Sadhya Bahadur Bhandari, Central Secretariat Member, Jan Morcha-United Front, Nepal
Mr. Sadhya Bahadur Bhandari is a central secretariat member of Jan Morcha-Nepal. Mr. Bhandari is also the coordinator of the Janmorcha task force on Nationalism. He is at the moment passionately involved in exploring unlawful/illegal citizenship distribution by the government in the recent past which he claims as to have been done in haste by the seven party alliances in the establishment.. We at this paper have had an opportunity to talk to this gentleman last week. Below the results: ed.
TGQ1: What is the reason for the Terai revolt? And how have you been analyzing the inundation problem in Terai? Your valuable illuminating comments please!
Mr. Bhandari: There are some specific reasons behind the Terai revolt this time. Mainly it is the age old class exploitation that is the root cause, as I see it. The exploitation, of the Indigenous groups of Terai such as Koche, Meche, Jhangad, Rajbanshi. Chidiyar, Dusadh, Tatma, Batar, Kahar, Mushar, Dome, Chamar, Mahut and Yadhav, Sah, Teli and others who are the real Nepalese, at the hands of handful immigrants originating from India is the real cause for revolt. Most of these Indigenous Nepalese in Terai are poor, homeless, and exploited to the hilt. Unfortunately the power belongs to these immigrants from
The trend of acquiring Nepali citizenship by the non-Nepalese to capture the resources in Madhesh thus forcing the locals to be displaced, the indiscriminate and the continued encroachment of the Nepali Terai by the Indian side with the support of the military, the irrigation-problem, the inundation problem due to the illegal dam construction again by the Indian side, the presence of Indian security personnel right inside the Nepali Territory and their presence aiding indiscriminate killings, abductions, ransom, lootings and above all Nepal Government’s silence towards such activities have finally contributed to the happenings of the episodes of Lahan, Gaur, Kapilvastu and Nepalgunj to happen frequently. Many more could be in the pipelines…..
To talk on the issue of Inundation in Terai, there are basically six points I would like to mention.
First, all along the 1808Kms long Nepal-India border there is the encroachment of the Indian side into the Nepali territory. Such act of threatening Nepali sovereignty by
Secondly, the unequal treaty of 1956 between India and Nepal, wherein India was allowed to enter 30 Km inside the Nepali territory, thus within few years time Indian forces had entered Bhairahaba, Nepalgunj, Kanchanpur, Dadeldhura, and along 18 points- close to Nepal-Tibet border inside the Nepali territory. Similarly, the treaties of Gandak, Koshi and Mahakali allowed Indian side to use Nepali water for free leaving the Nepali side in drought during the cultivating season. How sad! More 2.3 million hectares- of Nepali lands face water shortages. Thus, the issues of West Seti, Electric export, and the treaties of 1950, 1965, 1990 prove that
Thirdly, there is the river linking project.
It is the 12,500 Km long network of 37 different rivers from
Thus plans are to bring water from the Northern side of
Fourthly, the problem is the Military Gherao. Since last five years,
Surprising it is to know that along the Indo-Nepal border in the 1500 Km distance there are 65 battalions of soldiers however, along the 4069 Km of Indio-Bangla border there are only 50 battalions.
Fifthly, a data by the Indian ministry of Foreign Affairs reveals that until 1980 there were more than 38 Lakhs Indian immigrants living in
Sixthly, it is the citizenship issue and the cultural exchange between the two countries. In the referendum of 1980, the then prime minister Surya Bahadur Thapa in a bid to protect the Panchayati Raj included the names of the Indians in the voting list. Since the 12-Point agreement was made between the Maoists and the SPA leadership,
And the government’s decision to award more citizenship certificates to more migrants from
TGQ2: The postponement of the Constitution Assembly Election yet again, do you still see
Mr. Bhandari: The fault clearly lies among the political parties for the poll postponement. The royalists may not want the elections to be held on time but this does not mean they have become successful in foiling the elections. The problem is clearly is an internal one which is related to the inefficiency of the parties in alliance.
And there is no environment for polls at all. In the western region there are the demands of the Tharu, and the Kamaiyas to be addressed. The demands of the Indigenous/janajatis are yet not fulfilled, the Terai is burning and above all the security situation is not congenial for the polls. The government itself is not serious for the CA elections. The SPA supreme leadership is not in the government and among the current cabinet members there is no one totally committed for the polls. Only the NC leadership is in the government structure, pity it is that they do not want polls. In fact, the NC was never prepared for the elections. The Maoists with no concrete reason are facing criticisms for the polls postponement. In reality it is the government and the SPA leadership in all that is responsible. Finally, I do not see the current leadership conducting CA polls successfully.
