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Madhesh (Nepali: मधेश) is an (Nepali: मधेश) used popularly in Nepal interchangeably for its Terai region. "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'. Some scholars show its origin in 'Matsya Desh' meaning 'country of fish', tracing its origin to the neighbouring country described in the Hindu scripture the Mahabharata.
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 India. Janakpur and kapilvastu of Nepal had its own history older and famous than South Asia. The residents of these area was deprived from all fascilitilies Madhesi people are permanent resident of Terai. Today, about half the Nepalese population lives in the Terai(madhesh).
- The cyclopædia of India 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.