Editorial: Nepal for the Nepalis
A long festive season is around the corner. Marigolds, chrysanthemums, makhmali (gomphrena globosa) and a myriad other flowers are in full bloom, as if in celebration. The air is full of our very own Mangal Dhun and Malshree. The kites flying high in the sky and crops ready for harvest in our fertile fields also seem to be suggesting us all to not worry too much.
But our hearts are not as full of joy as they used to be in the midst of festivities, with several factors seeking to eat into our peace, bliss and happiness. Rising market prices have become a killjoy with the absence of the state in the market giving black marketers a free rein.
Apart from the utter lack of the rule of law in the market, the wounds from the recent killing of 10 Nepali students in attacks in Israel are still raw.
As a peace-loving nation, which itself has been a victim of violence and terror, our prayers are for peace and tranquility all over the world. As a country that has been contributing to United Nations peacekeeping operations around the world, including in the restive Mideast, Nepal, the birthplace and tapobhumi (the place of meditation) of Gautam Buddha and numerous other enlightened souls like Rishis, Maharshis and Munis, should do its utmost for the cessation of hostilities.
On the domestic front, the government should do far more than it has been doing to curb the literal exodus of hundreds of Nepalis to foreign shores every day, At the heart of this alarming brain and muscle drain is a growing feeling among the most productive age group, the youths, that the country is heading toward a dark abyss, thanks to a rudderless political leadership and a bureaucracy that has failed to act as the permanent government, by and large.
Instead of taking concrete measures to stop this drain, the government itself seems to be aiding and abetting this exodus, driven by the lure of remittances, without giving a hoot about the multi-faceted negative impacts of this drain on Nepal.
Learning lessons from the tragedies in Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq and high death rates of Nepalis working in subhuman conditions around the world, the government needs to adopt policies that create jobs and a favorable environment for doing business in the country. Only then will Nepal be able to get a population dividend, ushering the country in an era of peace, progress and prosperity.
On their part, the youths would do well to stop searching for the proverbial land where milk and honey flows. The youths should realize that their motherland/fatherland needs them the most, especially at a time when it has been facing serious crises. They should ask themselves as to why they cannot make a living in Nepal even when lakhs of people from the neighborhood have been doing exactly the same.
They should never forget that this country is too precious to be left to a bunch of rulers, who have their petty interests at heart, at the expense of the greater good of the country.
Let Goddess Durga inspire us to reclaim our country and our destiny.
Dec. 11, 2023, 2:15 p.m.
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