As if Facebook didn’t have enough already, columnist C K Lal too joined the ever-growing list of haters. He is dragging Twitter along too.
Nepali youth, realizing the reach and impact of social and citizen media since the Arab spring, organized a rally demanding that the constitution be drafted by the May 28th deadline. Much was made of this “Facebook revolt”. Some saw this as a positive sign-country’s youth taking part in civic activism and taking a step towards fulfilling their duty as citizens; while the old guard has lost serious sleep over this “impeding take over by the tech yuppies and twitter elite”.
C K Lal exhibited his lack of rest when he audaciously branded the young protesters as uppity know nothings because they are fashionably dressed, have access to new technology and thus don’t deserve to care about their country.
“It was a motley crowd of about hundred to two hundred youngsters. Most of them were in trendy slacks and t-shirts. One demonstrator had made up his hairs to resemble the famed mane of late-lamented Satya Sai Baba (May his soul rest in peace) and apparently did not believe in shouting slogans. Cheerleaders of the rally appeared to be mostly UML-types: The kind who are protected and patronized by Chakre Milan and Dinesh Adhikari Chari, the Marxist-Leninist strongmen of Kathmandu valley. ”
Lal’s distasteful dislike of the “twitter elite” and “Facebooking menace” stems from a flawed understanding that a country like Nepal-where majority are uneducated and economically disadvantaged, should not listen to the few who are not like the majority. These minorities with their education, access to resources and a different world view are should be shunned from public life and never be allowed to influence national policy and debate.This brand of patriotism-the rustic-otism, where the great unwashed masses are glorified but the same dignity is not offered to those made mistake of working hard and making a better life for themselves, is basically a call to wilderness.
I wonder if Lal seriously believes that keeping the mass technologically deprived and backward, as a way of preserving majority interests, can actually serve the country. What he is championing essentially boils down to simple fact that educated, aware and tech savvy Nepalis are basically too Western to care for the country and are thus un-patriotic.
Come ye, let us shun education, progress, technology and let us stay disadvantaged. This is C K Lal’s war cry and because his brand of rustic-otism appeals to the majority, he gets away by equating the youth who organized the rally through Facebook with feared goons like Charke Milan and Chari.
Who else can put forward a baseless accusation in the national media and get away scott free? People like C K Lal, the old guard, who are frankly the intellectual elite of Nepal.
There is no “twitter elite” in Nepal, there are too few active Twitter users to actually have an “elite” influence; but there is elitism fostered by like of C K Lal who have taken upon themselves to be the nation’s “conscience guard” and keep the rustic brand patriotism true to its flawed roots.
If C K Lal is serious about cutting out elitism , he should start with himself. Stay off the laptop-sorry, the type writer for few days and let the youngsters organize.