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  • आन्दोलनमा मधेसी मोर्चाका १० गलतीहरू

    आन्दोलनमा मधेसी मोर्चाका १० गलतीहरू

    मोर्चाले आन्दोलनलार्इ तुहाएको छ । मधेसी मोर्चाले यस आन्दोलनको एजेण्डालार्इ नै कमजोर पारेको छ । फेरी पनि यो समाप्त भएको छैन ।

  • फोरम नेपाल का अन्त्यः सत्ता समर्पण-मुद्दा विर्सजन का नयां दौर

    विगत कइ महिनों से फोरम का तमलोपा से एकिकरण का प्रयास चल रहा था । स्वयं उपेन्द्र जी तथा महन्थ ठाकुर जी ने इस प्रगति को गर्व के साथ स्वीकार करते हुए संचार माध्यम मे दिखे थे । यह अन्जाम नही पा सका । उपेन्द्र को महन्थ ठाकुर का ब्रम्हण जातीय नेतृत्व स्वीकार करने झिझक हुइ हो या महन्थ जी का सदैव का प्रजातन्त्रवादी–गैर कम्युनिष्ट दर्शन उपेन्द्र को पसन्द न आया हो । एक दुसरे का साथ काम नही कर सके । जब कि एक मधेस प्रदेश की मान्यता को ही जड से अस्वीकार करने बाले सदैव कम्युनिष्ट पृष्ठभूमि के अशोक रार्इ को उन्होने गले लगाया ।

  • नेपाल प्रहरीको आधारभूत अमानवीय प्रवृति

    नेपाल प्रहरीको आधारभूत अमानवीय प्रवृति

    कुनै पुलिस अधिकृतको अनुहारमा रविन हुडको रंग देख्ने हाम्रो वौद्धिकहरू अहिले फेसबुकमा कमेन्ट लेखे वापत बाराका राजु साह (सरकारी अधिकृत) र सप्तरीका नागरिक रहमानले थुनामा जानु परेपछि आकाशबाट खसे सरह भएका छन् ।

  • तमरा अभियानको अपीलः संविधान सभा प्रगिमनकारी पक्षको क्रिडास्थल हुदैछ ।

    कांग्रेस-एमाले र माओवादीको आसन्न सहकार्य अनि सत्ता समर्पणवादी मधेसी दलहरूको पिछलग्गूपनले राज्यको संरचनामा आमूल परिवर्तन चाहने पक्षहरूलाई घोर धोका हुने निश्चित छ ।

  • तराई मधेस राष्ट्रिय अभियानको प्रेस वक्तव्य

    तराई मधेस राष्ट्रिय अभियानको प्रेस वक्तव्य

    आज जेठ १४ गते राजविराजमा एक प्रेस वक्तव्य जारी गर्दै मधेसी जनअधिकार फोरम-मधेसका बरिष्ट उपाध्यक्ष विवेकानन्द सिंह र महासचिव सुरेन्द्र साह लगायत दर्जनभर केन्द्रीय सदस्यहरु तराई मधेस राष्ट्रिय अभियानमा सरिक हुनु भएको छ । तराई मधेस राष्ट्रिय अभियानका केन्द्रीय संयोजक जय प्रकाश गुप्ताले अभियानका गतिविधीहरुको जानकारी सार्वजनिक गर्ने उद्देश्यले आयोजना गर्नु भएको पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा सो को जानकारी गराइएको हो ।

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NEPAL : Status of Madhesi (Views from Terai Madhes National Campaign)

NEPAL : Status of Madhesi (Views from Terai Madhes National Campaign)


 NEPAL : Status of Madhesi
Views from Terai Madhes National Campaign (TMNC)

 
Nepal is a unitary state since its inception despite the fact that it has a diversified population. It has Hindu majority with significant presence of Buddhism and Islam. Geographically Nepal consists of Mountain and hills inhabited by 'Khas Hindus' and indigenous population and plain Terai inhabited by Madhesis comprising of Hindu and Muslim, indigenous communities, upper caste and Dalits.

