The Dark Clouds

All she ever asked for was–

a morsel of good meal

with her family

in a house that

protected them

from the blistering sun,

from the drenching rain and

from the chilling cold.

***

Her wish never came true

but she hoped it would,

until one day–

the dark clouds

washed out her crops,

washed out her hut,

washed out her hopes,

washed out her life.

***

She now wails, but in vain!

For it is not loud enough

to wake the gods up in heaven

above those dark clouds

that brought the rain!

खोइ नागरिक समाज ?

हिजो अचानक यो प्रश्न मनमा उठ्यो । देशमा राजनीतिका नाममा ठगी भइरहँदा, कुटनीतिका नाममा लुटनीति चलिरहँदा अनि राज्य पुनर्संरचना (शब्दै कति गार्‍हो रै’छ टाइप गर्न !)का आवाज उठिरहँदा नागरिक समाज कता हरायो?  दश वर्षअघि राजाको प्रत्यक्ष शासनको विरोध हुँदा “नागरिक समाज” एकदम प्रचलित थियो । नागरिक समाज नभएको भए  २०६२/६३को आन्दोलन नै हुने थिएन ।

तत्कालिन अवस्थामा नागरिक समाजका कसरी बनेको थियो ? के उद्देश्य थिए ? इतिहास नबुझी हुन्न भन्ने ठानेर गुगल सर्च गरेको थिएँ । हिजो नै सेतोपाटिमा चुडामणि बस्नेतको एउटा लेख प्रकाशित भएको रै’छ । उक्त लेखलाई आधार मान्दा त्यो समयको नागरिक समाज तल दिइएका वर्गको समूह पो रै’छ-

  • समाजका केही अगुवाहरू,
  • काठमाडौंमा केही बुद्धिजीवी भनेर कहलिएकाहरू, र
  • सञ्चार क्षेत्र
  • केही गैरसरकारी संस्थाका अगुवाहरू

नागरिक समाजको उद्देश्य थिए- १) माओवादी द्वन्द्वको वार्ताद्वारा समाधान; २) लोकतन्त्र र गणतन्त्रको प्राप्ति; ३) समावेशीकरण; ४) राज्य पुनर्संरचना ।

पछिल्ला दुई उद्देश्य माओवादीलाई मुल धारको राजनीतिमा ल्याउने कडीका रूपमा मैले बुझेको छु । ०६२/६३को आन्दोलनमा ती सवाल कसरी उठेका थिए भन्ने चाहिँ मलाई याद छैन । (म बाह्र वर्षको मात्रै थिएँ नि त !) अघिल्ला दुई उद्देश्यमा जनताको प्रत्यक्ष चासो थियो र राजनीतिक दलको स्वार्थ पनि त्यहीँ गाँसिएको थियो ।

त्यस ताका राजाले शासन आफ्नो हातमा लिँदा दलहरूमाथि जनताको विश्वास नै थिएन । उनीहरूले गर्ने विरोधका कार्यक्रममा जनता जाँदैनथे (रक्तकुण्ड, कृष्ण अविरल) । उनीहरू एउटा माध्यम चाहन्थे जनतासम्म पुग्न । नागरिक समाज त्यस्तो एउटा पुल थियो । त्यही भएर नै नागरिक समाजविना आन्दोलन सम्भव थिएन ।

जनता आन्दोलनमा होमिए । राजाले शासन छोडे । विघटित प्रतिनिधि सभा पुनर्स्थापना भयो । लोकतन्त्र आयो । राजाको शक्ति सीमित भयो । संविधान सभाको निर्वाचन भयो । गणतन्त्र घोषणा भयो । जनताले आन्दोलनमा भनेका थिए- “खबरदार नेतगण धोका देलाउ ।” नागरिक समाजलाई भनेका थिए- “यी नेतालाई मुर्ख्याइँ गर्न नदिनू ।” 

