The Shining Nepalese vs. The Suffering Nepalese

March 20, 2007 at 8:57 am 1 comment

The Shining Nepalese vs. The Suffering Nepalese 

 Nepal today comprised of two different social segments – “ The Shining Nepalese”, and “The Suffering Nepalese”. The Shining Nepalese that constitute more than 40 percent of country’s population, representatives of which dominates all political, economic and social decision makings of the country. As a result, the political leadership did not generate a climate where merit and knowledge would receive primacy over mediocrity. “The Suffering Nepalese” segment today are all the rest of people that includes ethnic minorities and ethnic groups boycotted by “The Shining Nepalese” and the economically weaker sections of the society at the lowest economic scale. They do not only have any role in country’s decision making and deprived of all human rights and freedom but also from their basic identity right – citizenship. While in course of time it was never thought of grave social and political implications that resulted today’s Madhesi and indigenous movement. The ethnic-communal madness that gripped Madhesh has died down at least for now; apart from a few stray incidents the violence has not spread to other parts of the country. Over 30 human beings, who lived, worked, loved, hated, worried, planned, laughed and cried, have had their lives snatched away. Their families have been introduced to a pain that will scar them forever. But for every person killed, scores more have had their future, peace of mind, trust in their neighbours and belief in the essential goodness of man destroyed forever. What a moderately affluent Madehsis even who till the other day had lived secure in the belief that he was a Nepali and a valued member of society suddenly changed his belief for independent Madheshland? The answer of Why is still tricky to most Pahadiyas and republicans. Is it sporadic, spontaneous or the continuation of the great Madhesh’s leader’s aspirations to empower Madhesis with their full rights is yet to see in coming days.  The hopes of indigenous and Madhesh people that had experienced injustice traumas for more than 238 years behind has been dealt a body blow. The miscarriage of justice in the case of indigenous and Madhesis has finally breached their threshold of cynicism. Hence, their ongoing movement and protests have legitimate ground for their self-determination.          
 The Crunchy Nepalese Breakfast Usually, we hear US hate Indians? British hate Indians and Pakistanis? Indians hate Pakistanis? Whites hate Blacks. Democrats hate Communists. Dictators hate Democrats. Liberals hate Communists and so on.  What about in Nepal and among Nepalese? Bahun hate Chettris, Chettris hate Newars, Newar hate Bahuns and Chettris, Bahun, Chettris and Newars hate Madhesis. Updhaya hate Kumain and Jaisis, Chettris hate Khatris, Newars hate the other levels of Newars. All Chettris, Newars and Bahuns hate untouchables!! And untouchables!!! They are too not free from this syndrome within. More and more as there are more than sixty ethnic minorities such as Gurung, Limbus, Magar, and so on. Today, the history changed time. Madhesis hate Pahadiyas not listed as above. The time has taken a rebound. Expressing anti- Semitic languages by one ethnic to another in Nepalese society from dawn to dusk is the routine calendar of activities of Nepalese. The psychological disorder syndrome “ Superiority” is the great cause in this anti – Semitic expressions. It might be crunchy breakfast and breakfast news for most Nepalese round the year.  The Nepalese capacity for sanctimonious self- righteousness is legendary. Our children learn in school that we are a great and ancient civilisation shaped in the vision of wise men like Lord Buddha. We keep reminding the world that we are the world’s wonderful democracy and peaceful country in the past and present. Indeed, the only functioning democracy without comparing the western world and southern largest democracy. We make speeches about our resilient democratic traditions and appeal the world to learn our democratic and conflict resolution modalities. Because we vote regularly in a world full of despots and dictatorships, and we routinely dream to be the heaven of the world (from former PM Krishana Prasad Bhattrai to Prachanda latest) as most politicians assures all the time.
And then the gate-keepers of the Nepalese system enact a shameful drama that makes a sham of all our tall claims and aspirations. The great tragedy of Nepalese democracy is perhaps that the politician is now seen as an amoral and venal creature. And politics is still not a dirty business as in other countries.
Errors of Omission Democracy is the only form of political regime compatible with respecting all five categories of rights—economic, social, political, civil and cultural. Democracy built on the principle of inclusive that is if political power is dispersed and shared in a variety of ways—to protect minorities and to ensure participation and free speech for all citizens, and provide equal opportunities to all for progress and peace. It is because inclusive democracy emphasizes the quality of representation by striving for consensus and inclusion, not the brute electoral force of the majority. An inclusive democracy also appreciates the need to promote civil society organizations, open media, holistic and rights-oriented economic policy and separation of powers. It thus creates mechanisms for the accountability of the majority to the minorities. Today’s main concern is to ensure that no one ethnic group traumatizes the other. The movement in Terai by Madhesi and ongoing protest by indigenous people is the result of Errors of Omission to secure their rights of equality forever. Single ethnic community’s supremacy has been the root cause of every nightmare in Nepal. The centralization of power in the hands of one ethnic group is the bugbear Nepalese are seeking to overcome whether it is from ‘Royalist’ or ‘non-inclusive’ element of democracy. In order to achieve this, Nepalese are demanding to focus on the fact that the localization of powers is more vital than the centralization of them whether for development or for equality or for freedom or to manage identity crisis. We must realize the fact that centralization of power is the evil of Nepal and Nepalese needs to overcome.   Future of Ethnic Harmony in Nepal  Nepal has been a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-lingual society for centuries. Forces of tolerance have always been strong in its soil. Throughout medieval ages, one hardly finds instances of inter-communal clashes though among religious priesthood there was bigotry and sectarianism. Their whole emphasis was on love, peace and harmony. They had their roots among common people, poor and of lowly origin. They kept their distance from rulers and ruling classes. Even if connected to system, they are left by political and economic system due to the feudalistic socio-political culture.The demands of Madhesis and indigenous people is not the clash of interests that brought unrest and ethnic tensions in society, nor clash of religions rather it is the clash of political attitude between feudalistic majority class and minorities. The democratic process has simply intensified and brought more democratic awareness among the minorities and weaker sections of Nepal and they got better organized to demand their due share in power. However, on the whole, until today, common people of Nepal from all ethnic groups are desirous of peaceful co-existence and do not appreciate ethnic turmoil in the country but one thing must be clear that the old strategy of one step forward, two step backward, and finally in awkward situation would not rule this time. This time the vast poverty-stricken underbelly ethnic minorities of Nepal is to make a finale for their share in the system and remain integrated.



