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Senseless Patriotism

I had read in my history books about the patriotism of Nepalese, which had prevented Nepal from escalating to the British hand. I was proud to be Nepali, a patriotic Nepali, brave Nepali. But, when I think of few incidents that mass Nepali has reacted upon, my previous beliefs get shattered. I believe our patriotism is not guided by senses, we show senseless patriotism.A 15 year Korean boy had written an article about the absence of patriotism in Nepali, which he had analyzed in 25 days of stay of Nepal (followed by this write-up). His diagnosis was “Nepal’s real problems are lack of patriotism among the people and lack of love for one another”. The Korean boy’s article partially identifies the problem. I believe that we have patriotism but senseless patriotism.I have a few instances that our mass Nepalese have shown the senseless patriotism.

· Hritik Roshan Case ( December 26 -27 2000), Kathmandu: The anti-Indian sentiment engulfed Nepalese communal Harmony on that day and killed at least 3 Nepalese in riots caused by allegedly remarks made by a Indian movie star, Hrithik Roshan. The Madhesi community was attacked by mass against the comment, which was never made.

· Iraq-Slaughter case (September 1 2004), Kathmandu: Thousands of People attacked Mosque and Manpower agencies to take the revenge of the killing of 12 Nepalese in Iraq. Properties worth millions of rupees were put on fire to take the revenge. Communal harmony was nearly disrupted.

· Prashant Tamang Case: An Indian police force cadre, who hails from Dargeeling went to finals of a TV show, and whole Nepal went mad following it. People spent millions of Nepalese currency to SMS him. On the other hand, thousands of Nepalese were homeless because of recent floods in country. I read thousands of threads in different blogs about who should win in the TV show, but very few bothered to talk about Kapilvastu slaughter.

There are many instances where I can get glimpses of Senseless patriotism, I would like to quote a entertainment site “Another depressing part that could be noticed was that, either the Nepali audiences do not value the local singers or they are undisciplined. After the Indian Idol participants’ performances were over, Nepali Icon Nima Rumba was supposed to take hold of the stage. But sadly, most of the people were seen heading off towards the exit. The question is yet unanswered if Nima’s craze is getting low in the market or we Nepalese don’t respect or value our local musicians.” Famous Pop artist Nima Rumba was neglected in front of so called idols, and few were collecting money from Nepalese to make an Indian winner of a TV show। Isn’t it strange?

A Article from 15 year’s Korean Boy about Nepal !

Nepalese complain about the caste system and corrupt officers. They openly vent their anger against the government. But have they ever thought About Nepal’s real problems? I believe that they have not. I want to say that Nepal’s real problems are lack of patriotism among the people and lack of love for one another. This is the conclusion I have reached during my stay. This summer, I did voluntary work from July 5 to July 30 at FHI Ever Vision School, Matatirtha, Kathmandu.

