Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Let’s choose life over death

Dear friends, all of you who now have been caught in the revolt and the violence that is burning this land of the Buddha! Are you sure you are not heading down a path that can have grave consequences? Are you sure that you are not wasting your most creative years by taking the destructive path just because you've decided to go by what others are saying? Stop and think, perhaps your violence has caused many "peace-loving" Nepalis to hang their heads in shame.

Maybe you have not yet forgotten the compelling arguments you presented when you were asked to write an essay "the pen is mightier than the sword" while still in school. That was when you upheld the pen as the harbinger of "life, progress and civilisation" and compared the sword with death and destruction. But many people who once put forth this argument are now taking up arms. You have now legitimised getting rid of people you don't like by declaring them rogues, class enemies or informants. You may not take long to get rid of them once you've decided what you want to call them. The actually cutting and killing may take only a few seconds. Just for a moment, please try and think how long it must have taken the parents to raise the person you are killing. Is it possible to bring back the dead who you got rid of in a few minutes?

You may have your own reasons for taking to a suicidal path: there is oppression in society and you're unhappy over its inability to develop. If those are your reasons, then they point to your frustration. Picking the option of the "people's war" over other democratic means to tackle and overcome these problems hints at a frustrated mind. The violent path that you have chosen reflects the frustrations in you.

The ideology of violence does not separate us from others with finality. Your brother was killed in the actions of security forces and your son "Victory" is now out to avenge the death of your father. Your brother-in-law was killed because he was a "class enemy" and his son, in revenge, has decided to become a soldier. Now tell me, who is fighting whom? Are they not the children of brothers and sisters? One has picked the "people's army" the other the "royal army" and both have taken the route of not stopping until the other is killed. Is there a better example of what the result of such violence and counter-violence can be?

One "Avinash" was killed Khara of Rukum. His mother, who had lost her only son, unleashed a flood of tears when she was told that the dead had been exhumed from their graves and exhibited. The father is said to have promised Rs 100,000 to anyone bringing him the head of the dead. You call yourselves the children of Sisne and Jaljala, fine. You can be proud of that heritage, but don't adhere to that bad side of that upbringing. Until some years ago, hundreds of thousands of young goats were sacrificed in Jaljala, Rolpa annually, and the blood of the sacrificial animals would form a kulo. How can we be sure that you are not just following this tradition with blind faith, sacrificing people? All you friends who have taken to violence, there is still time-let us not take the path of death, but turn towards the road to life.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)