January 26, Kathmandu-
It was an otherwise normal, sunny afternoon on Tuesday, January 24 in the capital. Then, as the PM Prachanda exited the parliamentary building at New Baneshwar, a young man of 37 tried to approach the PM’s carcade and suddenly set himself on fire. Withing seconds the secne turned smoky and firghtening as the fire blazed mercilessly; The young man fell to the ground policemen and the locals doused the fire off. He was taken to the burn hospital at Kirtipur, where he dies the next morning as he was badly burned over 80 percent.
We will address and analyze the 25 points long facebook status late Acharya posted just before his setting himself on fire. But first, let us look at the intensity of pessimism and hopelessness the nation faces. Prem Acharya’s suicide is symbolic not necessarily of some fragile mentality, but of one endowed with entrepreneurship. Yet, recurrent loss and lack of support mechanism, policies, and unhelpful human behavior effectively doused his entrepreneur zeal and hope which led to his dousing himself in petrol.
It was not just another act of self-immolation. It was an act of symbolic protest. Many fear that it was an indication of a failing state!
On Wednesday, a group of people staged a protest at the Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu, demanding justice for Acharya. The Home ministry has been asked to investigate the issues raised by Acharya and the reason for his self-immolation. The ministry has also been asked to decide the compensation to his family.
His Facebook status has exposed the exclusively extractive nature of Nepali state. In over 6000-word note written in Nepali language, he has categorically revealed deep rooted cronyism and nexus between businesses and politicians for the gain of a handful of people. He has clearly mentioned his dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur and how he failed over the time due to corruption in the system, cronyism, process-oriented bureaucratic hurdles and dozens of other issues.
His grievances make it clear how difficultit is in Nepal to conductany business. The casue of his death is directly related to his failure at business, so this has led to some dubbing Prem Acharya as the “Entreprenuer Martyr”, or ‘उद्यमी शहिद’ in Nepali.
Social media video: https://www.facebook.com/adhikpost/videos/913076303044314