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Nationalism as Inherent Mindset

BY PROF. DR SHASTRA DUTTA PANT
NationalismA genuine nationalist need not panicked of any danger. In my opinion, nationalism is an inherent mindset. It works automatically. Anyone can judge himself/herself how much nationalist he/she is. It is by sanskara attached with the antaskaran mind and soul. It contains extra weightage of anusmritijanya sanskar that is inherent from generation to generation. A nationalist loves nation and never hurts it by any means. A nationalist does not hide custom duties, does not cheat revenues, and does not accept commissions, bribes, presentation and najarana. S/he does not loot property of others nor does apaharan and demand firauti. There is no adulteration in any business, no black-marketing, no taskary but believes on continuous laborious business when there is love of nation in the mind. A nationalist loves for works, believes in laborious earning; supports in nation building jobs, provides jobs to the Nepali citizens and purchases Nepali products. Honesty is considered as the best policy in all sorts of life. I would like to present some real events that come out automatically.
It is an event in 1967 when I was studying in the Wisconsin University, Madison, studying in Supervision and Administration. The second day evening in the university was a get-together program for the introduction of the participants from all around the world.
The size of the participating country was larger than the UN member countries. Because of large number of the participants, the organizer had asked to introduce in three words, i.e. name, country name and one thing that introduces the country. In my turn, after my name,
I said Nepal and Mount Everest. By chance next to me was a New Zealander. He promptly replied Hillary had climbed Mt. Everest first time. I had a defeated feeling. I over ruled that Hillary was pulled by Tenzing Norgay by a help of a rope and put to the top of Mt. Everest.
My saying created the great laughter in the hall. I analyzed then that there was something inherent nationalism or pride of my country into me. I still remember that when one of the faculties of Albany state university offered me a job, I flatly refused thinking that was what brain-drain policy of America is commonly known to all. Next time in an interview of a newspaper, I had replied- ‘Nepal is far more civilized and America is far more developed’ in a starting question of the journalist – ‘What is difference between Nepal and America?’ It is not me the inherent internal feeling spoke.
The Wisconsin University celebrates costume day once in a year. I was residing in Carroll Hall in between beautiful lakes. The University was in the walking distance from my residence. I usually go on foot. On the costume day, I was alone in Nepali national uniform (labeda-suruwal coat) walking the same road. There were about 50 small shops by the side of the road. Many shopkeepers stopped me on the road and shake hand. I told each of them that I was from Nepal. Some of them told me – ‘You usually walked this way, but did not ask you thinking as an Indian. You, as a Nepali, I would like to invite for a cup of tea this evening’ one of them requested me. I accepted for the evening tea. I informed them all about Nepal, as they were curious to know. One thing, hunted to my mind; why they did not like to talk to me as I looked like an Indian. Actually I still look like an Indian by face. I did not venture to ask the reason. I simply felt that Indian nationals had not left out any good influence over there. However, I realized that the glory of Nepal, made by our ancestors is high worldwide. After the turnover of 40 years I feel panic when I read in the newspaper that Nepalis were involved in the illegal acts and living a slave life worldwide in search of job. I realize that Nepal is not progressing in any sector rather losing.
The University asked me to present a country paper as per the development of presentation skill. Earlier, Dr. Gyanchandra Bhat of Bombay (now Mumbai) was presenting his paper in which, he presented Mt. Everest as glory of India. I strongly objected for that. The University authorities tried to normalize and proceed ahead. I still protested – ‘unless Mr. Bhat corrects his mistake and apologizes publicly, the class will not proceed.’ Finally he realized his mistake and apologized. No one had instructed me to do so, nor I was in the post of that responsibility, I was simply a high school head master that time. It came automatically from inside. No one had taken any concern, why did I do so? I myself questioned me.
My intuitions awaken me- ”You are Nepali citizen, you are responsible for the protection of the glory of Nepal, don’t you?”
Yes I need, so I did. Southern neighbor is doing injustice to Nepal since its establishment in 1947. My intuition says- ‘I must continuously remind all those who are in power. That is why I’m searching, finding and writing about truth. Nobody has thanked me, instead they have abused me. So I call them agent/Dorji. Yet, I do not know why I am playing in dangers? Why am I working with risk?
‘I do not know myself. However, my mind is contented that I am doing for the nation.
One day I happened to talk with a popular bookstall in Kathmandu, and I asked “Why there is not my book in your shop?
In response to my query, he delivered a long lecture and said – ”Because of people like you all Nepalis are suffering. If Nepal was annexed to India, we could have purchased a car worth 12 lakh rupees in just 3 lakh rupees.
We can have a bookstall in Mumbai, Kolkotta or Delhi”. I thought “Educating a foolish is worse than educating a stone statue.” His thoughts, like many others, were the products of materialistic education system without adhyatma.
