Category Archives: Anuj Niroula

Academic Freedom in Nepal

Academic freedom, the freedom of teachers and students to teach, study, and pursue knowledge and research without unreasonable interference or restriction from law, institutional regulations, or public pressure. Its basic elements include the freedom of teachers to inquire into any subject that evokes their intellectual concern; to present their findings to their students, colleagues, and others; to publish their data and conclusions without control or censorship; and to teach in the manner they consider professionally appropriate. For students, the basic elements include the freedom to study subjects that concern them and to form conclusions for themselves and express their opinions (Encyclopaedia, Britannica).

af1 Banner: Let us Study.

To talk about academic freedom, i remember a teacher punishing a student in answering a question in different words arrangement as was written by the teacher. I was 10 at the time, when I took the issue to the principle to have the right to answer the question in my own words. I was heard. However, this is not a single point where teacher compel students to memorize their words and try to jail the students in the name of discipline.

The talk to academic freedom in Nepal should be started from the access to school, reaching to school, choosing academics and taking class while the world is talking about the international freedom of academics. Academic Freedom is a far talk in Nepal where there is no basics of academic freedom i.e. freedom of choice in academics. Reports illustrate no formal restriction in Nepal. However, I come to the point there is also no formal academic freedom in Nepal. Government has felt necessity to announce no strike to Dairy Vehicles, but not the academic institution vehicles.

It is however pitiful when the academic institutions, students and teachers themselves go for strike for months disturbing the study schedules and schedules of exam as well. Many of the times a 4 year course takes 6 years to complete because of the strikes and several postponing of the exam schedules. Tribhuvan University is the university where one should always reconfirm if there is strike or not, before having a visit.

No legal restriction in academia does not mean we have no restriction. Social restriction have become more prominent to the context of freedom of choice in academics as well as freedom to study in academic institutions. Academic Institutions are open but the tutor cannot reach the college because of strike. Students cannot reach their college because of strike. Students reach to exam center and notice that the exam has post-pond.

So are we having academic freedom in Nepal?

By Anuj Niroula

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Reservation : A Discrimination by government

Nepalese government has been discriminating its people from years on basis of ethnicity and gender being most dominant. Classifying citizens on basis of gender and ethnicity and giving special attention the group clearly reflects that the government believes that specified group of people are inferior than the remaining. Nepalese government provides reservation classifying people on basis of gender (female), ethnicity, physical deformity, and many other categories.

I had one senior sister, who strongly was against the reservation system. Providing 33 % reservation seat to female clearly indicates a sympathy to female. In her view if government believes in equal equity in male and female then, government either should distribute the access on 1:1 ratio if not everybody should be left for equal competition. In her words “Government is saying females you are weak physically and intellectually than males, so we are providing you some reservation. Some girls may be weak and some may be more captive then males, attitude of government is just the thinking of paternal society.” She was not wrong, she competed fairly and was recruited as a government officer leaving behind many males.

My personal view regarding the ethnic reservation is completely bogus. Who are receiving the reservation in past many years? How much of real needy have received reservation? The matter of fact is many of those who are receiving reservations have lived prosperous life then many others who do not fall on the category of reservation list. Is it fair that by getting born in some family get special attention by government then others. Even the royal family now have sifted to Nagarjuna Durbar and the chief of the country now is not by bloodline until when will this continue.

I do not argue against the reservation to people with physical deformity or handicaps. But discrimination of other citizens by the government cannot be justified. There has always been discrimination as we go digging within each. The child with reservation listed father and reservation unlisted mother are reserved, while the child born with reservation listed mother and reservation unlisted father does not get reservation. Another discrimination between male and female. For eg: the child of Rai father and brahmin mother gets reservation and why not the child of Rai mother and brahmin father?

In fact, reservation system is carried out just as a political tactics. In long term it is deforming the nation. Weak candidates get better opportunities. We must think if the weak candidate was not reserved then the place would have more captive candidate and more efficient result would have been obtained in the field. This is how the country is not going in the development pace as it should have been. Secondarily, reservation system is making the candidates lazy by giving them easy achievable target. The competition is reduced by a great proportion and promoting less effort to them than others. This obviously result is less competitiveness of the people in reservation list and more competitive to the remaining. Lesser is the competition, lesser will be the effort and lesser will be the achievement.

It we have to cut down the tree, its useless cutting down the branches one by one. If we need to cut down the tree we should we should cut it down from the root. How much the branches are cut, the target is never achieved unless we cut the tree by its root. Reservation system is just like cutting the branches, to show public that they are doing something. Government fears if the problem is handled, they won’t get further work to do. But its a mistake, there will always be something task left for the government to do.

If the country believes some group of people needs special reservation then why not work to end. Why not plan to make them competitive. Why not work on the way that will end the requirement of reservation i.e. a discrimination ?

Government should not discriminate its citizens.

Post contributed by: Anuj Niroula

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Rule of Law : Will the dream come true?

After the failure of “Constitutional Assembly I”, Nepal completed its “Constitution Assembly Election II” on Nov 19, 013. The vote obtained in this election is drastically different from that in the previous election, most likely because of the failure of previous Constitutional Assembly. Nepal has already tried various Constitution and various governance so far, after the end of the domination of Ranas in 1950, when King Tribhuwan declared “Democracy” for the first time in Nepal.

The term “Revolution” may indicate to a great cause and change in other parts of globe, but in Nepal it has already been an ordinary term with lots revolution and changes of rule and governance. Looking back to the two decades in Nepal, the government has changed the number of times as the number of years have past. At present Nepal is a Democratic republic country, which is preparing to be federal in few years along with the formation of new constitution in Nepal. The political inconsistency of back few decades and insolvency of the present have brought some political awareness in people up to some extent and still its much below the need. The industries are subsequently closing and/or migrating, unemployment is increasing, living has become fearful, and compulsory charity demand from the goons and political parties have badly impacted the life and freedom of people causing skilled  and capable manpower to drain abroad.

