Seven years have passed since the sovereign people decided to take things in their hands and took to the street to overthrow the feudal monarchy and create a new Nepal with the federal republican system. Things have changed for sure and we are still working toward consolidating the changes brought about by millions of people. However, today, even after seven years of the Jana Andolan, people are yet to experience the drastic changes they had hoped. The people who had fought during the Jana Andolan had given the political parties and their leaders an all important responsibility of building a new Nepal with a guarantee of a new constitution that ensures the devolution of power to the grassroots and create an inclusive and just society in which people from all strata of society enjoy equality and freedom.
Today Nepal and France celebrate the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two ancient and culturally rich countries. Nepal has seen a lot of ups and downs ever since the first Ambassador of France to Nepal Levi Daniel presented his credentials to the then Rana Prime Minister Mohan Shumsher on April 24, 1949.
It can be called a mere coincidence that Jung Bahadur Rana was the first Nepali Prime Minister to pay a visit to France and it was the last Prime Minister of Rana regime who had to welcome the first official Ambassador from France to Nepal; although Levi Daniel was resident ambassador to India.
Tragedy struck again on Everest. Climbing the world’s highest mountain is dangerous as many climbers have lost their lives. And the latest tragedy occurred on Friday when the deadly avalanche killed as many as 13 people and three went missing in the biggest ever disaster on the mountain. As all those dead were the Sherpa climbers, the pall of gloom has fallen over the community. Known world over for their climbing caliber, Sherpa is synonymous to Everest, the nation’s pride. Thus, it is not only Sherpas, but the whole country is saddened by the latest disaster.
It is but natural for the families of those who lost their dear ones to contemplate abandoning the climbing this season. It is up to the climbers and climbing guides to decide. Whether they decide to continue climbing or otherwise, the focus should now be on providing proper compensation to the bereaved families and ensuring further security to Sherpas. From Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, who together with Edmund Hillary reached atop the 8,848 meter high peak in 1953 for the first time, to Apa Sherpa who climbed Everest the maximum number of times, Sherpas have played a pivotal role in putting up Everest climbing in the global map as one of the most adventurous undertakings in the world. This has not only attracted hundreds of climbers every year but also helped in the revenue generation in the country’s tourism sector, one of the mainstays of country’s economy.
Lately, for those interested in media news, our newspapers and other channels are offering rare treats of personalized stories. By design or for mere market value of the hype, a while back, media persons like Vijay Kumar Pandey and Rabindra Mishra were dragged into Dil Shova Shrestha controversy. Then came CK Lal, igniting uproar over his reinterpretation of the origin of Nepali language. And now, we have Kanak Mani Dixit, another well-known media personality, serving as a vortex for our gotcha mentality.
We can read a pattern here. All these people are leaders in their fields, criticized for their perceived misuse of professional influence via their stature in the media. It is normal in our democracy to scrutinize the lives of public figures, and even to bad-mouth them, especially political actors, but the way the focus has shifted to media persons in recent times appears unusual for the sector that has traditionally remained reluctant to discuss its own affairs. Perhaps it is the sign of coming of age of our media and their growing influence that these key messengers have to ultimately stand trial to public opinion.