Blockade Preparedness: Bhimsen Thapaliya
This is the third time Nepal’s immediate southern neighbour India has imposed a blockade over some discontent on political issues. We forgot that this phenomenon could recur, and weren’t prepared for the possible consequences. We should have formed national consensus and a strategy on ways to tackle such a crisis. Measures towards gaining self reliance on the basic necessities of life and exploring ways for alternative solutions could have placed the country in a better position. But the big irony is the undue capitulation of some internal forces.
Irritant issues and discontent tend to occur again and again, and no political force should remain complacent over the possible use of the hegemonic tool to exert pressure in order to get things done. We need to constantly cultivate friendship with the important neighbour while raising strong points for the inviolable rights of a landlocked nation.
Exercising diplomatic tact is the crux of the issue. That is why countries invest so much in diplomatic competence. We need career diplomats and must seek diplomatic efficiency in politicians. An undiplomatic word or move can ruin matters.
Our leaders are making boastful remarks of nationalism and national unity at this juncture of the crisis. But we need to contemplate whether our sense of unity is intact during the changing context. Is it fair to say that national disunity is working as an assisting tool for this blockade?
The root of the recurring problem of the Indian blockade on Nepal is that some group loves to see a crisis here through capitulation. The tool is repeatedly being used for political leverage no matter how much sufferings it brings to the general public. So, the people have to turn angrily towards the leaders who disregard the general hardships for petty political gains.
Why do we fail to explore petroleum deposits within the country or construct a gas and petroleum pipeline from China? Why do we talk so much about export of electricity and fail to make the country self-sufficient in energy? Millions of tons of forest litter are wasted, but we do not bother to utilise them to make bio-briquettes even during this time of energy crisis. Nobody bothers to use the huge heaps at the Kalimati vegetable market to produce compost manure and cooking gas. No household is taught to separate bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable waste and use the garbage in recycling and agriculture. The problem is that any project that fails to bring commissions is forgotten.
There is no dearth of militant politicians who are hell bent on inviting a crisis. They say that people will not become rebels without a crisis situation. When somebody’s mantra is to invite trouble, how can you achieve prosperity, peace and development? We will certainly become prosperous and well off once we jettison the mantra of trouble making. We need national unity on that front.
Kamini Rajbhandari is managing director of Nepal Telecom (NT), the state-owned telecommunication service provider of Nepal. Rajbhandari has been leading...