Politicizing minor Issues
I had gone for shopping in a near by market. While I was waiting for a bus to return home, at the very time I heard two people screaming with vulgar dialogues and were about to grip one another’s neck. There was sudden upsurge in mob of people from four directions rushing toward the spot. Before the mass could hear the conversation and know the apple of discord between them, somebody had already spread the rumor that a madhesi attempt to manhandle a local who was of hilly origin and had threatened to kill due to growing madhesi’s power in the country’s mainstream politics. Some even accused the madhesi businessman of boasting the vice-presidential position occupied by the madhesi leader.
I went near the spot and asked a nearby shopkeeper about the ongoing. I came to know it was one of the regular disputes between the businessman of side by wholesale dealer and his customer regarding the financial transaction.
The businessman was from terai background and the customer was local. After knowing this differing orientation of these two guys and on the mere basis of those fake rumors, at no time the mass gathering to view the dispute scenario were divided into two ideological groups: pro-madhesi and anti-madhesi. One group supported the businessman and started enchanting slogan ” Madhes Jindabaad” while other group supporting the local customer were chanting slogan against the madhesi people. Starting with the small dispute, the scene took the form like that of gang fight.
I took out my cell phone, dialed the local police post and inform them about the ongoing mess near me. A van of cops interfered the juggling mob and attempt to soothe chaotic scene. But it did not seem so easy. The mob started pelting stones at their van. At the mean time another two van of cops arrived and took the madhesi businessman and the customer to police-station for investigation. The locals who were mostly from hilly origin were threatening to impose band the next day if the madhesi was not punished severely.
I was very much obsessed with the way the local people were trying to politicize the minor dispute between two normal people by giving it a tag of racial hostility.
Dispute and misunderstanding are the part of our regular life and we have to encounter them sometime outside home and sometime inside also. If there is minor dispute between husband and wife, I am afraid people will not step behind to misinterpret it in terms of gender exploitation. Most of time whenever I go for shopping, I bargain for the price of the commodities I want to buy, but nowadays I feel very insecure to do so. Who knows if the shopkeeper happen to bag terai background or some uprising political party, I may be the scapegoat of their radical misinterpretation of my innocent actions.
With the rising madhesi’s domination in the present mainstream political scenario, there seems we have to encounter such incident frequently until we all universally accept that we all are nepali irrespective of race, caste, ethnicity and political background.
Bachelor in Media Studies
School of Arts