Let me first tell you about my country, Korea. This might help you understand my point. Just after the Korean War, which claimed lives of more than 5 million Koreans, Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Without natural resources, Korea had no choice but to desperately struggle for its survival by all means.
Under this gloomy situation, Koreans envied other Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan, and Nepal. Korean government officials were horribly corrupt. With the dual classes of Yang ban (nobles) and angnom (peasants), Korean society was sickening day by day. However, Koreans, having determination to become rich, overcame the unfair social structure and put the country onto the track of development.
When the former president Park Jung Hee took over the government, there were few factories in Korea. Korea could not attract loans or expect foreign investments. Under these circumstances, President
Park ‘exported’ miners and nurses to then West Germany . The salaries that they earned were used to building factories and promoting industrialization of Korea. In 1964, when President Park visited then West Germany, the miners and nurses asked the president when the Koreans would become rich. The president replied, crying with the miners and nurses, that someday the Koreans would become rich.
Many of Korean scientists and engineers, who could just enjoy comfortable lives in the United States, returned to Korea with only one thing in their mind: the determination to make Korea the most powerful and prosperous country in the world. They did their best even though their salaries were much less than what they would have received in other countries.
The Koreans believed that they have the ability to change their desperate situation and that they must make the country better, not only for themselves but also for the future generations yet to come.
My parents’ generation sacrificed themselves for their families and the country. They worked 14 hours a day, and risked their lives working under inhumane conditions. The mothers, who went to work in factories, fed their babies while operating machines in dangerous environments. They always tried to teach their children the true value of ‘hard work’. Finally, all of these hard works and sacrifices made the prosperous Korea that you see now.
Nepalese, have you ever cried for your country? I heard that many of Nepali youth do not love their Nepal. I also heard that they want to leave Nepal because they don’t like caste system, or because theywant to escape the severe poverty. However, they should be the first ones to voluntarily work for Nepal’s development, not the first ones to complain and speak against their country. I have a dream that someday I would be able to free the souls from suffering from the underdeveloped countries, anachronistic customs and the desperate hunger. My belief has become stronger than ever after seeing the reality in Nepal. A child with a fatal disease who doesn’t have enough money to buy a pill; a child living in what seems like a pre-historic dwelling and not having the opportunity to receive education; and a student who cannot succeed, no matter how hard he studies, just because of the class he comes from. A society, in which wives not only take care of children but also work in the fields, while their husbands waste their time doing nothing; a society in which a five-year-old must labor in a brick factory to feed herself. Looking at the reality of Nepal, I was despaired, yet this sense of despair strengthened my belief. I already know that many of the Nepalese are devout Hindus. However, nothing happens if you just pray to hundreds of thousands of gods while doing nothing.
It is the action that you and Nepal need for the better future. For Nepal and yourselves, you have to show your love to your neighbors and country just as you do to Gods. You know that your Gods will be pleased when you work for the development of your country and improvement of your lives. Therefore, please, love your neighbors and country. Teach your children to love their country. And love the working itself. Who do you think will cry for your Nepal? Who do you think will be able to respect the spirit of Himalayas and to keep the lonely flag representing it? You are the ones responsible for leading this beautiful country to a much brighter future. This responsibility lies on you.

(The writer is a 15 year-old student of Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies, South Korea ).

19 thoughts on “Senseless Patriotism

  1. excellent post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  2. Rabin,
    i agree that leaders should drive the mob and leaders are responsible for the wrongful deeds in name of Patriotism. In other point, it is not necessary to live in territory of Nepal to show patriotism. People beyond boundaries are concerned about Nepal, Economy of Nepal is being run by whom at this point of time? It’s because of people beyond boundary, People in Nepal has very little contribution because it’s being nullified at the same time.

  3. I do agree with the author’s view that we demonstrate our jingoism at wrong places. But I wouldn’t dare call it ‘senseless’. I think the general mass is always like this, be it Korea, Nepal, India or whatever country in the world. We cannot blame the public for not asserting their patriotism for the right cause, it’s the job of a powerful leader who knows how to manipulate that force into something useful.
    As the article of the Korean boy says, they had a leader who led them from the front to take Korea and Koreans where they are now.

    And one more important point, the author and many other in the post who agree that we rather abandon the country because of the situations here than striving to make it better, I call them hypocrites. I know many of you are desperately trying to reach US as soon as possible, so it doesn’t make sense to blame others saying you’re doing nothing for the country.
    Remember that the change starts from within yourself and it’s the deeds that make the difference not the discourses.

  4. Here’s one thing I know for sure: people in Darjeeling love Nepal way more than we do out here. That is because they know what it’s like to “not belong” and to be always oppressed in some way or other by India. Why drag Prashant Tamang into any sort of political debate? He had a dream which he worked for and he got what he deserved. Let him be and let him live his life.

  5. pawan the idiot. Is it not patriotism to want a greater Nepal? It is very senseful to want better and more for Nepal

  6. How can it be senseless??Prashant was supported and accepted with such a major mass in Nepal just because he’s Nepali Descendent and so is Darjeeling.Politically Darjeeling might not be of Nepal,but i can gaurantee the People of East Nepal still have love and care for Darjeeling.We can find many Distinguished figures in the field of Nepali Liberal Arts from Darjeeling.
    Hrithik Roshan Scandal and Iraq Scandal might be some of the bad example of Patriotism,but how can you neglect the JanaAndolan-2 and previous Revolution for Freedom,Isn’t that Patriotism?
    May be its something diffrent in Korea,but we are what we are,Korea has diffrent history and we have diffrent.We cant juss pick someof the bad examples and then compare with Korea.Should we now take loan of Patriotism too?
    The latter part of the Post was about the Existing problem all because we are poor.And its totally diffrent from Patriotism.
    You should better change the Topic of Essay 😆
    p.s:-Koreans are so patriotic that they divide upon themselves for the power play of Communist and Capitalis 😆

  7. Prashant is Indian citizen of Nepalese origin, thing is that simple. Claiming Darjeeling on such issue is totally senseless patriotism.

