ENCOUNTERING INSURGENCY

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May be I have an efficient hippocampus in my brain I still remember those rattling guns, booming bombs, voluble news everywhere here and there. Yes, those were the most evil days I ever heard of, days that squeezed the tears out of the country’s eyes, days that seized education from every single rural child, days that tormented every rural denizen, in a nutshell days that pushed the whole country into a frantic feud. Every new sunshine would spring out a new orphan, a new widow, a new homeless, a new missing case, a new death. Peace at that time was miles way far word for Nepalese.

I was born in Rapti zone in mid west of Nepal, spring head of Maoist insurgency. Pyuthan, my birthplace was a humdrum for the communist rebellions. From my early childhood I was told that our country is in a war and we are at the core of it. For every notorious deed I was warned that the rebellion beast would arrive to take me away. I thought those were just some excuses to dwindle my wrong deeds before I started seeing gunmen around our village.

 It was during my play hours one day, peeking through the wall at the back of my house I saw two gunmen pointing the tip to the third who was with a heavy bag at the back, I surmised he had just returned from a foreign land. Shriveling in a terrible fear he was submitting every possession to those rude voluble gunmen. Fazed with that scene a sense of deep fear crept through my young heart. It was after the gunman saw me and shouted I fled away from the site.  With that innocent mind I was ignorant about the motives the feud possessed but my inner just said that those cold fish in a faint army dress had no humanity.

 After a few days of that sight, I was busy doing my homework outside when I heard a sound of march approaching my home. March that still echo in my ear clearly. About twenty rebellions had arrived that night insisting my pregnant aunt to prepare a dinner for them.  A denial meant death or a brutal torture. So they had their dinner. During their whole stay I was sitting in a chair dangling my leg with my curious eyes hardly blinked. Amazingly I now realize that they didn’t have a single bit of guilt in them because none of them seemed  gloomy, sad or with any sort dissatisfaction from their deeds rather they were witty ,laughing, making jokes as if they were fully contented with their life. It seemed like they were rather proud for what they were doing.  With a full belly, they left our home after their commander ordered them to do so.

Trends didn’t stop sometime they were there asking my father to fund their feud and sometime they were there asking for a room to stay a night. Literally nobody had the courage to deny them. They were too stubborn in their demand. Once they asked my father to print their photos (we had a photo studio then), he was a day late to do that and he was taken away. Luckily he returned the same evening saying that a brief discussion and few warning and he was set free. Days passed by, fear lurked behind every village dwellers heart. News of headquarters beings bombed out, a son or a daughter being taken away, husbands being  brutally killed were heard everyday incessantly.

Eventually the so called change seekers closed every schools and colleges of our village. Panic was set in every house as parents were worried about their children’s future. Our parents decided to move us to Dang a neighboring district relatively safer and more developed. I still remember that tiresome journey to dang where we had to take a long route suspecting an ambush on the way and the armies stopping the bus in every hour or next just to check for any suspects. Finally we were at dang with a new school for the further study.

It was during early days of our stay in dang, my mother was busy with her daily chores.  My brother and I were engaged in our homework. Suddenly the guns started rattling, armies were hollering and helicopter flying above, intense panic was set around. Mother was shouting at me and my brother. We quickly ran to her and finally we were there lurking beneath our bed. Those Sounds lasted for half an hour or more and then a complete silence around. That night we all slept without a single bit of discussion about the event. To our amazement, the next morning we found that whole event was a small part of soldiers training in an army barrack nearby.  The fear of violence was so deeply impregnated in our mind that a simple training had daunted us so intensely. We were not the only victims then, the whole nation was and the only victors were them ………  its already been 10 years since the feud ended but the pain it conjured up is still alive …………

 

ORIGINALITY: DON’T THINK DIFFERENT, THINK DIFFERENTLY

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Originality is anything with unique and meaningful intrinsic character. It preferably emerges out of a new thought. Saying this doesn’t mean for something original something new is mandatory. Millions of thoughts hover around the planet. Moreover human mind harbors 70000 thoughts a day. Thus originality can  spring out of these if they are molded creatively into new ones.

we prepare varieties of relishing dish using same ingredients , designers create beautiful designs  out of alike dresses,  musicians create soothing music tones  of same 12 notes, likewise every tiny fragment of this creation is an outcome of different combinations of  existing 109 elements. These facts clearly exemplify  that for originality tactful blending of the existing things is sufficient rather than a completely strange idea.

