Freedom as beautiful as it sounds, it’s equally a terrifying thing for some people because freedom leads to a free society. In free society, your gain and loss is determined by your core competency. You need to earn things to get them. You need to prove yourself to claim to be worthy for something. You can’t inherit anything showing your group affiliation or historical background. Free society is a very individualistic world where sky is the limit for competent ones and misery is the destiny for incompetent ones.
Our society had never been a free society. It’s a close society. Historically, privileges were decided per caste and creed and their group affiliation. The society was communal by culture. Community would come before individuals. What is good for community would matter the most than individual preferences and happiness. Community was governed by handful of individuals who would decide what is best for rest. Those who would not follow the command and expectations of the community would be outcast from the community. So, what would be the basis to select someone as a leader to decide what is best for rest? It was not based on personal qualification and competencies but rather his last name or preferences of Kings and Ranas. Many 100 of years of this practices had cultivated culture of “bade log” “bada hakim” “thulo manche.” You were not supposed to question them, but just quietly follow their instruction or get outcasted from society and even country.
What happens when incompetent people get to higher position through entitlement? They like to avoid tough questions, they hate criticism. They think themselves superior to others and they don’t like to deal much with people subordinate to them.
This attitude is still reflected in our house, in our society, in our work place. Because it’s a culture. Listen to what dad says or get out of house. Listen to what your elders say or be termed as rude, arrogant, uncultured. Society is not an entity but a group of people. Most of the people from our society hold that attitude. Some of them may be running a company, some of them may be running a political party, some of them may be director in a government body, and some of them may be in cabinet running this country. They may be walking around like a modern human, living a modern life with modern amenities, but their brain is wired in close society attitude. They live and breathe with a sense of entitlement. They think they are privileged. They don’t like to be questioned, they don’t like to be criticised. They don’t like to prove their competencies to get into a position. They just get their as entitled one.
This culture exists in our politics as well. After all, all those politicians are a product of this society. Look at those ministers from Maoist quota, look at their sons and daughters, they act like they are entitled to the special privilege for their past. Before Maoist, congress and UML were acting like that. This is not what you get to see in western world. Because, they principally believe in open society and culture of earning over entitlement.
What happens when incompetent people get to higher position through entitlement? They like to avoid tough questions, they hate criticism. They think themselves superior to others and they don’t like to deal much with people subordinate to them. They like things to go as it goes in “Guthi.” In the name of law and order, they come up with rules to safeguard them. They do everything possible to not entertain freedom of expression and discourse. There are N numbers of people who are cultured in close society and believe that’s how it should be, so such actions of them won’t be taken as inappropriate. And rather, people who act like in open and free society, will be termed as “unsocial,” “wild,” “unmannered.”
That’s Nepal we are living in. If you believe that you need to earn every position, every respect, every opportunity; if you believe that if you are incompetent, you don’t deserve any position regardless of your sacrifice in past; if you believe that individual happiness and liberty comes above all, then sorry to say that you are a minority, being ruled by government of majority that believes in entitlement, collectivism over individualism. So, now your choice is — either fight for the freedom and free society or compromise and succumb to close society. Some choose to fight, some choose to surrender, and some choose to escape to free society.
I am choosing to fight. How about you?
Story behind my obsession
In the year 2014-2015, in a quiet night at Bangalore, I came up with the idea of Kaagmandu Magazine, a Facebook page to tell what goes in and around as a messenger that should matter to like minded. Kaag = Crow = The messenger. I must say it was a vague idea with no definitive plan or purpose but its the result of a battle I had been fighting for long, in search of answers, in search of identity, that I had no idea then but I was anyway determined to walk the road towards unknown.
I would call that an unplanned sex but with a determination to take a chance. Idea was the sperm with no guarantee of turning into an embryo but got ejaculated anyway inside the womb of my unseen future.
Then happened the earthquake, the constitutional saga, the political turmoil from Madhes andolan to Tikapur and lot more of shit. I was shocked to realize then that people from Nepal had no idea about any political agenda – why constitution, what is federalism, the theory of inclusiveness, why secularism despite country being in the process of modernizing through new political paradigm for which a decade had passed. Political parties, leaders and nor the media had played any role in educating and informing people on what they up to and why needed, making people clueless on almost everything.
