Khas Chauvinism and Madhesi Revolt

April 8, 2007 at 5:32 pm 7 comments

Khas Chauvinism and Madhesi Revolt

– Govinda Neupane

(This is my reply to a friend of mine emailed on February 06, 2007. I have just taken out some personal references.)

I fully agree with you that Nepal should not disintegrate. But, I do not see the ongoing movement in Madhesh as a separatist rebellion either in its motive or design. The movement has justice and equity at its core. Not only the Madhesis, but also the MagolKirats (Janajati), Dalits and Newars have been subjected to unimaginable humiliations and sufferings by the Khas rulers in Kathmandu. These rulers include Gorkha kings, Rana rulers and the ‘elected’ Khas political lords. The Khas leaders of different political parties and their regime in Kathmandu are trying to justify the Khas chauvinist massacre against a suffering Madhesi nationality by defaming the movement as orchestrated or heavily infiltrated by the regressive monarchist’s forces. Sure, there could be infiltration. But, in the name of infiltration nobody could justify the barbaric actions against the demonstrators. Khas leaders are the champions of double speak. They are talking about republic on one side, and are maintaining the royal guardianship on the other, to take refuse if and when there is a need. Therefore, when Madhesis rise today, the Khas political lords in Kathmandu brought their beloved guardian – the king to use him as a villain. At the same time, they are ensuring his continuity and comfort in Narayanhiti. By making him either a hero or a villain, probably in both ways, the Khas political lords need his blessings. Otherwise, why the crowd assembled in the legislature could not clap standing for five minutes to declare that “Nepal is a republic effective 1700 hours, February 07, 2007”?

I agree with you that the home minister is a person of sound temperament. He looks so. Therefore, he is a notorious criminal. The person with a sound temperament if orders for such killings that person should be tried for his crime against humanity. Hence, my proposal is that all guilty Khas leaders and their cronies including the home minister should be tried in a court of justice.

Your concern regarding foreign interference also has its merit to talk about. When there is opportunity, everybody tries to grab it. Therefore, if India comes to fish as you have mentioned, I think it is nothing surprising. Now, not the Madhesi people, but the ruling Khas-led parties are pro-Indian. Therefore, if you could not refrain from blaming India, blame India through the route of Khas regime and their political parties in Kathmandu, not through the Madhesis, the suffering humanity.

I like your pleading of the ‘free press in democracy’. But, how ethical and professional are the journalists in Nepal? Are they embedded with the repressive Khas administration? One has to examine first. Is it that a Fox news reporter from an American military bunker reporting from Iraq is their idol? If so, ask the presspersons first to be liberated from the Khas chauvinist mindset and to resist the pressure tactics of the Khas administration. Not only that they need to behave as professional journalists, but also they should not function as cardholders of any political party. You could see the studied silence among a large part of the so-called civil society in Kathmandu. Some of the big names have jumped for the protection of the chauvinist Khas regime by bringing the lofty banner of ‘press freedom’. They have no sympathy towards the bleeding Madhesis. Perhaps, they consider them as ‘inferior’ and believe that their killing is natural by the ‘superior’ regime. Dr. Devendra Raj Pandey is the only exception among the big names of the civil society personalities of Khas origin. I salute him for his patriotism, human sensitivity and solidarity with the oppressed masses.

In the past also, I have argued with you that the nationalities’ question in Nepal is really complex. When the Khas brutality expanded the Madhesh agitation to the scale of revolt participated in by hundreds of thousands of people, the Khas regime in Kathmandu started to feel its heat. The cunning Khas leaders began to wash their hands publicly and are busy, now, talking about solidarity with the Madhesis. The blunt types are in a situation of isolation. But, they are together to maintain their control. They are readying themselves for the brutal suppression. As a result, the revolt could be crushed through brutality, but the rebellion will continue in several forms – guerrilla actions, armed insurrection, protracted war, communal upsurge, peaceful protest and so on. It could pass through two different processes – first, the movement could take the path of nationality war as that in Sri Lanka. There could be the communal divide, ethnic segregation and conflict. And, the result would be disintegration of Nepal as Yugoslavia. Second, oppressed nationalities and the progressive political as well as social elements among the Khasas will join the movement. Their unified mass movement or a mass movement launched by an oppressed nationality including the Madhesis will gain unprecedented momentum. And, the Khas regime will collapse under its pressure. In both situations, the Khas ruling clique has no future. But, in the second course, Nepal has its future. Therefore, I believe, you and I should stand together for the second course. Let’s stand for multiculturalism. Let’s stand for federalism. Let’s stand for autonomous governance mechanisms of the nationalities including the right to self-determination. And, let’s denounce the brutality of the Khas regime including the killing of more than 24 people already, injuring thousands and adding fuel to fire that hurt the collectively glorious Nepali identity.

