A Glimmer of Sanity
Thanks to one of our alert readers for bringing this Nepali Times article to our attention. Karna Shakya may be a name worth adding to our list of candidates for The Nepal Advocacy Group. -=BD
Why such hatred for one of this country's pillars?
From Issue #295 (21 April 06 - 27 April 06)
History has proven that Nepal's fate is in the hands of four people and we all know who they are. Top of the totem are barely 200 people who can influence the country’s course. Our national crisis would have been solved if these very people had even an inch of love left in their hearts for this nation. It may be true that none of these political people, whether the king, the Maoists or any leader, is keen to wreck the country. But they have become victims of their own bigoted minds and as a result, are pretending ignorance of the situation despite knowing full well the reality of possible solutions.
Today, uncertainty looms over Nepali politics, about what works and what fails. Certainty is possible only when the state and opposition literally follow the rules and a code of ethics. All possibilities will disappear if they head down a path of cunning, deceit and power-grabbing politics. This is why nobody trusts anybody anymore. Everyone has been playing their own role in politics in the name of helping and working for the people.
Only a few months back, the second national convention of the Nepal Jaycees was held in Chitwan. Several party leaders and human rights activists gave revolutionary speeches, instilling fear and doubts in people's minds. Some warned of nationwide bloodshed. Others frightened the business community by foreshadowing their own destruction if they failed to support the parties at a time when the whole country was burning. Everyone applauded, which further stimulated the leaders, but I watched aghast. Has a businessman committed a sin just because he got rich by working hard all his life? If we go back over our history, it will be clear that the country has been built by our traders. They are pioneers and leaders in the fields of mass communication, agricultural production, banking, financing and transportation. It is virtually impossible to think about running the country in their absence.
Will life be sustained by speeches lone? Why is there such a negative attitude towards a community that has been the nation's bloodline? During the convention I also got the chance to express a few words about tourism. I wondered who would listen to me when the leaders had just delivered a blood-curdling speech. But I managed to make my point: politicians should practice politics without killing the hopes and aspirations of the citizens. Political problems, I added, should be solved one after another through raising awareness or by other peaceful means-not by intimidating or disempowering the people. Demoralised citizens can’t contribute towards development. Not even the water from all the rivers of the country combined will be enough to extinguish the ensuing conflagration. How fair is it that people should scramble to douse a fire started by the politicians?
The ruin and misery of the past 14 years is heart-rending for every Nepali. We feel the nation’s pain in our individual souls. We have not even been able to make good use of the hard won freedoms from a constitution crafted 16 years ago and already we are clamouring for a new one. Such ‘moderate’ thoughts may not get applause in these times of slogans and hubris, but I am convinced that the silent majority agrees.