BY: Rukshana Kapali
The most tyrannical thing is Khas language or Parbate language, the native language of Khas people has taken the only privilege to be called Nepali language. If all the ethnic groups of Nepal are Nepali, why is only one ethnic language called Nepali? Cannot Khas language maintain its lingua franca status by maintaining its own original name?
There are a many things that a non-Khas person cannot do in mother-tongue in the Nepal and this becomes especially difficult when one goes down the socio-economic ladder.
- One cannot write to parliamentary committees in their mother-tongue (thus cutting out a majority of the people from the legislative process).
- One cannot expect public sector banks to provide forms, documents and ATM choices in their mother-tongue even in their own indigenous place and areas.
- One cannot expect air-plane safety announcements to be in the local language/major languages of the destination.
- One cannot have passports and other documents in their own language (Canada does, Switzerland does in 5 languages, even Sri Lanka mentions both Sinhalese and Tamil, many others do).
- One cannot argue in their courts in their mother-tongue.
- One cannot take competitive exams like Loksewa and a host of other `national` exams in their mother-tongue, not even in few major languages of Nepal.
- One cannot expect in an age of increasing digitization of information that `national` websites will also be in their mother-tongue.
- One cannot expect that `national` institutions do essay competitions for children who do not speak Nepali.
- One cannot expect that Income Tax website and forms are understandable in the mother-tongues of the majority of tax-payers.
- One cannot expect that central government and Bank employees will be paid cash incentives to learn some Nepalese language other than Nepali.
- One cannot expect their own mother-tongue signage in public vehicles in their own indigenous area.
- One cannot expect a Maithili film to have a CBFC certificate in Maithili. One cannot expect education of and in mother language.
The list goes on and on. When a nation-state treats huge sections of its citizens as second class, do those citizens have the same obligation of loyalty to that system as the first class citizens? Only a twisted and hypocritical supremacist can claim to believe in `diversity` and then unilaterally dictate which specific kind of `common` interface that needs to be developed.
This is not accidental and is by design. If you are discriminated on the basis of your mother-tongue, are you independent or free? Back in the Panchayat era, Bir Nemawang was jailed when he taught in the Limbu language because except for Newari and Maithili, it was illegal to provide education in the mother tongues of different indigenous communities. It is human nature for every community to want to listen to and read information in its language. Keeping this in mind, indigenous journalists started publishing newspapers and broadcasting radio and television programs in their respective mother tongues. This effort protects one of the basic human rights, the right to information. The right to information plays a vital role in ensuring good governance. Every citizen has a right to know how the government and state function, in order to guarantee transparency, balanced governance, social inclusion and sustained numbers of components of human rights, is an essential element.
Furthermore, it empowers every citizen to seek any information from the government, inspect any government document and seek certified photocopies. Some laws related to it also empower citizens to officially inspect any government work or take samples of the material used in any work. The latest constitution of Nepal, despite being called progressive, lacks a clause guaranteeing Right to information in mother language. Most of the indigenous people cannot even speak Nepali properly (or, not at all.) Due to the language problem, they have not been able to exercise their right properly.
Demography Of late indigenous communities have begun to voice their concerns actively in the media. Indigenous journalists, in particular, work to inform, educate and entertain their respective communities. Currently, 93.07 percent of the newspapers published in Nepal are in non-indigenous languages. Among them, 68.42 percent are published in the official language Nepali and 24.65 percent in English, Hindi and English-Nepali. The media in indigenous languages accounts for only 6.58 percent of the total while indigenous people make up 37.2 percent of the national population. The national daily Gorkhapatra publishes a supplement daily in two languages in rotation from among 32 indigenous languages. The journey, however, has not been easy. Way back in 1995, when Amrit Yonjan and his team published the first newspaper in the Tamang language named Syo Mhendo (meaning morning flower), they were jailed. It was only after the Interim Constitution 2007 enshrined linguistic rights in articles 5 and 1, which led to an immense growth in indigenous media. Sandhya Times, Inap, Swaniga and other newspapers were published in Newari. Now there are 43 Newari, 13 Tharu, 10 Tamang and 2 Rai language newspapers. Also, 294 supplements in other languages have been published. Even so, the number of indigenous journalists is less than journalists from other communities. According to the Department of Information, there are 432 indigenous journalists among a total of 3,066 in Nepal. Similarly, the Federation of Nepali Journalists has listed 1,886 indigenous journalists while the Federation of Indigenous Nationalities Journalists has put the figure at 1,539 indigenous journalists.
