Embassy of India in Kathmandu and B.P. Koirala India-Nepal Foundation organized the 11th edition of Voices, on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, a B.P. Koirala India-Nepal Foundation initiative held at Nepal-Bharat Library every month. On its 11th edition, Voices brought together eminent media personality and writer Kanak Mani Dixit and entrepreneur and author of Unleashing Nepal Sujeev Shakya.
Dixit and Shakya shared their views on connectivity in the East South Asia and the prospects for Nepal to benefit from this.
“For a change let us talk about East South Asia and the prospects Nepal has to benefit from it,” began Kanak Mani Dixit and added, “It’s high time that we focus on the economic prospects for Nepal from the East South Asia around us. Even if we are talking about our relationship with India, we need to think beyond Delhi. Partnership with Patna, Rajasthan, Kolkata can benefit Nepal in many ways. Similarly, infrastructure linkages with Lhasa and Dhaka could be equally lucrative for Nepal. If we can work it out, we can construct a proper road that can take any Nepali to Dhaka in overnight drive.”
Sujeev Shakya elaborated, “We have been missing in connecting with the youth in development sector. Look at the influence of Korean fashion growing in almost all East Asian countries. They are full of ideas and they are willing to join hands. We need to start discussing with the youth across East South Asian political boundaries.”
Kanak Mani Dixit further added how the people of Nepal have been limiting themselves around the rhetorical questions and confining themselves within just the nationalistic jingo and thoughts, most of which are not practical to implement and has nothing promising to offer to the nation.
“We need to get over the ideologies and opinions, we need to first look at ourselves to find out where do we stand, what have we been contributing, how much information have we acquired before we begin to play the blame game. Take for example, the issues of hydropower, what have we done to resolve it other than putting the same old rhetorical questions. The problem lies with us to begin with,” said Dixit.
Responding to a query from one of the audience, Dixit said, “The notion of a powerful state and a weaker one is across the world. It is up to us how we handle this.”
According to a press release of Indian Embassy, in meantime, Shakya highlighted the importance of improving relations with the East South Asian countries to expand the economic opportunities for Nepal. He emphasized on how Nepal’s tourism sector can benefit primarily from domestic tourists and then the tourists visiting from the East South Asian countries.
“65 percent of Nepal’s tourists outside Kathmandu are domestic tourists, who even if are hesitant in booking expensive accommodation, will however spend on recreational activities. Besides them, they are tourists primarily from East South Asian countries who spend a lot of money in Nepal round the year,” said Shakya.
The event concluded with Dixit and Shakya interacting with their audience on similar issues.