The present region of Madhesh was brought under Nepalese administration through two periodic orders. First one in 1816 due to a treaty between British India and Nepal after a war, the land from Mechi to Rapti was transferred to Nepal.  Another in 1860, from Rapti to Mahakali River was handed over to Nepal as a gift from British India in lieu of Nepal’s strong military support against the 1857 uprising of Indian independence movement. After Jallianwala bagh massacre where in Nepal Gorkhali force involvement is an historic event and the British in the want of continued Nepal’s army support against non-co-operation movement recognized Nepal as a sovereign state.

Under the treaty of "Sugauli" between Nepal and British India in which Madhesh was awarded to Nepal, no repercussion whatsoever was forbidden for Nepali ruler. But on the contrary Madhesh was kept in isolation from the very beginning from all the Government development activities. It was an excluded community from all the Govt. support programs hence ensuring no participation in developmental activities.

After independence of India, Nepal too aspired for the democratic set up in the country. Nepal got rid of the Ranas and democracy was established in Nepal with the support of India. But democracy was not supported by the then King Mahendra and the constitution was suspended and fresh election was promised. After Indo-China war in 1962, playing china card against India King Mahendra enforced a partyless panchayat system of governance in which parties were banned and its leaders were arrested.

After a long struggle in 1990, the party less panchayat system was abolished and a west ministerial parliamentary system of governance was established with a constitutional role of King in Nepal. Despite parliamentary system, King kept on playing with the political parties, using one against another to get the old feudalistic legacy established. Adeptly using Maoist insurgency to its edge to make democratic system non-functional and King Gyanendra who became the ruler after King Birendra's family massacre took all the powers in his own hands. After this event people of  Nepal with the wholehearted support from all the parties and Maoist as well as help from India acknowledged the immediate need of state restructuring in light of Republic and Federalism  and due to immense pressure Nepal was declared  a republic and federal country.

For the Madhesh, may it be in party less system or in democratic setup they were not considered as citizens but just flag carrier of the political establishment. Madhesh were never given attention for their development rather repressive laws were fabricated to harness its natural resources without inclusion of Madheshi people in organs of the Government. Some examples are illustrated as below.

Administrative set up

Nepal was divided into 14 zones. Its boundary was redrawn from north to south just to assure that not in a single zone Madhesis be in majority. Chief of the zones were given immense arbitrary powers to suppress any dissent voice of Madhesis. The same structure remains enforced even after advent of Democracy in Nepal. Nepal was divided into 75 districts, representation for different political organs like parliament were made based on district set ups. 20 districts were allotted to Madhesh and 55 districts to hills and mountain though the population difference in Hill and Madhesh was not profound. This was done for two reasons 1) to keep  Madhesis representation in parliament minimum and 2) to allocate just minimum budget to Madhesh as budget were allocated through districts. Even to dilute the presence of overwhelming population in the 20 district a concept of 5 regional development zones were created and an administrative head named as regional administrator was forcibly hemmed. Thus zones were so divided that Madheshi population ranges from min 23% to max 40%. Now the population is more in Madhesh but representation is less. Even after the advent of Democracy the pseudo democratic leadership never showed the democratic norm for Madhesh.

Culture and language

The population of Madhesh comprises of the different sects as across the Indian bordering state of Bihar and Uttar-Pradesh. The culture is same as their Indian brethren. The language is same. Madhesh adjoining Bihar speaks Bhojpuri, Maithali and Hindi as link language and adjoining UP again Bhojpuri, Awadhi and Hindi as link language. Lot of Indian teachers were employed to educate not only Madhesis but hill population. Their media of imparting education is Hindi. The 'Khas Bhasha' which latter known as Nepali 'Bhasa'  is not even a medium of instruction in Madhesh but it is declared National language and working language of Nepal. One language policy was implemented. People residing in Darjilling region of West Bengal just on the basis of knowing Nepali language were made ministers and appointed in Govt. services whereas Madhesis not knowing Nepali were excluded from all sorts of benefits and they felt with the situation of Topsy-Turvy.

