Sustainability - Mirror on Nepalâ€™s Reflection
By: Jay R.
P.S: This article is a complete independent observation of an independent observer. It does not reflect any institution, individual or agency. Discretion is advised.
How could Nepal sustain itself? The political developments in Nepal in the recent months are quite radical, to an extent in which only a few leaders runs the entire show of the State, and gambles its very existence. The over-politicized Nepalese public is very hard to be tamed in a manner of common political grounds for the development and peace of the country. I find Nepalese state in a state of turmoil. Its leaders are most inefficient to run the nation towards higher ends. But rather Nepal has been marketed as a â€˜Begging Bowl of Asiaâ€™. These political leaders including the Prime Minister look Nepal as a country that could only survive on foreign charities. It is high time for the country to realize that its prestige is not supported by Mt. Everest or its independent non-colonial status or even the land of Buddha. The contemporary history tells a complete different story. The international donor countries are helping Nepal to not eradicate poverty but to build poverty on terms of begging alms. Why should a nation economy depend of AIDS or charity? Arenâ€™t Nepalese Government and its people responsible for its own economic destiny with their so called peopleâ€™s revolt? My views might be very radical, but any rational observer would question its observation.
I am completely against donor nations in Nepal to donate funds and other economic help except in cases of natural disasters or alike. This has been followed for years and need to stop now. This has not solved any poverty related issues or even eradicated poverty to a slightest level, or even sustained the development activities. In fact, Nepal has been turned into a â€˜Begging Bowl of Asiaâ€™. For how long will such practice last? It annoys me when I read in nationâ€™s leading newspapers in the headlines that reads, â€˜ Swiss Government donated Six Ambulancesâ€™ or â€˜ Indian Government donated 20 Vans to commute Nepalese Constituent membersâ€™ or â€˜ Pakistani Government donated books to schoolsâ€™ or â€˜German Government donated 22 steel closets to Nepal Libraryâ€™. I often think, what is the quality of the nation like when such minor issues are highlighted on its headlines news? Does Nepal really function on a basis of good governance or just like a â€˜ dharmasalasâ€™ in the region? How could country sustain itself if such petty things are taken care by other nations? I know the answer to this. All AIDS should STOP! The developed and richer nations should realize that their petty gifts and donations have made smaller and poorer nations to ignore their capability to do by themselves and always seek alms to run its nation state. These so called development AIDS have made lesser fortunate nations to completely depend on such AIDS, and fail to do their part to attain sustainability to their region. There is a famous citing an ancient Chinese proverb that says â€œgive a man a fish and you have fed him for today, but teach a man to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime.â€ This is the case that needs to be acknowledged. The meaning is deep and has rationality behind the words.
In sovereignty context, Nepal has turned into a semi-independent state. The politicians have committed a blunder and are continuing to commit such blunders. I do not understand the state machinery that runs like a child in a kinder garden. It is not a hidden fact that Nepal is a soft state and is influenced by external forces very easily. The distribution of Nepalese citizenships to millions of southern border inhabitants who do not have legal papers to prove that they are Nepali citizens is a small example. The soon to be extradition treaty with India to hand over third country nationals to India is another example and so the list goes on. The politicians are under Indian payroll and they reach conclusions without doing their proper homework. I was quite shocked to realize when one of my Indian companion, who traveled with me acknowledged that Indians consider Nepal as their external province. Well, this speaks a lot of Nepal.
In context to Nepalâ€™s employment power, the country has marketed itself as a number one source for physical labor in Qatar, UAE, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the list goes on, which not to mention India. In India, Nepalese are considered poor and cheap labor and termed as â€˜bahadursâ€™ or security guards. Also, Nepalese domestic help is considered a great asset to broom their houses, cook their food, and yes not to mention prostitution. Nepalâ€™s Government, has time and again encouraged their policy to turn their countrymen who are less fortunate to make a â€˜mule of themselvesâ€™ in this era of technological advancement. And this same government talks about feudal elements. Who could be more feudal that the politicians themselves? Such Nepalese policies do not uplift the nation but downgrades its very existence.
