Do we place more value on independence?

Yesterday, 19th September 2014 was a huge day for the people of United Kingdom. The people of Scotland were given a right to choose if they wanted to become independent or remain united as Great Britain. As soon as I woke up yesterday, I was constantly checking for the referendum results. No, I do not have any kind of relation to Scotland, just an interested citizen of the world here. But yes, my good friend is married to a Scot and my family lives in Wales but that has no bearings to my personal opinion. I was on the ‘yes’ side and was a little disappointed with the result. A country having a very rich culture, language, history and resources flourishing and putting itself on the map of the world not as a part of United Kingdom, but just as Scotland with all it uniqueness would have been wonderful to see.

I don’t know much about the history of Scotland or England or their economic, political and social situations but as a citizen of a small country, Nepal myself, I tend to think mostly with my emotions. Ofcourse, you cannot compare Nepal and Scotland in terms of development and progress, with Nepal being a developing nation only. But the feelings of patrotism is same everywhere. We Nepalese take great pride in our natural and culture heritages, customs and traditions, languages and most of all in our independence. Nepal may be a small and poor country lodged between two giant countries India and China, but it has always remain independent. When Britain was colonizing countries left, right and centre at one time and claiming that “the sun never sets in Britain”. We have fought with great valor, the great anglo-Nepal war, with our khukuris, primitive weapons, stones and even bare hands against the English to remain independent and not come under any foreign rule. The Gurkhas have earned the respect of the world and written their names in gold in history. Ofcourse, when ‘the treaty of Sugauli’ was signed between Nepal and Britain (East-India company) Nepal had to supersede 2/3rd of its territory (to be verified) and become the country it is today and the British have been recruiting the Gurkhas in their army ever since.

Nepal still doesn’t have much to show in terms of progress. Being a land-locked country with China on the north and India on all three sides, it has not been easy for Nepal. It depends on India to meet its supply of almost everything, especially petrol and gas. The political and economic situation of Nepal has been in shambles for a long time now and most people are living under the poverty line. And as the unemployment rate is high, many go to foreign countries to make their livings. But despite of every thing, not having proper electricity, water supply or roadways and other many things, I think people of my country are generally happy, being oblivious of many things. They get to be the way they are in the hills, mountains, springs and rivers, despite of their day to day problems and struggles. If Nepal was a part of India or China, it would have prospered definitely and not have the problems it has today. But Nepal exists in its own rights. It’s what we have fought for and what we shall choose every time.

How independent Scotland would have turned out, we can only guess. The people of Scotland have voted ‘No’ and the decision should be repected by all. To build a nation is a difficult job and as a new task it must be absolutely terrifying and daunting. Maybe people are more rational to stick with the known rather than venture into the unknown. Why rock the boat when it’s all good!!! Maybe the repercussions of going solo would have been greater, maybe it’s old fashioned to be an independent nation. The world has become a global village afterall and anyone can choose to live anywhere in the world today. Obviously, the people of Scotland know better as they are the people living there. Also, there’s a certain dynamic to being united. And maybe the United Kingdom deserves to remain united and not be broken down owing to all its magnanimity.  And whether independent or not, the highlands will always be there with their beautiful castles, breathtaking views and culture and I am sure nothing will diminish that.


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