February 06, 2007



Entry filed under: Articles.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nage  |  April 9, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Very well said ,, thanks

  • 2. mukesh  |  April 9, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Brahmanbad is the vilian of today.

  • 3. Ravi  |  July 7, 2007 at 12:03 am

    Dear writer,

    I have the following comments upon reading your whole essay. I am well careful of the literatures in Nationalism as being a student of Ethinicty, Caste and National Integration.

    1. Firstly, You have taken out all of the poision with you about the Madhesi hatredness towards the Khas rulers in Kathmandu. You seem to be writing with a viel of Khas writer. A khas writer like Neupane caste will never write in such a way. Khas people in Kathmandu and elsewhere are feeling their heart, what their fellow people living as a second class citizen are living in the plain terai. They have now know, what really is the issue. But the issues of identity, infereiority, equality has touched the everest of all people in Nepal.

    2. The write up seems to be just threatening to open a new route for schism, nation divide, and a sheer threat to national integration. A Khas writer would never threaten the sovereign power of the country that their fellow people will sure follow the path of Tamils in Sri Lanka. This is one of a negative remarks made by the writer. So you are surely a writer of Madheshi origin under the Veil. Please write the write up in your own Name and even the Location.

    3. When demands are made in the movements, not all the demands are fulfilled, you cannot win 100% but to some extent of 90 percent or 99%. You have to think it. Now the Madhesi Nationalism seems to be reaching its peak! Look, being a true nationalist of Nepal…… have been feed by the Nepali Land. So a theive have attached your hard disk of mind, that is taking you the the route of Srilanka. Everyone is there to defend his rights.

    4. You people have already started ethnic cleansing in Madhesh. Do you think that there is rising ethnic consciousness among the Khas people. What happens, if they act in the same manner like the armed groups in Terai. Won’t Kathmandu be decreasing its population by half?

    5. Pahade jornalist, engineers, JTAs, Administrators are fleeing from Terai. What about this? Is this a democratic steps? A citizen is not able to freely roam within his own terrrtory? Why do you blame them to be affiliated to political parties, is this not judicial for a person to put faith upon any party? So all the people living there should put faith upon madhesi people’s party? Please clarify this?

    6. This is a one sided view upon the Madhesi Movement? What have you done for the the oppressed Janajatis in Madhesh? These Mushar, Teli, Sud, and many other marginalized people are being exploited daily from the so called landlords who are waging the war. Have you done anything for them.

    7. If you believe in Nepali Nationalism, as we believe in Indian Nationalism, lets put practical and balanced views. Look,even a single flame can burn Kathmandu in a second. If the Journalist give a clear picture of what is happeinig in Terai, black looking innocent madhesi people will be driven away like the dogs from kathmandu and the Pahad. have you ever imagined this? I think Journalist have played a great role in not dividing the sentiment of Pahade people.

    8. Lastly, Nepalese are peace loving people, they donot need any type of wars anymore. If they are true people devoted to Nepalese land and sovereignty. Then surely they come to the table of dialogue. The Pahade people living in terai tell that, the higher class fuedal families like Yadav, shah are the only revolting mass against Nepal government. Groups of People come from India and they do everything. They are against this ethinic cleansing happening in the Terai. So you have to understand the sentiment of people and the politics. Let’s watch the leaders being washed and flow like a dirt in wind and storm, when there is no local support.

    Jai Nepal, Jai Ama, Jai Khas, Jai Kali.

  • 4. Jon  |  July 26, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Again, the only way is a united Nepal. Plz. Plz. try to stop inhuman killings. I respect the tolerance of ordinary pahadis. They are not doing any harm to Madheshis even in places where Pahadis are in damn majority. Pahadis, plz. maintain that tolerance. We should push these Pahdi and Madheshi leaders for dialogue. Dialoge is the only solution.

  • 5. Son of Tirhut  |  July 26, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    The only problem is Bahun baad, rest of us Madhesi(including Tharu), Janjati and Dalit should merge as a single prostestor for our autonomy state having the power of self determination.

    Jai madhes!!!!!

  • 6. Himal  |  September 16, 2007 at 9:50 am

    In this changing context proportional representation is very need of today.

  • 7. khas lion  |  August 30, 2009 at 11:10 am

    dont mess with khas !

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