--BY MADAN LAMSAL
It’s strange but true. The victory of Donald Trump in the recently-held US elections raised a big ruckus in Nepal. This could be perhaps because we Nepalis are more concerned about what happens in a foreign land than what happens in our own homeland. We all know that when the Twin Towers in the US collapsed on 9/11, the whole world was shaken. Now, the declaration of Trump’s victory on 11/9 has raised a rumpus in the whole world.
It is an interesting coincidence that when the US was counting votes, India was counting bank notes! When Trump who has got married thrice was trying to enter White House in the US, Modi who is separated from his wife was busy in the management of Indian currency in India. Was this just a coincidence or something executed as per a plan? We have heard Trump praising Modi. Moreover, both are staunch opponents of Muslims.
Whatever! We know that both Trump and Modi sent shockwaves across the world. Though Nepal might not be affected that much because of Trump, most of the world will. Similarly, Modi’s decision on the Indian currency of Rs 500 and 1000 denominations, might not affect the world that much, but Nepal surely is affected. Hundreds of thousands of Nepalis working in India are going to face problems in sending cash back to their homes.
Apart from that, there are many businessmen in Nepal who are compelled to use both black and white Indian currency. On top of that, there are many in Nepal who cover themselves with an umbrella when it rains in Delhi! So, who knows if our Prime Minister, too, would declare a ban on Nepali currency of Rs 500 and 1000 denominations? Like he declared a public holiday all of a sudden when the Indian President visited Nepal recently!
Whatever he does, one thing is for sure: Modi’s decision is going to make things very difficult for many Nepali businessmen. The issue of Indian Currency is a complicated one. But the Americans, who were expected to take their cue from Nepal and elect a woman president, betrayed us. Had Hillary won, she would certainly come to Nepal to meet Charimaya, if not for other things. But Hillary was defeated and Trump won. Now, will the leaders of women’s movement in Nepal take a delegation to the US to protest against the Americans who failed to respect a woman?
Let bygones be bygone. There are people in Nepal who are happy for Trump's victory specially our government officials as well students. They are eagerly waiting for a holiday when Trump comes for a Nepal visit.
We must appreciate Trump’s nationalistic policy. Perhaps this is why Trump won the elections. And we too have many nationalists in the country. Now, as he promised earlier, Trump will build an impenetrable physical wall along the US-Mexico border at the expense of Mexico. Similarly, he could now force the European countries to pay more for NATO’s budget. Likewise, he could expel the immigrants from the US. Some of us may doubt on it, as Trump has now started softening and modifying those statements he was making in the run up for the election. However, even if he walks his talks, it is not going to make a huge difference for us.
Because, maybe Trump doesn’t even know that there exists a country named Nepal in the first place. Second, the US cannot function without the immigrants. Therefore, Trump will not be able to stop the DV programme. That means all our young and energetic people with potentials would continue to migrate to the US. If Lal Babu Pandit couldn’t stop Nepalis from migrating to the US, who could do that now? Therefore, the Nepal need not fear Trump.
Instead, we should start asking ourselves if is time for a Nepali leader, who is nationalist like Trump and Modi, to emerge. Had KP Oli still been Nepal’s Prime Minister, the three – Trump, Oli and Modi – would make an interesting triad! Oli, too, was a nationalist like Trump and Modi. So, maybe Oli would build a wall along the Indo-Nepal border like Trump who has announced to build a physical wall along the US-Mexico border. That too, at India’s expense! If that would be the case, India couldn’t blame Nepal for infiltration of terrorists or illegal smuggling of Indian currency. Maybe then Nepal would be free from the influence of two types of IC, means Indian currency and Indian citizens, the main complaint the Nepali pure nationalists have been making.