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The Madhes saga

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
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Navin Jha in onlinekhabar.com, 12 January

While parties in the capital are busy with federalism debate, Madhes is clouded by uncertainty. Leaders in this region are busy forming alliances and expediting their protest on the streets. There is C.K. Raut, and his cadres, who are continuing with their campaigning despite Raut’s broken leg. There are UCPN-Maoist and Madhesi who are retaliating on the streets.

Top leaders in the region J.P. Gupta and Matrika Yadav have announced their alliance, and are busy with their propaganda and important meetings. Discussions are in order for a powerful protest to stage demonstrations.

The main purpose of the contention among the political parties, for the promulgation of the new constitution, is federalism where Madhes is right in the middle. The NC and UML want to merge the eastern district of Jhapa, Sunsari and Morang and the western district of Kailali and Kanchanpur with the hills. But the Madhesi parties want these five districts to be part of their Madhes province. The Madhesi front who originally wanted one-Madhes has shown some flexibility to accommodate a two-Madhes  model. The NC and UML on the other hand seem hell-bent on playing their two-third majority card.

Latest discussions in the capital have further thrown the region into uncertainty and dissatisfaction. A friend of mine who teaches in a rural school in Sindhuli put it this way, “I heard there are going to be protests in Madhes again, I am leaving for Janakpur today. We cannot agree with the NC and UML’s proposal of combining Madhes to the hills and forming five states.”

While NC and UML leaders in Kathmandu claim to be the official representatives of Madhes, they seem to be unaware that local leaders from their own parties are in agreement with the Madhesi parties on the subject of federalism. It is important to keep in mind that many NC and UML leaders had previously left their parties during the Madhes uprising.

The latest agitations in the region may be an indicator of bigger conflicts to come. Many are worried that Madhes, mired by violence from many rebel groups that mushroomed during Nepal’s civil war, may once again be conflict ridden due to the lack of political stability.

Experts opine that without political stability, the chance of conflict in Madhes is almost certain. The evidence is the current chaotic activities orchestrated by the local leaders.

Even the top-notch leaders are aware of the fact that Madhes will be the first region for an uprising if the dissatisfaction over the constitution isn’t addressed.  Maybe that is why the national political players have centered their activities around this region. Various parties including the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), NC, UML and even former King Gyanendra have all completed their rounds of Madhes with president of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda promising support during his Simraungadh to Janakpur’s mass meeting.

From all the activities, it is quite clear how unstable Madhes is and how it is the central point of all national politics. And without a constitution that addresses the demands of the region, a fresh conflict is surely in order

Read Also

Whose Madhes, Rubeena Mahato

 

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One Response to “The Madhes saga”

  1. Amar on Says:

    Moist- so called communists – are supporting the madhesi political parties, the landlords in the terai, for the position but nothing else. Shameless animals. Prachanda and Baburam are afraid because they know that sooner or later they will be haunted and killed in the street like dogs by the members of their own party.

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