Nepali Times
By The Way
The Fourth Force


The Maoist-led government made progress in the peace and constitution process in its first 100 days, but the honeymoon was overshadowed by corruption of epic proportions involving ministers and law makers.

Barring their notorious role in pardoning their own war criminals and hijacking the state exchequer, the Maoists have done fairly well. Despite pressure from within, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai ensured that integration went ahead and got the State Restructuring Commission up and running.

Alas, the same can't be said about his Madhesi partners in government. They may not have a monopoly on malfeasance, but the energy with which they have been emptying the state coffers, sheltering crooks and demanding payoffs for transfers is breath-taking. These are the same leaders who once gave passionate speeches about how they would work to right the historical wrongs against the Madhesi people.

Despite a Madhesi minister holding the powerful home and defense portfolios, the law and order situation in the Tarai has gone from bad to worse, thanks to gangster-style micro-managing. From kickbacks in irrigation projects to transfers of police personnel and tax officers, Madhesi leaders in this government have reinforced the stereotype of what everyone expected of them. Public dissatisfaction with their own leaders in the Madhes itself is at an all time high.

Suddenly, the leaders are rushing down for unscheduled visits to Biratnagar, Birganj and Janakpur and, in a bizarre mix of irony and idiocy, calling on their own government to implement agreements which they had forgotten for the last 100 days.

The electoral games have begun, and the Madhesi parties are well aware that the three main parties are trying to steal away their votes in the Tarai. However the Madhesi Front, which claims to be the 'Fourth Force' of Nepali politics, has been shocked by its diminishing clout in New Delhi and dipping popularity in the plains.

In their meeting with PM Baburam Bhattarai and Pushpa Kamal Dahal this week, the Madhesi Front warned the leaders of "the next Madhes movement". Yet with credibility in the Madhes at an all time low, this is an attempt to rouse a thoroughly disillusioned constituency back home. A Front meeting this week degenerated into ugly blame throwing, and an insider told us the leaders were especially critical of Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhedar and blamed him for disgracing Madhesi politics. They instructed Gachhedar to either do what he was sent to do or step down.

Sadbhavana leader and Health Minister, Rajendra Mahato admitted on BBC Nepali this week that the performance of his colleagues was below par. "We will have no face to show to the Madhesi people if we fail to deliver even from a government in which Madhesis hold all major portfolios," he said. The corruption cases against JP Gupta and Hridyesh Tripathi, the more articulate among Madhesi leaders, has left the Madhesi politics at the mercy of those that are neither doing any favour to their own party nor the constituency they represent.

The Madhesi parties have wasted precious time bargaining for something that their own people have rejected. They must now listen to them before raising the 'One Madhes' slogan. The Madhes movement was one for inclusion and dignity, not for an exclusive identity. The demand for inclusion of Madhesis in centers of power: politics, bureaucracy and the army calls for a closer integration of the region and its people into the national mainstream.

In a recent tv interview, JP Gupta said that more than anyone else, the people of Madhes would be the biggest losers if the constitution is not drafted. Let's hope that the Madhesis are looking to do just that in the coming days.

Related columns:

Cock-fight, #559
The anger in the Madhes this time is against Madhesi leaders themselves

Wounds that won't heal, #565
The fact that we have two Madhesis as the heads of the state doesn't mean we live in a multicultural republic.

Read also:
When Wen?

Justice is peace, RUBEENA MAHATO
War is often only a few miscarriages of justice away

1. 1234
New Nepal's Loot-tantra! Thank you to all!

2. Madhesi

Under the umbrella of Nepali times it is a fashion to blame Madhesi leaders. However, one should not that as there is no alternative of these political parties like NC, UML and UCPN-M in mainstream Nepali politics, so there is no alternative for Madhesi people beyond Madhesi leaders. So don't be self amused by saying that NC, UML and Maoist are capturing the vote bank of Madhesi leaders in Terai. Untill and unless there is change in attitude o hill elites, Madhesis are with Madhesi leaders whatever they will be.

3. Maha
So what are you going to do about it Asok-ji? May I suggest that you migrate to Sikkim? Trust me, it is pure Nepalese.

4. Tapan Das
Jaya Prakash Gupta has resigned from Constitutional Commission. Is that enough? No he must as well resign from the government. 
Now it has already shown an alibi. He is corrupt or not?
 Let him face the charge against him as an ordinary citizen of the country.
 He can pull his strings as usual, who can stop him pulling his strings  even from south of the border.;which he has.
He is a smart operator though, no doubt.

5. Gole
#3 & 4.  Asok & Maha.

When two stalwarts stand face to face
 There is neither East nor West. -Rudyard Kipling.

Don't forget the above two line, which follows:
 The East is East  the West is West,
 Never the twain shall meet.
 Why do people say this two lines  only?