Development

85% of the population of this country is dependent on the agriculture. Madhesh is a territory having lot of fertile land and full of forest but no facility of irrigation and fertilizers were made available to the farmers of Madhesh.  Its potential is not harvested and this land remains poor. As far forest zones are concerned they are deforested and the hilly immigrants were allowed to use the fund allocated for this to settle down in Madhesh. No Madhesis were allowed to settle in the land after deforestation. This was done just to make Madhesi population minimum possible in their own niche. An alien population of just 3% in 1950 rose to 36% in 2011 due to this policy of government. Representation from Madhesh of the Madhesi community is bound to decrease in the elected form of organs.

In 1947 the then Rana ruler of Nepal conceived a major road project in Terai joining Mechi to Mahakali called as "Hulaki sadak". It was thought to be a life line of Madhesh. But till now it is not complete. After Madhesh uprising India accepted to construct this road but due to lot of hindrances from the Nepal Govt. till now it is not started as scheduled. While a road project from the mid of dense forest conceived in 1971 is made operational within 10 years. And Govt. sponsored migration from hill around this road and this territory is a developed one while the villages around Hulaki road are as it were.

We Madhesi people termed this policy of Nepali establishment as internal colonization, and came to conclusion that unless this policy is broken down Madhesh and Madhesi peoples aspiration for a good and respectable life is not possible. For this Madhesi people participated in democratic struggle with much vigor as we thought democracy is the base of change of any kind.

1)    Establishment of Republic

2)    Institutionalization of federalism as bottom line of state restructuring

3)    Inclusive democracy

4)    Representation on the basis of population

5)    Establishment of Madhesi Identity

6)    And state restructuring on the basis of population. These are the core issues and great concern of Madhesh.

On the good offices of India during people movement of 2007, an agreement between 7 party alliance and Maoist who were spearheading the movement were made possible that brought a big change. King of Nepal succumbed to the desire of people, interim constitution was drafted and the king was absolved of all powers. But when the constitution simply included the aspiration of republic and no content of federalism was ensured a massive Madhesh uprising was witnessed. The Govt. succumbed to the demand and a 21 point and latter 8 point agreement were signed that ensures federalism in Nepal and creation of Madhesh province as well as other province as per the wishes of people expressed in the movements. This agreement made possible the holding of Constituent assembly election.

First Constituent Assembly

The election to the constituent assembly was made possible only on the acceptance by the Government that constitution will be written in the assembly on  the mandate of the people expressed during the different movement like peoples war unleashed by Maoist and Madhesh  movement. But this assembly was used to run the Government activities. Maoists had agreed to dismantle their army within six month of the comprehensive peace accord signed between Nepal Govt. and Maoist on the good offices of India but it's not done even after six month of CA. The main political party like congress and UML blocked the proceedings of CA and declared that unless Maoists integrate their army no progress on the CA will be allowed. And the term of CA which was 2 years was extended as and when required Congress and UML bargained to Maoist to make constitution without federal character. The main source of dispute was the implementation of federalism, but the same issue was kept aside without discussion in CA and other committees of CA.

The authorized committee of CA concerning with State restructuring and division of state power had unanimously accepted Identity and capability, Identity as prime factor for creating federation. The members of all party present in the committee were signatory to this unanimous resolution. But latter Congress and UML party officially start advocating for multi-identity as against single identity state created on the bias of the resolution. Madhesh comprised of multi identity population, but these parties were not agreeing to it rather they opted different approach as far as Madhesh and hills geography are concerned. Their first attempt was to push for a federating unit that comprises of hills, mountain and Madhesh dividing Madheshi population in to so many different provinces as it was done earlier while creating zones. Sometime they argued for converting 5 developmental zones as province. Sometime they want 14 zones to be the new province etc. The bottom line was that no Madhesi overwhelmed province to be conceded.

