Federalism has been on everybody’s lips for seven-eight years. A federal state structure – based on ethnicity – was indeed a popular idea back in 2008. But what about now? Well, ask the Kathmandu-based Interdisciplinary Analysts (IA), and they’ll say it’s all changed. Merely 26 percent of the population are in favour of federalism; and even more so, out of this segment only 12 percent favours federalism based on ethnicity!
IA’s results are based on a nation-wide survey among 3000 respondents. So it seems quite reliable too, statistically speaking. On top of that, another recent survey by Himalmedia supports these results. In fact, this week featured several arguments in the media against (ethnic) federalism. David Seddon wrote under the headline, “Devolution without federalism”, that now it’s time to return to the Local Self-governance Act of 1999 and start from there. That might not happen. But for the time being, a large majority of Nepalis do seem to favour the old set-up of elected local bodies.