Category Archives: Madhes Movement

Nepal in Transition: Terai Secession Is a Myth

As twin kids of the Maoists escalate their violence in eastern Terai in the name of the so called ‘Terai’ nation, it becomes increasingly difficult to see how any educated realist from Terai could ever support them.

By Chhatra Bahadur [This article first appeared in a private discussion forum and UWB is publishing this article with writer’s permission. Chhatra Bahadur is not a real name.]

Almost all failed politicians in Nepal sooner or later tend to resort to the dirtiest method available to them. Look at Padma Ratna Tuladhar. After being rejected by his own population in election, the old lion has now turned into a reckless elephant, destroying houses and farms with the manufactured claim of marginalization of Newars. Now give me a break. Newars are among the richest, most educated people. They have become prime minister, and were private secretary of the kings. And the vaunted Newar culture of Kathmandu was a thing of past when Prithvi Narayan attacked Kathmandu. If you remove the reign of Bhupatindra Malla, Siddi Narasingh Malla and Pratap Malla, and subtract the contribution of Licchavi, what will be left about Kathmandu is a continuous fight in the valley among the Malla kingdoms. The last king Jaya Prakash Malla was fighting with his own people for most of his reign, and was betrayed by his own people when he finally fell to Gorkha. Ditto with tumultuous Patan and gradually unstabilised Bhaktapur. Those kingdoms were sitting ducks when Prithvi took them. Truth hurts, but these are the realities, and Padma Ratna and his ilks need to face them.

I mean think about this: if a king of the poorest of the chaubise kingdom- Gorkha had no market, no mines, and with 12,000 population was considered a small country- could win three ‘mighty’ kingdoms of the valley, how safe you were really from the mighty and cunning British, who needed a ‘hill station’ and a ‘trade route’ to Tibet? The British needed a decent hill station so badly that later, they settled in a barren land later to be called Darjiling.

Padma Ratna or Keshav Sthapit are not the only whiners. After not being able to win the election, after getting downsized from 6 to 3 members in parliament, Nepal Sadbhavana Party had no other option but to resort more violently to the terai issue. But most important transformation came with the spoilt brats like Bimalendra Nidhi and Jaya Prakash Gupta. Nidhi lost his own election, his stature, and is not even comparable to the shadow of his illustrious father. JP Gupta’s latest book is nothing but a chronicle of self victimization when he was indubitably a corrupt man who is free now exactly because of corruptibility of present judiciary. These people now talk loudly about victimization of Terai.

As twin kids of the Maoists escalate their violence in eastern Terai in the name of the so called ‘Terai’ nation, it becomes increasingly difficult to see how any educated realist from Terai could ever support them. Just like most of the Nepali rejected the Maoists despite the feeling that some of their core demands stemmed from legitimate concerns, decent people in Terai are going to reject these firebrand opportunists, while maintaining that their demand do have valid foundation, and that we all need to work out the future path nonviolently.

Think about this: what would a free Terai look like? Now, Chitwan and Makwanpur are the districts heavily populated by “Pahadiyas”, so heavy indeed that Sadbhabana party didn’t even field a candidate in Chitwan in the past elections. Since these districts touch India, any country of “Terai” will be like pre-1971 Pakistan, geographically separate. To go to Rupandehi from Siraha, one will have to go from India or a part of Nepal. In the long run, like erstwhile Pakistan, such states don’t survive.

If somehow present Terai is merged with India, the situation of Teraibasis won’t improve either. Biharis are treated pretty badly in places like Bombays or New Delhi, something similar to how ignorant Kathmanuites treat them in Kathmandu.

Talk to both JTMM factions: Jwala Singh

By Bedraj Poudel

INARUWA, Jan 13- Jwala Singh, chairman of the Janatantrik Mukti Morcha (JTMM) faction which broke away from Jai Krishna Goit, has said that the government should hold talks with a joint team of both the JTMM factions.

Talking to the Post over the telephone from an undisclosed location, Singh (Nagendra Pashwan) said, “If the seven parties can hold talks with the Maoists, why can’t the government talk to both of our factions?”

“I still consider Goit as my guide, but I don’t know why he tries to stay away,” Singh told the Post. “I want to carry him on my shoulder and take him along in the war to free the terai people.” He also denied rumors of his party threatening to disrupt the citizenship distribution and expressed his party’s commitment to helping in that task.

“We possess no differences over constituent assembly and citizenship distribution,” he said, adding, “But, we will tell people not to take citizenship certificates being distributed by Pahades (people hailing from the hilly region).”

The fact is there is no shortcut to gain respect. Teraibasis need to work hard, produce more intelligent professionals such as doctors or engineers, keep their towns safe and clean. If all the news they hear from Terai is about witches being fed faeces, or brides immolated due to dowry concern of in-laws, or grooms chosen in open market, how can members of another community genuinely respect that community? Sherpas who were considered inferior and dirty in the past now has earned enormous respect for themselves sheerly due to hardwork. When I went to Solukhumbu recently, I was so impressed with the region above Lukla that I told about it to everybody in my village. On the other hand, a villager of mine who went to Janakpur to work writes how ‘big’ Janakpur’s mosquitoes are, and how difficult it is to go to cyber cafe and write a brief email to me.

Terai has problems, issues, and it is time educated and brave Teraibasis take those issues courageously. Letting people like Goit, or Nidhi or Jwala Singh hijack these issues does no one good, prolongs the pain of Terai, and is harmful to the whole nation. It is important first to recognize that there are no constitutional discriminations against Terai anymore, and that we must work peacefully to break the remaining barriers.

Related blog:
JTMM Terror In Siraha