FEDERAL NEPAL: TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS
Federal Nepal: Trials and Tribulations is Jha’s debut non-fiction book, which includes insights from the perspective of a constitutional lawyer and insider for political parties during the constitution drafting process. The book exposes the manipulations in the constitution writing and implementing process and the dilution of the agenda of change, including federalism. It was expected that Nepal’s new constitution would help reform the state uniting Madhesi, Tharu, Janjatis, women and hill people. But the charter has, in fact, proved to be divisive.
This book illustrates that even a constitution passed by almost 90 percent of people’s elected representatives can be full of flaws. It also underscores the fact that mandates of popular movements for change can be diluted by conservative forces through manipulative strategies and ambiguous constitutional language.
Dipendra Jhais a lawyer practising at the Supreme Court of Nepal. He has master’s degrees in constitutional and criminal law, human rights, peace and conflict studies from Nepal, Thailand, and the UK, respectively. Currently, he is associated with Terrai Law Associates, a law firm in Kathmandu. He also regularly writes on contemporary politics, constitutional issues and social justice in various national newspapers.
Dipendra Jha, Nepal’s bravest lawyer-activist, reconstructs the story of Nepal’s flawed constitutional project – and how the country squandered a historic oppotunity with an unjust document which would reinforce existing hierarchies and fail to create an inclusive state. Laced with empathy for the marginalised; mixing brilliant ground-level reportage with ancestors from high politics of Kathmandu, Delhi and Geneva; and providing a deeply personal history of Nepal’s recent journey, Federal Nepal: Trials and Tribulations is a must-read for all students of South Asian politics and constitutionalism. Jha has been a witness-participant of Nepal’s most turbulent transition. His legal interventions, on the side of Nepal’s poorest citizens, have led to historic court judgements; his work in protecting human rights has exposed the excesses of the Nepali state; and he has broadened the idea of civil society and challenged existing, entrenched attitudes and institutions in Nepal. There could have been no one better to provide this most authentic, insider story of a political tragedy. Indispensable.
-Prashant Jha, Associate Editor at Hindustan Times (Author of How The BJP Wins: Inside India’s Greatest Election Machine and Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal)