Sunday, August 30, 2015

Why the condition of women never change in this country ?

Some time back I found myself watching more than three dozen videos in one sitting that made my eyes bloat like anything and yet my work was not half done. Because, there were more than six dozens videos to be watched for me to get the clear view of it. Me, not being a political person, was compelled to watch all those small videos to understand what is associated with politically. Because, it was also related with women's right issue, I have no choice but to watch all those videos individually and then grasp the core collective meaning of it; even if, politics fails to grip my attention squarely. In that videos women right activists voiced their concerns about the rights of women's and wondered we have done so much in the past years and yet why this 2072 constitution is clipping the rights of women than that was more liberal in 2047 ?

Why, is the big question which a couple of women’s right activists raised, when they were given a chance to raise voice for women's rights. We all know media plays a huge role in every society to bring the much sought change. There is no doubt, this is one of the right vehicle to bring change in society. We also know that men in our society, mainly who are in mainstream media; are scared of brilliant and intelligent woman. It seems they are not comfortable when she  opens her open mouth or pen. I am sure you must have read and kept quiet when you have read about pain of periods or post pregnancy problems written by a man who is not an expert but just a journalist [man] like any other woman journalists in my country. Why the media bosses did not feel comfortable to give that job to our female journalist to pen down on subjects that is purely  ours[?], well the simple answer is he must have felt shy about it.

Well our mainstream media are biased about the issues that are related  to women. Be it her basic rights, gender issues and equal rights, VAW cases; they are simply scared to open talk about it. They view our women right activists as merely people who work only to earn dollar, as if, this is not our society’s problem but the issues of INGO or NGOs.  Realizing this, to become the collective voice of women's Sancharika Samuha was established around 1998. Well when I watch their TV show Samakone which is funded project which is viewed by men in this society, as the borrowed concept. And our society do not need such drastic changes as our society as women rights activists fights or demand for. Being a feminist, I really have decided not to pass any comments on Samakone program which is at times way of the track to find the rights of women. I really did kept myself away from passing comments on it even though they were off the track in their search to find answer, thinking being a feminist I should not raise question to others who are also raising voice for women’s right. Sometimes, some differences and some mistake needs to be ignored with wide open eyes and ears also.  

Recently, I read an article in Nagariknews by Mr. Subash Ghimire, editor Republica, how an ex-president of Harvard had to resign from his position in 2005 after his controversial speech saying one reason there are relatively few women in top positions in science may be "issues of intrinsic aptitude." The remarks were made at a small seminar on January 14. When The Boston Globe reported on the remarks -- and the anger of some women who heard them -- the comments became the focus of an international debate.

After reading this piece of article, my mind is reeling back to the time when Nirmala Sharma, President of Sancharika Samuha appointed Gunaraj Luitel as editor just after he wrote that contradicting article on Setopati. Where he twisting the whole episode of acid attack - which is a serious form of crime against VAW - into a caste base issue - which is a lot less punishable crime compared to acid attack. There was no voice raised by a single women right activist against that twisting of a case. On top of that there was this appointment to tease the women right activist or the journalist of this country. That appointment made me go what ! ? !  No women right activists/journalist within the Sancharika Samuha raised their voice on this appointment nor there was a single article on this matter in any mainstream media. How come we don't have a single journalists working within or outside of sancharika samuha to raise voice against that appointment, at least I did not read it anywhere.  I really wonder why ?

Had it been in any other country, chances are very high that she would have to resign from  her position for such appointment. Where she sided with the man who twisted the whole discourse in media. It diverted people demanding punishment for culprit to suddenly sympathy as he was rejected due to his lower caste. Why no  journalists [ does she really has to be a woman journalist ?] raised their voice, when Sangita Pulami Magar’s  the acid attack victim and the Jiban BK case was overturned so swiftly by the power of pen of a journalist who has so strong pen and opinion like Mr. Luitel.

