Jun 8, 2012

Also alarming for neighbours

By Pushparaj Pradhan

The Constituent Assembly (CA) has already been dissolved. The CA was not a Nepali agenda and the CA was unable to write a constitution even after spending four years – including extension of two years after the expiration of its two year tenure. Of course, the CA was an Indian agenda, but the Indians also felt that the CA could not serve the Indian interests as other actors appeared on the horizon. The Indian idea was to empower the Madheshi (people from Indian origin). On this, the Indians became successful, as the seven-parties plus the Maoist alliance, after the success of the 2006 April uprising, decided to give Nepali citizenship certificates to above 4.2 million Indians who after that have been able to become Nepali citizens. The Indian idea was to make the entire tarai one province by developing the belt as India’s security buffer zone in the first stage. That idea failed as the Tharus and other indigenous communities, backed by DFID and other international NGOs, specially, from the European countries went against this concept. Not only in the tarai, but also in the hills, different communities were provoked for claiming their own provinces on the basis of castes and ethnicity. This idea was imposed by the international campaigners for Christianity, as they felt that such an environment would make it easy to campaign for Christianity. These actors felt comfortable in provoking the hill-people to develop a strong front against China. Our northern belt is dominated by the Buddhist community, specially the Sherpa community, who migrated from Tibet to Nepal. If these nationalities are rewarded with their identity based provinces, for example, a Sherpa Province, Tamshaling Province, it will be no surprise if these provinces will be developed as the centres for organizing anti-China activities aimed at separating Tibet from the Chinese map.

On the southern side too, the Indians had thought that the entire tarai can be either one or three to four provinces. But the Indians have failed to understand that it could be a Herculean task for the Indians to keep united the Madheshi community. There is strong discrimination among the castes, different castes feel superior to others and also the basic problem is the identification of the indigenous communities in this region. If caste based provinces are recognized, India may suffer a lot. For example, Sikkim, the 22nd state of India, is dominated by the Limbus/Lepchas. If the far eastern districts are recognized as Limbuwan, there is strong possibility of developing special relations between Sikkim and Limbuan encouraging them for establishing a separate greater Limbuwan state. Similarly, if a Kochila Province in the eastern tarai is recognized, the same will apply with the people from Kuch-Bihar. Mithila, Bhojpura, Abadh people may claim for greater province upto the River Ganga. India, knowingly or unknowingly, has already planted the seed of division. The Nepali Maoists are cultivating the harvest. We can easily assume about the outcome how harmful such a federal structure based on caste identity can be, whether our neighbours are aware about it or not!

Courtesy: People’s Review

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