Monday, December 21, 2009

RE: [NNSD] Declaration of autonomous states/provinces

December 21, 2009
Mahendra Lawoti, Ph.D.
Associate Professor,
Department of Political Science, Western Michigan University
President, the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies

Dear Mahendrajee

Thanks for forwarding your article advocating ethnic federalism. But no thanks! I have come across many articles/papers/write ups in these lines but none has succeeded in swaying me from my conviction.

Those advocating restructuring Nepal on ethno-cultural-linguistic lines haven’t answered a few important questions of mine. I am recapitulating them below:
  • If Nepal is to have 10 odd autonomous states/provinces on ethno-cultural-linguistic lines, aren’t other 90 odd ethno-cultural-linguistic groups too entitled to statehood on the same lines? I am told there are about 100 ethno-cultural-linguistic groups in Nepal. Why should these groups be deprived from similar rights? In India we are presented with a new state each day (its a bit of exaggeration!) but she can sustain shock/trauma of such centrifugal tendencies. Where will Nepal be if Nepal is to start hiving off new states on ethno-cultural-linguistic lines – a country equal to an Indian state or even smaller?
  • With the proposed provision for special privileges/rights to a specific ethno-cultural-linguistic group in a particular province, what stops the rest from becoming second class citizens?
  • What treatment will be meted out to couples of mixed marriages?
  • Additionally what will happen to the children of such mixed marriage? Will the children be entitled to the special rights/privileges following one parent or become second class citizen like the “other” parent. We already have many mixed marriages. I am close to a Limbu colleague of mine married to a Khas. I hope restructuring of Nepal on ethno-cultural-linguistic lines will not require banning of such marriages.
  • I am given to understand that in none of the proposed “states” on ethno-cultural-religious lines, the so called “main” ethno-cultural-linguistic community is in majority (demographers please speak up). If this group is to have pre-emptive rights -अग्राधिकार - in matters related to governance, wouldn’t it result in minority rule over majority?

I am a proud Newar but first and foremost I am a highly nationalistic Nepali. I am not prepared to see fragmentation of my motherland which potentially could lead to untoward results. However, I am not against federal structure per se, if it is beneficial for Nepal and Nepali people. I, too, have come up with my own suggestion for restructuring of Nepal from the perspective of water resource; having been working in this sector for last two and half decades. I firmly believe that Nepal’s fate lies in optimum exploitation of water resources and I have come up with the recommendation for restructuring under which optimum exploitation of water resources will be ensured. If you haven’t already come across it you can peruse it by visiting following page of my blog:

PS: BTW you are not alone in being rejected by the owners (moderators) of this forum (NNSD) – by not posting your contributions. But it is for the owners to decide to post or not to post pursuant to their policies. However, I am confident that my rejoinder to you (which too got posted) will be posted as it was I who started a discourse on the captioned subject.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha

From: Mahendra Lawoti []
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 9:14
To: NSSDCc:;; Misra;
Subject: RE: [NNSD] Declaration of autonomous states/provinces

Dear Dwarikaji, Ratnaji and all:

Please find below my piece on the "Myth of Non-ethnic Federalism" published last year in the Kathmandu Post (Democracy day supplement). I am attaching it in case it had not caught your attention (I am sending the email to your personal address as well because some of my and others' responses have not been posted in this forum in democratic Nepal where "people are free to express their views" (obviously everyone is not extended the rights equally).

Happy reading,

Kathmandu Post 2009 Democracy Day Supplement, February 18

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