Do Hindus Harbor Prejudice Against Muslims in Nepal?

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It is necessary to talk of respected immigrants Muslim people after the subject of aborigines and the indigenous tribes. Being involved in trade and commerce for three hundred years the Muslim people are immigrants. Almost, at 1343 (1400 B.S) under the leadership of Nawab Samsuddin of Bengal, 31,000 Muslim warriors attacked Lumbini, Janakpur, Panauti, and reached Kathmandu where the united Hindu forces under King Jayasthiti Malla chased them away. It is mentioned in Taleju Temple of Bhaktapur (Yogi Naraharinath) that 2,400 Muslim warriors were killed and 600 ran away. There is no other historical record of another Muslim attack after this defeat. After that Muslim attack, this pious land never fights with Muslims.

Gradually, Muslims started entering Nepal. Some of them were invited for the purpose of medicines and treatment and some of them voluntarily entered into Nepal for trading horses and medicines from Kashmir. We can see two mosques- Jame and Kashmiri near by Hindu King’s palace in Kathmandu which was erected in 1743 (1800 BS). King Prithvi Narayan Shah had visited Benaras for the devotion of Lord Vishwonath.

At that time he purchased some weapons and he returned back by bringing Muslims artisans to safeguard the small Hindu Kingdoms. When Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered Kathmandu, the King had given recognition to the mosques that had already existed. Prithvi Narayan Shah had contributed the unification of Big-Nepal from Tista to Kangada. Let it be the history of East India Company’s war with Nepal where the Nepalese land was captured in1816.

After signing the Sugauli Treaty in 1857, the land from Rapti to Mahakali was lost which was again returned back latter as a “Naya Muluk.” Rana Prime Minister Junga Bahadur invited Muslims from Lucknow to reside in Nepalgunj which was almost a forest area. So Muslims of this nation are known to be a patriotic force. When Nepal was a Hindu nation, Muslims’ were not dissatisfied and who neither were been against nor will never be against the nation.

Hindus had not harbored any prejudice against Muslim and they were free to recognize their religion. In the world such a harmonious co-existence between Muslim and Hindu is exemplary. However, in India Hindu and Muslim has indulged in emotional wars from the very beginning.

After unification, Nepal feared attack from the British forces. And Muslim Emperor Nawab Bajir of Lucknow pledged support to Nepal in case a war broke out between Nepal and the East India Company. Later when the Anglo-Nepal war did break out in 1815, but the Muslim Emperor Bajir Shah lent his support to the British Empire. And then, in 1857 British sought help of Nepal against Muslim empire.

The PM of Nepal Junga Bahadur with a seething temper for revenge quelled the Muslim forces. British forwarded the hand of friendship and in this course returned Nepal’s land that they have previously occupied. After this, English never looked at Nepal with a wrong intention. Many people of the hilly region Brahman, Chhetrtie, Rai, Limbu, Thakali, Gurung, Tamang, Magar including Muslim have lived in the plains of Terai before Prithvi Narayan Shah’s era. Among the tribes and races, there are no prestige issues because mutuality and cordiality is the sense among the Nepalese people.

Telegraph Nepal writes- ‘History is the witness of peaceful and harmonious living of the Nepali Hindus and Muslims. Unlike India, Nepali Hindus are very much tolerant towards diverse beliefs. Nevertheless in the manner some prominent nationalist Muslim leaders are being targeted and killed in series–is the clear indication that external inimical forces want also to disturb existing religious communal harmony as they did so to Nepali politics in the recent past.

These are the words of a Muslim leader who actively participated in a two hour long traffic stoppage–making mess of city traffic, organized as a mark of protest in the heart of capital Kathmandu against government’s nonchalant attitude towards bringing to book those criminals involved in the killing of community leader Faizan Ahmed (40) told in the condition of anonymity.

Broad day light killings of leader Mirza Dil Shad Beg and media entrepreneur Jamim Shah and attempted murder of Yunus Ansari- another media entrepreneur right inside the guarded Central prison is the indication that Nepal will soon turn into a grave yard for the Nepalese Muslim community,” the Muslim leader further commented.’

Are those who live in Madhes- Tharu, Rajbanshi, Dhimal, Muslims, Brahmins, Chhetri, Rai, Limbu, Madwadis and so on Madhesis shifting their shelters. In this land respected Janaki (Sita) born in Janakpur-Mithila Prasesh, Gautam Buddha was born and the world was illumined with his wisdom. It is said, ‘Bodhisatya Mahasatya; Swayambhu Chaitya Namanyaha’.

Before India was termed as Hindusthan, the creator of this nation Prithvinarayan Shah had said- ‘Nepal is pious land. It is a right Hindusthan for all castes and 36 races.’ In such a context the aborigines, natives and immigrant nationalities of this nation must answer against the conspiracy of foreigners and Nepalese traitors who are in regime.

Dirgha Raj Prasai is a former Member of Parliament in Nepal, a political analyst who writes from Kathmandu.