Depoliticise NRNA

  • NRNs’ umbrella body may face leadership crisis if dirty politics aren’t uprooted

Oct 17, 2017-

Non-resident Nepalis (NRNs) have once again gathered in Kathmandu to attend the NRN Global Conference and International General Assembly. The global conference and international general assembly have been held in the Capital once every two years since the formation of the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) in 2003. This has provided over 4 million NRNs residing in 77 countries a platform to network, share ideas and chart out plans to give back to the nation.

Many Asian countries, including China, India, South Korea and Vietnam, have benefited from their diaspora community at different periods of time. People who leave their motherlands searching for better opportunities generally return to their countries either temporarily or permanently with a mind full of knowledge and a pocket full of cash. So, the brain drain that occurs when people leave the country is usually offset by ‘brain and financial resource gain’, which ultimately helps in the nation-building process. Nepal’s experience has been quite similar as well. Be they entrepreneurs, or those working as academicians, top corporate officials, or menial job labourers, everyone who has gone abroad and worked for a few years has learnt something new and is keen on sharing the knowledge back in the homeland. This has supported Nepal’s evolution process to some extent, making NRNs one of the agents of change.

But what is disheartening is the pace at which politics is corroding the umbrella body of NRNs. The NRNA was established as a not-for-profit social organisation. But considering the manner in which it is allowing itself to be infected by dirty politics, it is fast transforming into a political organisation.

A snapshot of the downward spiral of NRNA is generally seen during the run up to the elections of the umbrella body, when contenders seek blessings from political leaders and spend tens of millions of rupees to garner votes. This time’s election, which was held on Monday, was no different, as two contenders for the president’s post, Bhaban Bhatta and Jamuna Gurung, resorted to similar techniques to grab the NRNA’s driving seat for a period of two years. Had they used the money to educate underprivileged children or treat poor patients, the society—and Nepal—would have benefited a lot.

If this continues, many intellectual NRNs and professionals loaded with technical expertise and knowledge will continue to distance themselves from the NRNA. This will eventually create a vacuum of experts in the body, triggering leadership crisis. This will make it easier for the less-experienced and opportunists to lead the body, who will be more interested in promoting partisan agenda.

The newly elected NRNA president should root this problem out immediately. Otherwise, NRNs will lose whatever goodwill and respect they have earned in the country.

Published: 17-10-2017 08:03

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