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DV times


Soon a lunatic could be the new American president. The country is beset by race riots. Every single day, four or five folks get shot there. And yet the allure of the ‘land of opportunities’ remains undiluted for the Nepalis who occupy a land of anything but opportunities. So hundreds of thousands of young and enterprising Nepalis will be filling up the online DV forms between October 4th and November 7th, the 33-day application window so graciously granted by Uncle Sam this year.

The applicants, as always, will be a curious lot. A few of them will openly declare, DV confirmation code in hand, that they are sick and tired of this god-forsaken country and will ditch it at the first chance they get. But most applicants, their proud Nepali egos as tall as Everest, won’t be so forthcoming. That way, if they don’t get lucky with their bid, they will always be able to claim, to anyone within hearing distance, that they will never accept the indignity of being ‘second class’ citizens in another country, not for all the treasure in the Trump towers. But apply they all will.

In fact, with the intakes of the countries that have traditionally taken in most workers from Nepal declining, the deluge of DV applications from here could break all records this year.

Who knows, in due course of time, the US might just turn out to be the new Gulf for Nepali migrant workers, especially if a yellow, wavy-haired kindred soul has his way and an impregnable wall, its height only matched by his boundless compassion, or one of his private parts, is built on the border with Mexico. Buh-bye gringos, hello Gorkhalis.

But in the event of his successful White House bid, much more likely is the prospect of the DV lottery being scrapped altogether. Didn’t he, after all, promise to bring all those rather flighty jobs back home? If elected, the property mogul from New York, the serious types assure us, will easily be the most hostile US president to immigration, ever.

But surely, he can’t do that, not to US, not to us! The spigots of easy oil money in the Gulf now being tightened, DV lottery may be our one true, perhaps the only, hope. We know you have a big mouth, sir. We would also like to believe that so is your heart, framed as it is by those magnificent moobs.

Perhaps it’s also worth reminding the incoming American administration that we Nepalis are not helpless. We never are, not having perfected the art of protest. We have already set a strong precedent. The ‘DV Peedit Sangh’ used to organize sit-ins in front of the American Embassy in Kathmandu after its members were unjustly denied entry into the US. These were the folks who got the ‘first letter’—ah that first jacaranda blush of the springtime Kathmandu around the American Embassy—but not the ‘second’—oh the despair of a capital winter as foreboding as that soulless, grey building. (That big-hearted businessman up North inspires poetry, I tell you.)

What I am getting to is that Nepalis, given our glorious history, deserve to be treated as the first among equals, primus inter pares, when it comes to evaluating our selfless devotion to serving the global community. Not only is Nepal one of the biggest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping missions, it also has the unmatched distinction of being the force behind virtually all the real estate in the Middle East, not to mention its copyright on the global security-guard business. In other words, were it not for Nepalis, the world would long since have fallen into a state of perpetual war and neighborhoods from urban Delhi to Singapore would be uninhabitable, rife with thefts and burglaries and what not!

It is only right that our contribution to global peace and security be recognized by the only country tasked with policing the world. How easy have we made it for them! If America, as a matter of policy, hired Nepalis to guard their vital infrastructures and offices, its soaring crime rate could easily be cut into half. Perhaps realizing their folly, the Americans now want Nepal government to relax the ban on Nepali security guards in the warzones of Iraq and Afghanistan—seriously, check the news—where they are employed mostly to protect the Yanks.

If so, why not go the whole hog, as you Americans like to say, and have a policy whereby every important American installation is, by law, guarded only by Nepali security personnel? In doing so, you will be killing two birds with one stone. One, you will make your homeland a lot safer and two, you will be helping a poor and perpetually unstable country get back on its feet the only way it knows how to: with the help of remittance, its established lifeblood.

You think I am kidding? I am not. For this is no laughing matter. Ask the DV mob. 

By Biswas Baral

The writer can be reached at biswas.baral@gmail.com