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JTMM, CA Elections and Restructuring of Nepal

JTMM, CA Elections and Restructuring of Nepal

By Bhupal Lamichhaney

Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) is the splinter group of the Maoists. There are two groups in JTMM. One is led by Goit and other by Jwala Singh. Both groups are against the Peace Process going on in Nepal. JTMM has stood with their point of view that Terai region does not belong to any King of the Shah dynasty.

Goit has remarked that Nepal has no right to rule the region.
Goit has asked Nepali rulers to leave Terai and has demanded that indigenous people of Terai be allowed to run army, police and administration in Terai region. He has also asked that revenue collected from Terai be utilized for Terai development and has demanded an end to infiltration of Nepalis into the region.

In a way, I see his demand is to create an independent Terai State. How can this be possible and can it survive? However, before addressing these questions the bigger question may arise. Can Nepal still survive with disintegration of the Terai?

No doubt, we in Nepal are in the process of restructuring the state. No political parties are against the restructuring but none of the key players have come to a consensus about the nature of the restructuring. There are many thoughts. Some are advocating that the restructuring should be done based on ethnicity and region.

They believe to accommodate wide diversity and to create an inclusive society all ethnic minorities have to be given their rights in the regions they primarily come from. The stand seems perfect and democratic.
However, the critics argue, since Nepal is such a small country with so many ethnicities living it will be impracticable to provide all ethnic minorities having their own federal governments. How many governments within a government are needed to adjust all diversity? I don’t know. I have not done any calculation. Has any one idea, more than 50?

If restructure of the country is arranged in spite of all odds it will not do justice. Perhaps, the majority of Nepali will be marginalized.
What will be the consequences if majority of the population is marginalized? Can such a nation survive? Saddam’s Iraq was the past. However, one can learn from the massacres during his reign.

The majority of the people living in Nepal who do not fall into the category of ethnicity will definitely be left out from the process of inclusiveness. One can think how dangerous it will be to divide Nepal into ethnicities.
Let us take example of the Terai region itself. In the Terai how many ethnicities are living? There might be more than ten I suppose. But I am sure; the majority of the people living in the Terai region do not fall into the category of the ethnicity. In Nepal, we have identity of the people in many forms. They are in cast, religion, region, ethnicity, and language they speak.
Let me clarify more here with my example.

I am a Pahadi, Hindu Brahman Nepali speaking (Khas) language. I must site examples of my three friends only. Ramesh Tripathi is the name of my first friend. He is a Madhesi, Hindu Brahman Nepali speaking (Abadhi and Hindi) language. The second friend is Umesh Lal Shrestha.

He is a Pahadi, Hindu Cherty Nepali speaking (Newari) language. My friend Megha Tamang is from the hills. She is a Pahadi, Buddhist Baishaya Nepali speaking (Tamang) language. In this way each Nepali can be classified. There are many similarities as well as differences we can find while comparing each of them.

In the mean time I wonder, what would be the perfect way to restructure the nation. I love the diversity uniting together under the same nationhood. If the political parties for gaining power indulge in divisions I feel, the continuation of the nationhood can be affected. A lot of water has flown in the rivers of Nepal after the Maoists have initiated the divisions. Is not JTMM the product of the division? Does the Maoists leadership have the answer to this question?

Although, JTMM does not command popular support for their demand, it can be a potential threat for future Nepal and her peace and prosperity. As, both fractions of JTMM come from the Terai which has open boarder with Indian it can be a very difficulty task for the government of Nepal to monitor JTMM activities. After all they know all tricks of the Maoists who could sustain their arm insurgency for more than a decade.

The JTMM Goit faction has stated that it would not allow the elections of Constituent Assembly (CA) in Terai region, reports Nepal Samacharpatra daily.

He thinks CA election is the conspiracy hatched by Nepalis (Pahadies). Goit even does not recognize himself as a Nepali. He has called on political parties, organizations, intellectuals and individuals of Terai region to organize a roundtable conference to write new constitution for Terai.
Will the activities of JTMM be enough instances for the instigators of the division of Nepal in cast, religion, region, ethnicity, and language?

I am a believer in human rights and democratic principles. They are the uniting factors. Even in the name of human rights and democratic values if divisions are made, may be, one can win an argument for the satisfaction of an ego but at the same time, it is sure the divisions in Nepal means end of our nation.


Bhupal Lamichhaney is working independently on nonviolence activism for human rights and democratic values and can be reached His ideas and views can be received in blogs:


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