Janak Kumar Basnet

In 1990, the late King Birendra heard the people’s voice, their wishes and their choice. Having conceded to the majority’s demand, he handed power to the people who in turn gave it to the parliament to govern the country. Thus democracy was born in Nepal. We are fourteen years down the road. However, the nation has suffered years of corruption. We have been depleted and disunited as never before. The unrest continues. The killings continue. Poverty and unemployment are rife.

Due to insecurity caused by the ongoing unrest, the number of tourists visiting the country has dwindled. With the exquisite natural beauty, Nepal was a much-preferred destination for tourists from all over the world. We have virtually killed tourism. The hotel and other industries that depend on tourism are badly hit. Many people have lost jobs. When the Royal couple visited various regions in Nepal recently, we saw Nepali people’s revererence and love for their King and Queen. The King is no threat to the land or its people. Rather, he has always maintained that he wants to secure democracy. His only call is for his subjects to reunite, establish peace and then have a general election. The King has been doing everything possible to uphold the rule of law and preserve the fledgling democracy. In the name of freedom, we appear to be challenging his resolve by written and oral abuse, destruction, and thereby destabilising the sheer fabric of the Kingdom.

We must not forget that anarchy can only be controlled by a military rule. Then, are we seeking or inviting such a rule? We should not create an environment where there is no alternative to a military rule for Nepal or to intervention by a foreign power. But with peace and harmony we can make our country beautiful again. We must rediscover ourselves as we used to be — courteous, honest, hardworking, peace loving and patriotic. Too much politics is bad for social, economic, ethical, cultural and moral health of a nation. Starting at a crack o’ dawn, there are too many people chasing too many politicians every day. It is time people show these politicians their right place.

Let us reconsider the definition of democracy: It is a government by the people, for the people and of the people. In a democracy a citizen has both rights and duties. Let us exercise our rights and perform our duties accordingly. Let us make the democracy work first and let us not start looking for alternatives. We must reunite. And for this a movement to unite people is the need of the day. Violence must come to an end. Let us stop making our own people widows and orphans prematurely. There cannot be any reason for Nepalis killing Nepalis by forgetting once cherished sense of belonging. On behalf of the Non Resident Nepalis, I would urge the students to join us in creating an environment for attracting foreign investments into Nepal. I would also urge them to join in efforts to turn Nepal into an international business centre. This would create many jobs for the students. We have two most densely populated countries as our next-door neighbours. We can turn Nepal into a stepping-stone for our overseas friends to enter into these two huge markets. We can take advantage of this huge opportunity to trade with our neighbouring giants.