Abdul Khan is the only Muslim face in Prachanda’s cabinet. He has said many things about India, PM Modi and the Muslims of Nepal.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has a Muslim minister in his cabinet, Abdul Khan. Abdul Khan, 37, is from Bardiya district in Madhes area. This district is adjacent to Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Abdul Khan is a Member of Parliament from the Janmat Party. Janmat Party is the party of Chandrakant Raut. This time Chandrakant Raut had defeated Janata Samajwadi Party President and former Foreign Minister of Nepal Upendra Yadav from Saptari-2 with a big margin.
Janmat Party has a total of six MPs and they have supported Prachanda.
Abdul Khan has been made water minister in the Prachanda cabinet. Water Minister means Water Minister. Abdul Khan and his party president CK Raut are not happy with this ministry.
Both CK Raut and Abdul Khan told BBC Hindi that they have not accepted this ministry.
However, Abdul Khan has shifted to the minister’s residence in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
It is also written outside the residence – Water Minister Abdul Khan.
Abdul Khan says that Prachanda had promised him the Ministry of Industry and Trade, but gave something else while allotting the ministry.
story of abdul khan
The story of Abdul Khan reaching the post of minister is quite interesting. His father Imam Khan used to make bamboo baskets.
Abdul did his schooling from a government school in Bardia and did his graduation from Kathmandu. Right now he is pursuing master’s.
After graduation, Khan joined the Madhesi movement. He also went to jail in 2011 during the Madhesi movement.
Abdul Khan says that the police had tortured a lot during the movement.
He says that the police had pointed a gun at his father’s chest in such a way that its scar remained for a long time.
Abdul says, “When I went home as a minister, my father cried hugging me. My family still survives through agriculture. Father has become old, so now he does not work as a basket maker. There are two more brothers and both do farming.
I am the youngest. I got married at the age of 13. Then I used to study in class VIII only. Now that I have become an MP and a minister, the family members feel that I had not done any bad work by joining the movement. CK Raut ji gave me an opportunity to work in the party and I also worked very hard.
Chandrakant Raut’s movement
CK Raut has done PhD from Cambridge University and used to work there. Raut returned to Nepal after 2011 and started a movement to create a separate Madhes country.
For this, Raut was also underground for many years. I asked CK Raut why instead of becoming a minister himself, why did he give a chance to a person from the minority community?
Raut said that Abdul Khan had worked hard to build the party, that’s why he was given a chance.
When Abdul went to meet Khan at his official residence, some Nepali journalists said tauntingly, “There are about 20 percent Muslims in your India, but there is not a single minister.” There are hardly four-five percent Muslims in Nepal and there is a Muslim minister. India may be called the world’s largest democracy, but Nepal, being a new democracy, is more inclusive in this regard.
When Abdul Khan was asked about this taunt of Nepali journalists, he said, “I believe that the people of Nepal are more politically aware. There is more political consciousness here. Despite being so Muslim, if no one is able to become a minister in India, it means that he lacks political consciousness.
Or it could also be that they are not being allowed to be there. Nepal is a small country, but many types of agitations continue, so people are more aware about politics.
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Abdul Khan with CK Raut
The effect of the dispute related to minorities in India on the Muslims of Nepal
Abdul Khan says that if there is some dispute regarding minorities in India, then the Muslims of Nepal are directly affected.
Khan says, “The Muslims of Madhes are directly affected. If something happens in India regarding Ram Mandir, then tension increases in Nepal. The people here also start getting organized regarding the Ram temple. Here also the debate starts that Muslims are dominating a lot and Hindus should unite for Ram Mandir.
Bricks and stones should go from Nepal for the construction of Ram temple. It is said about our party that it is run from India. In such a situation, Janmat party will be strong, then what is happening with Muslims in India, will happen in Nepal also. In such a situation, Muslims abstain from joining Janmat Party.
Abdul Khan says that what is happening in India does not matter to him, but everyone should get freedom regarding their religion.
Khan says, “I would not say that the representation of Muslims in Nepal is very good. If this were the case, there would have been presence of Muslims in the major parties of Nepal, especially in Nepali Congress along with Prachanda and Oli’s party. but it’s not like that. There are a total of six MPs in the Parliament of Nepal and they are also from the proportional system.
