KATHMANDU: It was a bandh called by Brahmin-Chhetri Samaj on Friday morning, and Mega Bank CEO Anil Keshary Shah clad in traditional daura suruwal and bhadgaule topi was struggling to pass through Babarmahal in a journalist’s car with ‘PRESS’ sticker to participate in a programme.
On the way, he came across thousands of people bearing the brunt of bandh on the issue of federalism and came up with an innovative idea to press the political parties for timely drafting of the constitution. On his Facebook wall he wrote that he is proud of his ethnic heritage and “far more honored and privileged to be a son of NEPAL, my motherland.” He changed his Facebook name to Anil Keshary Nepal “till we get our Constitution promulgated” and urged his Facebook friends to join “me and change your fb last name to Nepal” for a united Nepal.
It did move some prominent Nepali figures. Journalist Gajendra Budhathoki replaced his surname with Nepali. Former BBC journalist Sushil Sharma wrote “I am Nepali” on his Facebook status, and asked others if they wanted to be known by their caste or just as a Nepali. He also gave a reference of a survey commissioned by a weekly magazine that claimed 74 per cent of people like to be called Nepali rather than be known by their surnames.
Among the users changing their last name are journalist Prateek Pradhan, pilot Bijaya Lama, entrepreneurs Binaya Lamichhane and Prashant Raj Karki. Vikram Upadhyaya, a Nepali student in Chicago, also expressed solidarity with the campaign.
“In order to support undivided Nepal and prove my indifference to the caste, creed and ethnicity, I have decided to (in response to Anil Nepal, CEO of Mega Bank) change my facebook identity until May 27th to Prateek Nepali,” Pradhan wrote on his wall.
Talking to this daily, Anil said, “The culture of disagreeing with others by means of bandh should be shunned for ever to unleash the potential of Nepali youth.”
He said the campaign was a humble protest against strikes and bandh.
Anil said he was not against federalism but the restructuring should be for the prosperity of Nepal.RUDRA PANGENI THT