Why our country is poor? Some thoughts:

Posted by: amar

This Website contain plethora of ideas with regard to developing our country. These ideas primarily revolve around exploiting “Infrastructure”?, “Education”? and “technology”?.

Undoubtedly, in sharp contrast to poor countries, the rich countries have abundant of universities, roads, bridges, electricity, hospitals etc. So, the solution to the poverty, at least at a very high level, is very intuitive: invest as much as possible in infrastructure, education and technology .As a result of this thinking, millions of dollars have been poured into not only in our country but also in other developing countries, in the form of donation, loan and charity, to enrich education and infrastructure.

Despite the obvious solution and these efforts, as a society we are unable to exploit these funds. The popular answer to this puzzle is: the donors themselves take back 50-75% of what they have donated. In case the question is raised if donors take 75% (a worst case) away what about the remaining 25%. Now the second flood of answers follows: Our government is corrupt. It is too bureaucratic. We don’t have good leaders.

Let us take a step back, and pose a few more questions to ourselves: Who are these leaders? Who are in our government? Aren’t these Nepalese? Aren’t these people products of our society? I am more and more convinced that we should stop blaming leaders and bureaucrats: not because they are innocent, but this blaming culture will lead us to nowhere. We must pause for a moment and think why as a society we could not produce great inventors, great athletes, great scientists, and great leaders so and so forth. Don’t we all must share the blame?

Raising this questions, at least will enable us to examine the fundamental reasons of our lagging. It is not the case that we have dearth of talents. Many students who were toppers in the class in Nepal had stood toppers abroad. There are many examples of entrepreneurs who could excel in the international cut throat environment. Unlike our neighboring countries, why our society lacks the capability to recognize this facts, let alone tap this enormous energy.

I don’t intent to say that we should not invest in infrastructure, education and technology-we must. However, one should bear in mind that in most developing parts of the world this obvious formula has not worked. Therefore, in parallel we should identify deeper underlying problems, make people aware of these problems and try to find solutions to these problems.

The primary reason why we are poor, although it will provide answers to a limited set of question raised earlier nonetheless, in my opinion, is the way to achieve “happiness”?. Whether it is West or East, whether it is materialistic or spiritual view, most of the time people do something in order to become happy.

In our society the mantra to become happy goes like “Santosam Param Sukham”?. Most of our spiritual teachings point towards this essence. This has a detrimental effect on our society. First it teaches you to be content with what you have. Next, when you start going deeper into spiritual understanding it asks you to renounce worldly belongings and essentially “desire”? to obtain more. It teaches that possession of worldly stuff will eventually lead to suffering. There is also an extension to this teaching that you cannot become reach by following a straight path. In other words, in order to become rich you have to be corrupt, smuggler, etc. As a result, it is not surprising that during my school age, I did not hear from anyone that I would like to be a successful businessman, not to mention about becoming the richest man in the world or country. In contrast everyone wanted to be either a doctor or an engineer.

There is nothing wrong with becoming doctors and engineers, however you need to generate affluence to build the country, and you need businessman and entrepreneur to generate the money. In addition, it is not necessary to be corrupt or smuggler to be rich. Once you become rich, at least you have choice to invest in society or yourself. Take Bill Gates for an example.

Why our country is poor? Some thoughts: was last modified: August 1st, 2007 by amar
 

Blog Comments

  1. Bibash

    I think everybody knows that nepali people are very intelligent in comparision to some other countries like India,pakistan… etc.Even than we people are far lacking them.
    In the one hand the political policies that are going on have become for the sake of being leaders only .In the other hand , We people are very conservative and boldless so we don’t make involvement of women in the the social activities.I think more than 80% women in our country pass away their time by simply doing their household activities only.

  2. Amar

    At least we agree that there are many social problems in Nepal. At the end, any work needs to be accomplished by people, and if there are social problems, one can’t exploit one’s true potential.
    Regarding “Bad Investments”, although it can be attributed to many other social problems, for the sake of simplicity: “Bad investments” stems from “Bad judgment” which in turn is result of “lack of data or lack of knowledge”. This is possible that our society or individual is content with what knowledge they posses “knowingly or unknowingly” and embark on the road to build the country resulting in Bad Investment. Far fetched but sound somewhat convincing.

    Regarding Christianity there is one more advantage, since you are not going to born many times, so you better get it right the first time. So there is a sense of urgency. Having said that I am not preaching Christianity, I am a Hindu and will remain Hindu. I am not going to change my father (my religion), however I will try to correct him(tough work).

  3. pawan

    Nepal has lots of social problem, which particular problem do you attribute the Bad Investment?

