Madhesi Movement: A Research Report From Biratnagar

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Preface

Nepal’s Peace Process had been gaining extra and ordinary successes. It had given a great example to the world for signing on Peace Agreement in a very short period of beginning of peace process and with the completely on the self strength of we Nepali People. People had started to take a breath of happiness and full of confidence. There started to sign brightness on the face of Nepali people. They were feeling a great proudness inside them for that they will be getting the chance of making constitution for them by them through the constituent assembly. They were hopeful towards the restructuring of the state. They were feeling satisfaction that they may also get opportunities on the decision making and policy making process of the country. They were exited for being the ruler of the country from get ridding of those poor and suppressed “raiti”. Although there are some suspects and threats on their dream, they were hopeful to be the winner over the regressive forces.

Despite of some minor and technical problems, everything was going as per the need and hopes of the people of Nepal. Suddenly, there happened a communal tension in Nepalgunj. The dreams of people are stroked. But, all of the people had hoped that it will be no longer, it is the just an accident. We are confident that we Nepali people have a great unity and solidarity among the diverse castes, races, cultures, societies. But, the communal tension did not limited in tension it is increased towards the great problem and the great threat of communal wars in our country. Again, the dreams of we Nepali People have hit. Again, there started darkness on the faces of we Nepali People. Again, there seems the probability of instability and crisis in our country.

The most issues raised by the Madhesi people are genuine and it is not only the problems of the Madhesi people but also there are lots of problems of various castes and societies with in our country. All these reliable demands and the issues should be addressed by the state in time. There is no any question. But, today our country is on the surface of great communal war which is most harmful and dangerous to our country. This may lead our country into fraction. And which may lead our country towards the darkness forever. The regressive forces and the elements who want instability in our country are trying to use the problems to fulfill their vested interest. Everyday, there are dying some peoples, many are being wounded, and national properties are being destroyed, everywhere increasing tensions. Everyday there is increasing violent. The life of the people is totally disturbed. Specially, in Terai Region, Biratnagar, Janakpur, Siraha, Sarlahi, Npalgunj, Birgunj are the most affected regions of the Madhesi Movements. As being a person from Terai Region, Biratnagar, I am in great confusion and in great tension by the increasing problem of Terai Region. I wanted the fact feelings and fact realities should be out and should be known by the everyone livings in this country. It is not only the problem of Terai. It is the problem of the whole nation. If a element of system is disappeared the whole system will be affected. So, I am very grateful towards my dear friend Rewati Raman Dhakal, Biratnagar for making this research report for me, for my bloggers friend and for the every people of the country to know the reality at least of one part of the Terai Region. Hope that the situation of our country will be normal, soon and there comes the dreams of we Nepali People true in the near future.

 A Report by Rewati Raman Dhakal, Biratnagar-4, Morang, Nepal

We all are familiar with the unrest prevailing in the central and eastern terai district since 21 days. It has influence the entire nation and has drawn the attention of the people. People were unaware with name of Madhesi People Right Forum (MPRF), Janatantrik Tarai Mukti Morcha(JTMM) till the date of promulgation of interim constitution. But as Upendra Yadav, chairman of MPRF put a match to Interim Constitution, police arrested the yadav and from that very day the violent demonstration geometrically engulfed the entire nation. In the same way Biratnagr remained tense with unresolved political turmoil. So let’s have a glance at Biratnagar.

  1. Administration imposed curfew from 1:30 pm, Tuesday, Jan 31, 2007 after Raj Kumar Kamat 33 of Biratnagar 18 was killed in the clash with general public at Mills Area, Bhattimode in Biratnagar-22. He was the active member of the MPRF.
  2. Jan 32 wed 2007 MPRF demonstrators’ stormed police post of Budhnagar in Biratnagar and attacked sub-inspector Naresh Jung Karkee with the sword on his head and killed him throwing into a pond with limbs tied, a few yards from the police posts.
  3. Many people are migrating to the safe and influential area due to unsafe, domination, harshness and potential communal war.
  4. Considering the turmoil in terai area, India has stationed the Indian arms force in Nepal – Jogbani border.
  5. MPRF cadres brutally beat journalist at Tankisinwar VDCs of Biratnagar who had reached to collect the News of goodwill rally organized by tanki jaycees.
  6.  Feb 8, Two demonstrators have been killed and dozens of sustained injuries in clash with police while demonstrators tried to defy the imposed curfew and dozens of house of pahadi people have been torched by madhesi people in Kathari VDC.

These are the incident occurred in and around the Biratnagar. But what did this turmoil left behind and what do the people feel about this. Especially, the level of communal harmony, honor and compassion. I made a gossip to explore what they feel? Let’s have a look.

Ujita Timshina 22, Inhabitant of Biratnagar-4(student) : She says she has no idea regarding the agitating parties and demand. But she is very much disappointed being her exam postponed. She further says that one of the demonstrator flee with her answer sheet from exam center in Biratnagar.  

