An unfinished uprising

April 20, 2007 at 7:15 pm 34 comments

An unfinished uprising

A year later, the tarai is still struggling for inclusive loktantra

– by CK LAL

JALESWOR – Things look different a year after the April Uprising here in this Mahottari border town. But what changes you see depends on where you stand. In Kathmandu, the concerns are about the delayed constituent assembly elections and the shenanigans of the Young Communist League.

Here it is about Madhesi representation and the unfinished revolution. There is an element of truth in all the allegations about the fires that raged here in January: royalist meddling, a ‘foreign hand’, forces of Hindu fundamentalism, disgruntled, disaffected members of society disturbing the democratisation process, the government’s inability to maintain law and order. But none of these explanations gets to the heart of the problem.

Decades of discrimination, neglect, and oppression have alienated a large section of madhesis. Being moderate here these days earns you a ‘coward’ tag. In Mahottari it’s easy to see why, and to catch a revealing glimpse of the emotional distance between Kathmandu’s rulers and the tarai.

At the edge of town, flying the national flag, is an early-20th century mansion built by Ram Sumsher, a C-Class Rana banished to the madhes by his purist clansmen. It has been home to powerful agents of the crown, badahakims and anchaladhises like Damodar Sumsher and Lila Raj Bista.

The present occupant of this crumbling edifice is CDO Ratan Raj Pandey, a descendent of royal priests, Kathmandu’s top man here, the most powerful person in the district. The two officers in the District Administration Office are fine men, of pahadi bahun stock, and the Superintendent of Police is a Chand. Individually, most pahadi officers and employees are well-liked and respected. But there is an incongruity in the fact that, in a district where over four-fifths of population is madhesi, almost every office is staffed exclusively by pahadis.

Then there’s the matter of how little noble pahadi settlers have been vested in the communities around them. In a district where the big landlords are Sharmas, Upadhyas, Ghimires and Pants, the first school here had to be built by a Marwari Murarka. The college had to wait for a Yadav donor.

In Janakpur, the town that Koiralas, Ranas, Sharmas, Singh Thakuris, and Ghimires claim as theirs there is no philanthropic effort bearing these names. The first few schools, the college, the hospital, and several temples were built by the Sah family, who were humble traders in comparison with the Ranas and Giris who made fortunes off the tarai’s resources. Individuals are not obliged to be altruistic, but the government is and its neglect is noticeable. Janakpur’s highways, roads, airport and water supply have been set up with Indian assistance. The most visible reminder of the government are security personnel, which reinforces the sense of living in occupied territory.

Indian Ambassador Shiv Shankar Mukherjee is flooded with petitions for small embassy grants on his periodic visits here to lay foundation stones, inaugurate school buildings. Girija Prasad Koirala is not likely to receive similar requests for help when he comes here on Saturday to address a mass meeting.

The issues in the tarai are the same as they are for Nepalis around the country—the need for dignity and fundamental freedoms, the right to identity and proof that there is a government that cares. The Tarai Uprising will continue as long as the peaceful revolution that the eight principal political parties promised remains just words. Most people here understand political complexities. “Protests in the tarai will diminish the day the government realises the folly of playing dirty power games in Kathmandu,” says a paan vendor near the vandalised statue of Bhanubhakta in Janakpur.

When Koirala comes visiting, he should talk less and listen more. People may not have readymade answers, but they have interesting stories, especially of the sacrifices that madhesis have made for his party. It’s payback time. The consequence of defaulting on this will be a total rout of moderate forces. 



Entry filed under: Articles.

Madhesi Dream: A Madhesi Nepal ? An Excerpt from “SPORT AND WORK ON THE NEPAUL FRONTIER”

34 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Janak  |  April 20, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    This CK Lal is utterly selfish person. Did you see him speak anything during Madhes revolution? Did he defend or even at least clearify the motives and reasons of uprising at that time? No. When all political leaders and media tried to defame Madhes revolution by attributing to different facts, he kept silent. He proclaims himself to be an intellectual, but his ‘intellect’ is only for sale. He very often tries to keep himself silent on the issues of Madhes, so that he can reap praises from ruling class media and people, and can keep himself away from different communal labels (As anyone speaking for rights of Madhes is harassed by label of being ‘communal’, not-intellectual).

