Establish a country all Nepalis can call their own
Three ways to realize the vision:
1) Make the constitution more accommodative.
2) Practice ‘rule of law’ instead of ‘rule by law’.
3) Reduce inequality through nationwide schemes and programs.
I am sharing my vision for Nepal, but there should be a vision shared by everyone with the common motive of establishing Nepal as a just nation. This has to begin with our constitution. Unfortunately, we have a contested constitution. But we could turn it into an inspiring document by accommodating in it the feelings of every Nepali.
Similarly, we seem to enjoy ‘rule by law’ but we should instead be rooting for ‘rule of law’. Under the rule of law, laws are updated timely and are upheld by an independent court. The media speaks for the weaker sections of society, and periodic elections are held to secure electoral mandates that are honored by the ruling parties.
Another problem in our society that needs to be addressed is inequality in wealth distribution. To reduce inequalities in society, the minimum and basic needs of the poor people need to be fulfilled. A collaboration between state-owned organizations and private profit-driven enterprises is needed for this.
The issue of social justice is as important. If the identity and dignity of every community are secured, we can achieve social justice. The economic, cultural, and linguistic components of social justice should also get due attention. This allows every individual to equally flourish in society. Access to development and an equal share of benefits from infrastructures, such as education and health services, also determines growth.
Like an organization, a country should also run on several principles. For example, India has ‘Satyameva Jayate’—the truth shall prevail, France has ‘Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity’ but to date, I have not known what Nepal, as a country, aims for. To be honest, Nepal itself doesn’t have a common vision statement or a foundational belief.
Many Nepalis are insecure about the existence of our nation. We live in fear rather than hope. We often think Nepal is being invaded by other countries. We lack motivation and aspiration. Our leaders should work to unite all Nepalis under a single national motto. But then we have no visionary leaders. I see that we even fear taking our nation to new heights.
Since the beginning, what our leaders have learned is that surviving is an achievement. No, it’s not. Afghanistan has survived, Haiti has survived, and Rwanda has survived too. It is not an achievement. If the lives of the people have not progressed, it can’t be termed an achievement at all.
This definition of achievement has to be changed immediately, and the old mindset must not be handed down to the new generation. Yes, survival might have been an achievement at one point, but now, it is not. Every generation has its values, and they should live by them.
I’m not saying we have not achieved anything yet. We have done a lot. But they are all indistinct due to a lack of something iconic. Talking about our achievements, let us compare our literacy rate, per capita income, and health facilities with the same figures from the 60s or 70s—we have progressed. But what we need is a national goal, and every individual working towards it . For this, we should come out of our fear and live with hope. So, Nepalis need a shared vision, which is only possible through social justice, equity, and basic fulfillment. All these things are connected.
Despite being one of the poorest countries for so long, Nepalis have maintained their dignity and high spirit. They have not given up, and I find that encouraging.
So, let’s push ourselves a bit—even small regular attempts will help us move upward. At this point, what bothers me is why Nepali youngsters do not find a way into politics. Every political change that Nepal has experienced, I believe, has been cosmetic, as the fundamentals have always remained the same. It is only with young minds and energy that we can see some fundamental and iconic progress.
Nepal had one of the longest and strictest Covid-19 lockdowns, and the people here accepted it all silently. Even with such an innocent citizen-base, our government has failed to provide safety to the public.
Lastly, life is a precious gift, and there are ways to live it according to an individual’s personality. Either you give up, or you just try to live a happy life, or you live with strict principles. The choice is yours; what counts is the progress you make. But living with principles will encourage you to have a progressive future. It will inspire others to do the same, which is helpful for humanity as it gives purpose and meaning to human life.
Who is your favorite Nepali author?
I have many, and I want to mention as many as I remember right now. Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Bisheshwor Prasad Koirala, Madhav Prasad Ghimire, Sangeet Srota, Shrawan Mukarung, Binod Bikram KC, Khagendra Sangraula, Rajendra Bimal, Mahendra Malangia, and Dhirendra Premarshi. They all are incomparable in their respective genre.
In how many languages can you comfortably read and write?
Four: Maithili, Hindi, English, and Nepali. I can speak and understand Urdu as well, but I can’t write in it.
Among these, which is your preferred language?
Let’s say Maithili while speaking and English while writing.