Monday, April 4, 2011

An uncertain future

Anik Yadav

What would you choose if you were given an option between a Harvard degree and a wasted life in any third world country? The former would certainly prove useful and esteemed in today’s society. But the price that a nation pays due to the brain drain cannot be compensated. Nonetheless, the reason why we all assume the latter one a wasted is obvious.

In Nepal’s context, only children with robust economic backgrounds get the opportunity to attain quality education—the lucky ones. But their admission to good schools doesn’t guarantee success. Many spoil either their academics or themselves, lots get lost in the run and meanwhile the rest hover under the poverty line. Others who aim higher and defy all limitations opt for foreign degrees. So how correct are we in deciding our future? And how fair are we to our nation?

Students of every batch must have written paragraphs full of clichés about their love for their country and scored a ten out of ten. But this happens only in high school exam papers. Patriotism is required in real life, not only in written essays. It is required, to some extent, in order to preserve our culture, language and nationality. But the dire need the country currently faces are those of the youth and their

innovations. It is at this point where patriotism must shine. However foreign certificates still weigh more than any from national universities. With intelligent brains allured abroad and talents gone, our nation incurs a huge loss.

Imagine a country gifted with tons of natural resources that others crave—the prospect of development higher than that of any conglomerate. Yet rank wise, it stands last in line. The leaders change as frequently as clothes, plans never turn into programmes, the budget hardly reaches its specified target and infrastructure is outmoded before their construction is completed. I know that every cloud has its silver lining but the grieved dark cloud we are imagining doesn’t. Instead it is known as a well established manpower exporting giant.

When I was 10, unaware of the politics around me, optimistic thoughts often came to my mind. I then wanted to be a doctor and serve the nation. Doctors were always taken as reputed and responsible citizens from the juvenile viewpoint of my childhood days. Later the nation was plagued with another disease called load shedding. So I made my mind to work as a hydro-electric engineer and relieve everyone of the national affliction. Now I see daily political turmoil and the nation in limbo. Within those years, all that changed is the name of the government offices, national anthem and holidays. Of course, the price of petroleum has soared, inflation has skyrocketed, electricity has

diminished and we moved into the afterlife of the constitution drafting timeline. Except these, the conditions are still the same as they were when I wanted to become a doctor. Now all that’s left is price hike in electricity and a whooping 24 hours a day of power outages. The only good thing after reaching that point will be more electricity bills to pay.

source: The Kathmandu Post, 2 April 2011