Wednesday Nov 29, 2023
Wednesday Nov 29, 2023

Are protests really the answer?

As the violent protests rage on against Millennium Challenge Corporation, locals talk to NepalNews on how it is affecting their lives.

2022 Feb 28, 7:35, Kathmandu

With the big divide for and against, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), New Baneshwor where the federal parliament building is facing agitation day by day sees. Many parties have been protesting outside the parliament building, chanting slogans. This is not only affecting the lives of people living around the area but the whole Kathmandu valley.

The country has finally lifted the COVID lockdown, allowing businesses to run smoothly again. However, the ongoing agitation has not only affected the peace of the area but the businesses as well. People in Baneshwor are having a hard time going on with their day-to-day life affecting their lives really badly.

Raj Shrestha, the stationary owner at New Baneshwor, says “The traffic congestion has affected our day-to-day routine. Getting to work has become hectic and the worst part is shops from grocery stores to pharmacies are closed due to the ongoing strike.”

Despite beefed up security in some areas including Federal Parliament, Singhadurbar and Baluwatar, the citizens are not feeling safe. And to add to that traffic congestion due to the strike has become worse.

Talking to NepalNews, a Bachelor student says, “I am working as an intern in a firm. I have to go to work after my college, but due to the strike, it is hard for me to reach there in time. Despite my best efforts to take a different route, the traffic congestion has become worse.” “And as the situation at Baneshwor is so bad, I am afraid that I may get caught up in between the protests. The protestors are throwing rocks and security personnels are using tear gas. Though I have to come through the route, I would rather take a longer route to reach my office. This strike is just adding up to everyone else's problems. There must be a better way to solve the problem,” he adds.

The locals are still wondering how long this will go on! They not only have to go on with their day-to-day chores but have to run their business as well. But how can they, when they do not feel secure.

“The present situation has left me feeling insecure and am afraid to even get out of my house. Violence is definitely not the right step to solve a problem. How is this even solving somebody’s problem?” adds Shrestha.

For developing countries like Nepal, the lockdown has left a big hole in the economy. While many businesses had to close down, many are facing big financial problems. Is the strike really helping anyone? Many of the locals from Baneshwor share the same view on how the protest against MCC is not helping anyone and has left them feeling unsafe.

Amit Gharti, an electrical engineer, says, “The site I am working at is at Babarmahal that basically is right in the middle of Maitighar and Baneshwor where the protests are taking place. And the unnecessary violence from both the police and the protesters has affected many shops and offices including my own. The pandemic has already affected everyone financially, and this is only aggravating it more.”

Shrestha adds, “The protest is not helping anyone and to add to that it is creating more problems for the shopkeepers who just want to earn money and pay their rent. Lockdown has already put a lot of pressure on all of the shopkeepers here, and now the strike is just adding up more problems.”

The riot has not only affected people’s lives but many who have been involved in the strike have been injured. There are reports that many security personnels were also injured during the violent protest.

So, after talking to a number of people and getting the same answer, it leads to the question, “Is protest really the answer for the problems?”


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