J. K. Goit
Our beloved motherland of Terai is panning through a very critical stage of history. The facts of history are very stringent. The land of Terai, presently under control of Nepal, is not the owned land of king, great king or Nepali. Terai is northern part of ancient city-states like Kaushal, Kashi, Mithila (Bideha), and their city states were initially under the governance of their indigenous people. Par age of time, Sen Karnatak, Mugel emperors, British East India Company and at present non-resident Nepalese have held the governance of Terai respectively.
If we scrutinize the history of Nepal, the present capital city Kathmandu was only a transit point. Outside Kathmandu and in the hilly region there was regional autonomy of each ethnic group/cast formed because of their socio-cultural structure.
Our history has witnessed that different groups of the Hindus escaped from Indian sub-continent and took asylum in western hilly region of Nepal to protect their life from attacks of Muslims. Among these groups of refugee, Sen Group became the rulers of Palpa at first. Mukunda Sen of the Sen Rule occupied the land and he started his rule in the area of Rajpur and Tilpur by paying tax to the Abadh King (NABAB) of Kaushal Janapad. Mahadatta Sen had ruled under the larger area of western terai by paying tax to Abadh Nabab Asfudhaula. In Mithila Janapad, Chief of the army of Chalukya Karnatbanshi, Mr. Nanya Dev had established Tirhut state in 1097 A.D. In 1325, in the time of Harisinghadev, Sultan Gayasudhin Tuglak attacked to the capital of Tirhut Simaraunagadh and captured the land and controlled it. Sen Rulers had also ruled the land by paying tax to the Muslim winners. In the period of 1513 to 1774 AD, Sen Rulers had extended their regime to Palpa, Makawanpur, Chaudandi, Bijaypur, Morang, and others.
Among the group of absconders/fugitives was forefather of present so called King Gyanendra, Bhupal Rao, the king of Chitaud with Rajasthani origin. He had escaped to protect his life from Mugal emperor and had taken asylum in western region of present Nepal. Khamsa Khan and Micha Khan were the two sons of Bhupal Rao. Both of them had changed their title from Khan to Shah. At first Shah killed the Ghale Magar King with conspiracy and pretence, and then started their rule in Liglig of Lamjung. After that they attacked and dismissed the Khadka Magar king by defeating in unfair running competition and captured the state of Gorkha. Then they unified both the states and made one state Gorkha. In 1743 AD, Prithvi Narayan Shah started to extend the Gorkha state by bloody army campaign. Step by step, he attacked and captured various historical republics of indigenous people. In 1768 AD, he attacked to the king of Nepal, Jay Prakash Malla. In the army of Malla king, there were 12000 Tirhutia armies. Tirhutia armies sharply defended against the organized army of Prithvi Narayan Shah. After defeating Jay Prakash Malla, Prithvi Narayan Shah terminated the Tirhutias from army force. After establishing Shah Regime in Nepal, army campaign had extended to eastern terai. In 1774 AD, in addition to army force, King Prithvi Narayan Shah defeated and dismissed to army ruler of Makawanpur by pretence, fraud and conspiracy and captured eastern terai. For extending their rule over to eastern terai like Sen Rulers, Prithvi Narayan Shah had also committed to pay tax to the Muslim emperor. After defeating eastern terai and control over the land, Prithvi Narayan Shah started to terminate the Tirhutia soldiers from his force. Then all the terai people were excluded from the security force. Prithvi Narayan Shah followed an undeclared principle to exclude the terai not only in army force but also from the other high-level key posts of the government. Nevertheless, in his series of campaigns to extend the Gorkha, Prithvi Narayan Shah had included other indigenous people of the states situated in hilly region that were defeated and captured by him, such as Maye, Magar, Gurung etc. and other people of hill areas, to his army force as well as other posts of government. He had started to treat the terai as colony and dominated to the people of terai as slaves.
