Pahadis, cows and homosexuals celebrate, Madeshis and women mourn, and 3 million earthquake victims worried in tents… The endorsement of Nepal’s Constitution on the 20th of September had become Nepal’s most important national day. Yet by far not for everyone in the country.
Featured image source Pinterest.com.
The majority of Hindu Pahadis, Buddhist Gurungs, Tamangs, Newars or Magars had welcome the Constitution with sincere joy, in a desire to join the list of civilized countries of the world. Young Nepalis look up at the Western democracies and more than their traditions, they wish to follow the lifestyle of a modern European country, of America or Australia. The new Constitution, which promises, in some respects unprecedented liberty (for example for sexual minorities like homosexuals), is a symbol of development for most educated Nepalis. In the same time, women’s rights had stayed at the same outdated standard as before, not allowing children to receive citizenship after their mothers. The Constitution has some paradoxes…
In the victorious shoutings, motorbikes rallies and the ecstasy of joy one would nearly forget but the silent reality of the fading efforts of the pre-election Government to provide relief for 3 million earthquake victims, totally neglecting the reconstruction of houses before the winter. Obviously, such a big number out of the approximately 30 million residents can be hardly happy. The theatrical ping-ponging of the “bill” and “replacement bill” etc. of the Reconstruction Authority, a parody to keep the folk in hope, had finally ended, without the 4 billion dollars international donation used up for what it was intended. Maybe the noise from the joy of the Constitution will soon sweep away the memory of the earthquake victims in remote hills together with the amazing amount of (regularly growing and filled up) international donations for them…
Read more about the fading of reconstruction hopes: http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2015-09-20/reconstruction-plan-in-disarray.html
COWS AND HOMOSEXUALS HAVE MORE RIGHTS THAN WOMEN?
While pushing away the urgency of post-earthquake reconstruction as a secondary issue, saddening women and angering Madeshis, the Constitution gives greater rights to COWS and homosexuals. The typical paradox of Nepalis that while women are continued to be treated as second-class citizens who cannot transfer their nationality to their children without their husbands, homosexuals can marry in Nepal and it nearly seemed as if surrogacy rights would be also granted by the Constitution (in reality a right of 99% foreigner homosexual couples to pay for Nepali women’s wombs for giving them a child).
The cow, which is a holy animal for Hindus because it is a symbol of Goddess Lakshmi’s abundant generosity of motherly nurture, but nearly an obligatory traditional diet of some groups of Tamang Buddhists , Christians and Muslims in Nepal, had also won her right not to be killed and eaten. As every law which protects any animal from being killed is a positive sign, this is also an important improvement. Does it mean but that alleged religious sacrifices of buffaloes (which are also forbidden to kill by Hindus who defer from cow-killing), in the Terai temple of Gadhi Mai, will be outlawed…?
There is probably no other country in the world where women’s rights are less respected than that of homosexuals and cows…
The Constitution allegedly brings less celebration among Maoists who believed in the ideology for which thousands had lost their lives, the media informs. Yet this must be a very low-profile dissatisfaction, as it is not being described by locals as a main problem. In the everyday reality of Nepal sincere ideologists among Maoists are an extinct group, having not much power in the country anymore. Money and high political positions had transformed most radical Mao fighters into big-bellied and non-violent politicians. Those who did not have that opportunity, and stayed at the lowest level of society, obviously must feel betrayed. But there had not been reported bigger signs of such dissatisfaction.
Again it is money by which the ruling political elite is going to calm down the Madeshi uprising now, offering 1 million rupees for each of the bereaved families who had lost a member in the violent Terai Battle, it is around 45 people. Will that turn down the Madeshis from fighting for their separate state?
Yet while Pahadis celebrated the Constitution with candles and flowers, Madeshis with black flags and torching cars, for the 3 million homeless Nepalese earthquake victims the Constitution did not bring any hope for receiving support for building a house. In the rally of joy in Nepal’s richer cities, all had seem to suddenly forget that a huge number of villagers in the norther hills are awaiting the winter snow without houses, in tents.