    Christianity has one more advantage. They believe Jesus is going to die over and over for their sin.

  4. Amar

    Thanks for your comments. My responses for a few of the comments:

    -Bad investments:

    There is no doubt that there were gross bad investments. However, the question I wanted to raise and explore was why we did bad investments. Although, there is a slowing down of donations right now, it would catch up again, however with our social problems we would be doing the bad investments again

    -All religions teach almost same thing and working attitude

    I have done fair amount of study on religion, and I would like to say that my findings are quite different. At the moment, let us compare Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.

    In general, all three religions renounce worldly things, how much teaching has firmed a moral value manifesting in daily practice is a quite different thing. In Hinduism, except for karma yoga, most of the practices, for instance Bhakti Yoga, Raj Yoga, Dhayn Yoga etc tries to attend god by “doing and thinking” nothing. They say more you can think of nothing more you reach towards the god. There is no doubt that you will be committing less sin, on the other hand in terms of development there is no contribution, except that you could have done more harm by doing something.

    Regarding the west, after 18the century when the west really started accumulating wealth, where Christianity is practiced or not practiced, the moral value regarding happiness, logic and democracy was developed from Greek philosophy rather than Christianity. The people in the west always challenged the church with science and technology. Protestant in Holland and England developed new attitude to money. “Because God had put them on the earth to demonstrate their piety through hard work, earning a profit was a sign that they were on the right track”. Due largely to this, England could enter the era of industrialization. However, their faith in Christianity did not permit them to squander money on themselves, and so they place the profits back to business.

    -Greed

    One should be happy that people are working abroad. It is no secret that country is running largely due to remittances send by people abroad, otherwise Nepal would already have been in her knees. Like India and China, Nepal should also develop a mechanism to attract people back home. Besides, most of the people don’t want to go outside in pursuit of money- situations compel them. On the other hand, if we could attract them back, we could bring back tremendous amount of know-how as well money.

    Please have a read of “Greed is Good. Gekko is God. A lesson in management.” by heretic. Hopefully, your views might change. Greed is not bad, especially if you could direct your greed in generating products and services for the country.

    Amar

  5. pawan

    What is the Bad Investment?

    Panchayat era was a fairly stable political system and there were huge flood of donations but development never materialized. So stability is one condition among the many. Panches invested huge amount of money on building road, health posts in remote hills. Then King Birendra used to inaugurate the health post, road and even a tap. And the government media used to cover such news in front page with King’s photo opening taps. But in two or so year’s time, same media used to cover the news with photos of ruined health post, abandoned schools and taps without any water.

    One thing they did not released then was that the cost of building such infrastructure in remote hill area and even more the cost of maintenance. Thats what I call BAD INVESTMENT.

    With cost of one health post in hill areas, one can build three–or even more–health posts in plain area like in Tarai. The maintenance cost should even lower. But Panchayat planner did not realized it or were simply ingonant. They totally failed to calculate the Return of Investment.

    I think in Panchayat thirty years, Nepal had wasted the huge amount donation money in bad investment. And we lost a perfect oppurtunity, because now these day there are very few donations we get from the rich countries.

  6. Yestai Ho

    Amar – good and thought provoking piece of work. I think we are not becuase our moral teaching is aligned towards pushing us to non-worldy things. All religions teach almost same thing. Please study Christanity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and others. They all expect followers not to run towards wealth creation. That’s why please do not blame our moral teachings for our poverty and backwardness.

    I think we are poor for following reason(this is just my thought – you may agree or not):

    ***unstable political system leading to corrupt and weak legal system***

    Everythig else is becuase of this very reason. We can’t exepct strong public infra-structure (edication, road and health) unless we have stable and people-centric political system. Once we have stable political system, we can see our country in the path of prosperity.

    Managing country is a big job and someone who gets there through thorough scrutiny and fair competition can almost do the job. Perfect ruler does not exist in the world. It is about being good enough.

  7. greed

    With all the money that has been given to us, what have we becomed of it now: greedy. We no longer care for the welfare of our people in our country anymore. The first thing that are in most people’s mind now is money. How can I be rich? etc. With a countries way of thinking like that we won’t beable to move up in the world until another 200 years. Look at how many cizitens in Nepal want to go to another country but do they ever come back to help the country: no.

  8. lpk

    AAgree with pawan the nepalese investments are made where there is no profit.My own reason is: poor Mentality of Nepalese. Have not we seen poorness in thoughts of ourselves. Poor in thinking, poor in judgement, poor in working..so poor. Only if we Nepalese were good at work, this country would have floated into vacuum of wealth.

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