However there are some more issues that constantly strike to my mind. I expect one day the “Constitution” will be formed. And on that day, will there be the “Rule of Law”? Will every citizen be subject to law? Or there still prevail a special grading of citizen in reference to the approach in government. Will a minister get the same punishment as a common man when they both commit the same crime. Will the country be free of the threatens of the leaders of Political Parties? How can we imagine those threateners to contribute to form the “Constitution” of the country where they themselves will be bound to law.? Are they fools to end up their corrupting power themselves? Or are we fools to believe them to do so?

Every day different kinds of threatens are being heard from the various political parties in the name of maintaining the peace and formation of Constitution. Alliance of Major parties have made the “Interim Constitution” a doll and amend it upto 4-5 times a year. Leaders are playing with the law in the name of making law.

But Nepalese people are waiting for the answer of their question : Rule of law: Will the dream come true?

Post Contributed by : Anuj Niroula

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Ethnic Agendas : Do They Worth ?

Harmony has a long history in Nepal. It had been worth saying Buddha was born in Nepal. The truth though cannot be changed, the disturbance in harmony not only among the political parties but among people regarding federalization actually does not suit to the people of the birth place of Lord Buddha.
The talk now is about the Ethnic Agendas : Partition and nomenclature of the federal states on basis of “Race”. I never understand, how many states will be required to suffice the demand, 8, 10, 15, 100 or still more. To the mixed populated country like Nepal, is it possible to divide states on basis of ethnicity ? My answer is No. There can never be a distinct border in that context. Each ethnic state however we try will always be overlapping and rise of more and more demand of states, if an ethnic gets a state then why not the other? Its a never ending target for country like Nepal.
I always wonder, why Ethnic states ? Will the state give special facilities to the ethnic? If the answer is “Yes”, the first question is “Is it possible?”, lets forget about it, the second question “What happens to the rest?” “Will the rest people agree giving certain distinction to some people by ethnicity and constraining them (other ethnicity) in their own Nation?” Don’t ever anybody think, its just giving rise to a etnic war. Or do they envision to let people shift to their respective states, I just feel it humorous. How could a sensible person of this century even think about that? Everybody knows the consequence of trying to draw a border between India and Pakistan on basis of religion. Trying to divide Nepal on basis of ethnicity is no different. Are we fools?
So, will the state give special facilities to the ethnic group? I say No. If so, what’s the motive? Why Ethnic Agendas, and Ethnic federalism for? An identification? What sort of identification? Is the ethnic division and nomenclature the only way for identification of the ethnic group. Is there no alternative? There is of course, various ways.
Even if there were no alternatives, did the identification of some ethnics worth failure of “Constitution Assembly I”? “Elongation of transition phase of nation?” “Linger the country in fast growing international competition?” The nation can never develop where people compete and fight among each other for dividing and/or naming a state on basis of ethnicity, race, religion, language, costume etc. It continues ever with a hatred and ends never without extinction of the other, which means war: blood. The only solution is ending the competition of those ethnicity, race, religion, language or custom. History and the experience of the world is the proof of it.

If the agendas of ethnic federalization persists, there no doubt “Constitution Assembly II” will also fail. And if it succeeds, it wont be the end of the transition phase of nation, it will be the beginning of hatred among the ethnic groups, an ethnic war.
“Does division and nomenclature of federal states on basis of ethnicity (Ethnic Agendas) worth all that has happened and will happen?”
Cannot we imagine of the free societies, where the constitution is not designed to benefit this or that person or group, and respect the rights of every citizen regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, language, color, gender, family or other accidental feature.

Post Contributed by : Anuj Niroula

Charter Team Member : Students For Liberty

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Has Nepal Become Free ?

The blog post is contributed by Anuj Niroula.

Charter Team Member, Students For Liberty

After the blood of numerous martyrs, Nepal got Prajatantra (Democracy) in 1950 from a century long autocratic Rana rezyme. Nepal first saw a dawn of democracy and the parliamentary government under the multi-party system for some years which was later followed by Panchayat System (1960) and Improved Panchayat System (1979). After “Jana Andolan” on November 9, 1990, Multi party democratic system was reinstalled and New Democratic Constitution of the Kingdom was promulgated. More freedom could be felt by Nepali people. The Royal Takeover in February 1,2005 and again “April Revolution ( Jana Andolan II)” in April 2006, resulted to the election of Constitutional Assembly” and made us the citizens of “Democratic Republic of Nepal“.

We have a long chain of revolutionary movements for the freedom. Now the question is “Has Nepal Become Free?” “Have We become Free?”. Or we need still some more revolutions for so?

Politicians failed to form the Constitution. Beurocrats are given the responsibility for “Constitutional Assembly Election – II“. People are losing hopes and politicians are losing faith from their followers. People changed. Systems changed. Most importantly time has left us long behind. Let us suppose, the forthcoming election goes well, constitution gets formed, federation issues (which was supposed to be the main cause of the failure in the formation of Constitution just behind) get resolved, eventhough I have a question on my head.  Still, “Can we expect a person can run his business without paying percentage to goons? ” “Can we expect a person can easily pay his tax without brives?” “Can we expect a person can walk on the street late night freely?”

If so, “How Has Nepal Become Free?” “How is Nepal a Democratic country?” Democracy is still far away. Freedom is still far away. Somewhere invisible. To live in a free country, in a free society, we have a long journey ahead.

Students For Liberty – Nepal is the beginning of the Journey.

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