It might seem strange that we in Nepal talk so much about peace and are so happy about it when there is no violence (or at least in this case, limited violence), it should be a given in any country. However, in Nepal, this is the only thing that is first and foremost in any Nepali's mind at this time.
So I feel kind of proud that we managed to keep it together, and conduct a pretty rushed up, but well conducted election, relatively peacefully. It is a big achievement. Hopefully the days to come will also see this continuing.
I get asked by everyone I know about what my take is on this elections and what is happening in Nepal... so here I go addressing whatever is on my mind at this point.
1. I keep repeating myself on this one, but it is not strange where Nepal is at this moment. We are a poor nation, and there are serious shortcomings in the infrastructure and environment required for democracy to flourish.
2. Our leaders are not capable. I do not blame them entirely. When one is not capable, how can you blame? They are simply not capable.
3. The people of Nepal are out of choices. The monarchy is out, that is for certain (how it goes out finally will be interesting to see, and I have strong opinions about which way it should go, but that is for another post), the people have seen the shortcomings of the Communists and the problems of the Congress party. Basically, they are fed up with all the options they have and are confused and dejected. So the option is to give the Maoists a chance at rectifying things. So if the Maoists win, I will not be surprised at all...
4. It is probably the best choice in the end. The public is not stupid... once they are in government, they cannot go back to the jungle, that is for sure. Also, if they can prove that they can do a better job than others, good for the country, and they do not, then the public at least gets to choose the best alternative among the "evils" in the next elections. It is a gamble but a worthwhile one.
check for updates on Nepali Times, Himalayan Times and nepalnews
Back to my favourite topic - Tourism.
Chance to see a new country in the making. This constituent assembly is going to write a new constitution for Nepal. That is truly something. Do not miss going to Nepal now, it will be an added bonus to to the sight of Everest, or Annapurna, or a well deserved holiday.
Are you safe? yes, you are! Will there be hindrances to travel? probably, strikes or "bandhs" (as they are called in Nepal) can happen anytime, which can delay travel, and cause a "hassle". Pad your trips and come.
See you in the mountains!