Nepal

AND THUS, I ANNOUNCE MY CANDIDACY FOR NEPAL PM

It’s official. I hereby announce that in the next few years, I will be running for the position of Prime Minister of Nepal. Do vote for me, you always-complaining-about-leaders-but-never-realizing-that-it-was-you-who-voted-them Nepalese compatriots.

Phew. Be cool. Deep breath.

Really, just three sentences were all that I needed? Writing about that eased the frustration that I had accumulated over the course of my life. Well, you never know the power of three sentences!

Nepal’s political scenario is something that I have written about often. Some are filled with anger, some with desperation and some with an attempt to make a genuine point. None of them are as promising as it must have been. I mean, look at us. All we care about is putting blame on those 70+-year-old leaders whom we should be giving more elderly respect. Sorry, should not have said that. But I just did. So, screw you.

Where was I?! Ah, announcing my candidacy. Seriously, I want to fulfill the prophecy of being the nice and handsome PM who steered the country to the new era just like Justin Trudeau is doing in Canada right now. Then, Nepalese will not have to complain about an uneducated person becoming the PM or elaborating about the history of UK PMs who had their education at Oxford College. Come on, people. I understand your sentimentality but that is not how things get sorted out. Nor it had ever been. Never. Someone needs to stand up and just declare his candidacy like I am doing right now.

What’s that? My spidey-senses are already active.

What is this author talking about? Is he stupid? Is he mocking the person who pushed PM Deuba too far in the ‘Sanjha Sawaal’ discussion? If you are so full of confidence, then why don’t you run for PM some day.

More blame. Poor us. Some habits never die. Something does not go our way. Find a person to put that blame on. And to answer your question. You bet, I did. I am mocking him. But not only him. You, me, the entire Nepali voters. We need to understand that pushing our PM to his limits is doing no good. The video will become an internet sensation in the Nepali diaspora. Maybe get retweeted a lot of times. Or commented on. Or find some bloggers, like me, to write about. The incident will be ephemeral. People will forget about it sooner than you think. That is the world we live in. The social media world. You only become famous for few seconds before others snatch the fame from you.

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This is serious stuff. (Image source: Buzzzle.com)

I hate that I have to do this. I love it, too. Finally, I don’t have to see my people sitting on their sofa and complaining about Nepal never getting properly developed or never getting freed from the chains of corruption. The sooner the prophecy turns true, the sooner the agony will vanish. Nepali will be able to focus on improving their business and divert their time to discussing intellectual matters. I don’t recall the last time we had meaningful discussions taking place or laid out the blueprints for a bright future. I don’t recall a time where we put together our list of strengths and used that to our advantage. Isn’t backbiting about others’ weaknesses one of the proud things we do when we have nothing else to do? This is one of the worst ways to waste our time. Nothing to gain unless the person we are backbiting about isn’t there because we are not giving that person a chance to improve on his weakness.

The biggest obstacle of our generation is that we fail to recognize that the promising candidates share the same ambitions and hopes as us. We refrain from voting for them because they just don’t have any experience in politics. We think that they are just a new breed who have lived in East Blue all their lives and not ventured into the Grand Line or even the dangerous New World. We forget that their aim is to reach Raftel, the furthest point in One Piece.

You know the greatest paradox of all time: You require experience to get a job. You seek a job to get the experience. Such a crazy world we live in. When I first voted in Nepal, I did not vote the promising candidates because I believed that would be a waste of my precious vote. I thought they showed good promises but lacked any political experience to do the job properly.  My amateur thoughts. Instead, I voted for the old parties’ candidates. I know some of you did the same. I am pretty sure if I run for PM, not many will vote for me because I am unknown in the Nepali diaspora. Just as was the case for Arsene Wenger when he was officially the manager for Arsenal FC; however, given the chance, he went on to become the greatest manager Arsenal FC has ever known.

So, just give the promising candidates a chance. Maybe they will fulfill our prophecy. Whatever happens, stay with them. Have faith. Have your parents and families believe in these candidates.  Don’t let selfish feelings cloud your rational judgment.

Stop complaining and putting the blame on someone else. Stop waiting for that Someone who will put this country out of misery. Stop hoping that someone brave enough will challenge to oppose the bandh. Stop hoping that someone will ask questions that will break the hopes of the leaders. Stop talking about all of your miseries. Stop this chain of events. How long have we been waiting for this miracle? It’s been years. No one has arrived or will arrive. We should all make our moves. Let’s do this together.

