On October 13, 2015 Madhesi Morcha organized a press conference and issued a press release. We translate this press release from Nepali to English. A copy of original press release in Nepali can be accessed via Madheshvani website.
The recent protests by Madhesi people spanning the course of initiation and declaration of the constitution has set a new record in the history of the struggles by the people of Nepal. General Strike, Border Blockade, and inefficient national highways during the protests since the last 59 days has failed to get proper attention of the government which is one of the most insensitive situation in the Nepalese history. History has proven that violence brews when peaceful protests aren’t appreciated. Because of the failure of Nepal government to learn from such violence in the past, we are once again grazing the edges of another insurgency. The government has clearly favored protests by certain caste/ethnicity over the other. The government has effectively used characteristic Nationality as a cover up to its preference to certain caste and ethnicity. Conclusive Evidence for this is the government naming the border protests by its own citizens as ‘India’s unofficial Blockade’ in Tharuhat and Madhes. A country led by a particular caste of people cannot prosper and can’t have a concrete sense of Nationality. The Government stance After spreading ethnic differences in the country, weakening relations with neighboring countries, and suppressing protests by citizens just because they look different and have a different ethnicity; talking about nationalism is a horrendous crime. Nepali citizens don’t want old Panchayat nationality that favored a single ethnicity but an inclusive one.
The constitution assembly ignored most agreements done with the suppressed groups during previous protests and went forward with the drafting the constitution despite protests and call for amendments. It has completely ignored sacrifices made by Nepali citizens to achieve such promising changes. This constitution has ended the achievement made in the interim constitution Article 138, 1 (A) Federalism by identity as achieved by the 1st Madhesh Protests. Instead of recognizing the suppressed, the state went back on preserving the Panchayat geography and hence broke its own agreements. The government has also blocked progressive remodeling of our country. They have conspired to make our country a state that is caste selective. It has established the authority of Khas language in a multilingual country. They have decreased Proportional representation from 60% to 40% in the parliament. Each organ of the state is not proportionally inclusive. Representation based on population is changed back to the panchayat structure. Ethnic and linguistic differences are apparent. The definition of secularity is manipulated. The rights granted to the suppressed communities by the interim constitution are taken away. In these ways, the new constitution has reversed the achievements of the interim constitution and hence was burnt by us deemed unacceptable.
Before the new constitution was promulgated, we were continuously protesting against it in the constituent assembly meetings. But, we did not oppose the parliament. Currently all the government bodies in the Nation are in the Incubation period. After the constitution was declared, the CA transformed into the parliament as per the interim constitution of Nepal 2063 BS. We have continued our duties as members of the parliament. By voting for the prime minister elections, we have not accepted the constitution but appreciated the legacy of the interim constitution and multiparty-democracy. While there were no subtle differences between the Prime Minister candidates as far as Madhesi, Janjati, Dalit, Tharu, Muslim and women are concerned; but to stand up against aggressive communists, blind Nationalists and monarchical rightists wasn’t just a requirement but an obligation. To clarify our discontent, to merge local protests with the parliament, and in defense to the Supreme Court’s decision that lawmakers should not abstain or stay neutral in the election of the prime minister. By this we mean that we have neither abandoned our political agendas nor do we accept the constitution. Hence, the issues raised by us regarding the incomplete constitution is intact. Our protests will continue unless Madhesi, Janjati, Dalit, Tharu, Muslim, and Women demands are addressed constitutionally.
Our country is in the state of struggle against regression. During this important time, we want to clarify that even if we voted against the alliance of against aggressive communists, blind Nationalists and monarchical rightists, we are not involved in this game of thrones. We have always stood by the agents of change to pressurize the government to address the suppressed. We ask the government to abide by the agreements made in the recent past as soon as possible. We also warn the government that if they fails to do so, they will be responsible for the consequences.
This press release was translated by Avinash Mishra from Nepali into English. We apologize for any inaccuracies during the translation. The featured image is courtesy of Madheshvani.com