Ruthlessly Exposed and Disgraced Hat

I still remember this particular patriotic song, Yo Nepali Shir Uchāli, Sansāramā Lamkanchha; Junkiri Jhai Jyoti Bāli, Andhakāramā Chamkanchha. Whoever had authored this song with patriotism might have thought of United Nations Nepalese Peacekeeping Army marching in the war-torn nations in the third world where the then Royal Nepal Army had earned a high-esteem for maintaining peace with UN and Nepali flag with a message of peace. Our Peacekeepers have a long history of being known as the brave fighters in the battlefield. Our Peacekeepers were like  fireflies that shine in the darkness just like in the lyrics of the song. As the song says, we Nepalese could walk with head held high and upright. It was as still as the Mount Everest. Our Dhākā Topi, national hat would sit and befit in our head in a perfect manner. It looked great on people from the Himalaya to the Terrain. It was a part of the then fashion of the Kathmanduites. It was an honor and pride.

Today, all these have turned more like an unsung symposium in the midst of political chaos. Nepalese Peacekeepers in Haiti are failing to live up to the expectation of people there and of United Nations. When a deadly cholera broke out couple of months ago, many lives were endangered. All the blames were put on our peacekeeping guards. UN did not disclose which party was responsible for the epidemic. Unfortunately, some people died from cholera in Nepal the same time cholera broke out in Haiti. Without any proof, they blamed the Nepalese Peacekeeping base for the outbreak and had skirmish with them.

Sometimes, our folk-wisdom rings true in times like this. This was a complete nightmare for Nepalese peacekeepers that they were accused by  the locals when they themselves were suffering in the mission field. As the news is making the headlines, the Nepalese Peacekeepers are deprived of their basic needs in Haiti and Sudan. Without proper food, clothes, armed personal vehicles, they are walking on the burning coal in Sudan. There is a proverb in Nepali, Orali Lageko Bachchholaai Harinale Pani Lakhetchha. Indeed a wretched (lit. fallen away) calf is even chased by a deer.

One of the army personnel who managed to survive despite the lack of weapons in the mission field returned to Nepal after fulfilling his duty told the reporters that they had to eat their lunch hiding from guards from other nations because Nepal’s government did not even care to provide proper lunch for their soldiers. They wanted save face for Nepal’s corrupted governance.What a disgrace! They only ate Nepali staple food: Dal-Bhat and Tarkari, rice, lentils and veggies.  Meat was probably served only once a week. But definitely not even good as an average Nepali would be eating in his/her house. Their helmets were not strong enough to keep them protected from gunpowder, far from a bullet, a real bullet that pierces your head.

Recently published report by the World Human Development Report indexed Nepal ranked 138th among 169 indexed nations. This speaks louder than any other voices about the present situation of the Himalayan nation. Transparency International, an international anti-corruption body revealed that Nepal is one of the most corrupted nations in the South-Asia region and ranked 146th in the list of 178 nations. We should congratulate our political leaders for dragging this beautiful Himalayan nation into the renaissance of Stone-Age. The ramifications of political corruption in developmental work and education will only rapidly and exponentially increase and will remain so for many years to come.

Making historical records in the areas of power-cuts or load-shedding in the country is ever increasing. Nepal is known as the second richest country in hydropower resources in the world. Given credit to the research studies carried by various institutions, Nepal has potentiality of generating approximately 40,000 megawatt economically feasible hydropower. It is 40,000 megawatt! We have only 600 MW installed capacity for the whole nation at present.[1] Ironically, people in Nepal have no electric power in their home for ¾ of the day. No power for 12-16 hours a day!

Today, we are known as the number one corrupted nation in the South-Asia region and the poorest of the poor country in the world. It will not be that bad to be known as the darkest country in the world by another few months. We must congratulate once again our government, political parties, leaders, and zealous political activists who share a podium to fool us even when they begrudged each other but never come to one minimal consensus to build the nation.

As of today, the roof of the world and my Nepal’s hat Mount Everest has increased by two meters and measures at 8,850 meters high, but ironically my towering head is being lowered and my loincloth has been pulled off to be exposed. Once I could introduce myself proudly as a Nepali but today I am embarrassed. Today I introduce myself as a person from Nepal – a Shangri-La, country with enormous resources, natural beauties, living museum, cultural diversity, but I feel embarrassed to call myself a Nepali.



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