“The more you suppress, the more our agendas would flourish.”
Dr Mukesh Jha
It has been almost a decade since the agenda of ‘independent Madhesh’ is at floor. However, the crusaders of Independent Madhesh though retain the confidence and goodwill of the metropolitan middle class, their agenda is in a process to grip the entire Madheshi community. The crusaders are viewed by a majority of people in across Terai region and in fact across the globe to have raised a good concern so far and are expected to continue well.
At a time when the Constituent Assembly (CA) is in a process to draft the constitution, the international community has also raised their concern over the constitution-making process, suggesting the CA to draft such a model of constitution that could adjust different ethnic groups. However, the Madheshi community firmly believes that their demands would never be address on a different footing. The Madheshis are being cheated at the hands of Hill elites and their sponsored political parties—Nepali Congress and UML—from quite long. The ethnic group, which is colonized in their own soil by Nepali state, is yet to find trust in the political waters down-poured by the so called mainstream parties.
Coming down heavily on the narcissist attitude of mainstream parties, the crusaders of independent Madhesh have vowed that their struggle for the independency of Madhesh would gain a further momentum would the so called mainstream parties ignore their concerns.
“At first our agenda is to make Madhesh decisive. We want to see Madhesh in a stronger position. The CA should ensure us that they would incorporate our agendas with due respect in the new constitution. At first we want to be ensured by the CA that they have accepted our agenda of right to succession, right to self-determination and among others,” says CA Sudhir Jha, a crusader of Madhesh. He further said that it would further ignite the agenda of independent Madhesh if our agendas will be ignored at the hands of Nepali state. “We pay solidarity to the movements capitalized in the favor of independency of Madhesh.”
While the Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM) Chairman Dr CK Raut and among other cadres were taking the streets of Kathmandu valley peacefully to pay solidarity to the agenda of independency of Madhesh, “The state sponsored Nepal Policemen intervened our peaceful agitation. They presented forcefully, unlawfully detained our cadres and we were deprived from holding peaceful protests and moreover freedom of speech & expression rights was also quashed under the boot of Nepal police,” said Pashupati Nath Madhesh with eyes full of blues.
“Moreover, the Nepali state-made laws were also trampled under the boot of Nepal police.” Madheshi further says that it was the nature of the Nepali state to make a mockery of the constitutional provisions. “It’s their normal tendency. They make laws to break them and show the international community that they have also adopted democratic norms,” claims Madheshi.
Terming the Nepali state a self-declared democratic country, Madhesh insists, “On the fresh instruction of the Home Ministry, the Nepali executive authority locked the ‘Khula-Manch’, an open-space where public functions are organized, and the attempt was merely taken to debar us from enjoying right to hold peaceful agitations.” By going even a step further, “We were unlawfully detained for a continuous 42-hour. We were not produced before the judicial Magistrate even after 42 hours, which is unlawful in its own. We were released without following the legal procedures.”
Raising eye-brow over the democratic characters of the Nepali state, Madheshi asks, “Have they [Nepali state] really adopted democratic system of governance? By looking these hanky-panky things here, I have reached to a conclusion that it i s a country where the rulers find happiness in cheap things.”
Moreover, the Madheshis, who were not a part of our movement, were also rounded-up by the police for a no good reason just because of their Madheshi origin and appearance. “From across Kathmandu, Madheshis were arrested despite they were not associated with our movement. They paid the price just because they have a Madheshi face and Madheshi nerve.” Is is the naked truth of racism in Nepal and a proof that skin colour still matters.
In an unprecedented move, the self-styled democratic Hero Bam Dev Gautam, the Home Minister, instructed the Nepal Police “to deploy the women police force to suppress our agitation,” reveals Madheshi. He further revealed that such move was taken by the government to frame charges against Madheshi cadres of molesting the women officials. “However, their master plan went in vain as we became cautious after finding women police officials deployed before us.”
“We had never imagined that Nepali state and their Hero Bam Dev Gautam would go up to that lower level,” said Madheshi, adding, “I think the Nepali state is ready to sale off their dignity and modesty to serve their vested interest.”
Taking a potshot over the activities of the Nepali state, another staunch crusader of AIM Mr. Sujit Kumar Thakur insists that “Our mission is to wrest Madhesh from Nepali rule.” “The more they (Nepali state) suppress our movement, the more they would suffer.” He further adds that at any cost we would not let the Nepali state to put our agendas at cold storage.
Asserting that there was no alternative and dignified option left but an independent Madhesh for the Terrai community, Thakur says, “The number of agreements that were signed between the Madheshi force and Nepali state since 2005 are yet to get any shape. The fundamentals of the agreements are just limited on papers. We want practical solution and we no longer believe in hollow promises made on a piece of paper which ultimatley will get trashed.First of all, the constitution if at all promulgated will not have anything for madheshis and if by luck something comes in the constitution which might favor madheshis , that will not be implemented in reality. So constitution of Nepal is not of our interest, only independence can do any good to us ”
He accused Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (UML) of being a puppet of the then king Mahendra’s ideology. “Their party line is fully guided by the philosophy of the then king Mahendra.”
Confidence of wresting the Madhesh region from Nepali rule, Thakur maintained that till the last breath they shall be fighting for the independency of Madhesh. “The Nepali state has befooled Madheshis on various pretexts. Their vision to carve princely states in Madhesh would never be met with. We want ‘Akhand Madhesh’ (undivided Madhesh) not ‘Khandit Madhesh’ (divided Madhesh),” vows Thakur.
“Their politics of negation would come to an end as their days are numbered. I firmly assert that they [NC, UML] are the puppet of the ideology imposed by the then king Mahendra as their party line is to give preference to numerical motion against consensus motion in parliament while laying down any bill or ordinances,” further told Thakur in a conversation with this author.
“The independency of Madhesh is inevitable. We shall not deviate our feet by even an inch.The ends of our movement is to make Madhesh a full-fledged sovereign country.”
Coming down heavily over the narcissist attitude of Nepali state, Thakur asserts, “Our agenda to wrest Madhesh from Nepal will continue unabated till the last. It is of splendid vision to put our every effort to carve an independent Madhesh against one Madhesh, one province within Nepal.”
The saga of independency of Madhesh has taken aerial route. It seems that even big storms could not harm it. Neither a nightmare would tempest it. The dominant groups have intensified their efforts to weaken every movements relating to independency of Madhesh by dividing the Madheshi community in the name of caste and creed. “The Hilly people have amplified their efforts to divide the Madhesh in the name caste. Their every effort is to break the bond of trust among the Madheshi people,” heralds Sudhir Jha.
He further vowed that there were apprehensions that caste politics would deepen in would be-Independent Madhesh. “However, we are committed to fight battle against caste-politics. We would never let any master plan of the Hill class be successful.”
The hurricane of independent Madhesh will uproot the roof of domination of Nepali state. The Nepali state looks like a big tree with hollow trunk. So, it would be better if they learn lesson on time. Because, it is often said that ‘time & tide waits for none’. Once the days are gone it can’t be revoked.