Voice of Madhesi Activists: Challenging the status quo of the dominant civil actors!

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Voice of Madhesi Activists: Challenging the status quo of the dominant civil actors!. Dipendra Jha-Advocate Chairperson: Tarai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRD Alliance). Contents. Introduction Conflict background Hill-tarai gap Client-Patron Relationship - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Voice of Madhesi Activists: Challenging the status quo of the dominant civil actors!Dipendra Jha-AdvocateChairperson: Tarai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRD Alliance)

  • ContentsIntroductionConflict backgroundHill-tarai gapClient-Patron RelationshipHR situation and threat to HRDs in TaraiEJK short movieDisconnection with social realitiesConclusion THRD Alliance

    THRD Alliance

  • IntroductionThe ethnic-caste nexus, client-patron tradition and extreme political polarization limited resources accessSeven to eight percent mainstreaming civic actors have a simple theory of ki ta hamra ki naramra Madhesi are in semi-colonial status and they have to deal with hegemonic homogeneous identity of Nepali nationalismThus, my paper questions the exclusivist Kathmandu centric civic approachTHRD Alliance

    THRD Alliance

  • Conflict BackgroundThe Maoists conflict tapped Madhesi landless, youth, Dalit, and excluded castes in Tarai to fight against landlordsLearning form the Maoists' insurgency, many armed groups with JTMM in the lead started armed movement in Tarai since 2004The foundation that created violence to be legitimized is primarily influenced by identity crisis and exclusion from the state structureMadhes Movement: 22-point agreement, 8 points and latest 4 points have been signed( but psychological, emotional, intentional biasness remain the same)7 points agreement fails to incorporate even a single agenda included in the four pointTHRD Alliance

    THRD Alliance

  • Hill-Tarai GapThere is a pre-convinced notion among Kathmandu based civil society and rights activists that the social actors having Madhesi identity are closer to the armed groups, promoter of separatism and a RAW agentBy birth Madhesi activists are unpatriotic and 'friends of armed groupsKavre killings- national agenda whereas Mahottari killings-Madhesi Madhesi activists have to prove their loyalty every times by condemning violence more loudly, ensure loyalty and have to defame other Madhesi activists to appease for resource accessOtherwise, the door of resource could be blocked at anytime by the mainstreaming actors who serve as a client to the donorsDonors only see those pictures and problems; the mainstreaming actors want to show them.

    THRD Alliance

    THRD Alliance

  • ContinueThe resource access is limited by structures that are either based on family ties, ideological bond or ethnic identity.This is as a powerful weapon to limit resources and opportunities within few hill elitesTo fashion the inclusiveness, the Kathmandu based civil society organizations often include a show piece Madhesi symbolic member The bridging of gap depends upon to what extent the dominant civil society organizations would be ready to share power with the social organizations lead by MadhesiGiving a proportional staking to the powerless can be a cause to delegitimize the status quo enjoyed by the hill centric civil elitesTHRD Alliance

    THRD Alliance

  • The Client-Patron Relationship Donors have manufactured a strong channel of patrons among high-profiled civil elites, mostly Bahuns having hill originGenerally, the funds are channeled either through their patrons or on their recommendationSecondly, the dominating hill high caste elites have the same patron of clientelism functioning at the district and community levelsThese two ways of patron-client relationships are the dominant feature of donors funding to civil society Mafiaed resources within a thin layer of hill centric wealthy beneficiaries marginalizing a large portion of people The intention of donors to channel funding through self-serving elites is, somehow, guided by the notion of underpinning liberal agendas, as the centrists civil actors connect donors interests with the powerful political leaders.

    THRD Alliance

    THRD Alliance

  • Continue.The para-jumping approach of NGOs activities by outsiders in collaboration with the Kathmandu based hill elites has, so far, failed in Madhes More responsive to donors than to beneficiaries.

    One explanation for this failure is outsiders lack of knowledge about local values, culture, languages, social capital and practicesLocals Madhesi are suspicious of outsiders objectives, intervention, conditionality, and coercion IGOs and INGOs should reconceptualise themselves as interlocutors and facilitators not seeing locals as passive recipients or obstaclesTHRD Alliance

    THRD Alliance

  • HR SituationTHRD Alliance

    THRD Alliance

  • Continue.Over 256 killings took place since 2008No taskforce to investigate killings in Tarai has been formed yet though Madhesi Morcha forwarded it as demand in 10 points A total 790 youths have been charged under the Arms and Ammunitions Act, 1962'4.6 New programmes would be undertaken to improve the security of the Tarai Madhes. The misuse of the law by the semi-judicial agencies will be curbed by revising the Arms related laws' 4 points agreement between the UCPN-M Madhesi FrontHRDs face racial discrimination, threats from the security agencies and armed groups, psychological fear and physical threats Mainstreaming actors in Kathmandu use all methods of persuasion, pressure, coercion, power and manipulation to weaken the Madhesi activistsTHRD Alliance

    THRD Alliance

  • ConclusionThe top-down fund distribution is problematic. Kathmandu based civil society elite acting as gatekeepers exclude Madhesi social actorsThe outsider tends to forget the diversity and gaping disparity in powerThe status of the Madhesi social activist has to be transformed from 'users', and 'takers' to 'makers' and 'shapers

    ThanksTHRD Alliance

    THRD Alliance

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