Received: from mp.cs.niu.edu (mp.cs.niu.edu [126.96.36.199]) by library.wustl.edu (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id XAA21197; Fri, 31 Jul 1998 23:57:38 -0500 (CDT) Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu id AA03194 (5.67b/IDA-1.5 for nepal-dist); Fri, 31 Jul 1998 21:42:09 -0500 Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu id AA03185 (5.67b/IDA-1.5 for nepal-list); Fri, 31 Jul 1998 21:42:07 -0500 Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 21:42:07 -0500 Message-Id: <199808010242.AA03185@mp.cs.niu.edu> Reply-To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: The Editor <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sender: "Rajpal J.P. Singh" <A10RJS1@cs.niu.edu> Subject: The Nepal Digest - August 4, 1998 (9 Shrawan 2055 BkSm) To: <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Content-Type: text Status: O X-Status: X-Keywords: X-UID: 275
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The Nepal Digest Monday Aug 4, 1998: Shrawan 9 2055BS: Year7 Volume77 Issue2
Today's Topics (partial list):
Re: Hinduism (TND)
Submission/racism and nationalism
Re: About ten reasons
Prejudice V: Three Towns in Nepal
Re: Ten Reasons
* TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
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* The Nepal Digest: General Information email@example.com *
* Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh firstname.lastname@example.org *
* (Open Position) *
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* Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
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* TND Archives: http://library.wustl.edu/~listmgr/tnd/ *
* TND Foundation: http://www.nepal.org email@example.com *
* WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
* Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista firstname.lastname@example.org *
* +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
* "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
* "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
****************************************************************** Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 20:40:21 +0700 (GMT+0700) From: Ramesh Bandhu Aryal <email@example.com> To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - August 1, 1998 (6 Shrawan 2055 BkSm)
The Nepal Digest,
I strongly oppose the news which is totally against the integrity
and souvernity of Nepal. I surprised why this mailing address is
forwarding this kind of anti-Nepali thinking. It is not tolerable for
people who is Nepali. In no case, any topics which is against Nepal, such
topics " ...Nepal to India..." will not be the discussion matter.
with best regards,
Ramesh Bandhu Aryal
Asian Institute of Technology
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 00:21:02 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: The Nepal digest Editor <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: A reply to Pramod Mishra re: Hinduism (TND)
On 17 Jul 1998, Ashutosh Tiwari wrote:
> I too have never intellectually understood why the stalwarts of the Viswo
> Hindu Parishad (Nepal Chapter) such as Achyut Regmi et al (who, BTW, is a
> public figure and hence it is fit to be identified by name in this forum)
> would send their kids off to a Christian-run school like STX, while all
> the time publicly bemoaning about the mass conversion to Christianity that
> is allegedly taking place in the "poverty-ridden" hinterland.
This is precisely my point. Conversion as it is happening in Nepal has
roots not in spiritual crisis that has made some Hollywood actors or
many other Western followers seek neo-Buddhism and Hindu gurus, but in
economic and religious oppression. As for the likes of Achyut Regmi et
al, this is one more example of the drama of Hindu privilege disguising
as safeguards of Hinduism, whether in Nepal or in India. It's a case of
transfer of privilege from one form to another. Nepalei rupee
converting into dollar and pound. And I'm not talking just
about Nepal. India offers more varied and blatant examples.
So my point here is privilege, whether economic or cultural, or lack
thereof, that has for the most part determined whether one has converted
to Christianity or not. If you get this point, I don't think there's
any further need to offer more apologies and excuses.
> > As a follow-up, I must ask them,
> > Are they sure that as a result of St. Xavier's presence in Kathmandu,
> > conversion hasn't occurred?
> Logically, this is a non-sequitur. To the extent I can ascertain it, the
> 'brand' of Christianity at STX has never been evangelical. Sure, their
> have been instances of some formerly Hindu students' converting to
> Christianity, long after they graduated from the school, but their
> conversion as at-least-above-20-years-of-age has more to do with
> their volition than anything else.
How is my paragraph "logically a non-sequitur"? What is a missionary? And if a missionary father or brother attempts to take the message of Christ to a non-Christian, there's nothing wrong about it, if pressure is not exerted and knowldge of Christianity is made available. But you seem to imply as if the Jesuit missionary teachers were not missionaries, but just any secular teachers. Now, if they engaged in spreading the knowledge about Christ and helped anyone, within or outside the school, then your quick defense doesn't hold. You might even be embarrassing your former teachers by speaking authoritatively about something that obviously goes beyond the knowledge of someone outside the missionary establishment.
But what is the extent that you can ascertain, Ashu? Don't be too sure
about such things. Have you taken a survey of folks who have lived in the
association of the school or have come in contact in the history of the
school with the missionaries of the school? I read a memoir recently by
Stephen Alter, the son of an ex-principal of Woodstock School in the
Indian north-west, called "All the Way to Heaven." Alter presents a more
complex picture of his experiences there as the son of a missionary
himself. Then again, Nepal's political restrictions also had to be
taken into account. So it's noble that you defend your former teachers,
but look for reasons and cicumstances also. And those who felt
culturally displaced were perhaps not because of Christianity so much as
the impact of books and films and language, from the Bible
and Shakespeare to Rambo and James Hardley Chase, the Western ideas of
freedom, certain habits of sexual awareness and their expression, indeed
the the outside vantage point from which one would look at one's feudal,
castist, stifling structure.
> >So the question was not directed toward the
> > good faith of the missionary fathers and brothers who aimed to
> > contribute to Nepal's efforts to modernize itself, but at those
> > factors--poverty, insecurity, oppresion, lack of self-esteem in one's
> > own religion--that lead to conversion. I look at myself. By now, if
> > you have read me, you know that I abhore, indeed hate, many of
> > Hinduism's traditions, but, inspite
> > of my knowledge and experience of otehr religions, conversion has never
> > occurred to me as an option. Why is that? If people like me convert,
> > what will happen to Hinduism?