    All he has been doing is to praise NC, so that he can get an MP ticket in future after he retires from road department. And this is yet another trick, as Madheshi parties are themselves emerging as strong power, he is trying to make a political space there himself.

    (Please don’t tell me to read his articles to see his intellect, I have a printed collection of all his articles, since 1998. As a Madheshi, once I went him to ask for an article, and he replied ‘Thesedays NGOs pay in thousands. YOU CANNOT GIVE ME MONEY..’ Today though I can pay him the money that he has earned whole of his life, I won’t ask to him.

    Rather I’ll support and raise tens of new generation lawers and writers, who will stand with truth fearlessly, selflessly and without ego. Madhesh is not barren, there are thousands of Madheshis who can do it.)

  • 2. mithila putra  |  April 20, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    janak ji
    tapain ko full name and address kripaya paun na.
    tapainko comment padhera sarai kura garna mann lagyo hau
    cheers mate

  • 3. madhesi beta  |  April 20, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    come on c k lal, you gotta jump on the field, not merely on the papers dude.

    come on you can better lead the madhesi men

  • 4. Salik  |  April 21, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    What Janak ji says has stumbled me. If what he says is right then it really raises questions on Lal’s credibility and honesty for his own community.

    But I like Lal’s write ups on Madheshi issues like this one. Evevn if he is pursuing his own personal motif then too- it will help make the issue of Madhesh dominate the media- help increase awareness about Madhesi uprising.

    At last, we can always judge a man by his actions than his words! Let’s welcome good works from him, and criticism should be constructive.

  • 5. sharma  |  April 21, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    This article makes sense. It is a plea rather than a complain. Whatever CK Lal’s personal weaknesses, he has done well by writing this article as a patriotic Nepali.

  • 6. Nepali Pandit  |  April 21, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    Janakji, I can understand your frustration. But poor CKji has to make a living. Don’t blame him for doing what we all do. In any case, to my knowledge, he is best of the Madhesi intellectuals. He speaks and writes with authority.

  • 7. Janak  |  April 21, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    1. With the PM’s address to nation in the aftermath of Madhesh revolution, Madheshi protesters and leaders were equally puzzled, and they could not work out whether to be happy and celebrate or to continue protest. Did he clarify anything for those protesters? (I am not expecting him to defend Madheshi cause, but just a technical clarification)

    2. Ruling class people and their ‘hired’ intellectuals came with opinion that ALL Madheshi are foreigners, and even MADHESH is not in Nepal at all ! (see Om Gurung, Bhudhai Chaudhary , CBES etc., there are dozens of them giving such statements)If he were intellectual, why didn’t he clarify the things?

    3. International community went on asking, for months “Why is uprising in Madhesh? What are their demands?” In that case, why couldn’t he feel the responsibility to clearify the things?

    4. Leaders when on defaming Madhesh revolution at that time, attributing to royalists, Hindu extremists. Why couldn’t he feel the responsibility to clearify the matter if he knows MUCH and proclaims to be an intellectual.

    There are hundreds of points I can make here, I am not unaware of him. And I’m not saying because I have anything against him, I also respect him. But I want to respect him as normal.

    Projecting him as a leading intellectual of Madhesi is just unfair. If anyone feels that way, it’s only because he has got the media exposure that no other Madheshi has got. And there is a reason, because he writes for the Pahadis, not Madheshis.(By showing this and few similar article, you show that he is writing for Madheshi. No. Just compute the per cent of articles he has written for Madhesh. And remember, there are hundreds of Pahadis who have written more about Madhesh, that CK Lal has.) And he has the reason. As soon as he starts writing for Madhesh, NONE of the Nepalese media is going to give him space that he has today. He is there only as long as he DOESN’T speak as Madheshi.

