SOPA, LOKPAL AND NEPAL’S CONSTITUTION

After years of democratic constitutional practice there, it still takes rounds of discussion and analysis to pass each and every bill tabled to the legislation. In a country like United States of America where such bills passed have some amount  of impact on the whole world, then it is not only a nation’s bill but is of a global concern. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is a bill tabled by Texan republican congressman Lamar smith in the US House of Representatives on OCT 26, 2011 for the protection of intellectual property and actions against copyright infringement. After the enactment, SOPA will give US law enforcement authorities’ supreme power to strip and take down the websites that are found to contain copyrights violation and that encourage copyright infringement. Web giants like Google, Mozilla, Facebook and Twitter along with web activists and civil rights group are opposing this bill and garnering peoples support to raise voice against SOPA. Many Internet Activists slams it, claiming it will block free internet and freedom of speech. Wikipedia cam down heavily on SOPA, with its founder asking user opinion on a potential Wikipedia blackout to protest the proposed SOPA bill. Also as much of the domains like .com, .net and .org are controlled by U.S. based company; SOPA is not merely restricted to U.S. One thing is sure that with SOPA bill, we won’t be able to use the internet in the same way as we use it today. And the wait lingers.
 
Now let’s go to the largest democracy on earth, our close neighbor, India where a Social Activist Anna Hazaare started an indefinite hunger strike for stringent anticorruption law and after that whole of India started talking about the LOKPAL bill, in which they demanded to include the formation of powerful LOKPAL, an independent body that would investigate the corruption charges, even with PM under its ambit. After months of tussle between UPA government and Team Anna with rounds of fresh fast, government back down and again standing firm, Government panel just recently finalized LOKPAL bill draft which is hastily tabled in the legislation by the Government with the extension of this season by 3 days. While Anna Hazaare and his team have stood against the bill for the issues like not bringing CBI ( Central Bureau of Investigation) under the ambit of LOKPAL, though this new LOKPAL bill meets several demands by them including PM to be under the ambit of LOKPAL. Fierce Anna decided to fast at MMRDA ground, Mumbai paying  7 lakhs Indian ruppees as rental after Bombay High Court rejected a petition seeking free for the venue.  Opposition parties are also planning to challenge the bill against the minority quota in LOKPAL and Government control of CBI. Stage is set with all parties’ adamant on their feet. Let’s see how this LOKPAL debate will unfold for the 116th amendment to their Constitution.
 
Coming back to my country, where we the citizens have been eagerously waiting for the new constitution since post CA (Constituent Assembly) poll. Constituent Assembly of 601, with majority of communist tagged representatives from different parties (major being U-CPN Maoists which fought for a decade-long insurgency claiming more than 13000 lives), is unable to deliver the new constitution in this more than 3.5 years of constitutional making exercise. Primarily mandated for the delivery of constitution in 2 years along with serving as a legislative parliament, CA has extended its tenure four times up to four years now, with last minute consensus among major political parties for interim constitution amendment and formation of new government. Different activists and some smaller parties are against this extension claiming it to be unconstitutional. Even Supreme court once came up with a  verdict that CA can be extended for six months at most, after which if there is no new constitution then CA should be dissolved and country should go for either referendum or fresh polls. But this is of no avail now. However People have lots of dissents over all this political development and are skeptical of the new constitution to be formulated within this latest stipulated time, as there are many disputed issues between major political parties like Form of government, country’s federal structure, and electoral system, though it is said only 14 issues left to be resolved from the Dispute resolution sub-committee under CC headed by Maoists Supremo Prachanda. And these major political parties are lacking will power to do so and are also entangled by their intra-party rifts.  The anticipation and hope of the people for the materialization of the different struggles in history of Nepal, lies in the formation of new constitution that is believed to be the base for socio-economic development with all marginalized groups strengthened and equally participative.
 
Putting all this, I am inkling an analogy between these three countries’ political locales. One being the tool for censorship of the whole internet, another seen as a milestone for bringing corruption culprits under powerful law and the latter determining the fate of a whole nation, I now evade from this work of analyzing the gravity of the issues and leave it to the readers.  Jai Nepal!
Source: RDMAN
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