Republic Day: In the eyes of common people

KATHMANDU: There should have been colourful celebration in the streets to mark the 1st Republic Day. In retrospect, it turned a low-key event and many people could not feel the day when the government had declared public holiday.

Nepal is the youngest republic and it turned 2 on Friday. Tens of thousand of people had come to the streets to celebrate the midnight declaration of the beginning of new era on May 29 last year but they opted to stay at home this time. The deserted streets failed to remind that it was the first Republic Day today.

Working people in the heart of the valley were found to be deaf and dumb about the day. Krishna Bahadur Bhandari, 50, from Dolakha district said he was unaware of the day as there were no celebrations and victory rallies in the street. "I was unknown that today was the republic day. I just heard it from you," he said. He didn't know what the republic really meant to the blue-collar people like him.

Amar Bali, 58, from Ramechhap district echoed Mr. Bhandari and said he didn't care the day. "Every single day is a working day for me. Who is there to feed my six children?" he grunted. Bali said that he didn't see any difference between republic and the previous political systems. "I lived through many political systems in the country. Yet, I am in the same place where I was five decades ago", said discontented Bali.

Kala Lama, 15, from Kavre was not an exception and said he didn't know any political system. “I am completely unknown to any political systems." said the naïve child, "had my parents have money to send me school, I would have understood the politics".

Ram Chandra Prasad Kalwar, 60, from Rautahat, who is before the time, still believes that there was monarchy in the country. When asked who the monarch was, he said it was Late King Birendra. "I never new that Nepal was celebrating its 1st Republic Day', he said in a single breath.

Maiya Thapa, 45, from Jhapa district, complained that no one but the journalists reminded her the celebration. "I didn't know all about these earlier. Otherwise, I would participate in rallies and procession", she nagged. But, the procession and colourful rally were rare sights in the streets.