Thursday, October 15, 2009

Federalism and internal migration

Ratna Sansar Shrestha

Looks like people are pushing the debate a little too far. As far as I am concerned there is no scope for a question like "What happens if non-Newars refuse to leave Kathmandu". Any restructuring of the state should not require anyone to leave her/his place of residence/vocation involuntarily. One of the prime concern of mine behind this ill-advised so called restructuring is this involuntarily emigrationthat could snowball into even ethnic cleansing. Due to the misadventure on the part of some people, who are smart by half, this trend has already started (even before restructuring) in Terai. People have already emigrated from Tarai after disposing off their landed property at distress value (while real estate prices are skyrocketing everywhere else). What is urgent is to nip the trend in the bud.

As I have reiterated time and again that in the first place, a country as small as an Indian province should not be further fragmented into a number of states. To spin off various ethnic provinces in this country is inviting disaster. I will end this discourse from my side (after this email I will not join the discussion on this particular issue) by firmly saying that we in Nepal cannot afford to partition this country into over 75 odd ethnic provinces by asking for an ethnic province of our own. Asking for an ethnic province for ourselves while refusing the same to other ethnic communities will not project Newa identify in the good light. Actually if we continue to take this stance then we could be projecting a rather dismal image of ourselves. I propose that we should not do so and we should work to ensure that we don't continue to afford opportunity to other ethnic communities to think that we are intellectually retarded.

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