Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Failing Nation

I spent nearly eight days in the government-less country of Nepal. I reached there on 29 Jan evening and was there till the 6th Feb. Since the internet was too slow it was not possible to write my feelings and experiences immediately. One thing is sure about this country: the country is in disarray. There is no elected government. There is a group of oligarchy belonging to the elite of various political parties trying to discover a constitution that would keep the people segregated. I heard of proposals to divide that mountainous country from between 6 to 65 different divisions based on caste, religion, language, and you think of anything....based on that. I stayed for few days in Thamel - the place where all action is, in Kathmandu. The entire city has three major crisis: (a) Huge power shortage. We had nearly 20 hours of power cuts on many days. (b) There is no diesel or petrol for vehicles. Cars and trucks were standing in unending beeline to collect diesel or petrol from the gas stations. I was told that the gas stations were rationing out to private car owners : roughly about 5 liters at a time! (c) There is shortage of cooking gas across the nation. Newspapers were reporting of people blocking trucks carrying gas cylinders and taking away! (One good thing was, the people paid the driver, and returned empty cylinders.) Sincerity of the poor and simple people of the hills always outshines the filthy  politics of the nation.

The country as a whole needs to take a big leap forward. It needs to improve its infrastructure. Roads are crumbling. Population is growing in cities and towns. No rules seem to be enforced in building construction in this country that is highly vulnerable to earthquakes. The problem doesn't end there. When I visited some villages away from the bustling Kathmandu, I saw the people are drunk in the morning, tired of living, smoking out their lungs with cigarettes continuously. There is a real need on the part of world nations to step in and guide this country that has just got rid of its monarchy and is trying to set up its own democracy. All eyes are on the Middle East. But this beautiful naturally rich nation has not received its due attention.

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