May 27, 2024, Monday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Majority of Nepalese want to see Nepal a Hindu state

The Nepal Weekly
October 17, 2023

– Jyotshana Saud, VP, World Hindu Federation

(Jyotshana Saud, is the Vice President of the World Hindu Federation and General Secretary of RUDEP. She has been actively working in the field of social work and helping the marginalized group of people, handicapped and burn survivors on behalf of different organizations for the last two decades. At the same time she is also a perfect house wife and being a spouse of N.P. Saud, Minister for Foreign Affairs, she is also grooming up her twin children, son and daughter, in a very disciplined manner. She is currently working for the preservation of Sanatana Dharma and Eastern culture with her heart and mind. Here are excerpts from an encounter with Jyotshana. )

TNW: Would you highlight on your current social activities ?

Jyotshana: I am currently shouldering the responsibility as the general secretary at RUDEP Rural Women’s Development and Empowerment Programme. This organization has been active for the last 25 years making the Far-West Nepal as its base. The main focus of this organization is to empower the women living in the rural area among others. Besides, I have also been engaged in helping the burn survivals, who have been going through pain and sorrow. We are discussing ways to help them live a normal life. I have also been consulting with people from Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital and Kirtipur Hospital in this matter. Burn survivals need immediate attention as they experience severe pain. I am working towards opening burn uit in various hospitals. Also there is a need to open burn unit in all the zonal hospitals. We should set up a fund for immediate rescue of the burn survivals. More attention has been drawn toward the burn victims after Nepali Congress leader Chandra Bhandari got severe burn injury. We also need to do a lot for the benefit of the physically handicapped people living in our society.

TNW: As the Vice-President of World Hindu Federation, would you share something about its current activities ?

Jyotshana: The World Hindu Federation has its branches all over the country, in all the 77 districts, and it has also established units in some foreign countries. Our main objective is to preserve and protect our original culture, religion and language. We have also been organizing various programmes at different places on occasions like Tieej,,Rishi Panchami or Janaipurnima etc. We are also encouraging people to observe these festivals in their homes so that the younger generation people will also follow them in future. Educating our children regarding the eastern culture and tradition is more important than giving handing over them bank balance or assets.

TNW: What is your opinion about declaring Nepal as a Hindu nation?

Jyotshana: Nepal was the only Hindu state in the world in the past. Efforts were once made in the past to declare Nepal as the Zone of Peace. It was a wonderful idea. I think the majority of the Nepalese people want to see Nepal as the Hindu state. As I travel around my country, I hear majority of the people voicing for reinstating Nepal as the Hindu state. Some people even criticize me saying that I followed the Hindu ideology. In fact, I am a born Hindu, so there is no need to follow Hinduism for me. Many people like me are born Hindus and they want to see this. There are concerns shown by people living abroad about Nepal not being the Hindus state. When I visited Japan recently, people living over there asked “Why Nepal isn’t re-declared a Hindu state. Why aren’t you working towards that end.?”

TNW: There have been allegation that many Hindu organizations are busy sloganeering and politicizing Hinduism instead of working for its promotion and preservation. What is your opinion in this matter?

Jyotshana: In our country we can see people with a diverse political backgrounds working for the common cause of philosophy and religion. Some of them are pro-monarchists, others are democrats and still others are republicans. No matter, whatever ideology they pursue their common agenda is to declare Nepal as a Hindu state.

TNW: What needs to be done in your opinion for the preservation, promotion and upliftment of Hindu religion and culture.

Jyotshana: Whatever we do we need to start from hour home. We need to preserve our culture, tradition and language starting from the home. We need to tell our children to speak in national language, Nepali. Because, language plays an important role in preserving our identity. First of all, we need to preserve our language and dress by ourselves then we need to tell other members of the society to respect our language and culture. To pursue a religious life one need not be a vegetarian. THere is a misconception a majority of people that those actively involved in the Hindu movemement wear saffron dress and abandon meat and fish.

TNW: What is the essence of being a Hindu?

Jyotshana: One need not wear saffron dress to become a Hindu. Being a Hindu we need to follow a proper way of life, pursue a disciplined life. We need to worship our Gods, practice austerity, read scriptures and practice meditation etc. Its not a showmanship business. Its not even a propaganda. We need to study scriptures as well as put into practice what we have learned.

TNW: DOn’t you think there is also the need to preserve and promote Sanskrit language, which is necessary for studying our ancient scriptures?

Jyotshana: I think we need to include moral education and Sanskrit language from the primary level in the school for the preservation our language and culture. We have also been voicing for this for some time. Sanskrit language is a very rich language. I think Sanskrit is even useful for those people who need speech therapy.

TNW: These days a large number of youths are going abroad either for study or for employment. In this way our children have become accustomed to multi-culture, multi-language and multi-religion. Don’t you think that this has posed challenge on us to preserve our language and culture?

Jyotshana: I think religion and culture are two different things. Of course, there is a challenge as regards keeping with modern practices as well as maintaining the age old tradition. We need to modify our culture and tradition to some extent to preserve our culture and at the same time to keep pace with contemporary trend of the society. For example, we can celebrate birth day by cutting a cake and at the same time burning the traditional oil lamp. We can follow both the Vedic tradition of chanting Mantras on the birth day and cutting cakes so as to keep our children happy too.

TNW: DO you have interest in politics? Have you sometimes given advices to your spouse in the politics?

Jyotshana: As you know my husband has been involved in politics for more than four decades. I don’t think it is useful if I give him advice on political matters. Because, I am not the expert and have no experience in that field. He knows very well who have made sacrifice in politics and who have remained active in politics, which I don’t know.

DO you have any plan to enter into politics in future?

Jyotshana: I don’t have any plan to join politics in the near future. I am satisfied with my social activities. I enjoy doing small things for the society. My focus will be to bring some changes in the society by serving for the weak and marginalized people.