Protest, protest everywhere, how can we get out of this mess?
Janajatis or indigenous people have called for a general strike in Nepal tomorrow. Economically that would be yet another blow to already depressing situation. That will be yet another day of walking for hours to reach offices, yet another day people wasting their time in walking instead of doing things in office, yet another day of confining buses in garages and loosing income. Yet another Nepal Banda! “This banda sucks man,” I was talking to Ang Tshiring Sherpa, a reporter friend of mine at Kantipur who reached at the top of Everest four years ago, as we were getting out of office tonight. “This is totally unnecessary and come at a really bad time.” I knew how he would respond.
“What?” he said. “No, it’s absolutely necessary.”
“No, it’s not.” I protested. “What’s the demand of janajatis? They want amendment in constitution and the government has already announced and decided that they are going to amend.”
“No, they are not,” he said. “We want things done at once.” Then suddenly he added: “The government is doing things in kistabandi (installment).”
Oh…boy, you have started speaking the language of Pasang (Sherpa of Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities),” I said as we departed from the office.
Yes, in this transition everyone wants to have their say. Everyone wants to be empowered. Even the Chepangs have joined in the fray. The Chepang community, eKantipur reports, has announced a transport strike in four different districts in central and western development regions, demanding a Chepang autonomous region. Of course, I there is a Madhesi autonomous region, if there is Limbuwan, Khumbuan, Magarat, why not Chepang? Why not Raute? Why not Poudels? Why not Pokharels? And how many autonomous region we will have to create? As I was typing these lines, I saw a comment from our own “Kirat” in UWB. He says:
“An intelligent person would think…why are these janjatis and madeshis protesting? Perhaps they have genuine grievances perhaps they don’t. But it would be the duty of every educated Nepali…let alone so called political leaders of the Congress, UML and Maoists to look into their demands properly and address it in the best way possible.”
Right. But the solution, it seems, will not satisfy all. There will be another person or faction that would say, well, what about us, we don’t agree. As Kirat rightly points out in another comment that we are going through very depressing situation:
“It’s a pretty depressing scenario right now in Nepal. Strikes and protests by all sorts of groups asking for a say in the new Nepal… Creating mayhem, hammering the economy and giving endless misery to the ordinary people. What does the [Seven Party Alliance government] do? Nothing. They are like a disinterested bystander acting as if this is none of their problem/business. That is so wrong. ….The fact that the govt. has failed in this simple exercise demonstrates the vastness of the problems that this country is yet to encounter.”
It is indeed so depressing that everyone is capable enough to create mayhem in Nepal these days. If you have a family dispute, go and stop the traffic. I don’t want to blame the government because they are in a difficult situation. It seems almost certain that we will be missing the deadline for the election of Constituent Assembly. No doubt some people are hell bent on making this government a failure there by giving the impression the people that democracy can never sustain in Nepal. Knowing this very well, some people are taking their responsibility lightly and this really makes me wonder. Even an utterly optimistic people like me become disappointed sometime thinking about the state of affair. Economy is going down, inflation is soaring, everything is at standstill (except the Nepal Telecom that is introducing on new service after another. Just today it launched GPRS service.) Feels like where the hell I am living? What the hell I am doing? Where is my future heading? What I will be doing, if anything, ten years down the line? “I read news about fascinating economic growth in China and India,” a friend of mine recently confided. “And suddenly this feeling comes into mind: ‘Damn I am a Nepali, why I am not in Ghanjau or Beijing.”
There must be a solution, of course, but what is that?-by Wagle
MPRF strike continues in eastern Nepal; now Chepangs join the fray (Life continued to be affected in the eastern regions due to the transport strike and customs check post strike announced the agitating Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (JTMM) which has steadfastly refusing parley offers until Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula resigns. Due to the strike, vehicular movement on the roads on the highway remains nil while the check post completely shut.)
Nepal’s constitutional process must be more inclusive: ICG report (“Nepal’s constitution-making process has two tough targets to meet. It must conclusively end the conflict and also shape more representative and responsive state structures. Balancing these concerns is far from straight-forward, but broader public participation can only help.”)