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 We don't need no revolution for the moment in Nepal, thank you
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Posted on 10-28-11 12:15 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Been there, done that


After the Arab uprisings that led to the fall of governments in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, another street uprising is going viral thanks to social media.

The Occupy Wall Street protests that started rather uneventfully in lower Manhattan two months ago has now snowballed into a global movement. Protests have revived earlier protests in Spain, Italy, Britain and even Hong Kong where people discontented with capitalism have poured out into the streets in overwhelming numbers.

What lies at the heart of these protests is the growing disenchantment of the people over their governments which favour the rich and sacrifice the majority for the interests of the few. Perhaps this was long overdue in countries where unbridled capitalism has led to greater inequality with no hope of narrowing the gap.

But trying to extrapolate this to Nepal, and even talk of replicating it here seems at the moment stretching it a bit too far. It's not that there aren't grievances here: the peace process is stuck, constitution drafters have a writer's block, erstwhile revolutionaries instead of liberating the people are at liberty to continue looting and extorting.

We went through two street uprisings, one in 1990 and the next in 2006. The second one ended the war and ended up sweeping away the monarchy. But as far as Nepal is concerned, for the moment at least, it is a case of been there, done that.

Op-ed pundits are full of over-eager praise for the Occupy protests. But as much as we love revolutions, perhaps we are better off working on something that revolutions are supposed to bring: change. There are some inconvenient truths that we may need to address: questions which would have amounted to blasphemy if asked at the time the revolutions were in progress.

Were any of those revolutions really useful in terms of what they strove to deliver? Can we say that the 19 people who died in the April 2006 protests, dozens others who died in the Madhes Movement or the 1990 movement did not die in vain? Was their blood spilt in vain? Did their deaths do anymore than to help one greedy bunch of politicians topple and replace another? Perhaps even more pertinent question to be asked is if 16,000 people needed to die in a bloody war whose only utility now it seems was to propel new war lords to positions of power.

Could the war have been started by starry eyed romantics out of touch with reality and the lessons of history? They decided to experiment with this country for a pseudo-intellectual exercise whose sole aim was to get to power and take the country to Year Zero. Before responding to any call for change and taking to the streets, one may do well to look back at our recent history, and the promises that went unfulfilled.

No one disputes that Nepal was plagued with social injustice, discrimination and exclusion. In the absence of jobs and opportunities it became ripe for the kind of revolution Mao preached. But ultimately the objective conditions for revolution were simply the excuse that politicians used for a shortcut to power, and the people be damned. Those thousands who died, were maimed, the families who lost their earners were all "martyrs", even though they wanted no part in a war fought in their name. we can now ask: all that sorrow and sacrifice for this? We have enough political rights to boast of, at least in paper.

The only revolution we need in Nepal now is an economic one. Let's start with an agrarian revolution. There are thousands of enterprising farmers in this country who can do so much more only if the government takes time off to build irrigation canals, facilitate seed supply and open up markets by building farm roads.

Let's start a nation-building campaign, the ones that helped countries like Japan and South Korea rebuild after wars devastated their lands. The country cannot survive indefinitely in a transitional state hopping between people power uprisings every ten years.

Last edited: 28-Oct-11 12:18 PM

Posted on 10-28-11 12:19 PM     [Snapshot: 15]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Demonizing all those in power all the time is clearly not the answer. Yesterday we demonized the kings of Nepal. Today we demonize the politicians of Nepal. And tomorrow when our children demonize us, will we be able to swallow our responsibility in the mess that we the Nepali people have caused of our nation?

I like this piece what Rubeena Mahato is saying. Yes, it is very easy to get carried away with revolutionary zeal and to react and demonize who ever is in power. Unlike the popular rhetoric, change is not always the answer. Why? Because change can be both healthy and unhealthy. And for those who have long lost touch with what 'health' looks like, they should know clearly what it is that they are asking for when they ask for "more change."
It is "more and more and more change" that Nepal got, while being out of touch with what is "healthy" for the nation that got us in this mess in the first place.

The revolutions of 2006 and 1990 came from demonizing the powers that be: namely the Monarchy at that time.

Perhaps it is time to look at Nepal's history a little more objectively so that we can see ourselves a little clearer in light of our own history? If we hope to get credit from our children for doing good and right in Nepal, maybe we need to start with giving credit to those who preceded us....instead of only criticizing them.

"Every son criticizes his father, inevitably to find himself a father–being criticized in turn by his sons. Let us be compassionate to our fathers so that our sons may learn to be compassionate to us.” - The Last King of Nepal

Last edited: 28-Oct-11 12:20 PM

Posted on 10-28-11 9:48 PM     [Snapshot: 107]     Reply [Subscribe]
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दशैँ तिहार सकियो, मंसिर लाग्यो, आन्दोलनको Season  शुरु भयो, तपाइँ ले चाहे पनि वा नचाहे पनि

Posted on 10-28-11 9:59 PM     [Snapshot: 118]     Reply [Subscribe]
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 Changes are good, mostly. 
Posted on 10-29-11 1:07 AM     [Snapshot: 166]     Reply [Subscribe]
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 Maobadi kukur ra tiniharu ko bhada ko tattu haru lai pani Gaddhafi ra Saddham Hussain jasari maarna paaye ta revolution gareko faaida hunthyo, natra aba k ko lagi revolution khai?????
Posted on 10-30-11 1:09 PM     [Snapshot: 246]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Yes Copycat,
But I like the change of seasons and I do like the change that brings the wonderful festivals. But I think it is also ok for me to say which changes are not good for myself, my family and my country. I don't have to feel helpless about all the change happening around me and feel like I need to accept it like a victim. Right?

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

In addition Lord,
grant me the discrimination to know the things that would be good to change,
the knowledge to see the things that should not be changed,
and to know how to be the change that I want to see."

- The Serenity Prayer

Last edited: 30-Oct-11 01:19 PM

Posted on 10-31-11 6:50 AM     [Snapshot: 362]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Last edited: 31-Oct-11 06:51 AM

Posted on 10-31-11 6:51 AM     [Snapshot: 362]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I think she is merely echoing the sentiments of much of Nepal which seems to be going through a bout of revolution fatigue.

Most people, in my opinion, don't want to go back to the bad old days (or good old days depending on your perspective) of Kingship and Panchayati "democracy" but people are so worn out by the never-ending "peace process" that any talk of more change may fall on deaf public ears.

No surprise that the Maoists, NC and UML are holding one frantic meeting after another to conclude the "peace process". If there is to be another revolution, this time it might be against the revolutionaries :)
Posted on 10-31-11 10:14 AM     [Snapshot: 419]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I really agree with you. In Nepal's recent history, it has been touched, changed and molested so many times by so many in the name of betterment that it is developing an anathema to being handled in anyway that may result in change. It almost feels like Nepal is begging for rest, resuscitation and healing. Convalescence, comes to mind. A country that is in deep need for healing, at an interpersonal level and more importantly at the individual level.  

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