A Facebook page named “CPN UML Youth Campaign” posted a combo photo (above) recently with touchy captions: “Pen and books for your own daughter. Gun for daughter of ethnic people.” [See details about the first photo below.]
The context: Election season has started (voting is slated for 19the November). Remember the ‘famous’ Madhav Nepal photo (right)– in which the UML leader is seen offering daam to King Gyanenndra on the latter’s Coronation Day- that the Maoists circulated massively during the 2008 CA elections?
But this is not merely an election gimmick of a rival political party. The fact that a UML campaign circulated these pictures doesn’t mean it undermines the credibility of the poignant message that these photos convey.
The truth is Baburam Bhattarai actually sent his daughter to the safety and quality education of schools in India (and, most recently, to China to learn the Chinese language!) while he forced many young people out of schools in Nepali villages arguing that they should reject the bourgeois education and join the revolution. Baburam’s boss, Pushpa Kamal Dahal kept his son with himself as personal assistant while he sent many sons and daughters of poor Nepalis to front lines to be killed or injured. Baburam Bhattarai himself attended the same bourgeois education system and excelled at it. He attended a missionary high school in his home district Gorkha, went to college in Kathmandu and attended an Indian university (for which he seems to be very proud of). He should be. He should also have let thousands of poor Nepali youths to be proud of their education. But he and his party deprived a whole generation of Nepali youth of education. Ironically, most people who the Maoist party forced out of schools are from the same communities Prachanda and Baburam promised to emancipate from poverty and backwardness. Continue reading Privileged Maoist Kids and the Unfortunate Lot Who Were Forced Out of Schools by Maoists→
Lal Bahadur Dangi in the same school in Chautha where he hopes to get appointed as a teacher
Recently, while climbing the Danphe hill above Jumla bazaar one sunny morning, I met a young man clad in the jersey of Brazilian football team and blue jeans that was folded up to the knees. Record holder high altitude marathon runner Hari Bahadur Rokaya of Jumla, who was accompanying me up to the hill, and the Palpasa Cafe t-shirt that I was wearing immediately brought me closer to Lal Bahadur Dangi. Since our destination for the evening was the same remote village called Chautha that belonged to the Bumramadi Chaur VDC of Jumla. My plan was to head for Rara Lake the next day while Lal Bahadur was hiking for a ‘special purpose’ around which this article revolves.
The one and the only primary school in Chautha, that was run by the government had a vacancy for a teacher and this 23-year-old was hiking to try his luck for the post. Himself a teacher at Kanika Nisha English School in Jumla Bazaar, Lal Bahadur was visiting the remote place just for the heck of it. “I don’t mind working in a primary school,” said Lal Bahadur who holds the license to teach at lower secondary level and is waiting for his B Ed third year exam results”. If I get the job, I can compete internally to teach at secondary level as soon as I pass B Ed. That’s equivalent to a Section Officer. Nothing like that happens in a private school.” He was confident of getting the job if the selection was done in a transparent manner. He added: “If not, boarding jindabaad!” Continue reading A Young Jumlee’s Dream of Teaching→