In scientific field too various researches are done and every research with their findings are staked on  past scientific theories. Famous quantum theory of physics was derived from the Newton’s old mechanics; likewise keplers law had the base of Newton’s law of gravitation. So behind every new invention a strong base of old theory is associated.

Obsolete stuffs in new gesture also represent originality. As it is evident , these days old music are improvised in a modern way and yes, they also represent originality. So for anything original to spring out it must have a basic ground of old thoughts, objects and ideas. If something new was to emerge without them then changes would be quite abrupt  to cope up with.

Changes are gradual. We feel it on a long term basis because an invention today becomes a base for the next rather than a huge creation out of a hollow base. We can take simple example of cell phones we use these days, cell phones during their first launch were quite easy to use later the functions and design were improvised and now we have android and Microsoft versions relatively complex ones but still we can use them fluently it’s because though these are new and complex ones, they are created on the ground of same basic design and functioning of the phones we were acquainted with and are outcome of gradual improvisation on them. And nobody can debate about the originality these phones posses in their function and design as they are quite different from their predecessor.

In conclusion plagiarism is a crime, further it’s a matter of abashment. Recent news of plagiarism where Melina trump was severely criticized for copying the speech of Michele obama is a vivid evidence to support the necessity of originality in every nook and corner of our daily living. So everything we create, write, compose or publicize with our tag must be original but for something original it is not necessary to have a long way fare beyond the planet. Simply existing thoughts, ideas and objects around us are sufficient to create something original and something new with our tag in it.

 

 

PULSES: CRUX TO A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

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Presently 800 million of the total world population goes to bed with a hungry stomach.  Furthermore, it is assumed that population of the word will be at pinnacle (9.1 billion) by 2050  which will require a spectacular rise in food production, at least by 70%. Feeding this huge population with the matters like green house and climate change in consideration is really a hard nut to crack. Considering all these facts the 68th general assembly of UNO marked 2016 as international pulse year with an objective of apprising the globe about the nutritional importance of pulses and booster their production, finally contributing to sustainable future through these nutritious seed.

Pulses are leguminous crops cultivated for their dry grains. They have been staple human diet since the dawn of civilization, people from Indian subcontinent used lentil and chickpea as dal, the Japanese and Chinese had mung, aduki, and young soybeans in their meal, Persian ate lentil and greek preferred lima beans. Nutritionally, these are excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins, micronutrient , carbohydrate and fat .  Due to their higher nutritional quality even the  people from poor country can have them as a rich source of protein as the people there can’t afford  for high energy expensive protein foods like meat, fish, vegetable or fruits. With these nutritional benefits in one hand pulses are amenable to multiple cropping systems providing a strong aegis against crop failure by revitalizing soil nutrient through nitrogen fixation and increment in phosphorus availability. Due to their expansive root system they also help in improving soil structure and dwindle its erosion too. Even used as in situ source of green manure they help in increasing the organic matter content in soil. So the fact that they posses excellent nutrient quality and improve the edaphic factors creates a strong base of food security for present and future as well. Reckoning these crops as an important source of protein farmers also use them as feed in livestock industry too (25% of total production). With these ample of benefits the propensity of farmer towards the production of these high value crops is increasing. Recent data show their annual production of 64 million tons in 69.29 ha of land with India as the leading country to produce them. Regarding our country the production of pulses is relatively higher. Nepal ranks as fifth after Canada, India, Australia and turkey as major producers of lentil (one of the major pulse).

Though pulses are both affordable and nutritious still their rate of production is increasing at a sluggish pace. Main reason behind this is relatively lower biomass production from their cultivation due to quick transport of protein from foliage to seed and translocation of 30 -50% of the photosynthate directly to root nodules. Similarly these high value crops have relatively smaller life span with maximum nutrient content in them which makes it mandatory to uptake nutrient at rapid pace requiring them to be grown in highly nutritious soil in well managed way unlike cereals or other crops which can be easily grown in soil with lesser nutrition. Likewise problems of low quality seeds, pests, diseases, weeds, harvesting difficulties due to asynchronous maturity of pods are some of the other causes for their lower production.