Terai people made the land of terai fertile by using their blood and sweat, and also fighting against terrible diseases like malaria and other wild animals such as tiger, bear, snakes etc. But those occupied land was snatched from the real owners of the land, who were terai people and was captured and distributed to royal family members, relatives, armies, officers and other employees as gifts, Birta, Math, Jagir etc and terai people, who were the real owners of the land, were compelled to work as land tillers. Like Prithvi Narayan Shah, after his regime, his successors continued the same policy to treat terai people. After the downfall of Mugal regime and rise of British power, Shahbanshi rulers used to gift elephants to British rulers every year as tax which was commutated by article 7 of the treaty of 1801. Up to 1804 AD Shahbanshi ruler of Nepal had extended its territory in Tista River in east, Satlaj River in west, Mountainous range in north and Ganga River in south.
The terai was the major financial source to bear the cost of Nepali Shah Rulers. The fund was supplied from terai to maintain the cost of war in the time of extension of Nepali territory, cost for enjoyment and joy of the Shah rulers and other necessary administrative costs. Terai land tillers had been suffering from cruelty, injustice and inhumane behaviour of Shah Rulers and subjected to monetary exploitation in fulfilling rulers’ interests. In 1814, British East India Company attacked to Nepal from four posts of terai. At that time, terai people, who were victim of exploitation, were preparing to revolt against the medieval cruelty and injustice behaviour of Nepalese rulers. By following the general principle of people’s inalienable right to revolt against injustice and exploitation, groups of unorganized people of east terai helped the East India Company in the war against Shah Rulers in the name of revolution. Shahbansi rulers of Nepal lost that war against East India Company and surrendered. After the end of war, Nepali ruler requested to British East India Company to support the living cost of their employees. Company government agreed to pay two hundred thousands rupees per year to Shah Ruler. Both the party signed in Sugauli treaty on December 2, 1815 and declared the end of war that had been running from 1814. Through Sugauli Treaty, king of Nepal handed over the land east to Koshi and west to Mahakali. He handed over not only his territory but also delivered all his power of foreign affairs to Company government. After that, terai people also got relief from Shah Ruler’s tyranny.
Shah King of Nepal accepted the semi-colonial administration of British East India Company but after some time, in the name of acceptance or approval of Sugauli treaty, Company government issued a memorandum in December 8, 1816 without any consent of the people of terai, who were open supporter of Company Government in the war. By the deceiving memorandum, Company Government divided the terai and provided some part to Nepal such as east to Rapti River, West to Koshi River and north to present Indo-Nepal border. After providing that land, Company government stopped to pay two hundreds thousands rupees to Nepal. To satisfy terai people, Shah King agreed to add one clause in article 7 of the memorandum. According to the clause, “No legal action will be taken after extradition against the people of terai, who were supporters of the British India Company, in the period of war”. Those people, who were involved in revolution, had always expressed their dissatisfaction and disagreement with the decision of British India Company, which was against the spirit of terai people. After getting the territory of terai, Nepali government started to treat the terai people as enemies. In this way, land of terai divided into two parts. Major parts of terai became the colony of British India Company and some part came under the semi colonial state Nepal. In the terai land under the British rule, the ruler and people were from different society. Rulers were English and people were local terai people. The rulers and the people had different social and economic activities. Therefore, there were big practical gaps between rulers and people. The situation was similar in extradited part of terai in semi-colonial state Nepal. The rulers were from different economic and social background of Nepal and people were from different background. Therefore, they also had big practical, social and economic gaps between rulers and people and this problem still exists.
The King of Nepal agreed to appoint British residential representative in Kathmandu offered by the British Government. However, the strong objection of majority of royalist had raised tension in that issue. In June 21, 1840, the Queen made an endeavour to murder the British representative but she could not succeed to carry out the conspiracy. That incident displeased the British Government. After that incident, British representatives had been trying to end the power of the royal palace in Nepal. In September 16, 1846, by inspiration and support of British Government, Jung Bahadur Kunwor murdered a number of senior officers of the royal palace and army who were invited in the occasion of Baved Parba by the Queen. Moreover, he declared himself as the Prime Minister and chief of the army. After that, he captured every part of governance in his grip, and compelled the King to work only as the rubber stamp, and started his arbitrary rule of his family. In 1850 AD, British Government invited to Jung Bahadur in foreign country and was awarded by the Queen Victoria. After the incident, all Rana rulers became the puppet of British Government. Jung Bahadur had gone to India leading his army of three thousand to suppress to Indian people, who were starting their first independent movement, the Sepoy mutiny, which occurred from 1857 to 1859 AD. After the success of the movement, East India Company ended its rule over the Indian Territory. After passing the Indian Administrative Act, 1858, British Queen Victoria started direct rule over the Indian Territory. British government presented some land to Nepal government of western terai such as west to Rapti River, east to Mahakali River and north to present Indo-Nepal border. This land was provided as an award for the support of Ranas to the British Government to suppress the fighters for independence of India. That army created violence by rape, murder, looting, firing and other cruel and inhuman behaviour to the terai people from Gorakhpur to Lucknow to restore the British colony. Nepal Government called that region Naya Muluk (New region). According to the memorandum of 1816 and treaty of 1860 AD, British India Company divided the land of terai from the land to west to Mechi, east to Mahakali and north of present Indo-Nepal broader provided to semi-colonial state Nepal.