Anish Khanal 29 of Jhorahaat vdc( Accountant, micro finance) – He says his home is in most influential area of Madhesi  people . They try to dominate and ridicule the minority Pahadi people. He says, they do so because most of them are unaware and illiterate about the objective of the movement. My attitude is not negative towards them. The ongoing problem should be solved soon by the state.

Utam Rai 32 of Biratnagar-7(Small Scale Business man) – Biratnagr-7 is the most affected and influential area of Madhesi and Muslim People. Uttam says I have not been affected and mocked by the demonstrators being pahadi. I don’t keep touch with my neighbors. Further, my relationship with madhesi people is as usual. I have no concern on their demand.

Ganesh Sah 32(Social Worker) of Biratnagar-14:  Ganesh says, being from madhesi origin I have no animosity with Pahadi. We are living with mutual support and harmony. I don’t discriminate pahadi, limbu or newar. But this movement has brought quite disregard towards madhesi and pahadi community around me. This resembles during the talks and activities of my companion. I have helped my neighbor by providing rice and essential commodities. He further says madheshi has kept the genuine demand, this should be fulfilled shortly.

Subesh Pal 33 of Harinagara VDCs, Sunsari(Motivator of child literacy program) : Harinagra is the influential area of madhesi people, the number of nepali house hold is in fingers, and they are mostly based on agro. Subesh says I have not take part in rally and demonstration. But my collegues are taking part sincerely. The relation between madhesi and pahadi origin has not worsen yet.

Subash Bhagat 28, MBA student of Biratnagar -3: He says it is not the worthy government to impose curfew for long time.  Is it fair to keep the people in concentration camp in lokatantra? Regarding the demonstration he says it’s the volcano that erupted after the suppression, domination of madhesi people for 238 years. He further tells, I have not faced any communal harassness because my appearance is relative to pahadi as well as madhesi. But, I really hate the discrimination. Government should immediately solve the problem through equitable distribution. I don’t care more on these things because I want to complete my studies and like to go abroad because future is uncertain here.

Niraj Khatbey 21 of Babiya vdc, Sunsari(Hotel Staff) : Niraj is from the same vdc of where two demonstrators were shot dead in Inaruwa. Niraj Says madhesis demands are genuine and should be fulfilled. In context of communal harmony he says it has been worsen. Because, majority of the journalist are from pahadi origin and they have not helped the mahdesi people rights by covering in their papers. So our demands are unable to reach up to the central government. In the same way pahadi people did not allowed madhesi people to hide in their home, who were charged baton and chased by the police during clash. Further more Niraj added that government deployed madhesi policemen in civil dress to infiltrate the rally and to misguide and make the demonstration more violent.

Binod Sardar 25 of Hatimuda Vdc, Morang(Rickshaw Puller ) : Binod Says banda and curfew has not affect the level of my earnings. I go for long destination every day, it is Ithari 20 km from Biratnagar and I earn handsome incentives. But it is tough time in Biratnagar. Regarding discrimination he says MPRF cadres have threatened to vandalize his rikshaw if he would bring pahadi passengers.

Bina Tamang 38 of Biratnagar(House wife): She says curfew and bandha has negatively influence our daily life. Timber and Kerosene are not available in the market. The price of the essential commodities has increased geometrically. The source of income is blocked. Children are not going to school and play all the day. I don’t know the purpose of demand. I would like to request the government to simplify the daily life by maintaining peace and security.  

Sanu Kafley (name change) 6 a 1 grader student of suprabha boarding school from Kathari VDC of Morang(Kathaari is the highly influenced area of madhesi people and pahadi are in minorities) : Sanu has come to great mum home in biratnagr for safe shelter. She Says I have no idea about the purpose of bandha. But, Sanu’s great mother Indira Dhakal added that Sanus family shifted overnight to biratnagar submitting the valuable commodities to Marbadi neighbours after demonstrator chanted anti pahadi slogans in kathhari. She further said that some of the madhesi threaded pahadi to speak maithali.  

Amrit Acharya 27 of Biratnagar -4 (MCA II semester student and IT Professional): Amrit says madhesi demands are reasonable but agitation has culminated into class conflict and racial discrimination. My attitude and behavior towards madhesi friends and colleagues are as usual and I have compassion. But we all should be aware with some external opportunist, non political and non nepali who are fueling to blaze the communal war.

Ghanashayam Khatbey 30(Human Rights Activist of ADOBC, Sunsari): Ghanashayam says I am observing the demonstration in Ineruwa and Duhabi. Some royal henchman and arms police have infiltrate with their mean purpose. Mistrust and discrimination between pahadi and madhesi is mountaining in backward communities because literacy rate is less in madhesi and the mass has not been politically instructed. So, non instructed mass is always violent. Shortly, government should work to resolve the on going conflict.