> By reading your last line above, I find your setting yourself up as a
> great Hindu revolutionary is a little too extreme for my taste!
How did you jump to "great Hindu revolutinary" from the last sentence?
And then "taste"! Humm . . . I have heard of this word, although I
myself haven't tasted because I have no taste. Since what I have said
is "extreme" to your taste, let's hear a little more about your taste.
And in all seriousness, I mean it. What is your taste so that in future
I may keep in mind?
Only liberal Hindus like yourself, Ashu, can have such taste. And I
don't want to pursue the point of your taste further without knowing
it fully. If revolutionaries are not to your taste, I can't help it.
And if you can beat your chest and set yourself up openly as a liberal
Hindu (what an easy option!), what's wrong if somebody tries to be a
revolutionary Hindu? As for greatness, that's a much maligned word.
We need lilliputian revolutionaries in every
village and every town, not great ones. We need pigmy revolutinaries ,
millions of them, not one overarching messiah. But that was not even
my point in the last sentence. What I had meant was if people like
me convert, what will happen to Hinduism of the purists and
practitioners of Brahmanic ideology who want some punching bag to keep
their Hinduism alive. And then why do you forget my last name, which
is, many would agree, as important as yours in the pantheon, even if
not in Jung Bahadur's scheme? But you jumped, instead, to make a
statement about your taste and my revolutionary credentials, the latter
> being rude, I think I can say that even if you convert to another
> religion, nothing will happen to Hinduism -- and that it will go on, just
> like it has for hundreds of years, embracing its own values,
> contradictions, inconsistencies, new influences and ultimately its
> own humanity.
This is not the first time I have heard the above. Apologists of
Hinduism have always said this smugly for their Sanatan Dharma. If you
read the apologies of any Hindu (from Sarvarkar to Radhakrishanan to
whoever), you'll find the same thing. And I had heard it aplenty
during my years in India. Every castist student in an Indian
university would tell you that about their great, eternal
religion--that Hinduism will go on; that a few conversion won't matter;
that Hinduism has survived great odds; that it's a Sanatan dharma, and
so on. It doesn't take great intelligence or profundity or study
to make this statement, although some make it in book form, others just
make it. And, above all, it doesn't require to have a liberal taste,
I reserve the right for myself (and
> other similarly-minded Hindus) to pick and choose one's own "spiritual
> diet" that Hinduism offers from its smorsgasbord of "menus".
Where did you get that right, have you ever asked yourself? Can you tell us
what's the source and circusmstance of that right? I'm "entitled to my
opinion," as you had allowed me in your first posting, and you are entitled
to your right. And, even if Hinduism is like restaurant, who prepares
the "menus" and who is the Chef?
Previously, I was highly
> amused by your asking Joel Hafvenstein (from Yale) whether he had ever
> taken a writing class in his life. Now, you are accusing me of remaining
> "ensconced in . . . liberalism and harvest[ing] its fruits."
Not "writing," which could mean such trivial things as mechanics and
spelling; I had said "rhetoric," whcih is broader and more
important. It was half in joke, but only half, in Joel's case in
response to his criticism of Jason's essay. And it turns out that
Joel doesn't care about formal rhetoric (he said "Bosh!" to the
rhetorical terms). He can make quite convincing arguments for
Christianity without taking lessons in formal rhetoric. But I'm
serious in your case. What did you mean by "cynicism" when you used
the term to characterize my position about Nepali Hinduism? When
you use such adjective, try to elaborate and substantiate a little. Cynical
in the ancient Greek sense or South Asian urban middle class
sense? If you meant the former, it was too high a compliment for an
earthling like me; and if the latter, then I didn't have the luck to
be so. I belong to neither.
> Instead of answering this charge directly, I'll let the TND readers decide
> for themselves whether or not your comment smacks of same high-handed
> Hinduness that you accuse so-called high-class Hindus of.
I think many TND readers, including me, would like your full response. You
have been generous with your time and opinions on the net. I'd like to
hear. About highhandedness, it's perhaps the fault of my training in
"high-class" Hinduism. Besides, it's not just you I was referring, the term liberal seems to have too often become too easy a shelter for many. On the one hand, it allows lip service to difficult issues and, on the other, it leaves the position of the person concerned unquestioned and uninterrogated. So my comment, first of all, was in response to your careless adjective "Cynical," and then to the general tendency of folks to hide themselves by being "liberal," since the opposite of which "illiberal" is generally accecpted as bad. If you are different, I understand.
>Replied strictly in the spirit of friendly kura-kani.
Friendly but also spirited kura-kani. I get a little skeptical about too
much friendliness when it comes to discussing ideas and issues. But I
have been enthusiastic about your intellectual evolution (as gleaned
from your postings), particularly for one from a country (Nepal) and
a place (Kathmandu), where the formal tradition of ideas and
philosophy had been so stifled since the Malla period. So don't worry
about my goodwill; it's there. Engage with full force. There's
always room and time to friendliness at the table. When you use
biting words and expressions without substantiating them, be prepared to
receive some in return as well.> > >
From: "Eknath Belbase" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: submission/racism and nationalism
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 13:21:52 -0400
A lot of people have recently responded to the original 2 or 3 posts on
Nepal and I would like to add a few thoughts and/or questions to various
that have appeared without picking any particular person's posting to
(1)What does Nepali of Indian Origin mean - does it apply to everyone who
"Mongoloid" by the old racial definition? Since India as a national entitity was born roughly 50 years ago, my sense would be that you would have to be less than 50 years old (counting parents age till you were born, etc.) to be of Indian Origin - and people whose ancestors moved north to Nepalgunj 150
(or 80) years ago don't count. But if we permit going back far enough in time, perhaps we should call everyone else "Nepalis of Tibetan/Chinese/Mongolian" origin, to stay consistent. Also, anyone who may be (heaven forbid) mixed will need another word.
