First President of Nepal to the Indigenous People

View from the other side. by Krishna Giri in Canberra

I do not want to craft any statement on the legitimacy of the declaration of the ‘Republic’. The country is now a ‘Republic’. Chief Justice Kedar Giri had no guts to discuss the legitimacy of this historic event and put aside the writ to prove that the country has no ‘rule of law’. The country is being ruled by Maoist bullying overshadowed by Indian and western interference. Nepal has become a strategic play ground to play ‘dirty politics’ for neighbours and westerners. There are few reasons:

1.We are between the two giants, largest democracy and largest People’s Republic
2.Either side are having record economic growth to shake the world
3.They are going to be one of the world ‘superpower’ in economy, labour and military
4.The US and EU will play any dirty tricks to shatter these countries and the region
5.Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, Nepal is a safe heaven for foreigners to play the filthy game
6.Either to suppress or to elevate the ‘Tibet’ issue, Nepal is the focal point
7.India and China have bitter experience of war and on top of that, they have their own domestic issues which can blow them apart and west knows that very well
8.Western interests have made a tangible foundation in Nepal; thanks to the political unrest and puppetries of leaders

The west may not have much interest on who becomes our first President but they have long road map to stick in Nepal for their own rationales. Even though the US can not influence its next neighbour down the coast from Miami, but we know how they are performing in the world stage. The US and its allies have prolonged their triumph in a range of places after WWII. Korean war, Vietnam war, Kosovo war, Indo-China war, Indo-Pak war, Iraq war are some muscle breakers where as Palestine, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia, fall of USSR and fall of Berlin wall are some fruitful results of their diplomacies. Where they eying now? Is it Great wall or Red Fort? Or both? Where do we end up if our national interests are guided and vested by foreign interests? The bunker style US Embassy is not there for enjoyment. Neither they can stop themselves from going to war nor can they stop themselves from destroying other nations (diplomacy).

Sadly, they play all games through our own leaders. Our leaders are too busy to make a history by becoming the first X, Y and Z. They want to be written in history not because of their work but because of their role number. Two months are gone but still we don’t have any names or consensus to announce the first President. As long as the King was there, things were easy. Blame everything to the King and the Army. Do people still think these comrades are the ‘blessing in disguise’? I doubt it. Looking at their roles and diversion they playing for last two years, there is not much left to hide. I am not just talking about Maoists. I am talking about the all leaders who just play the blame game. Chasing that dethroned King will not always give justification and recognition. Leaders can guide their cadres to destroy the statues and properties of the ex-royals but history has proved that the Kings had played crucial roles not just to unite this country but keeping it united in difficult times, and hence the last King deserved a respectful exit from the Palace.

To be frank and fair, Nepal’s monarchy was dumped by consensus. Monarchy was dumped even before setting provisions for the to-be new head of state. They want to spread the new style of charismatic leadership in 21st Century from this Himalayan nation but unfortunately they have demonstrated to the world that they are just a bunch of amateur politicians. ‘Consensus’ has become the most powerful word in Nepali politics. SPAM’s consensus is the constitution, peoples mandate, government, judiciary and every thing else. And it looks like these ‘consensuses’ will govern new Nepal for years to come and 28million people will be watching. Let us not forget how we got here. No one can erase the last 10 years of ‘people’s war’ and its consequences from Nepal’s history book. The destruction, atrocities, anarchy and the lives lost. Let the next generation make their judgements about that ‘dark decade’ in Nepal’s history.

Based on the enormous ethnic diversity in Nepal, the first ‘President’ of new Nepal should be nominated from the Indigenous communities. There are 59 identified Indigenous communities in Nepal. To admire their communal status and the pain caused in the past, one of the Indigenous leader who has contributed his/her acceptable life to fight for inclusive democracy and rights of Indigenous people should be honoured as the first President of new Nepal. I am opposed to the proposal of ‘neutral person’ or ‘non political person’ as the first president. Marathon speeches on Indigenous people, their rights and their recognition would not give any answers. Time has come to act and appoint an Indigenous President. Doing so will not only give the country a chance to honour Indigenous people but also stops these cold blooded leaders to fight for the position.

