Plains speaking

December 3, 2006 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment

 Plains speaking

As if we didn’t have enough problems already, the tarai is flaring up.  While the ceasefire has restored relative calm over much of the country, in the eastern tarai districts of Saptari and Siraha the war never really stopped. The Maoists and their breakaway Tarai Janatantrik Mukti Morcha (TJMM) are battling it out with killings and abductions . What’s brewing there is an ominous sign of the way things could go if the tarai grievances are not addressed promptly and decisively.

On the surface, this is a struggle for leadership of the tarai constituency between two militant leaders: Matrika Yadav of the Maoist Tarai Mukti Morcha and his arch-rival Jaya Krishna Goit of the TJMM. The two had a major falling out when they were Maoists.

Now, both are using long-standing injustices done to Nepal’s Madhesi community: some four million people of the tarai don’t have Nepali citizenship, many are treated like second-class citizens and face daily harassment. And in the backdrop is always competition for land among the original people of the tarai, hill settlers, and more recent migrants from India. The seeds of this crisis were sown by King Mahendra’s transmigration program that changed the demographics of the plains and inner-tarai valleys.

Goit’s group has now chased out most pahadi staff from government offices and schools in Saptari and Siraha. In Rupendehi and Nawalparasi, ethnic tension is mixed up with vigilantism. The resultant fear is taking symbolic forms, such as people not wearing the Nepali cap any more because it marks them as a hill person. These are ominous signs, all too reminiscent of scenes leading up to ethnic cleansing elsewhere in the world.

The NC and the UML, despite their preoccupation with the peace process, have tried to come to grips with tarai citizenship. The Nepali Congress central committee recently took the politically sensitive decision to set a cut-off date for citizenship. While some will say the NC went too far, the madhesi community says it doesn’t go far enough. While citizenship is vitally important for those who don’t have it, in madhesi politics it is seen more as part of the larger problem of discrimination.

The space for compromise and negotiation is narrowing. Yet if we don’t find them, this could turn ugly. We’ve seen it around the world: whenever ethnic divisions and separatist sentiments are mixed with politics, they invariably turn underlying resentment into a long messy war. That is something this country simply can’t afford.

Source::http://www.nepalitimes.com/issue/310/Editorial/12293

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Articles.

Hate India, Love India मध्यतराईमा धूलो दूध कारखाना

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Celebration of 1,00,000

Madhesi Voice

United We Celebrate

People Celebrating faguwa (Holi), with the fun of music, quite popular among Terai people. Holi is celebrated each year on the eve of falgun purnima Faguwa (Holi) Celebration

Past Posts

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 49 other followers


%d bloggers like this: