Part of the job
There are a plethora of cultural, religious and heritage sites in Nepal. Despite being recognized, many of them remain far from the gaze of the
officials concerned. Indifference means that pitiful information is available about the heritage sites and trusts administering them so much so that it
is lamented that when detailed information is needed about them the officials are required to contact the UNESCO. Now those concerned have made it known that they would compile the necessary information about them and make them available for
all in about a matter of a month. If done sincerely,
it can be reason to hope that conservation efforts
will get the fillip. Since the heritage belongs to all Nepalese, they need to know about them. Thus, the collection of relevant details like the historical
backgrounds, properties, master plans of the sites, their development and resources and incomes together with the number of those with the trusts
and what they have achieved so far would help the concerned take necessary steps to preserve them. That the Pashupati Area Development Trust has no records of the tradition and history of priest appointment at the Pashupatinath Temple comes as a bewildering piece of news.
Hopefully, making available the detailed information of these sites in the country will raise awareness about the richness of our heritage which is second to none and, therefore, a matter of pride for all Nepalese. The collection of the information is overdue as is the identification of other sites of importance spread throughout the country. The lack of information about these, therefore, makes it difficult to find out their status, thereby, making it difficult to archive them for posterity. The records that are available are also found not to be updated. Therefore, the officials of the trusts and others concerned should make such records ensuring at the same time that they are transparent so that the activities of the trusts can be known and also where they are found to be lacking so that remedial measures can be taken immediately.
The government’s intent to archive the cultural and heritage sites should be taken positively. It is, as such, reassuring that the Ministry of Affairs, Constituent Assembly, Parliament Affairs and Culture has initiated the task of collecting the details. The public for their part must provide the government with all the possible assistance in this endeavor. The unique blend of diverse cultural and religious heritage co-existing for centuries in Nepal is an asset to the entire human race. The nation is grateful to the international community for their cooperation and interest in the preservation of these sites. Many foreign scholars have been compiling information about them and their findings could come in useful. There is still a lot of work left to be done in archiving the sites. Moreover, after the completion of this project in the heritage sites already listed, information is going to be compiled of other historical and cultural sites albeit gradually. Let this not be one of those ventures that has more smoke than fire.
The solidarity of the media persons that was exhibited when an individual from the fraternity was killed speaks volumes. It is a reflection of the bare fact that the media fraternity are under severe threat particularly in recent times. Press freedom that is the foundation of democracy poses dangers to people who cannot stand under the power of the pen. The people in the guise of vested interests are taking the country on a ride by trying to impress on the people that they hold the sway and can get away with even the vilest form of action. Condemnation of the dastardly act of targeting the media persons is, however, not enough. Government must be able to provide a semblance of security if it feels about its duties and responsibilities.
With regular threats being directed at journalists from supposedly unidentified sources, it is high time that rivalry among the media fraternity be shelved to fight the menace that has taken the lives of so
many courageous free press speakers and writers. Remaining mute to the abominable acts of murders cannot be in the overall interest of the nation.
Sans accountability, one cannot feel that an administration is in place to protect the life and property of the common man.