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How will Nepal be in 20 years

This is a prediction made in 2020 on how Nepal as a country will be in 2040

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I am making this prediction assuming that Nepal will remain as democratic country founded on idea of liberty, inclusiveness, liberal democracy, free market, open society, modern education, and secularism. My predication may go wrong if Nepal shift the paradigm towards authoritarian system, state-controlled market, closed society, or turn into a religious state, which I personally think is highly unlikely, because country like Nepal has no option but to function per global practices and agendas set by world forum like UN, IMF, think tanks, etc, unless it discovers its own massive wealth generating source like oil reserve or chooses to be next North Korea under the protection of China or turn into a religious country under the protection of India, which again is very unlikely given the level of political and ideological awareness among its people.

Also, my predication may not come true in next 20 years, if world itself gets in massive global crisis cause of World War like conflict or pandemic/environmental calamity putting the whole humanity in halt, which again I believe is highly unlikely as the level of consciousness of humans after going through many wars and conflicts have risen up significantly that they will naturally work towards avoiding any such conflict that would affect the entire world. Regarding pandemic/environmental calamity, given the advancement in science and technology, I believe we will somehow find a way to fight against and shine back within a year or two.

Thus, taking a leap of faith, my prediction goes like this:

Next 10 years

For next 10 years, we will not be seeing much of progress or remarkable change because we will still be in a phase of discovering “actualization.” What I meant by that is, think of New Nepal as a newly-opened restaurant, where founders and all the stakeholders are too confident about their vision, dream, ideas and they believe their management style, their sales strategies, their foods everything is best and awesome. But that is only what they think and not necessarily to be a reality. They are yet to be tested to be proven to be right or wrong, which the result will speak. In the context of a country, result is economic growth, stability, human development and happiness index, etc. Like every new brand, Nepal is also in that obsession phase, obsessed to be unique, obsessed about the idea, cognitively biased, and this will remain till the bubble is not burst. Sooner or later, Nepal has to be sellable to attract investors, to attract intellects, to retain its people, to maintain the stability and if it fails to do so, the bubble will burst. Looking at the initial signs and symptoms, Nepal is heading towards bursting bad for good. Once this bubble is burst, Nepal will finally become realistic, grounded, open to listen to others, adopt what’s working in other restaurants, become more sales focused, be more wise and humble. This bubble burst will wipe out some of the wrong ideologies, concepts, incompetent managers and leaders to never get a space in this land. We need to wait for next 10 years for all that to happen. Until then, we gotta bear the experiment of those new managers in power, political and bureaucratic.

After 10 years

From here onward, we will start witnessing old generation, both in political and familial level, vacating the decision-making or influencing position that they had been holding, either by dying or by being too old and frail. Wealth will be transferred to new ruling generation. This new ruling generation will be in decision-making position, in politics, in government, in family and society.

So to rightly predict how Nepal will be in 20 years, I am taking into consideration the new ruling generation — how their leadership will be, their decision bias, their principle and ideological lines, their belief systems, etc. And for that, I need to look into how they are right now.

The 50-60 years old leader from future is 30-40 years old youth today. My understanding of today’s youth from this age bracket is, they are somewhere in between conservative and progressive. This age bracket is found to be sensitive about nationalism, religion, tradition and culture, but same time, they are also tolerant, accepting; understand the diversity, open to new ideas, respect logic and reasoning, believe in evidence and facts.

So with the bursting of bubble in next 10 years and lots of other exposures and realization in between, they will not be as rigid as earlier generation but still will be living with the belief that Nepal should not leave its original self of being culturally rich country; nationalism will still be the thing. As far as socialism, they will be a free market supporter, and take a route that of social democracy. All in all, they will be calm, quiet, wealthy conservatives who live by their beliefs but also respect those who don’t want to. But in familial level, they will still be dictating one to an extent.

In next 10 years, Nepal will have collective realization on the following:

  1. Nepal cannot be built or prospered by Nepalese alone and need to join hands with foreign powers and organisations and offer mutual benefits.
  2. Communist/socialist Utopian idea, that thrives on state-controlled policies will not work.
  3. Protectionism, syndicate, etc is only good at making few people rich, but overall, it does not serve people in large.
  4. World does not owe us anything and it is us who need to come up with offer that lures them.
  5. There is nothing great about us or our history, and we must not get drunk on self-constructed identity.
  6. We are individual first and then only group and thus individual freedom and happiness should matter the most.
  7. Inclusive growth and opportunities can only guarantee our overall economic growth.
  8. You can’t progress by holding on to what kept us behind for so long.