तर लोकतन्त्र र गणतन्त्र आउँदासम्म नागरिक समाज हराउन थालिसकेको थियो ।

सेतोपाटिको लेखअनुसार जतिजति समावेशीकरणको अवाज उठ्यो, नागरिक समाज फुट्दै गयो । जबजब राज्य पुनर्संरचनाको कुरा उठ्यो, नागरिक समाज विभक्त हुँदै गयो । मधेस आन्दोलनले यसमा झन् मद्दत गर्‍यो । क्षणिक उद्देश्यका कारण नागरिक समाज टुक्रिएको हो भन्ने म मान्दछु ।

तत्कालिन नागरिक समाजले देशको मुख्य शत्रुलाई निर्मुल पार्न कुनै कदम नै नचालेको जस्तो म देख्छु । नेपालका मुख्य शत्रु हुन्- अस्थिरता र भ्रष्टाचार । यिनै दुई कारणले गर्दा राजनीतिक दलसँग आजित भएका जनताले राजाको प्रत्यक्ष शासनलाई समर्थन गरेका थिए । यिनै दुई कारणले गर्दा राजाको शासन डगमगाएको थियो । यिनै दुई कारणले भुकम्प पीडित जनताले उचित राहत पाएका  छैनन् । यिनै दुई कारणले नेपाल विदेशी चलखेलको केन्द्र बनेको छ । यिनै दुई कारणले जनता गणतन्त्र देखि नै आजित हुन थालिसके । समस्याको चुरो बुझेर पनि बुझ पचाउने राजनीतिकर्मी र बुद्धिजीवी भनाउदाले गर्दा नै हाम्रा समस्या समाधान नभएका हुन् ।

अफसोस, नेपालका बुद्धिजीवीहरू र सञ्चार क्षेत्र   जातीय, क्षेत्रीय, वर्गीय  रङ्गमा रङ्गिएका छन् । यस्तोमा हाम्रा समस्याहरू झन् बढ्दै छन् । कहिलेसम्म ? प्रश्न अनुत्तरित छ ।

99 years: Is Tri-Chandra showing signs of Old Age?

The Past

When Tri-Chandra College was inaugurated 99 years ago, the then Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher JBR had said, “I have done a mistake. This college will end the rule of the Ranas.”

Though Chandra Shumsher’s division of the Ranas into different classes was among the primary reasons for the fall of Ranas, he was not wrong in understanding the strength of higher education, in changing the society.

The Present

On Sunday, 5th Bhadra, 2073 (23rd August, 2016) the 99th anniversary of Tri-Chandra Multiple College was celebrated. I am not sure what the Tribhuvan University, college administration, students’ union thought about the programme that was organized. Personally, I was not excited. There are several reasons behind my dissatisfaction.

The management of the college is not satisfactory. I am not sure how this college is managed. New students are met first by the cadres of “Students’ Union”. They guide new students well- which is nice. When it comes to handling complex situations, the college administration should guide and help students. The administration, however is almost inaccessible without the mediation of Students’ Union. Because of the inefficiency of the administration, the Students’ Union have been influential over the students as well as the college administration.

There are several unions “for the welfare of students” but none seem to be effective in managing the infrastructures needed for smooth running of the college. The college, divided into two blocks: Ghantaghar block and Saraswati Sadan block, looks better as long as you are outside of the latter. Inside, it has several problems beginning from staffing to the classroom infrastructures.

The Ghantaghar block, the older block gives me a Gothic impression. The building is old. Whitewash has been replaced by mosses and lichens, walls have inhabited ferns and Peepal, the classrooms have infrastructures seemingly from the other century, and the recent earthquake worsened its state even more.

On the Ghantaghar is a Sports Hall. This is also the hall where the 99th anniversary of the college was celebrated. The preparation was evident. The hall looked cleaner than ever. The outside of the hall had been recently painted. The black colour on pillars was painting the hands as well. Grass was cut after more than six months, revealing the junk that had been hidden. No one had cared to throw them, though. (Incomplete preparation, oof!) 

Talking of problems, I must tell you that anyone can enter the college with no restriction, whatsoever. And not all of them come to study. Everyone has seen people smoke marijuana within the college premises. Yet no one does anything to them. There are two reasons, basically: 

1) They can do anything when they are “high”.

2) They have connections with Students’ Union.*

And the weed is dense behind the Ghantaghar block.

And the college has always had ill fame for its gang wars.

