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Senseless Patriotism

I had read in my history books about the patriotism of Nepalese, which had prevented Nepal from escalating to the British hand. I was proud to be Nepali, a patriotic Nepali, brave Nepali. But, when I think of few incidents that mass Nepali has reacted upon, my previous beliefs get shattered. I believe our patriotism is not guided by senses, we show senseless patriotism.A 15 year Korean boy had written an article about the absence of patriotism in Nepali, which he had analyzed in 25 days of stay of Nepal (followed by this write-up). His diagnosis was “Nepal’s real problems are lack of patriotism among the people and lack of love for one another”. The Korean boy’s article partially identifies the problem. I believe that we have patriotism but senseless patriotism.I have a few instances that our mass Nepalese have shown the senseless patriotism.

· Hritik Roshan Case ( December 26 -27 2000), Kathmandu: The anti-Indian sentiment engulfed Nepalese communal Harmony on that day and killed at least 3 Nepalese in riots caused by allegedly remarks made by a Indian movie star, Hrithik Roshan. The Madhesi community was attacked by mass against the comment, which was never made.

· Iraq-Slaughter case (September 1 2004), Kathmandu: Thousands of People attacked Mosque and Manpower agencies to take the revenge of the killing of 12 Nepalese in Iraq. Properties worth millions of rupees were put on fire to take the revenge. Communal harmony was nearly disrupted.

· Prashant Tamang Case: An Indian police force cadre, who hails from Dargeeling went to finals of a TV show, and whole Nepal went mad following it. People spent millions of Nepalese currency to SMS him. On the other hand, thousands of Nepalese were homeless because of recent floods in country. I read thousands of threads in different blogs about who should win in the TV show, but very few bothered to talk about Kapilvastu slaughter.

There are many instances where I can get glimpses of Senseless patriotism, I would like to quote a entertainment site “Another depressing part that could be noticed was that, either the Nepali audiences do not value the local singers or they are undisciplined. After the Indian Idol participants’ performances were over, Nepali Icon Nima Rumba was supposed to take hold of the stage. But sadly, most of the people were seen heading off towards the exit. The question is yet unanswered if Nima’s craze is getting low in the market or we Nepalese don’t respect or value our local musicians.” Famous Pop artist Nima Rumba was neglected in front of so called idols, and few were collecting money from Nepalese to make an Indian winner of a TV show। Isn’t it strange?

A Article from 15 year’s Korean Boy about Nepal !

Nepalese complain about the caste system and corrupt officers. They openly vent their anger against the government. But have they ever thought About Nepal’s real problems? I believe that they have not. I want to say that Nepal’s real problems are lack of patriotism among the people and lack of love for one another. This is the conclusion I have reached during my stay. This summer, I did voluntary work from July 5 to July 30 at FHI Ever Vision School, Matatirtha, Kathmandu.

Let me first tell you about my country, Korea. This might help you understand my point. Just after the Korean War, which claimed lives of more than 5 million Koreans, Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Without natural resources, Korea had no choice but to desperately struggle for its survival by all means.
Under this gloomy situation, Koreans envied other Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan, and Nepal. Korean government officials were horribly corrupt. With the dual classes of Yang ban (nobles) and angnom (peasants), Korean society was sickening day by day. However, Koreans, having determination to become rich, overcame the unfair social structure and put the country onto the track of development.
When the former president Park Jung Hee took over the government, there were few factories in Korea. Korea could not attract loans or expect foreign investments. Under these circumstances, President
Park ‘exported’ miners and nurses to then West Germany . The salaries that they earned were used to building factories and promoting industrialization of Korea. In 1964, when President Park visited then West Germany, the miners and nurses asked the president when the Koreans would become rich. The president replied, crying with the miners and nurses, that someday the Koreans would become rich.
Many of Korean scientists and engineers, who could just enjoy comfortable lives in the United States, returned to Korea with only one thing in their mind: the determination to make Korea the most powerful and prosperous country in the world. They did their best even though their salaries were much less than what they would have received in other countries.
The Koreans believed that they have the ability to change their desperate situation and that they must make the country better, not only for themselves but also for the future generations yet to come.
My parents’ generation sacrificed themselves for their families and the country. They worked 14 hours a day, and risked their lives working under inhumane conditions. The mothers, who went to work in factories, fed their babies while operating machines in dangerous environments. They always tried to teach their children the true value of ‘hard work’. Finally, all of these hard works and sacrifices made the prosperous Korea that you see now.
Nepalese, have you ever cried for your country? I heard that many of Nepali youth do not love their Nepal. I also heard that they want to leave Nepal because they don’t like caste system, or because theywant to escape the severe poverty. However, they should be the first ones to voluntarily work for Nepal’s development, not the first ones to complain and speak against their country. I have a dream that someday I would be able to free the souls from suffering from the underdeveloped countries, anachronistic customs and the desperate hunger. My belief has become stronger than ever after seeing the reality in Nepal. A child with a fatal disease who doesn’t have enough money to buy a pill; a child living in what seems like a pre-historic dwelling and not having the opportunity to receive education; and a student who cannot succeed, no matter how hard he studies, just because of the class he comes from. A society, in which wives not only take care of children but also work in the fields, while their husbands waste their time doing nothing; a society in which a five-year-old must labor in a brick factory to feed herself. Looking at the reality of Nepal, I was despaired, yet this sense of despair strengthened my belief. I already know that many of the Nepalese are devout Hindus. However, nothing happens if you just pray to hundreds of thousands of gods while doing nothing.
It is the action that you and Nepal need for the better future. For Nepal and yourselves, you have to show your love to your neighbors and country just as you do to Gods. You know that your Gods will be pleased when you work for the development of your country and improvement of your lives. Therefore, please, love your neighbors and country. Teach your children to love their country. And love the working itself. Who do you think will cry for your Nepal? Who do you think will be able to respect the spirit of Himalayas and to keep the lonely flag representing it? You are the ones responsible for leading this beautiful country to a much brighter future. This responsibility lies on you.

(The writer is a 15 year-old student of Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies, South Korea ).