Thursday, 1 January 2015

A Genocide an ethnic group indigenous of Nepal: Tharu

'Honesty is a very expensive gift, Don't expect it from cheap people.'
- Warren Buffett, an American business magnate, investor and philanthropist.

An Australian Nepalese view who just recently visited the Birth place of Buddha where predominately Tharu ethnic group indigenous reside.

"Sherpas got opportunities from mountaineering and trekking. I think one day Tharus will get opportunities from visitor who want to know more about Buddha.

 I gave a NRs 100 to a Tharu guy a tip when I bought a mobile phone's sim card. He hesitated to take it. I was so surprised they are not greedy. But are honest and humble. I gave tips to all Tharu working in Lumbini Crystal hotel where I stayed."

Like Tamang,  Tharu, the second largest an ethnic group indigenous of Nepal that reside to the Terai, the southern foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal has been historically systematically exploited, Genocide, suppressed, oppressed and enslaved by Nepal's past rulers classifying them as Masinya Matwali" (Enslavable Alcohol Drinkers) that include Tamang, Chepang, Kumal, Sherpa, Thakali, Tharu, Gharti, etc in the Nepal's Code of conduct written in 19th century by extremely criminal and manuism mindset ruler, Janga Bahadur Rana.

In 1854, Jung Bahadur Rana, the then Prime Minister of Nepal, enforced the Muluki Ain, Nepal's first legal system. It comprised applications of traditional Hindu Law and clauses to accomodate ethnic practises. In the Muluki Ain both Hindus and Non-Hindus were classified as castes based on their habits of food and drink (1). Tharu people were considered "enslavable alcohol drinkers" together with several other ethnic minorities (1).

In the 1950s, the World Health Organisation supported the Nepalese government in eradicating malaria in the forests of Terai. People from other areas migrated to the Terai and claimed the fertile land. Tharus lost their traditional land and became slaves of the new landowners (3). This resulted in the development of the Kamaiya system of bonding generations of Tharu families to labour.

When the first protected areas were established in Chitwan, Tharu communities were forced to relocate from their traditional lands. They were denied any right to own land and thus forced into a situation of landlessness and poverty. When the Chitwan National Park was designated, soldiers destroyed the villages located inside the boundary of the park, burned down houses, and beat the people who tried to plough their fields. Some threatened Tharu people at gun point to leave.

The Government of Nepal outlawed the practice of bonded labour prevalent under the Kamaiya system on July 17, 2000, which prohibits anyone from employing any person as a bonded labourer, and declared that the act of making one work as a bonded labourer is illegal. Though democracy has been reinstated in the country, the Tharu community has called for a more inclusive democracy as they are fearful of remaining an underprivileged group (4).

I shared above write up on my facebook status and the Kathmandu valley, an indigenous ethnic community, Newar man, named Labha Ratna Tuladhar said:
"Nana, have you read that the term 'Tharu' had been derived from Sthavir (meaning =matured ; older ; an older Buddhist monk) ."

My response to him was: Really! I didn't know that BUT they might have some historical lineage with Siddhartha Gautam Buddha since they are indigenous of terai and mainly around Limbuni and its surroundings. It seems that there is more indepth study needs to be done for his community historical fact to traced back of their origin

Note: Picture in the black and white is the Rare 19th century photo of ordinary Tharu men, Lumbini area, c. 1896.
(Label: "Vintage Nepal ~ Rare Old Pictures, Videos and Arts of Nepal Ethnic Tharu men in western Terai, around Lumbini | Date Photographed: c. 1896"

1. Stiller, L. F. (1993). Nepal: Growth of a Nation. Human Resources Development Research Center, Kathmandu.
2. Gurung, H. (2005). Social exclusion and Maoist insurgency. Paper presented at National Dialogue Conference on ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, Kathmandu, 19-20 January 2005.
3. World Organization Against Torture (2006). "The Kamaiya System of Bonded Labour in Nepal". A study prepared by the World Organization Against Torture for the International Conference Poverty, Inequality and Violence: is there a human rights response? Geneva, 4–6 October 2005.
4. Gorkhapatra Sansthan (2007). "Tharu community calls for inclusive democracy". The Rising Nepal. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28.
5. Tharu people wikipedia

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