Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM)
Independence of Madhesh through Peaceful Means
(A loose English translation of the pamphlet/ A brief manifesto of AIM)
Gandhi did it, Mandela did it, and we are doing it. We are not doing anything wrong. Join the Alliance, and liberate Madhesh, end Nepali colonisation, end racism and discrimination against Madheshis, and achieve our rights and dignity. – Dr. C. K. Raut
WHY INDEPENDENT MADHESH?
The nation of Madhesh (Madhyadesh) exists since the beginning of human civilisation on the Indian Subcontinent. Vedas, Puranas, and other ancient texts have abundant descriptions of Madhyadesh. According to the Vedic Civilisation, Ikshwaku or Okkāka, the son of Vaivaswata Manu and the grandson of Vivaswan, is regarded as the first significant king of Madhyadesh. Thirty four dynasties after him, we have much celebrated generation of Ram, and Sita, the daughter of King Janak whose capital is said to be at the current town of Janakpur in Madhesh, Nepal. Not only Sita, Madhesh is also the birth place of Buddha. The Buddhist Canon like Vinay Pitak, too, gives the precise boundaries of Madhyadesh, also known as Majjimdesh in Pali, which extends 400 miles further to the east than the Manu’s time. It used to be such a vast land then. Madhesh was ruled by several great dynasties in ancient and medieval times, from Emperor Ashoka to King Salhesh, and finally it came under the control of Muslim Rulers and British. At the later stage of the British Raj in India, Sen Kings ruled Madhesh, mostly as suzerainty states. These kings paid taxes to Nawabs and the East India Company. The part of Madhesh present today in Nepal is a result of the memorandum of 1816 and the treaty of 1860 with the East India Company and Nepal. Through the memorandum of 8th December 1816, the East India Company handed the eastern part of Madhesh, between Koshi and Rapti rivers, to Nepal, instead of paying two hundred thousands rupees per year. British used to pay this amount to Nepal upon the request of the King of Nepal to support the living cost of his employees. The western part of Madhesh between Rapti and Mahakali rivers came to Nepal through the treaty of 1860, as a reward to Gurkhas, for their support to the East India Company in suppressing the Sepoy Mutiny in India, in the late 1850s. This is how Madhesh became a colony of Nepal. And since the beginning of the colonisation, the ruling class Nepali conspired to seize the lands of Madheshis and displace them from Madhesh. The ruling class Nepalis made Madheshis second class citizens and slaves on their own land, treating them like POWs, as Madheshis had fought on the side of British against the Gurkhas in the Anglo-Gurkha war of 1814-16.
The colonisation and slavery imposed upon Madheshis, and the racism and discrimination that Madheshis have being facing from the Nepalis/Pahadis need no more elaboration. Madheshis have struggled a lot, and for long, to liberate themselves, starting from the Madhesh Liberation Movement in 1950s to the Madhesh Movement of 2007/8. In the Madhesh Movement of 2007/8, more than 54 Madheshis gave up their lives, thousands took police bullets, and hundreds of thousands contributed to the cause. Yet after the decades of struggle, after the sacrifice of so many lives, what change has come to us? Rather than correcting its course of colonisation and injustice, the ruling class has been resolute on refusing our fundamental rights, taking our lives, and espousing ethnic cleansing of the Madheshis. Rather than giving rights per the agreement, the ruling class people started snatching one after another rights from us. They started imposing racism and discrimination further. Rather than granting the rights to citizenship, they started snatching and annulling our even acquired citizenship. They brought one after another legislation to deprive Madheshis of citizenship. They snatched voting rights hundreds of thousands of Madheshis. From the voter list, they removed the names of even those Madheshis who have been voting for last four or five decades. In the name of ‘special security plan’ in Terai, they imprisoned thousands of youths and activists without any charge or investigation. They shot dead dozens of Madheshis in false police encounters. To suppress us, they deployed tens of thousands of armed police forces and armies throughout Madhesh. They closed human rights organisation in Madhesh, to continue ethnic cleansing of Madheshis unbridled. Concerning the national language and dress, they continued their old conspiracies. They forced Madheshi vice-president to take oath in Nepali and wear Daura-Suruwal. They attempted to break our cross-border relations that have existed for thousands of years by bringing one after legislation; today you cannot cross the border even carrying a towel or underwear. They made the agreement for