Nepal’s Constituent Assembly adopted the new constitution in 2015 after deliberating on it for seven years, even as the draft was contested by some sections of the society, most notably the politicians from the Tarai, leading to the unrest in the southern plains. This was the precursor for the five months long blockade imposed by India.
For the past six years, Madhes-based parties have been up in arms about the new constitution. This year, the Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) decided not to take part in the Constitution Day celebrations and the newly-formed Democratic Socialist Party led by Mahanth Thakur marked the day as a black day.
‘The Maoist insurgency, the Madhes Movement, the Tharu Rebellion, and struggles of women, indigenous people, Dalits, Muslims delivered Nepal its democratic, secular, federal republic that constitutionally guaranteed inclusion, but it is well known that the state has created obstacles to attain those objectives at every step,’ read a statement by the rally organisers.
It went on: ‘The actions of the political parties and main pillars of the state since the Constitution was promulgated prove the necessity of continued vigilance and struggle to protect and institutionalise the gains.’