So, have I made you believe in me? I announce my candidacy once again. Now, will you vote for me?

REALPOLITIK AND NEPAL

Wikipedia defines Realpolitik as “the politics or diplomacy based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral or ethical premises”. In a nutshell, people who implement realpolitik are able to modify their ideologies as long as their plans focus on the vested interests of the nation. In 19th century, Otto von Bismarck used realpolitik to unify all German-speaking states into one nation. During his reign as a German Chancellor, he faced oppositions that had ideologies opposite to his; however, he would diplomatically align to their principles so that they would not be an obstacle to fulfilling his grand plan.

In Nepal, realpolitik has the potential to transform its politics and build selfless leaders. Currently, Nepali politicians are so stubborn in sticking to their ideologies that they fail to acknowledge the wrong directions they often take Nepal into. The end result is that the citizens struggle to cope with the political instabilities.

In addition, the motive behind being a political leader in Nepal is to finally become the Prime Minister (PM). Interestingly, this job is the epitome of a successful political leader. It explains why there are a lot of incompetent applications for the single post and why there has always been two PMs every year. If a PM cannot deal with a major crisis, then it is certain that he will lose his position. The opposition parties will vote for no confidence in the parliament and the next day, newspapers will announce the resignation of the PM. Then, there will be no government for two-three months until another senior most political figure from the opposition party will be sworn in the office.

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“Shall we raise politicians who will practice realpolitik?”

Had Nepal’s politicians implemented realpolitik in their lives, Nepal would develop at an unprecedented pace. They would no longer bother adhering to the selfish motives put forward by their political parties; instead, they would take stringent measures to steer the country towards development.

For example, KP Oli led government has not been able to take any concrete measure to end the political stalemate and deal with the unofficial economic blockade imposed by India. Even after 100 days in his office, PM Oli cannot invite the agitating Madhes-based political parties and reach a consensus to end protests. Some analysts have even termed his tenure as a fiasco. Realpolitik persons would understand the subtle reasons behind Madhesis organizing protests without basing their decisions in preexisting stereotypes and take required actions. They would not hesitate to go against their parties’ decisions as long as their decisions solve such issues.

Nepalese need leaders who practice realpolitik. They need people who take decisions based on the situation the country is in. They want to be governed by politicians who change their moral ideologies according to the era they live in. They want to be followers of the government that places the interests of its citizens before the parties’ interests. They want laws that genuinely punish and not grant amnesty to corrupt leaders. They do not care if the government ultimately fulfills its selfish demands. As long as Nepal continues to progress in every possible sectors and, Nepalese can meet their daily needs without any political hassles, Nepalese may one day take the parties’ selfish motives into consideration. After all, history has taught that Bismarck fulfilled socialists’ demands and cancelled his plans to oppose Catholic Churches even though he viewed both of them as potential threats to his grand scheme of unifying Germany. Well, realpolitik ensured he remained in power and allowed him to accept differences so that when time came, Germans would unhesitatingly vote in favor of Bismarck’s dream.

One day, I hope to engrave Nepalese politicians as the next Bismarcks. One day…

 

PHALAANOLE TA HAI…

We have democracy in Nepal. The problem though is that we aren’t quite enjoying it. Sure, there are right to free speech, right to expression and right to information but we never exercise them to the fullest. Our conservative culture has affected our mindset as we seem to value too much of what other people think about us than believing in ourselves.

Most of the time, when we begin to think something new and daring, we immediately focus on what other people might say. It has become our culture to accept everything that these people say about us even though only 5% actually make sense. We hear from them that phalaano (a person of interest to the discussing party) has done some amazing stuffs or phalaano has become a successful entrepreneur or phalaano wears traditional clothes and thus respects culture and, so on. Such accusations are carried out of concern for someone close but they take negative connotations.

The victims are forced by the parents/families/friends to become someone that these people admire. The perpetrators want their beloved to copy what phalaanos are doing. They want these victims to be as successful as phalaanos. In all the situations, the victims’ opinions are not entertained. Not at all. It is as if democracy has lost its charm in such situations. The effects are that people become less creative and lose confidence in themselves.

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Be ourselves, no matter how stupid we may be!

