KATHMANDU: Ranju Darshana has become the talk of the town in recent times. Her mayoral race in the Kathmandu Metropolitan City in the recently concluded first phase of local level elections on May 14 has made her popular among Nepalis at home and abroad. The unexpectedly high number of votes she got in the election, to some extent, indicates that people especially youths are seeking for an alternative force to traditional political parties. (Darshana of the Bibekshil Nepali Party polled 23,439 votes and came in the third position while Bidya Sundar Shakya of the CPN (UML) got elected as the mayor with 64,913 votes. Similarly, Raju Raj Joshi of the Nepali Congress got 45,269 votes.)
Moreover, her coming forward to vie in the elections as a young candidate at 21 has served as an encouraging move for people especially youths who have lately reportedly lost their faith in politics.
There have always been increasing complaints that our political system is so messed up that youths have reportedly lost their faith in it. Thriving corruption and power play are commonplace, thus affecting development and prosperity of the country. Bar student unions leaders and their cadres, a large chunk of youths do not want to talk about politics. They call it a dirty game and always want to run away from it. Of late, one of the best ways of getting away with problems in Nepal is for youths to go abroad for higher studies and work.
Walk down the streets of Putalisadak, you will see many consultancies clustered offering to send students abroad for higher studies. Scores of Nepali youths are going abroad for higher studies on a daily basis. And what is appealing however is that only a few of them return home after completion of their studies. So the scenario is that none knows when the trend end.
What has been driving youths out of country?
Unemployment and a lack of better future have always haunted youths in the country. Long political instability and a lack of opportunities for their better future have always taken over. So they are always in hurry to fly abroad for higher studies or work. They have been complaining that there is not an opportunity for promising future assets of the country to flourish and sharpen their skills, something valued and recognised abroad.
Prakash Rijal from Panchthar district, who works at an IT company in the Virginia state of the United States of American for the past 11 years said he does not wish to return to Nepal at least for recent years and pursue his profession here. He said a lack of opportunity and apathy of the government to support and encourage promising talents of the country has always been a matter of concern. His statement seems true if we take the case of Magsaysay award winner Mahabir Pun. Government’s apathy to lend financial support to Pun to operate the National Innovation Center set up to tap into ‘the talent and creativity of innovative people and scientists in Nepal’ is apparent how Nepal’s governments are not serious to encourage and support talents of the country.
This is just one example in point. Many talents and future assets of the country are either living idle without opportunity or heading abroad with their backpack in search of better opportunity.
It is not that political leaders are not aware of such situation. They have been stressing the need for creating conducive environment for Nepal’s talents contributing abroad to return to Nepal and utilise their skills. Their talks are always taking a back seat however.
Youths are assets of the country
Youths have always contributed in every aspect of the affairs of the country, be it during people’s movements or any other situations like natural disasters. During every people’s movements like in 2007 B.S., 2067 B.S., 2062\63 B.S. and any political change, youths have always been on the forefront. And their contribution has helped change the political course for the betterment. Take the example of the immense contribution of youths during the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015. Approximately 50,000 youths were volunteered during the rescue operation and relief distributions in Kathmandu valley alone. Their participation during such movements always deserve better.
They have also made contribution of sending about Rs 700 billion as remittances last fiscal year that accounts for 30 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of Nepal.
Not only that their voices in the form of ballot takes a greater say in forming or changing power as According to Nepal’s National Youth Policy, approximately 20.8 percent of the total population of the country falls under the age group 16-25 years while 40.68 percent of the population lies in the age group 16-40.
However, the question always remains why the youths are not always given proper priority. Why they are not given chance to serve people and youths like themselves.
Darshana an ideal figure among youths
Darshana has started a movement to have voices of youths heard at large and give opportunity promising future assets of the country to flourish in the country so that the country will tap into expertise and skills they have had. One youth can better understand the aspiration or plights of another youth. So Darshana is the best choice to encourage youths to involve in and understand politics and clear up political mess. As politics is related to every aspect of people including country’s development and prosperity, for the development and prosperity of the country it is essential to tidy up the political mess.