PS, Let us keep our hearts together with our neighbour India  but our tents apart.
 Our so-called ,self-styled leaders are always doing the opposite in our dealings with India.
 Our topper socalled Netajis  approach ,visit  clandestinely  the junior officers of the Indian establishment for begging personal favours including scholarships for their children to study in India, or for free treatment in AIMS in Delhi or not?
 Let them lead a dignified existence and observe the minimum norm ,of
protocol as member of our establishment ;things will start going well and we can have a healthy relationship with our neighbours.
 Then we can live happily for ever.


6. asok
first of all sikkim is not a separate country though it used to be independent monarchy.. india annexed sikkim in 1975, if madhesis consider themselves nepalis than why do they keep their money in indian banks rather than nepali banka. there are more then 7 billions rs in indian bank which belongs to madhsi people, this money should be circulated in nepal territory for growth of our GDP.  Â

7. who cares
2. Madhesi

you are split on the face of those who have been saying that madeshi people are good, its madeshi politicians who are corrupt, criminal, anti nation. 

i want to see more people like you in action so that my agenda would be realized sooner. 

look nepalese, we have to cure this problem from its root.

is there any expert with big brain who can calculate the population of madeshi in nepal at the time of unification (250 yr back)? 

we can multiple that no with the growth times of nepali population since that time and excess madeshi will be fair-welled respectfully ..

8. who cares
3. asok

not just bribery, there were/are also involvement of:

*coercion from india,Â

*mass demonstration of indians at the time of weak govt/so called madesh andolon- US faced similar demonstration from mexicans but US did not give them citizenship but nepal govt. gave the Indians cause of Maoist pressure, weak girija and others,Â

*undue influence of madeshi/indian politicians.

*toleration of nepalese.Â

*dollar harvesting ngo demanding woman's right of getting citizenship to their foreign husband. charles shovraj may get one soon.

9. Renu Shrestha
I cannot believe we have now resorted to xenophobic comments against our own people! Do we want to turn into a 2nd Bhutan and expel fellow Nepalis, just because they don't dress a certain way or don't speak the language and don't practice the traditions of the majority? 

Yes the Madhesi front is problematic, just like the NC, UML, Maoists. But that does not mean we start labeling the Madeshi people as "anti-national, pro-Indian" and forcing them out of their own country. Isn't it enough that we went through 10 years of hell and are still trying to recover from it.  Do we really need to add  "ethnic-racial" strife to our list of problems? 

10. who cares
i have been saying, only those madeshsi who are nepali are nepali, others are indians... to find the number some experts should calculate the approx population of madeshi at the time of Nepal's unification.

and who helped bhutan's dictator in expelling bhutanese? your own Indian brothers.Â

your love for bollywood clowns is corrupting you judgement, ms. Â

before you make your mind, dont forget that indians can live in nepal, so just cause they have been living in nepal for decades wont make them nepali and if you give them citizenship just for being born in Nepal. Â

in US, majority of americans have been protesting for providing easy citizenship to latino immigrants, where as in nepal, when govt. is distributing free citizenship to indians, when they demand nepali citizenship for staying in nepal./div>

and we have nepalis like you who wants to be a fairy god mother.Â

i think, british is regretting for making india (forcefully uniting different nations), if India was not around, south asia would have been prosperous, no terrorism, better cooperation...

india, a giant, sitting in the middle of smaller countries blocking trade, movement, trading of electricity between smaller countries,Â


11. Renu Shrestha
Mr. Who Cares, 

1) How exactly do you propose that experts differentiate between "real" Nepali Madhesis and "fake" Indian Madhesis? Do you believe accurate records have been kept since the time of unification with our open border, and with millions of unaccounted Nepalis migrating to India and Indians migrating into Nepal? If you have devised a scientific, fool-proof method, please kindly enlighten the rest of us?

2) You also argue that being born in a country or becoming naturalized by living 10 -15 years within a country is not enough to guarantee citizenship. Then what according to you should be the criterion for Nepali citizenship? 

3) I am genuinely intrigued to know what makes a "true" "genuine" Nepali for you? Is speaking Nepali LOUDLY in public the only way one can be Nepali?

4) Yes, I admit I am a lover of Bollywood clowns. But I would like to understand why you have have an outright hatred of India. I agree with you that being the Big Brother in South Asia, India has time and again bullied us and treated us with disrespect. But today's geo-politics demands that we cooperate with our bigger neighbors, we don't have to be subservient, but cooperate we must. The "down with India, we hate India" rhetoric will do us more harm than good. 

12. asok
to miss renu, why don't u go to tarai find it for urself A discrimination against pahadi people, we r not against india or indians, It is just that madhsi they lean toward india than nepal bcoz of their culture & tradition similarities. yes we have more then 700k nepali in india but they don't have indian citizenship they work like dogs.
harshness is the solution when smoothness doesn't work to save our nation...

