Wednesday, February 11, 2015

7 habits of highly inefficient Tharus

Let me start this piece of satire with a disclaimer – no offence to anybody whose single trait matches with one or more of the below mentioned seven habits. I am myself addicted to quite few of them.

I am not being critical. It’s a reality. Recently, Tharus have been highly inefficient.  And I am digging out the root causes of inefficiency so that the young generation finds a panacea for them and starts cultivating habits that make them highly efficient.

Tharus especially the young ones, though adorned with feel-good adjectives like strong, honest and humble, are often ridiculed with sobriquets like darupiya (alcoholic) and Madhise (derogatory word for people from Terai/Madhes with dark skin). In spite of Tharus, all the time, claiming to be different from Madhesis. Now let’s have a look at all the seven traits that are making the Tharus inefficient and ineffective. 

The first and foremost enemy of the Tharus is daru (alcohol). I don’t know what’s so special about alcohol that the Tharus are so passionate about it. Like they developed immunity against malaria living together with the mosquitoes in the dense jungles, they should have developed similar sort of immunity against alcohol. But it never happened. The Tharus have been brewing alcohol, offering alcohol to their deities and have been drinking it for thousands of years.  Still, not being able to control the intake and not being able to define the limit has led them to the brink of bankruptcy. In spite of knowing that their fathers and forefathers lost all their land, property and pride due to alcohol, they still have been drinking the liquid that makes them largely lethargic.

It’s spreading like an epidemic. Wherever I go, I see the youngsters wasting their precious time and money smoking ganja (marijuana). Earlier, so far as I remember, it was used as means of recreation. I am witness to the pot inhaling sessions of my grandfather and gang. They used to smoke it no more than twice a day and it was offered to guests to relieve them of their tiring travels. Nowadays, you don’t need a pain reliever as you never travel on foot for long. So why smoke pot? Though the youngsters know the habit will lead them to dangerous drugs later, they keep on being stoned throwing their ambitions away in ditches of dope.

Then the habit that’s killing the Tharus softly is procrastination. Though being taught Kal kare so aaj, aaj kare so abhi meaning do today whatever you want to do tomorrow and [do it] right now what you want to accomplish today, they keep on postponing important errands to a later date which makes success shy away from them. Opportunity knocks only once on your doors and if you don’t respond to it, it’s never going to come back again. Though there have been some exceptions, most Tharus have been victims of postponement. 

Another hindering trait is being timid. I don’t mean to say that Tharus are coward and can’t fight for any cause. But it really takes time to get them heated for a cause. Hit the iron when it’s hot is the saying, but they get heated only when the situation is out of control. They fear whether somebody will take it for bad if they talk about or do any antagonising action.

Coming to the fifth trait – have you heard a fable about bats? Bats were so confused that they neither joined the animals nor the birds and finally both the species banished them from joining their groups. So has been the fate of the Tharus. They are neither benefitting from being listed as indigenous people nor for residing in Terai which is being claimed as Madhes. Whenever any opportunity arises to crawl out of the marginalisation, it is either picked up by the hill indigenous people or the Madhesis. And the Tharus just get the naught.     

Being hesitant to use the networks and recommend the deserving ones for plum posts have always let the Tharus down.  Even the Westerners find it comfortable to use their networks and promote the ones they know. In Nepal, no need to mention, most people who have access to power and politicians use the nexus. However, they call it network! They find ways to promote nepotism terming it as capability. As if the ones who don’t have near and dear ones in power are worthless. Poor fellows, I pity on them.  I have heard hundreds of complaints against Tharu elders who rose to high powers. Whenever a fellow kinsman went to them for support, they sent him back telling to try on his own, build capacity and have faith on oneself. And while the fellow burned the midnight oil, his less deserving competitor got the opportunity, being pulled by the power of network.

The last but the most prominent trait that always restricts Tharus to rise upwards is their servile mindset. Though most claim this nature to being humbe, I take it as considering themselves inferiors to others. One of my seniors claims that the habit was imbibed by the Tharus because of the hundreds of years of serving the kings, Ranas and later the newly crowned landlords. The proud mentality prevalent in earlier Tharus turned into being servile. So now, they are ready to serve anybody. But thanks, they are not sycophants and the good thing is, they abhor boot-licking.

As every problem has a solution within itself, the hindering traits which have always tied the feet of Tharus have the solution within themselves. If you take out the first letters of all the bad habits, it makes the acronym, DGTBHS. And fortunately it gives a great lesson – Dig a pit and bury the bad habits.

So, why are you waiting?

Let’s abolish all the bad habits that are stopping the Tharus from being efficient and effective. Turn them into seven habits of highly efficient Tharus!

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