Monday, July 18, 2022

Legalise cannabis

Recently, I had travelled to California, where I saw that cannabis is entirely legal in the state and is also allowed for medical use. However, one Nepali doctor asked me a question that haunted me for days.

He asked, "Why have we made cannabis illegal in our country?" Cannabis was and currently is a vital part of Nepal's society and culture; however, it has been banned by law since 1976.

Ayurveda began thousands of years ago with cannabis use by saints and yogis. We worship Lord Shiva, but why do we ban cannabis use? The use of cannabis, especially during festivities, rituals and social gatherings, as in Shivaratri, is tolerated.

About 50 years back, people from all over the world used to come and visit government-licensed stores on "Freak Street", a popular destination for cannabis use. Now, the West has moved on and liberalised the prohibition of cannabis, and almost half of U.S. states are decriminalising its use. Recently, Thailand has become the first Asian country to legalise cannabis.




As Nepal's trade export has faltered in recent times, a rejuvenated cannabis trade tailored to the export demand can not only boost the "brand value" of the country but also prove a highly lucrative business for the agriculture sector in Nepal. In addition, some lawmakers and experts have claimed cannabis possesses "medicinal property" that will boost Nepal's fragile tourism industry and benefit those with chronic mental illnesses.

According to some estimates, by 2030, the global cannabis market is projected to be more than $120 billion. Therefore, the Nepal government should consider how much foreign exchange it can bring if we allow farming and legalise it in the future.

Furthermore, it will boost innovative products and services for future medical products in cannabis and pave the path for new and emerging businesses that could arise from the agricultural sector.

A Californian Nepali friend said he had found excellent benefits from cannabis. Not only has it treated migraine, headaches, pain, anxiety and insomnia in some cases, but it has also allowed him to slow down in some situations. I believe Nepal should take advantage of this untapped market as soon as possible by carrying out research on cannabis for scientific and medicinal purposes, which will bring colossal royalty income to our country.

Nepali lawmakers must create a pathway for cannabis cultivation and legalise it for recreational and medical use. Legalising marijuana/cannabis is a way forward for Nepal, but policymakers in our country do not care much about public issues, I jokingly told a friend.


Published: The Himalayan Times
Nepal's leading daily newspaper

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Why Nepal Fails

I have completed writing a new non-fiction book entitled "Why Nepal Fails", which is now in the final stages of publication. Here are some questions and answers in-line:


 

What is the book about?

"Why Nepal Fails" discusses entrepreneurship in Nepal. The way people are doing business in Nepal, for example. It attempts to look into various perspectives, although the book is solely based on my own experiences. 


What is the genre of the book?

The book is non-fiction based on real-life events. 


Who is the target audience?

The target audience is everyone above 18+ age and all the young people who are doing business in Nepal or thinking of doing business in Nepal.

 

What is the word count?
The total word count of the book is approx 55k+ words with references.


What is the print format?

The book will be available in both paperback and hardback.


Where to purchase the book?

The book can be purchased from the bookstore in Nepal, e.g. B B Book Store, phone +977 986-9257210 and also available online soon.


Can I pre-order the book?

Yes, you can. Don't hesitate to get in touch with the bookseller through email here: bajrangbalibooks@gmail.com

or via phone at +977 986-9257210


Do you have the concept cover of the book?

Yes, the concept cover of the book looks like above, but this may not be the final book cover. 


Sunday, February 27, 2022

Putin is the new Hitler

Russian President Vladimir Putin, by attacking his neighbour Ukraine has become a new Hitler in the 21st century. I know why he attacked Ukraine to gain power and authority in his neighbour so that NATO forces would not come closer to his doorsteps. Regardless of that fear, he sees thousands of NATO forces now on the Eastern flank. This is the war now between Russia Vs. West. "Putin's War" will cost everyone, not just Putin. The dream of turning back the clock will have severe implications for the EU and Russia. 

