About two hundred thousand Nepali students on Friday came out to the Ring Road streets in the Kathmandu Valley demanding their right to life and education in the light of the three-month long Madhesh protests that have been violent and anarchic. The major demand of the Madheshi protesters is that their territories bordering India must be exclusive Madhesh provinces, without inclusion of hilly Aryan and ethnic groups.
Since India has apparently backed the Madhesh movement and has continued its economic blockade against Nepal for more than two months, the students have asked India to respect Nepali children’s right to life and education. They have strongly demanded that India stop interfering in Nepal’s internal affairs. They chanted, “Respect Human Rights” and “While nearly four dozen people have died due to violence in the Madhesh, educational institutions have remained closed for three months.
Nepal’s parties remain silent so far with no clear-cut strategy to cope with the severe humanitarian crisis arisen out of the Indian blockade and Nepal’s over-ruling domestic black market forces. However, ordinary people warn parties that there be no surrender to Indian bullying.
India had imposed a similar blockade against Nepal in 1963 when Nepal, in agreement with the People’s Republic of China, began to construct Araniko Highway for an access to the Chinese Autonomous Region of Tibet. India imposed a similar blockade as Nepal removed the Indian military posts from the Nepali territory in 1969.
The longest blockade India has ever imposed against Nepal was in 1990, when Nepal purchased some modern weapons and military tanks for the Nepal Army to update themselves for UN Peacekeeping Keeping services. It was a 13-month long blockade. The Nepali Congress Party and ‘Communists’ (they are unpredictable and have been broken into more than two dozen fringe groups now) during a democratic movement in 1990. The opposition parties then had praised the Indian blockade.