The world is a bizarre place and any outlandish thing can always be expected. History is full of such things and might never go down the sand as long as we keep getting blessed with some extraordinary opportunist-turned-Messiahs of Madhesh. After all they are there to bring the demands and aspirations of Madheshi community into discourse.
There is no doubt that the curse of political incapability—be it from the part of Nepali Congress, CPN (UML) and UCPN (Moist)—has eaten the whole prosperity of Nepal. It is also a unanimously accepted fact that none of the political parties in Nepal have succeeded an inch to stand by the expectations of the people. However, there comes a chilling effect when it comes to recall a five-month long unrest that had entirely gripped the Southern plains of the country and where there was struggle between Madheshi community and the government, claiming more than 50 lives, and ended without getting a safe-landing.
‘Once bitten twice shy’ should be have been the case since September 20, the date of promulgation of new statute, but the major parties standing in favor of new constitution appeared ignorant to learn a lesson. However, the story of the Madheshi people was also not much different.
By lending hands with the Madheshi Messiahs, the plain dwellers wished to get burned twice by the same flame as these parties have been frequently failing to douse the fires of conflicts of interests and walk the talk. Showing confidence on the Madheshi parties, they joined them as the people living in plains believed that these regional parties would come victorious in amending some of those constitutional provisions of newly enforced statute which are there to cause politically marginalization of plain inhabitants.
Nonetheless, ‘never let old flames burn you twice’ should have been the case but the people of plains gave them a try once more. And, the result was disappointing as expected: the agitation aborted.
The age old saying that was unassailable all through the Madhesh unrest was Murphy’s: “A falling object will always land where it can do the most damage.” Indeed, the agitation that has gripped the Southern plains from the last five months came to an end and caused the damage at its best to the Madheshi people, yielding hardships and the return was disappointing.
While the Madhesh-based parties were intrigued by the claim of “Nobody can stop the tsunami of Madhesh unrest unless the demands are addressed,” the people residing in across the Southern plains thought of giving a try to opportunists-turned-Messiahs of Madhesh by joining their hands for a cause. Even as the unrest created artificial shortages due to blockade at trade points, the plain dwellers didn’t bother of miseries—just for the cause of Madhesh. And, the people stood neck-to-neck with the Madheshi parties for 135 days to impose blockade at Birgunj trade point.
By observing the acts of Madheshi parties, another age old proverb attains validity: “There is no special occasion for wicked people to strike.”
For many, it was rightist movement aimed at seeking the equal advantage for Madheshi people in all state structure. However, the agitation was in wrong hand. Yet another law of Murphy’s that was unimpeachable during the Terai unrest was “If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will go anyway.” And, yes everything gone wrong. The loss of more than 50 lives, thousands badly injured, intolerance gained ground, middlemen made fortunes, artificial shortage of daily consumable items, inflation hiked beyond imagination, and among others. And, now it became apparent that everything was for the ulterior motive of Madheshi parties.
Believing that ‘a good tongue is a good weapon’, the leaders of constituent parties of United Democratic Madheshi Front (UDMF) started making groundbreaking opinions against the major parties represented in the parliament.
The senior leader of UDMF Rajendra Mahato announced that he will not land in the Capital city Kathmandu unless the demands are addressed. However, as usual he cannot keep his words. In fact, he has been misrepresenting the Madheshi people with one after another lies. He accused incumbent PM KP Sharma Oli of hatching conspiracies behind the curtain to assassinate him at the hands of Nepali Police officials. His accusations came at a time when he was baton-charged by the police amid a protest program.
He claimed that the ‘grievous hurt was caused to him with an intention to kill. He was then referred to New Delhi’s most expensive hospital—Medanta Hospital—on January 1. The doctors revealed that he was suffering from nothing but vitamin deficiency. After finding that Mr. Mahato was making mockery of his health issues, the people came to learn that he was flown to New Delhi for new-year celebration. He then claimed that there was problem in his eye-sight and the batons of Nepal police should be blamed for that. Making a fresh statement, he told the people that he was going to Kathmandu for treatment of his eyes. Most interestingly, he was called by UCPN (Maoist) Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachand’. Then, he made fortune of two-tier gain—opportunity to meet Prachand and treatment of eyes.
