Nepal | July 07, 2020

What is wrong with us?

Mental revolution needed

Anil Keshary Shah
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The more the sons and daughters of Nepal focus on enhancing their skills and abilities to utilize their core competencies and strengths to be better at whatever it is that they choose to do with their life, the faster we will move towards building the Nepal we all aspire and dream of

Going aheadAlmost every Nepali I meet anywhere in the nation, or across the world, is proud to be Nepali. Yes, each of us has a long list of things that are wrong with our nation, and an even longer list of people to blame for all these shortcomings, but no matter what each of us is proud of this land we call home, our Nepal!

The one thing that I find in common in all the lists of things that are wrong with our nation is the fact that I never find anyone put in anything on the list for which they take responsibility, and likewise I have yet to find anyone who puts their name on the list of people we blame for our nation’s situation. This made me think… is it really possible that I carry no responsibility for any of the shortcomings of my nation, and am in no way a contributor to the situation we find ourselves in today?

Having pondered on this issue to the point of frustration I thought let me try to get to the bottom of this in another way… Let me think of what have I done personally to be part of the solution that I seek. If I feel that Kathmandu is polluted and dirty, what have I done, no matter how small the action may be, to make my city a little cleaner?

We are all very aware of our rights, our rights in our family, our institution, in our society, in our nation! We know every right that we are entitled to, and spend a lot of time demanding and ensuring that we get what is our right! But how much time have we actually given to think about our responsibility in our family, our institution, our society and our nation? Rights and responsibilities are like breathing in and breathing out, it is impossible to do just one and not the other.

Nepal is as prosperous or poor as the Nepali people, for a nation is not just the mud within its borders but the people that live on that land at any given point of time. Therefore as arduous a task as it may sound, the only way to make Nepal a sustainably prosperous nation is to ensure that we make the individual Nepali citizen rich. There are many examples of countries in which a small percentage of the population is very wealthy, however those nations as a whole fall in the underdeveloped or least developed nations of the world. So in order to make Nepal rich, we have to bring forth an economic transformation that promotes economic inclusion and upliftment of our lowest common economic denominator. We have spent generations blaming everyone for all our problems and not giving enough thought and energy to what ‘I’ have done, if anything, to be a part of the solution, or at least, not be part of the very problems we are criticizing. The time has come for us to break out of this vicious cycle.

For our Nepal has the highest mountain in the world, is the birthplace of the Buddha, the home of Pashupatinath, her natural beauty and diversity is rivalled by few, and the resources whether it be the water in her rivers, the herbs in her jungle, or the minerals in her mountains are infinite. But we her sons and daughters, instead of striving to live lives that would make her proud of us, we keep trying to pass the blame of our inabilities and incompetency on her, and are trying to make her the reason for our shortcomings and failures. There is nothing wrong with Nepal, if there is anything wrong it is with us the Nepali sons or daughters of this amazing nation we all call home.

We all felt that the promulgation of our new Constitution would be the start of our journey to build the new Nepal of our dreams and aspirations, but the reality of the Terai Andolan, ensuing border closure and the unprecedented jumbo cabinet of six Deputy Prime Ministers and a plethora of ministers, with the promise of even more to come in the days ahead, has cast grave uncertainties on the days ahead under our 7th Constitution. These insecurities giving rise to yet again several assumptions and presumptions on what is needed on our part to effectively build our nation under our new Constitution. Many of these centering around the need for a Naya Shakti or a Naya Soch, with everyone again looking at everyone else wondering if and when they are going to start something along these lines. Yet gain we seem to be going back to ‘Mangal-Maan’ in our thinking, looking outward for someone, or something to step forward and solve our problems and build our nation for us. If we want to get to a destination that is different from that which all the movements of the past have taken us to, we, each and every one of us, has to choose a different way forward.

The time has come for each one of us to realize this and stop blaming our Nepal, or any other Nepali but start looking within ourselves. The change we want and the solution we seek has to come from each ‘Ma’ (me). The more the sons and daughters of Nepal focus on enhancing their skills and abilities to utilize their core competencies and strengths to be better at whatever it is that they choose to do with their life, the faster we will move towards building Nepal we all aspire and dream of.

A version of this article appears in print on November 24, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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