Putin is the new Hitler, and both of their intentions are not bad to stop expanding NATO forces and alleviate the threat to their national security. However, this could have been done through diplomatic channels, not through conventional war. What will Putin do if no diplomats listen to him? He wanted Ukraine not to join NATO, but nobody listened to him. So, if you look from Putin's perspective, he is doing the right thing to save his people from the NATO forces.

West cannot help Ukraine win this war. Russia may win this war, but the Ukrainians will never surrender to Russian aristocrat Putin. Even some of them might surrender; time cannot go back as we live in the age of information, and this will have dire consequences for Putin himself later. 

Putin is getting older, and in a few years, he will die. But, before his death, he wants to conquer the world and re-build the "Russian Empire." He is not stupid, but it is good to remember that having a large portion of land does not mean you own the entire Earth. Genghis khan tried to do the same but look now how much land Mongolia has compared to during his era. 

The war causes great devastation not just to ordinary people but also to mother earth. Read, for example, "war crimes" havoc related to the environment and climate change. But who cares when people die, buildings are destroyed by missiles, and bullets are firing every second. 

Like German philosopher George Hegel famously said, "The only thing that we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history".  Long before Putin, Aristocrats, Kings and Great Rulers such as Hitler, Genghis Khan, and others all come and go because the time will never stop. No one can stop the clock because it does not care about the world's rulers. Time also does not care about world politics or the world's geopolitics. The Earth does not stop rotating within a limited span of human life. As long as our Earth turns, we will all die at some point.  

The war in Ukraine will not stop until Ukraine either loses Kyiv or the Russian military is withdrawn by Putin's order, which will not happen because it is not the nature of aristocrats to reverse their decisions. Any western sanctions, isolation, or hindrance will not hamper Putin's ambition. He is just like me no regard for the rule of law and no aspiration to back down once committed. 

Like the fall of Hitler when he waged war on two fronts, both in Britain and Soviet Russia, Putin will have to face dire consequences if he stages multiple battles on many Eastern and Ukraine fronts. So, Putin will not do that immediately even though NATO is boosting its military presence on its eastern flank. 

Only aristocrats listen to other aristocrats, so China's role is vital in this conflict. President Xi can ask Putin to stop this war, but he will not do so because he has solid ties on many fronts with Putin. They have already agreed on this before waging war. So China does not care if Putin occupies Ukraine as long as Chinese studying in Ukraine is not hampered. A similar story is with India since both countries have "abstained" from the UN security council resolution. 

The mask is off our faces, and now nobody is talking about "Pandemic"  or the "Coronavirus" any longer. We are all carefully looking and seeing what other fellow human beings in Ukraine are going through in these challenging times. Even when said to Putin by the UN security general, "In the name of humanity, please stop this war". Putin does not care about "humanity". Humanity to him means Russian people and the great Russian empire only. 

I know very few, or nobody, will read this blog or post. Surely nobody from the Russian empire as there are millions of posts, tweets, and information floating around the Internet. However, from what I am seeing and felt over the past few days and weeks, Russia might go nuclear, but this is also hard to sell to the Russian people because it has opposite consequences. Like Gandhi said, "eye to eye makes the whole world blind". So Russia throwing nuclear weapons over any country will also receive the same from another country, so "humanity" will collapse. 

So, who going to stop Putin? It is Putin himself and nobody else. 


#stopthewar #putin #ukraine #ww3 #eu #nato

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Guilty

I’m pleased to announce my 100-word story, Guilty is, published by Friday Flash Fiction. And of course, it’s not my first time writing such a brief story, but I think it may resonate with some readers. 

Hopefully, you will enjoy the reading.  Here is the screenshot of the story



Published: FridayFlashFiction 


Monday, January 3, 2022

Boosting entrepreneurship: Target the youth



The New Year 2022 has just begun, and Nepal should make a resolution to give a boost to tomorrow's young homegrown entrepreneurs. Approximately 10,689,842 people in Nepal are under the age of 30, according to the 2021 Census (40.3 per cent). Nepal is poised to flourish because it is young, active and eager to engage in the global economy. It is also a democracy.