Entry filed under: Articles.


1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. vijay sapkota  |  February 7, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    The whole discussion about scraping country’s status as the Hindu Kingdom (formally known), seem to have started after one of the Indian MPs, voiced his concern in Indian parliament. Then started the rallies in Birgung and so on.
    Since childhood I always disliked India. I attended high school in India and was furious to find out that some people in India think Nepal as one of the Indian states. We always felt that we were suppressed by India and the Indian authority.
    But let’s think about it for a minute. No matter how much we hate India, can we really live without India? India plays a vital part in economic, social, political, religious and various other aspects of our lives.
    We have so many ties with India, the more we hate India, the more dependent we become.
    Every evening we get glued to our television sets to watch Indian TV series, we blast out loud Indian songs from our car stereos; we queue up hours to watch Indian films in the cinema. Although we want to distance ourselves from India, we seem to embrace its social life wholeheartedly.
    From a poor farmer to a high flying businessman or politician, we all seem to accept India more than we want to. Parents want their sons and daughters to be educated in India, filmmakers seem to imitate (influence as they call it) Indian films.
    From cars, bikes to toothpaste and shampoos, our love to India and Indian products is clearly evident in our cities and now in villages (If any left) as well. Even the maoist seem to be in Love with the great Indian nation. I wonder… Maoist.. like India??? How is that possible? Aren’t they the ones who said that Indian films should be banned in Nepal? Aren’t they the ones who torched Indian Vehicles? Well of course they were the very people who did all that. But to my amusement, I saw the picture of one of the maoist regional leader riding an Indian made motorbike with a personalised number plate. As for my personal views, Maiost in Nepal get more assistance from their Indian counterparts (Indian maoist) than anybody else.
    It was interesting to read about Marich Maan in one of the earlier posts? Although I was very small at the time, people say that he stood his grounds, challenged the Indian authorities, man with real guts. Result?? My mother including many others in our neighborhood had to queue up for hours to get the kerosene to cook our dinner. All the petrol stations were closed, due to shortage; Nepal was running out of rice. Those were the few things that I was aware of at the time. I’m sure our daily lives were hit by Marich Maan’s decision in many other ways, let alone the economy of the country. So was it a good decision? Well it was bold one for sure, but was it wise and in the interest of the country? Well, if we put our egos aside, It looked like pretty stupid decision to me. Its more like me saying katti(I wont speak to you anymore) to my brother for stealing my marbles(guccha).
    So, it looks like our very survival depends on India. Unlike China, Nepal is not a self sustainable country. We cannot grow enough rice and feed the entire population.
    From a restaurant worker in Gorakhpur to singer and actress in Bollywood, India have always welcomed us in their land. There are more Nepali working in India than anywhere else in the world. In fact there are more Nepali in India than there are Indians in Nepal. Well lets not aruge that khali sishi, fruit sellers are Indians. Well they are not; most of them come from southern Nepal (Terai). I wonder why India hasn’t closed its borders for us. Well we don’t need visa to go to India.. We may choose to go to India in the morning for a cup of tea and return to Nepal for lunch or we choose to go and work in India, we are free to do so? So why don’t us Nepali need visa to visit India.. Well Pakistani do. Surely there can’t be labour shortage in India.
    Whatever it may be, I think India trusts us, and wants to accept us as a family. More like younger brother or sister. India has always supported us and protected us. Our politician took refuse in India when they were kicked out of the country during rana times.
    So it looks like there is no escape from India. Well some might argue that there is China, the new emerging giant in the world economy. But think about it for a minute. Does china really care about Nepal? It has its eyes set upon the developed countries like America and UK to build its political and economic ties with. Besides, China has hardly done anything for Nepal other than few trolley buses and military tanks presented to our Late King Birendra. China comes nowhere near India when it comes to providing help and support to Nepal.
