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Editorial: Maintain social harmony

Editorial: Maintain social harmony

“This is a garden of all castes, everybody should acknowledge it. Everybody from all the four Jat (Caste) and thirty-six Barna (creed) should protect and promote this garden.” The words of King Prithvi Narayan Shah are relevant today. In a world beset by religious and ethnic strife, Nepal's exceptional degree of religious tolerance stands as a testament to its unity in diversity.

But recent events in Eastern Nepal, specifically in Dharan, have raised apprehensions about the stability of this harmonious equilibrium. Disturbing attempts to undermine social and religious cohesion have emerged, which calls for vigilant oversight by the authorities. While immediate crisis may have been averted, the nascent situation remains susceptible to manipulation through the powerful medium of social media.

The constitution of 2015 has enshrined the rights of all castes and communities to practice their faiths and preserve their cultures, safeguarding these liberties from encroaching on the rights of others. Legal frameworks have also been established, delineating the boundaries for all ethnic and religious groups.

Unfortunately, the proliferation of social media has exacerbated the situation, as malicious actors exploit these platforms to disseminate false information and fan the flames of violence. Certain self-proclaimed religious figures have unabashedly amplified their divisive rhetoric, exacerbating tensions through the online sphere. While safeguarding freedom of expression is paramount, authorities must exercise discretion in curbing objectionable content that could incite turmoil.

The specter of external forces seeking to sow discord cannot be dismissed. The collective appeal for calm and unity by political leaders, including Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, demonstrate the gravity of the situation. Government agencies must remain vigilant and intervene if such machinations threaten the social fabric.

In these trying times, the imperative to preserve our cherished tradition of harmonious coexistence is clear. Diligent oversight, unity among diverse factions and a steadfast commitment to maintaining the rich tapestry of Nepali society stand as the bulwarks against divisive forces seeking to erode its unity.