There are several investment options available here. A critical role in the country's long-term economic growth is played by entrepreneurship. As suggested, Nepal's future cannot be predicated only by international assistance and remittances. If we want to continue ahead on the course of sustainable economic development, we must create an atmosphere conducive to new entrepreneurship and innovation.

Entrepreneurship is vital because it produces jobs, while it also has a significant influence on the lives of young people in general.

Nepal's young and enthusiastic populace is leaving the country daily to pursue new opportunities. If all of Nepal's residents are involved in entrepreneurship, the country's need of foreign aid would reduce significantly.

According to the most recent World Bank ranking, Nepal ranks 110th out of 190 nations regarding the ease of doing business. Legal assistance, a suitable atmosphere, a large young population, and an abundance of resources are some of Nepal's benefits for boosting entrepreneurship.




In terms of commercialising the agriculture sector, Nepal offers tremendous potential. Because of increased government assistance for the farming sector, businesses will reap tremendous benefits. In addition, tourism shows great potential although it has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Nepal's geographical conditions are conducive to developing the tourist industry.

In Nepal, the information technology industry is seeing significant growth.

Information technology offers substantial potential for generating growth, investment and considerable profits in the entrepreneurship industry. Nepal is a newcomer to information technology entrepreneurship, but it has a more promising future in terms of employment opportunities.

It has lower running costs, is more accessible, and has a limited influence on occurrences like the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are several issues facing society that need new and inventive solutions (fintech, agri-tech, ed-tech, biotech, reg-tech, climate-tech). Because most young people are focussed on studying or working overseas, individuals who opt to remain in the country and develop their entrepreneurial skills have fewer competitors.

Beyond these business prospects in Nepal, we still have many challenges to solve, opening even more doors for entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. Even though Nepal faces several obstacles, I believe that this should not discourage the spirit of entrepreneurship.

We do this because embracing challenges and taking risks are fundamental to the very essence of the entrepreneurial spirit itself.

Entrepreneurs must have a vision that others do not currently recognise.

People may feel that their ideas are hypotheses and impose a high level of uncertainty, but that is what entrepreneurship is all about: putting everything on the line for a view you believe in. As a result, we will see several prospects for entrepreneurial growth in Nepal if we look at it carefully. There is a crisis – a shortage of electricity, water, fuel, communication and inflation. But remember that a crisis may be a window of opportunity for an entrepreneur. Many company concepts may be established here with first-mover advantages since we are still a developing nation and technology is still in its infancy. Because of the high unemployment rate, you may put together a group of determined adolescents anxious to keep their jobs. Even though the world has progressed, many challenges still need new and imaginative answers.

Because there are fewer development activities in the nation, people with money have fewer sectors to invest in. Consequently, several investors are eager to support if an entrepreneur can provide a compelling concept and a viable business plan.

There are various reasons why entrepreneurship is vital, ranging from advocating social change to pushing innovation. Most people consider entrepreneurs to be national assets, who should be developed, driven and rewarded to the maximum degree feasible.

However, this is not always true. It is indeed true that some of the most industrialised countries are global leaders thanks to their citizens' innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

Exceptional entrepreneurs can transform how we live and work on a local and national scale. If they are successful, their ideas may raise living standards.

In addition to generating income via entrepreneurial endeavours, they may also provide employment and contribute to the economy's growth.

Entrepreneurs also contribute to the advancement of change via innovation, in which new and better goods allow the development of new markets. However, excessive entrepreneurship (i.e., a high level of self-employment) may harm economic growth.

Entrepreneurial endeavours contribute to the creation of new wealth. Existing enterprises may find themselves restricted to their current markets and at a point of diminishing returns.

Entrepreneurs' introduction of new and better goods, services or technology allows for the development of new markets and new riches. Increasing employment and income growth lead to higher national income via increased tax revenues and government expenditure. The government may use this cash to invest in poorly run industries and human capital.

Finally, if it results in the layoff of a few current players, the government may mitigate the impact by allocating excess resources to retrain employees.

