Shimla: The destination for Nepalese

[ 0 ] May 29, 2010 |

janak“The root of evil is not the system actually but the sin that we are holding on which drives us to cling unto the system that has been corrupting Nepalese over the years and years. the Truth is clear that we adopt poor systems to try and satisfy our sin nature which wants something for nothing, or we want what our neighbor has. Thus the real reason for the drunkenness, the festivals, the strikes and curfew, is the darkened heart of the person not the system indeed.”

The history of Shimla goes back to the early 19th Century. Prior to that Gorkhas ruled over Shimla. After the Gorkha war (the 1816-18 war with the British East India Company) the British dominated the land and gave it a new identity. Shimla was made the summer capital in 1864 and later in 1966 it was made the capital of Himanchal Pradesh. The Himanchal Pradesh is known as one of the richest states in the country; however the disparity between the rich and poor has been the same as it is in other arenas. A visit inside the Mall reveals both the Indian tourists holding in his hands a fancy gift while on the other side a teenager porter ( either Nepali or Kashmiri) carrying a heavy load on his back. Shimla has been marvelously constructed during the British raj; however this would not have been possible without Nepalese labour in building Shimla.

The flow of Nepali migrants to Shimla

Nepalese are drawn to Shimla for three reasons.

1. The cultivation of orchards in the hilly regions.
2. Cooks and helpers in hotels/restaurants.
3. As Porters on hill sides.

 

Apart from these jobs, there are people who work as security guards. However not many work as security guards compared to the other jobs. It would not be fair to talk only about Nepalese when we deal with the migration issue since there are also a fair number of kashmiri people who even look like as Nepalese, and have been working in Shimla for over the years. The job profile of these people has not been better than the Nepalese. Last month I visited Shimla and went further towards the orchards side to interact with some Nepalese. I found an interesting fact that some Nepalese have been living there for over a long period. Some of the Nepalese have been settled there and don’t want to return back to Nepal. The teenagers fled from Nepal searching for work or to secure themselves from the political crisis “ What can we do in Nepal? Whatever we do, has been captured by Maoist- even sometime by the false Maoist ( Khaobadi). They force us to join in their group. There is no opportunity for work”( 22-year-old man). In the same line of discouragements, we have flocks of people who came in search of livelihood and now found Shimla is a secure destination for them; at least they can work easily here no matter how difficult the work. “We don’t mind how difficult the task is but we want a peaceful environment where we can enjoy the work’ ( 60-year-old man). This is one aspect of the tragedy of migrants. We have another aspect where Nepalese came in force because they had secured large loans from their neighbors that they could not repay Thus they have never returned to Nepal.

Our system didn’t teach us decency and moral structures which could inculcate within us how to conduct ourselves in pursue of the civilization. Our civilization didn’t leave the legacy that would transform our thoughts and structures. However we have been following our traditions in the name of our heritage and culture and never dare to fight with the things which corrupts our minds and thoughts. We, Nepalese have been diluted with the alcohol (Raksi) in every festivals. We have plenty of festivals than anyone else could have had in the world. Our country has more strikes and curfews than any country could have had. We have more politicians who knows only to flatter than any country could have had. We have more holidays than any country could have had. Then how can we expect stability and progression in Nepal. The root of evil is not the system actually but the sin that we are holding on which drives us to cling unto the system that has been corrupting Nepalese over the years and years. the Truth is clear that we adopt poor systems to try and satisfy our sin nature which wants something for nothing, or we want what our neighbor has. Thus the real reason for the drunkenness, the festivals, the strikes and curfew, is the darkened heart of the person not the system indeed. We don’t check the system but blindly follow them as if they are our inheritance.

How the Church is responding to the Issues!

I must confess here that Nepalese churches in Shimla have done exemplary work indeed. We must praise God for the ministry of YWAM who has been doing pioneering work in Shimla and many more churches have been flourishing in and around the Shimla. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14. Isn’t it marvelous to see the progressive work of the church which has been effective among the migrant people! For example, in the societies, the trend of disloyalty in marriages has been reduced a lot as migrants saw the Nepalese Christians getting married in the churches: “ Things have drastically changed over the last few years. There are fewer broken families—less divorce. Migrant people are more open to the gospel now than before” (One of the local pastor in Shimla).Another important factor of the Shimla work is the networking and togetherness of workers in the ministry. The Bible gives the standard model of ministry as togetherness in heart and mind of workers which brings the glory to God. This is what we can sense from the Shimla church which is praise worthy and a testimony for others too. The crux of the matter is that the trans-states migration has been the obstacle for Nepali churches since there is not much networking within the Nepali churches in India. However this has been improved far better than before and we hope the networking within diaspora churches in India would grow much better in assisting migrant people more smoothly in the days to come.

Republished in new layout 8/9/2013

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