Tigers in the Plains
In the terai, a violent hate triangle has been under play since 2004. The three players are the Nepal army (and other parts of security apparatus), the Maoists, and the secessionist Tarai Janatantrik Mukti Morcha (TJMM), a breakaway faction of the Maoists headed by a Mr. Goit. While hostilities between the first two have ceased, the TJMM seems to have intensified their movement. They have also been issuing orders to the pahadis living in the terai to leave. But the grievances the madhesis have are deep-rooted and real.
We need not talk about the army, which until not long ago did not even enlist madhesis. The Maoists too, for their part, aren’t really interested in empowering the Madhesi community. They are, after all, a Bhauns-from-the-hills organization using, for political purposes, the long dormant issue of ethnic nationalities. Even Maoist leader Yadav admits to structural discrimination inside the party. The differentiation of the larger terai region into two groups is another ploy obviously designed to fragment the Madhesi voices.
I don’t believe in breaking away from Nepal to form another state (though, if it is achieved through a referendum in the larger madhes, I wouldn’t oppose it either). But what the Maoist leader Matrika Prasad Yadav said is indeed infuriating. To him the 2-4 million Madhesis who do not have a citizenship is not the big problem. That, he says, can be solved later, after the drafting of the new constitution. Is he crazy? 10% of the population excluded from the entire process of electing a constituent assembly? More than a quarter of madhesis marginalized in determining their own destinies? It wouldn’t surprise me that if after the constituent assembly elections, TJMM recruits more members in its ranks and wages a war for secession much similar to the tamil tigers. As it is, there is already a Tarai Tigers.
Entry filed under: Articles.