Constitution Day: A Time to Celebrate Its Unique and Progressive Features

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President Ram Baran Yadav presents the countrys new constitution at a special function in CA hall,New Baneshwor on September 20, 2015. Nepal on September 20 adopted a new constitution aimed at bolstering its transformation to a peaceful democracy after decades of instability and a long civil war, even as protests raged over its terms.POST PHOTO/KIRAN PANDAY/KANTIPUR
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The Constitution’s endurance is rooted in our ability and commitment to the project of expanding freedom.

Today, all Nepalese people all over the world are prepared to celebrate Constitution Day as our national day with different programmes. This day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of Nepal in 2072. The government has pulled out all the stops to make the day a grand affair.

The administration has also made it mandatory for all civil servants to be assembled to celebrate the anniversary of this historic document. This day is being observed throughout the country and in all diplomatic missions of Nepal by organising various programmes. One can expect events to include political meetings with patriotic speeches, display of the Nepali flag by high political dignitaries on the day.

Lets understand the significance of Constituion of Nepal 2072 on the ocassion of consitution day.

Firstly, the constitution, which is the seventh in Nepal, is the first statute drafted by the elected people’s representatives. Nepal shifted to a federal democratic system from a unitary system with the promulgation of the existing constitution. This is the dream-achieved day that the Nepali people have exercised their sovereignty and power by preparing a statute by themselves.

In practice, people have been the source of all power in Nepal. A long-awaited constitution for the last seventy years has been achieved. Republicanism, federalism, secularism, proportional inclusion, socialism and social justice remain its salient features.
All six previous constitutions except for the present one were prepared entirely based on mutual understanding among the political elites and power circle. Therefore, this document is a property of the Nepalese people at large.

It is based on constitutionalism as any democratic constitution must have guaranteed constitutionalism. It can be tested on the touchstone of democracy. The democratic constitution directly exercises the sovereign power of the state. In Nepal, sovereign power is vested in the people. Some fundamental features of constitutionalism are- limited government, separation of powers, constitution as an end and means, value-free and value-laden document with empirical and normative dimensions. It also includes media and civil society as a Fourth Estate of the government, a state based on democratic socialism, the supremacy of the constitution, respect to the human rights by guaranteeing fundamental rights to the people.

All these attributes of constitutionalism have been adopted by the constitution so that this document is regarded highly as a progressive one and is accepted as a mirror of democracy.

It has also paved the path of further economic development, political stability, sustainable peace, and overall development of the state. The constitution is signed by more than 90% of the members of the constituent assembly. This is one of the highest proportions in the world to support the constitution.

The majority of the political parties, public, civil societies and various other groups in the nation have eagerly agreed and supported the constitution and its provision made for the economic, social, political, cultural, and religious transformation in the country. So, the People of Nepal are encouraged and are waiting to celebrate superbly this august and auspicious day as a great occasion.

Having gone through the constitution, one can firmly and proudly say, Nepal’s new constitution is progressive and institutes several positive elements for the uplift of women in the country. Like other Constitutions of the world, this Constitutional document adopts progressive provisions for realizing the goals of federalism. It was the prerequisite for the Himalayan Republic to bestow a fundamental document showing adherence to republicanism with strong federalism.

Critics of the Constitution say that it is not an inclusive document, treats women and minorities as second-class citizens, and guarantees social justice and human rights only on paper. 

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Jenish Shrestha
Truth is important to us at any cost.

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