On a separate context, falling prey to major parties, the cadres of Madheshi parties torched effigies of members of Cabinet, including Prime Minister KP Oli and other senior leaders of major parties—Nepali Congress, CPN (UML) and UCPN (Maoist).
However, after witnessing that the tall claims of Madheshi parties were just like a big tree with a hollow trunk, the people from all walks of life started burning the effigies of Mahanth Thakur, Upendra Yadav and Rajendra Mahato.
In a shocker to the Madheshi parties, the social activists from plains have decided to torch the effigies of senior leaders of Madheshi parties in all Terai districts. From this move, it is made clear that the politics based on profiteering and serving ulterior motive cannot last longer.
Intolerance gained ground
I have been writing against the leaders who enjoyed power in Kathmandu with different ministerial portfolios in multiple occasions, amassed properties, built their personal palaces in the capital city Kathmandu, all in the name of Madheshi people. Now, they have assumed new avatar as messiahs, taking benefit of the marginalized feeling of Madheshi people.
I am always against these opportunist-turned-messiahs. These days they turned despotic too. My experience says so. Ever since I started writing against their power motives and their aides’ strategies of making hay while Madhesh movement shines, I have been getting threat over phone, social sites, including facebook. I have been harassed and harangued terming me as adversary of Madheshi just because I have differing opinion about them. It is just because I criticize their mistake.
As I come from the same community, I am always with the Madhesh, where I was born and bred. It’s indubitable that Madheshi people need to be heeded. Their aspiration of equality, peace and prosperity can’t be overruled. I also have due respect for those leaders genuinely working for Madheshi cause.
Nevertheless, I am against the opportunists and will remain so. I am a staunch believer of democracy and freedom of speech. I have rights to criticize what I feel bad. But these opportunists’ leaders are turning intolerant against whoever comes between them and their power aspiration. I wonder where they want Madheshi society to take.
Feeding intolerance against the oppositions, they want to secure their power hold. The burning of opposition’s party office, vandalizing the houses of the parliamentarians not buying their words, attempted assault on the Madheshi and Tharu parliamentarians from opposition party are some example suffice to tell that intolerance gained ground in Madhesh during the unrest.
I am sure that the intolerance was fueled by the same opportunists hell-bent to get their ulterior motive fulfilled in the garb of Madhesh movement. Harboring intolerance is unbecoming of good leadership.
The Madheshi people and the leaders shedding blood and sweat are not unknown to the fact. The martyrdom of over 100 Madheshi sons is not for the benefit of handful opportunists. They sacrificed their life in terms of freedom, which cannot be compromised in any pretext.
The Madhesh unrest and accompanying Indian blockade impoverished the poor while the middlemen made their fortune and they minted a lot of money.
The inflammable statements:
Though the senior leaders of UDMF got huge media coverage due to their inflammable statements, the Tarai Madhesh Sadbhavana Party Chairman Mahendra Ray Yadav, another leader of the Front, remained limited in picture only as he was not given opportunity to speak on major issues.
- Sadbhavana Party (SP) Chairman Rajendra Mahato said the current Madhesh unrest was the fight for kill or cure (Aar ya paar ki ladae hai ye)
- MPR Forum-Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav said the agitation will not end unless the demands are addressed
- Tarai Madhesh Democratic Party (TMDP) Chairman Mahanth Thakur said Madhesh fulfills all the criterions to be an independent state. Giving a warning to the Nepali state, he said his party would rout for independency of Madhesh—if the demands of UDMF ignored
- Thakur further said “fulfill our demands we will lift the embargoes imposed at trade points.”
- PM KP Oli is the principal enemy of Madhesh as he compared the death of Madheshi martyrs with ripe mangoes,” Mahato
- “Lal Lal Jhandi, ye dekho KP birodhi mandi,” one of the slogans which can be translated as—we have the masses carrying red flags being marched against KP Oli.
Two amendments brought on January 24 in Article 42 and Article 84, ensuring population to be primary base for constituency delineation and doctrine of proportional representation will be followed to mainstream the underprivileged category people.
The people believed that the movement would bring lots of fruits, but it turned merely like bitter grapes.
Not only it created artificial shortage, but also gave air to intolerance. The properties of leaders of opposition parties were torched. The house of Nepali Congress leaders Bimlendra Nidhi, Lila Koirala and Anand Dhungana was vandalized in Janakapur in a broad daylight. The corporate houses failed to run their business smoothly. And, the expectations of people ruined. Similarly, intolerance gained an air.
