A senior Nepali leftist leader was quoted in a daily yesterday suggesting the agitating Madhesi groups, “You can not create a state based on sentiments.”
The context is unknown, yet the quote sounds worth pondering over.
Isn’t every state/nation/movement based on sentiments – be it regional, ethnic, racial, or ideological?
Aren’t all the wars, conflicts, and rebel or terrorist attacks based on sentiments ?
Soviet Union’s parade in Afghanistan was repelled by America-backed Mujaheddin.
La-den’s jihad on the Twin Towers was retorted by Bush’s crusade against ‘axis of evil.’
The Balkan War needs no mentioning.
It’s all clear that majority of people in some parts of Southern Nepal (Terai), who call themselves Madhesis, want their own separate state under the federal rule.
They accuse of being exploited by the present rulers of the nation by ‘internal colonization’ and hegemony.
And they are right. Even a kid in Kathmandu calls a Madhesi vendor ‘Bhaiya’ which literally means ‘brother’ but has connotations similar to ‘nigger.’
The hill people and leader feel proud when Prashant Tamang becomes an Indian Idol, or Indians of Nepali origin in Bengal of India agitate for a separate ‘Gorkhaland’ state.
But whenever a Madhesi wants for a separate state within Nepal, s/he is labeled as a pro-Indian Bihari.
This has resulted in scores of armed communal outfits, especially in the Mithila region of Southern Nepal, with such interesting names as the LTTE, Madhesi Virus Killers, etc.
Obviouly, LTTE has been inspired by Sri-Lankan LTTE, which in Nepal stands for Liberation Terai Tigers Eelam.
And they’re resorting to dangerous communal hatred & ethnic cleansing strategies.
Thus one may agree that a state can not built with sentiments alone.
Yet the reality shows that a state is created on the foundations of common belief systems and/or identity.