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. ???????? ??????? ??????? ???????: ‘??????? ?????? ?????? ?????????? ???? ?????? ??? ???????? ?’ ?????? ???? ???????? ???????? ?????? ????? ?????? ???? ???????? ??????? ????? ‘??????? ????? ??????? ????, ??????????? ????? ??? ? ?????? ??? ??????? ?’]
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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.

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35 thoughts on “Real Problems Of Nepal And What It Holds For Future Generation”

  1. “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.”

    Jiwan Limbu, Great Point

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  2. Patriot- the whites once had a big debate about whether the black people should be allowed to become ‘Christian’ or not. The main issue apparently was whether the black people had a ‘soul’ like the white ones. This is the sort of bigotry we face with the majority of the Bahun/Chettri folk. All we are asking for is equality but for them this is too much to ask for. Sad, but you can see from their posting how set their attitudes are. Somethings got to give and I hope for everyones well being it is this stupidity that they cling to.

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  3. Patriot: firstly let me just say good job on the article.
    I do dispute this statement however:

    “Should we still deny the real problem after all this? Should we still blame artificial reasons like Monarchy/Maoists/SPA?”

    I don’t understand why you say that blaming these groups would be an artificial reason? These people were/are in a position to address the greviences you mention. Without political leadership it is not really possible to restructure Nepal and make it encompassing.

    Kirat: I dispute your post as well. Please do not lump Bhun/Chttri like that. Bhuns/ Chettris have no real bond amongst themslves. I don’t think Bhuns/Chettris intentionally act to benefit other Bhuns/Chettris so that they can opress other communities. In fact Bhun/Chettris are the biggest leg pullers. It’s more about greed then this ethno-centric intent you think Bhuns act by.

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  4. Bhudai-I’m not praising you for any ulterior motives-but have you noticed any other Bahun/Chettri blogger even trying to understand the problems of exclusion faced by janjatis in Nepal? So far I count only you. Is that not a problem?

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  5. Idealistic philosophies are easier said than done. Every person in the society has to change the way of thinking to bring structural change in the country. That’s not going to happen anytime soon. So, lets philosophize theories what should happen and what should not, and take good rest. Just think who is going to bring the social revolution like that in Nepal. And as you said voilence is the only way to get message across – how many cares about this kind of change?

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  6. Great Job! Patriot.
    Our Generation can “Correct the Ills”. I Agree.

    To Kirat : Like ‘Bhudai Pundit’ said – Please don’t lump Chettris and Bahuns together. There’s a lot more Animosity between Us and the Bahuns than You realize.

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  7. Nepal never had problem on itself… it is Maoist and other power hungry people that has been a problem to Nepal. Everyone in Nepal who hold power are taking hostage of all innocent Nepalese. Do they really know what people want I guess no… they are more worried about the position then well being of Nepal.

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  8. Great artiticle, bad comments!

    I can see the purity of heart and selfless passions in the heart of the writer for the goodnes of the country. The intent of the article is quite praiseworthy.

    In the same thread, I also see most of the comments petty, and self-serving. It is not what is written, but the intention with which it is written is the most important. Clealy, Ms. Patriot’s intentions is altruistic, while some comments seem to argue for the sake of arguments, wasting everyone’s time.

    Justice

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  9. All caste and creed must fight to death for their hallow past glory. All must prove to one another who is aboriginal and who is not. Janjatis must hold grudge against bahun and chettri; and bahun, chettri must outdo janjati. We are not Nepalese anymore and Nepal is no longer a country. Janjatis must have their janjati republics so that our past glory is restored. And Bahun and Chettris must not let it happen because they won’t have any place to go. We must start with “Bahun and Chettri folks hold bigotry viewpoints” to hold serious discussion on finding equality and build new Nepal.

    Excellent! Carry on fighting. Surely, new Nepal will be built.

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  10. Hey Justice or should I call you dumbass? Look at the title of this website. You might be suprised to know that this is a BLOG – hence the title United We Blog! This mean, genius, that this isn’t Himal Magazine or Nepali Times. People are SUPPOSED to comment, discuss and share their opinions.
    If you think our comments aren’t alturstuc enough to meet your standards, please be my guest and go somewhere else. Last I checked no one was holding a gun to your head.

