Beloved Sisters and Brothers:
Today completes the eight years of the promulgation of the Constitution of Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, by institutionalizing the achievements of seven decades of long and arduous struggle and sacrifices of Nepali people who desired to write their own constitution by their elected representatives. On this glorious occasion, first of all I express my heartfelt tribute to martyrs who sacrificed their valuable lives for the establishment of democratic republic in Nepal. I also express my sincere gratitude, with boundless honour, to the fighters of democracy who endured imprisonment, nails and also exile during the democratic movements and remained unwaveringly active in favour of the political transformation in country. Likewise, I also reverently remember senior leaders of democratic movements on this auspicious occasion.
Together we all have accomplished an important phase of democratic movement. We now have the Constitution made by ourselves. The present Constitution has not only ended all kinds of discrimination and inequalities nurtured under authoritarian, centralized and unitary state system but has also made Nepali people sovereign of state power in real sense.
Our Constitution, while stipulating federal democratic republic, has not only envisaged political, economic, social, religious and cultural freedoms but also justice to the helpless and income to the indigent. The diverse range of rights, provisioned in the constitution, are aimed at providing unhindered freedom to the destitute people while giving them opportunities to uplift their life standards. It is the core of the philosophy, being carried on by the federal democratic republic of Nepal.
However, we have changed the system while the condition of the country, society and general populace are not transformed yet! Undoubtedly, we have restructured the state administratively and the state power too has reached to the access of the people at the most grassroots level. But, the character of State is yet to be reformed and restructured.
Politically, we have attained “republic”, the highest level of achievement that people aspired for a long time. But I feel that the true meaning of the republic remains to be understood and internalized. Republic does not simply mean the change of guards in governance structure. It still remains for us to properly understand that the republic is the system, that not only ensures people’s direct participation in the political process, that leads them to state power, but also expects people to transform their conduct in accordance with the spirit of the system.
Having selected people’s representatives through democratic elections, all three levels of governments have now been formed as per the Constitution. These are definitely huge and historical achievements for all of us. And, I firmly believe that the happy journey of our future has commenced on the foundation of these very achievements.
In front of us, there is an ample possibility of making our country a distinct nation with Nepali ingenuity and as the world’s one of the advanced nations. We have an important opportunity before us. But this is possible only if we work relentlessly to bring about drastic and righteous changes in our conduct and character in accordance with the democratic culture.
We must remain watchful to make sure that the achievements of people’s movements are not again weakened from any quarter. We should remain alert to ensure that the provisions of democratic constitution made by people- endorsed through Constituent Assembly, are not subverted from anywhere. Why and how such condition could arise? We all need to be serious on this specific question. Is it not the case that our weaknesses are misrepresented and interpreted them as the weaknesses of system thereby distorting the ideals of democracy? I deem that there are several reasons behind it. But our weaknesses are also the reason. Therefore, the weaknesses are to be overcome by our political righteousness and it is necessary for us to make democracy result-oriented by establishing its sanctity.
To attain our happy future, there is no alternative to moving ahead protecting constitution and safeguarding the political achievements. Our constitution has provided equal rights and protection to diverse ethnicities, languages, cultures and communities spread along the unique geographical structures of Mountains, Hills and Terai. Therefore, it is my firm belief that the harmony, fraternity and coexistence subsisting among Nepalis will not be undermined by anyone.
Our culture and nature have opened for us the door of infinite possibility to generate employment and income in the country. If we could properly harness energy sector, modernize agriculture realm and expand tourism domain, of course by dint of ensuring good governance and ending all kinds of mismanagement, Nepal can easily reach the category of the world’s one of the advanced nations.
For the past several years, our country has been hard hit by natural disasters, triggered by climate change. It is, therefore, essential now for us to move ahead in concert with international community for addressing the challenges posed by climate crisis. Similarly, since good governance is the foundation for peace, development and prosperity, there is a dire need of an improvement in the mode of governance in the country. As the country faces headwinds at the moment, we require to enhance our international engagements as well: at the both bilateral and multilateral levels, through balanced and effective foreign policy. Such endeavours are imperative also for strengthening the national economy as we need to generate income and employment opportunities for our young human resources.
In order to fulfil the national responsibility, as the time has bestowed upon us, we now need to be united for the transformation of the society by nurturing democratic values and culture and ending mismanagement prevalent in every sector of society. And, for this to happen, let’s make a historic pledge today.
Thank you all. Jay Nepal.
20 September, 2023