Real Problems Of Nepal And What It Holds For Future Generation

[Blogmandu: Maoist guerillas are busy these days rearing thier children in the cantonment. Here is one story, in Nepali, from Ilam. ???????? ??????? ??????? ???????: ‘??????? ?????? ?????? ?????????? ???? ?????? ??? ???????? ?’ ?????? ???? ???????? ???????? ?????? ????? ?????? ???? ???????? ??????? ????? ‘??????? ????? ??????? ????, ??????????? ????? ??? ? ?????? ??? ??????? ?’]

A young man’s feeling about the current scenario in the country

By Jiwan Limbu

Given the strong (often derogatory) responses that the issue of “Jatiya” has generated in this blog and to which I admit I have often reluctantly found myself in the thick of it, I think the issue deserves yet another mention, but this time hopefully in a better perspective. I do expect differing views but I am willing to accept them and I believe accepting our differences is the only way to come to a peaceful compromise and graduate to the next level where we can start some serious discussion on rebuilding Nepal.

To begin with, let me start by pointing to the roots of all our woes today. We all know it but I think its worth mentioning again. Maoists didn’t come to power solely by the power of the gun. They had support. Support from disgruntled majority of the population. Why are Janjatis, Madhesis, Dalits etc. threatening to go to war today? Our leadership be it Seven Party Alliance(SPA)/Monarchy/Maoists might be rouges, but to think that it is simply them who are holding the country hostage is a misgiving. They have been able to do it because people are unhappy thereby giving rise to ample political opportunity for such leaders to fill in. Over 13,000 people have died. The law and order situation has worsened and there isn’t a single day when the strike has not struck millions of poor citizens all over the country. Should we still deny the real problem after all this? Should we still blame artificial reasons like Monarchy/Maoists/SPA?

In our country, lets face it; the real problem is our inequitable society. The more we deny it, the more we are in trouble. Let us understand and accept this simple truth and work to correct it. And to misinterpret the struggle of these groups as something of a freebie that is being demanded really doesn’t solve it. We need to understand that nobody is against any group, Madhesis is not fighting Pahades, Janjatis are not fighting Bahuns/Chettris. Everybody is fighting for their rightful place and a legitimate stake in a new Nepal, having said which, not all demands are correct and not all need necessarily be fulfilled. A fair system must be implemented and the govt. must exhibit fortitude against unreasonable demands that endanger our nationality in the long run. I think this is really what the Madhesis and ethnic communities are demanding. Listen to them closely and you will hear them loud and clear. And to say things like “nobody is stopping anybody from progressing, so why the fuss” is to really pretend that there is no problem. We must first accept that the past systems were highly skewed in favor of some communities while excluding others. Moreover, we had politicians who did nothing to correct them except fill their pockets. Democracy for them became a nice substitute to maintain status quo, except a change of hands.

So what will it take for us to correct this legacy? Instead of one community fighting against another and playing into the hands of corrupt leaders or foreign powers, who should we be fighting instead? Being educated citizens that we are, where should we mobilize our energies. I look at SPA-M and Monarchy. They are throwing all their energy to oust each other but really not giving any attention to the real problems of this country. And ironically both claim to be for the people. We need to fight such elements whose real interests are more power than people. And we need to fight protectionists whose interests lie in status quo. These are the two greatest enemies of Nepal today. I have come across some interesting protectionists who assert superiority by virtue of birth which I think is an obsolete concept and makes one lazy and conceited which is not good for Nepal. Such groups/nations normally face what western Europeans are increasingly facing today, with the advent of newer/hungrier groups like Chinese/Indians/Taiwanese into the global economy. It is also natural that such groups will try to build walls and practice closed door policies, but this will only be counterproductive for Nepal when the rest of the world are desperately trying to integrate into and be a part of the global supply chain.

I am still young and I have a lot of hope for a new Nepal. I also understand the enormity of a wounded legacy that is being left behind for our generation to heal. A legacy where violence is the only way to be heard. A legacy where caste system and corruption is rampant and nationlism is nil. I look at Nepalese communities in India or abroad and find little unity amongst them, just enough to meet few times a year, eat good food and depart, and I trace its reason back to its mother tree from where the seeds found their way. Centuries of State sponsored division has had a self sustaining effect and has even shown in a foreign land. Animosity and division within people of our country has for too long allowed external forces like India/US/China to spread their influence and endanger our sovereignty. We are one of the poorest and most unstable country in the world. When I speak to my Indian/Chinese/American counterparts, I hear some want to start a company, while others want to save earth, and almost all seem so sure of what their role is going to be in building their country. An Indian graduate is no longer enticed by a six figure salary Wall Street job, they want to stay back. All Chinese seem to go to MIT and almost all return home. I dream of returning to build my country someday myself, but I am yet to make a head or tail out of it. This is the 21st century and we are sandwiched between two powerful neighbors. In a world where capitalism is dissolving all boundaries leading to the very concept of nationhood being redefined, and where the whole world is realigning in terms of natural and intellectual resources, we are still struggling with the most basic social issues. We are still grappling with our nationality and sovereignty. We are still stuck in the barriers we have created ourselves. Can we not come out of it? Can we not do something about it? Or in my favorite phrase – Can we not catch the bull by the horns?

Whatever the near future holds for Nepal, I know one thing is for certain. I know my generation will spend a lot of time correcting the ills of old Nepal. We will need help, a lot of help. We will need elders who will co-operate and are willing to adapt to the realities of modern world. It wont be easy for them, but that’s the least they should be able to do. We will need parents who wont feel its a crime to marry their children to another caste. We will need young and strong leaders with a vision and for old ones to make way. We will need wisdom of the elders to help incubate fresh ideas of the young. Sure they will hardly taste the fruits of their sacrifices, but increasingly their coming generations will. Right now, I am more concerned that the generation that will come after me should not find themselves in the same deep hole that I have found myself in today.

All these sound idealistic and boring I know, but really there isn’t anything else worth writing about.

Limbu is a 26 year old Business Development Manager for a leading Delhi based IT company. His hometown is Damak, Jhapa and blogs at UWB with the name of Patriot.