Last week when I returned from a month long stay at Rumjhatar; I was accompanied by a Gurung guy who had already travelled to three countries in search of better job opportunities. He was scheduled to fly to Kuwait within the next two days. What he raised was a very pertinent issue- an issue related to remittance. He used the term called 'ponding' to make his otherwise complex understanding of remittance economy simple. He rightly pointed out that remittance that enters into Nepal doesnot form a pond of capital. It rather stays for a while until the benefitting family decides to buy some foreign goods of luxury or send their children to higher education abroad. Without productivity of our own what remittance is doing is creating pseudo wealth. It appears we are more dependent on foreign items than ever. The money comes in hard, but goes out easy. In a simplistic way, our labor is a form of mortgage which gives us loan that we repay in random installments back to the source. From a new Samsung cellphone to a Nataraj Pencil we are paying installments back to the source. Yeah, we will have that pencil and cellphone to show for our labor, but that means Samsung or Nataraj is now more capable of attracting Nepalese to their factories as well. And there's a visicious circle. We will now be too lazy to open an industry of our own. We will rather work on already established factories of foreign countries and send chunk of our earning back buying the same goods that we produced. As perfect as- "Ghumi Phiri Rumjhatar".Well, more on that from a student of economics perhaps! Now I would like to correlate this running on circles issue to other parts of our society.
Let's consider the rap battle leagues that we have in Nepal. Look at the ordinary sense of it. How ordinary the performances are and how ordinary their rap is? The artists are running behind something unfathomable to a normal Nepali. For a colored person born in a Ghetto of a sub urban Western city- a rage of not knowing his own dad may befit cursing his own mom. But, how on Earth could that be possible for guys from Nepal? What they sing completely undermines what our society is built upon and they take it so easily. What is that supposed to communicate even if it is only to guys above 18? Some blame for such outrageously sick form of singing may go to wannabe western themed stars, greedy sponsors or ethically unaware citizens. However, it mainly is because we run blindly in circle of Western 'liberty'. A 'liberty' which appears to be the most democratic as porn stars host their own Oscars but equally dark as government carry out covert mass surveillance. What 'liberty' did we inherit? In the process of inheriting the universal principles of freedom we also let in permeate trends that upsets majority of Nepalese sentiment. In a race to prove our liberty- even though we are the poorest among the poors- we let in things that we did not need at all. Our rap battlists will run the always losing race of pursuing the Western rap battlists. The thing is in their blood but it’s in our head. And why is it their? It’s because somebody poured in money to make us run a losing race. A filthier race too!
Okay enough of that too!
Now imagine a lady in a disco of Kathmandu's rated hotel having been intoxicated by a high quality wine. Imagine some guys taking advantage of her! Imagine the scare that would create in our media. Imagine how fearful you will be sending your sisters and daughters to a late night party again. Now take your turn to take another route to imagine the same. A female laborer in a construction site drinks a local Kodho brewed beverage after hard day at work. Coming out of the Bhatti some guys misbehave with her. Honestly, do you think our media, police and matter of fact most of us; would we care of that as much as the former lady? Did our society permit or differentiated on a lady being intoxicated by wine or by a local beverage some decades ago or has it changed lately? Probably a lady sounds independent drinking high quality wine.
And we are more thoughtful speaking about her case- perhaps we don't want to offend what western liberty has brought- that girls too can enjoy their trip of alcohol. But isn't the female laborer independent too; don't she deserve to have same pint of drink after she works as equally hard as her male counterparts. But where does our police arrives first? Where do our female right activists move first? Where do our television cameras report first? Clearly to the lady tipsy in wine. After all the western liberty allows you to drown in 'Western' branded alcohol- that liberty which our upper corporate class has inherited and permeated into our society. And most of us would be normal with our worker lady since like she just had local raksi in a mediocre bhatti- what was she expecting? Shouldn't she have known male who are drunk in wine are more sensible than men who are drunk in Local Kodho? And after all who in the news would be moved by showing of a woman covered in dust being sexually abused. That is not glamorous , you know? A girl drinking wine and she got abused. Well, many won't want to tell this but the truth is media is knowingly feeding on those female victims to make their crime reporting more glamorous. What irony? What liberty are we persisting with? The liberty to make a sexual offence glamorous!
Another set of people running on crazy confusing circles are our Football fans of the football league of European countries. Honestly, Messi doesn't care if u speak filthy of Ronaldo to make him a superior player. It’s not that calling Manchester Gaychester is going to make Gerrad happy. But why our youths get happy? Well let me put my hypothesis. Football is a fast moving game, 90 minutes and it finishes. However, it has so many tactical maneuvers within that 90 minute, the commentator fails to explain even a tiny fraction of that. He is just busy telling us the action. So, must of our Nepalese fans (I mean no disrespect to those fans who understand football technically enough)watch this fast heated action and are always on the urge to show themselves off as one who saw matches live. Now that you don't understand the technicality of the game, what do u discuss on? Oh Yeah! Wayne Rooney's wife? Yeah, however bitter does it sound it's the truth- the simple looking game of football is complex tactically and if you got a grasp of it you don't really have time to talk bullshits about footballers and their family. Correspondingly look at cricket, its long to watch and commentators give ample analysis regarding its tactical aspect. And the result is during the IPL, rarely do people call Kohli a gay for his team won even if by a wrong umpiring decision. (And i am not trying to be biased as a cricket fan, that's the easiest example that came into me. You can say the same for sports like golf, moto racing etc.)
So, when shall we stop running in circles that lead us to nowhere. When shall we stop being what westerners are already good at and just be a mere faint shadow of it. When shall we know the value of ourselves?Maybe this year! Happy New Year 2071 B.S.!