By Sumana Shrestha
Whenever people think it is Madhes that is creating the problem for the entire nation, my heart breaks a little more. Yes, there are “Madhesi leaders” with their paid people and then there is the entire Madhesi population. The Madhesi population is probably hurting more than us in Kathmandu. They are sandwiched between paid thugs (from you know where), unrepresented by the electors they actually voted for. Moreover, the netas who they voted out are the netas that the State is recognizing and negotiating with (probably because of their skin color and last name, eh?).
Madhes is at double disadvantage as it is ignored by the State who hasn’t even bothered to visit Madhes, and have been targeted at the center of hatred because the main stream media is lumping together the entire Madhes with so called Madhesi “netas”. Isn’t it about time we asked the State to go visit Madhes, about time we actually question those leaders who were elected from that region why they are silent? It is high time we longed for a Nepal where people do not have to flock to Kathmandu to get basic necessities. Let us create a land of opportunities and better life.
I talked to a pan pasal dai from Sarlahi regarding the rising tensions, he said that he was scared because the leaders were not doing enough to solve “ghar ko problem (internal issue)”; he was scared that if the India takeover were to happen, his family at the border would be the first target. He was offended that why we had to justify his Nepali citizenship when Nepal is all he has known all his life to be his home. Unfortunately, the Madhesh movement has been hijacked by the same politicians who lost elections in those areas. Let us not be guided by the rhetoric of any netas, by India or by mainstream media. Talking to the locals of Madhes, we will realize how there is a wide gap between what has been portrayed and how the Madhesi people feel.
I would ask all the community leaders to stop hedging their bets, to actually come out and speak for the community that they are trying to help and connect Madhes with the entire nation.
I would ask all the community leaders to stop hedging their bets, to actually come out and speak for the community that they are trying to help and connect Madhes with the entire nation. We will figure out how to raise funds for the campaigns, we will figure out how to fight bullies, and we will make an inclusive Nepal together with our Madhesi brothers and sisters. I call upon you fellow Nepalis who care for a better Nepal, please take a public stance with our Madhes and make your opinions heard. Let everyone know that we are a better society and we can make a better Nepal by including our brothers and sisters from Madhes in the social and political process of a new Nepal.
Sumana Shrestha is a graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management, BA – Economics & BA – Mathematics. She is the initiator of Carpool Kathmandu, who returned from USA post earthquake to be part of the recovery solution. She believes in finding solutions within and has been working to bridge the gap between various ethnic groups in Nepal. Recently, she helped organize “Jaaga Kumbhakarna” rally on Nov 10th, 2015.