Dese Majoo Hartaal- The First Internet Strike kicks off in Nepal

Dese Majoo Hartaal, in Nepal Bhasa means the “Strike that never happened in the country”, was kicked off in Nepal the first of August. Internet strike was a new concept in country like Nepal, and this is the first time in the history of Nepal that Internet Strike is taking place. This internet strike was somehow different than in other countries. The Internet Strike was done by the initiation of Save Nepa Valley Movement. The Internet Strike was called by Save Nepa valley Movement which was dedicated to work for betterment of Nepa Valley, the original term used for Kathmandu valley. The first call was made through a personal blog named Rukshana Kapali, who was taking a leading role in the movement.The released information states the reason of calling the Internet Strike as the warning for authority to take the voice of natives and locals seriously while making development in the valley. On August 1, people started changing their profiles into blackout and the officially released picture of the Movement. The hashtag #SaveNepaValley was used on twitter and facebook. People started using the hashtag for August 1 and 2 and were successful to hit the top trend of Nepal. It was widespread on social media. The people of Nepa Valley(i.e. the Kathmandu valley) were concerned on deeply centralized development system and demanded to push development and establishment of cities in other regions of Nepal. The strike was against destruction in the name of development and bringing construction projects without studying over all positive and negative impacts of it. The rationale was to emphasize development not just as construction work, but also looking for sustainability and positive human impacts. Deteriorating condition of existing urban and sub-urban premises was highlighted as the strike wanted authorities to focus on development of existing settlements, improving its quality and upbringing living standard and economic standard of the inhabitants, including everything from health facilitates, employment opportunities, water availability, proper road and sewage pipelines, traffic management. The movement demands on introduction of Land Use Act and protection of fertile land while also focus on pollution rate of the valley. The movement also raised voice to control the un-managed new towns and new settlements created by Real Estates and Land Mafias that has caused the valley to sprawl and making it more and more messy, focus more on making cities in other regions of Nepal. It was also centralized to preserve, protect, promote and develop the ancient civilization of Nepa valley along heritage preservation including heritage towns of the valley and utilization of indigenous knowledge. The construction of outer ringroad and satellite towns, as well as un-justified road expansions in the valley was opposed. The fast Track Project alignment was not agreed. In the name of road expansion, the natives from this valley are being displaced. The projects are taking a form for genocide among the native people. The native people have been time and again displaced by the government in the name of development, and this time they are trying to make sure this does not happen. After the Internet Strike, thousands of people showed up on the streets. They holed their demands on citizen rights and chanted against state based terrorizing acts. After the people showed up, the Supreme Court of Nepal, who had to give the verdict on injustice to people, actually postponed the verdict date for the twentieth time. The picture gallery can be seen below. The picture credit is for Photographer Bishal Rajbhandari

Author: Rukshana Newa

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