I am totally lost to find even one appropriate word to console my bereaved nation grieving from a calamity of such magnitude. Kathmandu the city where Gods dwell and Nepal the birth place of Lord Buddha perhaps was the assurance of a safe haven for the devoted Nepalis. However led by the macabre royal family massacre, now the capital Kathmandu and Gorkha in particular the very place from where today’s modern Nepal was established ruined and Mount Everest the rice bowl of Nepal shaking in agony or wrath (?) obviously overtly abused with filth and disorder are all clear omens for the Nepali people to awake ‘jaga Nepali’ if not now - when!
“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. Haile Selassie”
I can only assume this earthquake was the ultimate call to the people of Nepal who for decades have lamely ignored the country’s erosion by its rulers. Even the so called Maoist movement which enthused the gullible villagers with a false promise of a better life with thousands of lives sacrificed to achieve this, was but only for the leaders to shed their Mao fatigues and camp beds let alone their ideology for tailored suits and luxury apartments. The eventual birth of a Republic nation was only for the masters to change hands, it is this very culture of blind faith and hope which has been exploited to the hilt for decades, first by the Ranas, then the Shahs and now the political masters and yet the Nepalis seem to remain oblivious perhaps by the perpetual hope that tomorrow will bring a better day. Further exacerbating the situation by dividing the indigenous population with the 'jan jati' mantra, deviously aspiring to divide and rule. A faux pas that will now haunt those in power, for within the divided there are promising leaders who if backed by the same instinctive spirit of unity which was not only evident but the saving grace during the first phase of the crisis a New Nepal is certainly possible.
The despicable prolonged delay in drawing up a conclusive constitution due to the political squabbles of the (mis) leaders whose personal interests overrules the interest of the nation is blatant – yet the people’s voice has remained silent. The ever pouring international aids are purloined by the leaders while the intended development it was meant for always remaining unaccounted for. The raison d’etre for the leaders to refrain from developing Nepal is obviously the fear of draining their own steady income. It is equally bemusing that the donor nations too with its philanthropic intention never seem to question these malpractices? If you look at the American Embassy’s ugly structure impudently out of place in the middle of a large residential area, the leaders acting like lackeys to the diplomats from these rich nations it’s only logical to assume that the silence could be based on a mutual understanding between the two sides, conveniently scratching each other’s back.
Difficult it may seem, however, we must now rise above our mourning and in true Gurkha spirit for the sake of the departed ascertain their lives were not lost in vain. We must ensure that each victim is cared for; houses rebuilt; proper roads constructed; a disaster contingency plan is in place; reserve funds are in place; improve the health services; provide mobile health care to reach the remotest of the villages; equality to woman and people from all cast and creed; every children has access to education, the list goes on, but the important point is that they are all achievable.
One good lesson we must take from this tragedy is the effectual result of unity. There were no government personnel visible or any guidance yet for once the people disregarding their ‘jat pat’, religious beliefs and political affiliation helped each other and this was so crucial. .Therein lies the answer think Nepali, unite and nothing is impossible. Credit does go to the Nepali Army and Police Forces for the vital support they provided.
At an age when space tourism is now a possible reality yet in Nepal we don’t even have potable water to reach each household let alone commutable roads to link villages. It is ironic that Nepal is now in the year 2072 - years ahead from the rest yet miles behind all.
Tikendra Dal Dewan JP