Thursday, March 29, 2007

New York Metro Nepalis: Organizational Challenges




ANONYM Audio 4 03/31/07
ANONYM Audio 3 03/31/07

As we head towards our May 12 meeting at Yak, I see a few options before us.

(1) The Tara Niraula Option. His organization the America Nepal Friendship Society calls up meetings, and he runs them, once every six months.

(2) The Khagendra GC Option. This is now in play. There is a Coordination Committee. And there is a rotating leadership. So if organization A ran the meeting this time, after all other organizations have done the same, it will be organization A's turn all over again, which will be in about15 years, considering there are about 30 organizations, and we are scheduled to meet once every six months.

(3) The Luna Ranjit Option. Meet more often, maybe once every three months. And have collective leadership. To be honest, I don't know what that means. What is collective leadership? It can mean wonderful cooperation, but then it can also mean everybody's business is nobody's business.

(4) The Anand Bist Option. There is no need for a Coordination Committee. There is definitely no need for an umbrella organization. "Organization haroo ko pani organization kahin hunchha? Kahin na sunya kura."

(5) The Paramendra Bhagat Option. Form an umbrella organization. ANONYM: Association Of Nepali Organizations In New York Metro.

Of course I will go with the democratic choice of the majority. And right now looks like it is going to be the Khagendra GC Option. But I do stand by my proposal. And I would like to continue to make a case for it.

My proposal is to:
  1. Make all the existing organizations much more accountable to their individual members. You do that by injecting democracy and transparency into them. All members will be listed online. All bookkeeping will be online. All voting will be open. Minutes of all meetings will be posted online.
  2. You form the umbrella organization and break it up from the rest of the diaspora. That way ANONYM goes head to head with NAC and NRNA. NAC and NRNA are too elitist and opaque. NRNA is more like a Chamber Of Commerce.
  3. This break comes to an end after NAC and NRNA have adopted democracy and transparency as their basic principles. Then we stitch it back up.
  4. Build The Matrix so as to rope in other New Yorkers as well. That way we Nepalis form the nucleus of an emerging movement in the city. We help export the April Revolution into countries like Bhutan, Burma, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
  5. We use The Matrix to earn voting rights for us in the city.
  6. The flagship of the ANONYM will be Nepali Convention 2008, NYC.
Why is there resistance to my proposal?
  1. Very few Nepalis are organized, period. Less than 100 Nepalis in the city are active members of one or the other organization. People feel they are too busy making money. They don't have time. They feel there is no need. They feel they are being realistic. The most powerless are the ones who need to get organized the most. It is a chicken egg situation. The Nepali are powerless because they are not organized. They are not organized because they are powerless.
  2. Members of the various organizations are apathetic. They are not engaged. They are not involved much.
  3. Leaders do not practice democracy and transparency. And so they fail to empower their members.
  4. Organizing Nepalis in the city has never been a mass based concept. What I am proposing is a mass based thing. The thinking so far has been if you know these 10-20 people, you know everyone you need to know.
  5. There is this Nepal fixation. People don't talk about their utter powerlessness in the city. We are busy talking up the ethnic politics in Nepal. We have to talk up both.
  6. There is fear if ANONYM is formed, I might become its president. Symbolically speaking, that makes some people queasy. I am a Madhesi.
  7. There are a lot of Nepalis who feel they have finally seen my "true face" after the Madhesi Movement. They don't like what they see. I am not going to hide anything. I am wedded to the idea of a Madhesh state, Rapti to Mechi. And we will get it through the ballot box. If you believe in democracy and federalism, but you don't like my map, you have the option to try and sell that alternate map to the Madhesi people.
But primarily it is lack of political consciousness in the community. Lack of time, lack of money are secondary reasons. There is lack of money because powerless communities by defintion will be poor.

The Nepalis in New York City as dwellers of the capital city of the world are well positioned to provide leadership to the entire Nepali diaspora across the world. Nepalis are powerless across the world. If we can get them organized on a mass scale through the basic principles of democracy and transparency, we will realize this is but the natural next step to the wonderful April Revolution itself.

For me it is like this. The April Revolution made the Madhesi Movement possible. Both should make the Diaspora Movement possible.

But right now I am not hopeful that the ANONYM proposal will be adopted. My best bet is to go beyond the leadership and to the people. But that will be a tough nut to crack.

Another option is to take my focus away to my private endeavor which is the single best thing we can do for the Global South, the IC.

My new signature that goes out with all my emails is this.

http://ic101.blogspot.com
http://bhagatversion.blogspot.com

Please take a moment to take an online survey. Just click here and enter survey number 49593 in the Take A Survey box on the bottom right!

Nepali Convention 2008, NYC (Put On Hold, Likely Not Happening Due To Rejection Of ANONYM Proposal)
ANONYM Audio 2 03/24/07
ANONYM Audio 03/21/07
Invest 03/19/07
Audio Message 03/03/07
ANONYM: Association Of Nepali Organizations In New York Metro




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1 comment:

Ashutosh Shrivastav said...

Madheshis-- wherever you are--this is the urgency of time for us to be united and let madhesh fight for justice. No more tolerance. We Madheshis honor the guests, even the uninvited ones, but we cannot tolerate their excesses. This is my sincere request "please be united", unless we will be aliens one day. We have endured enough, not anymore. We comprise more then 50% and more capable to run Nepal, educated and learned. We demand atleast 50% representation in Nepal. We have requested enough, now is the time to snatch it.

We all madheshis must be willing to fight for our brothers to end the brutal rule of pahades.

Jai Madhesh