Now, it is true that these victims have absolute rights to not hear what others want them to hear. That is not the case in Nepal. The intricate relationships that we value even to our distant of distant of distant relatives compel us to think about our next actions before these actions become the cause of disappointment for our family in not respecting their opinions. Consider that my parents want me to become a very successful and dutiful son just like my distant of distant of distant uncle’s son. I do not have a choice to argue that I do not want to be like the dull phalaano. If I say that, then I am a bad son. No arguments. End of story.

Most Nepali have the habit to think too much of phalaanos. They view stories of phalaanos as the epitomes of role models. Phalaanos are their deities. Hah, they never realize that they are wasting their lives in taking others’ opinions to their hearts. Hah, they have never experienced the freedom when they give a damn to what their seniors are blabbering about their favorite phalaanos. 

I was also one of those Nepali. In due time, I did not care what other people thought about me. I did not care if they thought of me as stubborn, stingy or bad-tempered. Or if they want me to be like Bikash-phalaano, Sunil-phalaano, Dikendra-phalaano or Prabesh-phalaano. I have learnt to correct myself if someone kindly points out my wrongdoings but I will never be like those phalaanos. I will be Manasbi. After all, if I try to become like those phalaanos, what is the meaning of my existence? Who will be Manasbi? If I try to go with their ideas without arguing, then what is the point of having a brain that took millions of years to evolve?

It is crucial that we realize the significance of being oneself. We may have some crazy ideas. That should not just stop there. We should blindly follow our next steps and see where they go. If we are wrong, then we will push to improve our efforts. If those ideas are successful, we will finally understand the meaning of our rights to democracy. If we think some of our culture needs to be changed or that we need to westernize ourselves, let us go for them. As long as they transform us for the better, our conservative societies should not prove to be a menace in how we live. Trust me, this small transformation will be the key to unlocking creativity of thousands of Nepalis. So, shall we start being Ourselves?

 

VICIOUS CYCLE OF RESILIENT NEPALI

If people were to analyze the political turmoil surrounding Nepal, they would discover that its citizens seem to tolerate everything and move forward with their lives as if nothing happened. Nepal’s politics has been full of governments that did not complete their tenure due to the circumstances that other political parties create. Ten months in and the government collapses before it takes another few months for a new government to change all the policies that the previous government implemented to favor its own. This has created a political instability in the South Asian region. What is amazing is that the citizens do not seem to take any concrete action that would drastically change the political system. They have accepted that Nepal will never progress or fail.

Nepal will be stable. That is what most Nepali seem to think. There has not been anyone who can lead it properly and who would selflessly devote the time necessary to steer the country towards the path of being a developing country. I admit that most of our political leaders have been running around to place first in the Prime Minister race without ever realizing that they are running out of their tracks. All rules work for their favors, not against them.

What concerns me is not the rise of competent and able political leaders but the stereotypes Nepali people have based their faiths in. They feel powerless to act against the political system which works towards achieving all the political gains of a party and not for the good of citizens. Obviously, the citizens have criticized and debated the effectiveness of the government in all the areas possible. What has not been done is taking strong action to uproot the bad political practices. Sure, the government will pretend to listen our demands but it will never implement our ideas. This is why we need to step in.

Youths are the most prominent demographic age group in Nepal. They are also the work force capable to topple the government if they feel the necessity to. Ever since the Rana regime ended in 1951, youths have only hoped to see their country prosper. Their hopes have been shattered. No generation has witnessed the birth of selfless political leaders who would forget about the agreements tabled by their political parties and who would make bold and tangible steps to check corruption and bring programs to push the nation to compete with other countries.

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Nepali people be like…waiting for someone to make something happen!! 

Youths need to take in charge of political parties and collaborate with other parties to implement projects of national interest. Projects that include generating electricity from local hydropower projects, introducing new international standard highways, banning strikes once and for all so that education, tourism, medical and transportation sectors are not affected. Many political leaders have pledged to ban bandhs but the culture is so dear among protesters that they believe it as the only way to address their demands.

Youths need to step outside of their comfort zone and take extra effort to record any wrongdoing by the government officials. This will expose corrupt acts and the public will be informed about it. The perpetrators will be humiliated at their actions and then they may change for the better.

The frustrations that youths have need to be channeled to work their ways to government jobs where they can work towards creating a entrepreneur work force. They can change the system within the organization and allow future employees to continue their legacy. With technology, these youths can start movements to change the political system and influence neutral Nepali citizens to join in their crusade. We have waited too long to witness the birth of a prosperous Nepal and it is time that we do it as an independent entity from the government. Let the movement begin!

