Why am I not a nationalist?by Manoj
Posted on January 30, 2019 Stories
I am not a nationalist nor a patriot!
I am not proud to be a Nepali. And, I am neither a nationalist nor a patriot. It might be offensive to many people when I say this and I well know that’s it’s a very sensitive issue to confess.
The dictionary meaning of Patriotism is a sense of devotion to and rigorous support for one’s country. Nationalism means an identification with one’s own nation for its interests, specially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.
During my trekking guide license training class in the morning, one of the teachers mentioned how India is trying to portray wrong information about the identity of Nepal in the international world. He shared the story of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa getting honorary citizenship from India as an acknowledgment of his praiseworthy summit to the Mt. Everest. The teacher was very reluctant to accept the fact that Norgay Sherpa after receiving the honorary citizenship was an Indian citizen. Instead, he blamed India for promoting him as an Indian and that has severely affected the image of Nepal in the international world.
- Who wouldn’t offer honorary citizenship to a great personality like Norgay? Even Sir Edmund Hillary was offered Nepali Citizenship. Why so much of fuss? Isn’t it all about choices he made? No point of blaming.
- Plus, there’s no wrong information and no harm has been made to Nepal. “Tenzing Norgay Sherpa climbed Mt. Everest and he was a citizen of Nepal.” That’s what is mentioned in Darjeeling; the Everest Museum. Is it misinforming? Not at all.
- Does the citizenship really matter now? After all, Norgay Sherpa is no more alive now. First, he’s renowned for the work he has done. Paved the way for thousands of mountain climbers and he already did it. Would he not do what he did if he’s an Indian and not a Nepali or from any other nationality? Why indulge in such a useless talk?
Further reading: 55 Best Movies of all time; my list of favorite movies!
For a moment; think about these questions and ask; do these things really are the way you used to think before?
When I talk to people and differ to disagree about being a nationalist and a patriot, they have opposing logics. “You should be proud of being a Nepali” is what they say most of the times. My question to all these people simply is;
WHY? Why should I be proud of Nepal?
While having a conversation with an elder guy few days ago, his statement truly was thought provoking. “We (Nepalese and people from developing countries) have high sense of nationalism, pride and patriotism with a very low common sense.” What do you think? Isn’t it true? I absolutely agree.
Nepal is a land of Gurkha and was never colonized!
Our forefathers fought bravely to defend our nation from British East India Company. Nepal was never colonized and has always been a sovereign nation. Truly a proud Nepali.
My question is; so what?
Don’t get me wrong! I am thankful towards those brave soldiers who fought bravely. But isn’t being thankful for their deeds enough? Why is it necessary for us to be proud of it?
Let’s think about the difference that would have been made if it was colonized back then. India was colonized and Nepal was not. Other than being proud of this, what else have we achieved? I guess nothing! For hundreds of years we are witnessing turmoil in the name of various changes and revolutions with no significant outcome. On the other hand, we can see the development India has witnessed even in short span of time. It is now one of the most progressive countries in the world in terms of economy.
Buddha was born in Nepal
“Buddha was born in Nepal” became a subject of heated discussion among people few years ago. People were arguing about the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam, the light of Asia as there was a claim made by India.
Lumbini has been enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site which is a proof that Buddha was born in that place. However, that’s not my point. No matter where his birthplace is, it is more important for us to understand the philosophies and teachings about life.
Isn’t his birth a great thing and something to be proud of? I would rather be proud of his birth regardless of where he was born.
Nepal is blessed to have a Unique National flag
The Nepalese flag is very unique. It is the only non-quadrilateral flag in the whole world. The red color in the flag signifies victory and bravery. Peace and harmony is what blue color of the flag symbolizes.
Whatever is symbolized by the national flag, is it the way how it has been signified? The sad reality of how people are being fooled by the meaning it encompasses rather than understanding the truth.
Further reading: Study in Australia from Nepal: Situation of Nepalese Students
Hatred towards other nationalities specially Indians
Just for the sake of a
Now tell me, what’s so brave about that?
Since our early childhood starting from classes, our teachers have been teaching about the pride and how it has boosted ego among many students mainly ultra-nationalism. How do we expect students to have rational and independent judgement when the starting point of our education i.e. schools and the teachers are implanting the feeling of hatred towards India since the early days of schooling?
Atithi Devo Bhava
You might have felt this post to be too negative. However, I am truly grateful for the culture we’ve set. “Atithi Devo Bhava” which is translated as “Guests are similar to gods” and it’s one of the best practices we’ve here. There are few cases of terrible hospitable stories but the majority of tourists (internal and external) are treated with warmth. The beauty of treating another human being with pure heart over the expectation of financial gain in return.
Patriotism and Development
Many a times, I wonder why Nepal is still considered a third world country, one of the most corrupted countries in the world and hindered development process even though we have millions of true patriots, proud Nepalese and brave Gorkhali. Isn’t it contradictory?
Now the question arises, are we sure about the feeling of nationalism of our fellow countrymen? How can someone love the nation with all their hearts and still be corrupt? Maybe it’s high time we ponder if we’re truly loving our country! ?
The more I understand people, the more I realize that people are being proud of the things which are merely the recognition and not the identities. Having unique flag, land of Gurkha, Mt. Everest, Buddha among many others are just the factors which provide recognition to Nepal.
I strongly believe the identities are traced
So am I not going to be a nationalist? Or a patriot? Here are few conditions for me to be a proud Nepali.
When will I be proud of Nepal?
- When the day I see people doing what they say. I see a lot of people (myself included) complaining for too many things like traffic jam, fellow riders for violating rules, bribery among many others. However, we ourselves have don’t hesitate to be wrongdoers. We have tendency of making excuses when someone reminds us of such incidences.
- Love people themselves first before claiming to love country and everything else. How can we love country (such a huge entity) when we are not able to love ourselves? How can we be proud of our nation when we ourselves are not proud of what we do? I am scared of loving my nation right away. On my way to loving myself first ?
- Spreading smiles inside out and not just pretending. There are people (even in my friends circle) who present themselves to be someone’s great follower when s/he is around and talks every shits possible when s/he leaves. Sometimes I wonder if all these pride and patriotism of people is a sugar coated feeling.
- I will be a proud Nepali when the genuine issues such as that of medical and educational sector raised by Dr. Govinda KC are addressed without ignorance, nepotism and favoritism.
- The justice system is fair, the cases like that of Nirmala Panta don’t get hyped for being delayed.
Further Reading: The Kite Watcher; a story of my childhood!
The whole point of saying all these things is to remind myself (and also YOU if you’re a hardcore nationalist) that it’s worthless to feel glorified for the bygone past. And most of which are hyped in the false assumption of intensifying the sense of nationalism among people! I think it’s time we reconsider our heroism in terms of patriotism.
However, in anyway I don’t want to mean ignoring the concept of nationalism. It is a binding factor to a certain limitation mainly through citizenship and a sense of ownership towards motherland as well.
Now tell me why should I be a nationalist? Why should I be proud of being a Nepali? I don’t give a Fuck. Because I have recently read “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck!” It taught me that we should only give FUCKS to the things that really matter. Does it really matter? ?