13. 1234
@ Renu Shrestha & who cares
Do you have..?
1. The willingness to forgive past atrocities.
2. No civic sense.
3. The Shamelessness to beg for funds/ donations and other freebies.
4. No respect for past agreements & can tell lies and excuses to justify.
5. The capacity to dig your grave & assume it is your neighbour's.
6. When the powers high above can fool "you" all the time.

Did you say agree to any one of these points? Can you identify ppl with these traits?
If yes, then Congratulations, you are a "True" and "Genuine" Nepali!
Maybe you can also help me find more "Genuine" Nepali traits!

14. who cares
miss renu shrestha,

" ....   How exactly do you propose that experts differentiate between "real" Nepali Madhesis and "fake" Indian Madhesis?  ....."

govt. may have some kind of record. i also want expert to calculate the no of nepali madeshi at the time of unification. 

i think by asking few 100 individuals of about 70-85 yr old living in terai or frequent visitor to terai can give us some kind of no...

i believe most of the indian madeshi came into nepal after the end of ranas (the 1950 treaty with india). so there has got to be some kind of record. 

"...........  by living 10 -15 years within a country   ...........  " 

to get birth right to be nepali, the generations should be living in nepal since the unification, and for those foreigners who want to be nepali citizen- the right to give them such right should be in the hands of nepali,,,, forced fully providing citizen to foreigners, or by bribing  or through other unacceptable means is not accepted... those citizenship should be revoked. 

if countries start to give citizenship to those just cause they have been living for 10-15 yr or cause they were born in that country (children of foreigners), then only 2 countries will left on the earth- india and china. 

if that (10-15 yr) is the case than who gave indians right to chase away british colonists, did not they live there for 100s of yr.

if US had stayed one more year in iraq (they left in 9th year), according to you, iraq would have become US' 52nd (or 53, i guess) state,,, o ya, its Afghanistan which is suppose to be the 52nd or 53rd state or may be Vietnam or Korea. 

so getting citizenship for being born in or living for 10-15 yr, especially in nepal, especially by indians is not possible cause they have right to live in nepal without permission. if we pass such law, we are doomed.... but you will be happy cause your idols will become your neighbor. 

".........true" "genuine" Nepali    ........"

nepalese are nepalese who are nepalese and want to stay nepalese. 

language, custom ... have got nothing to do with that. i cant speak my mother tongue fluently, i would like to learn it but not interested in spending time in learning it.     

"..........  why you have have an outright hatred of India.  ......."

i do not hate india cause its india.. i make my mind issue wise. 

indian opposing nepal's development, india trying to control nepal etc etc i dont tolerate.

 i believe in mutual cooperation. like, i supported hydro development even at the time when many were against it, some did not have guts to speak in its favor, they called me indian agent for supporting it. i support building high koshi dam, i dont mind gifting indin people lots of water.         

"The "down with India, we hate India" rhetoric will do us more harm than good.  "

you said that i did not. 

"Yes, I admit I am a lover of Bollywood clowns.  "    

ah, topic of my interest. 

i am proud to admit that i hate bolly craps and clowns. 

insulting them is one of my favorite time pass. 

bolly society disrespects woman and you being woman loves them.. what an irony!

15. Maha Madhesi

10. Renu.

I think "true nepalis" like ashok are simply jealous about the quick progress Madhesi community is making. President, vice president and Home Minister are Madhesis. We might soon have a Madhesi PM as well.

16. who cares
13. 1234

i dont get you.

some times you sound like a maoist, and at other times an indian...


17. leguwakhola

Referring to comments by "who cares":


1) "�dollar harvesting ngo demanding woman's right of getting citizenship to their foreign husband. charles shovraj may get one soon."


Words simply fail me here. Giving citizenship to women/man's spouse is a fundamental human right offered by the vast majority of countries in the world.


2) "if countries start to give citizenship to those just cause they have been living for 10-15 yr or cause they were born in that country (children of foreigners), then only 2 countries will left on the earth- india and china"


This is completely absurd. Most countries offer citizenship after a far shorter period. It is a process known as naturalisation. Being born in a country is also a criteria for citizenship in most nation states.   


This also raises the issue of the exclusionary policies being promoted by the present political regime and its supporters. There seems to be a thinking that Nepal can defy international human rights and norms which have come to be accepted as standard in most countries. 


I have worked for years in the border region. I was aware of very few Indian born individuals who had taken up Nepali citizenship. On the whole the package of facilities offered to citizens on the Indian side is more favourable (ration cards, BPL status, subsidies for farmers, MNREGA scheme etc). I did meet a few individuals who had (legally) taken Nepali citizenship as it was easier to get a visa to go abroad on a Nepali passport (yes to actually leave Nepal). How ironic.


The exclusionary new citizenship ideology being proposed by the so called "progressive" new regime are simply a last gasp attempt to win political support by a political system that has lost all moral legitimacy.  All over the world, playing the "race card" is one way to win public support. 

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)