How could you build a New Nepal when people residing themselves have no idea why it’s needed in first place. This was like a moment of finding purpose of my life and the purpose is to create an informed society that media then, intellectual circles then, political class failed to do. That’s when Kaagmandu Magazine turned into a facebook page to share political opinion based on liberalism and modern democratic values. That got us lots of attention from intellects and educated youths.
By this time, I had studied a lot on why nation fails, why some countries are rich and some are poor, how western society had become so developed and superior to eastern, especial south asian societies. Also, I was a regular subscriber of Times of India and was always fascinated by what all media could do and what all had been missing in Nepali media.
All these realizations of problems and needs pushed me to develop an idea of building a media company that would play the role in informing and shaping people and their opinions and views and create a collective consciousness, like how media from developed countries do. To validate my thought, I came across an article that convinced me that why it’s very important for a group of people to believe and act with certain uniformity to avoid sluggishness in decision making and also to avoid conflicts.
However, until then I was nothing but a guy with dream and determination who is yet to face the the challenges to turn his dream into a reality. Honestly speaking, until this point, I had totally overlooked financial challenges to execute my plan and I thought I would somehow do everything i wish to. And I naively registered a media company quitting my job without any financial plan and needed funds. I quit my job on the same date Nepal got its new constitution.
I had somewhere 10 thousands followers during this time but the page was very popular already. I started giving my full time, bombarding with my point of views on every context and issues, provoking people to think, argue, debate. Without my knowledge, i was already turning into an opinion leader through the page, I didn’t realize. As I realized I could influence people’s thoughts and opinions, I felt like being more responsible and slow down. By this time, I had already earned 50K followers. Until this time, I was in India and I decided to get back to country to learn and observe this country from ground, instead of speaking, listen more, give opportunity for all to share their point of views and knowledge. That’s how Kmag turned from a personal blog to a platform.
Three years passed by since, I invested my time more into learning, studying, understanding on everything that should matter to me to turn my idea into a business, and also to retain my brand and audience. Hundreds of questions, experiments, research; personal networks and meet ups gave me a pretty clear idea on how should I go further with my business plan. And, I came up with mission and vision for my media company
- To create an informed society.
- To support and promote local businesses and activities.
- To connect and unite progressive minds.
To become a responsible media, trusted by all, followed by all; known for its contributions in making a better world.
So to sum up,
- My obsession towards building a media company was a result of ignorance prevailing in this country because of which I had suffered, many had suffered and to put an end to it, this country needs a media that works as a messenger, works as a teacher, works as a leader teaching, mentoring, guiding people on everything that should matter to them in a language and style they understand.
- Media has a power to inspire, motivate, influence mass towards a desired state, which mainstream media has been so far failing to by limited themselves into self-serving interests and Nepalese audience desperately need the kind of media that they can look up to, listen to and regard, that covers everything that should matter to them and not just political stuffs.
- Nepal to develop and prosper, it must take a progressive attitude collectively and media has a power to engineer collective consciousness.
- There are many creative people and intellects but scattered around and need to bring them together to march towards the missions for greater impact for greater good and only media can incorporate all kinds of talents in one place.
- Enterprises from Nepal have so far never been to global front and with the kind of media, I could create a global brand locally that we all can be proud of.
That’s the envisioned media company I am working on and will keep trying to create one until my last breath. Kaagmandu Magazine is just a name to start with, to learn, to understand, to gather, and to pave the path towards the envisioned company. I am simply a man who has found a purpose of living, purpose of getting up everyday and keep pushing, and never give up on dream, because nothing is beautiful than to know what you want from life, not for your materialistic need but for greater good in entrepreneurial way.
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My Envisioned Kmag
Lockdown and death of my romanticism
We humans are designed to be connected by senses and not by wires. Digital world minus the worldly experience is a ventilator life.
For a long time, I thought Internet is all we need and Internet is the future. I naively thought that all I need is internet and I need no body to live this one life. Virtual world, digital mode, online friends, theater, restaurants, library, anything and everything in it, and I thought this is how world gonna be – everything inside a screen – and humans can happily live in forever. Then happened the lockdown which burst the bubble I was romanticizing. BOOM!
