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VOX Birganj

Friday, April 1st, 2016

From the Nepali Press, 28 March

The Setopati team visited Chapkaiya in Birganj, to understand what the locals there went through during the six-month long Madhes unrest and ask them their feelings about news of fresh rounds of agitation.

Jamil Alam, 14

I study in Grade 9 at Vidhyasagar Secondary School. Our school was closed for six months due to the Madhes movement. Now, we will have to rush through our course and try to complete everything in three months. Next year I will be sitting for my SLC exams. After I complete my +2, I will train as a mechanic and go to work in a Middle Eastern country. My elder brother works as an AC mechanic in Qatar. The pay is good. Without education, we can’t get training, without which we can’t go abroad, and without going abroad we can’t earn anything. Although our education was affected, the situation was such that there had to be an uprising for our rights and state demarcation. Madhes should be a separate and single state.

Jahir Miya, 70

The movement was for the rights of the Madhes, but what did ordinary Madhesis eventually gain from it? Only the leaders and their families benefitted. Our children still have to migrate to Qatar and Saudi Arabia to earn a living. Even my son is in Qatar – that is how we sustain our livelihoods. My other son runs a business here, but the strike ruined it. He may leave for Qatar soon. They say the movement was to end the discrimination between hill people and the Madhesis. But there is no discrimination here, we all live similar lives.

Sabina Khatun, 18

I am an eleventh grader. My finals are in two months from now but less than half the course has been completed. The teachers have asked us to study on our own, but not all of us can manage without guidance and not everyone can pay for private tuitions. But I understand the need to protest for one’s rights. Despite Birganj being an important transit point, Kathmandu has ignored it for too long.

Mohammad Hades, 60

I run a small store that was shut down for six months due to the agitation. Only a few people from this area were involved in the movement. But it affected us greatly.The movement was for the rights of Madhes, which is a good thing. We need our rights to prosper. But can we justify violating someone else’s rights to attain ours? Didn’t we do injustice to others? Our children were already lagging in their studies, what will become of them if we don’t let them study for our rights? What use are rights gained at the expense of education? During the agitation we had to buy salt and oil in the black market. Who benefitted from this? Did Madhes benefit? No, only black marketers benefitted. The people now understand this; no one will take the streets next time there is a protest.


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2 Responses to “VOX Birganj”

  1. Shyam Thapa on Says:

    The movement did not benefit any one except the black marketers and smugglers in Nepal and India. The citizens of Nepal must be clear that no parties are going to work for the welfare of the general people. The parties are there to benefit themselves and their cronies, fleece the state coffers when in government, and exploit the uneducated. As of today no leader has worked for the good of the ordinary people. We have seen all governments from Panchayat, Congress, Maoist, Communist, Madhesi and so on. What is the state of the country today – 12 hours of load shedding, no potable water, rampant corruption, endemic unemployment, collapse of industries, strikes, runaway inflation, and all the woes. What have we achieved in the last 26 years of democracy and republic. Race for power to grab money from the taxes of the citizens, fighting, strikes, degeneration instead of development, and so on. We should be proud that we had the first President and Vice President from the Madhesi community, but did they do any thing for the their communities. Basically nothing. What we need to fight for is good governance, inclusiveness, red tape, anti corruption, good education, employment generation, rapid infrastructure development in roads, water supply, electricity, decentralization, women empowerment, good health clinics, and so on. Do not follow the political leaders who mislead, misuse, and mistreat the general population.

  2. Mr Lamichhane on Says:

    The Madhes agitation was the worst thing that could happen to a country who only had recently subjected to terrible earthquarke. The thing that surprises me was that the four madhesis leaders were not even MP and had lost the mandate from the Madhesis themselves. They managed to keep in going because BHARAT helped them. I hope both Modi ji and Sushma Swaraj ji came to realise that they have damaged the relations between out two countries. Talk to General Mehta and he will tell you the damaged it has cost the two countries. Madhesis haru please learn to work together as Nepalis and not as Bharatis

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