Gangtok: Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) president and former chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was honoured with the Kiraya Yalamber Smriti Samman in Kathmandu by Kirat Rai Yayokha, a social organisation of the Kirat Rai in Nepal, on Wednesday.
The programme had chief minister of Pradesh No. 1 Sher Dhan Rai as the chief guest and was attended by a host of dignitaries that included former ministers, members of Federal Parliament of Nepal, former Ambassadors, former presidents of Kirat Rai Yayokha, among others. Chamling was also felicitated by the Kirat Rai Vidhyarthi Sangh and presented with a piece of art.
While delivering his acceptance speech, Chamling expressed his gratitude to Kirat Rai Yayokha for the honour bestowed on him. He underlined that despite political boundaries that separate Sikkim and Nepal, the people of the two countries are united by history, language, culture, tradition and similar struggles.
Chamling said that he visited Nepal for the felicitation not as a politician but as a family member of the Yayokha and to pay his respects to his fatherland. “I am still in active politics. I however do not have any political objective in coming here,” he said.
Delving into politics, Chamling dwelt on the kind of politics prevalent in developing countries which is characterised by an utter lack of politics based on ideology and values, where majority of politicians do politics only for power. He rued that such politics has earned politicians a bad name and he is a victim of such politics.
Reflecting on Sikkim’s development under him, Chamling said that as the longest serving chief minister of the largest democracy in the world, he has, with the blessing from the people of Sikkim, contributed to the recognition of the identity of the Nepali speaking people. He also touched upon how Sikkim under SDF initiated innovative projects such as ‘Char Dhaam’ (Siddheswar Dham) which is unique in India and bagged the most innovative project award by the government of India.
Speaking about Sikkim’s organic farming, Chamling emphasised that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself urged Nepal to emulate Sikkim and become the first organic country in the world. This reflects Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to organic farming and his vision for a healthier world, he added.
Highlighting Sikkim’s achievement in fulfilling basic minimum needs of the people, he reflected that even a bird has a nest and eats to its fill, which must inspire every politician to ensure that basic minimum needs of human beings are fulfilled. Dwelling on Nepal’s nascent democracy, he said that democracy fails when the people only think about their rights while ignoring their responsibilities. He further stressed that those committed to building society and the nation must never give up. “I have not given up. I’m only out of power but not out of active politics,” he remarked.
Addressing the youths, Chamling said that the dimension of our competition has completely changed. Our youths are forced to compete with Artificial Intelligence which is slowly pushing people out of jobs.
“If we continue thinking that our progress has been hindered due to our caste or religion or community, we cannot be farther from the truth,” he told the gathering. Instead of looking for external enemies, it is time to look within and identify our weaknesses.
He urged all not to waste even a second of their precious life in nurturing negative feelings about others. “Wastage of human resource is far more dangerous than wastage of natural resources”, he emphasised, adding that in order for a country to develop, the utilisation of its natural resources must equally match the utilisation of its human resource. He also underlined that every individual has some kind of expertise and their potential must be fully realised for a country to progress.
Highlighting ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ initiative, Chamling said that local cuisines must be promoted more and gave example of how the Chinese have promoted their food and to some extent have even changed the food habit of people across the globe. He especially highlighted the good relations between India and Nepal and the need to strengthen the relationship.
He informed that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to solidify the Indo-Nepal relation is evidenced by his personal visit to Nepal last year, and stressed that all the Indian Nepali and the Nepali citizens must work together to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries, as the Indian Nepali have an important role to play in ensuring that the friendly bond between the two countries is further solidified.
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