Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nepal: A Word About "Foreigners"

Why is it that every time any large-scale political or human issue befuddles and confuses us in Nepal we immediately accuse nebulous "foreign forces" of everything from simple meddling to outright sabotage?

We take to the street in a foamy rage every time an Indian actor or author dares call Nepal anything less than a sovereign nation; we flip-out when foreign dignitaries issue shallow threats; we  have a media coronary if some ambassador says that he envisions "Maoists walking down to Singha Durbar;" and we dismiss anti-Monsanto protests because they "seem to have a majority of foreigners" present.

Get over it Nepal and grow up.

If we want to be respected on the world stage, we have to learn to be secure enough in our own identity to not only tolerate the voices of foreigners, but actively solicit their advice and counsel when needed.  If there seems to be a lot of foreigners in a Monsanto protest its because foreigners have infinitely more experience in dealing with Monsanto than we in Nepal and we should listen to their advice in the spirit of neighborly help and greater understanding.  If a U.S. ambassador speaks out against a bandh, its because he's seen it all before and knows that bandhs hurt Nepal's image immeasurably in the eyes of the world.

Monsanto protest, November 2011, Maharajganj
The banner is written in Nepali and for Nepalis and mostly held up by foreigners

We are trying to re-build a nation in Nepal and we need to wise-up and take all the good advice we can get. It will pose more than  enough difficulty for our young people to work around Nepal's corrupt and worthless political apparatus and form a new governmental structure in the coming years, and shutting out all good-intentioned foreign advice will only add to this difficulty.  So, I'll say this once:


Fear cripples development, saps our young people of confidence, and keeps politicians corrupt and unaccountable to citizens.

We grow when we decide to learn--from all sources.



At 3:16 PM, December 29, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

India pushes and China pushes. It is hard enough to be Nepali without you suggesting we roll over to more foreign ideas. Mind your own business.

At 3:46 PM, December 31, 2011, Blogger blogdai said...

I guess that's the definition of "Sovereign State." Having your own country is work. Define yourself as a Nepali first, decide what level of national assertiveness will support that definition, and let the foreign influence fall where it may after that.

Simply, grow a little spine or be prepared to be called "Nepal Pradesh"


At 3:23 PM, January 01, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems anti foreigners slogan is only raised against India. China is now virtually dictating every policy and more or less own Nepal, yet no cry of China's meddling in Nepal's affairs. Let face it soon or later Nepal will become a colony of China. Nepal's police is under virtual Chinese control, trained and financed by China.

At 4:05 PM, January 01, 2012, Blogger blogdai said...

Maybe that is changing as well. Did you get a chance to read Arjun Shrivastav's article in the Republica?

In reality, Nepal will never be a part of India or China, the security responsibilities for either giant would be too great. Nepal will always be a buffer State so that the giants can suddenly claim Nepal's independence of thought and action should a security situation arise.

At 7:23 PM, January 01, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Nepal's sovereign status is undisputed fact that Nepal is an independent nation state, with a seat at the UN. However, I fear Nepali elite's anti-Indian sentiment will damage's Nepal's long-term interest. Today, what we see in Nepal is privileging of China as means of pressuring India. China’s interests in Nepal are based on two things, the Tibet issue and isolating India. China does not have the interest of Nepal at heart. What is good for China is not good for Nepal. Nepal’s economic ties with China is minuscule and China impose sever restrictions in Nepal’s export cross the Himalayas. Nepalese traders cannot cross the border while, Han Chinese are free to enter and set up business in Nepal. For centuries Nawars dominated Himalayan border trade, but sadly, this is no longer the case. China now sees Nepal as its backyard. China’s confidence of her status in Nepal is indicated by the unilateral announcement about Lumbini development without consulting Nepalese government. Yet, no cries of foreign interference in Nepal!

At 2:22 PM, January 02, 2012, Blogger blogdai said...

I agree on most counts, and well said. My feeling on China is that Nepal did not initiate China's current surge. There has been, for the first time in the region, a general feeling that the Nepali government is now broken beyond repair. Foreign governments are throwing in the towel to an extent. China simply sees an opening and is making their play. They did overestimate nepal's incompetence on the Lumbini deal and they had to adjust their strategy. But quite obviously, no sovereign nation would treat Nepal so inconsequentially if it didn't feel that Nepal itself barely exists as a sovereign State.


At 2:10 AM, January 16, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a word from the wise- ever since Nepali have disowned Prithivi Narayan Shah. I would not careless if its broken in half or 14 state.
As for foreigners- Ask Prachanda or Nepal of their monthly Hafta from the Indian Embassy. It has gone to the dogs unless you have something to fight with, just your mouth I say

At 6:15 PM, May 28, 2012, Blogger Rajan said...

I agree with the face that, the way average think is not creative. They exactly speak like politicians. Its the job of politicians to say bad things to others to hide their own incapabilities. Saying bad things to foreigners won't help our country. It's natural stronger one will always like to influence/control the other if he/she can. True with individual/country. Understanding that fact and behaving accordingly will help a lot...


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