After 1861 AD, with Jung Bahadur’s order, people were made to pay money instead of grain as tax. Rana rulers made one rule for people of Nepalese origin and other for people of Terai origin. for example in article (section) 152 of concerning murder, Nepalese from Hills could get bail for Rs.10-25 whereas Terai residents had to pay Rs.100.Moreover, Terai residents had to get permission letter(visa) to visit kathmandu as if they were some foreigners. Only on Mahashivaratri, Terai residents along with Indians were allowed without permit. On contrary, Nepalese and Terai residents did not require permission to enter then British colony. Thousands and thousands acres of Terai land were controlled by Nepalese people in the name of Birta(tax free land), salaries, trust and others. To strengthen the power further, Rana rules appointed locals from Terai as land recorders who acted as Rana’s social representations.
After the independence of India in 1947, Nepal and India signed in “Peace and friendship Treaty 1950″, which nullified all the prior treaties that Nepal made with British rulers. India registered the treaty in UN office with registration number 1302. Also, “Nepal British treaty 1950″ ’s articles states that all treats made between Nepal and Britain prior to 21 December, 1923 were nullified.That means the treates of 1816 AD(After Anglo Nepal war ) and 1860AD were considered void. After the treaty of 1950, on the basis of UN charter’s section 73 , Terai became an (autonomous) region.
However, in 1951, Nepalese rules conspired to displace Terai residents to control Terai land in the name of population distribution. After East India company returned Terai to Nepal, Nepalese rulers wanted their controlled over terai. So, they settled Nepalese people in Terai in the name of (Birta, guthi….) but the population of Nepalese before 1951 was minimal as there was epidemic of Malaria. Every year, 2 million people suffered from Malaria of which, around 10% of victims died. Nepalese from hills feared Malaria .So, Nepalese immigrants were less in number.
But in 1952, to colonize Terai to Nepal, another conspiracy was hatched in the name of Nepalese Citizenship Act. Citizenship is a certificate given to citizens residing within boundaries of a country. Even after Birta in handed over Terai to Nepal, Nepalese were recognized on the basis of onamended Muluki Ain and some questions. Even when Terai was (autonomous), Nepalese Citizenship Act, 1952 was given go ahead and after each day, it was made easier for Nepalese of Hills to obtain citizenship. On December 14, 1955, Nepal became a member of United Nations, on February 24, 1956, UN secretary General (Doug Hemmer Shold) asked Nepalese Government about any land under Nepal that was under section 73 of UN charter. Nepalese representating stayed mum on this matter. When the matter was asked again, Nepalese representate crossed all moral grounds and answered “No”. Nepalese Government sent a letter to UN to conform. (See: UN publication ST/DPI/SERA/73/Rev.1, page 8, 1 April, 1957). So, it is clear from above that Terai is an autonomous region. Nepal has controlled Terai under baseless facts. Until 1958, Terai residents had to get visa to visit Kathmandu.