Based on those premises, I predict the following.

In politics

In 20 years, communist party will be least popular party. NCP will be replaced by socialist party as a leftist party. Nepali congress will remain in upgraded form as right to center. There will be other small regional parties. Federalism is here to remain but this too will get a massive makeover in next 10-15 years to finally give a look and feel of federalism in true sense, after which we can see Nepal for real moving from Kathmandu-centric country to the actual decentralized form.

In infrastructural development

No, there won’t be any New York like city or 12 lanes highway kinda infrastructure. We will still be the same, with bit more roads and malls. That’s because we will still be struggling to be realistic and fit with the world in next 10-15 years before finally we start getting enough grants and investments to see the infrastructural development. Maybe after 20 years, we can see rapid infrastructural development. At best, we will have trains in southern Nepal.

In education

I see we doing pretty good in education. Our public schools and colleges will set an example for world. Private schools and colleges will be there as well and will be doing good as well, but it will be catering mostly wealthy middle and upper class. We will not be education destination though for foreign student yet.

Health system

I don’t see we doing anything great in health system. We will be still struggling with shortage of doctors, access to medical facilities, expensive healthcare system, and public hospital still not at the par.

Business and Industry

We will be known for being emerging financial and service hub. We will be service hub for mostly neighboring countries. Some local brands will make their name and fame to globe. Global companies will start to step in. I see agriculture will be in industrial level run and operated by private and public firms. In tourism, we will begin to attract high networth visitors.

Lifestyle

We will be more health conscious. Most people will be fit by appearance. Bhaat/MoMo will not be as popular as it is now, as protein-rich diet will be more popular. There will be more private vehicle owners. I don’t see we becoming country of public transportation commuters. We will be more outgoing, fun loving citizens and more openness towards individualism and individual freedom.

Religion

Religion will be completely private matter. No one will judge others for not following rituals and traditions, like Shraddha/jatra. Electric cremation will begin to be popular. Things like “menstruation ritual” will be almost non-existing among urban communities. However, festivals will be celebrated wholeheartedly and with bang. People will be proud of their cultural background but don’t think right to demand for any special privilege or protection from state. I don’t see people converting to other religion either. They simply will be less religious and live by self-blame/credit, believing in Karma/work. They by now know the difference between culture, tradition, religion, and ritual. Above all, they by now will have understood the essence and importance of secularism.

Proud moments

  1. Some individual and group will represent Nepal in global stage and win some of the shows.
  2. Nepal will be regularly visited by well-known individuals from world.
  3. Some of the technology-based brands will become a global name.
  4. One or two global award will be bagged by someone from Nepal.
  5. Electricity and freshwater will be our thing.
  6. Also, agriculture.

Embarrassing things

  1. Healthcare system.
  2. Infrastructure.
  3. Policy-level corruption.
  4. Our mainstream entertainment sector.

To sum up

In 20 years from now, we will not be next Singapore with high-rise building and clean and smooth roads or next silicon valley with vibrant workforce and rapid flow of money, but we will be pretty much all set to head towards. Twenty years will be spent over building the foundation, grooming leaders, establishing new values and beliefs, discarding stupid ideas, experimenting and learning lessons. There will be more educated population set to lead their respective fields with modern values and principles. We will not be heading to become America-like capitalist country nor we will be heading to become Cuba-like socialist country. We will be heading in becoming more like Scandinavian country, difference being we are much colorful with diversity and their respective cultural practices.

All in all, in 20 years, we will be a country of progressive citizens, progressive leaders, all set to turn this isolated, confused, laboratory-like country into a country with clarity and openness ready to collaborate with everyone to set an example for rest.

Until then, let’s deal with it.

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Opinion

How is “reading culture” in Nepal?

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If your country’s educated people lack common sense, for sure your country does not have a reading culture.

When it comes to reading culture, Nepali society probably falls behind the most, that you can tell by visiting most houses, where you can see everything in collection except books. Even the most well-known author can barely sell 50K books to Nepali audience. In 2018, adult literacy rate for Nepal was 67.9 %, which means we have nearly 2 cr literate population yet publishers struggle to sell 1 lakh books.

