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.
New rules to regulate honors, awards
The government has amended the Decorations Rules-2008 in a bid to free it from controversy while conferring honours, titles and medals to various persons.
There is a tradition of conferring decorations to Nepali and foreign citizens, who make ‘outstanding contribution’ to various walks of national life, every year.
With the amendment of Decorations Rules-2008, the new provision states, the government may confer honours, titles and medals to no more than 202 persons at a time. Of them, only one person shall be honoured with Nepal Ratna (the highest civilian award) while Rastra Gaurav shall go to two persons. Title of Man Padavi shall be given away to 100 persons. Alankar and medal shall be conferred on 50 persons, each. Writes The Himalayan Times.
Earlier, the government had been giving away these titles to hundreds of persons, who were close to the authorities concerned and political parties, without evaluating their contribution to the nation and people. As the existing law does not prescribe the number of persons to be honoured with the titles, the government could give away awards to anyone.
Source: The HImalayan Times
Why I am leaving Facebook
I am the founder of Kaagmandu Magazine, a Facebook page that is known for succeeding to bring educated minds from Nepal in one place and churn a discussion on various topics and issues. Nonetheless, it’s coming to an end. September 1st will be marked in my life as the day I left Facebook as a content creator. Here, “I” is not a regular person wanting to share his/her baby pics with her friends on Facebook. Here, “I” meant to a content creator. I am a content creator and I had been creating contents and publishing through Facebook for last 5 years. From this date onward, I am stopping doing that. Reasons being the following:
It all started as a hobby, so I didn’t care much about revenue or making living out of my content creation. I used to create memes, graphics, write articles, create interactive contents and publish directly on Facebook, as a status or image. Since it’s on Facebook itself and not a link sharing, I used to get better reach (in an average, 5 lakhs reach a week). However, I would not earn a single penny for that. I was fine until my hobby turned into a business idea. Whatever Facebook is today is because of user-generated contents but it never felt to reward its users. To make things worse, it started demanding money from users to boost their contents. Post a link and it would make things much harder. So, I decided to leave the Facebook once and forever and focus on my own website and rather work on growing audience here. No matter how much audience I grow there on Facebook, I don’t own anything there nor can earn directly anything as such. So why build a tower in someone’s property?!
Anyone can have Facebook page, and everyone has been doing what I have been doing. When you do what anyone can do, people tend to perceive you as everyone else. In the context of Nepal, most pages are troll and meme pages, run by young guys in their early 20s, known for passing opinions and influencing crowd without holding needed knowledge on the topic. And in many instances I have felt I am being perceived as one of them. I used to smile and ignore but then, as more time passed by, I realized that I am actually creating my identity as “Facebook guy,” and that’s not how I want to identify myself. So, I decided to leave the Facebook right away and work on identifying myself in true sense as I want it to be, as I am.
Facebook makes you lazy. Just write few lines and it becomes a content. Just crop a screenshot and it becomes a content. Just write “how are you” and it becomes a content. Basically, post anything of any size or length on Facebook and it becomes a content. More funny thing is, such contents can reach to thousands and lakhs of people just like that. People can engage, discuss, and debate over just like that. And that was turning me lazy. I mean why would you spend hours and hours in creating a content, when a 5-minute work can give your brand the same exposure. Thus, from a content creator who used to believe in creativity, in-depth projection, facts and illustration rich contents, I was turning into a “poo content creator,” who would create contents on mobile and post them while in toilet or in a tea break. I needed to save myself from turning into a microblogger. So, I decided to leave the Facebook and shift to website. I can’t have same attitude and luxury here if I want to succeed.
As we were working on our upcoming book and curating old contents, we realized that whatever we post on Facebook is momentary. No matter how popular your posts had gone, or how informative or useful they have been, they all gonna dump down in the database of Facebook, that neither Google cares to index nor is easy for anyone to come back and find out with ease. Which basically means posting something on Facebook is as useless as writing down on a tissue paper while waiting for your food in a restaurant, unlike website or blog or content management system. I don’t want my hard work and efforts being so meaningless and momentary. So, I decided to leave the Facebook and build my content management system, that will be more like a library for all, and when I am gone, they be still around, as useful and fun.
Too Free To Value
When you come to a website, you came by desire. You put an effort to get there. But on Facebook, everything is spoonfed through newsfeed. Facebook has turned writers, content creators, photographers, videographers, and even journalists and researchers into a cheap and desperate soul – unwanted, unworthy individuals – whose works and contributions are subject to mood and attitude of Facebook users. Enough. Don’t want to be part of this water-to-chase-thirsty game. So, I decided to leave the Facebook and build this digital world, where those in need of knowledge and information, thoughts and discussions come searching for. When they come by choice and not force feed, that will create a healthy and beautiful world where there is value and respect, and constructive components.
This is the saddest reality about Facebook I hated the most. You are judged for your opinion. You are labelled for your disagreement. One moment you are a hero and another moment you are a crap. Everyone is righteous and everyone is desperate to prove themselves correct. I lived the Gotham life and I had enough. That’s not the kind of world I want to deal with as a content creator. I look for healthy and decent world where people know to agree to disagree, people know to argue with reference; no bigotry, no intolerance. That does not happen on Facebook, because it is designed for organised chaos. Like said above, contents are pushed to users without them searching for or wanting for. A religious fanatic can get atheist view point on his/her newsfeed just like that and guess what happens. So, I decided to leave the Facebook for peace of my mind and inner self.
By saying all that, I didn’t mean I am deactivating Facebook or unpublishing Kaagmandu Magazine page. I still love and adore Facebook for it’s power to connect people. I just don’t want anymore to use Facebook to publish my contents directly on Facebook like how I used to. I will just limit myself to connecting with friends, fans and followers. I will also use the Facebook for researching and observing people and trend, seeing answers and solving doubts. Apart from that, I have decided not to use Facebook for momentary brain orgasm. If I feel like throwing my opinion on any issue, I will do it through this website and not Facebook status anymore. Instead of wasting my time scrolling newsfeed every now and then, I will use those time and energy in creating contents through in-depth research and study on the topic. I miss my movies and documentaries time and I miss those long hours reading books and papers. There are so many things I want to do now and I already can feel the freedom, feel the relief, feel the peace and serenity.
Nepal and many countries like Nepal are in real need of one-stop solution for genuine information and knowledge and rational thinking and discussions in this information polluted digital era. I am leaving Facebook to build one.
I am glad you are around. Thank you for reading. Drop your comments below and will catch you up there.
E-Paper: Unlocked Creativity In Lockdown
A collection of photo comments from Kmag Users on their creative works
Most of us probably spent this lockdown doing nothing creative as such, though productive, but then there were few for whom lockdown happened to be a blessing in disguise to explore, experiment and to excavate the lost or forgotten hobbies and interests.
On May 13, 2020, we had asked Kaagmandu Magazine Page followers, “Photo comment: Something Creative that you did in this lockdown. Example, DIY flower pot, or changed the interior, or painting/drawing,” to show us any creative stuff they had done during the lockdown, as a photo comment. We received around 150+ responses, out of which some of the best works are featured in this edition. Nonetheless, those not featured here were not less creative. You can check all of them in our Page.
And ya, there were some funny comments, memes, and videos shared as well, for which, hey thank you for the smile. Now, please down the epaper available below and navigate some beautiful minds.
Download Your Copy Here
Note: This file will be available only for a limited time after which it will be removed (storage issue), so please download it now to not miss your copy.
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