Muslim community worried whether their rights will be enshrined in new statute
The Muslim community in the country is worried at present whether their rights and interests would be guaranteed in the new constitution to be promulgated in the new future, effectively institutionalising the commitment of building a new Nepal, RSS reports.
The Muslims who have settled in Nepal since centuries have a sizeable presence in the Terai and in Kathmandu. Muslims are also spread out in some hilly districts as well. This community feels that the State and the political parties were never serious about its rights and interests inspite of its significant participation in every popular movement in the country.
In the beginning, the Muslims of Nepal were ideologically more inclined towards the Nepali Congress party at the political level. But they also started joining other political parties following the 1990 political change.
It is not that some Muslims were not the supporters of the then regime when the parties were banned in the country. The late Dr. Mohammad Mohsin is an example of this. Although the late Mohsin was in politics for long, he could not rally the Muslims in his support. The only reason for this was that a majority of the Muslims also yearned for democracy.
The Muslim community is feeling desolate mainly because it does not have the late leader Shekh Idris and other eminent persons from the community like Dr Khalil, Suleman Company, Mirja Dilsad Beg, Mohid Khan and media entrepreneur Jamim Shah in its midst. Each of these personalities was a centre of hope for the whole community. Realising the need of putting up a united front for securing their rights in the run up to the promulgation of the new constitution which is expected to guarantee the rights and well-being of all the Nepali citizens, the Muslim community has also formed the National Muslim Struggle Alliance in the last hour. It appears that the alliance has been put together to exert pressure on the State and the political parties to address the demands of the Muslim community. The alliance has also warned of waging a decisive movement for their existence if their just demands were not addressed in the new constitution.
The Muslim community has been facing discrimination, oppression and exploitation since the past. Three separate agreements and understandings have been reached with the government at different times in the past for ending this state of affairs. But these agreements and understandings have hardly been implemented which is the main cause of concern for the entire Muslim population. It is felt that all the political parties and communities should support the Muslim's cause as it has been felt that the numerical strength of only some 18 Constituent Assembly members representing the Muslim community in the Assembly would not be large enough to lobby for the community's rights and interests. nepalnews.com