As I was driving office today morning, I was stopped at Koteshwar. A group of protesters forced the vehicles to return. I followed their decree, for in today's Nepal you never know where and when riot begins and the road becomes the first casualty.
I had an appointment with Mr. Gopal Bagale, Counsellor of Indian Embassy at 11:30 am. After saying a quick hi to my colleagues at my office, I rushed to the appointment. Colleague Kanchan Adhikari asked for a pillion ride to which I agreed. We were stopped at Shantinagar gate. As I flashed my ID in front of seemingly furious protesters, one told me to be serious while reporting the news. "hamro samachar lekhda bichar garne," he warned me. I nodded and proceeded.
This scene was re-created in a number of intersections of the city where a bunch of teenagers took control of the street. At Babarmahal, I took the right turn and headed towards Singh Darbar, the headquarters of Nepal government. There, another traffic jam greeted me. Finally, we were able to drive through the heavy traffic and the road heading towards Putalisadak seemed free of turbulence.
Lately, after the restoration of democracy in April last year specifically, we Nepalis are doomed to tolerate this sort of blockades. People vent their anger in the street even for a trifle cause. Apparently, today morning they were protesting against the killing of a lecturer at Nepal Commerce Campus by an unidentified group. These were the students and teachers who obstructed traffic especially at Matighar-Koteshwor route, and warned of an indefinite strike. A couple of days back, there was another protest by taxi drivers in Sinamangal area. They were furious with the mistreatment of drivers by the police in the cases of accidents. The list is long, but isn't it high time we got rid of such onerous indulgences?
Read this beautiful article by Ameet Dhakal in The Kathmadnu Post