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