If Gorkhalis can protect the American President in Singapore why can’t they do the same in the White House?
If the Gorkhalis can be Indian and British soldiers why can’t they be American marines? If Gorkhalis can protect the American President in Singapore why can’t they do the same in the White House? If Gorkhalis can guard the Brunei palace and its sheikhs why can’t they defend the Arab sheikhs in the Middle East? If Gorkhalis can protect the private properties and personnel in Hong Kong, why can’t they protect the American billionaires?
In fact, they do. Most of the top Hollywood artists, who make billions, sleep well under the security of the Gorkhalis. Before I raise these questions, Gorkhalis are already doing the jobs I am pointing out. President Barack Obama, on the last year of his eight-year term, conferred American citizenship on non-citizen foreigners including a few Gorkhalis, who had joined the American army.
My question, although startling to begin with, is actuality outdated. Gorkhalis have already penetrated in these venues and they have been warmly accepted. The reason I am raising this question is to wake our government up to take due cognizance of the reality. Nepal’s government is a communist government. A part of the communists who dubbed themselves as Maoists wanted during their childhood to stop the Gorkhalis from joining the foreign armies. They listed, inter alia, for the instant abolition of the Gorkhali recruitment in Indian and British armies, prevalent for the last 200 years, in the 40-point demands that they submitted to the government before opening fire on the police posted in the outposts in the difficult terrain.
However, they found it was childish to talk about something, which has taken roots in the Nepali society for centuries. Despite being in power for several occasions, they kept mum on this question.
A fresh question has arisen. If Nepalis are free to move around the world and work in whatever capacity they like why are not the Gorkhalis allowed to join the American army? Is it not out of own accord that the Gorkhalis join the Indian and British army duly recognized by the Nepali government, communist or otherwise. Has not the government looked aside when the question of Gorkhalis serving Brunei and its sheikhdom arises? Has it taken any serious interest under what conditions or agreements the Gorkhalis are recruited in the famous Singapore security forces? The government declared few years ago in a huff Gorkhali service in Iraq illegal in the wake of merciless killing of 12 Nepali boys at the hands of the local rebels. But when more than 30,000 Gorkhalis were subsequently declared unlawful by the US authorities, the government changed its stance overnight and legitimated them. Those who were and are still in Iraq are tied up with the American forces, which were to withdraw long back in principle but not in practice. If the Gorkhalis can serve the Indians and British underpaid, why can’t they do so to the Americans well-paid and well-respected?
America is perhaps the first country that pays a high regard for their soldiers. Irrespective of severe controversy at home on deployment of American troops in the foreign soil, no politician or party lags behind in granting more than sufficient resources and facilities to their kids serving abroad.
To cite an example, when the Bush government asked for a grant of 60 billion dollars for the American troops in Iraq, the Congress made it 80 billion dollars in the actual bill. American Congressmen compete in pulling one another’s legs off and on elections and, indeed, they maintain the spirit of sharp contest among their adversaries in praising the military services and servicemen. Is not it better to serve a nation that respects blood and sweat than to get condemned in a country where the soldiers are discriminated on their basis of their skin?
Gorkhalis deserve a free market for their inborn merits to flourish. After all the home government has neither a sense of appreciation nor admiration for the extraordinary qualities they have demonstrated. Malaysia feels highly indebted to Nepal for the Gorkhali services in eliminating the last remnant of the communist guerrillas. Singapore continues to recall the Gorkhali contribution on the eve of its birth. When it came close to independence, the Gorkhalis played a key role in quelling riots, especially those that involved Chinese and Malayan forces.
They were valued as an impartial force in light of multi-ethnic tensions. Even the celebrated builder of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, said impartiality is the one unique attribute of Gorkhalis. They just don’t get emotionally involved in anything they may get caught up in. President Donald Trump would be most pleased to see the southern American border guarded by the strong, brave and loyal Gorkhalis instead of getting worried on erection of an expensive, unwelcome and controversial wall. It is time when Nepal should realize how much it can help the world in maintaining peace and security besides paying fair and serious attention to development at home.
The author is a senior journalist based in Kathmandu