    Why am I bothered to comment on some individual, afterall ? Because, projecting him as Madheshi intellectual has HURT Madhesh. How? Nepalese leaders, lawmakers, writers exploit Madhesh by CITING HIS view as AUTHENTIC views of Madhesh, whereas he doesn’t bother to speak the true story of Madhesh at all. So, Madhesh is hurt. Yet another example, during the revolution, UN, INSEC and other international communities officials looked towards HIM (because we gave him that status of Madheshi intellectual) to see the reaction/clarification of the issue, whereas he chose to be silent. And this gave the notion that Madheshi uprising was just in vain, without direction, without cause, without an issue. Many people got this interpretation.

    Neither do I want to live in the myth that he is the best analyst from Madhesh. If anyone feels that way that’s only because they have not read books/articles of other intellectuals. For example, read books of Prof. Haribansh Jha, and then see the intellectual level (if you want to compare at all). If people do not know Prof. Jha as much as CK Lal, that’s because he openly writes about Madhesh, which means obviously he doesn’t have much media exposure as CK Lal, and not many Pahadi appreciators “to project him as the best intellectul”. There are many other writers as well. Thanks to Vijay Kanta Karna, Ram Manohar, Paramendra Bhagat, Vivawan Kumar, Vindu Chaudhary and many others for writing.

    —A knowledge, that doesn’t come to use when required, is useless.—

  • 8. Nepali Pandit  |  April 22, 2007 at 3:21 am

    I may not agree with what Janakji says, but I can see that he has a point. CKji writes more as a Nepalese citizen than as a Madhesi activist.

  • 9. Pushkar  |  April 22, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Janak Ji , why you are getting angery? you could raise the issue directly with CK Lal. Most probably he would answer you in proper time too. I am not sure whether you are right or wrong but i could say that you are being aggressive that is not good.
    you seem somehow intelectual way ,therefore, i request you to express these all grivances by professional writing. if you want to contact with CK Lal ,please let me know i will give oyu his direct number and email address for your correspondances purposes.Thank you.

  • 10. Pushkar  |  April 22, 2007 at 9:25 am

    Janak Ji , why you are getting angery? you could raise the issue directly with CK Lal. Most probably he would answer you in proper time too. I am not sure whether you are right or wrong but i could say that you are being aggressive that is not good.
    you seem somehow intelectual ,therefore, i request you to express these all grivances by professional writing. if you want to contact with CK Lal ,please let me know i will give you contact address for your correspondances purposes.Thank you.

  • 11. madhesi choro  |  April 22, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Hi pushkar ji
    can you please post mr c k lal’s direct number and email address in this comment page, so that not only unsatisfied janak ji, we other madhesis can also contact him and share our ideas.


  • 12. Pushkar  |  April 22, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks you. I could not give you his detail in public board, because it is beyond the ethical and moral values. If you like to receive it, please send me an email in

  • 13. Pushkar  |  April 22, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    please note one thing that you should also send me your detail, otherwise i wnt be able to supply any information.Thanks

  • 14. DK Yadav  |  April 24, 2007 at 4:25 am

    There is debate of CK Lal and Janak ji disagree or unhappy to accept CK Lal as Madhesi intellectual.
    He is real hero for Madheshi. He did more than Matrika yadav/MADHESHI MUKTI MORCHA did by wall painting in Kathmandu.
    To me, he is the one who physologically made Madhesi people stronger and stronger to fight for their lost land, identity.
    There was time when Rana/Shah, Rajput in Nepal/India rule the country by force using BULLET. In the name of democracy, KHAS BAHUN rule the country by BOLI and always try to prove Madhesi as Bihari, Indian and many more. What CK Lal let ruler regime to feel who you (ruler regime) are and what Madheshi is.