I don’t want to take out the topic of ‘chhetri and brahmin dominance’ in Nepali politics again but if this dominance is not to come to an end, this will not give smooth transition to this new Nepal. We have recently seen the rise of ethnic based parties in Terai. These are not good signs if we want to see a sovereign united Nepal. If we do not respect them on time, no one can rule out the eruption of disintegration alliance when small groups are already waging armed separatist movements. Further more, to answer to these sentiments, we must convey a message as a nation, not as party. All citizens should be able to call this nation their home and be proud of that. To grow these attitudes in peoples’ mind, we have to include people from Indigenous communities not only in the candidates list but also in the high profile portfolios. To esteem the principles of inclusive democracy and create a profound history, there is no auspicious occasion than this to declare an Indigenous leader as the first President of Nepal.

The writer is a student of International Relations, MA, in Canberra, Australia.

Published by UWB

Pioneering blog from Nepal...since 2004.

51 thoughts on “First President of Nepal to the Indigenous People

  1. The politics of Nepal has always been active for grabbing power by political parties and there is glimpse of same incorrigible politics in present movement . This time the situation is different and it is malevolence to cry again for the power. Please ponder for economic growth of Nepal – which I think is most required right now – and work in consent. The president can be any Nepali and I agree with Krishna.

  2. Into the concentration camps with foreigners. Fuggetit, heads off. Mom, I also want to have an International Relations, MA.

    Tanti saluti, your

    dirty, filthy foreigner

  3. So who do you mean by indigenous people?
    President needs to be a capable person and by giving it away to certain sect is not a good idea.

  4. I don’t think people from any specific group should be in this respectable position. But rather a capable person free from politics, but should be able to understand politics. Most possible someone who has been studying politics should be the first president of our country.

  5. Who the fuck are indigenous people of Nepal? And why are the Khas not counted in amongst them?
    If this was Bolivia, it would have been easy to settle. Europeans or the natives.
    How do you decide here, who is indigenous and who is not? Why the hell are we Khas regarded as outsiders? Where did we come from? Where did we originate from? By all account I believe the place to be around Jumla (Nepal of course).

  6. Leave all these fuss, what indigenous what proportional, what samabeshi are you talking about?? It’s president damn it, not a job in Lok Sewa. Let a capable wins, make it US style election for president,then we will get candidates from all grps, be it indigenous,be it ethnic groups or be it regional groups.

  7. i agree on one thing – there has been far far too much foreign interference and agendas here threatening our sovereignity, and most definitely the US is thinking long term with plenty of their snoops hovering around. Our nation has been a playground for the next great game, with moronic politicians who don’t know the arse from the moon.

  8. Let CA members vote and the person who gets the majority of votes be the president. The president should be the member of CA.

  9. Neil, yes, MA seems to be path for salvation here. Might as well send the whole political troop out to study abroad for an MA in Int’l relations. (no pun intended Krishna)

    Very insightful article, Krishna. I’m gonna have to disagree at one place (your conclusion) and throw in my two cents.
    1. Giving the presidents position to indigenous people (which is vaguely defined) is like saying, I’m going to get rid of racism by making twenty black friends. and everyone will be happy. Devise a systematic, fair method to get a president, have debates (hint: US) while u have the opportunity open for: anyone (women, minorities, etc..)

    2. Nepal is, as you have mentioned/implied, a strategically well placed developing country with a potential for all kinds of global political games. It’s been like that for decades, centuries, all over the world. Leaving politics aside, don’t you guys also think Nepal (among the citizens) lack common civic sense. Things like accountability, responsibility, admission to mistakes, genuine interest to help each other instead of pulling legs, are the things we are missing at our homes, communities and that attitude goes to the political table when we grow up to be the ones responsible. You know what they say, “if you want to see a change you have be a change.” If we can’t change our attitude, we can stop dreaming about a ‘revolutionary’ change in Nepal by just shuffling the cards(ppl) around.

    Enlighten me here, who are the Indigenous ppl…any takers?

