I was contemplating whether I should post this article or not. I contemplated for full 6 months now because of its politically charged contents that could be MISLEADING. But then I thought I need to speak up and then, I realized it’s just my under educated thoughts. So, let me just speak up and whoever wants to SHUT ME UP!! Can give me a full lesson on what it’s all about. You’ll know this when you’ve read the entire article. So here it is!!
My War wedged World.
I remember those frightful days of Curfew at my hometown “Kathmandu” when I was just a little kid. It was 1992, the brink of war raging to out throw “Panchayat” (Partyless system) and to establish multiparty system in the country and I was in my third grade studying in a boarding school. Every time we had these curfews, all the schools would shut down for weeks and all those weeks felt like a compulsion of some sort, meaning it in a way that that was the way the world actually worked in my little mind. It was like a useless summer vacation. I remember there used to be those strict black outs all over the town at night and we were left to lit candle lights fearing we’d be seen from the streets. There were always these political protests every day, pamphlets distributed, posters stuck on these walls of architecturally important traditional buildings all over the city, headline news about how many killed and how they were killed; our local patriots.
One night, my father mended the wound of this protestor who had a head wound and he was bleeding profusely. He was struck on the head by a policeman. I felt such an adrenaline rush from my family, such agitation; I can still feel that moment. I also remember getting a firm warning from this policeman outside on the street during curfew hour because I was peeking through my fly mesh window trying to see what is going on outside ( I thought I was peeking but apparently that policeman could see me clearly). He pointed a gun at my direction and told me to look away and get inside. I was petrified and did not once look outside any window during the curfew hours after that incident. And I dreaded my family would get caught doing so too. It was a different feeling of want of security that I never felt thereafter. Later on, we heard news about a friend of my father’s who was shot on his cheek for just looking out of his window. The bullet actually went through his cheek and struck his son’s head assuming that he was just 2 or 2 ½ feet tall who was standing beside him. It killed him instantly. The father survived while his son was killed. We still used to see him in his little watch repair shop and he had a crooked face like he didn’t have a cheek.
I know I sound like I was brought up in a war zone which isn’t truly the case but I would say that because I was brought up safely tucked away from the gruesome movement that was engulfing the nation back then. I like to think that all the memories that I now have of that by gone past were just the tiny ripples of a civil war that was hitting home pretty hard. For me, it wasn’t so intense when I remember it but being in the school library in my 8th grade and I find this book filled with pictures of the revolutionary moments of that history, I really feel grateful that it’s the thing of the past now and our country has thrived on. Looking back now, it doesn’t even seem real to realize that I once lived that life too. It seems so far-fetched. Nepal grew so much and so well in such a short span of time after democracy that it’s such a tragedy that people are being manipulated to accept these political turmoil that have left our country injured in all aspects of development.
After the infamous royal massacre, these politicians somehow found an open pathway to their looming plans of victory. Nobody was going to accept a suspected killer or an accomplice or whatever “Ex- King Gyanendra” ruling our country. O! Yes! People were enraged by the sudden news that left the whole country feeling like an orphan. It’s discomforting to know that some say that it all happened only out of their mere family disputes and disagreements. It had nothing what so ever to do with our country. But it was our country that had to pay the full price of the incident. Then there came the fight for making our country a republic and now there are signs of making it a communist one. Nepal has been tossed around these political hands like a toy that can easily be man handled. It’s a sad story. And yet Nepal still stands strong and still fights for the right cause. She’s now fighting against this ridiculous idea of dividing our country according to ethnicities. Now, this is a far -fetched idea that will not happen because her citizens will not allow it to happen. Right now, we are living in a country with no constitution, you see! With all these politicians promising us a better tomorrow by the 3 month extensions that seem to stretch even more than 3 years that’s supposedly supposed to guarantee us our constitution. Ya right!