NEPAL GOVERNMENT, PLEASE LIVE TELECAST YOUR TALKS

All is not well in Nepal. Beleaguered by poor leadership and unstable politics from time to time, it has not been able to steer towards development. On top of that, the growing stalemate between the agitating parties and the government regarding addressing the rights of Madhesis in the recently promulgated constitution has worsened the humanitarian crisis. Now, where am I leading this talk up to? Well, I have tried to understand the situation in Nepal from every perspective, but I have failed owing to the limited knowledge that comes out.

What is actually going on in Nepal? Who really imposed the economic blockade –India, Pahades, or Madhesis? Who is blaming who? Whose rights are we exactly talking about? Wherever I look, I find loose ends. Nor has any article in the newspapers or any person connected to the incident directly been able to clear out my dilemmas. I feel that all these self-proclamation of being a part of sub-groups is not valuable when talking about being a Nepali as the major group.

Madhesis are holding talks with the government to fulfill their demands. Sure enough, they have every right. On the other hand, the government says that they are holding talks with these agitators but in vain. Well, what did it say in order to convince Madhesi leaders to reach to a consensus? Getting authentic answers is the crucial link to understanding Nepal’s protests.

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For this purpose, is not it applicable for the government to publicly show the discussions it had with the agitating parties? Then, the rest of Nepal will be able to identify who is on the right side and who is on the wrong side. It is that easy. As our government makes the discussions in the parliament available, why does not it show what the talks with the Madhesis are really about? I am sure that most of us agree that we are on a neutral side because we don’t seem to understand the situation any better. We can decide who is doing what. Then, we can voice our support to the appropriate demands.

Please note that I am not voicing against any sides. What I want to know is the truth behind the protests that has been going on for more than hundred days. I want to analyze whether the decisions that the government is making authentic or just mere acts. I want to know how few Madhes groups justify the action to attack ambulances and then burn them knowing that there are victims inside.

We know that technology is accessible to most Nepalese, living in Nepal and abroad. Just once, please, please Nepal government, can you feed a live discussion about how you have been addressing Madhesis’ demands? You can at least do that to the people who nominated you, can’t you? Just for once, show what Nepali people have been missing from the news. Help us to analyze the crisis and reach to a decision. Improve our understanding and correct us if we have been blaming the wrong side.

You can do that. Please Nepal government. Only once. Then, we will never use our Right to Information Act again! We promise.

WHY DHOTI IS NO LONGER IN MY DICTIONARY

There was a time when I was taught to call my south Nepalese compatriot with bhaiya or with a derogatory remark, dhotis. Whenever I saw someone relatively black and closely resembling from an Indian descent (as was the stereotype in the Pahadis), my brain automatically used bhaiyas and dhotis to address them. I never realized the negative influence that my Pahadi stereotype had on my life.

My perspective drastically changed when I joined Budhanilkantha school that brought a diverse group of students from all the 75 districts of Nepal every year. Never before had I been exposed to such a diverse culture for I was reared in an area dominated by Gurungs, Brahmins and Chhetris. I had only read about the diverse ethnicity and culture that Nepal boasted of from my social studies book, but I had not experienced it directly Now, I had the chance to refine my stereotyped views in this Mini-Nepal.

I had a daily interaction with almost 60-70 different ethic groups. That was a lot to take in. Why did I need to look them in terms of which areas they come from? Why did it matter to categorize them as Southerners, Northerners, Westerners,  HimaliPahadi, Madhesi,  and Sherpali? Why did my brain have to process their Nepali accents and come up with different permutations to determine their place of origin? Why did I never think that a common term would free me from all these subclasses? That is when I discovered that all these terms were just a bunch of electrons circling a nucleus, Nepali. Yes, it was that easy. These affiliations were nothing but sub groups of being a Nepali.

I rejoiced at the beauty of my interpretation. It was simple yet enormously powerful. I no longer had to gaze at my friends and unconsciously  invite my brain to categorize them before I communicated. I started to call my brothers dais and stopped using dhotis. Calling someone from southern origins dhotis was a shame to the diverse education  I was exposed to and a sign that echoed my narrow-mindedness. I analyzed the society I was brought up in and noticed that it had not embraced a cosmopolitan view of the world. I was surprised that it could still focus its energy on such trivial things instead of diverting its attention to much more important matters.