  10. mailadai – i wil try and explain to you the reason for having an indigenous first President. dont get me wrong, i am an indegenous citizen but not zealot jingoist. the need to have an indegenous Prez is more symbolic than functional, the real powerful ones are planning not to give him any exec powers anyway.

    separatist activities in nepal is still a reality and this can be handled only politically. it is a good political strategy to make this symbolic gesture and it doesnt end here. the indigenous cause must be handled in a sensitive manner and govt must keep making such similar gestures so that indigenous trust is won back.

    really people are not ready to listen to intellectual arguments on merits of having the most competent Prez, what yardstick will you use to measure it anyway. I m sure there are enough capable leaders from indigenous communities also who can fill in.

    the need of the hour is bringing people together. a symbolic gesture like this will go a long way. i hope u can see the rationale in the argument now. we would all like to quote and stand for the right thing in life but often they are academic. reality can be quite different.

  11. Ok Mailadai, enlighten me here now. I am a so called ‘Khas’ (I never knew that, I just thought I was a Nepali before). Why the hell am I not considered indigenous? And how do you define indigenous? If its the length of stay, well we’ve been in this land for much longer than most the of the so called indigenous people. If its the people who’ve originated in this land (by the way how do you prove that?), then almost every race that lives here are either the descendants of the Chinese or the Indians. Please, please do tell me why am I not an indigenous Nepali?

  12. Patriot, thanks for your calm and elaborate response….
    Let me quote you here on….”the indigenous cause must be handled in a sensitive manner and govt must keep making such similar gestures so that indigenous trust is won back.” I totally agree with that but I just didn’t think that gesture had to be shown intentionally at the ultimate level. Don’t get me wrong, I have nth against the indigenous population, their lack of representation, hapless condition are the results of our corrupt system and the force behind a fight for change today. I also understand that as a system, country is judged best from the facilities provided to the elderly, poor, needy and the disadvantaged. They should be looked after and well represented. I just think it will be an overkill with an intention to show nice gesture by looking for an indigenous individual to make a president. Gestures could be shown in a lot of forms…

    But u do bring a very important point here where we seem to agree: out system/administrators have been old/useless and it needs to change. Our System is a “change in progress” today but the faces around the system hasn’t quite completely changed. Perhaps a change like the one u(the article) suggests may put pressure on/influence all sectors to bring back the country into unit. Perhaps….Risky and ambitious but may be rewarding

    Like u’ve pointed out, the insightful, intellectual/(or non) debate that goes in this blog are miles away from the reality of things and sometimes just not practical. I luk fwd to the hopefully positive times for Nepal in the future without too much unexpected dirty surprises like we’ve seen recently”

  13. Nepali, exactly my point…I have no idea how to define indigenous precisely, My arguments assume that ‘indigenous’ are some of the underrepresented group of ppl in Nepal. As you can see, so the idea of the article is to point out that THEY be represented in the society.

    And Nepali, you have a good point there. if u feel ike u r just a Nepali. Why should be have ‘indigenous’ as your additional identity anyways. It’s like asking for more trouble. Its one thing to know about your genealogy but quite irrational to say that you are ‘A’ not knowing what ‘A’ is and then asking for representation arbitrarily.

    Either way, i believe most of us agree with the idea of having minorities / underrepresented people to be shown the ‘gesture’ that Patriot talks about. My opinion: it just doesnt have to be grand and unexpected.

    OKay…anyone here, have a definition to indigenous ppl of Nepal? This kind of argument always gets me. For us, more because we don’t have a clear indication in the history, not that I’m aware of.

  14. Bahun-chettri are the true jan-jatis.
    more than 2500 years ago chettri king janak ruled Janakpur. There were many bahuns there. Birat Raja ruled Biratnagar. The oldest temple in Kathmandu, Chagunarayan was built about 2000 years ago, therefore Bahuns must have been thre at that time.
    Sherpas came from Tibet only 600-800 years ago and they go about calling themselves jan-jati. who is the real jan-jati?
    Everyone came from Africa, therefore true janjati is an African. let us make Mugabe the next president as per the suggestion of the MA master.