I have already talked about academic problems in my earlier post: Why Classes Become Boring.

The Future

Based on the number of students being admitted to the college (which is mostly artificial**), some leaders of Students’ Union had said, “Tri-Chandra should be a university.” 

I had agreed then (when I was a newbie there); I differ now. With the problems the college is facing, and the negligence of administration as well as that of Students’ Union in solving them, the college does not have a bright future ahead. Unless the problems I have mentioned are solved, the college will remain infamous as the centre of gang wars and fights.

* Having a lot of Students’ Union is beneficial to some extent. Nobody dares to touch others because of the the connection they might have.

** The number of students is mostly artificial. Most students admit so that they don’t have to lose a year or two while they try for medical or engineering seats. 

डा. केसीको “आमरण” अनशनको सार्थकता

करिब तीन साता भयो डा. गोविन्द केसीको “आमरण” अनशन सकिएको । यसपटकको आठौं अनशनमा उनले धेरैको समर्थन पाए । के उनको आन्दोलनले देशभरका जनतालाई सुबिधा होला ? के नेपालको संविधानमा लेखिएको स्वास्थ्य सम्बन्धि हकलाई यो आन्दोलनले सहयोग गर्ला ? यी प्रश्नहरूको जवाफ खोजिनेछ यस लेखमा ।

अनशनको शिलशिला

डा. केसीले यसपटक समेत गरेर आठचोटि अनशन बसे । उनको समर्थनमा युवाहरू सडकमा ओर्लिए; सोसल मिडियामा I am with Dr. KC भन्ने नारा लगाए ।  शिक्षण अस्पतालका डाक्टरहरूले स्वास्थ्य सेवालाई असर हुनेगरी आन्दोलनलाई समर्थन (या विरोध) गरिरहँदा जनताको सहज स्वास्थ्य सेवा पाउने हक कुन्ठित भयो भन्न भने मैले हिच्किचाउनु हुँदैन ।

डा. केसीका अनशनको क्रम

असार २१-२४, २०६९ (४ दिन)

साउन २७-भदौ १, २०६९ (७ दिन)

पुस २७-माघ १०, २०७० (१४ दिन)

माघ २५-फागुन ३, २०७० (८ दिन)

फागुन ८-१९, २०७१ (१२ दिन)

भदौ ७-२०, २०७२ (१४ दिन)

असार २६-साउन ९, २०७३ (१५ दिन)

स्रोत: The Himalayan Times

जनतालाई सास्ती

डा. केसीले पाँचौ या छैटौं पटक अनशन बस्दा डाक्टरहरूले आकस्मिक बाहेकका सेवा बन्द गरेको सुन्दा मैले फेसबुकमा गुनासो पोखेको थिएँ- “जनताको सेवा होस भनेर गोविन्द केसीले अनशन  बसेका छन् । अरू डाक्टरचाहिँ सेवा बन्द गरेर समर्थन गर्दै छन् । ठीक उल्टो भएन र ?” मेडिकल पढ्दै गरेका मेरा एक मित्रले जवाफ दिए- “दुर्गमका मानिसको सुबिधाको लागि काठमाडौंका केही जनताले दु:ख पाउनु गलत होइन *।” मलाई चित्त बुझेन; काठमाडौंका जनताले चाहिँ किन दु:ख भोग्नुपर्ने ? तिनै मित्रले मलाई भने- “तिमी त मुर्ख रैछौ, कुरा नबुझ्ने ।” मैले विवाद गर्नु जरुरी थिएन । सायद काठमाडौंवासीले केही सुबिधा त्याग गर्नुपर्छ भनेर मैले नै नबुझेको थिएँ ।

तर एकचोटी चित्त नबुझेपछि अर्कोपटक त्यस्तै कुरा सुन्दा रिस उठ्दो रैछ । डा. केसीको आन्दोलन ताका मेरो परिवारका दुई सदस्यलाई आँखा जचाउनु पर्‍यो । लगियो नजिकैको त्यही आन्दोलन चलिरहेको अस्पताल । दिउँसोको सत्रमा चालीसजना मात्र बिरामी हेर्ने भनिएछ । हुन त एकचलीसौँ नम्बरमा परेर पनि उपचार त त्यही दिन भयो तर त्यसपछि उपचार नै नपाउने पनि त थिए नि ! के शिक्षण अस्पतालका विद्यार्थीले आफ्नो मात्र सुबिधाका लागि जनताको करबाट छात्रवृत्ति पाएका हुन्; गोविन्द केसीको समर्थन गरेका हुन्  ?