To know how bad is reading culture in Nepal, this post itself will speak the volume. This article will be published through Facebook and can get if nothing also around 10 thousands reach, but the article will be read barely by 1000. Most people will ignore the link itself, and those who somehow got to this article, half of them will simply scroll and leave because they don’t want to read.

In a survey conducted, the most common excuses being lack of patience and time to invest over the reading.

It’s not that Nepalese people are not interested to learn. Just like every other humans, Nepalese are also curious monkeys desperate to learn and know, understand and contemplate different thoughts and ideas, stories and experiences, but somehow they don’t like to read for that, unless it comes in short and quick format.

Our literate citizens are not developing any interest over reading anything beyond their course books probably because they have not felt the importance of reading. We as a society never collectively cultivated the reading culture. Humans by nature don’t build interest over anything that neither falls under their need nor the entertainment. In the context of Nepal, not reading a book or any long write-up isn’t going to stop anyone from getting a job or getting dates nor makes anyone odd in a society. Reading has never become a judgment criteria in job interview nor in dating scene. Likewise it has never become a judgment criteria in social circle. If one of the common questions in job interview were to be related to books, people would definitely make the reading their lifestyle. Or, if dates or peer talks would involve “books you read,” reading would definitely become part of life. Since that’s not the case, reading is still a luxury, with or without also life moves on pretty well. When it is not going to affect by any means, why will they read anything that takes more than a minute of their time?

This lack of reading culture is scary because without the reading culture, we are only going to create a mass of literate people with only baseless opinions and hypothesis. We can already see that on social media on how narratives get built by literate crowd on subjects that they clearly have no understanding over. People are forming opinion over secularism, over democracy, over feminism or even life and relationship without never ever reading much on the subject. This pattern if not corrected can be very dangerous to a society and in personal space because such opinions and hypothesis coming from seemingly educated can misguide and misinform further the society, as people generally tend to buy easily anything that comes from “educated.”

Some people wonder if reading is really that important in the era of video and podcast. What they fail to understand is a 5-minute YouTube video can no way offer what a book can offer. Likewise, a verbal lecture can go over our head but not words read. If video or podcast would be that effective, all the modern universities and colleges would replace their libraries with video and audio contents.

The fact is, reading is what makes us humans, because reading/writing is an act of communication and whatever we humans have achieved and reached so far are the results of shared knowledge and wisdom, without which we would be just like every other animal.

If you are reading this, glad you exist. Please make a habit of reading, for your own good and for that of a society you live in.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”

George R.R. Martin

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People & Society

6 Things you should never say to your Dalit friends

Though the title of this article is directed towards Dalit and non-dalit, it is also equally relevant to women, marginalized community, race and minorities who have been oppressed for years and now voicing for equality and dignified life.

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Human world had been subject to discrimination and oppression for a very very long time until the rise of liberalism, which promoted the idea of liberty and freedom and equality for all. Humans have finally begun to look at fellow human from the lens of humanity and not from race or ethnicity or tribalism. Age-old practices based on culture and tradition and patriarchy are in the process of getting replaced by liberal values and reasoning, which makes up the modern world.

However, though everyone believes that all humans are equal and need to be treated equally, some of us still tend to take a soft approach towards the change, simply because of “conditioned thinking” or because of being from the privileged bubble and don’t have the first-hand experience on what does it feel like to be oppressed and treated unequal. Because of that, every time there is a debate and discussion over “how to end discrimination of all form,” they come up with certain arguments which they should not be saying in private or public.

The following are 6 things you should never be telling to any Dalit or any oppressed and marginalized group.

Change does not happen overnight. It will take a time.

What are you trying to imply by that? Are you saying the person should suffer because “change does not happen overnight?” When your life is in hell or you are going through the tough times, it’s natural for you wanting to come out of that as soon as possible. At that moment, what you need is motivation and hope that everything will end soon. You don’t want to hear “it’s not going to end soon, so deal with it, adjust with it,” especially when you know it can be ended soon if people genuinely work towards. As Vladimir Lenin said, “there are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” You never know which week gonna turn into the one.

There is discrimination everywhere, even in USA.

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because there is discrimination of some form or other everywhere does not mean we should live with it. Just because USA could not fix it, does not mean we cannot. Maybe, we can find the solution that world can learn from. Until Gandhi, no one thought you could win by non-violent approach. He proved it and now world lives by the template. Moreover, don’t you see people storming the street against discrimination? Which country is better…country where discrimination exists but people protest against or country where discrimination exists but no one protests?

