BY D. M. THAPA
It has almost become a routine affair to hear of violent conflicts and confrontations in many parts of the world. So it is nothing surprising when in Nepal, to hear of clashes between protesters and police, gold smuggling, Nepalis cheating other Nepalis in many sectors and so on and so forth. Like I have said so many times before, there seems to be turmoil everywhere.
But the irony is that all such turmoil seem to have been instigated by none others than those who say they are working for those who are suffering from different forms of troubles in their own countries. From unemployment to social ailments and lack of educational facilities to poor basic facilities, the people in most poor countries, including Nepal, suffer from such shortcomings of the nation while political leaders, corrupt bureaucrats, “ultra smart” journalists, land mafias and such nefarious characters seem to get richer and richer by cheating their own people.
It is no wonder that thousands of Nepalese are going abroad for employment and better opportunities, even if they have to do all the dirty jobs, which are dangerous and low paying as well. Herding domestic animals in the searing heats of the Middle East deserts, being exploited at private homes, getting underpaid even in factories where workers put in long hours and having to suffer from sexual harassment to other physical abuse, migrants from the poorer nations seem to have no alternative but follow such a path.
Meanwhile the chaotic political atmosphere at home, no chances of ever making a better life and violence and conflict seem to push these migrant people, hoping they will find a better life across the oceans. But this is largely untrue, a dream that proves as a nightmare for many.
Even in Nepal’s case, there are thousands of people who have lost their lives, who are living in discrimination in prosperous countries like the United States, Australia and so many other countries who need cheap labour and poor Nepalese and others who are willing to fulfill such voids.
Right from their homeland such Nepalese are cheated by the so called “consultants” who send innocent Nepali people abroad by hanging lucrative attractions in front of them. These “consultants” also steal from these poor aspirants, exactly, like those involved in pimping land even if they have to steal the land of other innocents, but of course with the help of the government authorities who work in land revenue and ownership offices. If the rich and those who conspire to steal land for hefty profits can steal even the land belonging to the official residence of the Prime Minister, the most powerful individual in the country, one can imagine how they can play around freely at other places.
One such pimp even had the cunning to steal some land of a former high ranking person. Of course, the land pimp did this by paying hefty sums to government officials, aligning himself to a political party and taking loans from corrupt banks.
All such problems like land grabbing, corruption, violence, religious conflict and internal fighting seem to stem from the ever growing thirst for more power and greed of richer and more powerful nations and to come to a lower level, the constant urge to earn more and more even if others are destroyed, Naturally, such governments and individuals have no conscience at all, and moral values mean nothing to them.
Right now, the turmoil all over the world seems to be instigated by the United States and a person with a big ego who leads it. Naturally many other rich Western nation follow his footsteps and they are pressing harder on the gas pedal to get things done their own way in other countries, but of course in the name of democracy and creating a better life of the poor people. Why don’t they do something for the poor in their own countries first?
The present belligerent President of the United States seems to be making enemies all around, opening wars on many fronts and poking his nose where it is not required.
For example he created a huge controversy when he publicly said which person he would like to see as the new prime minister in Great Britain, one of the staunchest allies of the US. Trump is also involved in more than a dozen cases of sexual harassment and exploitation. One case has been just recently filed and looking back at the history of the President, it is his acts which are being condemned while there is sympathy for those who have spoken up against this man who has committed many crimes.
In fact the captain of the US Women’s soccer team, which was doing very well in the World Cup at least till the time when this article was being written, has said she would not visit the White House even if her team won the prestigious soccer tournament. That is how even Americans are angry, very angry about the behavior of their own president. Imagine how others who are suffering from the bullying tactics of the US, like at present a sovereign country like Iran and its leaders, are angry at him. Even the local populace is angry, as they are suffering from threats of war and sanctions which affect the poor.
Nepal has also suffered from American conspiracies from many decades back, but it has gone worse after corrupt political leaders and equally greedy journalists and civil society leaders have taken over the reins of this country. The crunch has been aggravated more by the fact that the US is the first choice of migrant workers to find better opportunities. Australia, Great Britain, Germany, France, the Scandinavian countries are also high on the list of such people who wish to flee from their own country, which was a paradise once.
They are ready to pay hefty sums of money to enter such countries even in an illegal manner. Many are exploited more on their way by unscrupulous locals and security forces. The people are ready to go to work in difficult places like countries in the Middle East and countries which are seeing their own problems like Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus and so on and so forth. Not that the US and the European countries don’t have their own problems.
Thousands of Nepalese have been turned down when they have applied for a visa to go to the US and the huge amount involved in this process is not returned by the embassy of that rich nation here. Many, including top level Indian officials have also been humiliated and kept waiting at the immigration office for a long time when they land in the US. I am mentioning this because most Nepalese know such Indians, whether from politics or movies. Our own former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba was thoroughly checked along with members of his entourage in Miami when he was only in transit there, on his way to a Central American country for an international conference. Isn’t this a big insult to the leader of a country which the Americans call as a friend?
Now, just a few days back, when an American citizen, that also a person who hails from Tibet of China, was disallowed to enter Nepal, a low level official who represented the US Embassy here, asked for nothing less than an “explanation” from the Nepali government, who is in charge here? The Nepali Government or the US Embassy?
Our officials in the Foreign Ministry and also political leaders have kept mum. They only are interested in going abroad while not doing their homework to build a strong foreign policy and deal with the bullying tactics of such richer and militarily powerful countries. The police can say or do nothing, the media keeps quiet and life goes on as usual. Most of the times, even in the US, foreign ambassadors are called for explanations, if they write letters like these. They will be accused of interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. So in this deafening environment, can we ask the question, “Are we sovereign or not?
The word “sovereignty vested in the people” is not something which is used to throw out a reigning power, incite more conflict, grab power for money and a mud-slinging slogan to be used against political opponents. This present disgusting act of the Americans is an example and thus a time when leaders and foreign policy experts, both in the Foreign Ministry and in the media, think that it is a correct to stand up against foreign bullying tactics.