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Nepal gets first woman Chief Justice

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By Gopal Sharma

KATHMANDU (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Sushila Karki became the first female acting Chief Justice of Nepal’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, ending the male domination of top posts in the judiciary.

The Himalayan nation, though still a deeply patriarchal society, is becoming increasingly inclusive, following the end of 10 years of civil war in 2006 and the abolition of the 239-year-old feudal monarchy two years later.

In September last year, a specially elected Constituent Assembly approved the first post-monarchical constitution, which gave women the right to “proportional inclusion” in all government organs.

It also guaranteed equal property rights to daughters and required that the president and vice-president be from different genders and communities.

The Constitutional Council headed by Prime Minister K.P. Oli recommended the appointment of Karki, 63, to replace Kalyan Shrestha, who retired on Tuesday.

Her nomination is expected to be confirmed by a parliamentary committee, though this has not yet been formed because of bickering among political parties.

An Oli aide, Pramod Dahal, said Karki would work as acting Chief Justice until the parliamentary hearing, which is a formality.

The president, who holds a ceremonial position, and the parliament speaker are also women, further signs of change in a society with a tradition of male domination.

The appointment of Karki, who was the most senior judge in the Supreme Court, has been hailed by activists as a milestone in women’s empowerment in Nepal, putting it ahead of its giant neighbor India, which has not had a woman as head of its Supreme Court in 65 years as a democracy.

Karki has the reputation of being a fearless judge with zero tolerance for corruption. She is also known for judgments allowing women to pass their citizenship to their children, previously something only men could do in Nepal.

“She strongly believes that competent women should be in  leadership positions for the emancipation of women,” Hari Phuyal, a senior lawyer and former student of Karki, who began her career as a teacher, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Former colleagues say Karki is known for delivering judgments free of the influence of politics or personal ties.

“Even as a child she treated everyone as equals and encouraged us to go to school,” her younger sibling, Junu Dahal, told the Foundation.

Modest and courteous, Karki is the eldest of seven children in a prosperous farming family in Shankarpur village, a jute-growing area in the eastern plains.

(Editing by Tim Pearce. Credit: The Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change.)

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  • Pragya Jha

    Women have proved themselves in every field. They came ahead of the patriarchal society and male domination.

  • Pritam Go Green

    Good enough !!! This will serve as an inspiration for other countries where women empowerment needs to be done.

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Women have been struggling for their rights since many years but still there is way too much discrimination in many places.. a lot more changes need to be inculcated

  • Pragya Jha

    Women have proved themselves in every field. They came ahead of the patriarchal society and male domination.

  • Pritam Go Green

    Good enough !!! This will serve as an inspiration for other countries where women empowerment needs to be done.

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Women have been struggling for their rights since many years but still there is way too much discrimination in many places.. a lot more changes need to be inculcated

Next Story

Shoot The Rapist At The Sight

 And which type is contributing more dangerously to the society can easily be measured with our simple plus and minus equation

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This glaring aberration in the world of media is visible as clearly as stars in the darkness of the night.
India is plagued with a disease called Rape. Wikimedia Commons

Salil Gewali

  • India is plagued with a disease called Rape
  • There are no rigorous punishments for rape
  • Rapists openly commit crimes without anny fear

Why the clamour only for the rigorous punishment for rape and other sadistic crimes which have their roots in the mental-degeneration? Apart from the toughest punishment to the perpetrators, let’s go deeper to analyze what could be the possible  “causes”  that push men to commit rape. Why so much mental degeneration that certain individuals can stoop to the gutter being to their status, their position and social values? Well, how to address those issues is certainly a challenge. And that “challenge” certainly calls for a serious brain-storming and a serious self-assessment vise-a vise the environment in which we all are living.

Ranaghat Nun Rape Case
Rape culture in India garnered more spotlight following the Nirbhaya-gang rape, after which the issue has continue to remain a burning topic in the country. Pixabay

True, in the physical world we are highly convinced brag about that healthy environment is a must for our healthy living. Even kids know these days that we can’t breathe well if our surroundings are filled with high levels of  “toxicity”. We have well studied through our academic textbooks that people invite the environmental disaster if they keep on allowing excessive emission of CO2, CO, methane and other dangerous gases into the atmosphere. We have fully acknowledged that each tall and black chimney of the industries and the nozzles of the motor vehicles are here only to mar the beauty of this planet? What kind of damages the toxic gases are doing to our ecosystem are not at all tough job to analyze with modern appliances. Again, a lot amount of books have been published to create the awareness, to inform us about the scientifically tested measures to resolve the environmental concerns.

However, do we have the same amount of literature that pinpoint the “causes” which contribute to turning “males into perverts”? Who else is emitting the “toxic substances” that overpower the inborn sensitivity of the deviant? What are the properties of toxic filth that is polluting the mind-scape of the society? Now we have Donald Trump, the president of the USA, whom many prefer call him a pervert. At this rate, the number perverts are increasing and they have become dangerously ubiquitous. And, all those perverts have brought nightmares to the ill-fated females. We often stage candle march in protest against the rape, but remain blind to the glaring “causes”. Should we still fiddle about and be appreciative of the society that shameless covers itself with the vulgarity — the “toxicity” that might numb the sanity of males? Watch out, dear friends, those perverts have begun to see even “baby girls” as objects of lust!

Please note:  what our sages said:  “What you see that you think, what you think that you do and what you do that become !!!!”

Also Read: Eat Grapes To Ward Off Depression

Again, I would like to draw another similarity with what prompt big people to “rape”/violate the harmony of the Mother Earth. The case is very regularly brought out by the conscious citizens across the country. A senior journalist Patricia Mukhim of Meghalaya has pointedly driven home recently how the “greed for money” has corrupted many leaders who are trying hard to justify the senseless exploitation of the “body” of Mother Earth. Many big shots of big companies struggle to convince the politicians to tweak the laws to grant the permission to perpetually “rape” the country.

In my mind, both are infected with common syndromes! While the one type is interested in the body of the females, the other type has a fetish for the rocky body of the “Mother Earth”. And which type is contributing more dangerously to the society can easily be measured with our simple plus and minus equation.

The rape victims are not getting the justice they deserve.
The rape victims are not getting the justice they deserve.

Let’s assess the issues from another angle, given the advancement of medical science. Till some years back malaria, dengue, cholera, HIV, smallpox were life-taking diseases. But the medical science has pretty successfully eradicated or contained them all. The scientists have correctly identified the causes of those dangerous diseases and recommended the remedial measures. No doubt, that is a very productive achievement. However, why have the modern studies practically failed to “identify the causes”  of the pandemic rise of the horrendous instances of rapes and criminality associated with them? Is it not a strong slap in the face of the modern civilization considering we have not yet spelt out the causes and the characteristic symptoms the  “toxic emitters” who turn decent males into sadists? How long will we endure the depravity which has already strangulated the decency of the society? Should we still wait to work out the tough laws? Should we still hitch to explore for the “causes” and remedial measures? I guess the time is ripe that each morally conscious individual be allowed a shotgun to shoot the “perversion and depravity” of any kind at sight!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.