Letter from the Front: Youths Creating Action for Peaceful Borders
Using Digital Activism and Social Awareness to Resolve Border Disputes By Abhishek Jha
The atrocious nature of the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948 earned the event the label of ‘Nakba’ or catastrophe from the Palestinians. It marked the beginning of a deep-running ethnic divide that has materialized in the form of a violent border dispute over the decades. Repeated conflicts between the two sides have dashed hopes of a peaceful resolution of the issue. Failed reconciliation efforts marred by bloody violence has caused an ever-increasing rift between people residing in those regions. The increasingly apparent failure of the violent ways of the older generations, however, has prompted the search for an alternative solution. Youths from both sides of the border have launched initiatives, especially on social media, to seek the obstacles in ensuring a peaceful co-existence between the Israelis and Palestinians. Such initiatives have highlighted the isolation from other cultures as a major aggravator of the impact of contentious border issues around the globe. Youths internationally are playing an increasingly crucial role in promoting intercultural dialogue to navigate past the biased media reporting and skewed political narratives that amplify the social impact of border disputes. The success of these efforts has gained traction in recent years, thus putting an increased emphasis on the role of youths in taking meaningful actions for peaceful borders. In this way, youths can circumvent the conventional approach to border disputes by spreading their diverse ideas through social media and unifying their communities to take lasting actions by following political and diplomatic processes.
Social media provides an unparalleled platform for youths to effect the change they want to see in the world. The widespread access to social media unhindered by national and religious boundaries makes it a powerful tool to initiate global conversations. The shackles placed by conflicting states on interregional dialogue breaks down on technological platforms. Along with the resolution of misunderstanding between youths, social networking sites play an important role in spreading political consciousness through the introduction of international ideas and practices. Youths can use social media to create pathways of peace by spreading constructive ideas with others while refraining from spreading hate messages or propaganda. The recent India-Nepal border dispute demonstrated a healthy use of social media from conscious youths to tackle misinformation and further their ideas about the issue. The conscious youths should also ensure a responsible use of social media to tackle the risks posed by a never-ending flow of largely unregulated information in critical situations. Social media acts as an open and uncensored platform for lively online debates where people could express their ideas freely and get constructive feedback from a vast international community. Uniting the diverse ideas under a common umbrella, youths can disseminate information about their situation and their ideas to the international community. The exchange of ideas with the international community fosters healthy dialogue and leads to a mutual solution of the issues.
The contribution of youth in the peacemaking process extends far beyond a peaceful resistance through digital involvement. Youths are responsible for political, social, and economic advancement in their region to tackle border issues innovatively. Technology provides youth with an opportunity to increase their political involvement. Regular access to government activities and independent media coverage leads to greater accountability and the ability to see through political subversions and propaganda. The push for being involved in the decision-making process of the country develops constructive ideas to tackle matters of national interests. Moreover, a refined understanding of the social causes behind conflicts transforms youths into catalysts of social change and protector of human rights of all the parties involved. The social and political advancement of youths yields little gains without the economic progress of the country, however. The diplomatic strength of countries in the international community and bilateral talks is largely determined by the economic might of the country. The India-Nepal border dispute indicates how economic dependence on larger countries brings about a systematized dominance of economically weaker countries. So, the youths need to play a decisive role in effecting economic changes in their countries by building entrepreneurship capacity, improving financial literacy, and enhancing the practical skills of all the citizens in the country. Escaping the clutches of economic and political dependence upon other countries provides equilibrium to the dispute and increases the chances of a mutually agreeable resolution. The social, political, and economic development provides the ability to understand disputes from an independent point of view thus enabling youths to take action for a peaceful solution.
Finally, the fact that violence and war are retrogressive in resolving border disputes is demonstrated by every major border dispute from the ongoing Israel-Palestine and Kashmir issue to the stalled Korean peninsula issue, Crimean annexation issue and the Chinese border conflict with several Southeast Asian countries. Pursuing diplomatic dialogue at the highest levels while maintaining intercultural understanding at the population level is the key to resolving disputes between countries. In these circumstances, youths play a major role in promoting peaceful solutions by fostering intercultural dialogue and ensuring complete accountability from the stakeholders involved. Technological tools have enhanced the ability of youths to effect changes in unity through action plans developed from an independent humanitarian perspective. I believe that ensuring global unity through a peaceful resolution of petty border issues is essential to tackle tangible threats to humanity like the coronavirus pandemic.
A nation without Border By Adity Shah
A nation without border is like a house without walls it collapses and that is what going to happen if Nepalese government and the locals do not unite together getting ash trayed of the thought of being Pahades and Madhesis instead as a bunch of flowers representing a wholesome Nepalese unity.
Youths are not the source of problems
they are the resources needed.
Youths are not expenses;
They are investments. Youths are not just young people
They are people and citizens of the country.
Nepal is a small country in terms of power, especially when we’re surrounded by two powerful nations in the world: India and China. Back in the Sugauli Treaty, Nepal was tricked into handing over its major parts to India and China. In regards to the two beautiful places of the Nepalese territory, Limpuyadhura and Lipulekh which lie in the far-west region of Nepal; especially when the entire world is going through a pandemic situation to fight COVID-19 how shameful was it of India to have completed the construction work in the NEPALESE territory without NEPAL’s concern.
We’re well aware of the news about how India has been aggressively trying to captivate its small, neighboring countries by displacing landmarks and using media to falsely accuse and raise cold wars between its neighboring states. Nepal has constantly been facing major border strikes when trying to defend our own landmark. Recently, India had disclosed its official map that included Kalapani, one of the main territories in the far-western part of Nepal. Nepal had allowed India to settle military campaigns in the border of Kalapani but declaring it its own territory shows the utterly disgusting intentions of India. Border breaching of any country is beyond unacceptable which requires immediate #StateofEmergency. However, the coward government of Nepal was never aware about the construction work in its border which connected China and India straight via Nepal. The government of Nepal may take actions against this but us being the citizens of Nepal must take a step forward in bringing awareness about this ongoing issue. Today they come up with their accusations claiming Kalapani, Limpolekh belongs to them, they’ll soon claim Kumari, our traditional architectures promoting “Visit India” In today’s world, Nepalese especially youths are highly active in social medias and we are capable of pressurizing the government to take STRONG actions. It’s a matter of real concern and all youths have to unite together and together we can deliver the issue to the concerned personnel with excessive media coverage.
In order to maintain peace in the country and handle the situation in much if a diplomatic way, youths have to be careful enough to put every words concerning and not criticizing and intending to disgrace the people of India but should pointed towards the dirty play by the Indian politics and autocratic imperialism. We are not here to criticize any group of people but should keep in mind enact that we are here to get back what is rightfully ours.
The dispute between India-Pakistan for Kashmir led to huge misery of thousands and millions of people residing there. We should keep in mind that war isn’t the ultimate solutions. So, here as a literate citizen and the upgrowing backbone of the country we should actually be handling the situation in much of a matured and peaceful way.
Various sorts of literature, music, art and articles and online dramas could be a great source to convey our message in the international forum. Different sorts of activities can be conducted online in this situation of pandemic so as to let the entire world and specifically the government of India to realize that those lands are rightfully of Nepal. A proper dialog in amicable way and reverentially would be another solution.
However, the major loop could be the difference amongst us as Pahades and Madhesis. So, youngster can play a very significant role in the resolving the scenario. Youngsters firm all caste and creed can step forth to close the gap that has been created because it is high time that we realize now that Madhesis aren’t separate from us but they are a part of our country. Once we unite well not only India, but all the other countries would get a stance in pointing a finger or using in their favor. Henceforth, youths can play a vital role in that context.
Approximately, in the entire world, development processes and all the welfare activities are majorly carried out by the youth, the new generations. Of course, being in the social media platforms, youths being the most active can give a good hand on the situation keeping in mind of the diplomatic and peaceful methodology and not criticizing any group of people.
