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Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times
Kathmandu, July 21, 2012
Student unions in Nepal are up in arms. And private higher secondary colleges and schools with foreign names are the targets of their ire.

Since the beginning of this month, the politically affiliated unions are attacking these institutions (popular as Plus Two colleges) and their vehicles -in a sudden fit of nationalistic fervour.

Hence colleges with names like Whitehouse, Florida, Liverpool, Chelsea, Texas, Pentagon and Nasa, all granted license by government, are caught in a fresh storm.

It all began on July 6 when eight student bodies announced a campaign against private colleges with foreign-sounding names and decided to erase those names from hoardings.

The campaign began as assured but took an ugly turn on Monday with cadres of All Nepal National Independent Students Union-Revolutionary targeting colleges and vehicles.

Members of the union, the student wing of Communist Party of Nepal, Maoist-the newly split faction of ruling Maoists, vandalised two colleges and set a school bus on fire.

Leaders of these unions are also urging the government to stop providing licence to new colleges with foreign names.

"We can't make compromises on our nationalism," stated Ranjit Karna, chairman of Nepal Students' Union, the student wing of Nepali Congress, at a media interaction on Thursday

Umesh Shrestha, president of Higher Secondary Schools Association of Nepal, said: "Instead of focussing on the real issue of why thousands leave Nepal to study abroad, the unions are targeting private colleges."