The grand finale of ‘The Liberty Debates Championship – MahaSangram 2016‘ took place on April 30, 2016 at Islington College, Kamal Pokhari, hosted jointly by Samriddhi Foundation and Debate Network Nepal. Teams Kaurav and Aerodite won the first and second prizes respectively and Rijan KC (from Nepali category) was announced as the Best Speaker.
The Championship was a month long debate league that began in April 2016 and ran every week for 4 weeks, with debates being conducted in both English and Nepali categories. This league was preceded by our Liberty Debates engagement that ran every month from January until March 2016. The Liberty Debates engagement and Championship both came about as a result of our recognition for a need to involve the young in relevant discussions on politics and economics.
Participants debated in either English or Nepali category. The motion for the grand finale for the English Debates was – ‘This house condemns the breach of property rights during the recent road expansion project in Kathmandu’. Teams Kaurav, Bazinga!, MP, and Dream Cream were finalists for this debate.
The proponent side started the debate explaining how, principally, the action was unjust as fair compensation hadn’t been provided and in a lot of cases, any compensation was missing. Favoritism seen in this road expansion project was also deliberated upon and portrayed as one consequence of ‘unequal access to the government’. Furthermore, they expressed how property rights were fundamental rights and one should be able to use their freedom of choice to decide what is to be done with his/her property. The opposition, on the other hand, believed the property rights existed in the first place because the society protected it for people and when it comes to the instances of mutual benefits, one has an obligation to make sacrifices for the greater good of society. They also countered the propositions’ claim of low utility of said action, giving examples of maximum utility from the road expansion. The opposition also felt that the stated road expansion wasn’t only solving problems of congestion but was necessary also to solidify the impression of Kathmandu, as a capital.
For Nepali debates, the motion was: ‘This house believes that a public referendum should have been held before declaring Nepal a Federal Republic’. Teams Kammariya, Aerodite, KUSL, and NALC Starlets were finalists for this debate.
This debate revolved around the essence of democracy and the best way to exercise it. It also touched upon the consequences of a federalism entered with/without referendum. The proposition believed that it was important for a referendum to be held in a democratic nation for best understanding citizen interests. The opposition however believed that a referendum wasn’t necessary as the people’s interest was being voiced by their representatives in the Constitution Assembly. The opposing side also explained how Nepal may not have entered federalism if a referendum had been conducted – citing the results of a referendum held earlier in Nepal and that federalism was an important phase that Nepal should be entering. The government stressed on how it was desirable for Nepal to not have been adopting federalism or at least understand the interest of every individual on this matter before deciding the course of the country.
Special guests at the event included Dr. Bidhyanath Koirala, renowned educationist, Professor of Education at Tribhuvan University and Sakar Pudasaini of Karkhana. They gave heartwarming encouragement to participants and were appreciative of such enriching events.
The first and second team winners took home Rs.30,000 and Rs.20,000 while the Best Speaker took home Rs.15,000 in cash prizes.
If you are yet to collect your certificates, please contact Samriddhi’s office!