This is an excerpt from the upcoming book, "Why Nepal Fails" by the writer

Published: The Himalayan Times.
Nepal's leading daily newspaper

Sunday, December 5, 2021

The pandemic wedding

 Kris and Kiyana had begun to plan their wedding in Nepal before the pandemic started. They had already planned everything, and almost all of the preparations were done, so retracting their decision seemed impossible at that point—they simply went along with it. They wanted a traditional wedding, so not only did it take time to plan everything out, it was also meant to be something huge. Kris was dressed up very traditionally, which seemed unconventional for a groom. Kiyana, on the other hand, had spent a lot of time with her mother in choosing the right dress. While sending out invitations, they didn’t bother themselves with the number of people that would attend, nor was the seating arrangements a matter of concern. After all, it was their wedding, which had to be replete with as big a celebration as possible. They had been asked if they wanted to have their wedding in another venue, but both insisted on getting married in Ratnanagar, Chitwan.













Both had several relatives that they wanted at their wedding, with a total of 250 people in attendance—not including their families or close friends.

Due to many guests attending, one of Kiyana’s best friends came up to her and asked something that weighed heavily on her mind.

“Kiyana. Will you and Kris be asking the guests to wear masks?”

“Masks? Of course not. This is a unique occasion, and I wouldn’t want them to look back on this day with masks covering their faces.

“Are you not worried about the pandemic?”

“Not for the wedding. Nobody is even sick, and if they are, then they will just stay home. We are all family, so I’m confident that we would all be safe,” Kiyana told her.

Standing by what she had said, no one was asked to wear masks on the wedding day. Although the ceremony was wonderful, nobody adopted any safety measures; no social distancing whatsoever. Everyone danced like it was their last day on Earth, with absolutely no regard for their own health and safety.

The newlyweds’ families were overjoyed at the occasion and mostly kept to themselves throughout the ceremony. None of the guests appeared to be sick indeed, and the virus was the last thing on anybody’s mind that day. As far as they were concerned, the night was a success, and there was nothing to worry about. None of them suspected that anything would go south until Kris’s mother called the two of them, panic-stricken, two days later. “Are the two of you okay?” she asked them.

“Of course, we are okay, mother. Why wouldn’t we be?” Kris said.

“I have just gotten a call that your uncle tested positive for the virus and is currently at the hospital”.

“Will he be alright?”

“I do not know yet. We can only hope and pray. I was calling to make sure if either of you had caught the virus.”

“There is no way anybody had it at the wedding. I spoke to everyone who was there, and nobody was feeling ill. Nobody was even coughing, so I know that he didn’t get the virus from there. He must have gone somewhere else and contracted the virus. Please let me know if you hear any changes from him,” Kris told his mother and hung up.

The husband and wife did not think much of this until more calls kept coming in. More relatives from the wedding had tested positive and were now showing symptoms. They looked at each other, realising that their wedding might have been where they all got infected. They didn’t know how this was even possible until they started looking at the news about the virus. They learned that the virus could be transmitted from someone even without any symptoms. It left them distraught because some of the relatives they invited were older and at a much higher risk of developing serious complications from the virus.

They were ashamed that they wanted to have a traditional wedding so badly that they put their family and friends in danger of getting seriously ill. They realised that if they wanted the wedding to be truly traditional and authentic, they should have waited until the coronavirus pandemic was over. Or if they wanted to have the wedding now, they should have scaled it down and made their guest follow social distances and wear masks. Unfortunately, they didn’t know or attempt to educate themselves about preventive measures. The final hit to Kiyana came when her best friend called her on the phone.

“Hello, Kiyana,” her friend said weakly on the phone.

“You sound terrible. What happened?” Kiyana asked, knowing what her friend would probably say.

“I was not feeling well and went to the doctor. They told me that I tested positive for COVID-19 and had to remain at the hospital.”

“You are at the hospital?” Kiyana asked.

“Yes. It is getting harder for me to breathe, so they want to put me on oxygen and possibly a ventilator if I don’t improve.”

