MIN RATNA BAJRACHARYA
The support of Delhi to the Madhes-based armed groups in Nepal, which have been involved in several criminal activities here, has come out this openly for the first time. The Madhesi leaders have also acknowledged their agreement with the armed groups and warned of a revolt if the constitution is not drafted in time.
Whenever progressive forces in Nepal come to power, the Indian establishment tries its best to thwart them by playing games and hatching conspiracies. India, which has wrongly concluded that its strategic interests will be hurt if a proper, progressive political system is institutionalised in Nepal, always wants to see instability in Nepal. Which is why India is always looking to use the squabbling political parties to further its interests here. When that does not appear possible, it proceeds to use the Madhes card. As much as it is necessary to acknowledge the historic importance of the Madhes uprising, we also have to be careful about Indian intentions to manipulate Madhes discontent to its own ends.
The Indian establishment is not happy with the Jhala Nath Khanal-led government in Nepal. This displeasure is what has led it to invite several political players from Nepal to Delhi. After talking with top leaders of Nepal who openly work for India's interest, and holding consultations with the Panchayati leader of yesteryear, Surya Bahadur Thapa, India prepared for a secret meeting with Madhesi underground groups, which speaks volumes about its plan to use the Madhes card in Nepal. The Delhi meeting has also indicated the prospect of fresh violence in the Madhes in the coming days. The Madhesi parties should now be ready to take responsibility for any activities carried out by these armed outfits.
It is ridiculous for Madhesi politicians to talk about revolt when all they seem capable of doing is constantly split up into factions for the love of power and money. The unholy alliance between the Madhesi parties and the armed groups spells trouble. It is now perhaps time for the Madhesi people themselves to rise up and show their politicians that simply wearing a dhoti-kurta does not make one a Madhesi leader.