Sunday, February 24, 2008

Madesis: A Larger Issue

Madhesi woman looking towards India for instructions on what to do next.

When the April elections do not occur, Girija will blame the Madhesi conflict. Consider Sher Bahadur Deuba in the past. He blames Maoists, students, royalists and just about everyone but SPA everytime the government bungles an election attempt. Take his utterances as a barometer of parliamentary philosophy: you can always point the finger at some other group to cover for your incompetence.

One Madhes? What does it mean really? Do the Madhesis think they can go it alone as an autonomous region? There is NO group in Nepal that would take such a stand simply because a government is not funtioning--Nepalis just generally don't care enough about government to jeopardize their daily lives by proclaiming independence and issuing demands.

What can it mean then? blogdai thinks the Madhesis have some powerful friends as motivators. Never one to dismiss a conspiracy, blogdai has noticed an upswing in Madhesi agitation and demands since Constituency Elections started to be taken (relatively) seriously by the government.

Hmmm. blogdai smells a rat. Let's digress, shall we? Constituent Assembly elections, if they are successful, are a sure path towards greater national unity and independent government thought. Hmmm again. Who, as we've mentioned many times in the past, would cringe at the thought of an independent-thinking Nepal? Who would much rather see an unstable Nepal and who has the ability to instigate instability through indirect support of the Madhesi movement?

That's right, children, India!

The bottom line is: the Madhesi movement has probably received some big promises from big brother in New Delhi. No tribal or ethnic group in Nepal would be this bold otherwise.

India's former tool of the trade: The Maoists are now untouchables on the world stage and Prachanda has shot his babbling mouth off one too many times against the Indian government; so now, blogdai believes, Delhi is chipping away at our southern border through the agitating Madhesis. Their demands are impossible and one can only see a desire for confusion and chaos in their dealings with the government. If you are seeking a representative voice, why ask for postponement of an election process that would give you that voice?


It is learnt that though the government and the UDMF were close to striking a deal today morning following discussions that started from yesterday at 9 pm and went till the wee hours of the morning, it couldn’t happen because the latter started shifting the goalpost from greater autonomy by declaring entire Madhesh as “one state” to further amendments in the interim constitution and postponing the election in a way that they would be able to take part in it.

If the Madhesis were serious about National unity and fixing not only their own problems, but those of Nepal as a whole, they wouldn't be striking out in their own Quixotic direction. If they don't want to be a part of Nepal, what do they want to be a part of?

Think it over



At 1:14 AM, February 27, 2008, Blogger Yagrokiller said...

I think it's quite obvious that the Madhesi representatives are not serious about any political compromise. Constant shifting of demands clearly points to their lack of interest in an immediate solution to this standoff. This certainly adds some weight to the theory that big brother down south has lent support.

While accepting that there are definitely larger forces at play here than are immediately apparent, I think its too simplistic to assume that the whole Indian establishment is always out to get us. Yes, any strong and independent government in Nepal would not be too welcome in Delhi. But I'm sure the lack of any law and order would also have some worried. Our open borders do mean that a constant breakdown of order would not be in the long term interest of India. For one, they'd be worried about Pak influence.

So yes, while it is almost certain that there are Indian forces behind the shifting Madhesi stand, and while instigating chaos and instability in Nepal may be a tactical move now, I don't think that is the goal in itself.

At 3:14 PM, February 27, 2008, Blogger Tor Hershman said...

You know, Joseph Campbell was an excellent historian and a wonderful speaker but a dreadful philosopher and a worse scientist.

You have a most interesting blog.

Stay on groovin' safari,

At 6:28 AM, February 28, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

I've always seen Joseph Campbell as a cultural synthesizer.

While he may not articulate in perfect Obama prose, he's convinced blogdai that all religious and mythological histories have more similarities than differences. Therein lies Campbells gift: The ability to stare religious passion and bias straight in the face and find commonality.


At 2:06 AM, February 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Normally I enjoy reading your stuff Blogdai but on this occasion it was a bit disappointing that you had to resort to tabloid journalism. An otherwise interesting blog appears to have descended into an obsession with Koirala and now the Indians.

Its a shame.


At 8:16 AM, February 29, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

Had you been a regular reader you would have known that it is not just "now" that I've been obsessed with Indian control; It's been over 3 years now.


At 9:39 AM, February 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope, been reading this blog since the day you promised to try and contact friends in Nepal when there was a media blackout -only you didn't do it then and you didn't do anything with your letter either.

Still, I enjoy your viewpoint but its quite obvious that you have an idealogy that has been getting in the way of your analysis -particularly since the SPA took control again.


At 12:45 PM, February 29, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

Didn't do, didn't do, didn't do.

Such a level of absolute certainty tells me about your level of comprehension and reasoning skills. It would be useless to ask you to prove your assertions because proving is not the point to you, is it?

You need a school-boy's sense of emotional tribalism in order to get engaged to an issue or discussion. Your beliefs lie among the polar extremes of an issue. "Blogdai's letter campaign didn't effect ME so it must have been a failure." blogdai never asked MY relatives for information during a blackout, so it must not have happened."

