The Constitution Day (Sambidhan Divas) commemorates the adoption of the Constitution of Nepal, which officially came into effect on Asoj 3, 2072 (September 20, 2015), through the second Constituent Assembly. Today (Asoj 3) marks the sixth anniversary of the day Nepal charted a new political course through the new national charter.
In the last six years, the discourse on the constitution has always been about rights. Many are complaining that it does not give them enough rights. This article presents a critique from the perspective of duties—which is rarely talked about in the public sphere—to explore how much or whether we have succeeded or failed to do our duties. We might know what the constitution entails but do we also realize that rights cannot exist without duties?
It’s often said that every right implies a corresponding duty but every duty does not imply a corresponding right. The constitution’s ultimate purpose to maintain the rule of law has deteriorated due to people’s disregard for fundamental duties. After all, the people of Nepal are the ultimate custodian of the constitution. It is in them that the sovereignty rests and it is in their name the constitution was adopted.
The preamble of the Constitution of Nepal affirms the sovereignty of “We the people,” who are committed “to fulfill the aspirations for perpetual peace, good governance, development and prosperity through the medium of democratic-republican system of governance” and thus “hereby promulgate this Constitution through the Constituent Assembly.” The concluding part seeks to unite the citizens in an enduring sense of duty to uphold the constitutional norms, not just loyalty of lip service. The parliamentarians, leaders at the provincial legislature, leaders at local level, or the top government officials must ask themselves whether they have stood up to the constitutional promise of maintaining the “rule of law”.
In six years of constitutional journey, Nepal has witnessed many challenges. The challenges range from instability of government to dissolution of pa
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