AJAYA BHADRA KHANAL
A few weeks ago, I met my friend who was going to the United States. I asked him why.
He said: “This is not my country any more. It has been hijacked by political hawkers who have turned it into hell.”
I didn’t agree to what he said.
“This is my country and I love it,” I told my friend.
“No,” he said. “No. You only “think” it is your country. You have not “made” it yours.”
The difference struck me like a bolt of lightning.
I began to think about the huge gap that exists between our thoughts and our actions.
Do you really have control over your own life?
I don’t think so. We have lost control over our country. Losing control of our country means losing control over our environment. Losing control of our environment means losing control over our own life.
Can we, despite all this, remain silent? Can we rely on fate, when our fate, this time, is not being spelled by the stars or spirits, but by spoiled politicians?
We can’t let that happen. We have to reclaim this country, and get it back from the people who are sucking it dry.
“But,” you might say, “I am not interested in politics.”
Then my friend, you are practising the worst kind of politics. Action or inaction is guided by beliefs and principles. Beliefs and principles are always political.
Again, you might say, “But I can practise good leadership in my field of expertise. If I am a banker, then I can be a good banker. Isn’t that enough?”
No. It is not enough to show leadership in your own field. That may be okay in normal times. But these are not normal times. So how do we reclaim our country? We can do many things. But we must start from two basic premises.
One, form a community of concerned citizens.
Two, express our civic concerns. The first point is to realise that you are not alone. Do we not share the simple belief that we can teach ourselves to become better persons, as speakers, as leaders, and as human beings? Collective effort produces results.
Alone, we may be weak, but as a collective we can create force. I am not talking about forming a political party here, I am talking about forming a community of concerned citizens. The second point is to express our civic concerns. Discuss. Think. Communicate. We need to set a target of our collective anger. When misdirected, anger can be an irate elephant, but when properly guided, it can be God Vishnu’s Garuda. So my friends, the time to act is today. No, not even today, it is now. It is not enough to “think” this is our country; we have to “make” it ours.