    We madeshi respectfully SALUTE CK Lal. My best regards to CK Lal sir. Please keep it up.

  • 15. krishna  |  April 25, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    People like CK Lal are being made tools to suppress madheshi even after establishment of democracy. Eight parties only joined the Madheshi andolan when they found people of terai are out of their hands. They also tried to suppress it in the name “royalist”, “hindu fundamentalist” and maoist even charged them as “Indians”. Now CK Lal, although intellectual in his own world, is coming as embassador to settle the thing and rule again by eight parties’ leaders speciallY BAHUN.

  • 16. Janak  |  April 28, 2007 at 8:18 am

    Read his article that he wrote after this one.

    * A madheshi who have a desire of selfrespect, and want not to be addressed as “Oh Bhaiya” or “O Dhoti” is RADICALIST in his word.

    * Madheshi struggle in which more than 3 dozens gave life and hundreds injured, was just “an identity politics of elites” in his own words, nothing more. (though all world/NGOs/UN have acknowledged, he still doesn’t see that it was for rights, against discrimination, marginalization)

    * He is very unhappy and unsupportive of Madhesi uprising, as it swept away the holding of NC in terai districts.

    * The article is at subtle level is about ‘awaring’ NC how to foil madheshi plan and “enslave” them again.

    So keep on preaching on hearsay and giving him the status, without ever really reading him!! And he will keep on killing Madheshi uprising with his words.

  • 17. Son of Tirhut  |  May 4, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Great Article,
    The real factor of Madhes discriminated by Khasiya (Pahade BAhun and Chetri). Madhesi sons time to rise up.

    Jai Madhes!!!!!

  • 18. Son of Tirhut  |  May 4, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Great Article,
    Atleast someone is writing the facts of madhes, so let’s not blame each other. Every loyal madhesi should ask the Khasiya and shah rulers the same question, up now what have you done for Madhes and madhesi development?
    The answer is heavy tax, land looted during Mahenra regime, rape, murder, threat, caste discrimination among madhesi.
    So i rather request all our madhesi brothers to come as a single madhesi and pronouce in single voice- “Jai Madhes”.

    Jai Madhes!!!!!

  • 19. Nepali Pandit  |  May 15, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Why madhesi brothers and sisters are not breaking statues of Shah usurpers?

    “YCL steps up vandalism of Kings’ statues

    The statue of late King Birandra at Dhamboji Chowk in Nepalgunj has become the latest target of continued vandalism carried out by the Maoist-affiliated Young Communist League (YCL).

    Tuesday morning, a group of activists of the YCL and All Nepal National Independent Student Union (Revolutionary) dismantled Birendra’s statue. They also announced to erect statues of martyrs in place of the late King’s statute.

    Last week, YCL members had brought down the statue of late King Tribhuvan in Nepalgunj.

    Police arrested Bhakta Singh Bohara, Kalu Pandey and Ram Kumar Gupta in connection with the vandalism.

    The YCL members also vandalised the statues of King Birendra in Ram Bazaar and Birat Chowk and King Mahendra’s statue in Ratna Nagar in Pokhara Tuesday morning.

    Similarly, the Maoist cadres also brought down the statue of King Mahendra at Kalimati Chowk in Kathmandu today. ia May 15 07”

  • 20. ramyadav  |  May 22, 2007 at 6:03 am

    Nepali pundit,

    Terai people will first break the legs of “Kapat karnewala Bahun” then they break the legs of YCL and after that pahadia stuatues.

    Don’t worry, you “bahun” cannot rule in terai at any cost.

  • 21. Suggestion to Ramyadev  |  May 23, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Mr. ramyadev ooh sorry “dhoti dev” your thoughts proves yourself as a dhoti racial agent. Theres vast difference between ‘khokro gali’ and ‘really doing’ If you are a Nepali prove your words, If you cannot then you are again a dhoti.