(2) A few people have said "let's talk about more important things, like
economic development/corruption" etc. Since most of us are just talking and
not doing much
about any of the above, I don't think it's an either-or thing. Also,
"civil war" and other dire predictions sound both silly and backwards
(logically). I think NOT talking about racism when you should is more likely to lead to violence than talking about it. It's pretty obvious: its there, it is hardER for some of us to see it because we personally were in the majority in Kathmandu schools, but as thinking adults looking back you'd have to be pretty blind/have a really bad memory [perhaps from too much ganja :) ] to say it doesn't exist.
(3)King Mahendra was not the only one to "raise anti-Indian nationalism".
The Indian government probably had some role, too. One can be
against the foreign policies of the government of India such as its
hegemonic big brother attitude, its meddling in the politics of sovereign
states, etc. without
being "anti-Indian" in the sense of the Indian people. It may not be easy to
nationalism and racism here and there, but if you try hard you can generally
out of any given act or thought which parts originate in racism and which in
nationalism (used in its older, positive sense).
(4) Some of the recent discussion on joining India as a state have been
naive. If you look at the data on education/literacy/GDP per capita/infant
and various measures of economic, education development as well as measures
of women's rights, economic parity etc which might be called measures of
"progressiveness", you will see that the AVERAGE for India as a whole may be better than Nepal's in almost every category (except perhaps dowry-related emolation), the RANGE across Indian states is quite large. In addition, the range for many of these variables has been INCREASING, not decreasing, which would be the case if being a part of India brings economic/educational/etc benefits uniformly to the different states. For example, female literacy in the Indian states of Bihar and U.P. is actually now lower than in Nepal. Thus, joining India would be NO GUARANTEE that our own measures would drift towards the Indian mean. Nor would it mean that we would get even a fair share of federal resources. Finally, the currency issue - yes, we would have 1.6 times more purchasing power ASSUMING wages/income in current NRs. became the same but in Indian Rs. Yeah, like DUH.
(5) There has also been a lot of talk about fatalism, lack of progress, etc.
and comparisons between the progress India has made and Nepal, and what
could do were it a part of India. Apples and oranges! There were no paved
roads in Nepal until the 1950s. Major infrastructure development didn't take
until the 60s and 70s. Given our lack of exploitable resources (other than
which is harder to sell than oil), the terrain and the almost permanent
drain via corruption regardless of political system/ruling party, I
personally am amazed at where
large parts of the country are. There are now actually enough primary
to make every kid literate [that parents still aren't sending a large
of girls to school is another end of things to address]. Contrast this with
railroad and port system inherited from the British, etc. These comparisons
no sense - you might as well stop. As for the narrative of fatalism, I think
academics who shall remain nameless got famous by creating this tale, and it
caught on. Having lived about equal amounts of time in the US and Nepal, I
say that I find more fatalism/complacency in one place or the other. Those
with the most power to change things are often the least desirous of change
because they have it so good. Those who would like it/need it the most are
often the furthest from the corridors of power. Shall we accuse these people
of fatalism, then?
------and an unrelated question-------
(6) Yes, let us join Bwana Dalrymple (who is not at all patronizing
according to -
guess who? himself!) in getting the winter Olympics to Nepal. Oh, what a
Just one little question - what multiple of our entire budget would we have
risk (and it is a risk - whether in the end you make money off or end up
in hosting the games has varied a lot depending on host and how you count)
to set up
From: "meow nepal" <email@example.com>
Subject: new organization/revolutionary
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 11:31:43 PDT
To the Editor, the Nepal Digest, and all readers!
------------------------------------------------ I am writing to Nepal Digest to inform you all of a new organization that has recently been founded. It is called the meow-nepal
(not to be confused with the ME-OWN-NEPAL or Cat Nepal organizations). We are soliciting members from all over, regardless of national origin, race, weight or budgetary constraints. The only requirement for membership is a sense of humor. I am enclosing a program from our first President and VP, Biralo Bahun and Kukur Janti. If, after reading the somewhat long e-mail, you still feel with us, please join. Monetary contributions can be sent care of
Acc number 2138387362940-AX-23829389
Credit Suisse, 1301 Rothenbaumchauseee Einfart
Geneva, Switzerland A3X2B1
Given that all agree that THINGS MUST CHANGE in Nepal we propose
1. That all marsyas, lobhi bahuns, bhotes, jyapoos and complacent
fat-as*** academics, as well as washed out over-indulged imperialist
capitalist pigs from America who are now in love with Nepal and
experts after four months in Nepal (you must love it a lot to become
an expert that quickly) join together, forgetting all sectarian
petty squables about ancestry and who boinked whose mother, and
join a REVOLUTION. The People's movement was one stop short.
2. First be it resolved that all vocabulary used must be polysyllabilic,
hopefully having roots from atleast 3 languages,
and straight from the GRE list. This way our enemies, particularly
those among the ill-educated Western exile community in Kathmandu,
high-school dropouts and post-LSD burnout hippies whose asses
are bigger than their vocabulary, can't understand us. Pramod Mishra
will be the leader in charge of vocabulary and speech as he has
so much practice writing long things (if he accepts). Joel Havelstein
has already accepted the offer of chief representative for religion
as an honorary Hindu. No one shall sign their names to their posts
to TND, despite the holy wrath from Hutchy it may incur, or any amount
of righteous indignation.
