an idiot blog for an idiot world

Responsibility

with 2 comments

I *could/can/will
I won’t/can’t
I am

Nothing.

Leave the country, like rats
deserting a sinking ship.

I don’t love my country.
Is that a crime?
Will you beat me for it, hang me for it, hurt my family, my friends for it?
Or denounce me? Hurl insults like rocks, aiming for the spot between my eyes?

Nationalism is a disease, like cancer, like AIDS, like leprosy.
It is used by leaders, to fan the flames of anger, divisiveness, hatred.

I love people.
Not just Nepalis. Americans, Europeans, Latinos, South East Asians, Australians, Africans.
When you look at people, do you see white, black, brown, yellow, red?
When you look at people, do you see Nepali, Indian, American, European, African…?
If racism is being done away with, why not nationalism?

Hold on, hold on,
before you get angry, before you get defensive, let me elucidate:
I have the right to hate my country. You have the right to denounce me for it.
I have the right to leave my country. You have the right to call me a coward.

Whatever I do, I will do to better people.
Not in the name of nationalism, not in the name of Nepal, not in the name of the king/president/prime minister
I read, I write and I learn.
As of now,
in no position to help anyone.
Which is why I’m in New York, New York.
To learn.
And apply that learning.
Be smarter.
I am a realist. A wise Nepali once said, I’m a “short term pessimist, long term optimist.”

If I’m into real estate, I make cheaper economical housing, instead of a gated community.
If I’m a doctor, I travel to remote areas and treat the poor for free, instead of charging an arm and a leg in Kathmandu.
If I’m a lawyer, I fight for those who can’t afford to fight, instead of manipulating the system to give more to those who already have too much.
If I’m a writer, I write about those who don’t have a voice, instead of trying to cash in on tragedies.
If I’m a student, I learn, instead of slaving away in a gas station for money to buy that iPhone.

But, I am me and you are you.
I write stories and poems, you might burn tyres.
We all make our own choices.

But,
listen to Jeal-Paul Sartre:

“Existentialism’s first move is to make every man aware of what he is and to make the full responsibility of his existence rest on him. And when we say that a man is responsible for himself, we do not only mean that he is responsible for his own individuality, but that he is responsible for all men.”

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Written by Pranaya

May 14, 2009 at 1:35 PM

2 Responses

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  1. The issue of nationality is really gnawing at our brains. We seem to think that sitting in Nepal uselesslylike what many young people do is more “patriotic” than going abroad to get educated or gather experience. We think that nationality is about border and “foreign interference”, and forget about all the corruption that Nepalis engage in and the social injustice that happens. Nepalis have long since forgotten the society and the larger humanity. We’re too occupied with the notion of “nationalism” to do anything that will help on a smaller scale.
    And like that “wise Nepali” I am a short-term pessimist, long term optimist too. He’s inspired a lot of us, I guess.

    malika47

    May 15, 2009 at 2:55 AM

  2. Great post.

    Nepali identity as it is interpreted by many is a chimera. It is an illusion created by a fascist system that asked students to write an essay on patriotism in every class and read poems about the supposed great nation in the back cover of every book. It is a result of historical processes and propaganda from various regimes that created nationalist propaganda to suit its own agenda.

    Nepali nationalism revels in glories of the past that were not so glorious. It attempts to find solace in symbols that clearly do not have any relevance to the current problems facing this country but vouching for which can be a way to relieve oneself of true responsibility towards one’s fellow men.

    I love the Sartre quote at the end of your post. The focus of discourse in Nepal needs to shift from the nation to the individual.

    Nishant

    July 4, 2009 at 1:38 AM


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