Thursday, 4 October 2012


lthough every one of us knows that education shapes someone’s life, thought, attitude, it at times fails to do so. People forget the importance of education and lose their weight. Sometimes I feel glad to read about the developmental activities and progress of the country. Literacy rate of the country is improving which has really brought great changes in some areas of the country. In spite of these positive results of education, I ask myself why people don’t get their attitude changed. Does education not have that power to change the attitude of people?
                  The people who live in the Kathmandu valley have access to advanced technologies, a wide range of things. Nevertheless, they are narrow-minded. Let me narrate a minute nasty happening which often occur in the first floor of my rented house in Kathmandu.  A family which consists of four members lives just under my room. Both husband and wife are well-educated and I find them quarreling. As far as I am concerned about the wife, she is a perfect housewife. The husband is an electrician whereas the wife is running a stationery shop. The husband beats his wife mercilessly. Their offspring are studying at third standard and fifth standard at a nearby boarding school. What effect their fight may have on those innocent children. Should he be instilled that women are weaker than men in terms of physicality.
                 At present, people talk much of gender equality, right to equality and two sides of a coin. There are many couples who exercise sexual or gender discrimination though they have a very understanding regarding such issues.  They are living in the advanced area but they are practicing ill tradition. Did these husbands swear to beat their wives whilst marrying? Or is their hearts made of stone? People say those who are really asleep can be woken up but those who are under pretence of sleeping cannot be woken up. If someone tries to wake up, it will be nothing other than a futility. There are a number of mushrooming NGOs and INGOs which are working in the area of literacy, women empowerment and gender equality by launching different forms of program in rural and remote areas across the country.
                       The irony is that these organizations have to launch such programs in the Capital instead of underdeveloped areas.  As a male, I sometimes ponder over such social problems. A woman is not only a woman but also a mother. Powerful male fellows should bear this thing in their minds that all the males and females are born by a mother (female). Since human existence may not be possible, males are supposed to show positive attitude towards their wives or females. There should not be any prejudice between male and female. There should be a strong law for the males who dominate their wives and exploit physically. One’s effort to make a country where there gender equality prevails will be impossible. So, let’s work hand in hand to eliminate such long standing social evil.

Amar Sherma (Limbu)


mployees are regarded to be the backbone of what they work for and play significant role for the growth of their companies, institutes, employers and themselves. Unlike government sectors, employees of private sectors work under time constraints so as to carry out given assignments. They have a clear cut that if they are unsuccessful to satisfy their employers, they get sacked or demoted, which may result in suicide, frustration and depression. There are some employees who are loyal, hardworking and dedicated to their employers. The question is bound to arise: Will these employees get promoted? Perhaps they won’t get promoted in the context of our country. Today, I am going to account a story which really happened to a friend of mine some time ago.
             He was an English teacher at a private English medium school and had been working for three years. He is a mongoloid guy. He was working hard in the Kathmandu valley to pursue his higher studies and for his keep. As far as he is concerned, he is an honest, talented and stoical man. Albeit he was a master’s degree holder, he never seemed to boast of his degree. As a learner, he used to come to me to consult as to the English grammar and we spent many nights together discussing our futures.
                He didn’t use to speak ill of his colleagues and employers. His friendship with other staff was blossoming steadily. He further said once or twice some differences arose between him and one of his employers as he voiced for the rights of teachers. At the end of the academic session, he earned some praises from the management of the school. It boosted his morale and energized him to work more enthusiastically for the next academic year. After the results, he had a holiday of 18 days. During holidays, he devised some plans of conducting class with new visions, tools and technology so as to sustain the interest of students inside the classroom.
             Contrary to his thoughts, the employers demoted him and urged him to continue with lower classes or switch to another job/workplace without any reasonable cause. He felt demoralized and distressed. Being one of the most appreciated teachers, he faced an unjust treatment. A trustee of the school told him up that the trustee would teach for the senior classes. He could teach if he was qualified. Then why did he appoint him to handle the senior classes? He (my friend) could not stand enduring such a humiliation and resigned for self-respect. Unlike aforementioned, that trustee appointed another teacher. Was it not politics?
                      At each meeting, Principal of the school used to exhort them to enter the class with a smile on their face. How does a person smile who has fallen victim to injustice and nepotism? How can his face light up who has been disheartened by injuring his dignity and fame? Well-known private boarding schools in the Kathmandu valley are merely glamorous. They just tend to attract the attention of parents to their schools by putting forward high ambitious objectives. In the so-called schools, teachers are forced to teach more than a specialized subject though that is not his or her area of subject. Moreover, salary is not provided on time. In this situation, is it possible to impart quality education? That’s why some think it is no less than donkeywork.

                 The ones who say that politics in school is not entertained are found to be practicing politics in different forms. Also, they exercise discrimination by putting much pressure on teachers, making unreasonable complaints against the one who is not in their favour. Those who crawl to the authorized ones are highly admired and promoted and rewarded. Such unhealthy practices are a hindrance to educational progress. Let’s not make educational sector unethical profession and modern slavery. Some employers, on the one hand, hire those who are ready to work with poor salary and on the other hand people have to take up poorly paid job as unemployment rate in our country is heightening rapidly because their ultimate goal is to gain profit as much as possible. Aside from these, employers give much preference to those who are from their community, caste, religion and so on. This is likely to damage reputation of institution. Employers should treat their employees equally as they treat their offspring at home.    Let’s inspire and encourage everyone and promote individual on the basis of efficiency, qualification and experience, otherwise this profession will be nothing other than a pastime.

