21st Century Citizen
21st century citizen – the definition for this might vary people to people, as does for any other terms. “21st century” is however a phrase that many of us, or at least people I know have used a lot during exams in the late 90s. By a lot, I mean A LOT. Every answer related to globalization and development had to start with “In this 21st century”. Too cliched it had become.
But how does it really feel to be in the 21st century? Completely a new world from what it was when we used to just write the phrase in the late 90s. Technology and development has changed how the world looks like. This change is not only limited to the outer surface but has prevailed in other dynamics as well – including how countries and leaders do politics.
For me, a Nepali, whose country slumped into a civil war with the onset of the century – almost stalling all the development activities, and instead rolling back, 21st century is yet to show the true colour. Not that the worldwide phenomenon and globalization has been far from the country, but we are yet to reap the development and ripple it out to the majority population.
On this very day, even in countries like Qatar, Kings are abdicating in favour of the younger generation – to give way for a new chapter of development. Unfortunately, we are still stuck with the old ones. It’s like the kids’ game of merry go round. People playing it have fun – but nothing for us. And on this very day, I went through this link which lists the failed states. Kind of heartbreaking. When a desert like Qatar could transform itself to one of the world’s richest countries, we are just going back. True, they have oil and we don’t. But that is not a good excuse for us at all.
This is something I heard some time back – the verification is not done but let me share it to you as well – even if just for the sake of discussing. And it goes like this – during the Malla regime, Kathmandu (Kantipur, a kingdom at that time), used to be one of the most civilized and rich kingdoms in the world. Could be as Kathmandu used to be a port for trade with Tibet and the southern states and it used to collect lots of coins as tax. Also, other exisiting countries were not in the present form – most of them small ones and fighting for the territory. Regardless of how true this is, we can surely say from the art, architecture and the culture that we weren’t at all a failed or crippling state back then. But now we are – after centuries, in this 21st century!
What went wrong?