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Shreeya Shakya

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A for Awareness

Every morning as I savor a glass of juice to get started for the day ahead tuning into the many radio stations, it infuriates me early in the morning whenever I hear some patriotic song about building the ‘New Nepal’ and people talking about justice and peace who still keep their guns at close distance and those talking about equal opportunities and fairness when they are still the ones who are misusing what is bestowed on them.

Everybody knows the talk of the town. The rather quixotic ‘new’ Nepal, the elections in suspended animation, the long queues everywhere and for everything and the massive exodus! The people’s revolution had promised a bright future for Nepal and today as it is evident, we are still in square one. Almost of all of us blame the politicians and policy makers for lagging utterly in making amendments and progress. For me, that is half the truth. It is without a doubt true that the people in ranks are not doing justice to the assigned responsibilities. We, the general public, are always cornered just because those people have failed to deliver and all we are left with is the feeling of despair and frustration. But we also need to look to the left and to the right and judge whether we are ready to embrace the new Nepal or more aptly are we ready to build the ‘new’ Nepal hand in hand with the government? I say NO. Of the so many things that haven’t changed after the revolution, our attitude is one of them. This is one of the reasons why it infuriates me whenever I hear patriotic songs every morning emphasizing on the elusive ‘new’ Nepal.

Singing songs is not enough, debating the national anthem in blogs is not enough and criticizing the government blithely avoiding our immediate responsibilities is not correct. What is seriously lacking in Nepal is awareness among the general public. As long as we have educated people crossing the road right under the overhead bridges, new Nepal is not possible. As long as we have educated people eating ‘chatpates’ , ‘pani puris’ along the road side right in front of heaps of garbage and as long as we have educated people walking on the road leaving pavements empty, new Nepal is not possible.

Dreaming of an immediate new Nepal where literacy rate is barely 50% is something of a utopian dream. Awareness comes from education and sense of responsibility and we can only hope that, in years or probably decades to come when our literacy rate improves, a true new Nepal takes shape. To build up a new Nepal, we now should teach our kids that ‘A is for Awareness’ and not ‘A is for Apple’. It’s been way too long ‘A’ has been for ‘Apple’ and those educated people who are acting ignorant are the ones who mugged up Apple and thought ‘A’ could be nothing except for ‘Apple’. Before building the ‘new’ Nepal, we should first build ourselves. Before jumping into action and running into the streets (something we have cultivated in leaps and bounds after the revolution), we should first be aware of what should be done and what is right. Then only can we be hopeful of building ‘our new’ Nepal and not just a ‘new’ Nepal.

Another factor which is crippling our nation is the fact that of the so many educated people from whom we can expect some sense of awareness are either leaving the country or hate it the core. But I have sat with some people who want to stay here and explore possibilities and provide opportunities. I have also shared the same space with hundreds of youth who stood up with respect and love for the country and sang along the song ‘Jungi Nishan Hamro‘ in chorus. I have seen touch of awareness among these people and am hopeful it spreads wide. It’ll take time for it to grow and till then we just have to be patient. May be when I’m 30 or 40, I shall get to see ‘A for Awareness’ etched in everybody’s mind and next thing then looming in the horizon would be ‘A for Action’.

Published in Sunday edition of The Kathmandu Post dated 2 Sept 2007.

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  37. “May be when I’m 30 or 40, I shall get to see ‘A for Awareness’ ……………”

    ahile dekhi politics ma chhirnush! “A for Awareness” kaso nahola???

    {tapaiko article bujhna arko 2 hours lagne bhayo}
    c u then.

  38. thnx ashish.. 🙂

    well.. wat can we do is the perpetual question haunting me and others like us .. i guess doing your part in your own ways and passing on that to the next generation would be one of the things to do. as i said.. things cant be changed overnite. it’ll take time.. just do your bit.. and there’s no harm goin abroad for fulfulling your dreams.. the main thing is not forgetting our roots and not loosing the connection with the homeland.