In 1956, Raghunath Thakur established “Madhesi Mukti Aandolan” to oppose and fight the discrimination and exploitation against Terai residents. He agrued that Terai came under section 73 of UN charter and Terai was an autonomous region. Terai also had every right to make its own foreign policies. He later formed “Madhesi Janakrantikari Dal” to continue Madhesh Revolution. The organizations major objectives were to snatch power from Nepalese government for self governance; to choose capable Madhesis to make thir own army, police and bureauocrats; to hold domestic and international trade of Madhes to Madhesi people; to enforce law made by Madhesis in Madhesh; to give every Madhesi land’s ownership to Madhesi people; to chase away all the enemies who had authority from Madhesh. In sixties, Thakur went to India to meet different leaders to have his say and popularize his movement. He met then President
Dr. Sharba Palli Radhakrishna. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Acting Prime Minister Guljari lal Nanda , Prime Minister Morariji Desai, Agriculture Minister Jagjiban Ram , Home Minister Y.B. Chauhan, Industrial Development Minister Farukhdeen Ali Ahmed, Communication and Parliament Minister Ram Sughav Singh , Minerals and Mines Minister Channa Reddy, Transportation Minister Dr. B.K.R.B. Rao, Rail Minister C.N.Punatha, Law Minister Govinda Menon, Aviation Minister Dr. Karna Singh, Trade Minister Dinesh Singh, Information Minister K.K. Shah , Education Minister Dr. Trigul Sen, Planning Minister Ashok Mehata, Labour and resettlement minister Jai Sukhalal Hathi and other leaders like Dr.Ram Manohar Lohiya, Acharya J.B.Kripalani, MP Mrs. Sucheta Kripalani, Raghunath Thakur also meet with different newspapers editors , ambassadors and Chief Minister of Bihar Pandit Binodananda Jha, CM K.B. Shahaya and distributed his book about Madhesi people. He used to burn patrolmen in his forehead infront of Indian parliament. When asked what he was doing, Thakur replied, “Justice is lost or vanished from India and Nepal. I am in search of it with the help of petromax in the broad daylight” while struggle for Madhesis , he died on june 21, 1981 with rulers’ conspiracy.
In 1960’s to end the discrimination and exploitation against the indigenous people of Western Terai “Terai Liberation Front” was established. As the terai resident were deprived of citizenship and there land were being taken by Nepalese from hills, fighters from Terai Liberation Front to take up arms against the discrimination. They started an armed revolution with guerilla war strategy. Following this, Nepalese government started to kill the leaders of the groups. In June 1963, Nepalese Police killed a leader, Ramji Mishra. Similarly, in august 1967, the chairman of the group, Raghunath Raya Yadav, was shot dead by the Royal Nepalese Army. Also in august 1969, another chairman Satyadev Mani Tripathi was shot dead in Nautunawa , boarder of Utter pardesh. So, 1951, many organizations had revolted with or without arms against the atrocities of central rulers, but each time they were suppressed. The king, parties, organizations, groups’ influenced by sub nationalism and individuals made divide and rule policy in Terai and suppressed Terai people. The atrocities and exploitation from feudalism and colonialism is still going on.
In 1956, Nepalese government started eradication of malaria in Terai with the help of foreign donors. Eradication of Malaria was advertised a lot in order to encourage immigration in Terai by Nepalese from hills. The indigenous people of Terai were displaced from their original land due to different departments, companies, projects and housing companies with resettlement plans. Many towns and cities were created in the name of King and royal family members. In order to weaken the social structure of terai, the state distributed land of terai in Jhapa, Sunsari, Morang, Chitwon, Nawalparasi, Dang, Bardia, Kailali and Kanchanpur to many people with Nepalese origin from foreign places like Assam, Tibet, Banaras, Darjaling, Barma, Bhutan and others. The indigenous people like Satar, Rajbanshi, Tharu, Dhimal, Jhagad, Gangai and others were displaced and they had to go to India for refuge. The Tharu communities in west were illiterate and they had to become kamaiya for life. Kamaiya Tharu community became refugee due to misbehave towards them. Ultimately, they became displaced from their own land. King Mahendra had issued Land Reform Act, 1964. That law had determined the ceiling of ownership over the land but surplus land of property owners had not been distributed to indigenous terai residents, rather it has been used to influence the terai with Nepal. Because of that, they were compelled to leave terai and go to India. To divert the international eye about the Nepalese encroachment in terai, the government said that terai was full of Indian immigrants. The lie was similar to the ones made by Hitler’s Information Minister. In the beginning of ninth decade of twentieth century, Nepal government formulated a committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Harka Gurung to study and to make recommendation with their opinion about international and intra-national migration in terai belt. According to the report of Mr. Gurung, published in 1983, 38% people migrated in terai, among them 31.6% were from hilly area of Nepal,6.9% from Barma, Bhutan, China and India.