No doubt, indigenous media has been playing a vital role in the empowerment of indigenous people. Nowadays, most FM and television stations broadcast news and entertainment programmes in different languages. However, 26 communities have not been able to bring out publications in their respective mother tongues d ue to economic and educational problems. Chandra Kulung, the first president of the Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Journalists, has rightly said, “Indigenous media can play a vital role in sustaining the people’s right to information, but the government has no specific policy and plan to develop indigenous media. The government must formulate policies to develop and sustain indigenous media. New policies are needed for the development of indigenous media.” Required amendments in the constitution: Right to information in mother language: Every citizen should have right to ask information in their own language. No one should be jailed without pre-information in their mother language. Even when we are taught the concept of Secularism in Nepal, people relevantly explain that Nepal is a secular state because Nepal is are not bounded by an religion. Nepal shall remain a secular country. Similarly, when wee jumped on the concept of linguistic equality, we articulate that Khas(Nepali) is Nepal’s national language. If Nepal is not bounded by any religion, why should it be bounded by any language? Why can’t we have linguistic equality in such means? Can’t Nepal declare multi-lingual official ? Why this Khas language imposed? Nepal has 123 languages as mother tongue.
That is all. Don’t get carried away by the words ”Majority Nepali”. Never address the language as “Nepali”. It is a propaganda tactic. Always call it “Khas language”. Nepal is about Unity in Diversity and this is how Khas language imperialism is destroying that diversity and the non-Khas traditional languages of Nepal. Let learning languages be voluntary. Education and learning are so central to the progress of a nation. Playing politics with it is an unpardonable mistake. Some Khas bigot told that we need Khas language to preserve Nepal’s culture. People think Nepal’s culture = Culture of the Khas people. They must be thinking that Newa culture, Tamang culture, Tharu Culture, etc are all nuisance invented by separatists t o divide us. I don’t understand what kind of social studies do they study in school that they become so numb and dumb towards linguistic and cultural diversity of Nepal that exists. Why do we need one language/ one religion/ one ethnicity for the entire nation? Just because more people speak Khas language, it doesn’t mean Khas language should be forced upon people who don’t want it. Every language is our national language.
Dear so called- unifists, we have no problem learning Khas language, after all it is (one of) our
national languages and frankly, it is not going to destroy other mother tongues. What annoys us though is, how you are forcing Khas language down our throats. You see what you don’t understand about Nepal is that we are “Diverse” and that is the beauty of being in Nepal. We survived all these centuries just fine without one unifying language and my guess is, we will be just as fine in the future.
The Khas bigots seems to experience suffocation if their language is not welcomed somewhere they’ve migrated. They don’t care that if others feel the same. They don’t realize how suffocated we are that our language is of null value even when we are in our own states. This is one of the important places where laws side with crime. The main reason some language bigots suggest not to legalize multi-lingualism is that when they’re gonna permanently migrate & settle somewhere, they’ll have a burden to learn a new language. They also say after multi-lingual laws are introduced, migrants will face problems of languages. Migrants don’t want to learn our language when they’re settling on our land, but we natives, despite of living in our own land, we “must” learn a foreign language. We must learn Khas language, otherwise we will be boycotted from all politics, governmental tasks/official tasks & even to gaining education & information even in our own places. We can’t even do anything without learning a foreign language! How tyrannical is this? If learning language is a good skill, doesn’t it apply to migrants as well? For comfort of migrants, because they feel the language of the place they’re living as a burden, why will natives destroy their language or not get their language rights? “Be a Roman when you are in Rome”
Every Nepali of this multi-lingual democracy has the right to stay culturally original & healthy. There has been a farsighted, slow, strategic, deliberate effort of cultural contamination suitable to predominantly Khas language speaking people of Khasan heartland & overall Khas language dominated Kollywood business in recent times. This consistent, persistent & sustained deliberation has been found to have accelerated in the sports, television, theatre & cinema entertainment with a full sweet diabetic thrust. This cunning Khas linguistic injection in every domain profession today not only promises to maintain its biased linguistic hegemony over other regional languages, but also ensures a smooth cultural invasion through a sweet pill of anesthetic entertainment and miscellaneous media thereby ‘penetrating’ the strong regional linguistic essence of every region. It has become a challenge today to make non-Khas speaking viewers to watch a Khas movie, TV serial or news or a sports channel, etc, and thus sky rocket its business. The graph of their business returns have reached a halted horizontal. They therefore have gotten desperate to curtail & decimate this regional-national linguistic challenge through encouraging non-Khas speaking people to sub-consciously pollute their own strong ‘original’ linguistic roots & bust open their cultural genesis. They seem to be least bothered through overlooking the fact that every linguistic & cultural origin should be consciously nurtured, preserved & respected through a collective effort as a citizen of this diverse multi-lingual Nepalese democracy. But this is conveniently forgotten. The enforcement of tri-lingual policy in states is a clear high handed practical citation. The ‘Khas language domination’ knows that tomorrow they just might have to face a well justified stern rebellion from every region in their effort to uphold their basic right of linguistic equality. Khas language imperialists believe that they have the right to secure jobs, other opportunities and get settled, overriding the opportunities of the respective natives. They stir up controversies through ‘labeling’ the native cause as an ‘unconstitutional insider-outsider issue’ and seek constitutional sympathy in the name of indigenous people being parochial & sectarian. They fear of orderliness & discipline that will enable every native of every region to avail righteous opportunities of their state, which will leave ‘them’ with less opportunities given the current disastrous plight of their ‘own’ state. They fear of language becoming a barrier since the linguistic disparity will stand uprooted, which otherwise enabled them to unjustly hold on to diverse opportunities from across states in the name of right to migration for being special patriotic of Nepalese democratic constitutional setup.