  39. exasparated everyone!!! still we strive for a utopic nation. I have my fingers crossed and really hope the situation improves. The country’s future is surely not circumscribed. As an optimist i say changes come with a price. Relinquishing our own ambitions for the cause of nation evokes second thoughts to any eggheads who aspires to become a part of a refined civilization in the west. everyone should think of a future, but at the cost of losing an identity you were born with? 😕 . keep idealisms aloof, i seriously doubt the intentions of the high brows that are ruling( should be the correct word) the sentiments of the people. Nobody can really peek into minds. All we can do is hope for a conducive code of conduct from the flag bearers.

    To the GRE enthusiasts- best of Luck for the pursuit
    To the posters (article padhdium na ta k raichha!!!!)- kei bhannu chaina
    To the posters (ramro chha)- haina nepal nepal bahnyo feri koi kata koi kata?? afu ubho lagyo, desh lai bhiralo tira theldiyo??? ……..i am just one vexed soul.
    To the leaders- Jun jogi ayeni kaanai chiriyeka!!!!!……….bloody hedonists!!!! don’t f*** with us
    To me- ……………..kasaile lekhidiye hunthyo…..i just want to be a part of a fraternity that works for a cause…( falano, dhiskano…….aire gaire sabai lai mero abhiwadan)
    To shreeya- Was more than a good read to me. (Hope I can contribute something). Kudos to you. But when abandoning an identity, craving for a better life abroad is carved and ingrained in the filthy minds, what can real patriots do? ( i question my own aspirations too). tara i aprreciate the read.

    anyways
    Jai Nepal
    Ashish (KV batch 02)

  40. hey

    Nice really to find people (young) interested in Nepal or new Nepal, being the vogue. To me new Nepal is when people realize their duty and make commitments towards themselves. If everyone realizes that driving high velocity mobikes along the sidewalks doesnt make them cool or dumping the pulps and coverings of groundnut in public places isnt the hip thing to do, then truly we will make that “utopia” possible.

    Riwaj
    http://www.riwajko.blogspot.com

  41. well.. everything seems so bleak … shamesh,… these filthy giants will never wake up.. they will never change.. we need to wash them off … but who is goin to replace them and when are the common questions…
    and aneesh .. as u’ve said the disintegration is indeed the biggest hurdle and a deep concern. We need to build everything from scratch… but who is goin to do that and how and when are the questions.. the mentality nowadays is as Hitesh Karki has put it so precisely in his write up ‘Mundane Monday’ http://www.everestuncensored.org/?p=1292, i quote ‘The rider on the bike is a revolutionary. A micro van conductor is another revolutionary and his driver a bigger one. All places these would be dubbed as law breakers, here we call them ‘revolutionaries’. A student in a class is revolutionary, on a road even greater revolutionary.’
    ..
    such is the state .. blind faith..blinded revolution.. i was having this conversation with one of my frens and he had said.. we need to protest and really ACT… may be give piece of our mind to them or even few punches here and there if they dont listen.. ‘laato ke bhoot baton se nahin mante’.. but where would that again lead is another thing… guess… life’ll just roll on… and nothing will really happen… we.. we’ll be here voicing our disagreements and discussing what shud be done… but will do nothing.. cos there’s nothing really we can do anyhow.. is there ?? again its the ever lingeing HELPLESSNESS..

  42. Saw your article in TKP also. It’s tough unless Nepali people are united. But, the problem is most people in Nepal live, in essence, varied time frames. Some are living in the stone age, while others are at the pinnacle of modernization.

    The biggest hurdle is for all of us to find a common ground. The diversification of Nepal has brought various politcal centers into power, working for a small section of society, usually the most powerful, in terms of, information to access, services, institutions, etc.

    If you and I were to start collecting a force, how far would we go. But, the problem is, we are starting to disintegrate. Due to majority of people having been left out in the past, they have exploded and risen against us, the newly branded ‘feudalists’ of this country.

  43. i totally agree with you!! its you who has to build yourself first… our people are ignorant.. they believe whatever they are told!! there is only one thing which can change the whole situation of nepal. i think people should start working than believing that one day a new nepal will be built… i think politicians should start giving bhasans on inspiring people to work rather than their false promise of building new nepal from a scratch….

  44. Shreeya, just a minor comment. Look around and you will find lot of people who have not voted in their lives! ‘Sab chor chan bhanyo , basyo’ For some reason, its a ‘hip’ thing to say ‘ Maile ta ahile samma vote nai haleko chaina.’ Period.

