Kathmandu, November 6
Vice Chair of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Hridayesh Tripathi said today it was an irony that Madhesi people, who supported all democratic movements of Nepal, were being isolated while fighting for their cause.
Addressing an interaction organised by Jagrit Nepal here today, Tripathi said there were people who were trying to isolate Madhesis in the name of national unity. “This is nothing but hypocrisy,” he said.
Tripathi said Madhesi parties were forced to focus their demonstrations on the border as the government took repressive measures in the initial stage of peaceful movement by declaring one after another place of Tarai riot-hit and prohibited zone.
“Although the big three parties made amendments to the six province model to address the concerns of Surkhet and other hill districts, the government did not consider Madhesi agitation,” Tripathi said adding that the government spoilt the environment of talks by cracking down on Madhesi agitators the very next day as the talks between the government and UDMF negotiators were heading towards a positive direction.
As protests are prolonging, it has been creating a vertical division between the hill and Madhesi communities, he warned.
Co-Chair of Sadbhavana Party Laxman Lal Karna, who is also a UDMF negotiator, said the big three parties were treating Madhes as territory but not treating Madhesis as citizens of the country. “The state has not accepted that the current agitation is an agitation of the Madhesi people. The state says it is a blockade imposed by India. If that is the case, what is the point in holding talks with us? Why does it not hold dialogue with India then?” he questioned.
He said there was overwhelming support to Madhes agitation even in far flung villages of the plains and if the state did not address the concerns of the agitating parties, things would only worsen.
Columnist CK Lal said although the ultimate goal of the Madhes agitation is to strengthen national unity and safeguard sovereignty, the major parties were not taking it that way.
Prof Lok Raj Baral said the major parties’ view that only the north-south division of provinces could safeguard territorial integrity of the country was wrong and the moment they gave up this notion, a solution would be reached.
Baral said the quest of identity should not be construed as a communal manifestation. “I am a resident of Jhapa and I have no problem whether my district remains in
Limbuwan or Madhes province,” he added.
Prof Krishna Hachhethu said Madhes movement would bring results sooner or later and that would be beneficial for all the marginalised communities, including Janajatis.
Civil society member Surendra Chaudhari said if the ongoing agitation was not addressed soon, it would widen the divide between the Tharu and hill population in the western Tarai districts.He said Tharus in Kailali had already begun a campaign not to buy goods from shops owned by hill people.
Nepal’s former Ambassador to Denmark Vijay Kant Karna said the government was not treating Madhes agitation as a political problem and that was at the root of the current problems.
Former Editor of The Himalayan Times Ajay Bhadra Khanal said the government had not accepted that the Tarai agitation was an agitation by Madhesi people and unless there was paradigm shift, finding a solution would be difficult.
A version of this article appears in print on November 07, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.