After dissolving democratic government in support of army force, King Mahendra issues the Constitution in 1962. At first, chapter of citizenship has been included in that constitution. Article 8 (2) A of the Constitution provided to acquired citizenship to foreign nationals, who can speak and write Nepali Language. As result that foreigner of Nepali origin from different area like Barma, Bhutan, china, Tibet, and different areas of India such as Assam, Arunanchal, Meghalaya, Manipur, Misoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Dargiling, Kharsang, kalingpong, Banarash, Deharadun have been getting Nepali citizenship easily. The indigenous people of terai origin deprived from the citizenship. For the purpose to displaced, make them in minority and to exclude them from mainstream of political, social, economic, language, etc., Nepal government issued Citizenship Act, 1963.
Constitution of 1990, which was promulgated after the restoration of democracy as a result of successful peoples’ movement, where terai peoples were also actively participating, had also followed the provision of undemocratic constitution, 1962 regarding citizenship. That Constitution also provided citizenship to foreigners of Nepali origin easily but indigenous people of terai had been deprived to get citizenship by accusing them as Indian like people of Westbengal, Bihar, UP, Uttaranchal etc. Commission constituted under the chairmanship of Mr. Dhanapati Upadhyay, in 1994, by Nepalese government had got findings that there were 34 lakhs people deprived from citizenship. So, the commission recommended to the government to provide citizenship by easier process. In April 1997, Mr. Bamdev Gautam, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister constituted a Monitoring and Evaluation Committee under the leadership of Mr. Jitendra Dev to provide citizenship according to the recommendation of Dhanpati Commission, 1994 and Mahanta Thakur Working committee, 1995. Citizenship of about 30 thousands terrain people, which was handed over the Citizenship distribution team, distributed according to the committee constituted in 1997 was declared unconstitutional and void by Supreme Court of Nepal. After the order of the court, Government issued special order to the Chief district Officers to stop all transaction of those people, to cease property acquiring through the citizenship and to provide citizenship to the family on the basis of that citizenship. On July 2002, Supreme Court ordered to the people staying and working in Nepal and has not citizenship to get work permit. To work in own motherland naturally shows that they are being tagged as foreigners. It is true that in future they would be declared foreigner and exile them from their motherland. As result, more then 42 lakhs indigenous Terai people have been deprived to exercise their Human Rights and Fundamental freedom as stateless people.
To make simplicity for providing citizenship, an amendment bill of Citizenship Act, 1963 was submitted to 18th session of parliament in 1999. At first the bill was passed by the House of Representative with of one mind of all parties. But because of the objection of CPN (UML) the bill was rejected by the majority members of the National Assembly and returned back to House of Representatives. After the bill return from upper house every other party except ruling party, Nepali Congress with Nepal Sadbhana Party taking neutral stand. NC again passed the bill on July 26, 2000 and sent it to king for acceptance but king Birendra didn’t put his seal on the bill. On February 20, 2001 after 8 months, King Birendra, taking an unconstitutional move, sent the bill to Supreme Court for legal opinion. Supreme Court gave its opinion that the bill was unconstitutional. The bill remained in palace for years. After the royal massacre king Gyandra took the throne. When Mr. Ser Bahadur Deuba became the Prime Minister, using the so called special power, decided to return the bill back from the palace to save the King’s face. In this way, in the name of Nepalese citizenship all the constitutional bodies like Legislature, executive and judiciary along with political parties are conspiring against the indigenous terai people, where as the Bhutanese refugees from Jhapa and Morang are easily getting citizenships.
To control terai, the Nepalese government announced indigenous terai people SITA, JANAK and BUDHA as national heroes but the indigenous people have been chassed away in the name of immigrants like in the Fiji and Mauritius.
