Ang Kaji Sherpa has never been a mountaineer despite his heritage. A resident of Solukhumbu, he returned home with a pension after 18 years of teaching at Gorkha High School in Hong Kong. While on a walk in the hills of Solukhumbu, I had the opportunity to talk to him and ask his opinion on our nation's education policy. His clear answer was: "Education in our country was never based on what is needed and relevant for Nepalis. Our education was not linked to our environment and did not teach us about our local resources. This is why bikas did not match our needs, and we lagged behind."
Ang Kaji is a wise man. We don't know what binds us together or what can tear us apart. Centuries after the unification of Nepal, we still lack cohesiveness. People are still ignorant about cultural and communal hegemony, which continues to oppress those from other castes and classes. Years ago, long before the Maoist's launched their "People's War", my friend Lokbandhu questioned the lack of positive changes after 1990. He thought the concerns of the minorities, people belonging to different religions, speaking different languages and practising different customs, should be addressed. National unity in its truest sense has yet to materialise. Now, do we wait for an "final solution" as the Maoists want, or do we take "progressive steps" to resolve these problems?