Who Am I ?
Nepalese of Indian origin, or Indian of Nepalese origin or Bihari ??
Who is asking the question ? This becomes very important because this is also very important question. If a person asking this question is next to my house then the question can be very interesting. But the person asking is from far land then I can only say in one word “Nepalese of Maithil origin”.
If the person is my neighbour then I would like to re-frame this question and wants to challenge them, if you have fire in the belly and you have guts then, search and prove it. I opening declaring “I am Nepalese of Maithili Origin”.
Let me talk about the Mithila. Word originated from Miti, a age old Saint, from whose name the kingdom Mithila was named. It is same Mithila where King Janak, father of Goddess Sita (Heroin of Hindu epic Ramayana), had their rule. The Mithila in the modern history is have good history from 10th century onward . It is the period when Maithili language was born, at the same time when other Indian subcontinent languages like Bangali, Hindi, Oriya, Gujraji, Marthi was evolving.
Modern Mithila Kingdom had its presence as different names. Some time Mithila, Some time Tirhut, Some time Makwanpur and so on. The ancient geography of Mithila region stretched from Koshi river, to Ganga river to Himalaya to Braj bhumi.
In the modern history of Nepal during Mallas dynasty, people were Maithili speaking, and most of the kings were writer too. Many of the literature of Maithili are today available in Maithili in library in Kathmandu.
Makwanpur in its time was the most prosperous Kingdom of the region. Makwanpur had its origin even before the Nepal kingdom was born. King Prithivinarayan Shah (The founder of Nepal) was quite intelligent and married the Princeses, Sri Chautaria Maharani Indra Kumari Devi, of Makwanpur. The King at that time was Sri Sri Sri Maharaja Hemkarna Sen, Maharaja of Makwanpur. In this way Prithivinarayan shah was able to integrate Mithila region, belonging to Makwanpur, to the modern Nepal.
And with this integration, Sri Maharaja Hemkarna Sen, Maharaja of Makwanpur and Prithivinarayan Shah wrote a history whose undesirable consequences are seen today.
Though Makwanpur was integrated in Nepal, its integration was just Geographical. The cultural and historical(past history) integration has never occured. People of Mithila Kingdom were never accepted in the mainstream of Nepal. They were never given the administrative power. The result is today’s divided psychology of Nepalese. People of then Makwanpur kingdom are treated as “outside” in decent term. But many other terms are given to these people. To list some of them, Madhesia ( Means People of Madhyadesh, land between Himalaya and mainland Indian Subcontinent), Terai Basi ( People leaving in Terai region, term given by English people during their rule), Nepalese of Indian origin (term used by most of the non-maithil people of Nepal), Indian of Nepalese origin ( as Govt of other country other than Nepal treats), Bihari ( Gautum Budha Started their journey from these places, Bihars become the associated name with these lands).
In the name of the National structuring, and whatever you can say( a long term discriminating vision or planning of the state), lands from Maithili were taken some 50 years back and distributed to non Maithili of Nepal. In this way Govt did good job in creating more harmony among the peoples of Maithili and non-Maithili. Once the productivity of fertile soil of Mithila was know to others the density of non-Maithili continued to grow. Non-Maithili and the Govt made very good arrangement and maithils started being neglected even on their own land.
Gradually the time came when Maithili were labeled as “Nepalese of Indian Origin”. Now the so called “Nepalese of Indian Origin”, is being asked to return back to their state. I am asking which state ? Makwanpur or Mithila, or India. Was is not a long term strategic vision of state and the people for giving the tag “Nepalese of Indian Origin”. Line “People of Indian origin” is mostly used for NRI( Non Resident Indians, whose forefather had once lived in Indian Land. Now the question is what should Maithils do with the tag ” Nepalese of Indian origin “.
Should the Maithils, the people of Makwanpur kingdom, now start asking the question ” Where they are from” ?; “Where is their origin?”; “Where should they now start to go?”, or “What should be their demand from the current state ?” If Kingdom and Non-Maithils are listening, I am demanding, return back their Old Makwanpur Kingdom. People will be manage to live with their Makwanpur kingdom. They will try to become happy with what they are left with.
And the time will surely come when people will start raising this question,Where is “My” Makwanpur State? Return It Back to Me ?
This article I have written in the time , when highly educated people are also raising the question of “Nepalese of Indian Origin”. One of my classmate in post graduate today made me realize that, the issue is how much burning through out Nepalese Kingdom, irrespective of the intellectual level.
14 March 2006