In 1947, the British government divided Pakistan and India and freed them. In 1971, the East Pakistan, left Pakistan and became a new state Bangladesh. Today both Pakistan and Bangladesh are independent states. The Pakistani Panjabies are not termed as of Indian origin but as Pakistani themselves. The Hindus in Bangladesh are called Bangladeshi Hindus, not Indians. So, to term sons of terai motherland as Indian origin is entirely unpractical and unscientific. In 1816, the India had not been formed. So, to term the sons of terai motherland as Indians was just a conspiracy to humiliate and chess away the terai sons in coming time.
After the restoration of democracy 1990, Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai was asked during his India visit why madhesis were barred from Royal Nepalese Army. PM Bhattrai counter questioned why Indian Army didn’t admit people of Madhes.
In 1992, during convention of Nepali Congress in Jhapa, then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala announced that the ban on madhesis in army would be removed so that every community would get a share in national security. There had been unannounced ban on Madhesis in Nepalese army since the time of Prithvi Narayan Shah.
It is necessary to point out that Indian army has a Gorkha regiment where many Nepalese get admitted each year. But it has not accepted any one from terai. For e.g, a Thakur from Banauli Mahottari went to Gorakhpur with Nepalese citizenship to apply for Indian army. After he was admitted, the Indian army officials found out that he was of terai origin. So, they terminated him from Indian army where as Rajput Regiment and Yadav Regiment have been established for terai origin Indians. Then why are the Terai sons banned from Gorkha Regiment?
On one hand terai people have suffered the discrimination from India and one the other, they have been the victims of so called Nepalese nationalism and patriotism. Nepalese rulers and administrators have always focused on suppressing and exploiting indigenous terai people. They always provoke other communities against the terai people. They always humiliate indigenous terai people by saying madhesi, madhise, dhoti, Indian, bhaiya and others. This has resulted in mental torture and psychological effect in madhesi victims, but the victims from hills don’t suffer this. Many oppressed group like magar, gurung, tamang, newar, rai, limbu, khumbu majhi, bote, thami, damai, larki, chame, and others can proudly say they are Nepalese but this rights has been taken away from indigenous terai people.
The mother tongue of terai people is termed as foreign language. According to Article 2 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and article 18(1) of constitution of Nepal, 1990, every community has rights to exercise their mother tong. So, Rajbiraj Municipality and Dhanusha DDC decided to use Maithili language officially along with Nepali language but the Supreme Court, on March 18 1998, issued an interim order to stop the use of Maithili language. Maithili linguist Amresh Narayan Jha coordinated the joint struggle committee formed to protect right to use own language. On June 1, 1999, the division bench of Supreme Court decided that no other language could be used as official language except the Nepali language in DEVNAGARI script. The national census shows that Maithili language is second most use language in the country. In the last three decades the Maithili population is increasing in 1.60% where as the Nepali population is increasing with 2.27%. Also the population growth of terai with Mithila Pradesh is 4.5%. If this situation carries on, the maithili speaking terai will be vanished in next 8 decades.
Art and culture naturally determine the direction of social change and development. Our motherland terai boast ancient art and culture like Mithila, Kashi and Kaushal. To adulterate our original culture with Nepalese influence, various temples and houses are being built in imported Chinese pagoda style.
We know from world history and political events that without autonomy, the suppressed group would never get true freedom. After Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) included the problems of terai residents in their agenda and policies, terai residents helped CPN (Maoist) for more then eight years in their armed struggle against the state but again become victims of disparity in the CPN (Maoist) itself.
Instead of positive policymaking and correct exercise of power, CPN (Maoist) started the same old way of centralization and the discrimination against madhesies continued. In the nine years of Maoist insurgency (revolution), only one member of terai region got included in central committee and same was the case with Samyukta Krantikari Janaparishad.
CPN (Maoist), who had the slogan of autonomy, itself appointed Nepalese from hills as district secretaries and in charge in many terai districts. Due to the discrimination against the fighters of terai origin in People Liberation Army (PLA), the fighters who came out of PLA never returned. Because of discriminating policies of CPN (Maoist), not even a squad of 99 members with terai origin could be formed. “Madhesi Rastriya Mukti Morcha (MRMM)”, the terai fraction of Maoist could not lead and be focal point of terai revolution. When the chairperson of MRMM and chief of Madhesi autonomous state, Matrika Yadav, were arrested the group could not even give a small resistant move. Every member of MRMM has moral obligation to resist that. So, many terai origin members of MRMM left MRMM formed an independent group Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) to bring terai revolution back to track.
