Lawmaker shares her plight in Parliament

Kathmandu, August 14

Lawmaker Indu Kumar Sharma representing the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) today shared how she and her family fell victim to ‘discriminatory’ citizenship law.

According to Sharma, her father Brijesh Nath Lal had migrated to Nepal from Bihar five decades ago, and spent all his life teaching in Surkhet. Lal, who had acquired double Master’s degree in Economics and English, died at the age of 85 this year in Kathmandu. But he could never acquire a Nepali citizenship.

Although he married a Nepali girl who had a Nepali citizenship through her maternal side, his children, including lawmaker Sharma, could not obtain citizenship.

Sharma said she got naturalised citizenship after getting married to a Nepali man, but her three brothers, one of whom died during the Maoist conflict, could never acquire one. “We started the process of acquiring citizenship in 1995, but my father and a brother died without getting one,” she told a meeting of the House of Representatives. “My father had even given up Indian citizenship, and we have evidence of that too,” Sharma said. “In my family, only I and my mother have citizenship certificates. Neither my brothers nor their children have citizenship.”

She said she even lost one of her nieces for the same reason. “She died due to psychological problems after she was denied enrolment in a college in Kathmandu just because she did not have Nepali citizenship,” said Sharma, adding that the situation was such that people could not even breathe without citizenship in Nepal.