A Think Tank for Nepal

Biplav Pradhan, Sailesh Dhungana are working on developing a Nepali Think Tank.Positive initiative and also much need for the country. Think Tank culture is much criticized in the US for being bunch of talking heads with ideological talking points but for Nepal, I believe, a politically independent thinking entity is much-needed and could be developed as a fertile ground for innovative and progressive thinking. With progressive I mean wanting progress and not to a “liberal” tilt.

They have posted a first draft of the proposal here.

“It appears essentially urgent to unite all the university trained Nepalis to brainstorm on the future of Nepal. We are increasingly worried about the ongoing crisis particularly in politics, economics, and public administration. The future of country is uncertain and unpredictable, keeping at stake the future of hundreds of thousands of students. Mired in dirty politics, corrupt bureaucracy, impunity, and Asia’s lowest per capita income and highest income inequality, the country has stopped moving forward, with no significant progress in areas April movement of 2006 hoped for. At this historical juncture the country is passing through, it is of utmost importance to work together for common good.”

Good premise to start the Think Tank. The educated and the informed do carry a greater burden for the country, especially in developing societies like Nepal, because very often education and information equals more access and resources.It is the rightful thing for the haves to then work for the greater common good.

Biplav, who worked on this first draft, also points to the growing social media backed activism phenomena in Nepal. But the seeming negative tone could under cut the Think Tank’s appeal to the young people who are so much into this new wave.

“WHAT we will NOT do –

We will NOT do any kind of protests, either silent demonstration or noisy protests- blaming at politicians.

We will NOT try to be media icons. We will keep low profile till we complete our first mission (as stated in plans 2013).

We will NOT create a Facebook page virtually to get so many likes from internet elites.”

It is courageous to say that the Tank members will not seek media attention. I mean how many Nepali leaders-political and civil society, have we seen who shamelessly prostrate themselves to the media lords just for coverage. Equating media appearances and “popularity” with success is a disease and a young organization should avoid. But, it is much better to emphasize the positive side of your message than go on attack mode. My suggestion is that instead of a section on what they will not do, the Think Tank should emphasize what they will do in this age of media gorging and social media activism.

I am eagerly waiting for the second draft and quite certain that the discussion generated will help bring out a more refined and more specific position. My congratulations to the team involved!

Names have been removed at request.

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