3. The root of all evil is corruption. Power corrupts and absolute power
and all that. Hence we start by killing all the leaders. Let the
streets of kathmandu be flooded with the blood from the severed
heads of the corrupt leaders. Let their entrails be used to fill the
potholes. There are a lot of potholes, but there is enough corruption
that the entrails may do it - if not we can always use their bones
ground down with a little cement.
4. Yes, it may be nice to be a part of India, but joining as a state
is the wrong way to do it. After the revolution and the economic
prosperity that follows, Nepal will become a premier power in the
region. It will form an unholy alliance with Shri Lanka, the land of
Rawan (Pashupati Nath le hamilai maf garun), Bangla and Pakistan.
After we all develop nuclear capability, we will form a four-pronged
attack phalanx and invade India from all sides as the Visigoths
descended upon Rome. Having dismembered the states of Bihar and UP
and put them in their rightful place (the bottom of the Indian Ocean)
we will separate the other states and rule each with an iron fist.
madesis will be the viceroys, chosen from Janakpur, Krishnanagar,
Birgunj, Nepalgunj, Mahendranagar and other scenic locations.
5. To end all future and present religious squabbles we will end
religion. Also, to end racial and ethnic squabbles forever, we will
end race and ethnicity itself by killing everyone who knows what race
they are (or anyone else). Either that, or we'll force everyone
to mate with everyone else until we're all one race. We will then
redistribute all the wealth and enforce an equitable taxation system.
And everyone will get ice-cream on Fridays after work or school.
6. After taking care of India we move on to the IMF and the World Bank.
All employees of the world bank shall be fed celery for the
rest of their lifes (as part of an austerity program). All the assets of
the IMF shall be invested in Nepal and with those we will buy
the WB. On Tuesdays (after feeding them celery) we will publicly
flog the officials of the WB, with increasing number of lashes
depending on the number of economics courses taken. Alan Greenspan
will become honorary head of the new bank.
7. We will put anthropologists and sociologists in charge of the
National Planning Commission. The economists (after flogging) will
be put in charge of all bars after teaching them how to make good
drinks and jokes. And of course how to dress better.
From: "Anand Raj Tiwari" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: about ten reasons
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 13:04:32 PDT
About Ten Reasons
After reading Bibhuti Nepals "Ten Reasons" I thought "what the hell
this person is talking about" (honest opinion). He has given 10 reasons
why Nepal should accept Indian statehood taking Puerto Rico as an
example. Well my friend, Puerto Ricos coming to the US is totally
different from Nepals joining India. Simply, India is not the USA.
As per your first point in the argument you believe that by accepting
Indian statehood there will be increment in purchasing power, then why
Indian currency? Use SAARC and make one currency in South Asian region
(like they are doing in EU). Everybodys purchasing power will be increased. I am sure that that would be better.
Well, India gets 2/3 of our total trade, but not by choice. Nepal has no
other choice since she is a landlocked country. You say that by
accepting the statehood Nepalese products will get larger market. Thats
merely a dream. If we give it a close look, Indian merchandise will
flood the market, not the Nepalese in Indian market. So, Nepalese
industries are sure to go solvent. Balancing our trade deficit that way
is a dream which cannot be brought into reality.
If you believe as they are saying India is encroaching our culture,
language and values you are like blind leading the blind. Our culture is
not so narrowed that bunch of third class Hindi and movies and songs can
corrupt. Besides, we (Nepal and India) share the same values, tradition
and religious aspect from Ramayan, Mahavarat, Gita and other great
epics. These all originated in Bharatkhanda which includes not only
India but the whole region when Aaryas ruled. So, we share the same
culture. So, how can one encroach others culture that is the same. On
top of that, my friend, Nepal does not need to assimilate into India to
preserve her values, culture and religious values.
Well, the other point you have raised is the religion. Though Nepal is
the Hindu Kingdom, people have religious freedom. Look at the increasing
number of people of other religions in Nepal. Do you have any idea how
many churches and Mosques have been built in last five years? Have you
heard anybody apprehended in the last five years for conversion? Hey, if
you want to talk about secular India, dont forget Ayodhya kand and
Well, Bibhuti you think that Federal government will take charge of
territorial rights. Really? I dont think China will ever want to
encroach Nepal by crossing the Himalayan range. If she had wanted she
could have done it a long time ago (along with Tibet). Besides you also
think that because of federal governments assistance, Nepal will
develop. I can see how Bihar, UP and other neighboring states have
developed. I wonder have you ever been to these places or just making
your own pictures from your room somewhere in the US?
Furthermore, you think that after getting statehood, the state leaders
will take initiative for development. This is yet another dream. India
has always been indirectly involved in Nepalese politics, has there been
any significant development? Have the Nepali politicians learnt anything
On his seventh point the writer uses Arun III as an example. Instability
of the government was not only the reason for World bank to withdraw.
Environmental concern, duration of project, needs of such ambitious
projects and effectiveness of the plant were also influential for
withdrawal. Go and have a look in some of the Nepali villages. People
along with some NGOs and Nepal Electricity Authority are building small
scale hydro-electicity plants. I can give you an example: visit Syafru
Bensi in Rasuwa and you will see.
For the argument about Gorkha army you say that after getting the
statehood, the Gorkha army will feel like serving their motherland. Ya
right. There are British Gorkhas too. So, why not let British rule Nepal
rather than Indians? I am sure that former is better than the latter
proud to serve motherland England. Our currency would be pound sterling
and purchasing power would be the highest. So, Bibhuti people like Bal
Bhadra Kuwar were stupid to be patriotic and fighting for Nepal. Dont
you think so?