inclusion and proportional representation of Madheshis in Nepal Army a farce, they did not let even 3000 Madheshis enter into the army. Even the reserved seats for Madheshis were given to Pahadis in every field. The agreement over autonomous one Madhesh province was made a farce; rather they resorted to all sort of conspiracies to divide us. Sometimes in the name of Chure-Bhavar, and sometimes in the name of undivided far-western, they attempted to keep their colonial estate and rule in Madhesh. They conspired to divide us in the name of Tharus, Muslims or indigenous people. But ask yourself, did they let you escape in the ethnic riots like Hrithik Roshan Scandal or Nepalgunj Incidence when you told them that you were a Tharu or a Muslim or an indigenous people? Didn’t they attack and beat you by calling you a Madheshi? Didn’t they burn your houses and shops? Didn’t they rape your mother and sisters? Didn’t they burn mosques in Kathmandu? The truth is all Madheshis, whether they are Muslims or Tharus or untouchables or indigenous, are suffering from the atrocities of Pahadis. Whether they are the families of martyrs in Sunsari, or whether they are untouchables of Saptari-Siraha-Dhanusha, or landless of Kanchanpur, Tharu Kamiayas of Dang, or Muslims of Birgunj-Nepalgunj, all of us are suffering from the atrocities of Pahadis.
Nepal receives so much foreign aids and grants. It gets many bilateral and multilateral projects. It announces annual budget and reveals short-term and long-term plans. But what do Madheshis get from these? The ruling class people settle one after another golden cities in the north. They build one after another road, airport, government office, hospital, school and college and factory in the north. They have facilities for internet even in the remotest areas, they distribute laptops in schools. What happens in Madhesh? The ruling class people do not let anything open in Madhesh. Whatever factories, government offices, colleges and hospitals were in Madhesh, they transferred them to the north. They stopped even the running projects in Madhesh and relocated them to the north. Madheshi farmers do not get fertilizers and seeds; the government does not build any irrigation system for them, and does not pay any attention their grievances. Businessmen in Madhesh are discouraged. A staggering number of qualified Madheshi youths are unemployed; the government does not employ them. But even from what we earn through great labour and pain by going to India or Arab-Malaysia or whatever we earn here, the government snatches two-third of it. How? In the name of tax. A bike that costs barely fifty thousands rupees, the government forces us to pay one hundred fifty thousand for it. A car that barely costs two lacs, the government forces us to pay nine lacs for it. So the government snatches our hard-earned seven lacs! What do we get in lieu of that? Bullets and slavery. The government buys arms and ammunition from our money, and unleashes armed police forces and armies upon us. Today tens of thousands of armed forces have been deployed in Madhesh to suppress us. They have been torturing us, imposing Nepali colonial rule, raping our mothers and sisters, killing our innocent brothers, and committing one after another heinous crimes in Madhesh.
Madheshis voted massively to send their representatives to the parliament; the Madheshis parties secured more than expected number of seats in the parliament. But even after having a majority of Madheshis in the Council of Ministers, including having the president, the vice-president, the deputy prime minister, the home minister, and the defence minister as Madheshis, we have been able to do anything at all, and have been loosing even our fundamental rights, not to speak of securing any rights or implementing the agreement done with the government. It is a strong evidence that under the current structure of the ruling class, Madheshis can never get their fair rights. Even a Pahadi peon or a driver does not obey the Madheshi president and ministers, so what change can they bring? Will the army obey a Madheshi defence minister or president, if the command is not favourable to the ruling class?
It is clear that by remaining in Nepal, no form of political change can uplift the lives of Madheshis above the level of slavery and second-class citizens. The old means and the old demands have become stale; they have been digested for decades, and now have come out as faeces, and we have seen, again and again, that they are unable to provide any nourishment to Madheshis. Yet to achieve personal gains and to become ministers, our greedy politicians are trying to feed the same faeces to Madheshis. Is it judicious to feed on the faeces again? No, it’s time to tread in a new direction, to fight for our freedom, to fight for our dignity, to end the colonial rule, and to liberate Madhesh.
