In Search of Destiny: Tribute to Girija Prasad Koirala

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Despite claiming that Nepal was a land of tolerant philosophies, the tale of Nepal for the last few centuries has been that of moral decline where intellectual descent was not tolerated. Understandably, those enjoying the power wanted to keep the status quo while the deprived ones sought to bring a change. Only unfortunate side of that inconvenient reality was that the discourse could not take a path of civility. For long, rulers acted as the gatekeepers of “truth” creating a dangerous antagonism between those who already embraced a new truth and those who will eventually end up embracing it tomorrow.

Aspirants of revolutionary change in the 1950s were vehemently suppressed just until the Rana regime was toppled. Panchayat regime suppressed the socialist and democratic forces until it was brought down by a popular movement in the 1990. Repeating the same pattern, the post-1990 regime sought to suppress the minority aspirants of change and challenged them to dare to rebel, and we know what the result was. Continue reading

In Search of Destiny: The Fault of Assumptions

Published in: | Chautari-Canada | Pratibhapunja-Nepal

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher and Father of Taoism

“A good traveler has no fixed plans”, says a Taoist teaching. Why would be an unplanned travel be better than a planned one? Having heard of the extreme importance of planning for too many years, I was bewildered. This made me curious to trace back into my own life to inspect validity or invalidity of this statement. I noticed that most of my technical and scientific knowledge was acquired through a planned and institutional process and most of the wisdom was drawn from random situations never thought of encountering. Further, most of the mind-stimulating situations of my journeys were neither guided nor planned. One of those most rewarding journeys of my life was made in Rasuwa, a mountainous region North-West of Kathmandu. This was among the and they shed much light about nature, people, and governance than many long and planned journeys. Therefore, I want to scratch a small fraction of that journey in Rasuwa in this article.

It was in early 1980s that the forces of inner struggles and youthful thoughts were channeling me to take an unknown journey. I had traveled to Dandagaun, Rasuwa, in a hope to become a teacher but my dream to obtain the job had not come true due to administrative changes that had just occurred, which I learned about only after reaching there. Faced with uncertainty, I embarked a new journey to Dhunche, the administrative headquarter of Rasuwa, in search of other opportunities. However short or trivial this journey may look to the familiar, it has left me with unforgettable memories and unprecedented lessons of life. Continue reading

In Search of Destiny: Life, Death and Continuity

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At the midnight of Friday, October 10, 2008 my nephew Nava Raj phoned me to tell that my niece Gita had passed away and our relatives were converging to Pokhara. The jolt of bad news came only three hours before my planned trip to the USA to submit a proposal concerning Nepal. I entered into a state of confusion and dismay. I phoned my nephew Balakrishna but found that he was not the strong person I knew; he cried and difficultly conveyed that my brother was close to unconscious, unable to witness the passing away of his young daughter in front of his eyes. They were preparing to give her last rites at Ram Ghat in a few hours time. By the time all this happened, it was an hour before my departure time and I began to think about what I was to do. My mind was long busy running through the stored images of my memory, unsettled thoughts, and repeatedly flashing the way she had greeted me the last time saying “Kanchha Ba”. A little one year old daughter besides her, she had a gaze and smile that lacked happiness. My bothered senses could not corner her for inquiry then but the wished future opportunity was not to come true. Running across my mind now were the images of her dead body in the hospital bed and an oblivious two years old daughter roaming in the Angan (patio) at her village. The ethicality and appropriateness of my journey emerged tall as my niece’s dead body was lying on a hospital bed waiting to be taken away. Continue reading

In search of Destiny: a road to a village in Rasuwa

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“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius, a Chinese philosopher

In the aftermath of the student uprising of 1980 (2036BS), I was released from Bhadragol Jail in Kathmandu along with dozens of other student activists. I had missed my Intermediate of Science classes at Tri-Chandra College in the middle of a semester due to the imprisonment. And, for a young student of age 17 like me, coping with the courses became difficult and I ended up going to the exams poorly prepared. I failed some subjects and barely passed the others but most importantly I lost the edge on education. This situation, compounded with the reality of having had no connection to people with influence, I had nothing but uncertainties looming in my life. However, I continued on and wrote my last semester exams with reasonable success but what next? The forces of circumstances were cornering me to take steps unknown to me. Continue reading