The government's decision to induct 3,000 Madhesis into the Nepal Army and create a separate battalion is against existing laws and will set the wrong precedence and tarnish the image of the military. The Madhesis are under-represented in the NA and their number has to go up, but there are reservation policies to address this problem to make the national force more inclusive. Creating an ethnic platoon will not ensure inclusion, it will promote exclusive identity and create a rift in the military.
In the past, the military was dominated by a particular group and large sections of the ethnic population were marginalised in the national force. To rectify this historical marginalisation, a time-bound reservation policy can be effective. Presently, the government has 45 per cent seats in the national army for the under-represented communities, and 28 per cent for the Madhesis alone. If the leaders feel this is too little, they have to resolve it at the political level. But mass recruitment into an ethnic platoon will set the wrong precedence for other communities to demand their own force. Besides, this will significantly increase the size of the army and put an added load on an already overburdened economy. The decision to create a new battalion is a desperate move by the Maoists to appease the Madhesi coalition partners and remain in power. It is not a secret that Madhesi leaders have been threatening to pull out of the government if PM Baburam Bhattarai doesn't implement the 4-point deal.