Since you are painting opinions in broad simple strokes, I'll paint one as well: You have neither read this blog nor comprehended the issues it seeks to address.

blogdai most certainly does have an ideology; more accurately, a viewpoint. SPA and jana andolan were a disaster from the start. I was there, i saw what happened. the King is a bufoon but would have done no worse than Girija and his clowns are doing now.

If I have a bias against corrupt, ineffective governance, I'll stand by my bias. I make no apologies for such biases clouding my analysis because, as it has turned out, the bias I've brought to the table has been, on the whole, validated.


At 4:34 PM, February 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to Blog Dai.

I was one of those people who was seeking the whereabouts of a loved one in Nepal. My husband was in a monastery somewhere near Boudinath(?). I used this blog and was given good information that all of the spiritueal "tourists" at the monastery were safe and in good spirits. How dare you speak so critically about something that you obviously no nothing about. It was no life saving event, but Blog Dai's efforts gave me a little peace of mind.

At 4:42 PM, February 29, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

Thanks. I remember you, I think. Are you the woman from the eastern U.S.?

No it was no large scale effort, but using our contacts to find people in Nepal helped launch this site 3 years ago. All in all, we made successful contact with 46 individuals.

Next. Would you like to see my letter from "The Economist" regarding our letter campaign?


At 12:43 AM, March 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He who protests to much...

1. Your response to criticism is always that the other person 'doesn't understand' when it is clearly the case that you can not swallow factual information that also happens to be critical of you.

2. Your letter campaign was a big failure. You hyped it up on this blog and not a single media outlet in Nepal touched it. Not that I can see., my friends of my colleagues at Kantipur. It might have been published outside our country but I don't see how this helps NEpali people.

3. You really didn't contact loved ones during the media blackout -it was a lie to gain to attention. I suspect the person who posted in your support is YOU. Is it coincidental that your posts should be separated by 10 minutes when most of your comments are separated by a minimum of hours?

4. This is a blog. Your views are interesting but no one in Nepal knows who you are or more importantly your work. Your views are predominantly read by foreigners and Nepalis living abroad -unimportant to the political situation here.

5. You are not living in Nepal and I believe that the reason you are hiding your true identity is because you are not even Nepali. But you pretend like you are and that you are in Nepal but the signs are that you are in the USA.

I wouldn't normally say this but you are so arrogant to go around pretending that your view is some how important. It is interesting but it is not important. Perhaps this why you are so blatantly jealous of Koirala?

Goodbye, this is the last time I post on your blog.

At 6:16 AM, March 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Jealous of Koirala" says a lot about the perspective of the last poser, Blogdai. Kind of self-damning, isn't it?

At 6:41 AM, March 01, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

Criticism, we love here at blogdai.

Calling emotion-based comments "factual" and building an argument around them is childish and deserves at least one rebuke from moi.

Part of our function here at the offices of blogdai is to show some tough love to those who cannot seem to grasp reasonable commentary, synthesize it, and provide a compelling counterpoint.

It has been a maddening effort, to be sure. Generally, like the poster above, an unfounded position is rigidly adhered to, called "factual" and defended past all reason. It is a never ending struggle.

(Sigh) here we go:

1. To call something "factual" you have to provide supporting documentation, get it? It has to be a fact beyond your simple proclamation that it is so.

2. Again, as above. Just because it didn't happen in your area, it must have been a failure. How sad. We were contacted by The Economist and were briefly picked up by the wire services. Now, compared to doing nothing, I'll take the world's attention for a few minutes if it draws attention to Nepal. You must have noticed how the use of the term "no confidence" had increased among government critics immediately after the issuance of our letter where the term was displayed prominently. Underestimate nothing.

3. Again, ridiculous. Were you a person seeking contact with a loved one? We did make contact with 46 individuals and yes, failed to make contact with roughly the same amount, so all i can guess is that your limited sphere of interest is taking hold again and we failed to contact your loved one. If the pattern holds, we failed to impact YOUR immediate needs so the whole thing was a failure, right?

We've also had our staff check the time logs. They stopped after finding over 100 instances where blogdai, anons, and other registered poster's comments were determined to be less than 4 minutes apart. You are right! This is a blog and it is dynamic. many people can be online at once and post at the same time. blogdai fraud! yep, it's "factual" you'd opine.

I am saddened that you will no longer visit this blog. It is my hope that you develop a better level of communicative criticism and return refreshed and clear-headed.


At 8:05 AM, March 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...


There is no WE, it is all YOU.

Blogdai is one man with an internet connection living in the USA.

Using anonymous comments to support yourself is also a bit dumb.


At 1:21 PM, March 01, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

No, it is me and my Shih Tsu and we live in France.


At 1:58 PM, March 01, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

We have a brand new five point agreement between Girija and the Madhesis.

You guys missed your chance at criticism here because it seems, for now at least, that the Madhesis want to participate in the CA elections.

Any Girija supported(fill in the blank)-point agreement opens up a can of worms. These madhesis won't tolerate the usual ignoring of agreements that we see all the time from this administration. Do we remember the Maoists, what was it, 32 point agreement, or some such nonsense as that; how much of that got implemented?