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  11. Bhudai – what I meant was all these protectionists find an excuse in leadership as the source of all problems while evading the real cause. Instead of catching the bull by its horns, they divert attention from the core issues. Isnt this what SPA-M did (blaming royalists) of inciting Madhesis, Janjatis. Isnt this what royalists too are trying to do – discredit current govt. ? Both of their claims are not totally untrue, but I am not convinced when they claim they have People in their main agenda. So blaming solely these suckers and evading the debate on Jatiya issues is not the solution. After all the chaos, do we even see any seriousness on the part of our leaders to approach this in the right fashion?

    But yes, from the point of leadership who has the responsibility to sort it out, they are indeed to blame. But from the point of evading the real issues, they are artificial reasons. Actually these are both interconnected, so that makes both of us right.

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  12. Shaman: I am detecting some cynicism in your comments. I do agree that we must not let this issue get out of control. The important thing all castes must keep in mind is that they are first and foremost Nepalese. In that context we can go about restructuring the state.
    I must say though I do disapprove of your apparent condescending attitude towards the plight of the Janjantis. I agree the violence and fighting part is bad but the issue is legitimate.

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  13. “I am still young and I have a lot of hope for a new Nepal.”

    Exactly! My kind of article man! Represents my generation! Early 20s. I mean we must do something for this country and change the system for better. Old brass of the leadership must be replaced by WE the young folks! We have that power, that energy to make things work. But the problem is we never get opportunity to showcase our talent. Anyway, greate article man.

    I also say: “Can we not catch the bull by the horns?” 🙂 🙂 Sure we can!!

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  14. Is it necessary to keep alive leaders like Prachanda, Girija, Gyanendra, who have no nationalism or love for their country ? So far 40 crores spent on Maoist army, hell you could have paid half that and these leaders would be history.

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  15. There are many of us, who wish to do something for the country, but nothing can be done until the ones who obstruct development and change are removed physically.
    Currently there is no government-anyone can do as they wish.
    NO accountability for businesses
    tax evasion is rampant
    Education has been infiltrated with politics, so much that students are folowers of politicians than of their dreams.
    Basic necessiities of water and electricity cannot be met.
    Lack of Petroleum products
    Beurocracy and corruption is rampant, so much that even if you wsh to start soemthing you will have to bribe someone off.

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  16. Nepali People’s Rights Forum soley agree with the thoughts of Mr. Jiwan Limbu.

    NPRF thanks Mr. Jiwan Limbu for such contribution on this blog.

    Shame on those who blame SPA and Maoist leaderships or political leaders. The righteious blamers on this blog do neither see within not outside. Like brain study on Time Magazine’s Febuary 19, 07 Edition report or as Buddha said the unconscious rule the majority of society.

    Our backwardness is due to our own inequitable society as Mr. Jiwan Limbu pointed out in this article. We are the society who kick in the bud of those failing. Bashie movie has protrait it realistically. This is also the saying in our society – ‘Oralo la ge ko mirga lai sabai le lakhedne’.

    How our society is inequitable we can not even imagine, for get about we consider the conditions:

    How we are divided with our caste system among Hindus and ethnic comminity is very primitive, tribalistic and anti-humanistic:

    Bahun – Acharyas – ‘cannot till the land’
    Bahun – Jaisi – ‘cannot read the Veda and has to till the land of Acharyas and Sharmas or Upadhayas

    Chetriyas: Thakuri, Rana, Basnyat (all upper-caste chetriyas) – ‘cannot till the land’
    The lower caste chetriyas till the land for them

    Baisyas: Khas chetriyas – with no ‘Janawie – batuwa thago ko bandhan’ are farmers and have other occupations – Khas are also indigenous people of Nepal mostly in the mountains of mid-west and far-west Nepal.

    Dalits: Sarki, Kamis, Luhars do not eat water and food touched by Damai or Dholis and so no

    Newars – Only Jyapus till the land for all upper caste Newars –
    Newars – community has untouchable – chyames

    Similarly, all indigenous communities or ethnic communities practice such caste discrimination within their traditons.