डाक्टरका लुकेका स्वार्थ

“डाक्टरको जस्तो कुल्ली काम कसैको हुँदैन,” अस्ति निमेष दाइ भन्दै हुनुहुन्थ्यो मलाई । मैले पनि त्यसै बुझेको हुँ । दिनभर अनेक थरीका बिरामी हेर्‍यो । न खानाको टुँगो छ न बस्नको । राति अर्जेन्ट फोन आयो भने “दिनभरी थाकेको शरीर” पनि भन्न नपाउने । दत्तचित्तकासाथ उक्त पेशामा लाग्ने मानिसहरूलाई म सलाम गर्छु । तर यस पेशाको व्यापारिकरण गरिएको छ भन्ने सबैलाई थाहा भएको तथ्य हो ।

“ठूलो भएपछि डाक्टर बन्नु !” हामीले दशैँमा यही आशिर्वाद पायौँ । हाम्रो समाजले डाक्टरलाई भगवान मान्छ । डाक्टर बन्न गाह्रो छ अनि त्यसपछिको सम्मान चाहिँ अथाह । त्यसैले प्लस 2 साइन्स पढ्दा पनि मेडिकल इन्ट्रान्स भनेर एक्स्ट्रा क्लास राख्छन् । “गुण पनि धेरै खायो भने तीतो हुन्छ” भन्ने नेपाली उखान छ । सम्मान धेरै गर्‍यो भने दम्भ बढ्छ । नेपाली डाक्टरहरूमा पनि दम्भ भेटिन्छ । त्यसैले त उनीहरू अप्रेसन गर्न ढिला पुग्दा कसैले केही भन्दैन तर कोही बिरामी ढिलो पुगोस्, उसको सातो लिन्छन्  ।

दम्भ बोकेका डाक्टरले चलाएका छन् मेडिकल कलेज । त्यहाँ पढ्छन् पैसा पेल्न सक्ने (वा ॠण काढेका) परिवारका छोराछोरी । तिनको उद्देश्य- पैसा कमाउने । ॠण तिर्नु पर्दा अर्को उपाय पनि त छैन । जब कोही बिरामी हुन्छ, ऊ यस्तै स्वार्थले घेरिएको ठाउँमा पुग्छ ।

यस्तोमा एउटा डाक्टर (गोविन्द केसी) लाई निस्वार्थी रूपमा देखाइयो । र त उनलाई धेरैले पत्याए । तापनि उनले काठमाडौंमा दश वर्षसम्म नयाँ मेडिकल कलेज सञ्चालन गर्न नपाइने सहमती गरे सरकारसँग; साथै मनमोहन मेडिकल कलेजको सम्पत्ति नेपाल स्वास्थ्य विज्ञान प्रतिष्ठान (वीर अस्पताल) ले किन्ने व्यवस्था गर्न बाध्य बनाए । यसपालिको सहमतिले निम्नलिखित प्रश्नहरू उब्जाउन सक्छ:

  • काठमाडौंको बढ्दो जनसंख्याको चापलाई अहिले भइरहेका अस्पतालले दश वर्ष थेग्न सक्छन् ?
  • अहिले सञ्चालनमा रहेका मेडिकल कलेजको स्तरोन्नति कसरी र कहिलेसम्म होला ?
  • मनमोहन मेडिकल कलेज सञ्चालकले सुलभ शुल्कमा सेवा दिन्छौँ भन्दा किन दिइएन ? केसीसँग सञ्चालकको व्यग्तिगत टक्कर जस्तो पनि देखियो कि ?
  • निजी मेडिकल कलेज खुल्दैनन पो भन्न खोजिएको हो कि ? वीर हस्पिटलले किन्ने भनेको मनमोहनको सम्पत्ति उसले बेच्न मानेन भने डा. केसीले फेरि अनशन बस्लान ?

