In a state of statelessness

July 16, 2006 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment

In a state of statelessness

If the Buddha was alive today, he probably would not be eligible for Nepali citizenship.

By – CK Lal

Chulhai Kapar is a non-person. He is a Nepali national, but not eligible for the citizenship of this country under existing laws of the land. Chulhai is just one of the estimated 3 million stateless Nepalis of the tarai whose chances of acquiring legitimacy have been jeopardised by a recent court order. In the considered opinion of the Supreme Court, the bill intended to grant citizenship certificates to people like Chulhai is against the provisions of The Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 2047 (1990).

For India-locked Nepal, citizenship has always been a contentious issue. The Kathmandu elite has a deep fear of being overrun by Indians. Laws are stringent, and their implementation even more severe when it comes to granting citizenship to those who look or sound like Indians. Due to such a deep-seated paranoia among mostly high-caste hill dwellers, the issue of granting citizenship to Nepali nationals of the tarai has been hanging fire for decades.



Entry filed under: Articles.

Proud to be Madheshi? II Promoting Inclusion: Combating Exclusion

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