At present everyone is using the term “Social inclusion” and in the name of this, people of different ethnicities, regions, caste and class are raising their voices and are demanding their seats in the parliament.
In my opinion, this is not a practical concept in the sense that this concept doesn’t have a concrete definition. So I think people are misusing and trying to use it in their own terms and conditions. In various NGOs and INGOs, projects are flowing in for “social inclusion”. But is this actually practical? Recently, Madhesis revolution turned bit calm. But unsurprisingly, ethnic people (janajatis) are demanding for their voices to be heard in the name of social inclusion. It is necessary that your voices are to be heard but calling Nepal bandh and Upatyakas (KTM valley) Bandh so that your voices would be heard is a short cut method and reveal short sightedness. When these things are done, only sufferers are more suffered but those who need to be cautious and shaken up are actually not much affected.
If this way, in the name of social inclusion one starts to calling Bandhs and keeps on demanding, considering the multilingual, multi ethnic, multi religious nature of our country, we will need to have thousands of demands flowing in and will need to arrange for thousands of seat in the parliament instead of just 330 in new Nepal. It is because no one will be satisfied with whatever is happening then he/she wants to be in the parliament. And that person will be in the parliament then another group of people will demand for their seats in the parliament and this process will continue. So the need of the hour is that whoever is in power and whoever has authority to make decisions need to call for rigorous discussion and come to a conclusion. At present our prime minister, who is about to die any moment, will time and again give speeches in the name of people to fulfill the demands of “people” and if he doesn’t, then he will be tagged as being “undemocratic”. So he has to fulfill them and then certain group of people won’t be happy with his statements and new demands will be put forward and again he will have to fulfill them. That is what has been happening here right now in our context. If the trend is set like this then after janjatis, women, youth, Dalits, Bote-Majhis, Newars, poor, pahades and others will again put forward their issues and demand for their “inclusion”. Will that be possible?? We need to think about this. If this continues, “peace” which we are trying to achieve will be unachievable and instead of going in the progressive path we will be regressing and this regression will be even worse and will have even deadlier consequences than the armed conflict of the Maoists.
Therefore people who are so called representatives of people and those who are in the different forums and federations need to understand the situation and need to raise their issues in a very practical manner and need to think for a long period of time. They cannot be short sighted and demand whatever they feel like. It is understandable that state has been unfair and has been very ruthless to certain groups of people who are in majority but this doesn’t mean that because of them, other people (other members of the nation who are non state actors) are to be affected as well. So rational demands are to be put and in the name of social inclusion (which is a vague term), people misuse the power that are vested with. So instead of emphasizing on social inclusion why don’t we start campaign where we emphasize on changing attitudes and character of people vested with power, why don’t we campaign for anti corruption agenda, why don’t we campaigns for strict enforcement of laws, rules and regulations?
In my opinion what Rad says to an extent is absolutely true. But I am a fan of “Social Inclusion” which in the purest sense is the inclusion of all the identities present in a nation, through direct or indirect representation. While democracy mostly seeks to bring out the majority view and opinion, Social inclusion strives to bring out all those willing to express their opinion (be them in majority or minority) with special focus on groups that are marginalized and to place their legitimate demands on the government through direct or indirect representatives.
Yes it is true that the groups within Nepal that are currently demanding representation are acting violently and in view of destructive display of their need, however, one must remember that the peace accord signed between previously conflicting parties in the armed conflict have not done a very good job in addressing the root cause of conflict in their discussions and accords and thus the value of conflict resolution through agreement has not been met. We also know that the only way a nation can move forwards is when the evils of conflict have been disclosed and an apology has been put forwards by the perpetrators of a violation of human rights during war time, and the perpetrators and victims have been given their due justice. But many know that this has not been done. The very people who have committed atrocities against others are the very people in Nepal today, making laws. Therefore, because the very basic issues have not been addressed when it should have been, these groups are now placing their demands.
And what else can these groups do? They counted on their leaders to make sure they are included and the root causes of social unrest in the country are diminished. However, when their aspirations are not fulfilled then they will do what they feel is the best way of putting their demands. While we know many groups that are doing the same intellectually, these groups like the Madeshis and the Jana jatis, who feel like their demands can best be heard by violence, will resort to violence. There has been no concrete, collaborated and coordinated effort by all the actors in the state affairs from NGO’s, INGO’s, government agencies, people from all walks of life who are willing to participate to work together in creating an environment for social inclusion and democracy. Therefore this situation is not to be blamed on “Social inclusion” but because of the disunity and vested interests of knowledgeable state actors like NGO’s and INGO’s working to make a profit out of the situation.