The provinces of Nepal have been endowed with the power to maintain security and to administer Provincial Police for that purpose as per Schedule 6 (1) of the Constitution of Nepal 2015.
Indeed, the administration of police has little to do with the provincial system. As per the current organizational structure, the Inspector General of Police heads the Nepal Police. It is a complex system which has judges and politicians included in the mix.
However, the provincial level has no clear act that describes how the provinces are to maintain security via the police force. Madhes province has been trying to push an act for establishing and running a police force at the provincial level. Other provinces are yet to join in.
Schedule 6 has also given provinces the power to run provincial television channels but no province has its own channel. Other rights have also been provided but it is the shortest list of rights amongst all schedules and Madhes is the smallest province as per Schedule 4.
Whosoever claims that the Constitution of Nepal 2015 is perfect is yet to recognize what Dr BR Amdedkar said after introducing the Constitution of India 1947. He said in essence: A bad constitution will have good results if the people in charge are good and a good constitution will have bad results if the people in charge are bad.
The Constitution of Nepal has come a long way to ensure a federal democratic republican order. The Constitution of Nepal 1990 was not a progressive document; it was the same as before but tried to ensure the monarchy or oligarchy would not reclaim and retain state powers, so that Nepal could remain democratic.
However, it didn’t work as planned and King Gyanandra Shah reclaimed the throne after the royal massacre of June 1, 2001. As of now, top political parties and leaders like Sher Bahadur Deuba, Pushpa Kamal Dahal and KP Oli made the new mix among whom one would head the PMO.
None of them are concerned with federalism. Rastriya Swatantra Party has not clarified its stance on provinces while Rastriya Prajatantra Party has demanded doing away with the provincial system. The Supreme Court will have to serve as the guardian of the constitution to protect federalism.
Without the Maoist insurgency, then monarch Gyanandra would not have given up power, most probably. He still seeks power, which is evidenced by his rallies and programs. The Maoists became weak after Baburam Bhattrai and Mohan Baidhya left the fold handing the sole power to Dahal—who believed too much in himself and undermined teamwork. Indeed, a guerrilla commander has become a politician. However, Dahal too does not seem concerned with provincial decentralization of power. For him also, it is easier to rule from Kathmandu alone by ignoring the rest of Nepal.
Provinces have to be restructured and renamed. The present seven state system and the number of parliamentarians is needlessly high. States can be reduced to three and the number of lawmakers can be reduced to half of that today, reducing political expenses by more than half.
But they want to legally plunder us, and we sheep have yet to find freedom instead of being led by shepherds to our slaughter. Socrates said: “The biggest penalty for refusing to rule is to be ruled by your inferiors.” Philosopher leaders with deep insight are needed to truly establish a federal democratic republic of Nepal.
The author is a student of law