I would ask you do little thing Bibhuti. Just watch the movie
Braveheart. You will probably understand what freedom is. If you are not
interested in history of other countries, just go and ask some people in
Sikkim or Tibet. You will get the answer.
The other point I would like to make clear is Nepal does not need to
guard "hundreds of miles of the Nepal-China frontier" (as you have
said). I know, there are a few places that need security guards. Other
than that I dont see hundred of miles. For a reminder, Nepal has 550
miles east-west length and most part is covered with the Himalayan
Above all, it seems that you dont know whether India wants to take
Nepal at all. If you make further study you will know that Mao had
already told then prime minister of India that she would support the
Indian rule in Nepal only if India supports Chinas Tibet invasion. This
offer was declined by India. If you make study within Nepal he will find
that during Panchayat era, then prime minister Surya Bahadur Thapa said
that India should look after Nepals Defense and Foreign Policy. India
did not pay attention to this either.
My friend, it takes time for a country to develop. Probably you wont
see it in your life time. So instead of making any arguments based on
dreams, I would like the writer to do some homework before coming to a
Nepali with a such a sensitive issue. Thanks
Anand Raj Tiwari
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 98 17:04:02 EST
From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <Paramendra_Bhagat@smtpgtwy.berea.edu>
Subject: Re: about ten reasons
I agree with Mr. Tiwari. Nepal gaining Indian statehood is not the same as South
Asia gaining an economic union, and the latter is preferable, by far. Attempts
towards a South Asian economic union might be the most important step the South
Asian politicians can take to alleviate the mass poverty in the region. South
Asia has 40% of the poor in the world.
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 23:48:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <email@example.com>
To: The Nepal digest Editor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Prejudice V: Three Towns in Nepal
That sharp, sunny winter morning, I was guarding a roomful of
examinees as a junior guard. Those exams in Biratnagar in the early
eighties were actually cheat-fests; a veritable bazaar of friends and
relatives of examinees gathered outside the exam halls to help their wards
out, if the wards themselves were so incompetent in the art and science of
cheating. And nobody could do anything about it. Everyone, including the
Campus Chief (the change in nomenclature now sounds like one of Nepal's
long-standing attempts to define itself against India), made out to be
doing their duties, like walking those serpentine miles around towns on
certain days of the year in national dress, topi and daurasuruwal. As a
junior faculty, newly arrived there, driven out from the poverty and
powerlessness of the Morang village and fled from the caste-terror of
India, I had been assigned as a guard over these mostly town-bred college
students, and my pride had swelled in my new-found public role. Not long
ago, I had begun to shave, iron my shirts and pants, and rub Fair and
Lovely on my pimpled face, partly to get rid of the blisters caused by the
outburst of hormones but more seriously attracted by the first word of the
name brand. So that morning, it had fallen on my shoulders to distribute
the answer books, the questions, and keep out of what the examinees were
actually doing. I had begun to learn doublespeak and adjust to the Nepali
political way of doing things, having advised not long ago by the Campus
Chief in an earlier exam, soon after the killing and beating between
student groups on campus in the name of the outlawed political parties, to
take it easy and not fret so much and get used to the way things worked in
Nepal. "Thoda time luge gaa," he had said. "Adjust ho jaayiegaa,
Mishraji--ghabaraiye mut." Indeed, everywhere around me people were being
practical and adjusting--government officials in the offices were being
practical, businessmen in their dealings were used to being practical,
teachers were being practical, and the students who came to classes and
took exams were also exercising the wisdom of the time--they were being
practical in the exams. And I soon found out that those who failed their
exams in Nepal in spite of being practical went to places in India and in
three months or so brought their certificates. They were being more
practical than practical. So exercising my practicality, I had come out
of the room and stood in the sun.
Soon the man who was called Observer came on his rounds. In white
shirt, cream-colored slacks, and fine leather shoes, this personage had
come from Kathmandu, sent to this important eastern town by the Exam
Controller's office in Kathmandu to ensure academic honesty in the exams.
This was one of the rituals, like many other rituals that suffused life in
Nepal during the Panchayat system. In more than one way, Kathmandu had
held a mystery and an aura for me, ever since the day Sodosari Naanee had
told me in the Morang village about her trip by 'plane to "Nepal." Power
and glory emanated--no--flowed, from it in an unending gorge, enhanced
later by the daily weather bulletin from our neighbor Kancha Mukhiya's
Panasonic radio. And this man had come from Kathmandu and was a professor
there, or so they whispered. I looked up to him, a learned man, a
mushroom nose, buck teeth, puffed-up cheeks, wavy hair trying to cover the
balding head--blessed with the seat of Saraswati on his tongue, as my
father never failed to remind me about people with learning. But it
turned out that like many another functionary of the Nepali state under
the Panchayat system, he, too, pretended to be doing his duties. As long
as everything went peacefully, work was considered done. Peace meant
success and achievement. So he walked the rooms but saw nothing, and
spent his time, like all of us, outside, chatting with other senior
guards, many of whom his longtime friends and acquaintances. In a small
country with only thirty-odd years' history in modern education, every
educated person seemed to know everybody else, especially people with
links with Kathmandu and established clans. My fellow guard, too, knew
him, and, as many curious about the goings-on in Kathmandu, he busied the
Observer in small talk.
"How is Kathmandu these days?" my fellow guard asked. "It feels
like ages since I last visited the Valley."