TGQ3: You have been of late criticizing the
Mr. Bhandari: There are few points in the 12-Point Agreements that need applauding.
However, later it was understood, that the 12-Point Agreement was made possible only with the direct intervention of the Indian rulers of the likes of Sita Ram Yechuri, Shyam Sharan, S.D.Muni, Ashok Meheta. M.K.Rasgotra, A.Sehgal, D.P.Trtipathi, and K.V.Rajan. Public acceptance of Comrade Prachanda that the agreement was made on
The fact that the UNMIN (UN Mission in
Presently, it is known to all that Excellency Girija Prasad Koirala has been sheltering a South-Block agent right at the PM’s official residence. His job primarily is to provide counseling service to the Eight Party Leadership, facilitating the NC and the Maoists to come to terms on several diverging stances, to convey decisions made by our cabinet to the South-Block and seek directives from there on each and every political issue that are our internal ones. It is also revealed that his job is to aid the Terai uprising being manipulated right from
All these I see as a revival of what happened in 1950s. In those days in a cabinet meet or in the King’s secretariat, respectively Chandreshwor Narayan Singh (Indian Ambassador) and Govinda Narayan Singh (Indian citizen) used to be present on a regular basis. At present, Mr. Amresh Kumar Singh represents
In 1950s, the Communist Parties, more so Comrade Pushpa Lal protested against such Indian necked intervention. However, the same but some what “nouveau” communists in
There are very few who understand this side story of the 12-Point Agreement, nevertheless the mass is growing and being fully aware of all these. It is time that the mass must be told of all that made the 12 point agreement possible under the aegis of New
TGQ4: How do you view the Maoists quitting the government first and forwarding the 22-Points Demands immediately after that? Do you see such a Maoist act aiding the Monarch instead?
Mr. Bhandari: I see that the Maoists have left the government structure only to propagate their 22-Poiints demands among the public. The demands are sensible as well, for me. If you analyze deeply it is the Nepali Congress that forced the Maoists to quit the government and to raise those demands. It is the NC hegemony to capture the Prime Minister ship, Ministries of Defense, Home and Finance that is the cause of Maoists quitting the government. From the NC leadership it was getting impossible to think that the election could have been conducted free and fair. It is true that if elections are not conducted immediately, King could benefit a bit but in the backdrop that he is already sidelined I do not think that it will affect that much in the long run.
I do not see that there is a Palace-Maoist nexus in foiling the elections. It is rubbish allegation. It is only the NC that is responsible for all these set back.
TGQ5: Why is this hullabaloo after General Ashok Mehta’s remarks on the possible deployment of Indian Army in
Mr. Bhandari: Gen. Mehta’s remarks that “the deployment of India Army in
If one remembers in 1990, the then India’s foreign Secretary S.K.Singh had forwarded a proposal to King Birendra that said if Nepal’s Security and Foreign Affairs were handed over to India, the uprising would be crsuhed immediately.
Similarly, in 1997 K.R Malkani even said
Few Years back Ashok Mehta when visited
In a Track-II meeting sponsored by the South Block the issue of Indian army deployment again cropped up. Latest is the BBC interview of Gen Mehta wherein he reaffirms this long standing belief of the Indian ruling class. In reality, he has spoken the truth; the South-Block has officially lied by claiming that his remarks were personal.
Finally, his statement is a direct threat to the Nepali sovereignty and its independence. This has hurt the Nepali people.
For me this Indian intervention is the result of the open slavery by our own leaders to the Indian expansionists, following to their directives on our internal affairs, keeping mum over the issues of continuous land encroachment, unequal treaties, illegal dam construction, and Indian criminals creating havoc in Nepali Terai among so many issues.
The Terai has become the break point of the Nepali nationalism. To safeguard the Nepali Nationalism, the Terai has to be given the top priority. However, the government is not serious on this.
Our boundary is being encroached day in day out. Those encroached lands must be brought back. The open-border must be closed. A simple visa system must be enacted; the Indian immigrants should get a work permit with an up-to-date record management system. Their security must be guaranteed.
The unlawful destruction of citizenship certificates must be examined. Unequal treaties must be annulled.
The illegal dam constructed by