“I don’t understand, though. You aren’t old. You are as young as me, so the virus shouldn’t have made you this sick.”

“Just because we are young doesn’t mean we are immune to the virus. I had a weaker immune system anyway so I was already vulnerable to the virus.”

“I am so sorry that I did not listen to you when you tried to tell me to adopt precautions in the wedding.”

“You don’t have to be sorry. Just be careful so that you don’t become sick like me too.”

“I will. I hope you feel better soon,” said Kiyana before hanging up the phone.

Putting someone their age in the hospital hit Kris and Kiyana hard. It gave them a new perspective of what was important to them—and it wasn’t big weddings or celebrations. It was keeping the people they cared about safe and healthy. They made sure to call everyone on the guest list to warn them of possible exposure and told them to get tested. The couple also got tested and came out negative for the virus. But, it still felt like they needed to do more; they didn’t know what.

The days went on, and they got calls and updates about family members doing much better and some still having mild side effects, like headaches. There wasn’t any word on Kiyana’s best friend until another few days later. The call was what she had dreaded the most, and she found out that her best friend had died of the disease. She was devastated, and Kris did his best to try and comfort her. As she slowly recovered from her grief, she understood what she had to do now.

She became an advocate and tried to educate everyone in Chitwan about the virus and its devastating effects. She told her story of how she was oblivious about the asymptomatic nature of the virus and how her ignorance had led to the death of her best friend. She told people that although tradition was necessary, the life of their loved ones was more important. They needed to protect themselves if they ever wanted to recover from this horrible pandemic.

Kiyana and Kris even found other young people preparing to get married and urged them to not go through with the wedding like they did. They might not have been able to save their friend, but they might be able to save someone else’s. It was a long road ahead, both in their marriage and in the pandemic. Nobody knew for sure when it would end or how long things would need to be different. The only thing they knew was it was their responsibility to tell their story and keep the people in Chitwan safe from the virus and its ever-emerging variants.


Published: The Kathmandu Post
Nepal's leading daily newspaper

Friday, November 12, 2021

Current climate crisis in Nepal





KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 08

Climate change has now turned into a climate crisis for countries like Nepal. The global climate model shows climate change impacts may be severe at high elevation and in a complex topography like Nepal.

The current climate modelling scenario in Nepal has described two types of disasters due to increased temperature.





They are rapid disasters, such as floods and landslides, and slow-onset disasters, such as drought, forest fires, snow melts and sedimentation.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has said that Nepal will suffer the adverse impact of climate change, although its contribution to greenhouse gas emission is small. Temperature increase is resulting in faster glacier melt, leading to flash floods. Water-related hazards, especially during the monsoon due to melting of ice in the mountain and plentiful rainfall in the foothills, are quite common now.

Additionally, landslides in the mid-hills occur regularly due to extreme rainfall during the monsoon. Consequently, people suffer from food insecurity since agricultural activities are disrupted, and there is forest and biodiversity loss as well as water scarcity.

Migration from the rural to urban areas due to the climate crisis is increasing in Nepal.

Drinking water, hygiene and proper sanitation system are being disrupted due to climate crisis.

Scientific research may help reduce the climate crisis through adaptation. According to Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), Nepal plans to combat greenhouse gas emissions by setting 14 goals in collaboration with the UN programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.

Maintaining risk reduction strategies like emergency awareness programmes and shifting traditional agricultural practices for food security by using natural barriers are ways to combat the adverse effect of climate change.

Nepal's aquaponics practices may be an innovative technology that can help grow more vegetables per unit area and improve fish farming to meet the extra food demand.

Use of electrical appliances in our homes and everyday life with the clean energy produced in the country can help cut down on greenhouse gas emission.

Active participation from all sectors, such as the public and government, is required to reduce the adverse effects of climate change. As they say in the west, "prevention is better than cure". Therefore, we all need to start preparing for the impending climate crisis in our country, which will be the norm if no action is taken.

A version of this article appears in the print on November 09, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.




Published: The Himalayan Times
Nepal's leading daily newspaper