While a generation has grown up to be more peaceful showing concern over issues through Social Media tools, we have yet another group that predominantly believes burning tyres, obstructing roads and bandhs are only the solution. The image below portrays what I am talking about.
The protest above is from Nepal Student Union group against the government’s decision to lend Rs 20 million to the UCPN (Maoist) Everest expedition team that includes Maoists supremo Prachanda’s son – Prakash Dahal.
First let’s dive into the millions worth story!
The Baburam Bhattarai-led cabinet had decided to allocate Rs 20 Million to Mt Everest Expedition team to summit Everest couple of days ago. The decision (as it came from Baburam Bhattarai government that follows strict austerity measures on government spending) was utterly surprising and so was widely criticized and protested. Media and Newspapers in Nepal reported that the decision was carried on after a long pressure from UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to the government. Prachanda should have been suggested to pressurize the government by his Son Prakash Dahal who co-leads the 11 members Everest expedition team i.e. ‘Lumbini-Sagarmatha Peace March’ affiliated to Maoists.
Oh what a misuse of Public funds! The government issues funds just because someone claims they are doing it for peace and constitution? And that to in millions? How appropriate was that is already seen through protests and criticisms all over! But that was another story.
And through those criticisms and protests, here comes another story of Prakash Dahal organizing a press conference and informing that they won’t be accepting aid provided by the government. In a way this refusal from the team indicates that the protests were successful.
Now honestly speaking it’s really tough deciding which kind of protests mostly influenced the team and the government to take their decision back! There were tyre burning rallies from opposition student groups and at same time unlimited discussions on social media networks spread terming the decision ‘heights of nepotism’ and ‘arbitrary use of the treasure’.
As a government that operates mostly on outmoded way, I think it had it’s ears open mostly to those violence carried on by union groups. However trending the issue had been on twitter or Google +, the government should have hardly noticed of!
But then worth mentioning case here would be of Prakash Dahal deactivating his social media channel – Facebook as criticisms and protests rose on his wall significantly. Dahal’s son had to even organize a press conference this time but most of the news in the media related to him, I see are covered from what he has to say on his Facebook. So in a way he is using Facebook as a PR medium and thus in his case most of us would agree that he should have experienced the pressure directly from social channels. Activating his Facebook again to reveal his decision of not taking government’s money further justifies his issue’s interest on Facebook. The Nepali government however will slowly learn the importance of such social channels in future.
Best of Luck to ‘Lumbini-Sagarmatha Peace March‘ that they claim will continue even without the government grant. Hope the team learnt a good lesson even before scaling the highest peak!