Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Praying for peace

From 14 April (Baisakh 1) I have heard of simultaneous pujas being performed in seven Nepali cities. We are supposedly praying that the ongoing war ends, and that peace is restored. Looking at the healthy pundits performing the rites one gets the impression that, if nothing else, the prayers will at least bring the priests peace-all that they get for performing the rites would not have come their way without the puja.

I want to ask the pundits: if praying works, why did they wait so long? They could have started praying back in 1990. They may say there was peace in 1990 and that so there was no need to pray. But then another question arises-what sort of pundits are they if they couldn't foresee the future? How could they not foresee what our leaders would turn out to be? Now when everything has gone down the drain, they are praying and giving the people false assurances.

If, as the pundits say, we can make peace by praying, here is a request to them. "Oh, learned ones, please perform a puja that can kill the germ that encourages our ministers to be corrupt. Make them forget their hunger to steal money at all costs. A puja that will make them return the money they have taken in different deals-Dhamija, Lauda, RNAC, Sajha Yatayat."

If we can actually perform rites to bring about peace, it is possible our pundits will be invited to Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, opening another opportunity for foreign employment and ending our foreign exchange problems. Our leaders would be good, the country would have more industries, and no one would be hungry. Not only would we be able to take food to the Karnali region, but even sweets.

Tell me, panditji, are you really interested in bringing peace in Nepal? If you are, instead of burning rice or praying to stone idols or building temples, why don't you perform the rites of hard work and productivity? Why have your pujas been unable to teach anyone the values of hard work? Instead you teach people to believe in fate and bow to you in allegiance, hoping that will take care of all their problems. If pujas could bring peace, there wouldn't have been mass murders in Gujarat after the prayers in Ayodhaya. Or were the killings in Gujarat directed by Ayodhaya's Ram?

The reality is different-there is more chaos where there are more prayers. There are prayers at Pashupati every morning and evening. Why do the poverty and stench around the temple not disappear? If prayers brought peace the thulabadas (those in positions of power and influence) wouldn't be involved in stealing idols from temples and selling them abroad.. Our pundits pray and conduct pujas because they haven't learnt any other form of hard work. They explore the world through the Internet and television, but still want people to believe and live in a world some 5,000 years old-because if the villagers also become modern, they will stop offering money (at the pujas).

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)