नक्कली डाक्टरका सम्बन्धमा

नक्कली डाक्टरको विगविगी भएको यो समयमा गुणस्तरीय सेवा पाउनु त “आकासको फल आँखा तरी मर” भनेजस्तै भएको छ ।सिआइबीले समातेका नक्कली डाक्टर काममा फर्किए रे । डा. केसीको आन्दोलनले यो मुद्दा किन छोएन ? फेरि समावेशी कोटाका नाममा ८८% ल्याउनेले नपाएर ५०% ल्याउनेले मेडिकल गर्न पाउने प्रथा हुने गरी आन्दोलन गर्लान् कि नगर्लान केसीले ? नवौँ अनशनमा (भइहाल्यो भने) चाहिँ सलाइनविनै केसी बस्न सकून् ।

आन्दोलनको सार्थकता

हरेक प्रदेशमा एउटा स्तरीय मेडिकल कलेज सञ्चालनमा आए सबैलाई फाइदा होला । र ती छिटो बनून् । देशका सबै क्षेत्रमा स्वास्थ्यसेवा सजिलो गरि पाइयोस् । व्यापारिक उद्देशले अस्पताल नखोलिउन् । डाक्टरले “हिप्पोक्रेटिक ओथ” ननाघून् । अनि नक्कली डाक्टरले शिर नउठाउन् । 

मेरा पछिल्ला दुई कामनाका सम्बन्धमा केही कुरा नउठेकाले गोविन्द केसीको आन्दोलनलाई म अपुरो ठान्दछु । असल उद्देश्य राखिएको भनिएको अनशनले ती कुरा नसमेटेकाले फेरि यस्तै आन्दोलन नहोला भन्न सकिन्न । तर आन्दोलन गर्न पाउने हक प्रयोग गर्दा कसैको स्वास्थ्य सेवा पाउने हक कुण्ठित नहोस् ।

    [थप कुरा:

    * मेरा मित्रलाई जवाफ (ढिलै भए पनि) 

    केही समय पहिले काठमाडौंवासीले मधेसको समस्या बुझेनन् भन्दै नाकाबन्दी गराए मधेसी दलले । त्यसको विरोध व्यापक भयो । तिमीले के गर्‍यौ मलाई याद छैन तर काठमाडौंमा बस्ने बित्तिकै सुबिधाभोगी भन्ने बुझ्यौ कि कसो ? नत्र अन्त उपचार गर्न नपाएर यहाँ आएका बिरामी पनि त हुन्छन् नि ! तिनले चाहिँ काठमाडौंमा सुबिधा लिन नपाउने भन्न खोजेका हौ कि ? या तिमीहरूलाई आफ्नो ठाउँमा अस्पताल खुल्दैछन्, काठमाडौं आउनु पर्दैन भनेका हौ कि ? तिम्रो तर्क मैले किन नबुझेको रैछु भने नि तिमिले पढ्ने टिचिङ हस्पिटलमा निम्न र मध्यम वर्गीय बढी आउँदा रैछन् । धनीका लागि त ग्रान्डी, वयोधा छँदैछन् । निम्न आय भएकाका लागि आन्दोलन हुँदा किन त्यस्तै आर्थिक स्तर भएका जनताले दुःख पाउने ?
    ** आमरण अनशनमा सलाइन चढाउन हुन्न भन्ने गोर्खाका नन्दप्रसाद अधिकारीले आफ्नू छोराको हत्यारालाई सजाय दिनुपर्छ भन्दा ज्यान गुमाए । उनको समर्थनमा उठेका फाट्टफुट्ट स्वर त्यसै हराए । सायद न्यायलाई व्यक्तिगत स्वार्थ ठाने धेरैले !

    *** यो लेख आउनमा निमेष अधिकारी (माथि निमेष दाइ)को महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान छ । उहाँको ब्लग पनि पढ्नुहोला ।]

    Blockade: True Picture of Our Economy

    “How long will remittance sustain our economy?” Someone had said somewhere I don’t clearly remember.