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There are more than 40 different ethnic groups but unless I told you, you didn’t know about it. All you saw was a group of students who smiled and laughed together.That is what it all matters.

People have come up with various reasons over what has been happening in Nepal right now. However, what I would like to emphasize is the subtle cause of these problems. Interestingly, the reasons trace back to our narrow mindset when our society taught us to follow the stereotypes. What we did was oppress the feelings of our southern brothers. We never treated them as Nepali. The cumulative effects are being felt right now. Even today, the Pahadis view Himalis as Nepali and their definition even extends to the Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling, India, but they categorize Madhesis as an extension of Indian diaspora. Does language play an important role to defining who we are? If so, then why don’t we provide citizenship to an American who speaks fluent Nepali instead of making him wait to fulfil the conditions stated in the constitution? Most of us disagree with what I just said. Why? Because it’s nonsense? If we follow the stereotypical view, does not it make sense to legally grant the American a Nepali status?

The above scenario is where our ideology fails and gets highly criticized. Our moral stances have placed a greater emphasis on the dialect that one can converse in than the decades of life spent in the territory. It discriminates a native who narrowly fails the criteria to become a citizen just because he does not speak proper Nepali. It is outrageous to categorize that way. But, like I said earlier, the stereotypes of the pahadi CDOs (people who look after the administration of the district) drive their unconscious brain to not provide a citizenship to a Madhesi who has lived in Nepal for more than thirty/forty years. He is driven by the fear that someday, Madhesis would meekly accept to India’s sovereignty and it would lead to the division of Nepal.

This narrow perspective is what needs to be changed. Unless we care to teach our kids to call and treat their southern friends as Nepali, no amendment in the constitution will ever make a difference. I am not limiting to the kids only. I am focusing on them because their innocent minds are fooled by what we direct them to believe in. The vicious cycle has to end right now and what greater way than to show our solidarity to our southern Nepalese in the current humanitarian crisis. Moreover, every one of us must refine our thoughts and call everyone Nepali. Treat everyone Nepali. Make sure that everyone is treated Nepali. Slap someone who does not treat the southerners Nepali. Leave a discussion that treats Nepali as Indians. Only then, Nepal will steer towards an era of development and peace. Only then will all the blood-sheds that occurred in Nepal prove worthy.

It is with these very reasons that I no longer care if I am a Brahmin or a Pokhreli and I no longer call my people Dhotis or Madhesis. Why? Because we are, above all our classifications, NEPALI!

 

 

GUFFGAAF EPISODE 1: PLAGIARISM IN THE CONTEXT OF NEPAL

I have teamed up with Bikash Gupta, author of the blog “By the Sidewalk,” to create GuffGaaf. It is a platform where we talk about various subtle issues and share our thoughts. We are hopeful that you will listen to our podcast and enjoy our presentation. We have done our best to share insights in the concerned issues. To be effective in our next episode, we strongly urge you to comment various aspects of the podcast so that we can deliver more terrific ones in the future.

Right now, we are in a starting phase and since we wanted to check how the response would be, we decided to use Nepali language as the medium of communication. For those who are not familiar with Nepali language, downloading the podcast would not make any sense and we are sorry for the inconvenience that this will cause you. However, you can be hopeful that we will be able to deliver future episodes in English.

The two presenters: Bikash Gupta (left) and Manasbi Parajuli (me).

The two presenters: Bikash Gupta (left) and Manasbi Parajuli (me).

For those familiar with Nepali language, you need to download the file in order to listen to our first podcast. I will only be able to link the file since embedding such files are not allowed in the free version of WordPress. Maybe someday I will be able to upgrade to a premium plan and then you can easily listen to the podcasts. I hope that you will appreciate our efforts by downloading the file. We apologize for this issue.

In the first podcast, we discuss about our experiences plagiarizing our projects, essays, poems when we were assigned these works in our school. We also talk about some flaws in our education system that does not penalize the students but appreciate the time they took to google pertinent information. At the end of the podcast, we share some ways that plagiarism can be controlled in the context of Nepal.

Please listen to our talk and provide your valuable feedback.

Link to the podcast: Guffgaaf Episode 1

Please click in the link to download and enjoy!