  45. well. one more thing abt politics.. leaving aside politics is a dirty game and all… but everybody should agree that we need government and for government.. we need politicians.. or more aptly.. LEADERS… like it or not.. we need leaders and doing healthy politics is always good. and there again wat we need is awareness.. aware politician will make a good leader.. as youths,.. wat we are also lacking is our interest in politics … as for me.. i’m not that politically inclined person too. but i believe in leaders and their role in govt.. we youths should give politics.. a deep thought too. we need to replace all those who are there … take risks.. ..

  46. Is there anything that we CAN do ?? i ask again ……… some kind of building a force … who will take the driving seat ??? watever trivial it may be.. something ANYTHING…. there was this bombing yesterday and today.. everything is as it was the day before… we dont really have time to think or dont bother at all… we woke up.. saw the condition was ok to come to office…. no bands or no strikes against it.. and came to office .. sat infront of the monitor and poof!!! we dont even remember wat happened yesterday.. we had our tea.. had our lunch.. worked.. and dead end..

    sushant.. i like to quote u ‘God, please let me have the strength to take the responsibility to fight for the right cause. ‘.. this is really wat we all shud pray.. .. we all know wat shud be done. but dont really have the courage or even time.. in the end we have to make both ends meet .. bombs or no bombs.. bands or no bands…. we need to work .. we need to earn… and life just goes by.. as laymen.. we have no other option but to turn a deaf ear and move ON… feeling depressed.. helpless..

    prakash dai.. yes indeed as i had said durin our lunch conversation too.. its the helplessness thats so depressing… .. ‘garne ta k garne…???’… is there anything we can do??? should do?? that’ll bring some kind of change or watever… anything.. ANYTHING… i know it’ll not happen overnite.. is there anything that we can at least start ???? I am Calling all the people to speak… …

  47. Agreed 200% with what Shreeya has to say. It is high time we take some concrete step. Recent events are making me feel like I am being tied and have to be mere spectator of what is happening around. Educated people are not the ones who are educated as per their degree but they are the ones who put their actions educatively. Let us all show our degree with deeds not with piece of paper.

  48. Yes, it really is a pity! We, a pronoun for you and I plus everybody else, just talk. Usually, i just talk but when i’m really frustrated or i remember that I’m an iconoclast, i write. On rare ocassions, i reflect upon my past. That time, I neither write nor talk because, then i realise that most of the times i’m either busy talking or writing rather than doing something about it.

    I don’t know a shit about politics, because i know it’s shit. I never went into politics when i was in school, college or work. It is easier to talk, patronize or loathe student leaders and national leader, than be one of them. I’m satisfied with being an academician, i get to know everything, preach about what people are doing wrong, and disseminate my truly eye opening views to my peers. We had student leaders in our college, unworthy of being called a student, or even human. They just wrote and talked, what could i do, i was too afraid of failure, to be one of them. Besides they had hoodlums at their hand, i was too afraid to talk in front. I have chosen the path of talking and writing, to people who appreciate my truly eye opening, clichés. Then i forget that, i just didn’t give a damn about things, besides academics, even when they were concerned with my freedom, my rights and welfare of others – the things i absolutely love to talk and write about. How could i have been so well respected, if i had mingled with those vile men?

    Nobody can do everything, politics, i admit, is not my game. I don’t want to be an artist, but i’m not afraid to draw simple figures. I’m don’t hate art galleries, i don’t vituperate about every artist, specially when i don’t know enough about art myself. I have a right to express opinion on things that have an influence over my life. God, please let me have the strength to take the responsibility to fight for the right cause.

    For now i don’t have enough time, I have to prepare for my GRE. Somebody told me that writing is the best way, use new words while writing, and write about current issues such as brain drain, so that i can get good marks and go to the United States of America. I just want to live a happy life, a life full of high paying drudgery, that i love, talk whatever i please and be appreciated for my views and flamboyant style of writing. Just be loved for being intelligent, and working for someone as intelligent.

  49. Some thing must be done.. considering the current situation, changes and A for action is some where in horizon…… The A for action means more or less how to survive….

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