Mon, 22 Aug 2011 02:14:13 GMT

Madhesi parties to protest SC decision on Nepal dress code

From Shirish B Pradhan
Kathmandu, Aug
21 (PTI) A Madhesi front with wide support in Nepal''s Terai plains bordering India today decided to launch a protest against a Supreme Court ruling that recognises the traditional ''Daura, Suruwal and Topi'' as the national dress of the country.

"We will oppose the verdict and we will launch a peaceful protest against the decision," said Jaya Prakash Gupta, president of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum �Republic, a constituent of the Joint Democratic Madhesi Front (JDMF).

Nepal''s Terai plains are home to about half of the country''s 30 million people, and the residents of the region, are known as Madhesis, who wear dhoti and kurta popular among the Indian ethnic origin people.

The JDMF deplored the apex court verdict that recognizes the combination of traditional Daura, Suruwal and Topi as Nepal''s national dress.

Gupta underlined that Nepal is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual country and "we as the people of Madhesi region who wear dhoti and kurta are not in a position to accept Daura Suruwal as the national dress".

We will not accept the court verdict and we will launch a protest against it, he said, adding the protest, however, will be peaceful.

Gupta said the national dress does not represent a true identity of the multicultural and multi-ethnic country specially after the establishment of a federal republic.

In the past, "during the monarchical rule, Nepali language was termed as national language and Daura- Suruwal- topi was recognized as the national dress, which have been rejected through the 2006 ''Peoples'' Movement'' that ultimately abolished the monarchy", he pointed out.

The Madhesi parties have demanded greater economic and political rights, including more representation in the state structure, arguing that the people living in the southern plains have long been treated as second-class citizens in Nepal, where hill-origin elites dominate politics, the security forces and business.

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