Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Does Nepal need a Janajati party?, BBC Nepali Service


BBC: What are the reasons behind starting an ethnic (janajati) political party?
Krishna Bhattachan:

Your question is biased to begin with. We are forming a national party that will unite the voices of the Dalits and Janajatis and end 240 years of internal colonisation and marginalisation of the backward communities. Unlike the bigger parties, our new party will not be run by people belonging to a particular gender, class or caste.

Kripasur Sherpa: Instead of forging unity among Nepal's diverse ethnic groups, the ones trying to create a Janajati party are misguiding the public by selling caste and ethnicity. But politics functions on ideology and agendas, not on narrowly defined identities.

How differently would such a party address the demands of the Janajatis?
Bhattachan: The party will fight for social justice and work towards bringing marginalised communities into the national mainstream. We will also demand for a fully proportional representation system at all levels of the state machinery.

Are you talking of priority rights?
No, we are talking about an inclusive state as defined and advocated by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Why is decision-making in all major political parties dominated exclusively by Brahmins and Chettris?
Sherpa: The leaders represent their parties and respective ideologies, not their caste groups. If the Janajati leaders have been unable to influence party decisions, it is their own fault. They have to be more assertive.

How will the new party address marginalisation within the Janajatis and Dalits?
Bhattachan: There are multiple levels of marginalisation within Nepali society out of which caste and gender based exclusion is the most severe. If we are to make the country more inclusive, we must first address the question of caste and gender and then other forms of oppression within them including class-based marginalisation.

There are already Madhes ­based parties which deal with regional issues, so what is the harm in having an ethnic party which works on behalf of ethnic groups?
Sherpa: The problem is not the party or its agendas, but the approach. Identity is an issue that must be debated and addressed but it should not jeopardise the social harmony that exists between different communities in Nepal. Besides, a party that has no ideology and philosophy and focuses only on caste issues cannot last long in politics.

Bhattachan: It is wrong to assume that a Janajati party cannot have an ideology or philosophy. The party's main objective should be to provide a voice for marginalised communities while following the principles of socialism, human rights and inclusion.

1. Say No To Ethnic States

After listening the debate, I came out with more doubts whether indigenous movements would strengthen Democracy in Nepal or weaken it. Given Mr. Bhattachan a chance to lead the country, Nepal will turn into neo-feudal confederation, women will have to stop dreaming of a equal society, where, for example, even a father can take a paternal leave for the birth of his child --and it happens in some of the demoratic countries of the world, contrary to what he claimed!--, Nepali society will resemble to most primitive ones etc. Everyone can dream and obviously Mr. Bhattachan as well but against democracy over our dead bodies.

2. Alternative Sherpa
I am happy to hear finally a Janajati (Sherpa) politician has come with the guts to say ethnicity based politics is not good.  I've, for long, felt the movement led by by the Janajati activists and political leaders belonging different parties  demanding a federal state based on ethnicity is damaging to their own cause and to the  social / political structure of the nation.  Janajati leaders and activists need to practice  more patience and sense in their doing: Lead,  not incite! the people is the message I want to pass on them. 

3. Anuj B
you 2 (previous commentators) guys are either day dreamers or does not understand Nepal well enough. Nepal is not KTM and reverse and it is not at all limited to privilage of so called KTM borne elites like you guys. You 2 need to observe and analyse the real world through the eye of ethnic indeginious people and put yourself in their shoe.You fools. Grow up. You guys need to think before what you write especially 2. Alternative Sherpa. You are disgrace !!!!! or just a fake comment ...

4. Anuj B Sucks

Anuj B,

Please do not show your frustrations here and have a decency to write (and think) in a civilized manner.

5. rajive das shrestha
 dividing Nepal based on caste is totally disaster ,I'm from a mixed family and relatives are from different ethnic background and we never put caste as a matter of problems and so are there many other millions of family like me in Nepal  ,So No Nepalese pople won't accept jajajatiy party and invite "girha youdha" civil war .Only few leaders are trying hard to be 'chief minister' and they don't care if there is civil war tomorrow coz in the end it's the people who will loose their lives not them .