  15. First, why people are so outrage about author’s MA? I see these every where. anyways, I am proud to be a nepali and will remain the same forever. in the last few years, the jana jati isuses have become so intense and politicized that I can belive. I don’t want to blame the author for that. the leaders who used them as weapon to get popularity and send wrong messages. I agree that they are being disadvantaged some how and they should be included to make them feel Nepali but not indigenous. Let us be Nepali guys. We belong to Nepal. let us be proud of it.

  16. Good and true comments by mailadai and patriot

    Hats off guys

    and to the author

  17. So, is the author advocating for RMA RAJA PRASAD SINGH? C’mon man.. not all posts to the ex-terrorists.. and bloody communits.. we need some democratic people too…no matter what race they belong to…we need good people to govern this country in these difficult times..specially when the king is gone and there is a huge power vaccum…i feel sorry for the king too..there should have been more matured way to declare Republic

  18. just bfore prithvi narayn shah took over ktm, the country named ‘Nepal’ meant only the valley. outside valley it was different world. so if bahuns were indegenous of nepal living more than thousand years, i guess u mean ktm, say that to newar dudes. later he used the name nepal to identify his whole conquered teritorry casue he was so obssessd with the valley. bahuns n chettris started migrating to the east afterwards when both kirat states got annexed in modern nepal. bfore that the land was purely settled n brought in civilization by the ethnic groups that resides there with thier own culture, tradition, languages n religions.

  19. dude janak was maithili, i guess. n building temple doesnt always mean bahuns, all the temples n gumbas of ktm were built by newar dudes.

  20. n check this fack about limbuwan from wikipedia, one of the reason why they r called indegenous;

    The original inhabitants of Limbuwan are The Kirats i.e. Limbus, Yakkha, Athpahariya, Yamphu, Meches, and Dhimal. From the establishment of Limbuwan, these cultures have maintained their independent identity in Limbuwan coexisting peacefully with each other.
    The later arrivals are Newars, Bahuns and Chettris as missionaries of Hindu religion in the 1790s during the reign of King Prithivi Narayan Shah, Pratap Singh Shah and Rana Bahadur Shah. The Gurungs, Magars and Tamangs living in Limbuwan are also later arrivals who came as soldiers of Gorkha King during the Limbuwan Gorkha War in 1780s. The madheshi settlers moved north and east from the Mithila region in the west, and thus also came during this time to cultivate the terai lands of Limbuwan.

    Although Limbus, Dhimals, Koche and Yakkha are the aboriginal and native inhabitants of Limbuwan, there are a minority in their own territory today, due to mass immigration in eighteenth century sponsored by King of Nepal to cultivate the fertile lands of Limbuwan.

  21. no any personal grudges with bauns, but cant help n watch at sum of the hypocrites. dont even knw the reality about thier own fellow nepalese, how bluntly do they label indegenous nepalese of mongoloid feature as chinese decendants. n claim everything to b thers n so patheticaly try to relate everything to them, as to prove thier superiority complex, maybe the hangover of same ol’ caste heirarchy that they created in the society. its overrrr dude, get over it. everyones fking equal n same.

  22. Respect and harmony…… what we need

    lets respect them all

    listen to all

    value all

    and we are there as a nation “NEPAL”

  23. Whew! so many enthusiastic comments. look at the bright side guys, today we can at least talk about these issues through a forum and there is a general sense among the youth to speak up about it. That’s a first step to progress. Again, I look forward to better days of Nepal despite what we’ve(some of us had it rougher) been through.

    In the end, I’d be a happy soul, if we all can get together and mingle with each other with the “do hell with politics” attitude. The day we are able to genuinely tell our friends or foe without having to look at their face, race, age, sex then we will have reached a landmark (sth we can only strive for). Same goes with issues with racism, just learn to know an individual as a person not who they represent.

    In case you all aren’t frustrated enough with the government and the ‘higher’ control over us, if you haven’t had a chance, this video is worth the 20 minutes of your life: oh and Thank yo for Smoking is another good movie that throws a slap on the face of government.
    My point: don’t be easily lulled by these old political heads, we have to think out of the box and make room to question the authority!