Terai includes 23.1% of total area of Nepal.70% of total cultivable land is in terai. 74% of paddy cultivation of Nepal is in terai and 80% of cultivable land in terai grows paddy. In 1965, terai’s paddy production ranked Nepal in fifth position in paddy export. Once, jute production in terai was ranked first. Not only the export of agricultural production, the export of forest products also came in top position. 65% of domestic products and 73% of industrial products come from terai. American researcher Fredrick Gaze’s research states that 75% of land revenue, 87% of forest resource, 93% of excise duty and 70% of custom duty come from terai. Terai region contributes around 77% of public revenue for the state. Even when terai is pillar of Nepalese economy, the quality of life has not been raised that much. According to UN development report, 24.44% of terai lower castes people are landless. It further says that 48.98% of terai lower castes are lamdless whereas only 15.32 of hilly lower castes are landless. Per capita income of a terai resident is less than that of hilly resident. A terai resident Rs. 7322 per annum, compared Rs. 8432 of a hilly person. In the same report, unemployment rate in Terai was 6.5% compared to 2.9% in the hills. Average remittance in terai person is Rs. 11178 and in hills is Rs. 20349. According to international standards, 66% are under poverty line, which consists 64% from hills and 68% from terai. And we say terai is more developed. Even when terai is called store of grains, Mishrilal Raya from Mahottari Shripur-7 went to Punjab in search of a job. His 25 year old pregnant wife Shivadevi committed suicide 3 days later together with her 3 year old daughter due to hunger on May 9,2004. In 2005, many people died which included children to elderly in terai due to cold winter. The death rate is very high in terai due to lack of food and clothes. This is what terai suffers in what we call “the digital age”.
After the restoration of democracy, many partied like Nepali Congress, CPN (UML), Rastriya Prajantantra Party, Nepali Congress (Democratic), Nepal Sadhbhawana Party and others came to power. Even when the land ownership limit was decreased down from 25 Bigaha to 10 Bigaha, due to the conspiracies from palace and its supporters, the poor farmers, workers and Kamaiyas are still being exploited.
88% of industrial investments and 99% of labour force in Nepal are based in terai. Around 80% of private companies’ owners are non-Nepalese. The Nepalese rulers, administrators and party leaders trouble the industrialists repeatedly with various reasons just because they are not offered suitable amount of money as bribes. The whole system is conspiring to chase away the non-Nepalese industrialists. That is why the economy of terai is going down day by day, resulting in the decrease in the quality of life in terai. On one hand, the state on the basis constitution and law is exploiting the terai residents financially whereas on other, CPN (Maoist) is looting the terai people in the name of voluntary donations.
In the pretext to control insurgency, Royal Nepalese Army is looting, arresting, killing and raping many innocent and poor terai residents. CPN (Maoist) behavior is not so different from that of army’s. Maoist killed people who declined to give food, shelter and money by accusing them of being government spies. In the name of democratic culture, Maoists want to influence the original culture of Madhes with Nepalese culture. Madhesi people are haunted by violence, killings, rapes and looting from Maoists. Today, thousands of Madhesi people are in state prisons, army camps and Maoist labour camps undergoing mental and physical tortures. Thousands of disabled people and raped women are living in life as hell. Nepalese government and Maoist are both committed to suppress the terai revolution and stop its autonomy. We request you to verify by an independent source that how much Madhesis hate Nepalese rulers and Maoists. When Nepalese rulers and Maoists forcefully stopped every way to liberate terai, we have taken the responsibility to resist them and free terai. British rulers in India divided terai to give a fraction to Nepal. The terai residents in British-India, beginning with 1857, had sacrificed themselves to free India and after 90 years, they succeeded in 1947. They now live freely and with pride. However, for terai residents in this side, their life has been like hell. They live like slaves and outcasts. Terai people’s rights have been suppressed in an organised way. Every cry for freedom has been looked over. So we appeal to international community for help to liberate terai from Nepal and gain autonomy.