Activists and supporters of various tarai parties stage a demonstration at Janaandalon Chowk in Biratnagar on Friday welcoming Thursday’s agreement reached between the government and the United Democratic Madhesi Front. (pic:ekantipur.com.np)
Congratulations to Madhesis for their achievement in claiming their identity & rights.
While most of the Madhesis were celebrating their victory, one of the armed Madhesi groups killed a Khagendra Limbu in the Terai for being a ‘Pahadi’.
Some Madhesi intellectuals, media persons, students, & political leders, most of them enjoying the peace & comforts of Kathmandu & abroad, are wrongly applying the postcolonial concepts of ‘otherness’ & subaltern theories in the context of Nepal; therby creating a dangerous Madhesi Discourse promoting radical politics & polarization.
The discourse of demonizing ‘Pahadis’ is certainly going to be counter-productive to Madhesis themselves.
The proponents of Madhesi Discourse have ignored the anomalies due to caste & class coflicts within & between the Madhesis & Pahadis – both being rooted in the same principles of social division propounded in the ancient Hindu regulation the Manusmriti.
The wrong focus has generated various communal outfits which are mislead into believing that all their social & political problems are due to the ‘Pahad'(Hill) hegemony over the Terai people. Just like the political parties in Nepal blaming everything they can not handle on the defunct(?) King!
The continual splitting of the Madhesi armed groups numbering more than a score indicates the gravity of communal tension within Madhesi community.
This also shows that the political & communal conditions in the Madhes will not be very different from that of Bihar & UP of India – criminal gangs in the guise of liberators & protectors would be operating there.
The militarization & crimilization of the society may be further aggravated with the emergence of Muslim, ‘Pahadi’, & other communal outfits.
Thus, the seeds of animosity & communal hatred that the Madhesis intellectuals, media, & politicians are nurturing by misusing the tools of postcolonial theories, would certainly raise the intra-cultural conflicts in the whole Southern Terai of Nepal.