CK Lal Explains About Madhesh Andolan (on News24)

On September 11, 2015, News24 Nepal published a recorded interview with Nepal’s eminent political analyst CK Lal. He is known for using an intelligent analysis, direct approach and sarcasm in his writings. During the interview on News24 channel talk-show, ‘Real Face’, he answered several questions related to the the agenda of marginalized Madheshis.

Reflections on CK Lal’s interview

“If a person is insane, he can be cured, but if ‘time’ goes insane, the whole of humanity comes under attack”, Mr. C.K. Lal paraphrased Voltaire to explain the situation of Nepal. When leaders start comparing death of protesters as fruits falling from tree, it is an indication that sensitivity, respect for human life and basic decency to respect the dead has been lost in the contemporary political discourse. These were the opening remarks of Mr. C. K. Lal, a well-known political commentator, known for his insightful columns on realpolitik of Nepal.

The recorded video of the interview in Nepali, “देश र मधेशको पछिल्लो अवस्थाबारे निर्मम् तर मार्मिक अन्तरवार्ता – REAL FACE” can be viewed below, courtesy of News24 Youtube channel.

We have included a transcript of the major highlights of his interview.

Questions and Answers with CK Lal

Q: How would you describe the current situation of Nepal?
A: The time has gone mad; no one is concerned with anyone else. If one gets to do what he wants to do, he does not care about anybody else. That is the exact situation of Nepal.

Q: How do you view the current constitution writing process?
A: While half of the Nepal is burning, the ritual of constitution writing is being observed. This is not a constitution writing ‘process’, but merely a ‘ritual’ being performed to bring a set of document, rather than a constitution which represents the aspirations of progressive Nepal.

Q: What are the reasons of the protest of Madhesh and why is Kathmandu silent?
A: Kathmandu has always been cold, there’s no fire in here, and the heat of the fire anywhere else, does not reach here. Although the fire has been there since last 60 years and it never goes out, some sparks always remains to periodically inflame when Kathmandu provokes. This is the 60 years old dissatisfaction of Madheshi that Nepal does not considers it as a Nepali, Nepal considers Madhesh as internal colony.

[To prove his point that Kathmandu is cold despite the fire in Terai, see our infographic that shows the 40 deaths in Nepal amid constitution drafting process, all of them in Terai (south of Nepal) and three in Surkhet . None of the deaths have occurred near Kathmandu.]

Q: Despite the government calling for dialogues for multiple times, why isn’t the Madhesi Morcha willing to sit for dialogue?
A: An agitating individual or society does not talk about principles. The call for dialogues was just another ritual. If you read the appeal for talks, it lacks seriousness. Neither the appeal has showed any remorse for the martyred, nor has it explained why it failed to respect previous agreements. It does not even promise readiness to discuss and accommodate the demands. The appeal is in fact, an arrogant notice that we (establishment) are making the constitution, if you want to join, you can join. In 2007, an agreement between the then PM Mr. Girija Pd. Koirala and Madhesh was signed, again in February 2008, previous agreement was scrapped and a new agreement was signed. And, today, both of the agreements have been scrapped. Those agreements which were implemented, even those are being rolled back in the new constitution. Now, on the name of talks, the establishment is asking the agitating parties to come and agree to all the disagreements, they are fighting against. He aptly summarized that this was not a call for talk, but a threat.

[An advocate of Supreme Court, Dip Jha also explains in another interview why the dialogue between the ruling parties and Madhesi Morcha failed. He argues that the environment was not conducive for dialogue.]

Q: What are the demands of Madhesh?
A: The demands of Madhesh are the demands of any common citizens in any country of the world. And those are, Nationality should be defined such as no one feels left behind, inclusion should be such that no one is left behind, constitution should be such that everyone feels ownership, and state structures should be such that diverse faces could be seen. These are the simple demands common citizen of any nation. Demands of Madhesh are nothing more than that.

Q: Even if you see the faces, the President and Veep, they are Madheshi now, hasn’t it given respect to Madhesh?
A: Although the President and Veep hail from Madhesi community, this is nothing more than Tokenism. Structural discrimination we observe in our nation-state cannot be ignored on the basis of this tokenism. In fact, even you have invited me as a token. The media has either downplayed or shut down the news from the protesters. Just because you invited one Madhesi to present his views does not mean that the media of Nepal has given space to the protestors. Even the reports about the protesters have been ignored by the news media.

[The President of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav submitted a letter to Constituent Assembly Speaker Subhash Nembang and Nepali PM Sushil Koirala to make the constitution inclusive by integrating voices of agitating parties based in Madhesh. Both speaker Nembang and PM Koirala scoffed at his proposal and have decided to move forward with constitution approval process. This happened a few days after CK Lal argued that a Madhesi President is simply a token.]

Q: Has the lack of co-ordination between the Madheshi leaders of Pahadi political parties, and the Madheshi parties divided the agendas of Madhesh?
A: It happens everywhere as there is always difference in opinion. Madhesi leaders in Pahadi party must be pitching in their agendas internally, but at the end they must go with the official decision of the party. They have their own problem; I believe that they must be doing what is needful at their level best. Because, if there is democracy in this country, then they will have to go back to the Madhesh to get elected again, Pahad will not elect them anyway. In fact, Madhesh has always accommodated Pahadi leaders. Many Pahadi leaders have won elections from Madhesh, but till now not one single Madhesi leader have ever won any election from Pahad. Even in party election of UML party, well known Madhesi leaders like Lal Babu Pandit and Raghuvir Mahaseth lost. It seems that Paharis don’t vote for Madhesis, doesn’t it? But Madhesis have always gives vote to Pahadi leaders. In fact, the current Prime-Minister Sushil Koirala (Congress), Ex-PM Madhav Kumar Nepal (UML), Ex-PM Puspa Kamal Dahal (Maoist) all has won election from Madhesh.

