindu majority countries. Both have roughly 80 per cent Hindu population. After the British left India, the country was declared a secular state. Secularism means that every religion is equal and neutral before the constitution, parliament and state. The religion of the majority or the minority are equally recognised and represented.
Thus the majority of Nepali Hindus need not feel insecure. Although Nepal is now a secular nation, the Hindus are no less Hindu in their heart and soul.
Pashupatinath and Dakshinkali will continue to hold significance. As a secular state, the rights of the minorities will now be respected and they would not have to live as second-class citizens anymore.
Dr Chhering Yonzon, Baluwatar
Foreign aid is important for Nepal’s economy. But we are also familiar with what a country can become if it relies too heavily on aid that comes along with strings. The repayment part would haunt the country, as the burden would fall on the Nepalis themselves.
The public must be allowed to study the details of aid transactions. It will enable the public to keep an eye on the government’s financial dealings, and identify discrepancies and misuse of funds. Since every rupee comes at a cost, we cannot allow the politicians to misuse aid again.
Anugraha Poudel, via e-mail
The House of Representatives’ declaration of May 18 was a progressive one, but some decisions seem to have been made hastily. For instance, bringing the army under the Cabinet’s control would mean that the ruling party could easily misuse it against the opposition.
In other countries, too, the army is under the Head of the State’s command so that the ruling party does not misuse it. It is now evident that there will be a monopoly of powerful
parties. Thus, the politicisation of army is not accepted by 95 per cent of those who didn’t participate in the demonstrations.
Neeraj Raya, via e-mail
I was stunned to see the photograph of late king Prithivi Narayan Shah’s statue (THT, May 18) covered with a piece of cloth. People’s anger against the present king is justifiable, but the protestors must not show disrespect towards our national heroes. Have we forgotten that without king Prithivi Narayan Shah’s vision and bravery, we wouldn’t have had a unified Nepal? So lets’ be sensitive and sensible.
Esha Manandhar, via e-mail