    It won’t be a good idea to build close relations with china, since Tibet is long struggling to be independent from China and there are speculations that China is planning to attach Taiwan. Now the question is if China sees economic prospects in Nepal…………, well I’ll leave this to you to use your imaginations, sky is the limit.
    Well China may not do all that, we may become very good neighbors, but my mom for sure wont fancy watching Chinese TV series every evening, or would she? IF we cut ourselves from India and build close ties with China what are we going to do with all those Indian/Nepali(ones with the dual passport) businessmen in our country, who seem to be holding the economic backbone of our country?
    From whichever angle we view it, there seem to be no escape from India. So what do we do now? India comes across as a bully at times. Our politicians seem to gift everything to India, from water to electricity to trades and everything, you name it….
    Nepali products are stripped off the shelves and replaced with Indian ones. Where the hell did EVEREST toothpaste go and go-go washing powder? Colgate/Close up seem to have overtaken the market. Government doesn’t seem to care about the local businessman. I’m not ruling out the possibility that some of the local businesses might have been unsuccessful due to the wrong or weak business strategies, but when i see all these Indian products in the market being launched everyday, I seem to wonder. Has the government provided any real incentives for the local businesses?
    India is one of the two emerging economic giants in today’s world. Consider ourselves lucky, we are right in the middle of them both. At least we can say we live next to the two biggest emerging economies in the world. Well if India is developing so rapidly every single day and is ought to become an economic superpower, then we surely should get a slice of that pie. After all we have such close relations with India, more like sisters. I’m not being selfish but I think we should be included in this economic change that this region is going through lately. So would India help her younger sister? Surely she is not scared of her younger sister getting ahead of her.
    So how can we get economic help from India? How can we taste that sweet looking pie called economic boom. Well the answer to that is simple. We need to solve our internal differences. If my stomach is upset and I go out and eat pizza, it would get worst.
    What is the solution then? I wonder. Current politicians seem to be hopeless. They had their chances. They seem to be going around in circles, with no real hope whatsoever. They seem to be leading us nowhere. Then there are maoist, who want to isolate us from the rest of the world. They speak with their guns, and they don’t seem to have any fixed aim is to what they are trying to achieve. Its a shame that one of the brightest scholars in our country have ruined and divided the entire nation.
    “Into Baburam Bhattrai’s Mind”, is the book I’m waiting to read, if someone is writing it. What was he thinking? Was he aware of the likely results of his actions? Anyways, maoist running the country? No way. King? Well he had his chances and he blew it more than anyone else. Paras? Whoever says so better be having a laugh… so who then?
    Well, from what I see, we need a DYNAMIC leader in our country. A leader who can think out of the box and aims to hit the global arena. One who is not only capable of solving the internal differences but the one with a wider vision of peace, stability and prosperity. One who has the ability to build close relations with India and others and yet be able to stand his/her own ground when necessary. One who is willing to listen to the people. One who can build the platform for local and foreign (Nepalese in foreign countries) businessmen, scholars to practice their knowledge and skills in Nepal.
    One who is willing to move away from the street politics and use his/her power to construct the country rather than demolish it. One who is inspirational, one who can be trusted. One with the passion, energy and enthusiasm to make the difference and provide hope to the nation.
    We are waiting. Future is bright.

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People Celebrating faguwa (Holi), with the fun of music, quite popular among Terai people. Holi is celebrated each year on the eve of falgun purnima Faguwa (Holi) Celebration

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