Q: Finally, thank you for giving us time and having a meaningful dialogue when the time has gone ‘insane’. Your last word..
A: I would like to add, “Jab taktha giraye jainge, aaur taaj uchhale jainge (the throne will be dismantled, and then tiara will be tossed.)” In Nepal the tiara of the king was tossed, but the throne remains intact and the few political sat on the throne.

This dictatorial constitution might be promulgated for now, but this will lead Nepal in a prolonged conflict and Madhesh might be forced to rethink its relationship with Nepal.

  • bibek bhattarai

    सि के लाल नै उत्तम बाँकी हस्ताक्ष्यार गर्ने सवासद सबै उल्लु कती हास्नु?

  • Sudeep Pokharel

    Well CK Lal was a Govt. Engineer all life in dept of roads before getting tainted for corruption,now he is a renowned Madhesi political analyst.what the heck…why we have to listen to all these craps who knows to show the problems but without any viable solution…Everybody is a analyst these days…

    • Deepak Kumar Jha

      r u mentally and physical ready to accept the sollution dear, and all madeshi are well educated and well know of khasbadi strategy.

      • Achut Parajuli

        We all know how educated you are. What is the education for if you need arakshan???? Arakshan means you are less educated and cannot compete with educated one????

  • binod

    I think, we are just going to analyse everybody on the basis of their community, thats why we are taking negatively about his opinion. He is a well analyst,i think.

  • Bikky Yadav

    So, you are complaining because the pahadis’ do not vote for Madhesi leaders? Now, you want the constitution to ensure that at least 33% of all pahadi vote should go to madhesi leaders? I agree that a lot of madhesis’ were treated badly in the past and even now. But you are just chidish. You are just a parrot. Ok, tell me, what is it that the madhesi leaders want? What is their demand? To have pahadi’s vote for madhesi leaders or… what? I am confused and i have not been able to understand what is it that these leaders want. I have never taken you seriously or as an intellectual but you are very dangerous because you have no love left in you 🙁

  • Goodking

    Now citizenship issue is clear I guess Madhesis and Tharus are worried about Federal Map. I want to tell all madhesis what i think is the problem now. Since its time for Greater Nepal. I see This Federal Map as obstacle to achieve Greater Nepal. All the player of Greater Nepal will be more dependent on Madhesis and Tharus and if India somehow controls Madhesis and Tharus then it will be very very difficult to achieve greater Nepal which is Nepal’s right. So its not the right time to fight for this federal map. When Greater Nepal is established then definitely tharu and madhesis will get more than these territories as a good gesture. This federal map is a big thing now but it won’t be big thing when we have achieved greater Nepal. I think this is the reason why politicians are reluctant to give madhesis and thrus these territory right now. I want to suggest all the madhesis to be patient. And don’t get played by Indians. Nepals End Game is Greater Nepal. Lets all Madhesis tharu, pahadi, Newari, limbuwan “Bhai Bhai” play an active role in achiving Greater Nepal. It’s our End Game.

  • Goodking

    Now citizenship issue is clear I guess Madhesis and Tharus are worried about Federal Map. I want to tell all madhesis what i think is the problem now. Since its time for Greater Nepal. I see This Federal Map as obstacle to achieve Greater Nepal. All the player of Greater Nepal will be more dependent on Madhesis and Tharus and if India somehow controls Madhesis and Tharus then it will be very very difficult to achieve greater Nepal which is Nepal’s right. So its not the right time to fight for this federal map. When Greater Nepal is established then definitely tharu and madhesis will get more than these territories as a good gesture. This federal map is a big thing now but it won’t be big thing when we have achieved greater Nepal. I think this is the reason why politicians are reluctant to give madhesis and thrus these territory right now. I want to suggest all the madhesis to be patient. And don’t get played by Indians. Nepals End Game is Greater Nepal. Lets all Madhesis tharu, pahadi, Newari, limbuwan “Bhai Bhai” play an active role in achiving Greater Nepal. It’s our End Game.

    ck lal and all the madasi leaders and even India knows Nepals end game is Greater Nepal. How much should madhesi youth trust people like ck lal and old madasi leaders?

  • Hoper Nbn

    anybody explain me what is the meaning of” Madhesh might be forced to rethink its relationship with Nepal. the way you are explaining yours problems doesn’t mean you want solution ? you only wants war why ?, you guys are not Nepali and you dont love Nepal?

  • xyz

    CK Lal has a good kick on this asshole. This asshole has been playing nationalist theme for pretty long, since he got a chance to interview Gyane.

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  • Sarita

    Great…explained!!

  • Sam Byrens

    The victim complex in him is very dangerous and very incendiary.

  • Mohammad Taiyab

    Namaste CK Lal ji
    This is Engr MTaiyab from abroad I respect you personally from my bottom of heart and we need to raise a same sound for our Madhes. Now there is requirement same as yours in the state to prove that the intellectual bodies are existing in TERAI so let us convince them to understand about our rights.