Yeah talking of the peaceful border, youth so have a major role in convincing the government and if necessary, having them kneeled down as well. So, I’d request the youths of our country to join hand in hand via social media putting in mind the pandemic situation and social distancing and having it is making a real success.
Letter from the Front: Youths creating action for peaceful borders By Jebish Prajapati
One of the fondest memories of school life used to be belting out our national anthem with immense passion and enthusiasm. Every citizen has a sense of pride in their motherland. Love for one’s motherland is one of the most powerful and uplifting feelings. But what sort of action would you take against someone opposing your motherland? The recent actions of our neighbor India may bring some light and justification to this afro mentioned question.
The whole world is going through the darkest of times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nepal too has been deeply affected by this pandemic with rapid increase in number of positive cases with every passing day. Now to add further misery and pain, these recent encroachments of our land by the Indian government can be deemed both cruel and inhumane in equal measure. But the sad part is that India itself has been even more affected by this Covid-19 pandemic with over three thousand deaths. And rather than focusing on controlling the growing pandemic, the priority of Indian government and officials lies elsewhere. Ever since this border encroachment news broke out, one simple yet damning question has been haunting me. Are human lives so cheap and insignificant?
What the Indian government must remember is that thousands of people are losing their lives. Many families from both nations are separated from one other at the border. Each and every day we hear news of hundreds of people crossing borders though dangerous illegal means. These workers who have travelled to their neighboring country just to make their families survive are facing this life and death situation. Are the lives of these people inconsequential? How can any nation prioritize power, control and greed over human health and human life is beyond any justifiable answer. And just for the sake of it Mahatma Gandhi once proclaimed” Earth provides enough to one man’s need, not to every man’s greed”. The current Indian government can learn something from their old man and his principles.
This recent kalapani lipulekh boundary issue has been an age old debate between Nepal and India. It started long way back during the reign of Prithvi Narayan Shah. The then king famously marked Nepal as “Yam between two boulders” referring to China on the north and India (then East India company) to the south. And since then, the kalapani, lipulekh border has been a source of debate among two countries. So it was not surprising that India started the construction of roads in that border region, what surprises the most is the timing of their encroachment since the entire focus of the world has been on this Covid-19 pandemic. And it’s safe to say the comeback by Nepalese government regarding the inclusion of these regions on our newly reformed map is commendable and praiseworthy, which unsurprisingly has been unaccepted by our Indian counterparts.
But the situation regarding this matter is far from clear cut. And with every passing day, the relationship between two nations is becoming even more frail and volatile. The action taken by both the governments fuels more petrol to that burning fire. Before jumping into conclusion and making unjustifiable arguments, we must remember the situation we are in. During times such as these, every co-operation and helping hand helps douse the growing effects of Covid-19 pandemic. As the famous words say “alone you can do so little, together you can do some more”. And what better cooperation there is than between two neighbors of similar heritage and beliefs. Rather than fueling this burning fire, both the governments must co-ordinate with each other to bring their respective citizens back home safely. Saving human lives must be on the forefront of both the government. Only then the faith in humanity can be restored. And what use there is of some land if there is no human population to inhabit it.
Now regarding the solution to this growing conflict among two neighbors, I can firmly say war and violence is not the answer and never will be. India can attest to it due to it’s ongoing war with Pakistan regarding the Kashmir border. Thousands of innocent lives from both the nations would be in grave danger if war and violence is taken as a solution. And it is very common to have misunderstandings between two neighbors. On a personal level, we ourselves have been in various arguments on various subject matters with our neighbors. But having these arguments doesn’t justify you being violent and physical. We live in a society with large neighborhood and the first person who comes to our aid when we are in trouble is none other those same neighbors. And the bond between Nepal and India is much the same. We may have mutual disagreements and misunderstandings but shedding blood and tears because of it can be described as an act of hypocrisy and foolishness. We are very much like two fishes in a same pond. One way or another, both the countries are dependent on each other. Thousands of Nepali soldiers are serving the Indian Army protecting their sovereignty while similarly India is the primary supplier to Nepal for various essential goods and services. In short, one country’s strength becomes another country’s weakness and vice versa.