6. pemba
As far as I know Mr.Kripasur sherpa he used to work in customs department and was posted in airport and this is where he made his fortune and bought Rs.1 crore house that was 20 years back.He used to charter helicopter to visit his relatives in bhojpur.He's got so much of wealth coz he got the blessings from all these rotten chettri bahun beaurocrates so he has to speak against janjatis and makes his boss happy.To be honest he should be prosecuted for amassing wealth illegally along with his bosses of that time.He should be put behind bars.

7. Alternative Sherpa
     Have the Janajati leaders today read the Nagarik Dainik poll that 46% Nepali are now in favor of return of monarchy ?  Do you not feel the janajati movement for a ethnicity based federal state has been a blessing in disguise for this poll result ?
       It is obvious to any keen janajati observer that the demand for ethnicity based federal state by the janajati has badly shaken the psyche of the Khas community lest they become  'stateless' in a ethnicity based federal republic.  This psyche within the Khas community is pushing them to side with Kamal Thapa who wants return of the monarchy and hindu state.  
     On the other hand,  the jajajatis dream for such a state may only be achieved  by waging a armed struggle.  This will surely invite sacrifices of thousand of innocent lives.  Do the janajati leaders think the janajati folks are prepared for this..?  Then again..would there be any winners left in such a struggle..? 
     The kingship is not there. Nepal is now a republic state.  Things have improved a lot from what it used to be in the past.  Of-course some social / political discrimination still exists as hangover from the past times. A regime and system that was built over 250 years can't be expected to  change overnight...  

8. Federalism is the Best
It is so sad that people like Sherpa (I don't know who the hell this person is and why he is interviewed) is still so ignorant about the political history of Nepal. Clearly, this Sherpa is happy to be a porter of the Kuire (White Men). The only reason some Sherpas are doing well economically is because of Tourism, and not because of Nepal's economic policy. Nepal's policy does not treat all citizens equally. Janajati movement and formation of political party is a movement for equality of all citizens. This is the way Europe, America and China have advanced their societies. FranGce had French Revolution, Russia had Russia Revolution, America had American Civil War, China had Mao movement. Every country went through such process because of tyrannies (like Bahun Chetries in the case of Nepal), who destroyed all the native (Buddhist and local) cultures.

Not to understand even basic political economy is a real shame. Sherpa is a shame to all Janajatis.

9. Ra
you guys (kantipur, himal, nagarik news etc so called nepali media) will be finished, you are so biased to bahun and chhetris.....
I send comment on this artical in july last week, you didnt published that and now you published a commnet thats made in august.
This makes me someone like myself so angry and really i breath deep and return to Nepal or tell every my frined how biased you bahuns and chhetri mdia are. Shame on you. I have promised myself to return Nepal when I finish my study in London University although I have residency permit in UK. I will fight agains guys like you. we need eradication of prejudice against mongolians. ..............otherwise why you dont just publice the commnets thats written on balanced view. you only published those which can violate the janjaties demand ....tell you what, keep doing it guys. it is working in favours of janjati. we will see you old king's, bahuns and some Ranas business in kathmandu, how long you gonna hold monopoly in media, business , economy! come on i want to give you open challange. Go to limbuwan, khambuwan , you guys will be finished if you keep doing this. how can you be so ignorant about the demand of 70% of people? you think janjatis are not well educated? come on we challange you , we also know the world, we have studied about the world. dont just try to publish the articales and comments thats agaist ethnic federilsm.......specially you some saha, rana, and bahuns, only control nepals businesses, banks, and media in kathmandu using thugs and your corrupt political bahun leaders...........Watch out. people who have similar thought as mine are growing every day in large number in nepal and around the world. I m honest, i was against the janjaties movement, but seeing your bias media, and bahun leaders not tolerating janajatis at all i changed my mind......................come on i give you open challange, you will be finished if you keep doing this. you will be finished in 4/5 years......IGUARANTEEIT ! I WARN YOU!!!

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)