Various questions may arise in everybody’s mind “Why Nepali are being frustrated day by day?”. “Why they are divided for various reasons?. In the quest of Nationalism, I found these answers easily and clearly rather than other isms and what I realized now that the collective spirit of nationalism can only be the appropriate and effective notion to open the door of development and prosperity in the country like Nepal. Indeed, nationalism is the composition of national interest, national aspiration, national characteristic, national struggle etc. It is therefore a psychological feeling ignited from the heart of the people inhabited within the certain geographical boundary where people feel like single unit and intactness.
French Revolution, American war of independence, Indian independence movement are the perfect historical mirror to spot the feelings of nationalism in people’s hearts and minds triggering up fighting for the nation. Likewise, when it comes to the history of Nepal, Nepalese nationalism was incredibly a strong blockade to the British imperialism as it was incredibly possible only when Nepalese people got united irrespective of castes, tribes, religions , communities, languages ,geographical identities , political ideologies. They heroically fought for the Nepali flag . Now, the question arises again “Are we ready to sacrifice ourselves to the nation as valiantly as our ancestors did?”. It remains unanswerable even though we are unquestionably nationalist because many isms have been rooted deeply in our minds which ultimately nurture a division in action. Fusion of imported isms may foster extreme apathy to our nationalism as sowing the seeds of antagonism and give a push toward separation in the name of plethora of isms has been common ground to our political leader resulting catastrophic consequences. Now, for instance, we are climbing the hills of national prosperity by using the stepladder of Marxism, Maoism, Capitalism, Socialism etc, all of which are not actually originated in Nepal nor they are being used in Nepal’s practical ground. Infact , we have a big dilemma of which ism we are following. Advocacy in favor of socialism is growing rapidly where as our government is practically doing its business in capitalistic manner. As we all know why goods and services are exported from one country to the another country is just because of the financial gain and generate dependency . In the same way, exported isms also may have particular vested interest behind it-divide and rule. Having Enclosed variety of isms under the umbrella of nationalism, Nepal is sure to be prosperous in future. There should be crystal clear that Nationalism should be in the uppermost even when variety of isms are in practice through out the country then only we will be able to be united despite of other affiliations. Now a days, If there is political agenda, people often managed to be present in Maitighar Mandala instantly whereas we rarely see the people being united even though It is national issues. To give you an idea, Citizens never come out side to speak and demonstrate against Melamchi drinking water project, land encroachment by Indian, deforestation in the name of construction of Nijgadh Airport, MCC and so on which are exclusively national issues and it has national values as well. It is highly possible to bring the government down as the stakeholders did against the Guthi Bill if we are all enthusiastically ready and well aware to the nation’s fate. Furthermore, we have a handful of group in our society in the cover of political ideology with personal interest rather than national interest wanting to infiltrate their party’s flag and ideology in our national issues.
Let’s take an example of incident happened in a few years ago, government announced that from the upcoming anniversary of the ‘new constitution’ onward, all cinema halls operating in Nepal would compulsorily play the national anthem ahead of a movie. Consequently, There was a huge outcry in the media mentioning that this is not the appropriate place to play national anthem where people come only for enjoyment. In addition to that, we neglect our national anthem if we listen while walking outside. Hardly can we see the people standing still, which is not actually appropriate practices by which our children imitate. No matter which cast you belong to , which religion you accept, which political ideology you follow, where you are residing in but we are Nepali and our country is Nepal. As quoted by our national anthem in the beginning ” Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka Hami Eutai Mala Nepali” which has been one of the amazing bridge to connect Himali,Pahadi and Madhesi, In addition to that, as depicted in our coat of arms “ Janani janmabhuschha sworgadaphi gariyesi” and As a song by Gopal Yonjan” Desle ragat mage malai bali chadau” which all blindly articulate that we are only one entity and we have a common goal to achieve. Mother and motherland are superior even to Heaven. We are ready to sacrifice our body for the sake of the country when needed. Therefore, There is nothing more powerful and energetic force we have in our mind than nationalism.
Contemporary challenges for our country are to address the aspirations of the diverse communities and to establish harmonize relations among federal structures. The prevailing gap between the so called Madhesis and the Pahadis and other ethnic identity have not been addressed effectively till the date. To some extent, Government is moving ahead with the motto of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ to fill the gap but slogan only might not be a sufficient tool. Even if we are tied with the national motto and national goals, non discrimination in the policy level and practical ground is believed to have pivotal role to enhance nationalism.
Nationalism pursues cultural ,lingual, political, economical harmony. but we have some of the noticeable incident which are on the contrary to the nationalism such as fairs in bhaktapur seem to have been celebrated as a festival of Newar community only. We rarely see the people participating from other cast and ethnic groups. As a result, cultural gap likely to generate dissatisfaction among us if such happens. It is high time that the government could handle every cultural and religious diversity tactfully. To achieve cohesive society and nations, we necessarily showcase our respect and faith to the religion, culture, language adopted by other people. Same thing has happened in Tarai region as well. People residing in Madesh are having to enjoy their rights amid various forms of discrimination resulting miss trust to the central government and fostering C.K Raut alliance.
Some analysts feedback nationalism as a narrow-minded and immoral notion which has utterly obstructed the concept of a global village and a global citizen but what we have to understand is we should have national identity wherever we go and whatever we do which is incredibly reflected by our unique flags throughout the world.
(Deepak Rokka is an independent thinker with a Master’s degree in public administration and Peace and Global Security)