In continuation of the topic of Nepali work opportunities in Nepal itself. There are two major domestic employers. The Banking sector with its numerous banks rapidly increasing monthly, employs a significant number of Nepalese youths. The educated masses get employed in banks whereas the uneducated masses, which includes so called PLA candidates gets place in the state Army. It is mind boggling to realize how the thinking tanks of the state functions. Its Army already employs 90,000 troops not including police and other armed security forces. Now, with the leadership of new Maoist leaders, they wanted the Nepal Army to be their employment agency to employ their cadres in thousands. Not only employ their 40,000 plus cadres but also working towards giving them educational degree as a reward for having committed themselves in the so called â€˜Maoist Warâ€™. Such genius decisions by the Nepali leaders make mockery of the educational degrees and its establishments. Here we have so called great cadres getting degrees with no knowledge of what alphabet A stands for, and on the other hand politicians beg for AIDS and funds with foreign donors to support their very cadres. This is an excellent job well done towards further downgrading of Nepali nation hood. Instead of giving them pen to write in their early days, these so called Maoist cadres in thousands were given guns to have their way heard. I must praise the decision of the leadership to even bring such commitment to the so called â€˜hard working Nepalese peopleâ€™ whose job duties start at 11 in the morning and off by 4 in the evening. Such hard working citizens are well to be praised off. And the strikes and shutdown these hard working citizens causes for every small reasons costs their nation hundreds and thousands of dollars in loss to state treasury and not to mention the problems that are created for good law binding citizens. I must say they need a pat on their back. And yes, I wonder who is going to pay for the huge army? Where is the state going to get funds? I suppose, they plan to knock at the donor nations doors or the tax payers money. But the former is the better solution, I guess! I think it would be better if United Nations have special seating arrangements in the General Assembly Hall in New York for nations that run on charities. It would be easier that way, since Nepal would top the list and would not need to trouble itself reaching other nations.
Reaching out to the leadership, I cannot understand the leadership in their slightest mood. I do not see Nepal army being productive in anyway. The army that could not control its own internal conflict for over 12 years and maintain law and order, how could they supposedly control the country if any external attack by its neighbors occur, which is absolutely unlikely. In short, I personally feel that Nepal DOES NOT need this huge army. It is just a burden on state expenditure in the name of security. The Nepal army has in history been most unreliable to chain of commands. The army became the loyal servant of the person in power. This same army swore in the name of legion to then Shah rulers, and then went against them and became a dog loyal to the Rana Maharajahs, and then again swore loyalty to Shah dynasty, and again became loyal to those whom they were fighting against for years. In short, they ditched time and again to those whom they swore their loyalty to. The army is gutless and likes to be an under garment for those in power. It is not far that the same army will run with their boots on if any external forces attack. Their disloyalty is something that we all should think of before we rest our nationâ€™s security on their shoulders. Talking of war and bravery is even far away when they cannot even control their border encroachment by its neighbor. I am a realist, and a rational observer. I look and analyze what is seen in recent years.
I strongly believe that Nepal cannot effort to maintain its army. It is absolutely unnecessary to maintain army let alone increase its numbers, when the funds could be diverted to much development projects in the country like establishing schools, building roads, hospitals, establishing proper and efficient administration and focus on development of the state in overall areas. Many countries like Costa Rica, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, Vatican and many others do not have an army. Instead, they have allocated their funds for development in many sectors that have helped their economies and sustained their development. So, how do you think Nepal could sustain itself in this endless and senseless power play? How could nation head towards development? In Nepal, people expect them to be fed by others. If they need their nation to move forward, they need to realize that just talking politics does not make them a lion of the jungle. They need to act in a manner where sustainability is not just a process but a reliability of a vibrant and rational statehood.