Madhesis, Janajatis announce tactical alliance for struggleMadhesi parties and fringe Janajati forces have announced a tactical alliance to launch a joint struggle against the constitution that, in their words, curtails the rights of indigenous and marginalised communities.
Madhesi parties and fringe Janajati forces have announced a tactical alliance to launch a joint struggle against the constitution that, in their words, curtails the rights of indigenous and marginalised communities.
The parties, which plan to start a nationwide protest under the banner of Sanghiya Samabesi Gathabandhan (SSG) later this month, have also put a long list of demands before the government.
The SSG, which primarily constitutes allies of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha and other Janajati groups affiliated with the Adivasi Janajati Rastriya Andolan (Ajra), also unveiled a common framework for joint struggle on Monday. There are 26 political and civil society groups in the Gathabandhan.
“This alliance is sure to take identity movement to a new height. Our fight will not stop until the government agrees to rewrite the constitution in accordance with the past agreements signed with the Madhesi, Janajati, Dalit, Khas, Muslim and other communities,” Saghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav said during an interaction organised in the Capital on Monday.
Yadav accused the major parties of curtailing the rights ensured in the Interim Constitution. He alleged it to be a design to disenfranchise the marginalised and excluded communities of the country.
Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur said the ongoing movement was a struggle of all the marginalised and excluded communities. He said the protest was against the “rulers”, adding that the protesters were committed to communal harmony.
“Our struggle is not against any community. Our struggle is against the state. We are fighting for equality and justice,” said Thakur.
SSFN Secretary Parshuram Basnet told the Post that the SSG affiliates would hold a meeting on Tuesday to chart out the programmes of protest and their further moves.
“We still believe that this crisis should be resolved at the political level. It would be really unfortunate if the government continued to sideline our demands. We are open to negotiation on the contentious issues if the government shows some seriousness,” said Basnet. He added that the protests would be Kathmandu-centric and peaceful.
Representatives of more than 26 parties and ethnic groups including Khas communities addressed the interaction programme. Intellectuals, writers and civil society members also spoke at the function.
Cross-party leaders said the collaboration between the Madhesi and Janajati groups would prove effective in mounting extra pressure on the government to fulfil their demands. Both the Madhesi and Janajati groups have been demanding delineation of provinces based on identity and greater autonomy for the excluded communities. But some demands of the Madhes-based parties, especially that for two provinces in the plains, contradict the demand for Limbuwan, Tharuhat and Magarat states.
However, with the three largest parties in Parliament—Nepal Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist)—enjoying considerable influence over the Janajati constituencies, there are doubts whether the new alliance would be able to garner enough public support due to a sharp division among the indigenous communities along the party line.