Can any other system guarantee the undivided one Madhesh in a long term? The ruling class has been always conspiring to divide and weaken Madhesh. Can any other system guarantee that no more land of Madheshis will be seized and given to Pahadis? If not, the day is not far when whole Madhesh is settled by the immigrant Pahadis and Madheshis are forced to be their slaves. Can any other system guarantee that CDOs and DSPs and other administrators in Madhesh will be Madheshis? If not, the ruling class will continue to rule and exploit us by imposing curfews and storming bullets on us. Can any other system guarantee that no incidence of ethnic cleansing of Madheshis will take place as in the Hrithik Roshan Scandal and the Nepalgunj Attacks? Can any other system guarantee that no villages and houses and shops of Madheshis will be burned by Pahadis? Can any other system guarantee, in long-term, that all taxes collected from Madhesh and a fair share of foreign aids and grants will be allocated to Madhesh? Can any other system solve the problem of the identity and dignity of Madheshis inside and outside the country? Won’t they doubt on our nationality? Won’t we be forced to show our citizenship certificate on streets? Won’t they tell us – ‘You don’t look like a Nepali’? Can any other system withdraw Nepali colonial army, police and APFs from Madhesh? If not, the ruling class can always use their bullets, and force any constitution, any law upon us? The central government can seize all our rights within minutes by announcing the state of emergency. And we, and our mothers and sisters, will be forced to always live under the atrocities of the ruling class. No old demands can solve any of these problems. They can be solved only by ending the colonial rule, by attaining full freedom, by establishing a sovereign and independent Madhesh.
By liberating Madhesh, we will have our nation and identity that will represent our language, culture and lifestyle. We will not be questioned for our identity or nationality. No one will be deprived of citizenship. Hundreds of thousands of Madheshis will get employed by entering into army, police and administration. We will be able to develop Madhesh ourselves. The border relations with India will be facilitated and taxes on the import of machines, motorcycles, tractors, fertilizers, seeds etc. will be removed. Madheshis in the border areas will not have to suffer the atrocities of APFs and armies. There will be irrigation facilities, convenient loan systems, and timely availability of fertilizers and seeds for farmers. One after another employment opportunities and projects will come to Madhesh. Roads, bridges, airports, hospitals, schools, libraries, factories will be build everywhere. All will be employed within the country, but even for those seeking a job outside, there will be a facility for easy loans and provisions for security. Most importantly, we will be no more slaves under a colonial rule; rather we will bask in the dignity of being a free citizen. Therefore it is important that we fight for an independent and sovereign Madhesh.
Our forefathers did not fight, and we became slaves. If we do not fight today, our children will remain slaves. Do we want to give slavery to our children? Would we like to leave our children to die in the hands of Pahadis in ethnic riots? Would we like to leave our children to be victims of racism and discrimination? If we do not fight today, if we suffer the injustices silently today, the ruling class will wipe out our existence. The ruling class would not only abduct our rights, they will wipe out all our traces.
And what is the necessity to stoop like beggars before a cruel government that wants to finish off Madheshis by using its armies and police forces? Madhesh was annexed to Nepal barely two hundred years ago, so what is the necessity to remain as slaves forever? Madheshis required a visa even until 1958, even to enter the Kathmandu valley, and Madhesh had its separate existence. Nepal took the membership of the United Nations on a false ground, violating the rights of non-self-governing territory, and gulped the land of Madhesh. We have to get back that land, that freedom, rather than begging for little trivial things. And also, how many times should we die for the same little things? How many revolutions should we bring just for those trivial things? How many times should we do the same agreement that remains confined on paper? Therefore instead of enduring the storms of bullets again and again from the Nepali Government, we need to fight a final battle, though peacefully, which will liberate Madhesh and Madheshis forever, which will end the conspiracies of the ruling class Pahadis forever. The final decisive battle, for permanent freedom and rights. So this time, we should not stop until we ask ourselves ‘Are we free?’ and get answer in yes. This freedom struggle is not for becoming a parliamentarian, a minister, or a prime minister of Nepal. Rather, we want freedom, which everyone will get once Madhesh is liberated.