This article was  published in The Rising Nepal in 2012.

Amar Sherma (Limbu)


n most cases, a marriage is arranged by relatives and pals, the persons concerned usually having no choice in the matter. In some communities, betrothal takes place at the age of five or six, and is regarded as binding (marriage follows later). A man may remarry after being widowed, but customs forbids the woman to do so though the laws allow it. Because betrothal takes place so early and whilst a man remarries there is often a great disparity in age between him and his bride, there are many child widows in the tarai region of Nepal. Although occasionally treated with pity and sympathy, they are regarded as persons of ill-women, and are often abused until life is made almost intolerable.
                      It was the traditional belief that a woman’s duty to her husband is to bear him sons (not daughters), who may be profitable in life and who can offer panda (small balls of rice placed on the anastral shrine) to him after his death. The law of Manu said, ‘Women were created to be mother’ and the mother is still looked up to buy all right-thinking sons. But the position of a wife may be pitiable if her children are only girls, or if she has none at all. The fact that a doorway must usually be provided when a daughter is married is one very practical reason why parents prefer boys to girls.
                   Marriage is expected to every Muslim. The Prophet is reputed to have said, ‘Many women who will love their husband and be very prolific, for I wish you to be more numerous than any other people’. A Muslim may have as many as, but not more than, four legal wives at any one time. Apart from these, Muslim women, he may marry Jewesses or Christians and these may continue to practice their own religion, but a Muslim girl may be given in marriage only to another Muslim, and her for her there must be no intermarriage of any sort.
           When a man has more than one wife, he is supposed to divide his time equally between them and to treat them equality, if he fears that he will not be. A Muslim may divorce his wife at any time and for many reasons. Divorce caused great suffering to Muslim women today, whereas polygamy is rarely practiced nowadays. It used to happen that a man would try a girl and then after she had borne him several children and become prematurely aged, he would divorce her in favour of another girl. The divorced wife could only return to her father and brothers, to be greeted without enthusiasm and married off, if the opportunity occurred to a second husband, however, undesirable. Such cases are uncommon today. But it is not surprising that Muslim women have no sense of marital security, and normally feel more affinity for their blood relatives than their husbands.

This article was published in Republica in 2012.
Amar Sherma (Limbu)


henever I pick up a newspaper, I see articles, news items about the dismal state of caste discrimination in Nepal, and I feel as if I have once again entered a long, dark tunnel where I'm surrounded by anguished faces and heavy hearts, and where on one dares speak of anything positive. The truth is, relations among the races are far better than many thoughtful and concerned Nepalese give themselves credit for. We are without a doubt a prejudiced nation, but there are countless numbers of us who abnegate to give in to our own impulses.
       But everyday kindness that crosses the colour line doesn't make good copy like a Dalit woman is fed faces inhumanly in the name of witch. Every political leader claims that our country will be better served if they win the election. Our leaders never hesitate to blow their own trumpet, but after winning the election they forget what promise they had made. Later on the so-called leaders are forced to resign. I'm delighted and that the story forced us to ask ourselves how our society could have allowed the individual to rise to such an elevated post.
        These examples of bigotry and ignorance prove that caste tension is always bubbling underneath the surface of upper caste people's and lower caste people's interaction with each other, but I don't think that should come us to sink spirit. The fact is, a wealth of people choose each day to treat each other with respect, we'd live in a state of chaos otherwise. These acts of tolerance may not sell newspapers, but they are what ultimately move us forward.
   My understanding of how far basic fairness can take us came easily on in the form of my 10+2 school teacher though she was a powerful lady, the queen of her domain. My bench partner in the school was one of the lower caste students in the classroom, but she made him feel equal to every other searching diatribe on caste relations, she simply treated him like everyone else. She never dropped even a hint that her student's caste, we all had to adhere to the highest academic standards. What she dreamed of one, she demanded of all. Eventually, we too became a teacher, and when I encountered students whose backgrounds were by caste and ethnically diverse, the memory of my teacher helped me assess my young charges on nothing more than the quality of their work.

I remember another example of the brighter side of caste relations that happened just before my best friend died. Though terminally ill, he was always optimistic that he would see the sun rise for one more day.  Two days before he passed away, I visited him and his wife in his hospital room. He was especially pleased because on this particular evening, he was being entertained by young upper caste guitar players who came to the hospital twice a week to play for cancer patients. My friend, whose skin was blackened even more by the chemotherapy that ravaged his body, listened with rapt attention to rock song, his favourite.
        Whilst he was abandoned in the music class, I was thinking of something else together. I was marveling at the scene-- a young upper caste male playing for some lower caste friends with whom I had not the slightest acquaintance. This, I thought, was at least a partial answer to our country's caste misunderstandings. We had discovered a common thread, in this case music, and were enjoying it with equal passion. Loving what is shared leaves little room for loathing what is different. In that room and among those four individuals, there were no rules, no regulations, no quotas, no affirmative-action concerns--just some musicians, a loving wife and a lifelong friend transcending caste to bring joy to a suffering man.
        Moving beyond caste, like all human involvements, always comes down to caring. To think beyond caste is commendable, to act beyond race is to take a real step toward a more equal society. We'll know we've made progress when we can automatically look past the color of a person's skin, caste, clan and focus on his or her value as human being. I believe we're getting there, one small act of kindness at a time.

If it is too long to publish, some paragraphs can be deleted

This article was published in The Rising Nepal in 2012.

Amar Sherma( Limbu, teaching at a well-known school, a Chief Editor of Writers' Diary, and a vice-secretary of Sustainable Education Nepal-Group (SEN-G)