One day I was concentrated in a dense sal forest of ashes. That time I was chief of a rehabilitation project. Protection of forest is the job of forest department. The local forest office was located at the district headquarters and my project offices were nearby the forest.
One Saturday morning, I was informed that a group of people had encroached the remaining forest nearby. I could not tolerate the illegal and destructive works. I drove the jeep myself and proceeded to the encroached site. About 300 persons were clear-felling the forest. They were laced with domestic weapon such as axes, sickles and Khukuris. Together with they were burning the cut trees. Not only bushy plant, even very big sal trees were also burned and turned into ashes. The trees which took 100 years to mature were turned into ashes in hours. Thousands of cubic feet timbers costing millions were turned into ashes for nothing. The standing trees were also either nailed or cut bark around the trees. My anger was that they were destroying millions to grow few hundred. The natural sympathy towards the poor homeless encroachers were overridden the destructions of forest. I alone collected some 24 active ringleaders, put into jeep and took them to my office. After putting them in the security guard room, I went to collect second trip. Most of them had already escaped. I was so furious that emotionally I beat them with a stick, one by one. I know beating even to criminals is not legal acts, however, I did. I did it emotionally. I found that the local political workers, two pradhan panch and one rastriya panchayat member were the instigators. Lately the Panchas were jailed for six months imprisonment. Two things still hint me; first, I was not a forest officer, responsible to protect forest, second, I had no right to beat the arrested criminals. While at bed in night, I decided not to do so in future. Next day when I remembered the pile of ashes I forgot my promises and did the same thing. Even authorized authority cannot keep in the custody for more than 24 hours; I was not even authority to do that. In the evening, when I saw them, I remembered the pile of ashes of the huge sal trees, loss of millions’ national property, my controlled mind again became impatience, I forgot my decisions, I went to them and repeated the same mistake.
They asked for excuse, promised not to repeat again, I did not listen to them. I could not take my dinner, could not sleep well. These are some of my exemplary events. My life is full of such events. I never tried to have any credit for any thing I did. If all the employees of forest department had the same nationalistic feeling Nepal would have been a richer country in this sector. If all of the authorities were free from vested interests and dedicated to their service, Nepal would have been a leading country in the world.
Now, when I recall the event it makes me very fearful and frightening. Over 300 people in the forest, each of them having domestic weapon, how could I ventured capturing and beating them? If it was the case after Maoists’ terroristic action, I could have killed immediately and my body would have been a lump of
kima that is used for momo making. No one could have found me. I would have been listed as a lost man. Yes, if someone honestly, faithfully, truly and without any vested interest works for nation, does not get afraid from the inner soul. That confidence made me courageous, opposite to that the wrong doers loosed their strength,
confidence and venture. That is why I could control them. No one could point at me as the wrong doer. If it was the rule of today, I could have been dismissed from my job. When security and peace and matter of justice are concerned it was excellent during that regime.
Nature has set my mind much stronger than that I learned from environment. What my intuition tells me that the thing is truth, just, ethical and moral; I never compromise with any alternative. I resist any pressure. I do not know what helps the nation and society.
Only thing I know, it is always harmful to me. I have lost many opportunities for both money and position, still I do not like to win or gain name and fame by doing wrong deeds against my intuition.
My intuition does not say that my habit is a wrong one that is why I do not like to change. I know my habit is harmful to my family members as well. Let it be. None of the governments, diplomats and INGOs so far has favored me. Because I criticize all the wrong deeds of all the governments/agencies that do wrong deeds, I always go against them. I also admire good jobs, but very little is found. I have found very few men of my nature; Dr. Govind KC is one of them. Because of my nature I was counted as the communist/anti panchati man during Panchayati regime. I was counted as communist for congress, a congress for communist and pro panch/
king for both them. As a result, all government put me in the anti-government list. After the fall of kingship, I am put in the pro king or pro panch list. I am also counted as anti Indian, extreme nationalist. I hate all those in government and politics who decide and tag on superficial basis without any knowledge. However, the essence of my writ-up is concentrated on making India a good neighbor, put it in equal-distance, equal friend and a good friend.
The great changes after 1990 the awards, honor, dignity of posts are offered not on the basis of his/her performance, but on the basis of his/her affiliation, donation, fraudulent in the elections and so on. These days, social recognition is not given on the basis of contribution but on party basis. The present process is not only beyond my principle and determination but against the universally accepted norms. Thus my thoughts are always counted as of the opponent. No one is found with positive thinking who can analyse
what and why certain idea is good or bad. I do not know but I enjoy working against such bad governances. I have no worry for driving out of any national recognition. Now, I myself have awarded myself as a man with different thought. I do not believe which political/administrative system is good or bad, I believe on how the system works. The nationalism to these days have been found bargaining with the dollars by the agents.
(Excerpts from the book “Machination of RAW in Transitional Nepal” authored by Prof. Dr. Pant.)

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