There will always be inequality

YES! There will always be inequality, unfairness, hardship, fights. Since the dawn of humanity, we humans have been solving problems, finding solutions just to end up in another problems, another challenges. It’s like walking through mountains. You climb up a mountain just to meet another mountain. It’s a never ending journey, does not mean we should put no effort to solve the current crisis and problem. Today, whatever we humans have attained are the result of our relentless effort of making this world a better place, not for few but for all the whole humanity. We fix one issue, and then move to next issue, and then next. Thus, just because another form of inequality is waiting for us, does not mean we should live with the current inequality in practice. We should thrive to fix the existing one and prepare for next one. That is how it works and should work.

Don’t create a scene, taking the issue to public

Everyone likes that soft, loyal, non-rebellious individual who takes a soft approach in solving an issue in private, or leaves it quietly. By saying “don’t create a scene…” what you are trying to imply is be that nice and soft person. But remember, you can’t break a mountain without making a noise. So, let there be noise. Better accept, encourage and promote those brave and bold. It may look chaotic for a while but Taj Mahal is not built without mess of debris and construction materials.

Don’t be idealist. Be realistic

What is to be realistic? dictionary definition of being realistic is “having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected.” So what is unrealistic in saying “do not discriminate any human based on their caste or race or gender or sexuality?” And what is unrealistic in saying “we must end it as soon as possible?” Asking for equal treatment is not being idealist. Asking for punishment for any wrongdoing is not being idealist. Those who say “don’t be idealist,” are indirectly supporting evil in society and are afraid of those asking the end to it.

As long as there is reservation, there will be discrimination

It’s like saying as long as there is a reservation for woman, there will be sexism. As long as there is a reservation for poor, there will be classism. Reservation is never a solution and is not there for a solution to end any form of discrimination. Reservation is a mere compensation to help oppressed and weak ones and also a protection for the kind till the wings grow. Don’t mix reservation and discrimination, just like how you should not mix rape and dress.

Conclusion

If you cannot be part of a fight, it’s okay, but don’t say or do anything that discourages, demotivates, or disowns any fighter fighting for a change. Like how desperate you will be to run out of heat if you are to put into, like how even a second means 100 years long to wait if you are to sleep over a bed of nails and thorns, living through discrimination, living through inequality and injustice feels the same for the victims. You can’t feel it unless you are one of them.

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Opinion

Be Anti-Casteist. Non-casteist isn’t enough.

Most people think since they don’t support racism or casteism, they must be against it, but are they? In between racist and anti-racist, there are non-racists. This article is for them.

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In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.

Angela davis

The above statement is equally relevant to country like Nepal (Indian subcontinent), where casteism is a form of racism. Most people like to call themselves “not casteist,” which is a good thing, but what most of them fail to understand is that becoming non-casteist may stop the casteism from growing, but it does not end the casteism. To end casteism, just like racism, there should be strong force of anti-casteist. Not speaking the truth reinforces casteism. It allows us to believe it’s our normal, which Nepal recently have witnessed, and that is equally worse, because whatsoever we are only accepting the reality, not willing to change it aggressively.

When you are not the suffering group, it’s very easy for you to say that “society does not change overnight…give it a time.” With that attitude what you are indirectly saying is, “Please suffer until then.”

Racism/Casteism is supposed to be least divisive agenda but then why we fail to fix it? Because there are three groups involved. In two ends of the fight, there are racist/casteist and anti-racist/casteist, but the non-racist/casteist are the majority and their problem is they neither support nor fight. As Martin Luther King said during his fight against racism, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” This is what happening. These non-racist/casteist choose to stay silent because they somehow don’t want to be part of the fight.

Some of these non-racist/casteist people also believe that “not talking about it is the best approach to end it,” which is the typical elephant in the room situation, which may give sense of peace and calmness in a short run, but sooner or later it will explode, because just because you are not talking does not mean it’s not happening. So, not talking about the reality isn’t a solution.

“You are tired of hearing about it?
Imagine how freaking tiring it must be living through it.”

JON STEWART

Just like how racism against black cannot be ended by only black in streets or only black making the noise, casteism cannot be ended just by low-caste people and dalit community in streets fighting for equality. Remember, they are the victims because they are the minority. It is the therefore the responsiblity of those in majority to join them and for that, being non-casteist is not enough. You must be anti-casteist.


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