Inclusive democracy :
All Nepalis living in the Terai region, irrespective of their place of origin, are Madhesis. Exclusion of the people of hilly origin now residing in the Terai will be both unfair and undemocratic. Even among the ethnic Madhesis, the Yadav and Singh communities extend over greater areas. But even they cannot claim to represent the true Madhesis if the voices of other groups like Chamars, Musahars, Tharus, and Rajbanshis are ignored. There are many groups which claim to work for the people of the Terai. But some give the impression that they want the Terai to be declared a separate state, an idea both absurd and dangerous.
The core issue is to end the exclusion of the marginalised groups. Some people are trying to take advantage of the friction within these groups to serve their ends. The government could deal with this problem successfully by addressing the reasonable grievances of the marginalised groups.
Narayan Prasad Wagle, via e-mail
While the Maoists have entered the parliament, some of their cadres are still carrying guns, and the recent shooting in Lahan is a case in point. Though this very incident cannot provide the reliable basis for estimating the scale on which unauthorised arms are being carried by Maoist cadres, an investigation and proper action are necessary. Moreover, it is important that the government promptly address the grievances of all groups to prevent further violence.
Shiva Pandey, Kathmandu
Above all :
The nation is in a transitional phase. The Nepalis want permanent peace and democracy to be established. The interim constitution and interim legislature have raised their hopes. But the recent spate of violence in eastern Terai has put a question mark over the prospect of peace. In a democracy, everyone has the right to protest, but the use of this right should not trample on the rights of others. All sections of society — the SPA, the Maoists,
students, civil society groups, rights activists and the Madhesis — should put the country’s interests above anything else and join hands to safeguard its sovereignty, independence and integrity.
Hem Raj Basnet, Chainpur 8, Chitwan
The government is in the process of distributing citizenship to people long deprived of it. Photographs and photocopies of various documents are mandatory for the certificates. But in some remote villages, there are no facilities for these things. People in those villages have to travel to the district headquarters for the purpose. Something should be done about this while citizenship teams are visiting the villages to distribute certificates.
Arun Acharya, Pokhara
Water pollution has become a serious problem in Kathmandu. A couple of decades ago, the holy Bagmati had a healthy ecosystem. But now it has become the dumping ground for the Valley’s waste. The lack of awareness is mainly responsible. Both environmental education and strict implementation of the law should be stressed. The construction of unplanned houses around the area should be stopped too.
Samridhi Shrestha, Texas