Abdul Khan says that from the area of Madhes he is from, Uttar Pradesh is nearer and Kathmandu is far away.
Sharing an experience related to Adityanath Yogi’s stronghold Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Abdul Khan said, “I had gone to Gorakhpur with a friend in connection with the Madhesi movement. We planned that we will stay in the Dharamshala of Gorakhpur temple. There was not much money then. When my friend asked to stay there, he asked for the Icard.
Seeing the name Abdul Khan written on my I-card, he refused and asked to leave from here. Obviously not because of being a Muslim, but I did not feel bad. I thought that there would be many such Islamic organizations where, being a Hindu, they would not get a place.
Talk to the Muslims of Nepal, they say that it is not difficult to be a Muslim here but it is difficult to be a Madhesi.
Abdul Khan also believes that the discrimination against the Madhesis is not stopping but it is being made constitutional.
They say that India should also come forward on the issue of citizenship of Madhesis.
Took oath in Madhesi language
Sharing an incident that happened to him after becoming a Member of Parliament, Khan said, “I had gone for a walk with my friends at a place in Sundhara. A friend asked at the gate if he can go inside, then the guard said that Indians cannot go here. They thought we were Indians.
Even after becoming an MP, this is our acceptance among the ruling class of Nepal. We are all called Indians in Kathmandu. But where Nepal shares its border with China in the north, we have never called the people of Nepal who look like Chinese as Chinese.
CK Raut took oath in Madhesi language after being elected as MP. There was a lot of controversy regarding this.
People raised the question that oath cannot be taken in a language which is not listed.
Asked CK Raut why didn’t he take oath in Nepali?
Raut said, “Our mother tongue is not Nepali. I had to learn Nepali under compulsion. My mother tongue is Madhesi, which has Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Maithili and Hindi. No one can stop us from taking oath in our mother tongue.
Earlier in 2008, Parmanand Jha took the oath of the post of Vice President in Hindi, then there was a lot of ruckus in Nepal. There were violent protests in Kathmandu.
Even a bomb blast was done in Parmanand Jha’s house. The matter went to the Supreme Court and Parmanand Jha’s oath in Hindi was declared invalid.
What does Abdul Khan think about India and PM Modi?
What does Abdul Khan think about India and PM Modi?
On this question, Khan says, “It is difficult for us to survive without India. Nepal is not self-sufficient. We cannot live without India. India should also be sensitive towards us. If there is a movement against India, then it does not seem right, but it should have a permanent solution.
From the college where we used to study, Nepalis used to go to the border in trucks to protest that India has occupied Nepal’s land. India should resolve this dispute. India should hold talks on this issue. He should not be stubborn.
Abdul Khan further says, “India should also think that when Nepalis go to India, they have to go through a lot of difficulties to change the currency. When we give Indian currency here, people start doubting. One, we look like Indians and on top of that, if you give Indian currency, then their suspicion increases further. There is misbehavior on the border from both sides. The administration of India calls us beggars. Nepali security forces also allow goods to be brought from there by taking bribe, otherwise they misbehave.
Regarding Narendra Modi, Abdul Khan said, “I think Modi is doing a good job. People are getting food grains for free, they are getting housing. it’s good enough. A good road is being built in India. Money comes directly into people’s accounts. Corruption has also reduced due to this.
how many muslims in nepal
According to the 2011 census in Nepal, the Muslim population is 11 lakh 62 thousand 370. This number is between four to five percent of the total population of Nepal.
Now the total population of Nepal is 28.6 million. 97% of Nepal’s Muslims live in the Terai and 3% in the western mountainous areas except Kathmandu.
Muslims constitute 10 percent of the total population of Terai in Nepal.
However, some Muslim scholars believe that the real population of Muslims in Nepal is around 10 percent and their number in Terai is 20 percent.
Mohana Ansari, who was the chairperson of the Nepal Human Rights Commission, says that the real data does not come in the census.
“Many families refrain from revealing the real numbers,” she says. They feel that the government will not take any action after knowing the truth. Apart from this, there are many types of disturbances in the census. I believe that the real population of Muslims in Nepal is 10 to 12 percent.
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