We Nepalis take pride in being Nepali, both as beings and as speakers. There has been debate on the language issue especially with regard to what language the Vice President should have taken the Oath of Office in. The reality is that Nepali, Pahadia or Khas Kura is understood widely along the Himalayan belt.
More recently the Maobadis have come up with a suggestion that the Nepali flag should be changed in the context of this “uthall puthall” that has enveloped the country. Others have countered this by saying that it is not necessary to change everything, but if so, then why not change the name of the country too!
This is not something impossible or so sacrilegious that it cannot even be thought about. After all, Cambodia became Kampuchea and Nyasaland changed to Malawi. Northern and Southern Rhodesia became Zambia and Zimbabwe respectively.
The making of a Federal Nepal is a matter of concern for many. The Maobadis say 11 provinces and 70 districts on basis of castes and tribes. The Congress says 16 with 3 to 5 districts in each.
The UML has come up with a proposal of 13 provinces of which 7 will be on the basis of community, 2 on the basis of language and 4 on the basis of majority culture.
Bearing in mind the fact that all the provinces should, as far as possible, be self sustainable, and any change should take into consideration the existing set and modify it to something that is practicable. Any unit wholly in the northern mountainous region cannot exist without the food supplies from its south.
Similarly, a unit in the south without hydropower but subjected to annual floods cannot survive. Freak floods due to bursting of a glacial lake in these days of global warming are a possibility too. Thus, the best proposal seems to be of Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party which has proposed retaining the 14 zones and 75 districts but with the provision of interchange of some district from one zone to another. They are not for the status quo and their suggestion for change includes shifting the capital to Dang.
Of course, relocation
of the capital to Bharatpur had been made in the
past but was never seriously considered.
In the context of a
Naya Nepal, of which we
are all talking now, anything is possible.
There is talk inside the CA of changing the National Emblems by replacing the rhododendron by marigold, danfe with the hen, crimson with maroon and the cow by the gaida or even the
Black Buck. All this smacks of prejudices with the thought that these represent the ancien regime, and must be got rid of as soon as possible. A valid query is whether such concepts are necessary at this stage.
All said and done the only way out of all this is as per the old Nepali adage ‘Kill the snake, but break not the stick’. Thus, Nepal would become ‘Naya Nepal”.
Our flag which we have had in this design from the time of Mana Dev in the
fifth century would be changed to one which is similar to the rectangular flags of other nations. Such an adaptation is already in use by the Nepal Army and the Nepal Police. Both use rectangular flags which
has on its right side our current Nepali flag and on the right the emblem of the army or the police.
One departure would be to have our existing flag on a green background in conformity with the ecological awareness in this day and age of global warming. After all we say “Green Forests, Nepal’s Wealth”.
Another inclusion beside the existing Nepali flag would be to have Everest at the side. We all tell visitors to our country that it is the ‘Land of Everest’.
If Lebanon can have the cedar tree as representation why can we not put our mountain on our flag?
It is on our currency notes
of all denominations.
Lastly we can add stars like those on the flag of the European Union.
Stars inserted on our new flag would be equal to the number of federated states that comprise our Peoples’ Republic. The red, white and blue flag now with
the additional green, Everest and the stars will not only satisfy many communities of Nepal but will also be representative of the Cosmos around us. Though not a rainbow conglomeration of all the different communities of Nepal, it can be said to represent a secular nation as such.
Like the Irish who too had to go to different countries in search of work, so we Nepalis have to fend for ourselves in the future. We are a nation of migrants who have always had to travel afar in search of work.
One-third of our country in the north consists of mountains which do not produce much but will hopefully attract tourists from the ends of the earth. It is a known fact that our land is beautiful with a mild and temperate weather all the year round. We, as Nepalis, have not been able to exploit this blessing given to us by Nature. It will be our culture, language and our “rahan sahan” or our mores that will unite the Nepalis here and all over the world. This seems to be the way ahead for our survival.