A freaking Nepal Banda (general strike) yet again today. Last one (Kathmandu Valley Banda) was four days ago. This one is called by (again) Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NFIN). [Their previous Banda was in February.] The group (of Janajati) is currently engaged in freaking talks with the government on various issues including the voting method in the Constituent Assembly elections but at the same time continuing street protests. Today’s protest, they say, is to mark the black day (18 Jestha or 1 June). Nine years ago the Supreme Court has ruled to ban the use of local mother tongues as formal language in local development bodies like Kathmandu metropolitan city and Rajbiraj municipality. Pasang Sherpa, president of NFIN, said they had announced bandh to observe the Black Day and to press for ethnicity-based proportional representation system in Constituent Assembly and to demand annulment of provisions in interim constitution that violate rights and interests of ethnic communities.
A mob didn’t let go a van with green license plate (tourist carrier) in Koteshwor this morning. There was no tourist in the vehicle and it was apparently heading for its office- a travel agency- to ferry foreigners to and from airport in the afternoon.
This man’s reason for not letting the vehcile go towards its destination: “Yo dollar kamaune gadi ho, jana nadeu.” [This is a vehicle that earns dollars. Don’t let it go.]
Though the crowd didn’t let go the vehicle, this kid was quick enough to let go the air from the tire. “Don’t do that,” someone screamed. And the kid stopped. But the damage was already done.
Angry mobs are disrupting traffic throughout the city. Because this is a transitional phase (from autocracy to full fledged participatory democracy) every-freaking-one in Nepal these days is agitating for his/her rights or for no specific reason. And the most used form of protest has become the Banda. Just go on the street, stop the vehicles and your agitation has taken the height. We have written so many times about this freaking tradition of ours in this web site but who the freaking really cares about?
Every-freaking-one agrees that calling a Nepal Banda is too bad for everything but when he or she is agitating, the same will be the inevitable form of protest. Do you think these freaking Nepal Bandas will have any sort of impact on this freaking government of ours? Can’t say that immediately but it’s definitely the case that the ultimate sufferers of Bandas are the general public. They can’t run their business, they can’t open up their factories, they can’t go to office easily, and they can’t send their kids to school. Freaking CAN’T. We can’t hold the election of Constituent Assembly on time. We can’t the revise the price of petroleum products, and because of that, we can’t pay the due on time to Indians and, because of that, we suffer from the freaking fuel shortage. We can’t remove the freaking king from the Narayanhitti palace and put our prime minister over there and, because of that, we are on constant fear of another strike from monarchy. We can’t tame the Maoist monster called Young Communist League that’s creating havoc in Nepali society. We freaking can’t. When will the time come when we can say we CAN?