BY D. M. THAPA
This author may be being repetitive, but still, the United States is a wonderful country, though the weather there may be harsh. Imagine what the early pioneers had to go through to make the US what it is today. Of course they displaced the real natives of that country and stole their land, but still, the enterprise of those people who went there in those tough days has to be appreciated.
The US has now become the “super power” of the world, both economically and also militarily. Yet the people there are friendly, very helpful and good towards whoever comes there. It is the government which is bad.
It pokes its nose in every corner of the world and now an upstart president named Donald Trump has started to build a wall across its border with Mexico, the same nation from which it annexed much land and called it New Mexico and many American industries and households would be functionless without the Mexicans. It is the same with the Asians. They have contributed a lot in developing America. First they were the Chinese, who constantly worked to build the railroads in the US, which can now boast about being linked throughout that vast country by rail.
Now the South Asians have also contributed in different fields, from the difficult information technology to other sectors. The recent Nobel Prize winner in economics is an Indian. He and his partner have written a book and they have also mentioned the problems in Nepal in the book titled “Good Economics for Hard Times”. Perhaps this is the first time any such recognized scholars have written about Nepal. The contribution of a Nepali scholar named Maheswor Shrestha has also been mentioned. He is a PhD holder from MIT, the famous US University and the two scholars, Abhijeet Banerjee and Esther Duflo, are also teachers in the same university.
Now President Trump is seriously engaged in building a wall across the US border with Mexico. What he does not realize is that the US has already built a wall against many other countries, which have contributed in its development. Specially the Islamists have been targeted. What would have happened if the native American Indians built a similar wall and not allowed the Europeans to come into America? Short sighted vision will destroy that great country, which I have already mentioned that the pioneers did a lot to build.
Wasn’t the founding president of America a migrant? Weren’t many others who followed him migrants. In fact even in recent time famous presidents like John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and secretary of state Henry Kissinger were migrants. So exactly like them President Donald Trump is also a migrant. In fact his present wife the First Lady, is a very recent migrant who became an American citizen just because she married Trump.
So who will the physical wall along the Mexico border and the unseen wall in many countries of the world stop? This will make the US the most hated country, not a country which is looked up by most people for its enterprise, development and an open but systemic lifestyle, America is a place which can accommodate many more people, it is that vast, but by antagonizing individuals who want to come there, it could face a serious backlash. This author would never want to go to America, but feels saddened to hear the stories of many who were denied visas for no reason. Virtually all Islamists are called terrorists, but what about their own people who kill innocent school children and others? In fact even an Indian Sikh was shot dead because he had a beard. Another person was offloaded from a plane because he was a Muslim. Top Indian politicians and even a famous actor have also been detained at different airports, but this still has not made Americans feel secure.
To come to our own country Nepal, there was a learned scholar named Harka Gurung who also became a minister, but he was hounded out of his post just because he said a wall should be built along the border between Nepal and India in the old panchyat days. With China, we already have the tall mountains as barricades. But a person like Gurung had to die a sad death in mysterious circumstances, which nobody has been able to write about. It is the same case with Dor Bahadur Bista, who simply vanished from the earth after writing a controversial book called “Fatalism and Development”, which was not liked by the then rulers of the country who are still dominant now.
So if Trump reads about late Harka Gurung, he will also be “just another brick in the wall”.
However unlike them, our political leaders have been very magnanimous and one of the first decision they made after the then King was thrown out, was to give citizenship to more than four million people, something which even powerful America with its vast lands cannot afford to do. But they did it! If one is to go by statistics only, if all Nepalese go to India, it will hardly make any dent in the populous country. But even if only five percent of Indians that also just across the border come into Nepal, it can change the whole demography of this small country. Furthermore, what if only one thousand hardened criminals come here by getting citizenship? It could be a disaster and we are seeing some of the results in the past few years, when major crimes have been committed by Nepalese of Indian origin. Had the political leaders thought about this?
Elections, so highly praised by Westerners have been affected in the border areas, there have been more criminal activities and corruption has increased because of the magnanimity of our leaders or what we can call short sightedness, but the majority of the people are still in the darkness, as no one has published any statistic of who have been involved in such activities since Nepal welcomed foreigners, specially the Indians.
Yes, like told by Harka Gurung and even a popular rock band called the Axe Band it is necessary for building a huge wall along our borders, but it would mean nothing, like Trump it would just be a “brick in the wall”.