THE CITIZENSHIP ACT IS SIMPLY A DESIGN
THE CITIZENSHIP ACT IS SIMPLY A DESIGN TO CHALLENGE THE VERY INDEPENDENCE OF OUR COUNTRY BY OUR OWN LEADERS
Mr. Chetendra Jung Himali, President Border Awareness Forum
Mr. Chetendra Jung Himali (73) born in Lekhnath Municipality in the district of Kaski has been actively involved in politics since last six decades. Mr. Himali is the Founder member of “United Democratic Party” (2012) and the Founder General Secretary of Green Party-Nepal (2053).
Mr. Himali at present is actively involved in a campaign against the Mahakali Treaty- as the President of “Border Awareness Forum”. He is also the Deputy-Coordinator of “Unlawful Citizenship Distribution Resistance Committee”.
He has several books to his credits, to mention one of them is “Mahakali Wari-Mahakali Pari- a collection of articles on Nepal-India relationship”.
He has published several articles in Nepal’s leading newspapers as well.
Recently, we approached this veteran for a brief conversation on Nepal’s contemporary political events, unresolved border disputes with India- that he masters, and the recent citizenship act passed by the Interim Parliament and its ramifications. Below the results-Ed.
TGQ1: How do you evaluate current political situation in the country? Mr. Himali: To dwell upon the situation prevailing in the country, I do not see any thing as concrete to mention here been carried out as per the mandate provided by the Janaandolan-II. The lack of confidence among the EPA (Eight Party Alliances) partners remained as the major stumbling block to bring out people centric policies, to say the least.
In particular, the citizenship act passed by the interim parliament still remains as the most unfortunate incident that happened in the entire history of this country. This Act to me, has challenged the very sovereignty of the nation and its independence as well.
Among the EPA partners it was only the “Workers Peasants Party” led by none other than Mr. Narayan Man Bijukche, alias Rohit that presented itself as a party in opposition to the said Act. Unfortunately, the party has merely three members in the interim parliament, thus there is the result for every one to see as to what happened finally.
And, just have a quick look at what happened in Kapilvastu district recently. Within merely four days time, five thousand houses were looted, precious lives lost, women/girls raped and houses burnt, however, the bewilderment continues as there is no one to claim the responsibility. And there is no presence of the State at all in the violence hit areas. The alliance partners shy away, blaming each other. Those leaders who headed towards the violence hit areas returned to the capital just visiting the army barracks around. This in itself portrays the current situation in Terai and the prevailing anarchy in the country as a whole. No solution as yet have been found, the situation is thus chaotic.
TGQ2: What is the problem in Terai and what solutions you propose? Mr. Himali: The fact is that ninety percent of population in Terai has been continuously exploited by the Ranas, Shahs and the Feudal elements of the Terai origin as well, at different intervals of time. It is any body’s guess what could have been the situation in the past, if the practice of exploitation continues to date.
It was during the Panchayati Period more precisely, in between 1963-1979 the rulers then, habilitated around 23 Lakh and 86 thousand 7 hundred and 71 people of Indian origin by offering them Nepali citizenship in the Terai.
Currently, a bunch of clever politicos from the same group of people have been maneuvering the entire politics of the country for what they deceitfully claim for the benefit of the real poor and exploited people in the Terai. That is why currently the Terai is burning.
In my opinion, the Eight Party Leadership and other active political parties in the country should build confidence amongst each other, secondly, devise a common strategy to address the Madhesi issues and thirdly, without fear venture into the areas that have remained without proper leadership since last few years. The objective here should be to take the local people into confidence and that could also be done through the deployment of their cadres in the nooks and corners of the Terai. I also suggest the leadership to regulate the open Indo-Nepal border until complete peace is attained.
TGQ3: What is the root cause of Kalapani and Susta dispute? What you prescribe to do away with this standoff? Mr. Himali: First, remember that Kalapani is our land.
In 5th October 1961, when Nepal signed a border demarcation treaty with China, land surfacing 62010 Sq.Kms was brought into the Nepali side.