In today’s generation, social media has as much fire power as any other weapons. Recently, a lot of negative back and forth are taking place between citizens of two countries. As a youth advocating for peace, why not use it as a positive medium. Talking about positive, both nation follow cricket as a religion and why not talk about things both countries love .We youths have a big voice in today’s world and a small positive talk among us may go a long way in bringing this border conflict to a peaceful halt. And to end this letter on a positive note:
Peace has no borders.
An Ordinary Citizen
Letter from the front: Not by gun we revolt: Youth creating action for peaceful borders – By Yagyadi Acharya
Letter from the front: Not by gun we revolt: Youth creating action for peaceful borders – By Yagyadi Acharya
The buzz of nationalism and patriotism is on a rise once more as Indian government inaugurated a road in our disputed area of Kalapani. Time and again Nepal has been a victim of big brother attitude of India which has been unacceptable to citizens mainly youths of the Himalayan nation. Backed by a history and identity of brave Gorkhali Nepalese youths have time and again revolted from streets to social media to ensure national integrity and border security of its motherland.
Time and again we have been a victim of segregation and have been disconnected due to ethnicity, religion, geography political ideology In such circumstances a stab on national integrity by a foreign force is also an opportunity to strengthen our national unity and connection. Protection of national interest against foreign force has been an old subject but changing paradigm shifts manifest it in different feature and character. Whether it be the Ranas, King or the political leaders all have one way or the other compromised on national integrity whether it be national borders rivers, hydropower projects or other national development projects to secure their power and position. Modern twenty first century stands for an era when we can see plenty of international examples of populist leaders using nationalist agendas to justify their anti constitutional acts. Leaders are busy portraying themselves as the biggest nationalist Nepal has ever seen. Our leaders who stood quiet when the encroachment happened or those we were actually a part of this process creating are the ones creating unnecessary buzz and playing a hypocrite game with our innocent feelings. Speeches and tweets on intolerance of border encroachment even by an inch have been used as a political shield to defend their illegitimate and corrupt acts. Major role of youth lies in understanding the intensity and gravity of this conflict and presenting ourselves in a matured way. Sometimes we get easily misled by false news, exaggerated facts and opinions of immature media houses. One area that we youths have been often criticized is that we lack maturity to handle intense issues. Let this conflict be an opportunity where we present our stands in a mature and justifiable way. Let us no way tolerate this misogamy but also understanding that hate speech and discrimination towards a country or a group of people is not the way out.
Currently global state practice is more characterized by diplomatic handling of issues rather than by use of force or coercion. The same goes with us as well. In situation where we share thousands of kilometers of open border, issues with regards to border in various forms arose in the past, is an evolving issue at the present and will continue in the near future as well. Nepal having established itself as peace loving nation enlightened by the glory of Lord Buddha war or any kind of armed conflict should not be an option we should opt for. This is an excellent opportunity for youths to equip our political leaders with diplomacy and negotiation skills and provide them with viable options that Nepal government should explore. Our elected representatives may not be well aware about diplomacy and may lack bargaining capacity but that should no way be the cause for Nepal’s failure to present its claims or stands at the international level.
Bombs and pistols do not make revolution but united thoughts and ideologies do. We cannot just sit back and watch our nation being encroached. As youths we must stand and fight against it, not by guns, not by wars but through peaceful diplomacy. Let us not allow this issue be settled unless a conclusion is reached. Let us constantly remind our representatives that we have elected them to secure our borders and if they fail to do they will get our response through the ballot paper. Let us not be divided by political ideologies and try to protect and cover the past guilty action of a particular political party. This is not the time for internal chaos or division. Let us learn to identify fake populist nationalist and a real patriot. Our stands must be clear; this generation is going to do whatever it takes to protect our borders, peaceful action is our priority our generosity but not be our weakness. If our peaceful negotiation is neglected or unanswered we are ready to raise weapons. As Bhismapitamaha before his death said ‘Nothing is greater than one’s motherland, no duty is more important than protection of national interests. One must do everything and anything to protect its nation’.
