Nepali Times Asian Paints
Politically Cracked
Stuff of dreams



Last weekend, I joined my mother in the field to plant paddy seedlings in three tiny terraces by the side of a river. It's a task that always seems a little futile as the soil is comprised of pebbles and sand. Any fertile particles once there have been swept up and away by the trucks and tractors driving to the river for a wash, allowing the rocks underneath to enjoy the sunshine.

Like last year, the six-inch canal that leads to the field was delivering only droplets, a disappointment for seedlings that like to swim in water. Yet there was my mother, carrying spades, shovels and buckets, insisting on planting in the hope that using the land and the mulch produced during the harvest will make the soil a little more fertile next year.

Her hard work and the unshakeable belief that it will, one day, lead to success seemed particularly remarkable this year. I returned to Kathmandu with mud under my toenails to find pictures of the Fourth of July celebrations of my friends in America. Among the pictures of Wave Your Flag cakes and "the bunch of slobs trying to eat 78 hot dogs without barfing" were messages of pride in the American dream: the promise of freedom and with it prosperity and success, the idea that with hard work, everyone can achieve prosperity.

Whether it is the families behind Swayambhu breaking rocks day in and day out, or the men who lug around baskets of fruits on their bicycles in the high afternoon heat, the culture of hard work is not alien to Nepal. Yet there are also cases like that of Basudevi Sunar of Rajpur who was forced to flee her village with two young daughters two weeks ago because she was ploughing her land to grow food. She was told that as a woman, she is not allowed to use a plough while her (by her account, useless) husband is still alive. So her neighbours shaved her head, paraded her around the village with a garland of shoes around her neck, then kicked her out.

What kind of people punish a woman trying to make a living? And what does it say about the Nepal we want to live in? What is the Nepal of our dreams? Many countries have slowly picked themselves up after ravaging wars, aided by a collective vision. A dream. After the Korean War, South Korea rallied its human resources to build a new, prosperous nation. After the Second World War, the Japanese decided to ditch the warrior ethos and adopted a national policy centred on peace. Germany too tempered itself to put an end to its imperial ambitions in Europe.

It holds true that in life, without a vision, it is hard to move forward, hard to bind people together, and hard to lead people. If nations were people, what kind of person would Nepal be? Would it be a man of subsistence stumbling from one day to another? Would it only look out for itself, while making sure nobody is doing better? Never before in our history have we had so much freedom, never before have we had so much control over our destiny. This is the time to set our national vision, a dream that goes beyond the political masquerading that Naya Nepal has become. This is a time for Nepali heroes. Because people are the stuff dreams are made of.

10+2 for public health, KUL CHANDRA GAUTAM
Green hunt, PUBLISHER's NOTE
Conflict of coverage, CK LAL
What's sticky?, ASHUTOSH TIWARI

1. Gole
"without vision,it is hard to move forward, hard to bind people together, and hard to lead people." Very well said.
Udarah sarva evaite jnani tvatmaiva me matam. -BG. 7:18.
(Noble indeed are they all, but the man of vision and I are one.)-said the Lord Krishna.
 That is what we are lacking in our country.In the West they wanted to make four footed into two footed ,but we went ahead making two footed into four footed! The result is before us all. We are in animal farming.

2. hange
Eloquently written and spot-on true.  Beautifully done Indu; may your insights gain wide recognition & acclaim and may your mother's field become fertile again.

3. Dave
How true. The Bible says "Where there is no vision the people perish" Proverbs 29:18

4. anish
A good article. But, how many of such articles have we read? It's just ridiculous that we just don't seem to be able to spring into action. All of us feel that there is a opportunity in this chaos but what is stopping us to make something out of it? No, Really, this is a question to all the readers. Is it Politics, our geography ? Is it lack of vision or leadership? Don't we believe in ourselves?Are we inherently incapable of achieving something as a country?What is it?

5. Sargam

In a democratic regime the discussion is the first step in what should be a never ending effort by the vigilant Media in holding feet to the fire of those charged with the implementation of the probity of laws to be effective. In doing so they simply become the fourth estate of their own free will.

It ain't too much of a stretch to ponder and wonder when we notice the now government get everyday deeper in the dilemma should instead have first dibs on Exchequer by creating sustainable jobs in various domains of infrastructure that Nepal as a state ought to be all set and bound to honor for the better good of the denizens of this nation.

It is economically feasible thanks to several of those donor countries sending invariably some sizable amount of money (see Switzerland made out a check of Rs 90 million as did Japan and the GB lately, specifically meant for the purpose of amelioration of national infrastructures may that be roads, water supply, energy distribution, health care, and to avert deforestation) to this government which shall be accountable to the citizens if need be.

This action is as well valid in a down economy for the very reason that in the past couple of years with the crisis in full swing the Finance Minister came forward with a bracing budget to support the construction of a fast-track-four-lane-Highway between Kathmandu and Birgunj. Plus, if we stick to his promise, right after the completion of the aforesaid Highway, all efforts would be spearheaded toward the construction of an International Hub Airport at Nijgar. As of now, it is time we had known better of that promise of the past formulated by the nonpareil Finance Minister.

We have had more than our fair share of politicking episodes of the past leading us nowhere but stalemate. For once, we must push and jostle for the sake of overall development no matter if a so-called political party doesn't help ready us for understanding the pervading trends of the progress all throughout without an atmosphere of doom and gloom that we Nepalese are bound to get over to leap on the bandwagon. We must not hesitate to steering clear the future path leading to this safe haven even if we are forced to use the unconventional ways and means to avoid stagnation and stale paralysis.

Ms. Indu Nepal, there are a chunk of progressives in this country ready to endorse your plea for intercession and better life in Nepal, and you can count me in.

6. jange
# 4 Anish

The problem is that Nepalis society and its leaders have compromised their morality/integrity with regard to the violence wrought by the Maoists. While they are happy to accept the political gains brought about by Maoist violence they are unable/unwilling to openly accept the role of violence in Nepali politics.

Neither are they able to categorically denounce and reject the Maoist violence as it would put a question mark on the political "gains" which they are reluctant to surrender.

This situation will never be resolved because our intellectuals and political leaders lack the integrity to face it. We just have to wait until they die off and that will take another two generations.

Until then it will carry on like this.

7. Akanchhya Gurung

Ms. Indu Nepal, Hats off to you once again for your excellent article which is very relevant to the present condition of Nepal. Excellent...!!!!

Keep up the Spirit......!!!! Now, I have no doubts to bet that you are amongst the "Best writer" who writes for Nepali Times..........

Sometimes, I think that time has already come for young Nepali generation with bright ideas and vision plus dedication to take a lead in Nepali Politics for "Nation Making"purpose..........Indeed.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)