20 young Madhesis were arrested, detained and jailed in New Delhi on February 19 for waving black flags to the visiting Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. All of these students had been to jail for the first time. However, upon their release from the notorious Tihar jail, they were in high spirit and I was really amazed to see their unwavering determinism to take on the challenge of creating an inclusive Nepal for everyone. Based on their short speeches upon release, I have enumerated seven lessons learned.
(1) The disenchantment towards incumbent Oli’s government is at its peak.
(2) Atrocities against Madhesis in last 5 months will be observed as a dark history in Nepal.
(3) The struggle for equality, social justice, and inclusive citizenship will remain the core issues for Madhesis and it is deeply ingrained among Madhesi youths.
(4) Madhesis very well understand, it is a generational struggle and they will not give up.
(5) The aspiration of Madhesi youth should not be equated with Madhesi Morcha. It will be a blunder. Madhesis can struggle on their own and the proxy India behind Madhesis is the farce. This is proven by their arrest and heavy handedness of Government of India (and also Nepal Embassy, New Delhi) on them. The students were arrested for merely showing a black flag and exercising their democratic rights. They were sent in a judicial custody.
(6) Even if Morcha colludes in Brahminical power structures or the coercive state apparatus of Nepal, the new generation will speak up for democracy, equality and justice for all marginalized people of Nepal. They firmly believe in the principle of, “MAKING someone equal does not make anyone unequal”.
(7) Over time, Madhesis are confident that more marginalized groups will unite to calibrate the struggle for making Nepal, truly inclusive. And to celebrate the unity in diversity. They believe that moving forward, monolithic exclusionary nation that Nepal has always been cannot be the norm.
Educate, agitate and organize !!
Salute to Bravo Madhesis !!!