Be consciously wary of any possible subconscious contribution to the hazardous reinforcement & proliferation of Khas language. Nothing against no language, but its sweet poisonous hegemonic discrimination. Kindly DO NOT let the sweet Khas cultural injection with an intent of genetic contamination infect you with ‘Khas diabetes’. One has full right to stay culturally original & healthy.
Fossil fuel and tobacco industries: Make them accountable and pay for damage
Various studies and reports suggest that fossil fuel companies are not unaware of climate change and what’s going on our planet. But, they are intentionally spreading climate misinformation for decades.
Even after scientists first concluded that smoking causes cancer, the tobacco companies continued to win court cases by arguing that no specific cancer deaths could be attributed to smoking. At some point, through the evolution of time, the tobacco companies began to lose legal cases against them even though the science had not substantively changed. Juries began to find the industry liable because tobacco companies had known their products were harmful while they publicly denied the evidence, targeted youth, and manipulated nicotine levels.
Pretty similar thing is happening with the fossil fuels companies. Various studies and reports suggest that fossil fuel companies are not unaware of climate change and what’s going on our planet. But, they are intentionally spreading climate misinformation for decades. A very live example could be taken of Exxon Mobil Corporation, an American multinational oil and gas corporation headquartered in Irving, Texas. It knew about the threat of a planet warmed by burning fossil fuels as far back as the 70’s, and while publicly denying these risks, built them into its business plans.
A report shared by ZME science revealed that 9 out of 10 climate change denial papers were funded one way or the other by Exxon. According to Greenpeace, over the years, Exxon spent more than $30m on think tanks and researchers that promoted climate denial. With respect to tobacco companies denying the nexus between smoking and lung cancer, current denying of fossil fuel companies about climate change could be considered as a magnified form of denial where the concern is not only about individual but the many lungs living the planet. They are pushing whole the humanity, living creatures and our planet into an extinction where we have no way back.
Although, these companies have set their political and corporate network very strong and wide, recent campaigns and activism has come up with the hope. Environmental advocates delivered a petition with more than 350,000 signatures to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in November, seeking a federal probe of Exxon. Furthermore, Activist Bill McKibben, put on a “Mock trial” of Exxon for alleged “climate crimes” during the Paris climate talks in December. As stated in insideClimate news, A four-year, coordinated strategy by environmental organizations to hold ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel corporations legally accountable for climate change denial has come to execution, as state attorneys general have teamed up to launch investigations into possible climate fraud. In 2006, the US court found the tobacco industry guilty for spreading misleading information about smoking and public health. They were ordered to buy newspaper ads detailing smoking’s health effects and to stop using such descriptions as “low tar,” “light,” ultra-light,” “mild” or “natural” that might imply that they are less dangerous than other cigarettes. They were also made to pay $10 billion as fines.
Speaking for ThinkProgress, Sharon Y. Eubanks – the leader of the Justice Department team that prosecuted the landmark lawsuit against big tobacco said “the Department of Justice should investigate Exxon and possibly other fossil fuel industry players for a similar claim”. The conspiracy isn’t only against smoker’s health, it’s against all life on Earth.
Appreciating the action over tobacco industries, it is now time to make fossil fuel companies to pay for what they have damaged. It’s time to stop them from disseminating misleading information about climate change. It is time for them to make responsible to identify and publicly support policies that will lead to the reduction of emissions at a scale needed to reduce the worst effects of global warming. It’s time to make them pay for their share of the costs of climate damages and costs of health of our planet. We need to make them liable to fully disclose the financial and physical risks of climate change to their business operations. If we could apply these conditions, it would answer the many burning questions in climate negotiations.
Binod Prasad Parajuli
HI-AWARE, Msc Candidate
Central Department of Environment Science( CDES), Tribhuvan University,
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile : 9779849476569
Web : www.binodparajuli.com.np
DYN: Electromagnetic hypersensitivity
By: Lakshya S
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is a proposed pathological sensitivity to electromagnetic fields in the environment. EHS is not a recognised medical diagnosis, and there is no scientific basis for it. Those who are self-described with EHS report responding to low-level electromagnetic fields at intensities well below the maximum levels permitted by international radiation safety standards. Claims are characterized by a “variety of non-specific symptoms, which afflicted individuals attribute to exposure to electromagnetic fields”
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
There are no specific symptoms associated with claims of EHS and reported symptoms range widely between individuals. They include headache, fatigue, stress, sleep disturbances, skin prickling, burning sensations and rashes, pain and ache in muscles and many other health problems. In severe cases such symptoms can be a real and sometimes disabling problem for the affected person, causing psychological distress. There is no scientific basis to link such symptoms to electromagnetic field exposure
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