"It's getting worse. Too expensive; too much crowding. People
from all over Nepal, and India, too, seem to be depleting in Kathmandu,"
he said. His eyes seemed to light up when talking about Kathmandu. From
his clean, expensive clothing he seemed to be a well-bred man from a
well-to-do family. Since I hadn't yet gone to Kathmandu, I found myself
naturally curious about its affairs. I had spent all my time in the
Rajbanshi village, or since class seven, when our wooden high school named
Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and mother of our Village Panchayat
Chief--one of the few institutions named after a goddess or a common
Nepali, had collapsed for want of funds, I had been forced to go to a
least expensive school across the border. (Not even the looting of the
harvest of a local vegetarian sect whose headquarters were on the banks of
the Ganges had shored up its finances.) And from there to college and
university with Sodosari Naanee's blessings, spending ten years of
humiliation, hunger, terror, and botched education in India. And I
couldn't help but be thankful to India for the opportunity--the only way
education could have been possible for me. The reality of the Nepali
village life enveloped me only during holidays now and between exam
breaks--and when one agitation or another disrupted and closed down
college in India for prolonged periods. I made sure that I travelled by
night trains and stepped off the train at Jogbani in the morning so I
could reach home by sunset, walking for over four hours at the end of the
stretch that involved a ferry, a few trains, and tumbledown minibuses. As
a consequence, my knowledge of life in Biratnagar was nil, save for
visiting once or twice the Land Reform Office, the Revenue Office, and the
famed CDO office. About Kathmandu, my attitude had been one of curiosity
and awe, an attitude put in my mind by Sodosari Naanee. As a widow with
resources of land and money at her disposal, she had gone to what she
called "Nepal" by 'plane in the fifties, or thereabouts, taking her
son-in-law with her. It was primarily from her more than the textbooks I
read in the village school that I learned the history of the region and
its relationship with Kathmandu, her Nepal. Her account of "Nepal," as of
the region, had been terrifying.
But soon it turned out that our esteemed Observer, like many
others' sojourn to Kathmandu he complained about, had himself made his
home in Kathmandu after finishing up university degree. Otherwise, he
came from one of the eastern hill districts, and had land in the plains,
which he called, like many others, "kheti" or "kamat" and a house in
Dharan in the foothills.
"Are you planning to transfer to Dharan then?" my fellow guard
asked, prolonging the small talk.
"Who, me? No. Dharan is no longer livable for the likes of us. I
have to sell my property there. Since the British made their recruiting
camp in Ghopa, it's been filled with the Lahures," he said without rancor.
To me, he sounded genuinely saddened and defeated by the turn of events in
Dharan, something I wasn't much cognizant of. I had carried an
all-together different impression of Dharan for many years.
One year after my departure across the border to this school,
Saila Mukhia, a one-time village panchayat chief, too, had sent his son to
the same school with me. This boy had so far lived in Dharan in his house
and gone to a school there but his father hadn't been too happy about his
education. During our daylong walk from home, four adult hours to the
borders and another four hours to this school from the borders, he opened
up his repertoire of stories about Dharan. Since he had spent the first
years in the same village school, we got along well, compelled by this
sunup to sundown trek. His stories were of two kinds: one of college life
and another of Hindi films. Both he told with zest and drama. In his
marathon narration, he dramatized the events and the representation of
fights that no action thriller can match now. He shot, kicked, jabbed,
punched, wrestled in the air with an imaginary hero or villain, enhancing
the effect of his assault through ventriloquism and the swing of his fists
and myriad twists and turns of his body, even as we plodded along. All
the names he mentioned of the Bombay actors and actresses failed to
register on my rural mind, save the names of Dharmendra, Hema Malini,
Pran, etc. I was yet to see a film of which I had much heard about.
There hadn't been any film shows anywhere near our village, and, too,
besides, my father was a sworn enemy of any form of entertainment that was
not educational. And Bombay films didn't figure on his chart as
educational. By the time we reached the school by sunset, countless
villains had justifiably lost their lives, numerous heroines had been
kidnapped, nearly raped but rescued and happily fallen in love and heroes
triumphed and married. All's well that ends well. But that was not the
case with the fights among the college gangs.
From his account, Dharan appeared a dangerous town of Congressi
and Communist college fighters, who seemed to imitate the action from
Bollywood silver screen to their street and college lives. Both Congressi
and Communist gangs appeared as those of hooligans in his account; yet he
viewed them with great admiration and awe, the kind of reverence a kid
brother reserves for the exploits of his teenage sibling. Indeed, many of
the characters in his narrative seemed to be his cousins and relatives.
Often, these people seemed to get into a fight and bloodied themselves for
no reason other than that of satisfying the rush of youthful adrenaline.
And in time, as he proceeded in his dramatized narration, the two kinds of
fights mixed up together in my mind. I couldn't tell which was
Communist-Congress fight and which was Dharmendra-Prem Chopra fight.
But now, about eight years and a few Fair and Lively tubes later,
I had made a few trips to Dharan myself. I stayed overnight with a
village friend, who had made a late start for college. Until now, he had
gratified his lust for wandering and squandering, a freedom afforded by
the early death of his father and disappearance of his mother. Now I had
liked Dharan's sloping landscape, its tungba pubs, its atmosphere of
subdued sensuality and open ways, everything made far more interesting by
my friend's knowledge and understanding and explanation.
Dharan had two main cultural sources. The old source of course
was the Hindu aristocracy of the hills that had, after Jung Bahadur's rule
and laws, patterned themselves on the prevailing power structure of the
Ranas. In the absence of widespread literacy and historical
documentation, the hill aristocracy had no means of keeping the documented
memory of their courtier past alive, save in the form of family and clan
stories handed down from generation to generation. And, like all oral
stories, these had edited out and interpolated things and turned history
into legends and myths, as found in the Hindu scriptures. But the new
recognition by the modern state in the past thirty years had revived its
long suppressed powers and prestige. Actually, the power and prestige had
actually never gone away, only made lower than Jung Bahadur's clan of the
Ranas and the royal lineage of the Thakuris. And in the past thirty
years, the first wave of the hill aristocracy had begun to acquire large
tracts of new land in the rural areas in the plains. And many had built
houses in Dharan. In the traditional power structure, this aristocracy
exercised overwhelming influence in the region.
