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Resort to dignified and meaningful engagement

The recent war of words on facebook between the Chairman of the National Council and the Opposition Leader about the government’s decision to remove cut-off point for Class X and the debates the instant cause célèbre continue to elicit was the most sordid display of impetuousness of our elected leaders. What this theatrical bathos point to is that our leaders are becoming increasingly blinkered by the day and are losing their sense of duty to the nation and the people. Worst is for them to lose their sense of place and that is exactly what seems to be happening.

Rather than sitting together to seek solutions, for the chairman of the House of Review to take to facebook to say that political parties cannot and should not solicit NC’s intervention on issues and differences between political parties is, if anything, nakedly scandalous. What seems to have escaped the House of Review’s knowledge is that removal of cut-off point for Class X is not – at least in the way the people understand – a political issue between the government and the opposition. The issue is one of policy matter that has in the process given rise to the question of constitutionality of it all.

According to Article 11 Section 2 of the Constitution, the NC shall act as the house of review besides its legislative functions on matters affecting the security, sovereignty and the interests of the nation. The issue of constitutionality arose when the government removed cut-off point for Class X because the Constitution clearly states that the State shall provide free education to all children of school going age up to tenth standard and that technical and professional education be made generally available.

The government maintains that it did not breach the Constitution by going ahead with the policy change – removal of cut-off point. The opposition’s view is that the government’s policy change may have contravened the mother of all laws. Both the sides seem to be right. In the meanwhile, legal practitioners remain divided on legal interpretation and implications. There is so a great grey void.

Because this great grey void concerns interest of the nation looking from the idea of a just society, future economic development, affordability and sustainability, which could also have implications on the security and sovereignty of the nation, it is very much incumbent on the House of Review to step in. The warring sides may have called a truce, but NC can ill afford to bail out.

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