This is when I realized the true nature of humans and how flawed digital world is to address that core nature of human minds. I realized what matters the most to a human is experience. We are born here to experience every little thing and thus means matter even if the end is the desired one. It’s not what we get but how we get matters the most. We don’t go to Bhatbhitini just to buy our needs, we go there to experience the shopping, to catch some fresh air. We don’t go to office because we could not work from home. The eye contacts with colleagues, the tea break, the vibe, the boss, the routine, pleasant or unpleasant experience, all that matters. I can join distance learning but degree is not enough for this life which is to die. I want to have that falling-in-love experience, I want to laugh with fellow humans of my age and timeline. The real life experience that a physical college can offer me can never be offered by “online college.”
The other day, I was watching an event hosted online. It was like a panel discussion and watching that, I realized how bland it tastes in compare to attending the similar event in real world. Thanks to all the artists going live, singing for people, but it felt nothing like watching them live in gigs and concerts. Because there lacked the experience that my human mind longs for.
Home is a best place to be in indeed but now I feel it’s best because we have the outside world. Parents, children, spouse they mean world to us because they are the pillow to rest after all day out. All that essence, beauty, feel will die off the moment our outside world is dead, our all-day-out routine is gone.
Now, I strongly feel humans didn’t leave Africa for mere survival. They left for experience. All our cultures, trends and institutions are born out of our desire to experience and explore beyond our mundane routine and concepts. I now believe that end does not justify means if the means serve no purpose of experiencing the tangible world through our senses. Of course, everything is perception and the hormonal signals in our brain but whatsoever, a pill that can release dopamine can never give us the Bungee experience.
Thank Universe the lockdown happened. For me, the romanticism of the digital world has ended here with this reality bite. Digital world of course holds a greater significance and will be and should be there but it’s a mere tool and not a life itself. Life is in ground, is among walking and breathing people, is in bricks and stones, that my nose can smell, my skin can feel, my ears can hear, and eyes can see, not through screen but around in real world. We humans are designed to be connected by senses and not by wires. Digital world minus the worldly experience is a ventilator life.
Can’t wait for this lockdown to get over and chase the worldly experience I am born to feel before I die.
Open Letter to Rabindra Mishra
Dear Rabindra Mishra,
I don’t know from where to start. When you first announced your dream to establish an alternative party, I was super excited. I even openly showed my support with high hope and huge expectation but then things didn’t turn as I wished, but still I had not lost hope. Somewhere deep inside, I had the feeling that you would figure out and sort out everything and shine but then after your recent party manifesto advocating for referendum on secularism and federalism, with heavy heart I am giving up on you. However, I feel like you seem to be bit confused and clueless on almost everything related to country and politics, and thus writing this open letter so that I could be of some help before we depart.
Let’s start from secularism, what is the idea behind and why it’s necessary in first place.
Secularism first appeared in the West in the classical philosophy and politics of ancient Greece, disappeared for a time after the fall of Greece, but resurfaced after a millennium and a half in the Renaissance and the Reformation. The departure from reliance on religious faith to reason and science marks the beginning of the secularization of education and society in history. Among the earliest documentations of a secular form of thought is seen in the Charvaka system of philosophy in India, which held direct perception, empiricism, and conditional inference as proper sources of knowledge, and sought to reject the prevailing religious practices of that time. Source: Wikipedia.
So secularism isn’t really “western agenda.” Though, it was later elaborated by western thinkers:
An increasing confidence in human capabilities, reason, and progress, that emerged during the Italian Renaissance, together with an increasing distrust in organized and state supported religion during the Reformation, was responsible for the ushering of modernity during the Enlightenment, which brought all facets of human life including religion under the purview of reason and thus became responsible for the freeing of education, society, and state from the domination of religion; in other words, the development of modern secularism.
Let me explain you what does that mean.
As human society evolved and progressed, people strongly started believing that a society should be guided more by reasoning and evidence-based arguments and not based on faith alone. Religion on other side is purely faith-based…said so on Bible, so it must be this way. Said so on Geeta, so must be this way, said so by Prophet, so it must be this way. People then strongly felt doctrine and religion are nothing but human made concept based on faith and lacks reasoning and evidence and a state should not fall into those faith-based arguments and rather should go with reasoning-based arguments; laws and polices to be made based on reasoning and evidence-backed ideas and concepts. Instead of based on religions sentiments and doctrines aspiration, state should be governed by intellectual thoughts and ideas and beliefs rooted to reasoning and science and facts and figures.
