This is with response to the news story “Activists seek consumer court” (THT, July 19, Page 3). There is no viable alternative to consumerism as the world’s economic system is completely drenched in privatization, industrialization and capitalism. As a result, we are no doubt under the grip of consumer culture. Consumer culture is a profit oriented culture which is likely to lead to black markets, adulteration and malpractices in the consumer goods. However, it is sad to find that there is no responsible body in the draft constitution to protect the consumer rights.
Without a consumer court, it will be very difficult to control the proliferation of black markets, syndicate system, artificial scarcity, and to maintain commercial transparency and discipline. The call for setting up the consumer court or consumer protection commission is noteworthy and this must be included in the final draft of the constitution. The term ‘Specialized Court’ as stated in the draft constitution cannot satisfy the people’s needs as it may or may not be constituted and, even if it is constituted, it will be costly and time consuming. On the other hand, it is also up to the consumers themselves to be aware of the consumer culture to safeguard their interests. They must play their creative part in the consumer culture since diversity, choice, and freedom are the basic components of consumerism. To keep themselves away from being cheated by adulteration in everyday products, consumers should have courage to boycott or resist the particular products not suitable for them from the health point of view and report the malpractices of consumer culture to the law-enforcing body to ensure their interests and rights.
Som Nath Ghimire, Kawasoti
On behalf of the Christian community of Nepal, I would like to thank The Himalayan Times for publishing the latest viewpoint of UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Christianity “Increasing Christian population a threat to neighbours” (THT, July 20, Page 6). Your daily has done us timely service by letting our comparatively small Nepali Christian community know about how leaders like Dahal feel towards us. Dahal (in his quote) hints at forceful conversion (by Christians) of the people. Let me clarify that for Christians there can be no such thing as a successful forced conversion”. If someone has taken up the Christian religion under undue pressure, it is not recognized by any church as an initiation/entry into Christianity. As for the Christian population increase is concerned, I would say, “yes it has and may be growing slowly” — but it is not a threat to the region as it is a non-violent religion unlike some political ideology that advocates “taking up arms if the need arises”. In this sense, Dahal (even though weakened as the Maoists now are) may still singlehandedly be a bigger threat to the peace of our region than any minority religion.
Chirendra Satyal, Kathmandu