Dear friends you might have estimated the prevailing situation in Biratnagar and it’s around through my mere interrogation with different walks of people, as I have presented above. I have lived in Biratnagar from more than 25 years and observed the communal harmony and compassion between madhesi and pahadi. But this harmony has some how been affected from 25th January this year. I have found madhesi people with mere access in resources and the literacy rates of madhesi are comparatively less then pahadi. Majority of the madhesi are dependent on mean task to eke out their lives like, carpenter, Rikshaw pulling, labour etc and only few are in honorable profession. The level of awareness, human development index are poor and majority of them are based in agro industries.

Madhesi Andolan is fueling in Biratnagar. It is really for the rights and participation in social, economic and political spheres. I do hope and effort for egalitarian society for the madhesi community. But what hurts me is that some local goons of Biratnagar and People of non nepali heritage are fueling the demonstration into communal violation. Those mean people are showing a so called Nepaljung communal violation video to urge the communal animosity between pahadi and madhesi to heat the street to converge into violation. The majority and numbers of madhesi agitators are increasing day by day but seems as if they are not politically instructed. It resembles by using of bows and arrows, pikes, sword and other types of weapons against police, slaughtering police till death, torching the shelter of other community, vandalizing ambulance, Government offices, vehicle, Manhandling journalist, Human Rights Activist and their vehicles, distructing the statue of martyrs, poets and charismatic leader around the country.  

Finally, I want to say that their genuine demand should be fulfilled. We all know they are deprived by the state. They don’t have access on the resources. So, government should provide its sincere consideration for the upliftment and rights of this community. Along with this movement madhesi people and leaders should not violate others right and concentrate to pave the peaceful way of protest. Protest should be under the control of leaders and have to focus to preserve the communal harmony. If the communal harmony and mutual trust could not be maintain and preserved it will culminate into the situation like Sudan, Rwanda, have now. Madhesi people and leaders should conquer the support of people of other region, caste and ethnicity to fulfill their aspiration. Proportional electoral system is positive but we should keep in mind that geographical representation is also essential for the entire development of the nation.

7 thoughts on “Madhesi Movement: A Research Report From Biratnagar

    Ujjwal said:
    February 7, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Good Work! Its what I was waiting to read. This will certainly help to understand what people are feeling in Terai.

    vahsek said:
    February 7, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    Nice material! Lively it is.
    By the way, though I have an advocate of not hiding identity while blogging, is it wise to disclose the name of the writers/bloggers/contributors staying in the areas where riots are going on?
    Security should be taken into care. The safest best is using a pseudonym.

    utshab said:
    February 7, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Vashek,
    we have thought that in our post there is no any biasness so without hesitating we have put the original names. While speaking the truth why scared? Let’s see, what will be the reaction.

    vahsek said:
    February 8, 2007 at 12:40 am

    okay. it’s not the matter of biasness, it’s of security of the individuals you write and stay in that place.

    Kina bhaney most of us are very INTOLERANT!

    Kumar Adhikari said:
    February 8, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Biratnagar at a Glance:

    I would like to express my many thanks for your kind and wonderful job regarding the current movement of Terai. The report reveals that the situation of Terai is still not out of control nor there is seen colour conflict among PAHADI and MADESI so we must acknowledge that this is our strength of great brotherhood and coexistence among all groups living in same place with great concord. As per based on people’s views from the diverse groups from Terai, Nobody can violate the situation among Terai people in dirty water even if reactive force’s conspiracy.

    At this moment, I would like to add a peace of article written by Mr. Adaitya Man Shrestha ” We must hold high hopes for our new Nepal that this new political combine has promised us. While cherishing a bright future for us, I was wistfully reminded of the wish of a young British lady who was an acclaimed beauty of her time. She went to Bernard Shaw and proposed to marry him. Shaw wanted to know why she wanted to do so. The lady had a ready answer, “Think of the baby we will have with my beauty and your brain.” Shaw pondered a moment and shot back, “But, young lady, think of the opposite too.” Will the new Terai be born like the lady’s dream or Shaw’s fears?
    I do not want to comment and make a long rope regarding this intense issue, just my view is to apply only peaceful means rather than violent way to achieve a success of those trustworthy demand of Nepalese people who have been living in Terai for a long time otherwise it will be going out of our control despite we have genuine demands.
    So once again I thank you very much “Utshab ji” for your innovative way of perceiving peoples’ ideas in this regard which may be fresh message and feeling of Terai people to us.
    Thank you.

    vahsek said:
    February 8, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    correction:

    Nice material! Lively it is.
    By the way, though I have been an advocate of not hiding identity while blogging, is it wise to disclose the name of the writers/bloggers/contributors staying in the areas where riots are going on?
    Security factor should be taken into consideration. The safest bet is using a pseudonym.

    Aman Yadav said:
    February 14, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Hi bro you have done good work but you would have been better if you have had asked those person about the strike saying them the demand of the banda ? the madeshi janta want bcoz many r there who don’t know ? the demand is and r saying they r doing right as they r madshi n must b doing for the benifit of them without knowing the truth even i don’t know ? was there demand .Well try to do so n wish u be successful byee

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