Can he do that ? When I read that article, I was stunned. But, may be that was not enough. What is more interesting to pay attention here is, Mr luitel left the team of Sancharika Samuha in less than 30 days to join Nagarik as its editor. No other person can find better way to slap on the face of feminist journalists as well as activists on her face than Mr Luitel did so swiftly with his this two act, back to back. But then, I really wonder why, no one said a word about this also ?  And how come Mrs Sharma can ignore the whole episode and yet appoint him as the editor of a Sancharika online which main objective is to raise voice for women's rights ? Was that because the journalists [all female] in Sancharika did not wanted to lose friendship with Mr. Luitel. Or this also could be they wanted to keep the road opening for future posting when they live this alternative media to mainstream media ? Can these journalist be trusted to raise voice for women’s right, who need them to their voice ? I seriously doubt so.

What I really have not been able to ignore still is, when there are some rape news or news that is about equal right issue [currently citizenship issue] on Nagarik new site the management of the NagarikNews won't edit or delete the most filthy and degrading comments that are targeted to the rape victims, mostly on women of VAW cases. On top of that I also don't get a chance to read news or coverage raising voice on such news coverage in any other news portals that is run by feminist journalists. Why they are feeling uncomfortable to raise voice for such news also ? What stops them to tell the news site bosses not to do so ? am I the only watchdog in this country to keep eye on them ? It really leaves me wondering all the time. Still the most important point is why all the clusters of women right activist are not calling everyone to join the protest. Well where are journalist who pens on women's right issue ? And I don't have a slightest trust on Sancharika Samuha will make this news on priority, unless they will get  extra fund to run the news from Norwegian Embassy.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Where are women right activist ?

Recently I read an article by Mr Jyoti Devkota in one of the online news sites. There is something in its nature which made me take part in the debate. Here is my answer to the writer as well as to those that nodded their head in agreement with the writer that it's solely a women's right activists' duty to give respect and justice to all those women, who are disrespected, degraded, exploited and have to face hardship in life. One comment from Durga Shrestha read like this: "डलरे हरुलाई अली घोच्छ यो लेखले। [It will offend those that earn dollars]" - a satire to those that work in NGOs as women right activist. So, I asked him, "तपाईले के भन्न खोज्नु भएको हो मलाई अचम्म लाग्यो। [what are you trying to say, I'm surprised]"?

Rest of my response in relation to the same article is as follows. "Suzata Hamal ji, I do not completely agree with your accusation here. I think Sunita Giri ji is raising some good points here. If you read the whole article this article focuses more on the pain of the family (particularly that of father) on having a physically disabled daughter than the pain of the individual herself. Just the fact that this article focuses on the image of the father was already making me feel uncomfortable about the whole situation. Even when the rape incident is described, the way the writer describes the situation is evident that she had to endure all of the consequences alone. At a face of injustice inflicted on their family member, how could they afford to worry about saving their face? How selfish is that? This is the mentality that runs over much of South Asian families, and this is exactly the reason why so many rape cases go unreported because rape is not treated as any other crime. In other crimes, it's the criminals that have to be embarrassed, while in the case of rape it's the women that are shamed. And the family exacerbates the situation by trying to sweep it under the rug rather than standing up against it together with the victim. Perhaps, the problem is amplified because of the physical disability of the person in question, but it surely is not just a problem of physically disabled women in Nepal. This is a perfect example of how women are treated in our society.

Parents' responsibility doesn't end with giving birth, it should begin from there. But the way in which most Nepalese are brought up especially in poverty stricken and less educated families is that parents have a sense of entitlement. 'I gave you birth; hence, you have to be grateful towards me no matter how I treat you from henceforth', - this kind of mentality is very much prevalent. Somehow we are even supposed to empathize with them trying to kill their own daughter as explained in this line - "सुनेको थिएँ, पापबाट मुक्ति पाओस् भनेर लाटीलाई मुसाको दवाइ दिइएको थियो रे [I had heard that she was given a rat poison so that she could get rid of the sin]" because obviously their मुक्ति [salvation] from the पाप [sin] is the most important. Where was her family in all this? Why did they not arm their daughter with education? Why didn't they discard all of their shame and embarrassment and stand by their daughter/sister? Why is the writer still so much focused about their problems? Why does this article have accusational tone towards women activists when they themselves seem to have done everything sexist? Can women right activists feed a potion that eliminates all kinds of sexist mentality from every members of the society? Do they have some magic wand that they can wave and solve all the problems overnight? I don't think so. They can only function and achieve something when people of the society, and primarily the family members cooperate and extend their hands.

This article has been written with a motive, and the motive is clear. The motive of this writer is not the concern of his sister, he wants to accuse women's right activists. This is his answer to all those women that write in Setopati on women right issues. He is trying to tell them that they are not achieving anything by just talking and there are other people that need more help. I agree that the problems related to women rights are endless, and perhaps sometimes we could do better than to talk about some small issues. But the way in which people like the writer like to sit away in a corner and judge feminists while doing nothing themselves is insane. Just because his sister is born a physically disabled woman doesn't mean that he, who is an able man, cannot help her solve her problems. Women's issues are issues faced by women in our families, our societies, and all of us (men and women) have to be accountable for them. Same with people with disabilities. We have to change our own mindset first. If people like this writer are not ready to change their mindset, there is absolutely nothing women right activists or anyone can do to make the society better. So, stop blaming women right activists for things that aren't done. Just step up yourself, and do something about it if you truly care."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Teenage software Developer

Komal Poudyal
The young man, I was talking, at the corner of a restaurant; was keeping close eyes on his smartphone to check time, every ten minutes or so. After about half an hour or so later I asked him, do you have to go somewhere ? he said, yes. Where ? he said, a conference, it's a software development competition. And for that we have to be on time to login and register and then we can take part in it. Its just like being in exam hall.

Easy internet excess has made it so possible for a seventeen year old Nepali boy to take part in international conferences anywhere it takes place, that otherwise would not have been possible to take part in. He  can take part in this conference while still staying at home. Any one can take part in it but one really has to have internet connection on their computer. Computer has changed our life upside down and we can do so many things from it.

Is this what you study in college ? I asked him. No, well, I am a student of computer science but coding and programming is not part of my study. There is vast difference in what I study in college and what I do.
Do you have any friend with whom you can talk, share and get ideas in your coding and programming ?  No, this is not something you get talking with my friends will solve my problem. If I ask a word heuristic none of my friends knows about it and they don't know where this word is used. So I can't get any help from a single person who are around me, the teenage developer responded. So, you dig internet to learn and get all the ideas to help you design your own software ? he said yes. Is that the reason you wear specs  ? May be he responded with a shy smile.

Son of a General Manager and a housewife, the boy is very normal college student in all aspect, except; he is only seventeen years old and already a computer software developer. He has been working on this project since last two years to develop an antivirus and internet security which is named after his name Komal antivirus and security software. This is first antivirus which is available in Nepali Language as well as in English. Last year, he had launched this software nationwide but this time he has modified it improving lots of earlier flaws. and that's why he is planning to to re-launch it in market within three month October- November 2015.  

A 12 grade student of Uniglobe college, next year he is hoping to join MIT in US.  A huge fan of micro soft programming, he hopes to work in Microsoft. In my short meeting with this teenage boy, I saw a complete package of successful businessman rising. So I stopped him, when he said, wants to work in micro soft. You are not the type, who will work even if you will be hired by Bill Gates, why you want to work in micro soft ?  You are right, he said. I will not want remained employed by anyone for long, but there are so many things I still can learn, for that I have to be there [micro soft].

I have never ever in my life heard a teenager so confident and with so much clarity of his future about his dream, work and passion.  I heard myself saying, you are way too smart for your age do you know that ? He did not even see in my eyes, to nod. He is confident, yet not arrogant; this is what makes this young man so special. I have become so fan of this young man and I would like to keep him on my  watch list for young and emerging software developer as well as a young businessman.

We keep reading in news that computer and easy access to internet has spoiled our young generation and use of it has done them so harm than good. Then this young man is the answer for all of them, who says so. It depends on you how you use it, make it your slave or a master, decision is yours.