Date
25 September 2017
No matter how unfortunate it was, the Nepal earthquake played an important role in achieving national unity, albeit briefly. Now, it's business as usual. Photo: Narendra Shrestha/EPA
No matter how unfortunate it was, the Nepal earthquake played an important role in achieving national unity, albeit briefly. Now, it's business as usual. Photo: Narendra Shrestha/EPA

How Nepal blew a chance to become a better country

It has been a little over five months since Nepal was struck by an earthquake that killed almost 10,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

The world commiserated and sent help, with many countries pledging millions in aid.

Today, the tragedy is all but forgotten and people rarely talk about it.

I keep in touch with people in Nepal on the internet. These past weeks, things have been so quiet there has been no online discussion about it.

The contrast is stark when you go back to a time when the world was coming together to help.

Making a promise is easy but keeping it is hard, especially in relation to a place like Nepal.

People could be forgiven for being skeptical. I had the same feeling one time or another.

In order to understand the Nepali people and their mentality, one must understand their background.

I will try to explain it in the briefest possible way.

Nepal is a nation bestowed with stunning natural beauty. It is also rich in natural resources and the people are unbelievably friendly and welcoming.

It is also mired in extreme poverty, crippled by corruption and perennial political infighting and mostly run by notoriously corrupt and inept politicians.

Dirty politics is a national hobby. Everyone wants power without responsibility and self-enrichment is a main preoccupation.

The country is so divided almost nothing is done for years.

It desperately needs a big jolt, so shocking it will force people to forget their differences and work together as a nation.

No matter how unfortunate it was, the earthquake played an important role in achieving national unity, albeit briefly.  

It could have given Nepal a chance to become a strong, self-reliant and dignified nation.

Of course, that didn’t happen.

That golden opportunity slipped away and it’s business as usual — squabbling, backbiting, etc.

Dirty politics is back, the media is again brimming with stories of political infighting and nobody talks about the earthquake anymore.

What happened to those big promises? Where have all those donations gone?

Did they go to the victims?

I genuinely don’t think so. I doubt those promises were even meant to be kept in the first place.

Why do I say that?

Simple. Until now, I haven’t seen a single piece of news about the delivery of those pledges and I haven’t heard anything about rebuilding the country.

It’s sad but the Nepali people don’t seem to care. They’re absorbed in their old ways.

I hope they wake up before it’s too late.

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RA

EJ Insight contributor

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