The leaders made fortunes:
The senior leaders of Front got opportunity to meet Indian government officials, including the PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Raj Nath Singh. Along with that, they went to see Lalu Parasad Yadav in Patna. Noted, Lalu Prasad Yadav is a convicted criminal and debarred by the honorable Supreme Court of India to hold any legislative and constitutional posts. I wonder what made them to meet criminals.
I am sad to know that their advisors have turned out to be wrong to suggest. Or, they by their own choice turned wrong. My mind still not believing that how come an incisive politician–like, Upendra Yadav, Rajendra Yadav, and Mahendra Ray Yadav–who bagged ministerial portfolios for number of times, could be misled.
Ironically, Lalu Prasad Yadav, a four-term Chief Minister of Bihar, treated Nepali’s national leaders as if they were feudatories from remotes areas of Bihar.
Rajendra Mahato admitted himself in New Delhi’s most expensive hospital. The doctor revealed that he was suffering from nothing but Vitamin deficiency. He was flown to New Delhi on January 1 and returned to Kathmandu on Jan 17. In the name of sickness, he made fortune to meet the senior leaders and top government officials in New Delhi. Might be they would have suggested him to take the medicine on time and more importantly brushed his eyes to capitalize “politics strictly in the line with Indian interest.”
Separatist forces gaining momentum:
Witnessing the failure of Madheshi parties in delivering their promises, the separatist force of CK Raut—Alliance for Independence Madhesh (AIM)—has started reaching the people. The cadres of this separatist force have got an extraordinary energy to term the top leaders of Madheshi parties as ‘butchers of Madhesh’.
He has activated his all energies in spreading the necessity of independency of Madhesh region by wresting it from Nepal. Of late, he appeared before the Indian media outlets to disseminate the message of necessity of independency of Madhesh.
However, he himself has been misrepresenting the people from long by giving fresh lies one after the other. While appearing before the judicial Magistrates, he argue that he is not capitalizing his politics against the territorial integrity of Nepal—he makes false statements in courts simply to get immune from arrest. Surprisingly, when he comes out in the open, he asserts that he is pledged to wrest the Southern plains from Nepal. The leader, who owes courage to bring partition in the country, should also dare to speak truth in any given condition.
Though AIM activists perceive that this is the favorable time to gain momentum in the plain region when there is a void image of Madheshi parties, it is a known fact in Terai that CK Raut keeps giving false statements before the judicial Magistrates. And, the reason being of it is known to all.
People hopeless with Gachhadar
From my early childhood, I have been hearing that Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar is holding an office in cabinet. As antimony is good for eyes, the cabinet berth is always appealing for him. His life in cabinet is always like a living document, save for the opposition parties at the Singh Darbar opening their beaks against his politics.
“Gachchhadar is permanent parliamentarian who has come here after passing Public Service Commission Examination. Mr. Khanal (Jhalanath) could you please give him a ministerial portfolio,” Baban Singh, a former Lawmaker of Constituent Assembly-I said in ironic tone, while speaking in a parliamentary proceeding. He had accused the MPRF-D Chair of being power greedy.
My heart weeps and goes out to the good citizens of Nepal, especially Madheshis who are forced to tolerate Mr. Gachchhadar Jee as a Deputy PM. However, what I believe that the cabinet would a better place without parliamentarians like him who always finds happiness in being a mute spectator and enjoying ministerial portfolio—no matter what is happening in the country.
At a time when its being projected that the Madheshi parties have lost their grips in across Southern plains, the leaders of Gachhadar-led MPFR-Democratic cannot make fortunes, as people are well-versed with the fact that Gachchhar is nothing but a power greedy insect.
So what next:
When it comes to analyze achievement of the movement, it appears that the movement was as if carried by some unseen power and ended on their fresh direction, leaving no any gain. The Madheshi people should figure out the enemies of Madhesh.
The leader (Mr. Mahato), who had announced that he would not land in Kathmandu unless demands are addressed, is taking fresh air in the Capital city even as the demands remained unaddressed. Even this time he failed to walk the talk.
There are none of the infrastructural developments in the credit of Madheshi leaders. They should take initiatives in carrying developmental works. And, more importantly, they should learn that people are in need of: development, equality and employment.
Moreover, they should justify the movement—for what it was launched?