opinions

DOES ACTION FOLLOW INSPIRATION?

 

Here is a cliched fact. We are the sum of all the experiences that we encounter as we live. These skills may be good or bad. In either way, we feel inspired to do something new or change the way we carry out our tasks. Whatever the reason, most of the time we are inspired. The surge of adrenaline pushes us to become ambitious, and we begin to imagine taking action to turn those immature ideas into reality. Alas, the effects are ephemeral.

Imagine that we recently finished watching a documentary about the life of Elon Musk. It strongly depicted his visionary in turning an impossible idea into reality. The struggles and sacrifices and the criticisms he had to overcome to become the most influential figure. The story about how he founded PayPal and sold it to concentrate on SpaceX and building fuel efficient electric Tesla cars.

If we know more about Musk than I have mentioned here, then we might have already been inspired to do something new. The jumbled impossible ideas in our head will start to make sense as the neurons connect and provide meaning to our thoughts. So far so good. An hour later, we are still as determined as we were when we finished watching that documentary. Ok. Turn the clock 12 hours forward, and I bet that we are spending our time talking about the hundred reasons why Messi retired from the international stage. The inspiration is no longer there.

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Nature sure inspires us but for how long can we keep under its influence?

Sometimes, all these thoughts do not make any sense. The brain is fooling us. It wants us not to indulge in tedious tasks. For the brain, less means more rest. We slowly lose productivity in our daily tasks.

Or imagine watching our favorite TV series or movies. I bet that most of the time, we come out inspired at the end of the show. Then, we are energetic for the time being and after few hours, we are back to watching something to get inspired once more. The cycle repeats.

In my case, I am writing this post after more than three-month hiatus. Between this post and the last post, I have been inspired to write at least more than thousand times. I never made it to writing one, though. The thoughts about spending an hour in front of the laptop and writing a blog post so that it can influence those who read could never outsmart the idea of watching cool YouTube videos for that hour. I lost the reason for my writing. I decided that it required a lot of efforts and a lot of edits before it gets published. There was no profit in writing a blog post, or at least that was what I thought. That was it. Excuses piled up and before I realized that it was making me less productive, it was already too late.

But why so much hesitation? Why can’t we push ourselves beyond our limits and not slack in any possible ways? Why do we need to wait to get inspired until we watch the next exciting show? The reason is that we don’t get any incentive even if we had completed that task. To illustrate, let’s say that we want to create a new social media app that can challenge the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. We begin to work on it. Midway, we convince ourselves that there is no reason in continuing our work because our efforts do not get appreciated. We are not getting any chocolate. We are 100% sure that our idea will not persuade any investor. We are 200% sure about wasting our time, and that is when we quit on our idea even though we had watched a movie 12 hours earlier where the protagonist never gives up and shines on the big stage.

Why can’t we continue our inspiration in building something until we reached the end product? Or are we just lazy and living in a different reality where putting in efforts is not the best way to enjoy our free time? Or did someone inspire us to do so?

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!

 

 

KO SARKAAR, KO JANATA?

I am very fond of Nepal’s politics. My earliest memories to getting inclined to its contemporary issues date back to when I was in grade seven. Over this period, I closely observed the 19 day People’s movement in 2063 BS. However, since the restoration of parliament, and dethronement of monarchy and declaration of Nepal as a federal state, I have seen more number of Nepali politicians messing up with the meanings of Sarkaar (government) and Janata (the people).

I have been intrigued that most of the newspapers revolve around what the politicians from the major parties think in terms of the needs that they wished would be granted to the citizens of Nepal. Headlines are mostly directed to these politicians’ definitions of government and the citizens. Now, who do they actually refer to when they lash out at The Government’s failed attempt to expedite the aviation traffic that caused an uproar among the Nepalese diaspora (the Turkish Airlines skidding off the runway of the only international airport) or when they constantly speak of Nepali Janata wanting this or wanting that?

Janatale jaatiya raajya khojekai chhainan!“Bipachhi partyle ajhai pani sochna baadhya bhachhainan ki janatale tiniharulai bharosa nagarerai kum vote diyeka hun bhanera.”

How should we make sense of the word "Janata" in this context?

How should we make sense of the word “Janata” in this context? Source:Nepalnews.com

Now, if we scrutinize the choice of words that politicians alike have included in their daily lectures, we are in a dilemma to really sort out the exact audience that they so enthusiastically talk about. Do they authentically imply the thousands of voters who hoped to see the promulgation of new constitution or is it just a pretext to mix their own ideologies into their gaffe so that ultimately the general people’s faith molds into that of the politicians’? From what I have astutely observed, the latter is the answer.

Mostly the major parties make such blatant statements. The political leaders have been surprisingly stubborn to attest to the very fact that they are not speaking for the general people but for their own parties’ members and for their own sake. In other words, all we have been hearing on the media and the countless referrals to janata are all fake. We have been deceived from these elected leaders.

The leaders, to be exact, do not know what we desperately want. Had they known then we would have been blessed with a constitution from the first Constituent Assembly. Instead, their very ideology that they had embraced turned against them and despite the second election taking place and the leaders’ commitment to promulgate the constitution within one year, the leaders have been losing trust from the janata.

On the other side, I constantly hear that sarkaar is all responsible for whatever occurs/affects us in our daily lifves. Whatever! Most of the incidents that make headlines in national newspapers include excerpts from the victims who strongly condemn the sarkaar for not giving enough attention to the agony that they are experiencing. “Sarkaarle haamilai waastai garenan!” “Tapaile haamiharulai dosiko aarop nalagaaunu kinabhane sabai sarkaar ko nai dosh chha!” Now, what do you exactly make of these statements? Who is sarkaar (government) in your opinion? When you enter a tea shop, you can hear customers engaging in gaffe that mostly revolves around blaming the government. Does the definition of government limit to just the thirty or more ministers with their office secretaries who compromise the Executive? Or does it genuinely imply those employed in the government offices as well (all the employees who work in various government services)?

Maybe we should fix our perception of what we truly regard the government and its people. Maybe all we have been doing is playing the blame game and forcing our minds to narrow its definition of government and the people. Maybe it is all our fault that this discussion is taking place.

So, the next time any political discussion heats up and a political leader stands firm in the act referring to janata‘s ideologies that the discussion has progressed so far, remember to fully comprehend the statement. Because it may not be ours’ view but the leader’s stance to support his party members. And, when any disaster strikes our country do take a note of the misinterpreted word sarkaar anywhere in the news. Because as it stands, it would really mean PM Sushil Koirala’s Cabinet Ministers, including himself, did not give any damn attention to the disaster and its victims whatsoever.

We just have to make sure that these statements are contextual and not a fabrication of the general people’s opinions; for in a democratic country, people’s voices must be respected.