BIPUL, THE TOPI AND THE FULL CIRCLE

I remember the time when I would come back from the school and turn to Nepali music channels to satiate my crazy love for the pop songs. There were songs from Nabin K. Bhattarai, Sugam Pokhrel and The Uglyz band that invigorated me from the day’s monotony. I would sing their songs to all my might and in the process get accustomed to the musical culture that they had helped flourish in the Nepali industry. As time passed by, I lost interest in the Nepali songs as these popular artists did not meet my expectations and neither did the new ones. The flavor that had spiked my interest in Nepali songs faded away.

It was not until my sister made me listen to The Full Circle’s Maya Mero Maya and Peace of Mind (my mobile’s ringtone since two years!) that I rediscovered the interest that I had in Nepali songs. Those eight or nine years without the Nepali songs making to my personal Top 50 and all of a sudden my sister plays Piece of Mind and bam, it narrowly beat my all time favorite Coldplay’s Life in Technicolor II. Such was the impact of Full Circle band that I searched for more of its songs on YouTube and enjoyed every one of it. I realized that there were Nepali songs that I had unheard of and I took this opportunity to search them.

Gradually, Full Circle’s songs were on a repeat mode for the whole day! Yeah, I was so crazy listening to their songs that it never occurred to me that it had literally bored my appetite. My friends in the hostel went crazy as Peace of Mind was the first choice when it came down to singing out loud in the corridors of my hostel.

(I do not have any rights to the above video. It solely rests with the administrator of the channel. No copyright infringement intended)

Just seven months back, when I accidentally heard Bipul Chhetri’s album Sketches of Darjeeling from his YouTube channel, it blew my mind away. His songs were the exact types of songs that I had longed in my life. The artist combined Himalayan music, beautiful lyrics and intertwined Nepali culture in the background score that it felt they were the most unique Nepali songs that I have ever listened to. The dexterity to perfectly let the songs go along with the Nepali culture and not copy from the westerners was the fairest thing that Bipul has done to his songs. He just makes Nepalese proud. His Mountain High and Deorali Dorah remain my personal favorites. I bet there won’t be a single Nepali music lover who will dislike his songs.

When my sister returned home on her vacation, I asked her to suggest other artists that could possibly blow my mind away. And that is when I stumbled on the Topi Band. If I were to rate the best Nepali music video of all time, it would undoubtedly be Topi’s Mitho Bihani Why? Well, just watch the video and you’ll figure out that such an idea never existed in the Nepali music industry. It’s so damn one of a kind and an out of the box concept. I sincerely request you to check their songs. Also, their music is highly influential and some parts of the songs can be compared to the western hit bands such as the Coldplay and One Republic.

I request you to hear out their songs and share the good that they have done to the music industry. If every Nepali citizen discover their songs, I am betting that they will be the foundations for a revolutionary music in the Nepali industry for the next decades or so.

I will let you decide yourselves. For me, I have to pick my phone as my ringtone Peace of Mind  has signalled!

WE NEPALI CITIZENS HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY

Well, congratulations to the four major political parties for teaching us that greed must not come in the way of development. Although you guys realized it late, the step that you took yesterday to break the political deadlock was praiseworthy. Now, stay on course and deliver us a new constitution within a month. Yup, within a month!

As much as the news comes as a relief to the citizens, we fear that you guys have still not heard our voices. All those talks of reaching an agreement on the issues pertaining to political administration and the required number of states that our motherland needs to be divided seem nothing but a random decision made by just four or so people. The very folks who couldn’t stay on the government for more than a year for reasons we still can’t fathom.

Look, I understand the importance of adopting a federal state for the developments to flourish. I also realize that the recent earthquake has taught us that decentralization is indeed the answer to our dream Nepal. We all do. But it is absolutely crucial to take into account that there are not just four or five people but over 20 million whose decisions carry equal weight. I want to imply that decisions must be made by hearing out from those 20 million people as well. Simply put, WE NEED A NATIONAL REFERENDUM.

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I have been analyzing the political stalemate for years and every time I watch the major political parties fighting to get their ideologies imprinted in the constitution and subsequently failing in the process, I ask myself-Why don’t they ever leave it up to the citizens to decide for themselves? After all, the constitution has to benefit the denizens in the long run! Surely, the political factions would argue that since they were elected by the Nepalese themselves, the idea of conducting a referendum is out of the question. That is never the case for us as we have experienced countless events that depicted ‘the chosen ones’ forgot the reason we voted for them. Their selfish desires continues to live on as a legacy and a foundation to cease the very existence of sending them as country’s representatives.