This is playing with fire. madhesis will torch their corner of the country and run to india once they realize Girija has no intention of implementing anything. blogdai almost guarantees this agreement was a stalling tactic from the administration. Just put off the madhesis indefinitely. Maybe get them agitated again just before elections so you can cancel the whole thing. Right SPA?


At 3:28 PM, March 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All indications are that our dear Blogdai is covering his(?) ass on that last entry.

Had India been as deeply involved as you say, happy faces emerging from negotiation would not have been the reality.

Then again, we dare not believe this solves the problem lest these Madesi instigators take to the streets once again. Perhaps it really is part of some evil Indian plan....

At 7:09 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

And now, right out of India's playbook (negotiate in good faith but play all sides of an issue at the same time) Madhesi leadership officially casts doubt on the ability to hold CA elections.


At 7:15 PM, March 04, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

Such a nice series of talks the government had with the Madeses.

I love the predictability. Negotiate in good faith. But good faith means you disparage your negotiated position at the first opportunity.

yes, it is so wonderful that we are all in agreement. But we can almost count on these shell agreements as precursors to practiced retraction.

Why negotiate if your gains are immediately nullified by your subsequent statements to the press?

Play all sides, says blogdai: the India way.


At 8:36 AM, March 11, 2008, Blogger Maimaicha said...

i heart you blogdai.... marry me!!!

At 10:09 AM, March 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good post blogdai,
I do not post regularly on this blog but whenever i do i usually don't take your side, i comment on you rather than the post. But i think your last two posts are very good.
Well i believe(know) india funded most of the terai agitation, well if anyone in Nepal wants to verify this fact you can go to birjung, to the indian consulate and investigate their spendings, i think you will find lots of politicians in terai who have been repeatedly paid by the consulate. And i think it is the south block that is behind this and not the RAW.
I think you are very correct when you say that specially parsa, rautahat and some other districts in terai will burn because girja never ever delivers on an agreement(promise).
See as a nepali i have a self interest to serve and i am not very shy about it. We all talk about equal ethnic representation and anyone who questions that is termed racist or feudal. But i would like to know how can a leader of a country agree with people who at times even talk about dividing the country. The people that are making noise in terai make no sense to me, i mean karnali doesnot ask to be a independent region but these madises do that because they can walk to india. They deliberately provide safe heaven to indian criminals and loathe the country when a businessman gets kidnapped by the same criminals. And we are to let them rule the part of our country where we have all the industries just because they think they can.
To tell you the truth blogdai, i have lost my confidence in democracy. I mean i understand india is quickly becoming a major force in the world but i don't want to be an indian, i don't want to be bullied by indians. I am just sad that we as a nation have failed.
We need a good dictator or i am marrying an american.


At 4:49 PM, March 11, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

Thank you Sankalpa for your heartfelt comments.

It's probably not democracy that you don't like, it's those self-centered fools running our country that misuse the term for their personal gain. blogdai can fairly well be certain that anyone in the public eye today in Nepal has no idea how a real democracy functions. If you here a politician use the term, ignore it as an attempt at world appeasement.

We've said it here since day 1, democracy takes work and needs constant government and citizen participation and monitoring. Seen any of that in the Terai lately?

Nepal needs to establish ORDER first. Once faith in government, perhaps through an election process, is restored; and maybe, just maybe if politicians and the like stop thinking about themselves for once, something like democracy can flourish in Nepal.

But we are too far from any of that now.


At 12:21 PM, March 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 3:35 PM, March 12, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

Thanks, can I get it creamated at Pashupati and scattered in the Bagmati?


At 5:46 PM, March 13, 2008, Blogger blogdai said...

Can't help but come back to Sankalpa's thoughtful comments.

Madhesi activism stems from it's proximity to India. Why would they jeopardize their standing in Nepal if they didn't get a nice deal from big brother. India is culturally compatible with the Madhesis and it would be just a nice little stroll for Terai residents to start calling Delhi "master."

Again, culture and geography play a big part in Madhesi boldness. It's just as easy for them to be Indians as Nepalis.

Now, we don't see residents of Dolakha, let's say, causing a ruckus because bigger brother China will cover their asses, right? Nope, the geography of the Tibetan region coupled with a Nepali's natural abhorence with chinese mannerisms nixes that concept, eh?


At 11:50 PM, March 31, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What can we expect when stupid like Girija and Makune rule the country based on family and relatives' support ? The day will come even Chettri will start to demand their places in political powers.

At 9:41 PM, August 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

blogdai blogdai blogdai you are the best blog i have ever gone through, you do what's right, wonderful keep it up love to read your blog.

At 9:51 PM, August 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

madhesis india sided, maoist china sided what about the rest, these frequent nuts so called politician are gonna push back Nepal to the stone age, people in the rest of the world are moving forward, but we are going back from day to day,King Prithvi Narayan shah, combined the scattered kingdoms and build this nation which is never ever under foreign occupation, the power hungry nuts are acting as faitful dogs of foriegn masters, you can ask the tibetians how miserable is life under others, you can ask the southern neighbour how was life when they were under british rule, politician think of your country, oh i was wrong they dont have internet access.

blogdai i salute you and your blog.



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