Today the world is younger than it has ever been. We have around 1.8 billion young people aged between, 12 to 24 and it’s the largest youth group the world has ever seen. Today’s youths are tomorrow’s leaders and their leadership and participation is extremely important to create positive change in this world. Realizing the importance of young people, United Nations passed a revolution in 1999 to mark August 12 as an International Youth Day. The themes of International Youth Days are connected with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each year this day is celebrated as a small step towards adhering the SDGs. Similarly, this year the theme intends in making education more inclusive and accessible to all youths, a step towards adhering Goal number 4: Quality Education, which focuses on ensuring quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities to all.
International Youth Day 2019: Transforming education:
“With guns you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism”, Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize winner 2014
There is no doubt that education is key and the basis of all other development. When we are celebrating another International Youth Day, still 262 million children and young people aged 6 to 17 are deprived of attending school. Though, transforming education is regarded as giving providing formal and non formal education on sexuality, climate change, peace and security, environmental changes, civil and police participation, in developing countries like Nepal, where there is a huge gap in providing quality education, the access to free education, 2019’s vision looks overwhelming. Here the main challenge for us still remains providing children with quality education where lack of schools, textbooks, and teachers are the major concerns.
The theme, ‘Transforming Education’ also intends in empowering youths at its fullest and going beyond the traditional confined learning methodology. With increasing environmental and social political concerns, a lot is expected from the youth. With expectations comes responsibilities and for youths to be competent enough to fulfill their responsibilities transformation in education and learning process is must. Though the theme is the same around the world, challenges among countries differ. Developed countries might face challenges in updating curriculum, including non formal teaching methodologies while establishing schools in rural areas and providing enough text books and teachers remain the key challenges for developing nations.
Nepalese context and Role of youth organization:
Education in Nepal is still confined to rote learning, under-revised syllabus and limited learning opportunities. With government’s key focus still in establishing schools and appointment of teachers, inclusion of sexual, social and environmental education in the curriculum often goes unnoticed. Government led by communist ideology mentions discouraging private investment in schools and the concept of changing private educational institutions into public in the near future. Though this might help to overcome the disparities between students studying across the nation, quality of education remains the key concern.
Another problem we are facing is youth unemployment and underemployment. Limited opportunities in government sectors and large number of graduates makes it highly difficult to seek jobs and due to this, large section of youths are either unemployed or underemployed. With education transformation, work areas should also be adequately developed to provide employment opportunities to all youths. Here, youth organizations play a vital role in transformation of youths. They give a good platform to tender youths to grow and develop their leadership skills. Youth organization motivates young people to follow their passion and promote experiential learning. Furthermore, when alike minds work together innovative ideas are developed as they have a new way of creating a vision.
Hopefully, when young people in alignment and support of government agencies, participate themselves in the process of transforming education, in coming year’s education can be more inclusive and accessible to all youths across the world and there would be equal opportunities for all.
-Yagyadi Acharya, Member, ‘We’ for Change
Life began like a seed in womb of mother continues till death
May be after death
In someone’s heart, memories
“Life is a continuous process”
Life is light always tries to be bright
May have load shedding
Life is a sky, never definable
Can’t be always clear but have flying bird
Or dark cloud with silver lining
Life just never forgets to amaze us with sadness or with happiness
With fullness or with emptiness,
With brightest smile or with deepest pain
Life is expressible or just not
Life is river which continues to flow where, how don’t know
Life: a non-existing ladder, straight, bent, curved or none
You climb, you go up
If you don’t, you stay down
Life, a flower
Can be picked by anyone
Can be used to decorate
Or to express sympathy
Some say life is money
Either you spend or earn it
Life, a boon or a curse
Life, an existence of living
Life, full of thoughts, full of pain, full of gain, full of sorrow
Life is what you think it is
For me, Life is weather
You predict what it would be
Sometimes it is right, sometimes wrong
You enjoy with pain or gain.
By: Kabita Thapa