  24. Thats it Mailadai. The word is ‘underrepresented’. To hell with the word indigenous, every Nepali is indigenous to this country. And I think I will settle for a president from the underrepresented community, provided he/she is first a Nepali. Can’t say the same about Ram Raja Prasad Singh.

  25. WIKIPEDIA alos says this:

    Due to the arrival of disparate settler groups from outside through the ages, it is now a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual country. Its population is predominantly Hindu with significant presence of Buddhists, who were in majority at one time in the past. Nepal was split in three kingdoms from the 15th to 18th century, when it was unified under a monarchy. The national language of Nepal is called ‘Nepali’, a name given – long after unification of Nepal – to the language called Khas Kura.

    “Nepal” may be derived from the Sanskrit nipalaya, which means “at the foot of the mountains” or “abode at the foot”, a reference to its location in relation to the Himalayas. Thus, it may be an Eastern equivalent of the European toponym “Piedmont.”
    It has also been suggested that the name comes from the Tibetan niyampal, which means “holy land”.
    A third theory suggests that Nepal came from combounding the words NE, which means wool, and PAL, which means a tented house; long time ago, Nepal used to produce a lot of wool and the houses were used to store the wool – hence the word NE-PAL.
    The name, Nepal, is also supposed to be derived from the Sanskrit word “NEP”(???), with the suffix “AL”(??added) to it; though still under controversy, NEP were the people who use to be cow herders – the GOPALS (?????) – who came to the Nepal valley for the first time from the Ganges plain of India.
    According to Nepali scholar Rishikesh Shaha, the ancient chronicles report that, a sage (muni) named Ne became the protector (p?la) of this land and the founder of its first ruling dynasty. The name of the country, Ne-p?la, therefore originally meant the land ‘protected by Ne.’

  26. Why worry about the president, when we are moving in the direction of Sikkim.
    Eventually 10-20 years down the road, we will be part of the United States of India.

  27. It does not matter who the first president of nepal becomes until the person does just what the country is asking for in the current political scenario of nepal.

    We need a democratic nepal, where we can speak freely, without any fear of being beaten up or even worse.

    Let peace prevail in nepal.

  28. dude in this peroid, we need the strength n we need to make more stronger amongst the nepalese not just always dividing the bahun n lower cast, pahade n madhesi. if we divide them means we r dividing our motherland. we should accept what we have now .

  29. “overshadowed by Indian and western interference”

    bla bla bla, the usual unsubstantiated accusations, from the author and various comments. For 3 years I’ve been asking Nepali people to back up these accusations with facts. Show me “their dirty tricks”, “the remote control” etc.

    Meanwhile Nepalis are only too anxious to leave for foreign employment. A couple of packed jumbo-jets a day. Why all the fuzz about being free from foreign influence. It’s a globalized world.

    “Two months are gone but still we don’t have any names or consensus to announce the first President”

    Agreed, not even that. It is the most incompetent leadership I have ever seen.

    Anyway, I say give the new CA a chance to get their s… worked out, till the end of the year or so. If it continues like now, I recommend hiring an American management company and putting them in charge for 10 years with one mission : Realize the potentials of this country!

  30. Let the discussion about who are the janjatis continue..
    But I strongly suggest that the new coming president should not be any body form bahun chhetris and thakuris.That will satisfy the criteria of janjatis to some extent. I remind you once again remind all that thakuris are the residual tribe of Gyane bausaheb.They are not to be trusted
    Chhetris have been traditionally the supporter of Royal army.Many Chhetris altthough they are very coward are stll royal to king and in army so not be trusted. Bahun by nature are most coward and opportunustic.They have played the diplomatic and cunning role in harboring the monarchy.They pretend to be replublican but behind the bar they teach dirt y games to the King They are traitors by nature not be trusted.they are dahichiures..
    So do no make them the prseident. If done then Why abolish Gyanendra?

  31. Mr Jackie Vaidya,
    Who are you talking about? Three people you know?
    I feel nothing but pity for you my friend, its shame that you live with such narrow level of thinking. I thought Neanderthals were long gone. What has race and creed got to do with what people are like?