For such thing to happen, a country should first of all level up itself above religion. It should separate itself from any religion and function independently based on reasoning, rationality and facts.
That is what secularism is all about.
Secularism is a path to take a country towards science, reasoning, facts, where religion becomes private affairs and everyone is free to practice what they believe in but state does not get involved protecting any specific religion or religious community. State, instead of protecting and promoting, religious ideas and sentiments, focuses more on reasoning and evidence based ideas and policies.
Take a deep breath and ask yourself, what is wrong in that? Call for a meeting and brainstorm, what is wrong in that??
Now, understand this also — Tyranny of Majority.
The tyranny of the majority (or tyranny of the masses) is an inherent weakness to majority rule in which the majority of an electorate pursues exclusively its own interests at the expense of those in the minority. John Stuart Mill, a philosopher from 18th century, while promoting democratic ideas, argued on the weakness of democracy if it follows rule of majority. You can read his book On Liberty.
Reason why the representative democracy instead of direct democracy.
Mass cannot be always right, so democracy should be a rule of representatives who through vigorous debates and dialogues will decide what is good for all without suppressing minorities and their rights and sentiments.
Going back to the secularism. Of course, majority will like the idea of Hindu State since they are deeply connected with, so obviously if referendum is done, the idea will win, but mass cannot be always right since everybody don’t know how reasoning-based society is important over faith-based society. Humans are mostly guided by sentiments and emotions and referendum on Secularism for Nepal with 80% Hindu, will lose for sure unless mass has understood the core purpose and philosophy of why secularism instead of religious state.
Think, how genius and wise would it be to go for referendum?
Now also understand this — Liberal Democracy.
Liberal democracy is a liberal political ideology and a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of classical liberalism. It is characterised by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, a market economy with private property and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either codified, (such as in the United States of America), or uncodified, (such as in the United Kingdom) to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. After a period of sustained expansion throughout the 20th century, liberal democracy became the predominant political system in the world. Source: Wikipedia
Liberal democracy is also called western democracy.
So tell me which part of the western democracy you don’t like?
- Elections between multiple distinct political parties.
- A separation of powers into different branches of government.
- The rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society.
- A market economy with private property.
- The equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people.
Yes sir, the modern democratic world is pretty much influenced and blueprinted by “Westerners,” so it’s an open truth that all those ideas are borrowed and “imported.” So unless, you can come up with your own political philosophies and ideas, you are pretty much following the westerners idea of democracy and institution.
That’s where federalism got in as well. I don’t want to get there in this open letter, because I believe you are capable to self study and research on your own with the help of Internet.
Sir, you clearly lack fundamental understanding on modern politics, political philosophies. I strongly suggest you to read as many books as possible from thinkers from Enlightenment Era; go through each wikipedia articles on related topics and understand history and context. Get some mentors to teach you on these fundamentals before you even call yourself a leader. Ignorance is a choice made in modern world.
Last but not the least, don’t see world as east and west. Irrespective of geographies, we all are humans first and whatever seems promising and convincing gets spread out. That’s how humanity has been in existence for many thousands of years. Be proud of the collective wisdom and knowledge disseminating across the earth like one big family for greater good, for freedom, liberty, and individual rights and happiness, rising above faith, religion, caste and creed to science, reasoning, facts and rationality.
Ra jada jadai, say my hi to the muslim guy from your party, who is giving his time and effort to make his political career through your party. Don’t advocate for Tyranny of Majority or else you are betraying his loyalty and aspiration. At this point, I am feeling bad for him.
Your lost supporter
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- Story behind my obsession April 11, 2020
- Lockdown and death of my romanticism April 1, 2020
- Open Letter to Rabindra Mishra March 2, 2020
- Senti-mental approach to drive; political theme lags to slay virus February 22, 2020
- Dibesh Pokharel, his youtube world, long before the Audition February 17, 2020