My Proposal To The Saturday Symposium At Columbia

  • Saturday, January 14, 2006, From 8.30 am to 5 PM
  • Jerome Greene Hall, Room 102 Columbia University Law School, New York, NY 10027, At the corner of 116 th Street and Amsterdam Ave

I believe this is going to be a fairly representative group of Nepalis from across the continent although I don't believe the Nepali organizations in the US have ever truly been mass based. But this meeting has to be made the best use of if we are in tune with the mass movement in Nepal.

I would like to propose a few concepts and a few projects.


(1) We have to become mass based.

If there are 50,000 Nepalis in the US, we have to find ways to reach out to as many of them as possible. The Flickr project is designed to do that. This might be the best, simplest, cheapest, fastest, most egalitarian, most hassle free, most inclusive, most decentralized way to do it. People with digital cameras should reach out to the Nepalis in their respective circles, take group pictures of people who support the cause, upload them at Flickr, and tag them nepaldemocracy.

We have to seek dignity not only for Nepalis who have college and advanced degrees, who hold top paying jobs with institutions of renown, Neplis who are US citizens and green card holders, but also those who only have high school degrees, who work odd jobs, who work below minimum wage. The positive fallouts are many. We are in good position to present Nepal as the Iraq for the Democrats for 2006 and 2008. We could hope to work to earn voting rights for non-citizens in cities like New York: no taxation without representation.

Participation in the democracy movement is not just for those 27 million back in Nepal but also for the 50,000 in the US. See this as political self interest.

(2) We have to think of the Internet as the new country.

It is not America. We don't live in America. America is Europe, the Internet is America. The traditional geographical boundary/barrier between Nepal and America no longer exists if we can fully embrace the Internet. If we were to create a few open, virtual "parliaments," we could contribute not only to the establishment of democracy, but also to the institution building without which democracy is at best hollow, and also to rapid economic growth for the country, year in year out, decade in decade out. There is no substitue to face time, but we have to optimize screen time to the max to both enrich face time, and also to make interaction and exchange possible when face time might not be an option.

Because of the internet, we all can become our own media. (Blogger, Audioblogger, Blastpodcast, YouTube) This is true for those of us in the US but also for those in Nepal. We could truly collaborate with people at the other end and we should do it.

(3) Put your money where your mouth is.

Talk is not enough. Ideas are not enough. Press statements are not enough. Lobbying is not enough. Rallies are not enough. Events are not enough.

We have to move on to that next step, which is to provide major logistical support to the movement back in Nepal. Several projects were identified at the Nepal Democracy Google Group in November. All 50,000 Nepalis in the US can afford to donate at least $10. Many can afford to donate $1000 or more. And we should do it. We can disagree on how that money should be raised and spent - personally I am for the most decentralized ways possible - but we can not disagree on if or not to raise the money. Money has to be raised.

I am for going beyond the projects identified so far to directly funding the protests rallies and programs of the seven party alliance. They should take care of the political aspects, we should take care of the financial aspects. We could quicken the pace of the movement for a quicker resolution. We have the power to do that.

On The Web

Orange Revolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Indian Independence Movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
French Revolution - Wikipedia
American Revolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Russian Revolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chinese Civil War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
May Fourth Movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chinese democracy movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Democracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Human rights - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Freedom of speech - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


10 January12:36British Telecommunications plc, United Kingdom
10 January15:17KORNET, Korea
10 January20:57New York University, New York, United States
10 January22:14Michigan Technological Inst., Houghton, United States
11 January01:15KDDI Corporation, Japan