Five Quick Questions to Anil Shah on “म नेपाली – हाम्रो नेपाल” event and the campaign

Ashutosh Tiwari asked 5 quick questions to Anil Shah, Facilitator of “म नेपाली – हाम्रो नेपाल” campaign:

1. What exactly is this event and this campaign, and why do you think this is important at this time in Nepal?
ANIL SHAH: The event of Wednesday 4th February 2015 is the commencement of what we refer to as the ‘Ma Movement’, which in effect is based on the philosophy that if we are to truly build a prosperous and peaceful nation each of us has to start individually by being the be227148_225603777456734_349327_nst that we can be.  In the event we will hear from individuals who have excelled in their respective fields as well as from young motivational speakers on how to take hold of positivity to build on an individual’s core competencies to be the best that one can be, in their domain of choice.
The reason for the timing is the environment of negativity and despair that seems to be enveloping the nation now, with the blame game for our collective shortcomings being thrown about and everyone fixating of the faults and failures of each other. At a time like this there has to be a platform that showcases ‘hope’ and we believe the seed of that hope for a better future for our nation starts with each of us individually, with ‘Ma’!

2. Since the end of Jana Andolan 2, we are all — from Mechi ko Mahakali and from the Himalayas to the Tarai — struggling/debating/discussing/arguing/quarreling with one another to define what it means to be a Nepali and what Nepal means to each one of us and to our ethnic group. In this context, your assertion “I am Nepali [in] our Nepal” could strike some as an example of naive patriotism bordering on, well, jingoism. Your response?
ANIL SHAH: Sometimes it is the most naïve and simple thoughts that are the most transformational. Let us take the relationship of a mother with her children, one a doctor, one an engineer, one in politics, one in business, one unemployed, each will have their own strengths and weaknesses, each a unique ‘Ma’ but each will receive the unconditional love of Ama. For her each child is as special as the other. Continue reading Five Quick Questions to Anil Shah on “म नेपाली – हाम्रो नेपाल” event and the campaign

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#SecularPakistan: A long walk to unachieved freedom

Amara Shah
UWB/ Guest Blog

unnamed#SecularPakistan was a popular trend on Twitter yesterday. Just like other Twitter users, I tweeted my opinion under this hashtagand immediately got the response in shape of suggestions that either I should leave the citizenship of the country and go to India or shouldn’t raise my voice for secularism.

Unfortunately, if you talk about a secular state in Pakistan, you will be labeled as anti-Pakistan, anti-Islam, against the ideology of Paksitan and pro-India. Ideology of Paksitan is often misunderstood phenomenon in Pakistan.

The seeds of hatred and extremism were sown through textbooks at school, college and even at university levels. I also went through the same education system and have been considering ‘others’ as my enemy.

As Raza Rumi says, “Our textbooks are replete with references to kafirs or infidels. A distorted picture of other religions is presented. Continue reading #SecularPakistan: A long walk to unachieved freedom

Who is the ‘international community’ in Nepal?

As a sovereign country of Southasia, if we have to listen to international opinion, does not Nepal also need to heed the views/feelings of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Burma/Myanmar, or should we continue to go by the amorphous and selective use of ‘international community’?

Kanak Mani Dixit

893035_558874680856096_914955205_oAmidst the current jousting between Government of Nepal/ruling parties and certain members/combines of the ‘international community’, I would like to know who do we refer to when we say/accept the usage of ‘international community’. Are we talking of the entire community or selected members/combines? Are we talking of the European Union, in which case do the statements/activism that have been emanating therefrom include, say, Germany? Where does South Korea stand? What about the embassies unrepresented in KTM but with interest in Nepal? Do we mean ‘West’ when we say ‘international community’? When we do say ‘West’, is the focus mainly on a US-EU combine, or do we include Australia and Japan and Canada? Is there absolutely unanimity among the ‘international community’ and the “West’, or is it he who makes the noise that gets heard? When the UN Resident Coordinator puts out a note in the name of the ‘international community’, who is included – the multilateral agencies, the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF, WB, IFC), and which all embassies, and should we not have a listing at the bottom of all statements to clarify rather than add to the murk?

The broadest use of ‘international community’ in Kathmandu seems to include India and China. As a sovereign country of Southasia, if we have to listen to international opinion, does not Nepal also need to heed the views/feelings of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Burma/Myanmar, or should we continue to go by the amorphous and selective use of ‘international community’? Let us have some clarity!!

(Note: I believe that the ‘international community’ has a right and duty to speak for the protection of democracy and human rights of any country, including Nepal. (In that sense, my own use of ‘international community’ includes every country from Bangladesh to Belgium.) However, the members of the diplomatic corps, from countries near and far, must keep off the terrain of constitution-writing so the Nepali people and political forces are left to themselves on this matter.)

(This article was originally posted as facebook status by Mr Kanak Mani Dixit. We have reproduced here with his permission.)