The other day I saw a magazine article entitled The Nepali Way, which described the delights of Nepal and its unique culture. And once again I was amazed by the arrogance with which the Nepalese people really believe that they have some “own way”. It amazes me that so many Nepalis are really proud to talk about “the Nepali way”, not even trying to take a critical look at themselves.
Let’s tell the truth. It will be unpleasant, but recognizing it you’ll get a chance to change the situation. If you keep believing in a pleasant, but false picture, you lose these chances either.
Let’s be honest. At the moment, the Nepalese people have no national idea. Nothing around which people could come together and develop personally and develop their country as a whole. Unless it is considered the national idea to stagnate in squalor and misery. And when someone starts to declaim about “the Nepalese culture” I just want to ask him whether he sees the dire poverty of the people around him? Had he looked at least once in life into the ratings of competitiveness, economic, scientific and other development? If so, whether he had seen – which position is Nepal in those rankings? Does he understand that Nepal is one of the most backward countries in the world? Is there anyone on Earth outside Nepal who has heard about some famous Nepalese physicist? Astronomer? Chemist? Biologist? Geneticist? Writer? Composer? Film Star? Pianist? Footballer? This unfortunate list is endless because on the world maps of science, sports, music, literature, engineering and so on and so on – Nepal is simply zero. Featureless white spot. Nothing. And in these circumstances, how can you still continue to be proud of “Nepalese culture”? Kathmandu is swarmed with various “academies”. But can you imagine that at least one person from the civilized world would send his children to study in your colleges?
Have you any idea what people of the civilized world think of you when they come here as tourists? Yes, they smile and say “Namaste”, but what they really think of you, do you imagine that? What do they think seeing this incredible poverty, this fantastic dirt, the roads looking as if bomb-destroyed, great chaos on these roads, this endless and continuous noise keeping tourists from rest or sleep, day or night. What do they think, seeing the astonishing ignorance and illiteracy of the people around them?
Perhaps Nepalis are just very poor, so they have no money for anything?
It may be so. But is Nepal the first poor country in the history? Let’s look for example at Singapore and South Korea. Only 60 years ago they were the countries comparable to present-day North Korea in terms of poverty and total devastation. Now both countries are among the leaders of the world economy. So, the problem is not poverty. The problem lies in the minds of people who are used to this misery and do not want to part with it.
Just walk about the streets of Kathmandu or Pokhara and pay attention to one amazing thing: in front of each shop is sitting its owner. There is garbage scattered ahead of him, right at his feet. It would take five minutes to collect the garbage and make the entrance into your store clean. But no one does this simple thing. Is it also the problem of poverty? No, the problem is in their heads.
Singapore and South Korea have become what they have become only because they were governed by energetic men supported by their people. They ceased to be proud of their poverty and shocking backwardness. They realized that one can be proud of one’s country only when its inhabitants are rich, healthy and educated; those are proud of poverty and ignorance who are not able to do anything else. They chose the path of development, and we can see the results. Nepal should also be governed by a leader having experience in nationwide development, and having a broad mandate to implement reforms. The Nepalese will never achieve a breakthrough on their own. Thus, Nepal should invite an expert from Singapore or South Korea or Sweden or Switzerland or Hong Kong etc to take the helm of state – anyone who has sufficient experience in successful management of such projects, who will bring along a team of highly qualified specialists and begin training local personnel. Democracy – the power of ignorant and poor majority – will leave Nepal where it was and is – in the backyard of the world.
That is what should become a national idea – to achieve transformation into a country like many other successful small countries. National idea should be to terminate the uniqueness of poverty, ferity and ignorance. And when the average income of men and women Nepali citizens will reach at least thousand dollars a month, then it will be appropriate to talk about “national uniqueness”, and how to cultivate it with no harm to the economy, but for your own pleasure.