  • 22. Nepali Pandit  |  May 25, 2007 at 10:13 am

    One racist comment doesn’t justify another even more racist comment. Racism from Madhesis is somewhat understandable. Poor sods have suffered for centuries under Pahade domination. But Pahade racism is unforgivable.

  • 23. mithla putra  |  May 26, 2007 at 4:23 am

    proud to be dhoti

  • 24. Nage  |  May 26, 2007 at 4:34 am

    Why madhesi brothers and sisters are not breaking statues of Shah usurpers?

    We are not intrested to break statues only dude ,, we was the first in history of Nepal who had plan to kill sree 555 Mahendra Shah , if you know history if not you can go to Museum in KTM still they have kept that bombed jeep.
    But sadly thing did not work and those people are killed by shah to future sustain there so called shah rule

  • 25. Nge  |  May 26, 2007 at 4:38 am

    Suggestion to Ramyadev— the f**ker who made this comment , we where dothi and we are proud for that as that is our culture .

    But did we ever make statment for your dedo and katto ,, what hell kind of food you f**er eat man,, look like early morning I give those out and you eat that.

    So f**ker go and see your fu**king face in your mirror first before you comment other

  • 26. Nepali Pandit  |  May 26, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Nge, impotent anger doesn’t solve the problem of racism. Please keep your cool when replying to provocative comments from racists.

  • 27. krishanlal  |  May 31, 2007 at 10:11 am

    Prachanda and goon is planning to finish madhesi andolan by arms. Is it possible ?

  • 28. Nepali Pandit  |  May 31, 2007 at 11:21 am

    No, krishaji. Americans will now finish it. They had already bought Chitralekha, Bimalendra and Bijaya Gachhedar. Now they have bought Upendra Yadav also. No leader, no andolan. madhesi andolan? Rest in peace. Just like dalit and janjati andolan.

  • 29. krishanlal  |  June 4, 2007 at 11:27 am


    What do you think bahun still hoping to rule madhesh ? Not at all…Girija addressing the mass meeting in Birtamod instead of his own area Sunsari, which shows that his grip in his own constituent is not there..

  • 30. Nepali Pandit  |  June 4, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    Krishanlalji, you are right. Budhobaje has lost terai. But Maoists will soon recover lost ground. So there you are. Some more bahuns to put up with!

  • 31. krishanlal  |  June 5, 2007 at 6:50 am

    Nepali Pandit,

    “Sapne dekhte raho” you saw no one but hope from Prachanda baje, Baburam baje, Dinanath baje etc. etc. Can they kill madhesi and rule there. Not at all…..

  • 32. Son of Tirhut  |  June 7, 2007 at 11:09 am

    Nepali Pandit and Krishna Lal ji,
    You people have argued lot, it’s nice to see that we “The Madhesi” have started to identify the people who are acting acting behind the stage as “Divide and Rule”. We need to be aware of these Khasiya people (Specially Bahun and chetri- the people of Khasmiri origin-Kashmir deserted in 13’the century by muslim invaders so naturally they are Dhoti as well). These people are cunning like sweet poison and still thay dream to rule Terai treating us as slave. Do you people want to slave again and call them malik and malkini?

    Let’s re-unite and slog as “Jai Madhes”

    Jai Madhes!!!!!

  • 33. Diwaker  |  February 17, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Why people personally becomes more important than the issue, The issue that he keeps forward is more important, I feel.

    “A fair inclusive law and no one regardless of their ethnicity, sex, culture, creed, language an exception to law” is the only what we Madheshis are fighting for. This is the only outcome if carried out can keep sustained peace. Any of above mentioned component if altered in non inclusive way can result further revolutions of different tastes.

    Here above, some used the term DHOTI. Well, I wear it and I am proud to wear DHOTI. Its my culture, Its me. I am not ashamed of myself. thanks for at least you are acknowledged of our profound culture.

  • 34. I agree  |  April 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    “Madheshi uprising was just in vain, without direction, without cause, without an issue”
    Anyone now has any doubt about it?

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