In protest of protests!

(c) Bikash Karki

PHOTO BY BIKASH KARKI

The political interests, and egos, that result in protests on various – most of the times either unnecessary or on absurd issues – is doing nothing good to the nation and us – the citizens.

Yet, the political parties, their sister organizations, and others continue protests. Protests are necessary at times – when the state leaves no other options – but the aching fact of protests in my country is: they begin with blocking traffic.

Citizens, as if we are thought as, face problems; everybody knew it. Closing down schools and colleges is no way good as the children are stranded – most of the times outside their school gates.

Whenever we studied about rights, we always read that while exercising rights, we should also ensure that we are not violating other’s rights. But that does not count during protest. (So I thought maybe we are not citizens after all).

For the protest organizers, protests are wars and everything is fair in war and love, isn’t it?

A lot of such protests are absurd because there are not even demands. There are people who simply enjoys troubling others [the locals blocking road because the driver ran away after hitting a boy; the college students blocking the road for their friend was found dead; and most weird of all, a family blocking a highway for their daughter ran away – all is true stories from Nepal].

At newspaper office, every now and then, the suggestion on putting a separate column for protests/blockade spring up – more in disagreement with it than for humor.

While trying to remember things to write in protest of protests, my heart aches and I know everybody – leaving a few heartless politicians and others – same happens.

So until when are we, the citizens of Nepal, supposed to suffer? Until when, are we going to tolerate? Until when, are political interests playing on our emotions and rights?

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Daman, I’ll come again!

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At 2322m, atop of a hill on the old Tribhuvan Highway, 80km from Kathmandu through winding/old/narrow road, Daman has nothing much if you do not stop. It could pass without you even noticing if you happen to be in the one of very few vehicles that plies on the almost forgotten highway.

But, if somehow you spend a few minutes looking around; you will fall in love with it.

I spent a weekend there with a few of friends and family members: the choice of time was not very good as there was only a glimpse of Himalaya peaks. But nevertheless, the journey was a worthy for without the white peaks too, the green hills were majestic.

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The greenery and wavy landscape, with a few groups of houses afar and clouds moving all over and fogs convering everything now and then provided us a beautiful view from a View Tower at the View Tower Daman Resort: a budget place to spend a night (Rs. 1,000 for a room with attached bath /Rs. 600 for without attached bath with 33 per cent discount/no AC). The manager told me that the tower, with a eating space plus viewing space, was build 53 years ago.

If I had been there in season/got the clear weather, I would have seen mountains peaks on three side, from Annapurnas and Machhapuchhre on west to Mt Everest on east along with all peaks of northern side. The Lonely Planet Nepal says it’s arguably the best place to view of Himalayas: wow!

There is also a short hiking on offer. We walked some distance on road to a cemented gate to the temple of Risheshwor Mahadev. Thirty-minutes of moderate jungle walk brought us to a peaceful place [the temple is combination of natural big stones but considered holy].

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On the way, seeing a small water fall, three of us deviated from the normal route to take photos; and on the way back, I slipped off a stone and fell into a small pool of water injuring my left knee. Lesson learned: never deviate from normal hiking route.

60 kilometers from there is Hetauda which is two-hour away from Sauraha, the tourist point of famous Chitwan National Park. If we had time, we would have gone there but we had to return through the same windy road with majestic views of habitats and slopes of hills.

Just as we left, I thought: I will come there again in September/October to view all the white peaks; to absorb the pious of Daman.

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