CONSTITUTIONAL NATIONALISM AND STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE: A STUDY ON MULUKI AIN AND CONSTITUTIONS OF NEPAL
Sanjeev Uprety & Bal Bahadur Thapa
The present study examines various constitutions of Nepal, the legal of code of the nation (Muluki Ain) as well as the literature on the Maoist insurgency to examine whether the marginalized communities justified their use of violence against the state and its institutions by arguing that violence is present in socio-political and legal domains of the nation. This paper engages itself with notions of structural violence developed by scholars such as Johan Galtung and Paul Farmer In order to foreground the inequality and exclusion embedded in the Muluki Ain and constitutions. Every succeeding constitution of Nepal has been more liberal than its predecessor with regard to the rights of women, lower castes and ethnic communities. Despite such liberalizations, however, structural inequalities remain (and new imbalances continue to appear) in the socio-political and economic domains, fuelling possibilities for future violence. While the Interim constitution 2007 was a big step towards a just society, even this constitution has not been free from the charges that constitutional law is still supporting some forms of structural violence, and social anxieties remain that the yet to be written new constitution may display still newer forms of structural violence.
Dr. Sanjeev Uprety, has been teaching at the Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University for the last twenty two years. He completed Masters degree(s) from Tribhuvan University and SUNY-Binghamton, and then later, his Ph.d from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, with a focus on masculinity studies. He received his PhD for the dissertation titled ‘Double Mimesis: Representations of Mimicry, Masculinity, Modernity and Nation in colonial and post-colonial narratives 1850-1947’. He has done post-doctoral research on South Asian masculinities at Harvard and UC-Berkeley universities. He has also written a number of articles on masculinity studies and has participated in various international seminars concerning the subject. He is also the writer of best selling Nepali novel Ghanchakkar, and coordinated the M.Phil program in English during the first two years of its inception. In addition, he has been writing regularly on political themes following the 2006 people’s movement of Nepal. Sanjeev also coordinated the construction of Interactive Mapping and Archival Project (IMAP); a digital archive consisting of art and theater related materials of Nepal. His recent book Siddhanta Ka Kura has interpreted contemporary western theories in relation to Nepali literary texts and socio-political contexts of Nepal. He has also acted in Gurukul plays such as Nyayapremi and Sapana Ko Sabiti.
Bal Bahadur Thapa teaches at Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu. His research articles have been published in journals like Media Adhyayan and Cross-Currents.