It is very unfortunate that UCPN-Maoist leader Mohan Baidhya and some of his party associates are making provocative remarks regarding the four-point agreement between the UCPN-Maoist and Samyukta Madheshi Loktantrik Front (SMLF). It was signed in the presence of Mohan ‘Baidyaji’. I don’t understand why he backed out from the agreement, which initially originated from his party. There is nothing wrong about it. The four-point agreement is basically related to establishing the rights of the people of Madhesh. One of the objections raised by Maoist dissidents is on the recruitment of 10,000 Madheshis in Nepal Army en masse. Everyone knows that, compared to the current population, the proportion of Madheshis in Nepal Army is very negligible. If Baidyaji sees it justified to include over 10,000 ideologically indoctrinated Maoists in Nepal Army, what is wrong to include Madheshis in the Army? Unlike Baidyaji, we have not demanded that our party cadres should be recruited in the army.
I don’t understand their objection to the compensation for those who attained martyrdom and were injured during the great Madhesh Andolan. If the injured and killed of various other agitations were compensated by the state as a just thing to do, what is wrong with this? It is the mindset of some sections of the people, who always question the loyalty of Madheshi people towards Nepal, that is at work here. Whether it concerned their dress, language or inclusion in security forces, Madheshi’s loyalty was questioned. There is no ground to say that the agreement is anti-national. This kind of charge will hurt the sentiments of the Madheshi people. I would like to warn that these statements will turn the country into another conflict, dividing the nation further. Madheshis cannot tolerate oppression and anti-national charges. We are more patriotic than anybody else.
I challenge the dissenting leaders to hold a public meeting and prove how the four-point pact was anti-national and posed the threat of “Sikkmisation.” Instead, the act of marginalizing the Madhesh that is home to half the population of Nepalis would do no good to nationality.
NC and UML had also supported the four-point pact prior to the formation of the new government. The parties threw up venomous labels such as “Sikkimisation” and “anti-national” out of desperation for having to stay out of the government. The four-point pact was endorsed by the Maoist Standing Committee meeting and was signed in the presence of Baidya. Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa, who is considered close to Baidya, echoed him on the issue. Serious charges have been leveled against the four-point agreement due to the failure on the Maoists’ part to settle their internal differences.
The NC and the UML had agreed on the four-point pact but we signed it with the Maoists because the peace process could not be completed in the leadership of the former two. The dissenting faction of the Maoists had also supported the agreement while the pact was inked.
The allegations against the four-point pact were against political discipline. This is nothing other than a politically orchestrated propaganda against us.
We are neither discouraged nor harassed by such irrational comments of various political forces. We were expecting this kind of reaction from power hungry political parties. I am happy to say that the allegations have further strengthened the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha. Our five party alliance of Madhes-based parties will fight tooth and nail for the avowed cause. Don’t miscalculate that this is just an agreement of leaders of Madheshi political parties. I would like to say that Madheshi people have also supported this and people are behind Morcha and the agreement.
Madheshis have been completely suppressed by Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and other hill based parties for hundreds of years. When Madheshis and Maoists signed the four-point agreement, it has created a panic among them. I want to challenge vice chairman Mohan Baidya camp of the UCPN (Maoist) to prove that the four-point agreement was anti-national. The four-point pact signed between Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) and UCPN (Maoist) before the formation of the new government is the destiny and it will be basic for any new deal in the future. I am confident that this agreement will give justice and equality to all Madheshis.
Maoist leaders who are opposed to the deal are hypocrites. When they signed the agreement on army integration and compensation, that was regarded as nationalist. When we signed a similar deal, they term this as a threat of Sikkimisation. These kinds of statements will create further mistrust and distrust. I would like to question: will Nepal unite without bringing Madhesis in the mainstream? The act of marginalizing the Madhesh, which is home to half the population, is not going to serve Nepal’s national interest and nationality. Although the agreement was supported and backed by Maoist Standing Committee meeting, the failure on the Maoists’ part to settle their internal differences resulted in this posture.
I expected that some Maoist leaders will question the agreement but I never realized that the leaders like UCPN (Maoist) Mohan Baidya and Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal would term the four-point agreement as against the ‘national sovereignty’. I like to challenge Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and Baidya faction to prove the pact as against national sovereignty. The objection on the part of Nepali Congress and UML is understandable as they reacted because they were not included in the cabinet.
But the recent statement from the leaders like Baidya and Thapa is just an outcome of intra-party rift flaring up within Maoists. I would like to warn leaders of so-called mainstream political parties that such comments will bring dire consequences. If the nation ignored the Madheshi people and their issues, they will revolt.
(Gupta, Minister for Information and Communications, is the chairman of Madheshi Janaadhikar Forum-Gantantrik. Excerpts of his recent statement compiled by New Spotlight)