    This is the socio-economic conditions of our society – exist still as inequatible society. The conditions of women are unthinkable.

    The article on BBC ‘Desperate Plight of Nepal ‘slave girls’ is the living evidence of our society.

    Unfortunately many royalists want to justify such social conditons and say there is nothing wrong with it.

    There are many commentators in this blog who think same way.

    There NPRF has come forward to sweep out regressive royalists from this blog and other online chats.

    Lets join together and wipe them out from the ground and the online.

    Glory to NPRF

    Like

  17. Instead of waiting for how the government will do redistricting, the people from each district should draw their own electoral units so that various ethnic groups like Magar, Tharu, Tamang, Newar, Rai, Gurung, Limbu, Sherpa and others will be well represented in the House. I think blame-game needs to be stopped. Power holders in Kathmandu are definitely feeling threatened by the demands of the various ethnic groups. They may pretend to slove the issues raised by the various ethnic groups. But in reality they will never give up their power base. So it is up to all the ethnic groups to rise up for the common purpose to develop Nepal.

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  18. old folks sure has messed up the country so bad that every generation has to suffer directly or indirectly. its high time they get replaced by young people, n everyone knows that these r the very persons who were responsible for huge corruptions, nepotism, and other crappy stuffs that put the country into turmoil. lets learn from thier mistakes n move forward for peace n progresive nepal where every single comunities r identified and made to feel as proud nepalese….

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  19. Dear Jiwan Bro,
    Thanks for your entry. I thank you for your vision. You are right that our problems are because of status-quoits, protectionist and other people who assert superiority by virtue of birth. In one way, I find status-quoists are protectionists and they are the ones who want to perpetuate some one’s superiority by virtue of birth. You are right that no body is trying to pull other’s legs. Everybody is looking for his rights.

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  20. Bhudai,

    “The important thing all castes must keep in mind is that they are first and foremost Nepalese. In that context we can go about restructuring the state.”

    Are you nuts? We are not Nepalese. We are Bahuns, Chettris, Newars, Limbus, Kirats, Madhesis first and foremost. Don’t you read so much of evidences in this blog that Nepal was created with treachery by PN Shah, perpetuated and continued by his cohorts? Unless that historical wrong is corrected to the satisfication of all concerned, nothing is going to happen. In fact, I suggest that we have to destroy everything first, like roads, factories, infrastructure, office buildings, even Mount Everest. Then all the oppressors must be hanged till death. The slate will be swept clean. The geographical land has to be divided among other 97 communities because Bahun, Chettri and Thakuri oppressors will be dead. Then those communities will restructure their rule as they like.

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  21. I give my full support to this article. Really, the true expression of the feelings of youths like me.

    “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.”

    Yeh, that is the major problem behind all the situations facing the country. Others things are only the means to be exposed whether there are the interest of any groups or any persons but the mass of people have raised their voice to fight against their rights and to have equality in the resources and to have their represention in the government.

    But, for this purpose i would like to request all, plz don’t raise the issue of “jatiyata” as like to make fractions between ourselves. Raise your voices for equality with having unity and solidarity among we all.

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  22. “There NPRF has come forward to sweep out regressive royalists from this blog and other online chats.”

    NFRF: LIKe I said BRING IT ON MOFOs. You worthless pathetic forum. How many people have joined? How about you create a forum to bring Nepalese people togeather or help little girls who are being sold as prostitues in Indian citities? OH NO… forget about all that let’s go after Royalist.
    DUMB FCUKS!!

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  23. Hey Justic I assume your comment that was deleted by UWB was directed at me. HAHA what happened to your ability to generate altrustic comments uh? It must not have been so altrustic if it was deleted.

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  24. Thank you UWB for reposting my comment on the article from you filteration and delitions.

    Structural and constructive discussions with honest feeling and thoughts will wipe out the regressive royalists from online discussion groups and chats.

    This the campaign of NPRF. NPRF will appreciate if all of us on this blog try to have constructive, structural, blameless, rational and honest discussions.

