Pasang Sherpa, born in Hangdewa, 1 Taplejung, 1971, is a permanent lecturer of Sociology at the Department of Sociology Anthropology, Trichandra Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University. He has been teaching in various colleges of Tribhuvan University, Purbanchal University and Pokhara University for the last 13 years or so. Currently, he is pursuing PhD on the “Role of Education in Social Inclusion of Muslims in Nepal” from Kashmir University, Kashmir, India.
Sherpa has carried out various researches on the Ethnography of Sherpas, Rai, Byanshi, and Lhomi, Monastic and Madrasa education System, Social exclusion and inclusion issues of minority groups, Climate change and indigenous peoples, Muslim education, and Tibetan refugee issues and etc.
He has published books on Sherpas in 2007 and 2011. He has also published exclusive articles on Caste system, Sherpa culture, Janajti and Dalit issues, Madrasa and Gonpa education systems, Muslims exclusion issues in various newspapers, magazines and journals.
He is keen interested on the reservation policy for minority groups, Exclusion issues of Muslims and Indigenous Nationalities, education policy and minority groups, ethnicity, Climate change and mountain indigenous peoples.
Last week, Sujit Prasad Sharma interviewed on behalf of telegraphnepal.com and Telegraph Weekly, this knowledgeable person on contemporary issues. Below the results: Chief Editor.
TGQ1: Some ethnic groups from the hilly region of eastern Nepal and Unified Madheshi Front (UMF) have recently declared that they will not accept new constitution if it fails to incorporate federalism. How do you observe this? Do you believe that federalism is urgent and necessary to address all the aspirations of the marginalized groups of Nepal?
Pasang: One of the most important issues of the peoples' movement 2006\07 launched for the Loktantra was federalism. That was the issue which inspired indigenous peoples, Madhesis, dalits, Muslims and minority groups in the country to take part in the popular movement. It was on the basis of this spirit that even the Interim Constitution 2007 has declared Nepal as a federal and secular state. Now that, there are various contradictory opinions over the federal order, I do not think that Nepal can go smooth ahead in the absence of federalism. As believed and aspired and liked by the marginalized groups, federalism is the only option for their equal involvement in national development and identity.
TGQ2: Mr. Dinesh Raj Satyal aka Saurav, one of the famous columnists of Nepal, in one of his articles published in a leading national daily has accused Unified Maoists for being subservient to some western countries for institutionalizing Christianity in Nepal. Is there any logic behind this allegation? How the western countries will benefit after institutionalization of Christianity in this Himalayan nation? Will it create negative consequences against developing a unique ethno-cultural Nepalese society as a whole?
Pasang: I know nothing about Mr. Satyal's article. It might be his personal opinion and I do not think that the Maoists are subservient to institutionalizing Christianity in Nepal. If you keep the constitution in mind, it has given religious freedom to every religion. So far you talk about the increasing influence of Christianity with some hidden interest, I have some reservations.
TGQ3. Some leaders from hardliner camp inside the Unified Maoist party are insisting to stage 'People's Revolt' by cashing the militant instinct supposedly arising among different ethnic groups of Nepal recently. Do you think militant psyche has been prevailing among the ethnic groups? How do you perceive this?
Pasang: I am aware of the Kiran faction of the Unified Maoist and their claims. The Maoist has already launched armed revolution in participation of various ethnic groups in the country and all the people including ethnic groups have seen the consequence of the armed struggle. In this condition, I think Nepalese ethnic groups are not motivated by militant psyche. So far, I have studied; all of them want to get their demands fulfilled peacefully.
Yet, everything depends on the state as it is the key player. In that condition, if the State plays a very regressive role and behave with extreme partiality against the ethnic groups, then the revolt could be the only option.
TGQ4: Some days ago, a veteran pro-monarch politician, Dr. Keshar Jung Rayamajhi had revealed that former King Gyanendra Shah is trying his best to restore the lost crown. He too has claimed that Chairwomen of Congress-I Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is also positive towards the restoration of monarchy in Nepal. Is there any possibility?
Pasang: It is too late and too irrelevant for the restoration of Nepal monarchy in the country. People, in various phase of history, have tasted monarchy and democracy. Since the world is enjoying liberty and freedom in many senses, I don't think the discarded king would attempt for regaining the lost crown. Even if he does, it would have no consequence other than his further disgrace.
TGQ5. The frequent occurrence of violent incidents in Kashmir valley of India and Tibetan Autonomous Region of China reveal the need to either restructuring the State or granting independence to them. Do you think the governments of our neighboring countries are less efficient and not capable enough to address the issues at hand being raised by the people of the respected areas?
Pasang: It is their own state of affairs and interests. I think it would be premature to speak over such issues. Both China and India are larger and developed countries and both of them understand the psychology and difficulties of their own peoples. Yet, crushing the desires and demands of the minority people could be never appreciated and hence should be peacefully solved by the respective states.
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