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The word Madhesi is the term used for people of Indian ancestry residing in the Terai region of Nepal. However, coming to this time the term is used for all Nepali citizens residing in Terai. The word comprise of “madhya desh” or “middle country” which refers to the country lying between the Himalayas and Vindhya mountains. The Nepali Madhesi people now comprises of various cultural groups such , muslims, merchants and indigenous people of the Terai. But Migrants to the Terai from the hills Nepal and Tharu people do not consider themselves as Madhesi.
Madhesi caste in Nepal
They have caste groups like Brahmin and dalit and ethnic groups as bhojpuris, maithalis and Bajjika as well. Many madhesis even share traditions and marital bonds with Indian people residing in international border. This shows the harmony but this days many people take this thing negatively and often humiliate our fellow citizens calling dhoti. This is one of the reason, Madhesis are fighting for their identity.
Who are Nepali Madhesi?
Madhesis are one of the back warded ethnic group of Nepal but are very rich in terms of their own culture and tradition. They have always been struggling for equality, identity and respect. They are fighting for equal position and participation in all sectors of economy.
Madhesi protest and Madhesh andolan in Nepal
The Nepali Madhesi people celebrate the 3rd Ashwin 2072 as the black day as their protest against the new constitution which according to them didn’t ensure equal rights for the Madhesi. From that date Madhesis have been protesting against the new constitution and demanding for amendment. You may also want to listen to FM Station broadcasting the news of Madhesh. You can also watch TV channel broadcasting the news of Madhesh
Madhesi Nepal Constitution
According to the new constitution, children of Nepali women and foreign men will be considered second-class citizens and will be barred to high government position. Is that fair for Madhesis? This is what that caused the conflict and Nepali Madhesi stood up against the discrimination they have been facing all these years. This caused conflict between Government and the Madhesi People and strike in 2072. Among the crisis, the borders of India was closed causing scarcity of many basic things in Nepal. Since Nepal imports a lot of things from India, the economic blockade severely affected lives of Nepali. There was scarcity of cooking gas, people started using woods and bio-gas for cooking, there was scarcity of fuel i.e petrol and diesel. On the other hand the strike and protest caused death of many Madhesis in Terai Region. The situation was very bad and it getting worse every day. Sixty Madhesis lost their life in that protest. Still now many people blame Madhesis for being anti-nationalist but the fact is that the protest was done just against all the dominance and discrimination they have been facing all these years. We don’t realize how mean we have been with them. Do you remember mocking that guy from Terai in your college as Dhoti? That protest was result of our behavior and the country’s behavior towards this ethnic group.
It high time that we start respecting our fellow citizens and realize the fact that they are not against the nation, they are just fighting for equality and freedom. The protest is between the government and Madhesis, both of them have their own issues and are working towards harmony. We, as a third party should not make unnecessary judgments about both; the government and the Madhesis without knowing what is actually going on.