Book Review

The review of Nepal’s efforts towards inclusion

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Nepal is an ancient country. “Exclusion to Inclusion: Crafting a New Legal Regime in Nepal” is a comprehensive book that explores efforts made by Nepal towards inclusivity.

Written by Bipin Adhikari, Deepak Thapa, Bandhita Sijapati, and Sudeshma Thapa with the assistance of Rakshya Thapa, and Pooja Chaudhary, the book covers history of Nepal’s inclusionary policies, starting from the early 1950s. It also examines the provisions in place to recognize and address issues faced by Nepal’s marginalized communities.

The book is divided into seven chapters. The first chapter discusses needs of affirmative action policies in Nepal, highlighting the struggles and frustrations of people who have faced discrimination. The second chapter comprises inclusive policies introduced in the Interim Constitution of Nepal in 2007 and also refers to international treaties and covenants ratified by Nepal along with the state’s policies and directive principles.

Chapters 3 and 4 delve into ideas and perspectives of the drafting committees for the constitution including the conflict that led to the transition from Constituent Assembly I to Constituent Assembly II. The fifth chapter reviews the inclusionary provisions in the 2015 Constitution, while the sixth chapter outlines the appropriate provisions in place to recognize and address the issues faced by marginalized communities. Finally, the seventh chapter highlights past achievements and future challenges of Nepal’s inclusionary policies.

One of the standout features of the book is its comprehensive nature. After reading it, one will have a thorough understanding of Nepal’s history with regards to inclusivity. The book also has a pragmatic approach, making it a realistic read.

The authors have provided a holistic assessment of the current situation. They have also highlighted areas that will require focus in the future as implementation is likely to be haphazard.

Additionally, it is the result of meticulous research with an analysis of the recent Supreme Court case law and a critical examination of draft laws.

The authors also address the issue of implementation, both praising and criticizing the actions of all three branches of government. The highlight of the book is Chapter 7, where the authors provide a critical analysis of the government’s efforts towards inclusion along with proposed solutions.

In his foreword to the book, Professor Bhola Thapa, the Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University, stresses the importance of continued efforts, especially by the government, to implement the Constitution with transparency. He emphasizes that this can only be achieved with the participation of all concerned and access to necessary information.

A narrow bureaucratic approach can hinder the quality of public decision-making preventing citizens from holding those in power accountable and have negative impacts on various aspects of society and governance, including diversity and social inclusion.

The authors have provided a holistic assessment of the current situation. They have also highlighted areas that will require focus in the future as implementation is likely to be haphazard. The book will be a valuable reference for researchers and practitioners in this area, also the Government of Nepal and its policymakers will be among the primary beneficiaries of this work.

The book under consideration is missing an analysis of the necessity of inclusionary policies in the immediate context. While a long-term implementation strategy is needed to address the various forms of discrimination and exclusion that exist in society, it is equally important to ensure perspectives and needs of all individuals that are considered and incorporated in decision-making processes.

This may involve a range of measures like legal and policy reforms, capacity building, and public awareness campaigns. Furthermore, it should be well-coordinated and involve a range of stakeholders including government, civil society and marginalized communities themselves to ensure its effectiveness.

Inclusionary policies and affirmative action policies are designed to ensure that the perspectives and voices of all individuals are heard and incorporated without discrimination. Despite such policies, discrimination persists in many countries, including the United States.

Some argue that these policies themselves are discriminatory and that alternative approaches such as efforts to uplift marginalized communities, are needed.

The book’s portrayal of affirmative action as the only solution to discrimination and inequality is therefore too narrow, and other alternatives should have been considered to provide readers with a broader perspective. In spite of this omission, the authors’ efforts are commendable and their writing is effective.

In conclusion, my understanding of inclusion has greatly expanded as a result of reading this book. I have gained insight into the challenges faced by marginalized communities in asserting their identities and achieving social and economic equality.

Moreover, I have gained a deeper understanding of the approach taken by legislative drafters in this regard. This has helped me to better appreciate the difficulties faced by marginalized communities, and I am grateful for this perspective.

My perception of legislators and their work has also undergone a significant shift as I have come to understand the extensive deliberation that goes into creating inclusive policies. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to gain a deeper understanding of inclusiveness and its importance. The book provides an honest and reflective account of Nepal’s ongoing struggle to become an inclusive society.

(Upadhayay is a senior law student at Kathmandu University School of Law)


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