During my adolescent years, when we loved watching movies, listening to music, even watching cartoon networks for all that mattered, my grandfather would restrict our TV time whenever there was news on the TV and we had only one TV in the entire house back then; we all called it our TV room. We would then be obligated to watch whatever was on it because there was nothing better to do for us. And every day and I do mean every day of my adolescent years during the late 1990s, no news was complete with a headliner that spoke of the Palestinian war. There was always news of protests, killings and suicide bombings, etc and back then, I didn’t understand even one single reason for what the news were about. Again for my idiotic, much cartoon influenced brain; it felt like it was there because it was the news. Then fast forward to the present day, out of the blue, I feel curious about what I’ve seen in the past and I finally find out that it was a geo-political war for acquisition of land and something about a “Partition Plan” offered to the Palestinian Jews and the Arabs which wasn’t approved by both sides. I keep reading the facts and I’m feeling like WOW, wouldn’t our country if divided into states for ethnic groups share the same faith like those people did in Palestine? It’s an immense possibility as I see it.
As I grew up to be my true self beyond all the stupid hustle and bustle of teenage angst and what not, I somehow felt like I should be responsible enough to understand what’s been going on around the world. I should know what this world is actually made of. I had known little bits about World War I and World War II. It somehow was listed on our history books. But to its depth I really didn’t. But these wars were so profound and pre-dominant that without even looking for it, I was introduced to this history all over again through different media. The most important one were through books. So many of these books just found me and I read all of them from pages to pages and I got more and more curious. Through so many ways, I began to know about the holocaust, Adolf Hitler, so many stories of bravery and humanity. I delved so deep in my research, I read about the forgotten genocide of the Armenian people before the infamous Holocaust even happened.
People say it inspired Adolf Hitler to exterminate the Jews. He quoted it “Who still talks nowadays of the extermination of Armenians?” About a million Armenians were killed by the Turks. I read about the civil war of Sarajevo, present day Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Srebenica Massacre in early 1990s. They were all fought as war for cleansing of the ethnics. It was about the Serbs killing Croats and Muslims. I heard about the Khmer Rouge Massacre in Cambodia. Honestly, I heard it once from my sister (who is an avid war history buff) and couldn’t hear any more. It was a merciless crime against humanity. And I’ve also read about “the forgotten war”: the Korean War. I’m thinking why were they forgotten in the first place? I think we all know the war that raged in Africa between tootsies and Hootoos. These wars were all a result of hating each other for their race, religion, etc. After the massacre in Srebenica which was led by men named Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. The UN placed a 5 million dollar bounty on their heads. For the war waged in Iraq, the entire world was looking for Osama Bin Laden to execute him for all the horrible war crimes that he had committed. Another warlord executed for the crimes committed during his reign is Sadam Hussein. Syrian public is severely suffering the devastation of having a crude dictator to rule their country. There are indeed! Bountiful of war criminals still out there living freely.
So my point is this! The Maoist insurgency started happening slowly and steadily in many parts of our country long before the movement to turn our country republic began. That movement was the epitome of the much anticipated plans of the Maoist. We heard tons of stories of brutality; sheer brutality let me tell you! People were butchered like animals. Maoists were either killing people or forcing them to join the army, feed them, and provide them with more than what little money they had, almost all young girls from these villages were raped, many people were being abducted and never heard of again. These all happened in the remote parts of our country where people were uneducated, unemployed, unarmed, scared shitless. So here is the irony! After our country was deemed a republic, suddenly the government decides to earn these Maoists a seat in the parliament as an equal, just because they grew powerful than other parties. The Maoist army was led by “Prachanda” and all these brutal crimes happened under his command. So call me stupid! Tell me that I am just a stupid citizen who knows nothing of politics. Tell me I have no idea of what has been going around here. But with the liberal power of free speech that is still vested in me, let me ask this stupid question. Wasn’t there supposed to be a bounty for his head too? Shouldn’t he be punished for his horrible crimes? Instead, here we are running our country with elections going on putting him on the high places as an eligible candidate. Where do I see the justice in that? Pardon me for pointing fingers at certain people but it’s just a weak statement coming from my poor perspective on what has been happening. If any criticisms and I’m sure there would be plenty, I would be more than glad to be educated by them on this matter. I fully support any criticisms here but the war viewed through the eyes of a citizen is more important than through the eyes of the politicians.
With all these unanswered questions and many more yet to be heard of, I see war waging everywhere around the world and there is no stopping it. This world had been built on blood and tears of its people and it is indeed a War Wedged World that we live in. So here I say! We need to fight together as one for the right cause and that right cause mustn’t be biased. The right cause must speak of justice and peace in all aspects of life all over the world.