Now that we have already conducted two Constituent Assembly Elections and are still quarreling over division of states on the basis of caste, we are left to question if, indeed, development ever came as a major political agenda for our elected gentlemen. Referendum is hence necessary. Had the politicians conducted a national referendum four years back and asked us on what basis we wanted to divide our country, we would have given out our opinions. Then they could easily bring the constitution. But they were too stubborn to hear our opinions. And they are still deciding how to damage more chairs inside the Constituent Assembly instead of making blueprints for a prosperous first world Nepal.

Referendum is the pivotal step if we are to avoid civil war inside the country. Because the way our four political parties have stood firm in just discussing their own ideologies and thereby avoided to hear opinions from experts implies that the new constitution is only for them and their relatives, not for the common Nepalese. Common people can lead the country and seek the development that they discuss during tea breaks. We will make it easy for the political parties without conducting any strikes and without coming out of the meeting hall disappointed from the opposition parties.

Please, Nepal government, hold a referendum and we will clarify all the issues hindering the writing of a new constitution. You have seen the unity of Nepali inclusive of all races, castes, sub castes, gender, geographical regions and so on when they helped each other in the aftermath of the Great earthquake. We don’t care which group the affected people belong as it is tiny compared to our ideology that first and foremost, THEY ARE NEPALI-OUR VERY BROTHERS AND SISTERS!

VISIT POKHARA: POST EARTHQUAKE APPEAL

Two days ago, I visited Lakeside and the place took me by surprise. The place seemed deserted with no human movements at all. Few people were audacious enough to open their shops and spend their day. Most of the locals were not in the mood for anything new nor did they seem interactive. Some of the shops were closed as Indian and Chinese owners returned to their home countries.

As a resident of Pokhara, I could not tolerate the fact that the city that was embellished in night lights every time I visited it was no more the same. People closed their shops by 8 o’clock. Restaurants stopped playing music and not a single resident could be seen hanging around in the once vibrant city.

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View of Lakeside as seen on Thursday, June 4

The popularity went a record low as the tourists cancelled their reservations for an indefinite period. As a city that relied more on its natural landscapes foreseeing the Annapurna Range, the post earthquake scenario crippled the city’s economic status. The earthquake was not to blame for the major part as the tourists continued to roam the place even after the April 25 earthquake, but the fact that the international media totally misinterprated the situation at Pokhara, including other tourist spots, justified the tourists’ cancellations to visit Nepal.

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I want to remind you that Pokhara was safe even when the first major earthquake striked, with every buildings within the vicinity of the city safe and sound. The consequent aftershocks did little damage than just to develop minor cracks in the walls. Pokhara is safe enough to be included in your vacation plans. I urge you to visit my beautiful city and bring along your family and friends. If you are scared just because you saw 10 districts severely affected by the earthquake, I have enough reasons to justify that the 65 districts are totally safe and we need you to bring back to the state it was in before the quake. You can immediately head to Pokhara once you land in Tribhuvan International Airport. We Pokhrelis know that had we had our own international airport, the number of tourists would exponentially grow to revive our tourism business. And we are continuously working despite the disaster.
I plead anyone reading this post to please pack your belongings and head to Nepal. It will be the greatest relief operation that you guys will be opting and we will promise to deliver with the ubiquitous hospitality that we are famous for. I thank you for the thousands of donations you have made to various organizations and send in mattresses and tents for the homeless. For the long term, you know we can’t just depend on your donations. Our livelihood must be sustained. We have to raise our families and provide hope for the next generations that hope was never lost.
Please, visit Nepal and being a Pokhreli, make it your priority. The hotel owners have brought out heavy discounts, with upto 50%, because they know that you will answer their pleas. And I believe that you will not disappoint us. The Annapurna Trekking Route is safe and if you still have doubts, I can clear them up by helping you connect with the trekkers and if necessary, provide a live feed of the area.
Let us celebrate VISIT POKHARA 2015/16 and make it the grandest of all adventures. Let us go on a trek to the Poon Hill and get a majestic panorama of the Annapurna Range. Let us boat our way to the Barahi Temple and The World Peace Stupa through Phewa Lake and make it a legendary weekend. We are there to extend your holidays and make sure that you get the best from our city.
Please, Visit Pokhara!! Or help spread the word…