  8. In case of Prashanta Tamang’s case the significance goes beyond the Indina Idol. The programme had gained such a popularity that Sonia Gandhi and Man Mohan Singh met with these people. By supporting PT, it was a clear message to the Indian Government that Darjeeling is a part of Nepal and will always remain it. When British Government left India divided, we couldn’t raise our voice to claim for our lost land, which is a different story.

  9. Mr. Nischal,
    I too agree with the title. We Nepalese feel that we are very patriotic, but I
    wonder if many of us really knows what patriotism means. I doubt if I myself
    know the real meaning of ‘patriotism’. Well, for me, ‘patriotism’ is love and
    devotion for the country. So are we being patriotic by destroying the assets of
    our country or by buying the enemity of our Nepalese brothers by treating them
    different? People are being stimulated to carry out destructive acts and
    misconducts in the name of patriotism. This is definitely not going to lead us
    to the new Nepal, thriving in the perfect harmony among the Nepalese. The
    present context of Nepal demands Nepalese people to use their wisdom to act in
    favor of the betterment of the country, the ‘senseful patriotism’. If you can`t
    do anything good, you should also not be making the things worse in the influence of evil characters. Acting for the betterment of the country is ‘patriotic’ no doubt, but showing the misguided ones the correct path of patriotism is also equally patriotic.
    “desh bhakti, desh ko shakti”

  10. Thank You Aneesh for defending my point of view. Korean boys point of view is only a reference to put my point of view. We don’t care about the Korean internal matter, we are concerned with Nepal and only Nepal. I am focusing only on the using the theme of “patriotism” in destruction like the two incidents mentioned above. If Prashant was not chosen ‘Indian Idol’, the streets of Kathmandu could have been under curfew again, this time against Sony Entertainment Television.

  11. Let’s not misinterpret Nischal’s post here. What I mentioned about Koreans was icing or slicing of the cake. What Korea is all about is irrelevant, unless you’re commenting on internatinal studies. I mentioned the Korean situation as an abstract footnote to a post well written. The point is, is Nepali patriotism a face-saving stunt, or is it really geared towards something good for Nepal and Nepalis. That is the issue. We have to stop taking pride in abstract and superficial implications of Nepali patriotism, but concentrate on doing something doo for Nepal.

  12. See! i can sense the thing the Korean teenage wanted to convey in simply 2 replies to the post. .. and other thing, we are so good at taking negative things from a situation. I have read about the Korean history and its true the elder generation worked really hard to ensure Korea remain prosperous as it is today. Respect your country and your neighbors and respect the author who wrote this post.
    Nice article Nischal.

  13. Does that Korean boy know about the Korean student who killed more than two dozen students and professors in ruthless firing? Does that 15 year old kid know about the bribery scandal Korean tycoons are facing? Why are those patriotic Koreans are flocking into Europe and USA? Korea is there because of the system American put in place. It is not because they love their country. We do not need lecture from that 15 year old kid. Open society does the thing differently and there is nothing wrong the way we Nepali do things. MIllions of people in Nepal will not cease living just becasue there is flooding in Terai? We pay tax and government is supposed to take care of those things. We can’t stop having fun. The topic “senseless patriotism” is senseless. Patriotism is a slogan which has never existed. People do whatever is the best for them. They donate because they see value in that and they enjoy doing so – not because of patriotism. Nice try Nischal!

  14. Very true, including the Korean young scholar’s analysis. Although, I’d like to ask the Korean kid how he weighs the North Koreans against the South. Let’s not forget that one of the reasons South Korea is prosperous today is due to heavy American backing against the Soviet led North. So, is his patriotism limited to the South or is there anything called general Korean patriotism. In which case, do they (both North and South) see each other as one, or did the south simply get a better deal from the cold war?

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