NRNA, Australia Election Today: Roadmap for Tomorrow

Something is happening in Australian the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) community right now, I can feel that there is a “wind of change”. A wind that blows along the Parramatta river through Sydney Harbour all the way to Yarra river down in Melbourne.

From Nepal where I was born to Australia, from Sydney to Darwin City, to the island of Tasmania. A wind of renewal is indeed coming through if not tomorrow then in years ahead.

In this NRNA Australia election campaign, mind you I have never registered as a NRNA to vote. However, like many other non-registered community members I consider myself as a NRNA by default living here for last 24 years. I think it is clear for those watching the progress, in this election campaign NRNA community as a whole (the majority) have expressed their dissatisfaction and disgust loud and clear towards the negative culture of panels “guth bandhi” within the voters/members that divides our Nepali community. We have had enough of the same old debates by so called senior members of the community. Saying one thing in public while doing something else inside closed doors. The Nepali community in Australia deserves better. Let’s not treat the majority as idiots. That is why we should dare to bring about change in NRNA.

Change that is now necessary because the NRNA is running in circles. Because for too long, we have seen in the past one voting scandals replaced with different scandals, scandals that Nepalese community in Australia could not tolerate anymore. We know some members of the community here wants to benefit from divisive politics while issues that matter to most of us are yet to be settled like dual citizenship.

I hear money is given to so called power brokers, in fact the big polluters to try to influence votes and voters. Let us collectively reject dirty politics that tarnish our harmonious Nepali community here at Oz.  Again and again, we see the same story. This week again (tomorrow) a different leader will be elected for NRNA, with same old scandalous ‘guth bandhi’. For all these reasons, I believe majority of Nepali community here in Australia believe “it is now time for change.”

We Nepali community in Australia are ready for this change. My fellow Nepali didi, bahini, dai, bhais are ready for this change. My dear friends and colleagues, we need to bring this change for the long-term harmony among the NRNA community. From the feel of the wind blowing and the noises in the social media platform like Facebook, I feel like Nepalese living in every corner of Australia is ready for this challenge. Challenge to change this poor system and culture of leadership selection in NRNA if the next elected Team and the power brokers do not change their ways of dirty politics.

Old debates and negative politics that we have seen since the beginning of this NRNA campaign are exactly the reason why 85% of Nepali living in Australia have stayed away from being the member of NRNA organisation. As a Nepalese Australian, yes we are easy going bunch with “No worries…we will be right mate attitude” but the NRNA leadership should take note that when we stand collectively you know we will fight for the priorities we hold dear and that again align with our Australian values of “Fair go!!”. To defend what we hold dear “the freedom of choice and democracy”. To give opportunity to the “right candidate” and the most eligible candidate and not just someone with a high degree or deeper pockets. Some influential leader once said that “An idiot is an idiot no matter how many degrees he/she has got. He/she is still an illiterate!!”.

The majority of the Nepali community has spoken by staying away from the membership registration as they want STOP to this systemic rotting of the organisation culture and values for a short-term gain of few minorities. Good healthy politics is always welcome but “Divisive dirty Nepali culture of politics” is not welcome here in Australia and it is about time all the big polluters with in the NRNA organisation needs a good cleansing, may be with an industrial fire hose. We need clean, young and organic energy in the organisation. Time for power players and environment polluters “Tossers” to take a good look at themselves in the mirror and reflect on how they portray themselves in public and “Who they really are as a person?” Like they say “Karma” never forgets an address, so it will be ringing your door-bell and knock on your personal life soon. What goes around comes around!

Here, we dare to look beyond old politics and have the audacity to ask for something better. Here, we dare to look cynicism directly in the eye, and have faith that the best has yet to come for the NRNA. And especially because there is so much more to do for you and us for the community and our motherland.

On a positive note though, we like not to be judgemental about anyone who are standing up for various positions in the organisation this election. Let’s hope this new Team (whoever wins) are committed to do things differently next election time. Let’s hope they fully understand the long term impact and consequence of what this by and large negative sentiment of the greater diaspora here in Australia towards NRNA means. The wind of change is blowing fast and unless the “puppet masters” change their ways, history is evidence that such people in leadership & power broking will be blown away too!

One of the important jobs of an NRNA President is to bring Nepali community together. Build bridges do not burn them and bring closer the different point of views which exist within the community. The President must ensure NRNA represents the values we all cherish especially “Freedom of choice and our democratic values”. Values like: Tolerance, compassion, pride in our differences, respect for democracy, cooperation and harmony among one another and treat one another in the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood with mutual respect and kindness. These values are shared by most if not all Nepali Australians. My friends and colleagues, my humble request to you on behalf of us all peace loving and kind-hearted majority of the diaspora is to bring these kind of values back to NRNA.

For the NRNA registered members, no matter which party you supported in the past, we can put the old debates aside and work together to achieve “REAL CHANGE”. You, the new team contesting for the leadership role can prove that the cynics are wrong and show “true leadership” skills right from the bat. We hold our faith in you and that in near future, you make it possible for an NRNA candidate to have a “fair go” for the position they stand for. There will always be people who will tell you that you have no choice but to vote for someone from one of the “panels”. But that is, once again, old dirty politics. You deserve better as a NRNA registered member. You deserve change. Do not have a “Herd mentality” like we say in Nepali “veda” of following the herd or the leader of the herd down to the ditch. And for that, we need to do more and block away such herd mentality. We need to replace them with a progressive mentality. This isn’t the first time you’ve seen this in NRNA election. So, for outsiders like me what It means is something is broken inside the NRNA organisation and we need to fix it and together we can fix it!

Yes, it starts with a vote – your vote. And so, I’m calling on you all especially the younger generation who have joined the membership in droves – that on July 31st – to mark your ballot for “CHANGE”. Together, we can do this. We can show that: Here, our priority is “Free and fair election” and peace and harmony and sentiment of brotherhood and sisterhood in the community. Let us all dare to use words like “change” “hope” and “progress”. Here, we dare to look beyond old politics and have the audacity to ask for something better. Here, we dare to look cynicism directly in the eye, and have faith that the best has yet to come for the NRNA. And especially because there is so much more to do for you and us for the community and our motherland.

The time has come for someone to take on those responsibilities. A president and his team who dare to “Dream” and have courage to go against the tide. The Nepali community here in Australia will support you if you take that leap of faith and take on this challenge head on! It can’t be done without President and his capable team who are not afraid to dare challenge the “status quo”. Let’s work together. Let’s roll up our sleeves and start the work right now.

Good luck to all the candidates for today’s election.

Thank you!

RR Joshi

[P.S. Some of the phrases here have been taken from an online article and rephrased as per the context here]

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