"Madhesh" as an region within Nepal is sub-divided as "भित्री मधेश" or "Inner Madhesh" and "बाहिरी मधेश" or "Outer Madhesh". The words and their connotations are highly contested by the proponents of the identity and their opponents creating a major ethnic divide in Nepal.
The word 'Madhesh' is said to be derived from 'Madhya Desh' meaning 'country in the middle'. Madhes never existed in history. It was later derived to give ethnic recognition to the people who have now settled in terai of Nepal. During the British rule in Indan Subcontinent Prithivi Narayan Shah and later Bahadur Shah annexed baise rajya, chaubishe rajya and other areas into Nepal. During the course terai region was formed in Nepal.
Into the 1960s the Nepali outer Terai was heavily forested and Malaria infested and mainly inhabited by Tharu. For many years the jungles acted as a buffer between Nepal and what would later go on to become India. Janakpur and Kapilvastu of Nepal had its own history older and famous than any other regions in South Asia. There was heavy influx of people from India especially Bihar into the Terai region of Nepal. Later on, they outnumbered the ethnic communities of Nepal. Slowly by taking citizenship of Nepal and staying in Nepal for many years communities from India claimed themselves as madhesi and ethnic people. Today, about half the Nepalese population lives in the Terai(madhesh).
There is still landlord system prevalent in these areas of Nepal. Yadavs and other elite community of madhes and biharis hold huge chunk of land in terai where actual ethnic community tharu, dhimal, rajbanshi and other poor madhesis are being opressed.
- Abode of Madhesi people of Nepal
- The cyclopædia of Nepal and of Eastern and Southern Asia: By Edward Balfour
For More information on Madhesh and Madheshis, see latest book (2nd edition)-Nepalko Madheshi Samaj. Oriental Publication. Kathmandu.
- Hachhethu, Krishna (2007). "Madheshi Nationalism and Restructuring the Nepali State". seminar "Constitutionalism and Diversity in Nepal", organizd by Centre for Nepal and Asia Studies, Trubhuvan University. Kathmandu, Nepal. Retrieved November 23, 2012.