 

Organization like FAO, CIGAR in collaboration with government, stakeholders and other relevant organizations are trying to ease the production process of pulses and further increase their production and consumption amount. As for example different scientists from these organizations are trying to develop anodulated varieties which are expected to raise the yield to considerable extent likewise efforts to develop short duration varieties are also made in order to include them in relay cropping and sequential cropping.  This chain of efforts should be given continuity at an accelerating pace as most part of the world still pervades in grief of malnutrition and hunger. Further efforts can be made to heave the production through a good rapport among various organizations, government and farmer. Relevant researches with good extension can be a common major effort world widely. As for the developing country adoption of same old traditional technology in production process has been a major hurdle for satisfactory production. So, introduction and transfer of proper modern technology might aid in increasing the production to a significant extent. Stabilization of prices, provision of quality seed, adoption of seed quarantine measures, effective steps for alleviating pests and diseases, sowing in optimum, date, time and spacing are some other efforts to be made.

So the world resides in poverty, it resides in hunger, it resides in pathetic malnutrition. Though a man from a poor country may not be able to afford meat as a source of protein but he might able to afford a handful of pulse lending the same nutrition so let’s promote pulse, protect future, prevent malnutrition and celebrate IYP2016 with pulses!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

SLASH AND BURN

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“South East Asia haze:  what is slash and burn?” said BBC headline. A sense of dense curiosity hovered around me; that led me to find something worthy to know about. As human civilization commenced and flourished hunting and gathering alone could no longer fulfill the rising demand of consumption. This shortage was a springhead for slash and burn agriculture, literally the oldest agriculture technique till known. Slash and burn farming is an agriculture technique where the forest are cleared in patches and the remains are blazed up with an intention to create an agricultural field. Thus created field posses enriched fertility as ash produced from fire ekes out maximum nutrition to it. Then with the progress of farming, fertility of the field gradually dwindles and vanishes completely within a year or next. Land then revitalizes its nutrition and vegetation emerges ultimately gaining the original state within 15-20 years. Believed to be originated from temperate parts its popularity these days is most common in tropical forest and forested hills of south Asia. Presently land coverage of about 300 football grounds is being cleared every hour summing up to 200 million ha a year , as a result of slash and burn. About 200-500 million people, or up to 7% of the world’s population, uses this technique for agriculture. In our country Nepal certain ethnic groups of mid-hill practice slash and burn in the name of khoriya farming in about 20 districts to cultivate various crops.

Slash and burn was a conducive way of agriculture earlier at the dawn of human civilization but at present with rushing rise of issues like global warming and climate change this may prove to be a fatalistic one.  As a result of slash and burn ample of green house gases are released which booster global warming and climate change to further extent. Furthermore, toppling down of trees causes loss of roots and temporary water storage resulting in rapid soil erosion and nutrient decline. As forests are rich in biodiversity, demolishing them sweep away the residing flora and fauna completely consequently disturbing the ecosystem. Likewise, Intentional fire sometime gets out of control conveying the conflagration to the nearby forests and devastating the biodiversity over there too. Rapid carbon emission, air pollution, water contamination and loss of habitat are some of the other harmful consequences of slash and burn.

With these cons in one hand slash and burn is still embraced by the farmers in many parts of world. For the people residing in densely forested areas (tropical and south East Asia) this technique is mandatory way of practicing agriculture. Similarly farmers usually prefer this technique as the field is fertile and problem of weeds; pest and insects are completely wiped away by fire consequently raising the yield to significant extent.

 

Though slash and burn posses both pros and cons still the cons overpower pros in the present contest. Many researchers suggest this technology as a fragile way of agriculture in 21st century.  Thus environment based organizations such as Ecologic Development Fund are promoting other environment friendly techniques like agro forestry, alley farming techniques to mitigate the negative impact of slash and burn.  Likewise in Nepal organizations like MDI-NEPAL is promoting agro forestry in khoriya (slash and burn) farming areas. This organization initiated plantation of commercial agro forestry species (ipil-ipil, banana, and pineapple, brome grass) to enhance the farm income of the farmers. In conclusion, with the globe in the tenterhook of jeopardizing natural disasters, climate change and global warming slash and burn is not a sustainable way of agriculture at present thus chain of efforts must be stretched from government, organizations and farmers level to reduce the trend of this fragile technique and accept other safe ones to progress agriculture and promote environment.