Unfortunately, 310 Sq Km of disputed land which lacked due attention then, remained unresolved. That’s where India came into the scene that unlawfully claimed its right to the territory unresolved between Nepal and China. The question is thus, how can India without proper consultations with the stakeholders claim its right to the land? Anyway, I have the firm belief that, Nepal’s territory extends up to the Lympiyadhura- tri-junction point (Nepal-China-India), in the Kalapani region.
Now talking about Susta, when the Gandak Barrage was being constructed, the river was diverted to facilitate the construction for the time being; however, even after completion of the Barrage construction, it was not re-diverted to its natural path. Then, in a public outrage against such act, seven precious lives were taken.
Similarly, in other parts of the country as the frontier demarcation was set as per the “Fixed Boundary Theory”, they kept on changing as well. Thus a question that I raise here: Is it that Nepali side alone has to abide by the definition of “Fixed Boundary Theory” as India defines it frequently in different manner that goes in its favor?
Further, an agreement was made between India and Nepal in 1969-70 at the foreign minister level to agree on the then territorial claim, which meant Nepal, had to loose 45 thousand bighas of land.
In the present time, since last two years to be precise, the Indian BSF (Border Security Force) has been encroaching upon 20 thousand 6 hundred 761 Bighas of land. The Nepali villages that are being invaded by the BSF are Rampurwa, Susta, Pakalihawa, Bhediyari, Dhongsota, Dhganiya and Sagardinahi. Thus, in Susta we have merely 700-800 Bighas of Land remaining. There is the presence of Nepal’s local armed security forces there; however, it is a mere onlooker to the continued Indian encroachments.
To add, in few days time there is a meeting scheduled between India and Nepal in Kathmandu to exchange their valid/proof documents on Kalapani and Susta. The people here believe that the government will not carry out any agreement with the Indian side so we may further loose our lands. We hope that the Indian intruders will soon leave our territory.
TGQ4: Where are the major territorial disputes between Nepal and India? Your valuable comments on solving them peacefully please? Mr. Himali: Among the twenty-six districts in Nepal bordering India, it is only Baitadi that has no border dispute with India at all. In Dadeldhura district, in the name of constructing a dam in the Purnagiri area, Indians have intruded our lands.
In the remaining 24 districts all the VDCs adjoining India have been under continuous India’s encroachment onslaught. Overall, there are 85 areas along the Indo-Nepal border wherein Nepali lands have been encroached upon by the Indian side. Ten years earlier in one of my write-up, I had mentioned that there are 61 places wherein Indian had illegally occupied our mother land.
I see that a permanent solution can be achieved only through validating the 913 pillars rooted in between 1816 to 1864. This can be accomplished only at the political level, similar to the one executed with China, if one were to recall.
However, the present interim government in Nepal that was given the mandate first, to do away with the autocratic monarchy and later, to conduct the CA elections only, does not hold any right whatsoever to carry out any agreements with India including that of the boundary issue.
TGQ5: How have you evaluated the Citizenship Act and the citizenship distribution procedure? Mr. Himali: There are only two ways to acquire citizenship, one is through hereditary claim and the other one is by birth.
There are some countries in the world that provide citizenships according to their needs. And citizenship acquired by married women coming from alien lands is also acceptable. Thus there are no other ways than getting citizenship through marriages, either bride or grooms for foreigners.
However, in our country, no where else in the world to be found, a team was specially formed and sent to distribute citizenship certificates. According to the clause 22 of the citizenship Act, the team can grant citizenship to any one whosoever he or she might be. Similarly, there is also the provision for citizenship in case if three Nepali citizens endorse that a particular person is a genuine Nepali citizen.
And as per laws the team has its legality for only one time. However, a cabinet decision later extended the period for over two years. Recently, in an agreement with Mr. Upendra Yadav-President Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum, the government has agreed to dispatch a team for distributing Nepali Citizenship once more.
What we could understand from this is that, it is simply a design to challenge the very independence of the country by our own leaders.
Thus the task of the nationalists in the country is to be aware of such clandestine designs and expose those who have acquired Nepali citizenship illegally, thus halting the country from being Sikkimized.
Entry filed under: Articles.