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Showing posts from May, 2014

Two Geographical States In The Terai

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English: a aerial view of field in terai in Nepal (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Inner Terai (Bhitri Madhesh) is part of the Terai, hence the word Terai in the name. Surkhet, Chitwan and Udaypur are part of the geographical Terai. And they have to be part of the Terai states.

The time for Ek Madhesh Ek Pradesh is over, and the fragmented 30 Madhesi parties are to blame. But now it is time for one Madhesi party and two geographical states in the Terai.

Tharus are Madhesis. Muslims in the Terai are Madhesis. You can not argue Madhesi women are not Madhesi just because there might be sexism in the Terai. Dalits in the Terai are Madhesis, although it can be argued they face enormous social difficulties.

Nawalparasi and west, Surkhet included, could be one state: Western Terai. Chitwan and east all the way to Jhapa, Udaypur included, could be Eastern Terai. Two states.

The discussions on federalism in Nepal has to start with these two purely geographical states in the Terai. The people of Ne…

Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Terai

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Laloo Yadav (Photo credit: bbcworldservice)Nepali speaking Nepalis from the hills talk of Nepali speakers in places like Sikkim, Darjeeling, Assam and elsewhere as their own, and I don’t begrudge that. Cultural bonds are healthy. But by that same token, people in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh feel like my own to me. There are shared cultural bonds.

In my case, it goes way beyond that. I was born in India. My mother is Indian. One of my sisters is married to an Indian. I am as likely to dial the Indian country code as the Nepali country code. Main Laloo Ka Aadmi.

Nepalis who manage to come over to NYC are free to not work for Indians, but more than 95% freely choose to work for Indians. So it makes little sense for them to talk hate speech against Indians, which is the exact same hate speech they use against Madhesis. If Indians are your American dream, for you to talk hate speech against them is not only ungrateful, it is your problem, not theirs. I think that attitude, which is a mental s…

Democratic Fermentation: NRN Style

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Nepali architect - Arniko in Miaoying Temple (Photo credit: Wikipedia) For the first time in its history, the Non Resident Nepali Association has become a mass based organization in America. This is a major milestone. Once the elections are over in a month, and people have the option to become members again, it is estimated the number might hit something like 10,000 to the current 4,000.

This makes the NRNA the largest Nepali organization in America, and now there is no more need for another umbrella organization. There must be a few hundred Nepali organizations across America, big and small. And that is all good. But there was a need to have one organization that brought everyone together from all parts of the country. That void has been filled.

Other than a large membership base, and perhaps more important, the basic democratic process seems to have taken root in the organization, starting from the election process itself. When an organization has 4,000 members spread across Americ…

BNKS' Gift To Me

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I have been talking to some high school friends across the pond recently. In less than a year Nepal will get its constitution and its federalism. After that 100% of the political focus has to shift to development and economic issues. After my work for Nepal's democracy and Madhesi movements to Obama 2008, I am squarely in the entrepreneurship boat by now.

I have come full circle in some ways. One word of appreciation I would like to express is that because of my BNKS experience I have not gone to rooms and halls and events in Manhattan ever and felt like, gosh, these people are too smart for me. That has been BNKS' number one gift to me.