    The bitter reality of our economy has come forward during this blockade we are currently facing. There might be several political (or non-political) and diplomatic reasons behind the blockade. Whatever the reasons, the weakness of our economy has been exposed.

    Economic blockades are not new to us- the experts and the media says so. When economic blockade was imposed by India during the late 60s (1967?), my grand-parents were in their late twenties. During the second blockade by India in late 80s (1989?), my parents were in their twenties. The third time we face the blockade and I am in my twenties. Is this a coincidence? I think not. I think it’s a mistake.

    It’s a mistake made by our previous generation. I don’t want to blame my grand-parents. They were far less educated and the impact of blockade might not have been severe. My parents are more educated to them and had access to media – the Gorkhapatra, and Radio Nepal. (Nepal Television had come up not so long ago and many people could not afford a TV set.) They had read and heard about it. They had even felt the influence — coupons and schedules had been introduced to meet demands of kerosene oil.

    When they talked of the 80s blockade last week, I asked them, “Why couldn’t you do anything to change the situation?” They did not say anything and I did not pester. It might have been embarrassing to them. It’s obvious I will be embarrassed if my children will ask such a thing in future. I don’t want to be asked the same question. What do I need to do then?

    The current economy of Nepal is heavily supported by remittance. Young people go to several countries – mostly India, Gulf countries, Malaysia and South Korea for labour works. Many(including my friends) are in Australia, Europe, the US and Japan for studies and part time jobs (contributing to the remittance). Remittance has ensured that we have money; but this blockade is a proof that money is not enough to sustain economy. There are other important factors.

    The first is policy. We lack strong policies that promote economic growth. The policies that have been made during the last 25 years have not been executed well. This is most probably due to political instability and corruption. The policy makers have been influenced by the frequent change in government. Discontinuities of policies made by the previous executives have been seen so often. There is an immediate need of changing the way think and act.

    Fuel Crisis hits Nepal due to Economic blockade. Source: econitynepal.com

    The second is the industries. Prithvi Narayan Shah had told in 1831 B.S. (almost 240 years ago!) to promote industries within the country and never to import clothes and food. If leaders after him had followed that, we would at least have been independent on manufacturing clothes and food products. We have failed on that mainly due to political influence over industries. ALL THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED INDUSTRIES HAVE BEEN SHUT DOWN! This lapse of management has cost us a lot.

    The third is ownership. The failure of government in management of industries has been shown above. The only way to run an industry for long is to make people believe that they own them. Industries should be converted into Public Companies. This will help create emotional as well as financial attachment towards the industries.

    The fourth is human resource and its proper utilization. We do not lack in skills, neither are we lazy. The same Nepali who don’t not do anything here, works diligently and even under risk in the Gulf for low wages. The government directly and indirectly inspires people to sell labour abroad. It would be good if the skills they learn could be utilized here. But sadly, whether due to the lack of their interest or due to the inefficiency of the government, they do not work here. They somehow manage to go abroad, leaving us lacking in human resource. Similarly, skilled human resources and even experts have been neglected, the result of which is BRAIN-DRAIN. The solution of this goes down to the us. We need to choose the right leaders. Among many bad leaders, to select good ones might be extremely difficult. But that is the challenge we would certainly like to undertake.  

    The fifth is utilization of natural resources. We are rich in it. We have trekking routes full of adventures. We have water sufficient for production of electricity and for irrigating our fields. We have different types of climate which enrich our bio-diversity. There are herbs like Yarsha Gumba (Cordyceps) which can help improve our economy in no time given their proper management. There are gemstones which can be utilized to alleviate poverty. This is possible through capable management and visionary leadership.

    When these are combined, there is no way we can not sustain our economy. We have been given promises of economic growth in the past. What we want is action. We have to be sincerely do our works first. Writing an article in the Internet might not work, but it is a small step to inspire myself and to inspire people around me. It is high time, we become honest with each other. WE DO WANT A BETTER SITUATION FOR OUR CHILDREN, DON’T WE?

    (P.S. Will be published in Nepali soon. There might also be other ways to improve our economy which I might have missed. Please let me know by commenting below.)