“Bhaiya, yaha basa (sit here).” the conductor of the bus provided a sitting tool to a guy standing.
“Ma nepali ho (i am nepali).” the guy responded to him.
It was tuesday, the 20th october. Me and my cousin were heading home as the festive season’s warm breeze from our hometown was calling us. The chaotic situation due to the fuel shortage has widened it’s roots around the country and in this arduous scenario, luckily we got tickets to home. There were few people standing while few were sitting on the tools inside the bus. The excitement of going home was so overflowing that people were sitting on the roof of the bus as well.
Meanwhile, a guy entered in the bus and was standing by my side. The conductor approached and summoned him to sit on the tool.
“Bhaiya, sit here.”
“I am nepali.”
“whatever, have a seat.” he said rudely and continued managing seats to others.The guy sat on the tool being unresponsive after that. I couldn’t see his face but i am sure that he must be having a grimace face. He must have frowned taking that word ‘bhaiya’ as a humiliation to him.I could barely feel what he was going through after that disgusting moment.
I cursed myself on being unable to say anything to that conductor who cannot recognize his own nepali brothers. The word he used is preferred to an indian and nobody feels good to be mentioned by such a word in nepal.
Later, creating a good chance i managed to have a glance at that guy’s face. Kind of black with a moustache, lean and thin he was. And his accent was a bit different from ours. I got to know, he was a ‘Madhesi‘.
I knew it, the conductor was mentioning that guy with that word ‘bhaiya’ not because he thought he was an indian (which would have satisfied me) but because he was a madhesi.
Not only a strong breeze, it was a typhoon of displeasure that ran across my mind and reached my heart. I felt so bad for that poor guy. A nepali citizen dishonoured by another nepali and he trying to identify himself. Such a shame for all of us. such a ridiculous stuff.
A lot of times i’ve encountered such conditions. I’ve witnessed such disgrace which embarrassed myself to proudly say ‘I am Nepali’. From the hair saloon, fruits and vegetables stall to those who sell ‘pani puri & chatpate’, we can hear such words. We all know not all of them are indian. Most of them belong to ‘Tarai’,not to forget ‘a part of Nepal‘. Still, people call them ‘bhaiya’. I wonder what on earth goes wrong in calling them ‘dai or uncle’ as they do to all other nepalese.
Not only the word, people talk in ‘hindi’ to them. Ok, it would be fine if they are indians.
But I’d say even if they are indians, we should talk in nepali. We aren’t in their land but they are, so why are we losing our own identity, our own language? they should talk in nepali rather us talking in hindi. Let’s not boast of adding one more in the list of ‘languages known’. But then, the most onerous problem here is people use such foreign language to communicate with madhesi people as well. Why don’t they realise that madhesi people also know nepali language? if we speak in nepali, why won’t they? it’s us who initiate not them. Again its ok, that they live in border area so its obvious that they know more of hindi than nepali. And it would be fine if people like us talk with them in hindi thinking that they may not speak in nepali fluently. But i doubt if they feel like that, i’m sure rather they think they aren’t nepalese.
A punch with a fist of nationality to all those so-called nepalese who disrespect their own nepali brothers.
keeping in mind all these tiny matters, to some extent the ongoing protest in Tarai region is absolutely fine. They should get enough right to fight for their identity. And one of the black days of nepal ‘Kailali carnage’, i think is just an incident to open the eyes of equality of the government.
I plea to everyone, let’s not have such kind of feeling for our own nepali people. Let’s not kill our fraternity and unity. Let’s have the feeling of brotherhood for each and every one of us. We’ve always studied ‘unity in diversity’ with a perfect example of ‘Himal, pahad & Tarai’. So, why are we slaughtering our own national identity? why putting it in jeopardy?