The two Bahuns Girija Koirala and Madhav Nepal ganged up and made Bijay Gachhedar Deputy Prime Minister with the express intention to split the MJF and succeeded. All those Madhesi MPs are still there, but the pro-Madhes momentum was lost due to the MJF split. The UML similarly split the Sadbhavana in the early 1990s by elevating Hridayesh Tripathy to the post of chair of the Public Accounts Committee.
The Maoist hostility to Ram Baran Yadav is yet another step in the same direction. It was Prachanda who disrespected the constitution, not Ram Baran. It was Prachanda who took a major decision without taking his coalition partners along with him. It was Prachanda who bypassed the president and sent his letter straight to the army headquarters.
Image by paramendra via FlickrThe Pahadis are still going to try and short shift us on federalism. In recent weeks the Nepali Congress came out saying it wants one representative from each of the 14 zones in Nepal into its central committe. The 14 zones idea is another teaching of Mahendra Path. The Nepali Congress wants to cling to it. Girija's hostility to what he calls horizontal states is yet another attack on the Madhesi identity.
The relationship between Nepal and India is unique in the world. You don't find such an arrangement anywhere else, not US-Canada, although that comes close. The languages spoken in Nepal's Terai are also spoken in India across the border. Culturally we are the same people split by a political border. But the Pahadis who claim Indian Idol Prashant Tamang as their own pretend to struggle with the fact that the Madhesi peoples are one in blood with the peoples right across the border.
That fantasy to put in place the 15 year provision is yet another expression of Pahadi prejudice and Mahendra Path nationalism. If you don't speak Nepali, if you don't wear Daura Suruwal, you are suspect. Come to think of it, Prachanda was wearing a suit when he was sworn in as Prime Minister. He was not ousted by the Supreme Court, but Parmananda Jha was. That is how prejudice works.
Image by paramendra via Flickr
The inter-country marriage works both ways. Half the Madhesi marriages are in India, roughly speaking. As many Madhesi women end up in India after marriage as come to Nepal from India. So this is not a population growth issue. This is a prejudice issue. The Madhesi leaders have to rise up and wage a war of words.
Another key thing we have to watch out for is the Pahadis might work out three states for the Terai, and 10 states for the hills, and then come out saying each state should have 10 MPs each in the Upper House. If they manage that, that will be like shoving permanent colonization upon the Madhesi peoples.
The current arrangement of immediate citizenship to Indians who marry Madhesis has to be institutionalized further. Hindi has to be given the same status as Nepali in Nepal. Federalism has to be established and strengthened. Equality has to be achieved on behalf of the Madhesi peoples.
Nepal citizenship law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia