There is a thin line separating creative provocation from group defamation. All too often we see TV shows or cartoons stir up discord for their libelous content or politicians and celebrities from the majority community open their mouths and emit a torrent of snobbish and racist prejudice.
The unanimous endorsement of a proposal to consider constitutional amendment bill replacing the country’s map in the national emblem to include territories of Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura by the sovereign parliament of Nepal is a bold step. How it impacts Nepal-India ties in future is a matter of conjecture. This event also highlighted an unseemly event where a sitting MP from a newly formed Janata Samajwadi Party Sarita Giri, defying her party line, lodged an amendment on the above bill brought by the government stating that the area should be removed from the map as its source and evidence is yet to be revealed, for which she was castigated by her party. Giri is a naturalized citizen after marriage and was born and raised in India.
“If you have pissed them off, you have commanded their attention”, seems to be the settled wisdom of our time. Liberal restraint is out of vogue while instigating anger is the new fad. Though somewhat reprehensible tactic and mentally exhausting, it is shrewd. But it has its limitations.
Crises have been a normal feature of human history. Nations have faced natural disasters, political and economic upheavals. The fact that they emerged stronger each time is a tribute to the amazing abilities of human imagination. The differentiator, however between progressive and regressive nations, has been the response each posed depending upon the gravity of the situation.