Voice Of The People

Dec 25, 2015-

FALSE PROMISES

People must be happy to know that PM KP Oli has promised to end load shedding within a year. However, many previous governments and ministers had made such promises too. But concrete measures were not taken to fulfil those promises. In any case, it is easier said than done. Even so, things might turn around this time considering the hardships faced by the country and its people due to the ‘unofficial’ trade blockade by the Indian government since the last three months. This situation had forced the government to seek alternatives to improve and strengthen the energy sector (‘Fuel crisis prompts govt to mull 15-year plan,’ December 23, Money I). 

Time has come for the Oli government to put detailed plans and programmes in action to reduce the existing load-shedding hours and to assure the public that the government is serious this time. Those plans and programmes should be immediately implemented in order to complete them by the end of next year. Also, the plan to reduce the consumption of fossil fuel in the next  15 years sounds very good. This demands serious political commitment, sincerity and responsiveness on the part of the political leaders. The existing bureaucratic system requires a complete overhaul as it is heavily politicised.

Rai Biren Bangdel,Maharajgunj

MADDENING CROWD

Nepal is an extremely fortunate country contrary to what Hari Prasad Shrestha thinks (‘The great fall,’ December 18, Page 6). Just imagine what would have happened to us if we were in a similar position to South Korea, Kuwait and Tanzania that are forced to share their borders with countries with megalomaniac leaders like Kim Jong Un of North Korea, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and Idi Amin of Uganda. Although at times condescending, India and its leaders are not even a fraction as bad as Kim or Saddam or Idi. Kim constantly threatens to use nuclear weapons against South Korea; Saddam attacked Kuwait leading to the Gulf War; and Idi Amin proposed a boxing match to Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere to solve all ‘outstanding issues’ between the two neighbours. We are also extremely fortunate to have politicians like Prachanda, Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha who helped us to discover, among others things, our ethnic roots, identity and pride. I always considered myself Nepali first and Newar second. In fact, my Newar identity was immaterial before they opened my eyes. Today I am a bigoted Newar. No kidding. Last week, I went to purchase a ‘Bhadgaunle topi’, the first one in my life. The shopkeeper asked me if I wanted a khukuri. I was taken aback and I reminded him that we lived in the land of Buddha, apostle of peace, and as such a khukuri had no place in our lives. He was taken aback and he stammered and said, “I am talking about an insignia for the topi.” 

I told him that was even worse  as people will look at the khukuri  in our topi and infer that we are militants. He went cold. He then offered to sell me a Nepali flag.I told him I was a Newar and asked him for a Newari flag. I urged the shopkeeper to be proud of his identity as a Newar. I advised him to not allow the sacrifice of the politicians to go in vain by not flaunting his identity. I was just kidding to this man who was visibly shaken with confusion.

Before I departed, I assuaged his feelings by telling him that no matter what politicians say, we would always be Nepalis and that we could have no other identity. Unfortunately, this identity business has become so important for politicians and their followers that it will one day bring great misfortune upon the country. 

Manohar Shrestha, via email 

Published: 25-12-2015 10:14

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