    Glory to the Evolution of the Nepali consciousness for democratic life style and practice of rule of law.

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  25. Nepali People’s Rights Forum:
    Shut the Fcuk up already. I don’t know just who you are but you keep coming here and repeating the same BS over and over. Clearly no one is interested – so go and take a hike. Ok so try and wipe me out since there are people here who think I am a Royalist.
    Besides, you moron, even Royalists have every right just as anyone to express their political sentiments. Just because it doesn’t agree with your SPAM loving mindset it doesn’t mean they should be excluded under a democratic forum.

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  26. First of all thanks for a great article. However, there are few points with which I disagree

    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.

    I don’t think we, as a nation, are in a position to compare ourselves with either India or China. 20 years ago, almost every Indian graduate would be queuing up to get U.S visa. Similarly, twenty years ago, a Chinese graduate from MIT would be vying for a job in Cambridge or California. Now, things have changed and the major reason behind this change is the opportunities available for smart, hardworking graduates in both China and India. Almost everyone would prefer to work in their home country when they are getting same kind of jobs, similar pay-package (in real terms). India and China are in that position right now.

    Both China and India were pretty much languishing during the 70’s. China had its cultural revolution, India had its share of emergencies and Hindu-Sikh riot. However what really has made China and India, what they are today, is their economy. Yes it’s the economy, stupid. China still has its share of protest, and India still has its share of Godhras, however, because the economy is rolling over at great pace, people in China and India are getting great opportunities, ones that were not possible 30 years ago. Consequently, we hear a lot less of protest and violence in China and India.

    When I talk with my friends and relatives over here in United States, everyone is skeptical about going back and settling in Nepal because they don’t see any opportunity for their skills they have back home. Yes, one could argue why don’t everyone goes back and start something, start a company, join politics, open schools and hospitals. But, I don’t think Nations are built that way.

    Even in China and India, things started improving when there were reforms from within. In China the reforms were started under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping after the Cultural revolution, the results of which has led to sustained period of economic growth for more than 15 years. Also, in India, under the then Finance minister Manmohan Singh, India opened its economy and results are there for everyone to see.

    It’s obvious that economic growth leads to higher standard of living and increased prosperity. However the main question is what will enable us to achieve higher economic growth. Another aspect of this is, does economic growth and prosperity quell the current discontent among various ethnic factions or is national unity an imperative factor from long term economic growth? There is a correlation among economic growth and national unity – that is reduced conflict among various ethnic factions. But what is not so obvious is the causality, which causes which. One would be tempted to say that national unity is imperative for economic growth and prosperity. But on the other hand, one could argue that higher economic growth in India has led to reduced tensions among various ethnic factions in India though this is only anecdotal evidence.

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  27. good article, but laced with romanticism– all diaspora getting back someday and buliding/rebuilding the nation. Why? For what?

    Isn’t the remittence we send contribution enought for that god foreshaken place? it’s our blood money, it’s our sweat money, and **ckers don’t even acknowledge that.

    sorry to break your optimissim, it’s not going to get any better any time soon, i guess never.

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  28. JPT – I understand your point, believe me I’ve even had suckers who sit in Nepal milking the system question the loyalty of British Gurkhas. Yes, even the govt’s dilly dallying & inept handling of its diaspora is sick. But someones gotta start somewhere. Korean diaspora returned and did it for Korea, so did Indians and many more. Maybe I am young and I still have the zeal. But yes, if this continues for say another 10-15 yrs who knows.

    Santosh – thanks for your feedback but I really wasnt comparing with India/China. Was just relating with them to point out how primitively far behind we are. Also agree with you that there needs to be strong reforms first before it makes sense for diaspora to return and apply their skills, else everything goes to waste.

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  29. “An Indian graduate is no longer enticed by a six figure salary Wall Street job, they want to stay back”

    I agree with the jist of your post but at the same time please don’t go to the extream with your examples.

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  30. You are being too specific on that one. I think the fact that there is increasing examples of Indian grads rejecting foreign jobs to stay back serves my argument.

    Like

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