By Nina Sharma
There is turmoil all over the world now, and all this, in the name of establishing peace, strengthening democracy and ensuring the human rights of the people. But actually all these horrible things are happening in the interests of some powerful nations and their minions and also for precious oil and other material gains.
It has become a chore to just turn on the TV, whether it is in the United States or here in Nepal, the talk shows and news reports are mostly about war mongering and turmoil in different countries of the world. It could be Libya, Syria, sedate Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, India, Nepal and even a tiny city like Hong Kong which belongs to China.
It is not the propaganda like we saw in the early Sixties, turned to the full by the US and also the then USSR, which was a powerful country. Of course the European nations aligned with the US, which helped them in the First World and the Second Great War were also totally at the command of the US. In line with the propaganda war, a satirical movie was produced in Hollywood, which was aptly named “The Americans Are Coming”. They certainly came to South East Asian countries and many Central American countries, but they left alone many other nations which did not mean much to them. The Americans had the upper hand because many nations were fighting among themselves first. China was fighting against Japan, Japan was fighting against South Korea, North Vietnam was fighting against South Vietnam, the Yemenis were fighting against each other, the Central American republics were seeing the rise of corrupt dictators so America had to poke its nose there, African nations were fighting with each other, closer home India was fighting against Pakistan, Thailand was a “watering hole” for American soldiers and covert agents and others were dragged in between. Nepal, due to its lack of resources, was luckily left alone for a long time, though foreigners came here in the name of helping the poor and illiterate Nepalese in different garbs and got what they wanted. That Nepal opened its doors to foreigners very late also helped in keeping it as a secluded nation.
If people still remember, the first phones in Nepal came from the US and there was a stamp at the back of each and every phone where it showed Nepal and America shaking hands. This made it easy for them to hear any conversation of ours. Right now, it is said the Indians can hear what we say in our cell phones, but our own security forces don’t have such technical back-ups. There was also a time and this was back in the Sixties, which is not that long ago, when Ford Foundation worked from within Singha Durbar, the government secretariat, and it planned the budget of the nation. Imagine, that was the level of penetration the Americans had in a far away nation like Nepal, which was considered useless apart from spying in a small scale on the Russians and the Chinese. Naturally the British came first and though we fought a war in 1814 and Nepal was defeated and lost much of its territory, other nations also came in after Nepal opened up its doors to outsiders. But Britain is still the biggest aid giver though it directly involves itself in Nepalese affairs through journalists and right workers.
It is a different story now that Nepal is considered a geographically strategic place from which China can be disturbed like it is being disturbed through Hong Kong at present, though the City is Chinese territory. Like I read a line by another writer in this very Weekly, Tibet, is also a part of China and it is considered its “weak underbelly”, under which Nepal is directly situated geographically. Thus Nepal has become a happy playing ground for the United States, its Western followers and Indians as well.
Democracy, human rights, press freedom and so on and so forth have all been “telescoped” in Nepal. How long did it took to just allow women to vote in America, called the first democratic country in the world? How long did it take the Vikings, including the present peacemaking Norway to allow the English and others to stay in peace? How long did it take to do away with the disgusting system of apartheid in South Africa, which the US and other Western countries supported? How long did it take for women to do a simple thing like driving a car in Saudi Arabia? How long did it take to end wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, the Middle East and so many other places, which all have started again? And these confrontations and conflicts all have been stoked to full steam by Westerners and their greedy minions in whichever country they belong to. In Nepal also, we see many such people coming in the form of fighters of democracy, civil society leaders, free media representatives, development workers, experts, educationists, campaigners of republicanism and secularism and anyone who can influence the people or twist their pens on papers just to fulfill the needs of foreigners or for individuals with vested interests like the land mafias.
Of course we need democracy, of course we need press freedom, of course we need transparency and end of corruption, of course we need gender equality, proportional representation, end of any form of dictatorship or violent politics. But we also need drinking water, good health facilities, better educational facilities, social security, good roads and other infrastructures, a stable market in which the Nepali people with their meager income can survive and other basic needs which are taken for granted in the very countries which are trying to force down only ideology and idealistic dreams down the throat of most Nepalese. Give us a chance to evolve and change gracefully.
You just cannot “telescope” such things because of the whims of the stronger and richer countries, that also for their own interests and not for the wellbeing of the Nepali people! Has America seen a local “coloured” President yet? How long ago were these people allowed to vote when they have been living in the USA before the introduction of democracy? And does democracy mean the rule of two parties only? They hide their wrongs, whether they commit virtual genocides, incite the people in other countries to fight amongst themselves, steal natural resources, suppress women – except while using them as cosmetic features in different sectors – hide conspiracies and corruption and control the media virtually worldwide though they shout hoarse about a free press?
It is said there was a time when Americans felt apprehensive of putting on their TVs because there were too many news about war, domestic violence and things which upset the “delicate” minds of the American people. Many also started the habit of taking sleeping pills, including the glamorous wife of a president, because they were afraid the Russians may start a nuclear war anytime. Now it is the same in many other countries, including Nepal, where the local media outlets have been influenced by the Americans, and people have to read or see only the “selective” news they pass on, of violence and turmoil all across the globe.
But this is not just a propaganda war and billions of people can easily do away with their problems by taking a sleeping pill or turning off their TVs. They are forced to live in an environment of mire and misery and threat of violence, while the “reserved” ones lick the boots of foreigners and earn money as well.
The Americans really seem to be coming and create further problems for all, but beware America, its stooges in Europe and also India, they could face similar problems one day, as simple as the theory that day comes after night and there will be changes, which no one can stop, when the earth revolves around its axis. Don’t try to teach lessons to others only, learn some of it yourselves, so that you will not lose everything you have worked for so long for. By the way, I have left America for good and I would also not like to visit many European countries, I would rather see and serve my own country Nepal.
(The writer has recently back from the US.)
Don’t try to teach lessons only
By Nina Sharma