We are here not for any special demands, we want just equality. We have dedicated most of our life for Britain taking it as our own nation. In return, what did we get? Discrimination?" The slogans are those of the British Gurkhas protesting in front of British Embassy at Lazimpat. I watched the desperate protest for seven long days through the window of my college laboratory.
No sooner the hour hand of the clock would strike 11:00, they would start assembling for the protest. All hoisting placards that read slogans like "we want justice", "No discrimination please", "Settlement visas for all Gurkhas for UK"etc.
In the first day of the protest, my friend peeping out through the very window asked, "What do they actually protest for? They are getting huge salary, which is almost incredible for normal Nepalese." His view struck me once and I said, "It is not the matter of salary. If you do the same job that a British national does, it is your right to demand same perks and salaries. Won't you feel discriminated if you are given lesser salaries when you are doing the same job?
British Gurkhas are discriminated from the very beginning, the time they were recruited, in the salary and facilities even though they contributed substantially. Is it because Gurkhas are comparatively diminutive in size? Or because they are from a poor country? If there is equal risk in battle, why is the British government reluctant to provide equality? Is a Gurkha's life less expensive than that of a British white?
The British government has been recruiting Nepalese citizens not out of compassion but out of their need. In fact, owning to the bravery shown in the past battles, the Gurkhas were found superior to others. The Gurkhas defeated British soldiers in different battles. So, the British government started to recruit Nepali youth. If we hire any expert from other country, the amount of salary and facilities they are paid is many times greater than that of our own experts. But, our well-selected, brave fighters' value is depreciating in the foreign world.
British soldiers serve their country because of their responsibility of being a citizen, but what do Gurkhas serve for? Is it compulsion to serve even being discriminated? How has the British Government evaluated our brave, honest and dutiful Gurkhas? Is it good to take benefit from innocent Gurkhas?
It is said that British society is a most civilized society in the world. If it is so, Britain had to respect the human rights as discrimination among those who do equal work is a human rights violation. So the British Government should think seriously and give justice with respect to the Gurkhas in no time.
(Source: The Kathmandu Post)

1 comment:

  1. Sir, there are no words to express my disgust at my government's treatment of the Gurkhas. Please be assured at least that public opinion is very much on their side and we hope that justice will be done in the end. It is a source of great shame to us that such fine men have to resort to the law to gain what should be given freely by parliament - a more rational country than the UK would surely give thanks to heaven for being able to number such brave warriors among their armed forces and reward their dedication without question.

    very sincerely,

    Mark (England)


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