The country is reeling under a spate of bandhs in particularly every nook and corner of the country. The people never had it so bad since after the 2006 People's Movement. There were some who tried to fish in troubled waters and attempted to incite conflict between various ethnic communities which have been living together in social harmony for centuries. They made attempts to do so, but they did not succeed, and in the end better senses prevailed and apart from some sporadic incidents the bandhs that were being held largely passed off peacefully.
Nepal is home to diverse ethnic groups and is multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural. For centuries, they enjoyed bonhomie and the most cordial of relations. This in itself was a unique feature of Nepalese society. Even to this day despite the bandhs and other provocations there is still goodwill existing between the various communities. Therefore, the Nepalese need to be vigilant against those who are bent on creating communal strife. The people understand this and are ever ready to foil the evil designs. One after another bandhs are being held unrelentingly as we are headed for the buildup to May 27, the last date for promulgating the constitution.
Although the future of the country may look bleak at the moment, with a new constitution unlikely to be written by Sunday, goodwill rallies and meetings are being held in various places. This has been done to maintain social harmony. These have sent positive signals. These meetings are opposed to all bandhs no matter by whom they are called and held. These meetings have also served to rebuild the social harmony that is a salient feature of Nepalese society. The rallies and meetings will greatly assist in further strengthening the social bonds between a diverse group of Nepalese people. Let us hope that these meetings and
rallies will receive positive responses with alacrity and more and more Nepalese will participate in them. It is also hoped that the bandh culture will see an end, for bandhs have served to incite social disharmony that could spread rapidly like wildfire doing irreparable damage.
The leaders of the various ethnic groups have a major role in ensuring that activities that fuel violence do not take place and are averted. Since social harmony is a delicate matter, all concerned should be sensitive to it. Ethnic strife would wreck havoc in the country. The leaders of the political parties and ethnic organizations should be well aware of this, so they must carry on displaying outmost tact as is their responsibility. Ethnic strife should not be allowed to happen at all cost. The security agencies also have their role cut of for them in this regard. The security should be tight so as to foil the designs of mischief makers. Sadly, what is now happening in Nepal has never happened before. At all cost remedial measures must be taken to preserve social harmony. This is not only the job of the government but the people must also take part in programmes that intend to maintain the social harmony that the country is well known for intact.
That the pharmacies are running out of essential medicines is a matter of serious concern. Protracted periods of bandhs have also caused shortages of medicines in many places of the country. Since these medicines are life saving transport of such drugs should not be obstructed. The bandhs have virtually paralyzed the entire country. Shortages of medicines for blood pressure and asthma, among others diseases, have been reported. One wonders what will happen if medicines cannot be imported from India soon. It is reported that 70 per cent of the medicines the country needs comes from imports from India. Medicines have not been imported for one week, so unless remedial measures are taken people would suffer for want of medicines and may even lose their lives.
Furthermore, the insecurity of pharmaceutical companies have caused these industries to stop
production or produce below capacity. The stock of medicines is being rapidly depleted in the
capital. The situation is even worse in the far west region of the country that had to face a bandh of more than 20 days. Thus, it behooves on all not to halt the transportation of essential medicines on humanitarian grounds.