A land of our own: Conversations with Dalit members of Constituent Assembly (2009)

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Nepalese society is going through a phase of rapid disintegration, integration and reintegration. The Constituent Assembly overthrew the 240 years old Hindu Monarchy through its declaration on 28 May, 2008, and established a Democratic Republic. Not only did this break away from history and traditional values and norms, but it also directed the nation towards a new epoch in its history. The Shah monarchy that started with Drabya Shah’s conquest of the throne of Gorkha in a footrace found its end with the reign of Gyanendra Shah. This revealed a massive heap of faults accumulated by the unitary monarchy and it discriminatory and flawed economic policies. It also opened up the challenging avenue of a new, inclusive and proportionally representative state structure. The seed of restructuring that was sowed in remote corners of the country so effectively shook the foundations of the state that it has now become the mainstream of the state’s functions. The Peace Talks, Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Interim Constitution and the elections for the Constituent Assembly have brought to the surface long-neglected issues of caste, indigenous ethnicities, genders, groups and regions. The issue of state restructuring has gained legitimacy from the inclusive CA with its 601 members. Political parties are not in a position to brush aside this issue since the necessity, desire and imperative for change has become firmly established.
Language: English
Samata Foundation and Jagaran Media Centre, Kathmandu, Nepal: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/NGPA/publications/BOOK,%20A%20Land%20of%20Our%20Own%20by%20Suvash%20Darnal.pdf, 2009.

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