No Madhesi citizen has ever been posted at the decision making level in Nepal’s Police force
No Madhesi citizen has ever been posted at the decision making level in Nepal’s Police force
He is perhaps the first Nepali national from Madhesh to have occupied a senior level post at the Nepal’s Police Force.
His continued service to the nation for all along three decades plus deserve commendation. With the entrance into the Police force as a mere Assistant Sub Inspector, Mr. Sanandan Prasad Kurmi, at time of the retirement from the service was “Senior Superintendent of Police”, a rare honor made available to a national belonging to Madhesh.
His commitment to the force he served remains intact and says that the Police Force must henceforth be sympathetic to the youths from Madhesh in order to make the Police System more and more inclusive.
He is a diehard nationalist and opines that the nation-state must not see any sort of disintegration.
With 32 years of service in the police force, Mr. Kurmi now is living a retired life in his hometown Birganj.
Mr. Kurmi: The current Terai unrest is basically related to the identity crisis that the Madhesis have been facing in Nepal; it is more so related to the recognition for the identity from the state. The demands are for the equal participation in all the state organs and giving opportunities to the Madhesis without any discrimination.
The Madhesis demands are genuine which needs immediate attention from the state before it is too late. The Madhesis have been ill treated by the successive regimes since centuries. They are treated as second class citizens by the political parties and the state as well. The current unrest in the Terai is an accumulation of the past misdeeds of the state against the citizens of Madhesh. The only thing they want is the appropriate recognition of their culture, tradition and values and more so, equal share in the participation in the system of governance of the country. They want to be treated as others. We are all humans and we all have right to fight for ourselves.
In my opinion, the state must rise to the occasion immediately to avoid any unpleasant event by addressing their genuine demands on time.
TGQ2: You being in the Nepal police force for over three decades or so, did you feel any sort of discrimination by the ruling elites during your tenure? And please tell us about the state of inclusion of the Madhesis in Nepal police force?
Mr. Kurmi: Let me admit very frankly that during my thirty two years in police service, I never felt that I was being directly discriminated by the ruling elites. It could have been that my own capabilities were up to the mark which perhaps did not provide any opportunities for the seniors to ignore my competence and dedication to the job offered by the State. I may be the exception in the sense that I began from the ASI (Assistant Sub Inspector) to have attained the SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police) post within thirty two years of time. But who knows if I was not Madhesi I would have attain a higher post. However, this is also true that no Madhesi citizens of this country have ever occupied the decision making level in the Nepal police as well. This is all!
I get surprised to see that not even a single Madhesi is in a higher rank of the Nepal police organization, which is what pinches me at times. Is it that not even a single Madhesi is capable to acquire the position? I don’t think so. This is all what we call discrimination. The State would do well if it recognizes the potential and the valor in the Madhesi citizens and includes them in the mainstream police force; I think there are reasons to believe that the Madhesis thus included in the force would exhibit their competence at par with their counterparts. Unfortunately, in the entire five decade long (2012-2064 BS) history of Nepal police organization, not even a single Madhesi citizen has ever been awarded a general mid-level rank such as DIG(Deputy Inspector General of Police), let alone AIG(Additional Inspector General of Police), and IGP(Inspector General of Police). In addition, the tragedy has been that none of the regional recruiting center heads have ever seen the presence of a Madhesi citizen as its recruiting chief, thus minimizing the possibility of the Madhesis entrance into the Nepal police. This is sad and very unfortunate as well and a great mystery. Such direct or indirect discrimination being made the Madhesis compel the later to conclude that the ruling elites treat them as second class citizens. A correction, in my opinion, to this trend must be reversed.
TGQ3: As a senior and a disciplined citizen of this country how you assess the security situation now prevailing in the country? How can the security situation be improved?
Mr. Kurmi: The current security situation cannot be termed as a satisfying one. The law and order situation is becoming worse day by day, which gives an impression that we are still living in the Stone Age. Anarchy has become the order of the day. Those who have political muscle power are currently ruling over the powerless and the voiceless. And thus the situation has gone completely out of hand. Impunity is prevalent; and moreover in Terai the state appears to be non existent at all.
The Terai situation is deteriorating; the citizens of Terai are living in stateless condition. The people are left in the lurch there. They have been left to the mercy of the Almighty. The state has so far ignored the Terai situation. It appears to me that the state is lacking proper planning and strategies to control the deteriorating law and order situation in the entire country more so, the Terai. In my opinion, the situation is worsening because of the lack of vision of the government in appointing right men in the right place. However, the appointments are made not considering the competence of the officers but on the basis of political beliefs.
On the other hand, the current special task force deployed in the Terai must not be seen by the citizens as a force to have come to harass them but to support their daily lives and maintain peace and order. This feeling is lacking from the people and the government must inject into their minds that the force are there of their good intention.
The people of this country specially residing in Madhesh must get justice without delay. The Government must come to rescue the next moment when they are threatened, abducted, tortured, and killed. But to my dismay the government has failed to do so and this indifference is compelling the residents of Terai/Madhesh to conclude that the state ignores their plight.
TGQ4: In what state the local politics and development in Terai is at the moment?
Mr. Kurmi: To be honest, in the past few months there has been no political activities in the country and not even a single program aiming the people have been carried out so far. It appears that the parties in government are not united amongst themselves which is adding to the confusion of the entire population of the country. What I think is that the government must have a close bond with the citizens of the country, however; the fact is that this link appears to have been detached. The result is that there is a clear vacuum created among the populace, and this vacuum is being filled by some unwanted elements.
In addition, as regards your question on development, I must say that instability impedes the development and improvement needs peace. So, without peace there’s no development And considering in the local level the mass resignation tendered by the VCD secretaries has further blocked not only the development activities but the daily routine affairs linked with the local government have been blocked. It has been a month or so of the resignation of the VDC secretaries, and the government so far appears to have ignored this issue with the only aim of further troubling the people. Why the government intends to linger this issue without finding a solution? It is itself an intriguing matter. But, such a continued reluctance exhibited by the government towards the people’s issues might boomerang on the government ultimately sooner or later.
TGQ5: We are talking of CA polls. What would be your opinion as regards the CA poll which would allow the entire section of Nepali society feel that they have been included in the main stream politics? Anything else you want to address to the people?
Mr. Kurmi: In my humble opinion, the people must be allowed to draft such a charter that would decide their fate and also allows them to conclude that this charter would assure them that they are the sons of the soil and will facilitate their right for self determination. The charter thus drafted by the people should be for the people so that they could feel that they too have a part of the system and thus accountable remain accountable to it.
The general apprehension among the people is that what changes the CA might bring about. Will the polls bring changes in the State Structure? Will it ensure federal structure, right of autonomy and right of self determination? If these questions are not addressed properly by the state much ahead of the polls, the people will raise question against the poll itself. The people just want guarantee to their expectations for a federal structure and finally to the republican order. That’s all.
Finally, a few words that I would like to say to the people is that, Peace and Security is the most essential factor today, and to maintain this government should function properly without making any discrimination among the people and the security agencies should be more focused.
My commitment towards my country will remain unchallenged, no body can question my love and honor for my motherland for which I served for all along more than three decades of my life. Though I am retired person my desire to serve this country remains. I still feel a strong urge to lead my country and I wish to dedicate my entire life for the service of the so far neglected, oppressed and the marginalized ones for their enlistment.
Finally, I am deeply concerned over the welfare of this country and remain worried over the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country.
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