Come into existence as a foothill town, like many other such towns
all over Nepal in the foothills, it had become a place of trade for hill
folks, who could get clothes, salt, soap, and kerosene from India and sell
their surplus produce of peanuts, oranges, limes, lemons, pears, and other
citrus fruits. And a new trader groups flourished in time, the Newars,
who would later face competition with the Indian traders. You could still
buy oranges, lemons, pears, and whole peanuts from the grimy, sweaty,
smelly porter-traders, mostly poor hill tribals, who carried their loads
of fresh merchandise in dokos, a quaint invention of bamboo sticks and
cane designed to carry more loads spread over from head to the lowerback.
They worked as Nepal's two-legged mules.
The other cultural source for Dharan formed a triangle with Hong
Kong and Darjeeling. Hong Kong supplied pound, a glimpse of the world
beyond, which included Hong Kong capitalism and British cantonment culture
but also, through the glossy Chinese magazines, the Communist revolution
in China. And Darjeeling, the remnants of the foreign glamor and
confidence of the Raj, which included its many missionary schools, and the
native subversiveness, which lacked Nepali high caste Hindu aristocracy
and whose population in many ways considered itself, in terms of caste
violations, Nepal's other Nepaliness, free from the hangups of Brahminism
and touched with the influences of the Bengali culture. (Some of the
salient features of the Gurkhaland movement could be traced to these roots
The Gurkha soldiers, the lucky among these hill tribals, after
their retirement had built neat little concrete houses in Dharan. The
unimaginative ugliness of the concrete blocks of conventional buildings
stood out in sharp contrast to these new, multicolored houses, whose
arched, brick-by-brick painted facade showed a willingness to put beauty
on display rather than hide it like clan secrets. They displayed ambition
and aspiration that were quite foreign to their staid, jaded surroundings,
that came out at times in the enthusiasm for martial arts and reading
jungbook culture. It was nonetheless imitative of the outside world,
whereas the secretive ugliness of the concrete houses displayed the native
confidence which at times came out as smugness and arrogance.
So I was a little surprised at our guest's disappointment with the
way Dharan had turned out over the years, for it matched neither with my
school friends' description with Hindi filmi personages and college
fighters nor with my own experience.
"What do you think of Janakpur?" asked my fellow guard. He said he
had grown up in Janakpur.
"Yes, I went there last year as an Observer," he said and then
sucked his teeth in distaste. "Janakpur doesn't look like Nepal at all;
it looks like Bihar. There's no Nepali culture left there," he said with
a still greater disappointment, as though Janakpur had ever had the kind
of Nepali culture that our learned friend wanted. Of course, I hadn't yet
gone to Janakpur, but its association with Bihar revealed a new meaning.
For people who hadn't gone to this mythical town in the plains of Nepal
knew it as the Videha kingdom of Rajarshi Janak, one of the most respected
kings of his time, whenever that was. And, more than history, it was the
legend as found in the epic Ramayana, whose time was the four-part
timeframe of the Hindu cosmology, in which the town lived. For all over
Hindu India and Nepal, Sita signified as one of the Panchakanyas for her
ordeals; and King Janak's court itself symbolized in the educated high
caste imaginary as the idea court in which both men and women the likes of
Gargi and Maitreyi and Yajnavalkya flourished as scholars and law givers.
In fact, Janakpur, like Sita, had not only come to assume as common nouns
for many Hindus, but this town's location in its present place, unlike the
Buddha's birthplace, is indisputable. But Janakpur lived in the epic and
in the realm of the legend; the historical Janakpur, despite retaining its
Maithili culture, had gone through centuries of political vicissitudes.
So all it had was the confidence of the legend, and its people lived in
the legend. In the present, its culture remained unaffected for
centuries, even though the architecture of its main temple bore the
palimpsest of the Indian rulers. But all this fragmented historical
knowledge would come to me somewhat later, when I visited the town to
attend the wedding of my Kathmandu colleague, a Chetri, who was going to
married to the daughter of Rajput-Rana parents. Indeed, many hill
dwellers, who acquired land in the area and settled in the early days,
adopted the local way of life--in dress and eating habits--so much so that
the Brahmins among them even changed their exotic names of the hills, such
as Pokhrel, Paudel, Dahal, etc., into generic names such as Sharma or
Upadhyay, names that were readily recognizable in the cross- border
culture of the region.
Until then in Biratnagar, I had already had a few heated arguments
and differences of opinion with a few Madhesi colleagues in Biratnagar
when they had whined and complained about their second-class status in
Nepal. I had all but stopped speaking to them; I had begun to maintain my
distance. I had all but quarrelled with a Tharu college teacher when he
had whispered that the Panchayat system deliberately fostered corruption
so the "people from the hills" who worked as functionaries of the Nepali
state would benefit from it. I had considered these lies--rumors spread
to console oneself and one's failures.
But now, that winter morning, supervising cheating in the exams, I
came upon a new revelation. The nature of Nepali nationalism was
beginning to unfold itself, but whose accounts I couldn't' find in any
text books. I had thought after my experiences in India that Nepal would
be different; that here I would escape from the viciousness of caste that
I had always hated, escape from the cruelty done to the richshawpuller
that I had seen and reacted against. Once a hostelmate's scuffle with a
richshawpuller had even caused a riot in which I nearly lost my life. But
how can one explain the slap on the steaming cheek of a richshawala at the
earth-scorching noon in Patna by a light-skinned student-looking young man
(I had seen this scene while walking on my way to the Gandhi museum) and the abuse of the same in midtown Biratnagar by a college student, an activist of the underground Communist Party, whom I knew well?