When CA was to decide on the 14 province proposal of state restructuring and division of state power committee, the NC and UML started lobbying for creation of state restructuring commission as envisaged in the interim constitution which they were not inclined earlier. With a compromise state restructuring commission was formed and it has proposed 10 federating units two in Madhesh and 8 in hills and mountain, but these report were rejected by NC and UML. NC and UML on one part and Maoist on the other part start advocating for multi-ethnic or single ethnic provinces. Madhesh is a multi-cultural territory but NC, UML and Maoist want to break it down on ethnic line while in Hills and Mountain they oppose and propose state on the ethnic and non-ethnic line. But if one carefully studies their debate, one comes to conclusion that they are just doing it to kill the time. No province in the Nepal may be proposed by state restructuring committee or by state restructuring commission is  ethnic dominated, it is population wise mixed province that is multi-ethnic as demanded by NC and UML, just the name of the province shows its ethnic character. In the latter stage of negotiation between the parties it was agreed that let the name be diluted or the up-coming legislative assembly will take care of the naming, these party did not agreed on the contrary NC, UML, Maoist  agreed on the formation of 11 province with a 5 division in Madhesh and six in the hills. A study on the proposal reveal that the ethnic and lingual population that were not a majority in any province formation were more divided and the Khas population were made decisive in the province functioning. As far as Madhesh was concerned with five division only in two province, Madhesi was populated in all remaining province hills majority were ascertained. With this proposal in media the Madhesi community in the Madhesh and hills indigenous population became furious, street protest were started against and in support of the proposal, civil war became inevitable. Proposal were dropped and latter CA was dissolved without any meeting that were expected to be called by speaker as the prevailing equation in the CA was not favorable to the wishes of NC and UML and the unitary polity supporters of the Khas who are dominant caste group but in minority  in Nepal. 

Present Constituent Assembly

The composition of Constituent assembly II is simply NC and UML dominated. They are treating the verdict of the people as shift in the demands of the Madhesis, indigenous population. By all means NC and UML get through the minds of the people that due to the Madhesi party and Maoists, constitution could not be formed by the constituent assembly, and it is NC or UML that can make the constitution. Constitution drafting is not a problem at all, it is the wishes and demands of the people that was expressed during Madhesis movement is getting place in the new constitution is the main problem. Whether the excluded community like Madhesis and indigenous community get their identity ascertained?  Whether they get share in all the organs of the power structure of Nepal or simply remain excluded as before?  The power remains in the hands of these Khas minority population who since ages used anti Indian people sentiments to run the country for entirely their own personal benefits. Or will Nepal adopt a policy where its diverse population get their homeland for rule and share power at the centre like in India.

But the activities as seen in the constituent assembly seem that this traditional party NC and UML's Khas leadership do not want to implement the federal system of governance. Our sincere request to them is that they should keep the cluster of population that is coherent as far language, culture and geography is concerned in one province so that they can use their power for their development. But they want to divide the nation in to federal units where only Khas dominance is prevalent. This is very dangerous and will definitely lead to a civil unrest which will not be a conducive for a security concern of the neighboring India. We want a just Nepal having federal democratic system thinking for development of all population, is friendly towards its neighbor, have and maintain special relation with India that is prevalent throughout the history.

Our organization Terai-Madhesh National Campaign, TMNC is of the view that this constituent assembly will not deliver the constitution as per the dictate of different people’s movement in particular they won’t allow a home rule for Madheshi. If at all a constitution is delivered by hook or crook it will be anti Madheshi, and Madheshi people will not accept it and a civil war like situation will get created that will not be conducive for India.

Our main conviction is that Nepal should follow the principle as why in 1956 India re-organized its state structuring that allow direct participation of its population of diverse nature to run all activities through democratic polity of self rule at state level and shared rule at center. Nepal should think of why the states are Jharkhand, Uttarakhand , Chhattissgarh and lately Telangana are formed. They should make this as binding principle for creating provinces in Nepal.

Having observed the action and the intention of a Khas hegemonies to keep Nepal as unitary structured and the subsequent reprisal from the masses TMNC is trying to create a public awareness and the need of strong organization that mounts pressure on the Government to abide by the aspiration of Madheshi community expressed in Madhesi movement and avoid possible conflicts. 

Madhesh in new Constitution

Nepal is a country of multi– nationalities.           Its diverse character must be expressed in formulating federalism. The coherent population cluster has to be kept in one territory of federating unit as far practicable.      The internal colonial character of present establishment has to be broken. The one nature of population has to be given home rule at the state level and shared rule at the center as far as practicable. Inclusive governance on the basis of population is insured at all level of Governance. The commitment of nation ( Eight point agreement with Madhesis) where in autonomous Madhesh province is assured must be respected. Division of Madhesh where purposely Madhesi population is disintegrated to keep the present ruling culture is not acceptable.
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