ICG corrects Madhesi numbers in Nepal report

Sujit Mainali / April 18, 2016


The International Crisis Group (ICG) has finally made corrections to its Nepal report in which the size of Madhesi population had been exaggerated.

The report titled “Nepal’s divisive new constitution: An existential crisis” released on April 4, 2016 had wrongly claimed that Madhesi and Tharu communities combined make up more than a third of the population of Nepal.

After South Asia Check fact-checked this claim, it found that even if the nation’s entire Muslim population (4.4 percent) is added to the total Madhesi population (19.3 percent) and total Tharu (6.6 percent) population, then the total population of the communities involved in the Madhes Uprising will still be less than a third of the total population of Nepal.

After the fact-check report was published, ICG corrected its Nepal report stating that the “protesting Madhesi and smaller indigenous Tharu communities of the plains…are close to a third of Nepal’s population.”

Also, the report has changed the definition of the term “Madhesi” in the footnote. According to the corrected report, “Madhesi” refers to the umbrella term for a population of caste-based Hindus and Muslims residing in the Tarai region who speak plains languages such as Maithali and Bhojpuri, and have extensive economic, social and familial ties across the border in northern India.

Earlier, the report had not included Muslims residing in the Tarai under the Madhesi community.

However, ICG has not yet changed the definition of the term “Madhesi” accordingly in the report’s “Glossary of Terms” section.

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