Resolution Through Honest And Respectful Dialogue

An attempt has to be made to seek a political resolution to the political impasse in Nepal. Madhesh has been an internal colony of Nepal ever since the time of Prithvi Narayan Shah. That political status of Madhesh has continued through various spells of democracy, through armed insurgencies, through elections, and party politics, through various Madhesh movements. CK Raut has a point. In a democracy you can seek federalism and inclusion. But Madhesh is not in a democracy, it is an internal colony, it can only hope for independence. 

But there are geopolitical compulsions. India, more than China, does not want to see Nepal split into two. That would be a reason for India to help Madhesh attain equality inside Nepal, and it is my observation the Modi government is actively helping. Modi is working towards a South Asian economic union. He does not want two Nepals, he wants one South Asia. 

The democratic way, the nonviolent way is one where you not only get your voices heard, you also listen actively to your opponent. And so, despite being the weaker party, the Madhesh movement has to work extra hard to listen also to the other side. There is only a negotiated political resolution to the impasse. 

What do the two sides want? The Madhesis want equality and dignity. What does the other side want? To the other side the idea of Madhesh as a separate country is unthinkable. It would be a nightmare situation. To them Ek Madhesh Ek Pradesh, or Ek Madhesh Do Pradesh both sound like a stepping stone to Madhesh as a separate country. Is a middle path possible? What is it?

The first time I drew a map for federal Nepal, it was in 2005, before the king had even been toppled. My map was 100% economic. It had three states.

Maps don't give you equality. Otherwise Madhesh has had 22 districts in Nepal. One or two Madhesh states on their own will not bring equality. If you go for Ek Madhesh Do Pradesh but keep the rest of the constitution, it will only institutionalize internal colonization for at least a generation.

What did my first map look like?

I am beginning to think this might be the map to go for now to resolve the terrible political impasse in the country. But this map is unthinkable if major accompanying political moves are not made at the same time.

  • Give Hindi the same status as Nepali at all levels of government right away. And have a roadmap to bring the 15 largest languages as languages of district and local governments. 
  • If you do the math on population starting with what Nepal's population was in 1950 and what the growth rate has been, Nepal's population can not possibly be 30 million. It is more like 50 million, maybe more. Nepal says eight million Nepalis have gone to India for work. They say wrong. The numbers don't add up. That number is at least 20 million since 1950. Nepal's current population is more like 40 million. Do the math. 
  • There are at least five million Madhesis who have been denied citizenship papers. That is a human rights violation. You can't keep people stateless. 
  • What might be the solution? India has done the biometric ID thing. Nepal should request India to do the same for everyone in Nepal. And the two databases should talk to each other. The two countries should be firm about making sure no one has citizenship of both countries. There is a technical solution here. My guess is I will be proven right. That five million Madhesis truly are stateless. 
  • The 22 Terai districts should have representation in the lower house in proportion to their population. 
  • The formula for DaMaJaMa inclusion should be refined. 
But I am pessimistic the ruling elite will go for this. They are fundamentally racist people. Their capacity for cruelty is bottomless, as has been seen in the aftermath of the earthquake. The Dalit and Janajati lives simply do not matter to them. That is the truth. Face it. 

Hereditary Brahminism is a disease. It does not respond to simple logic. It is not capable of an honest and respectful dialogue. 

Nepal: A Total Political Disaster
The Federalism Question: Maps


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