(a) Declare Madhesh as a sovereign and independent nation and form Madhesh Government which will take care of the tasks of state transition, administration, holding election and drafting constitution.
(b) Withdraw Nepali colonial administrative structures and administrators from Madhesh.
(c) Withdraw occupying Nepali colonial army from Madhesh and immediately form Madhesh Army.
(d) Withdraw Armed Police Force and Nepal Police from Madhesh, and immediately form Madhesh Police.
(e) Remove all tax collection from Madhesh by Nepal Government.
(f) Return the land seized from Madheshis.
(g) Remove the control of Nepal Government on land, water, forest and other resources in Madhesh.
(h) Take initiatives to open diplomatic and consular offices of the United Nations and other sovereign nations of the world in Madhesh.
(a) Prepare human resources and infrastructures required for an independent Madhesh. (Establish sustainable administrative and physical infrastructures in every districts, villages and wards; Prepare national infrastructures such as national planning commission, think tank, media house, national newspapers, radio and TV channels for Madhesh; Train administrators, army and police.)
(b) Make Madhesh caucus in the parliaments of India, China, USA, UK and other countries and gather international support for an independent Madhesh.
(c) Form the Government of Madhesh, and institutionalise Madhesh as a sovereign nation and establish democratic process and structure in the country.
(d) Issue citizenship certificates and passports of Madhesh
(e) Establish diplomatic relations with other sovereign nations of the world, open diplomatic offices in their countries and request them to open their offices in Madhesh; Establish multilateral relations with world bodies like World Bank, Asian Development Bank etc.
(f) Apply for a membership in the United Nations and establish Madhesh on the world stage.
(g) Obtain the rights for the Madheshis in India according to the Nepal-India friendship treaty of 1950 and further advocate for the privileged rights of Madheshis in India.
(h) Voice against the racism and discrimination Nepal imposed on Madheshis in the International Court of Justice and demand for the compensation; Arrange for lifelong security and support to martyrs’ families, injured ones and others tortured by the state.
(i) Expand the network of Madheshi organisations in the world, and raise awareness about Madhesh and Madheshis in the world.
WHAT IS ‘AIM’?
AIM is an alliance of Madheshi people, activists, parties and various organisations working for establishing an independent and sovereign Madhesh. In the same way as Gandhi and Mandela fought for the independence of their country and finally liberated them, we aim to achieve independence through peaceful and non-violent means. We want end of Nepali colonisation in Madhesh, end of racism, end of slavery and discrimination imposed on Madheshis. We want to institutionalise a democratic and equalitarian system in Madhesh.
WHO LEADS ‘AIM’?
Dr. C. K. Raut leads the Alliance. Born and brought up in Madhesh, he holds a PhD from Cambridge University, UK. He worked as a scientist in the USA, prior to returning to Madhesh in 2011 to serve the cause of Madhesh and Madheshis. He has been also the founding president of the Non-Resident Madheshis Association, which works to promote the cause of Madheshis internationally. He is also the founder of the Injot Movement, an initiative for social transformation targeted at Nepal, Bangladesh and Ethiopia. He is a recipient of Youth Engineer Award, Mahendra Vidhya Bhooshan, Kulratna Goldmedal, Trofimenkoff Academic Achievement Award among others. His autobiography ‘Vairagdekhi Vachavsamma’ is also published (Nepali translation of ‘Denial to Defence’).
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Whether you are a party, an organisation or an individual, first commit to the values and objectives of the Alliance and join the Alliance. Whether you are a labourer or a farmer, a businessman or a banker, a doctor/engineer or a lawyer, an intellectual or an activist, a student or a teacher, a sportsman or an artist, an employee or an administrator, a soldier or a policeman, all sorts of manpower are required for establishing an independent and sovereign Madhesh. Please organise Madheshis at your place or in your profession, form a cell committee for the Alliance, and contact an official of the Alliance. Help build required infrastructures and manpower for an Independent Madhesh. Participate in the Independence Movement. Raise awareness for the Independence Movement.
Sovereign Madhesh, Our Country
We Want Independence, Nothing Less
End To The Nepali Colonisation
Freedom To Madhesh Nation
Down With Racism And Slavery
Down With Nepali Colonisation
Long Live Madheshi Unity