  32. I agree with the author about capitalizing the opportunity to honour indigenous people. some people are questioning the issue of who is indigenous….this is the problem of the leaders who made this issue so big to play politics….. filthy bastards…….. we have to move on from here……once again we have to become Nepali….. I am not afraid to say kings did tremendous work to unite this country and people and be Nepali….some just don’t want to accept the truth
    Unless we r ready to accept the truth……lets do dirty politics….lets kill each other….lets destroy the nation…lets make country republic…people’s republic…socialist republic…etc…etc……lets drink blood…this way we all are winner….at least few people think this way….what a shame guys….wake up….lets be Nepali

  33. Well said dude
    Good chance to respect indigenous bros and sis

    One for all though.. no more political topic in this bro…lets move to develop this country

    but yeah dude respect them all……

    how you do it….upto the bloody ‘NETA’ haru buddy

  34. Jackie,
    perhaps u r right..(statistically!)…but thats like saying, America can’t have a black president bcuz (most of them, statistically) are involved in crime. Generalization gives u a rough idea not an answer.

    Well, thats why most of us keep saying, selection shud be fair. Again, this is all true and gud in theory. It’s easier said than done, but that’s where we should be headed anyways. Find the president first and u can ask about his/her caste tomorrow.

    Perhaps, an outrageous orgy of thousands of defined castes for cross breeding may collapse this ever so existing barriers between races. I say this (as an outrageous example) because this issue is not only in politics. If we can’t break out of this barrier of race, we will continue to have problems in politics, daily lives(think: rules of marraige), etc…
    what’s do u think?

  35. indeginous or not I think a woman as president would be the correct choice – after all they have been supressed the most and they represent more than 50% of our population.

  36. and to add besides statistics for people who look for merit as well – I believe women are also the least offenders in terms of criminal behaviour and human abuses in our nation,and probably have been at the receiving end.

  37. start looking for a madhesi woman? and what are they…. supposed to be ideal candidate by race and sex to become a president? We are being very specific huh. Sure, she can be the president, if she is qualified, respected, and selected by the system. But SEARCHING for one…would be just STUPID. What is it…like looking for any Chinese dude when you’re about to lose a ping pong match?

    The fall of the monarchy with Shah dynasty gives us another valuable lesson: Stop selling yrself in the name of your forefathers. It holds true both ways. Just because your dad is a wealthy thakuri doesnt mean ur life is a highway cruise and you are a spoiled brat (or you could be a respectable man who works hard)….or just cuz your dad is hard working sherpa, doesnt mean you can’t dream and imagine and make things happen for you (or u could still be the biggest loser). Again my point, we can stop thinking about a candidate’s race/sex/height/weight/…. for now and find a reliable, trustworthy, visionary leader with humility who has an open mind for a bright future of Nepal. We can ask them about their detailed identity next year. Simple, isn’t it?

  38. hey md,

    at the moment we have GPK and Ram Raja Singh as front runners – GPK is a thug, crook and way over the hill, Singh is also over the hill and has been known to endorse violence – do you really think that there is’nt a woman out there in the madhesi community who cannot be better qualified than these two?

    Now, for the other point – who is this reliable, trustworthy, visionary leader with humility to boot that you talk of? Let’s hear it from you?

  39. Reliable, trustworthy, visionary – hahhaha – are you thinking of Barack Obama? Sorry mate wrong country.

  40. I some how agree with the author. President is a ceremonial position so we should use it to unite people. Hey there is nothing wrong to give this chair to indigenous people. and i thinnk one should not be that clever or smart to become president because it is a ceremonial role. i think we need a PM who will have executive power..and must be visionary and smart.. i doubt about prachanda though

  41. Dubyo desh dubyo

    aba chahi kaslai bolaune

    ki kaslai hataune

    raja gayo..congress gayo..uml gayo (!)…

  42. sarkar badaldai ma desh badlinna sathi ho

    malai ta desh ajha oralo lage jasto po lagna thalyo ta

    no good my friends

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