Friday, 27 November 2015

TIME TO BE UNITED


                                            

When I see children playing holding one another’s hand. I can clearly notice the sign of innocence and unity in their faces. This drives my mind back to those early days when neither natural disasters nor artificial occurrences affected me. I wished there’re many festivals like Dashain and Tihar in the calendar so that I could get new clothes, visit relatives’ homes and eat delicious foods; bandas and strikes so that I could play and have fun; no exams so that I didn’t have to go to school; no nights so that I didn’t have to sleep and waste time and so on.

But the time has changed now. As a teacher, I sometimes have to teach my students about those political personages who launched non-violent campaign to end discrimination on the basis of colour, caste, race, geography, nationality etc. Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandel, Mahatma Gandhi, Madan Bhandari, Manmohan Singh, etc are the people whose contributions and qualities are still highlighted and students are encouraged to emulate their qualities when they grow up. But today I’m young enough to scrutinize, feel and analyze current political, social and economic circumstances. I cannot tell my students at the moment which politician is righteous and can lead our nation in the right direction.

I feel hurt when my friends and colleagues with different religious, political, social and economic backgrounds start heated discussions, sometimes arguments, on ongoing affairs in the country. Friends and colleagues have divided themselves into two fractions: terai origin and hill origin. There has been a cold relationship between friends and colleagues. Black-complexioned students are labeled either ‘Madhise’ or ‘Dhoti’. The incidents of killing white-complexioned or red-complexioned civilians are coming to light. People have lost humanity and returning to the barbaric age. Newspapers are filled with only the incident of unsuccessful dialogues between the government representatives and agitating political parties, violence, curfew, destruction of public properties etc. Political parties have lost credibility. The present plight of Nepal is no less than that of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other African nations.  People have been restive and felt insecure.  

The inhumane blockade imposed by our southern neighbouring country, the April 25 earthquake, black market, lack of essential commodities, shutting down of industries and academic institution, long and uncertain bus journey, inflation, rising unemployment and so on have adversely affected all Nepalese’s lives. I read newspapers and watch TV more frequently than ever before with an eye to hearing good news. Nepalese people’s outlook on India was always negative and contemptuous due to petty treatment. The recent undeclared blockade has added fuel to the flames. Our growing new generations are also going to have the same attitude towards our southern neighbouring country.  Indian Prime Minister, Modi’s visits to Nepal had shown a goodwill gesture, but the neighbouring country has again hurt the sentiment of Nepalese and reinforced an old saying ‘Might is right’. Let’s be united and show our selfish neighbouring countries that we are self-sufficient and brave Gorkhalis! Jaya Nepal!

Amar Bahadur Sherma
Editor-in-Chief



LESSON FOR OUR POLITICAL FAILURES


Coincidentally, it was a Saturday when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked central part of Nepal on April 25 claiming thousands of lives, hundreds of injured and some thatched roofed houses and cemented houses to rubble. After a long time’s hiatus and tremendous effort, Nepal’s 22-year long title draught came to an end after Nepal beat India, a South Asian powerhouse in football, last Saturday on penalties in an exciting final of the first Saff U-19 Championship at Anfa Complex in Satdobato.  Hearty congratulations to the players, coach, manager and those who are directly and indirectly associated with the team.

Late South African icon Nelson Mandel once said, ‘It always seems impossible until it is done.’ When Nepal took on Bhutan and Bangladesh in the league round of the championship, none had envisioned Nepal as a winner or champion of the first edition of SAFF U-19 Championship 2015. Despite it, the youth team converted impossibility into possibility by correcting their initial weaknesses and mistakes. Past is a guide for present and future.

The youth team’s skipper Bimal Gharti Magar said, ‘All of us wanted our arch-rivals India in the final to defeat. We played with determination and team spirit.’ Likewise, another prominent figure, a hero of the day, Nepali youth team’s coach, Bal Gopal Maharjan emotionally said, ‘ I want to dedicate this title to the souls of those who died in  the devastating April earthquake and the late acting  president of ANFA Lalit Krishna Shrestha who died of electrocution.’

Yes, it was neither Maharjan’s nor Magar’s team’s glory but of the whole Nepal and Nepalese. To our dismay, on the final day, only two high profile political figures K.P. Sharma Oli and Purusottam Poudel were present at the event. There were nearly 3000 spectators to cheer up and boost the morale of Nepali players. No matter what religions they followed, what parties they supported, what castes they belonged to, what walks of life they came from, what geographical belts they were from etc, their uniform slogan was ‘NEPAL’. There was a strong sense of unity. I could not resist emotional tears of glory when Nepal lifted the trophy. 

If our selfish politicians are really committed to their words or if they are grateful to those martyrs who lost their life in different movements, they have to work in unity, mend their past errors and materialize martyrs’ dream. Nothing is impossible if our politicians stretch out their arms to perfection with constant concentration, devotion and a sense of unity. Until and unless the finishing touch is given to the constitution writing process, the departed souls of martyrs are no longer going to rest in eternal peace.

I wonder why our politicians do not understand that the more diverse the country is, the stronger the country will be. The Nepali youth team consisted of diversification; therefore, they overcame all hurdles, challenges and difficulties. The players didn’t play for themselves or personal gain but for the nation, an economically poor Himalaya nation but culturally rich.


Srijana Rai
BEd, KMC
Koteshwor, Kathmandu