But, to be fair, in the village, I had grown up noticing the
potential among the setters and the local tribes, in spite of small
quarrels related goat-grazing, etc., of peace and amity. In fact, it was
not unusual that a few daughters of the settlers had eloped with the sons
of the local tribesmen, and the parents and relatives of the girls after
initial grumbling had come to accept these new relations. But the towns,
by virtue of their proximity to state power and its ideology, began to
appear vicious. In touch with the unspoken power of the state, ethnic
identities became more defined, demarcated, rigid, and what the academics
call reified. The further up you went in the pyramid of the state power
structure, the innocence, despite the hold of the Hindu scriptures and
ethnic memories, that existed in the villages by virtue of human
vicissitudes, began to melt as a person came more and more in contact with
the implicit state ideology. To be sure, the law was against caste as far
as intercaste marriages were concerned, but the higher up one went, the
law ceased to be of meaning; it seemed to have become something just to
show off. It was like a classical Hindu kingdom with all its caste
structure and hierarchy intact, albeit complicated by the advent of
modernity--ethnicity, nationalism, language, the effect of British rule in
the neighboring India and India's independence.
This man from Kathmandu was a hill high caste; his last name made
it obvious. But he could have been a democrat (a Congress supporter), or
a Progressive (a Communist supporter), or a Panch (Panchayat supporter);
he could have been to an overseas university and written his thesis on his
nation's topic, like many a castist professors of the universities I had
attended in India. He could have been anything or anyone, but his
prejudices against both the tribals and the people of the plains were
hardly different from a prejudiced lay settler from the hills. In fact,
in his prejudices, he even resembled many an Indian professor I had known,
although the two kinds of prejudices had their own particularities and
contextual complications. My father's dictum about the goddess of
learning, Saraswati, once ensconced on one's tongue, purified one's soul,
had begun to lose its hold once confronted with reality. I began to
wonder how it was that my father hadn't tested his sayings and verses in
real life, despite a harrowing and eventful life that he had lived. I
remembered in those moments of despair a couplet by Kabir, the vernacular
intellectual of fifteenth-century India, "Pothi padhi padhi jug muwa,
pundit bhayaa na koi; dhai aakhar premka padhe su pundit hoye 'The world
killed itself by reading books, but failed to become learned; but those
who could read the two-and-a-half letters of 'prem' became a good man of
As long as a hilly tribe man carried his backbreaking load and
lived in grime and ignorance, he was not a threat, not a problem; but as
soon as he went abroad and empowered himself after the sacrifice of
staying away from his family for years and brought that idea and economic
power to the country, he became a threat, made the town uninhabitable.
Paternalism is fine; but equality unbearable.
From then on, I began to learn fast the nature of Nepali
nationalism that the Panchayat system fostered in Nepal, particularly in
the towns--very much the way I had learned about the nature of Indian
caste system in my college days, which existed at the folk level and went
up as a counterpoint to the modernizing effects of India's ostensibly
enlightened leadership. In Nepal, it came topdown. In the villages of
Morang and Jhapa, I had travelled as a child in the Rajbanshi marriages,
alone and with my mother because of Sodosari Naanee; and a few times my
father, in his impossible hope perhaps that one day I would become like
him, had taken me in his trips to his Jajmans to collect grains and
heifers as gifts for taking them to pilgrimage; and later to the villages
giving speeches in the Referendum of 1979. But it was only now in this
town of power politics in eastern Nepal that I began to understand the
difference between the cultural prejudices among various communities in
the villages, which arose from the scriptures and ethnic cultural
memories, and their viciousness as the same prejudices surfaced and
arrived to the towns, where the individual prejudices found their tacit
confirmation and assurance and assumed such a surprising invidiousness in
the corridors of state power. In the characterization of difference
between Dharan, Janakpur and Biratnagar seemed to lay the crux of Nepali
nationalism, in which the Rajbanshis of my village figured nowhere. The
Lahures of Dharan, by virtue of their knowledge of the outside world and
power of the Sterling Pound, meager though it might have been, had
transformed themselves from the load carriers and losers into respectable
citizens with their own sense of competitive knowledge and lifestyles.
The people of Biratnagar--the traders from India and the hill high
castes--had their own sources of political and economic power. Janakpur,
by virtue of its cultural proximity to Bihar and its power plays and by
virtue of the powerful Hindu myth, had its own confidence and clout, even
though it didn't look like Nepal in my learned colleague's estimation.
But where were the Rajbanshis, many of whom, some my classmates, had
become richshawpullers now? I asked myself. They were in the villages,
to be sure; but villages were faceless, and the towns didn't recgonize
them. They had no power, nor any clout. They had neither the resources
of the Lahures nor the confidence of the Janakpuris. After the abolition
of the Zamindari system, which at least distributed power among a few
tribal chiefs, the tribes in the plains were in a shambles. They had
begun to lose land, the forests, and with these their bread and dignity.
When the Rana rule ended, all over Nepal there were zimdars from
various tribes and castes. In Morang and Jhapa, there were Rajbanshis and
other zimidars of the plains, who were not only well known in their
communities, but worked as centers of power and patronage. Even though at
times tyrannical in matters of rent collection and distribution of
justice, these zamindars fell under the jurisdiction of the Ojhas, the
tribal spiritualists, and the oral tribal rules. The Rajbanshi zamindars
and Patwaris had to obey the Ojhas, their family gurus, in spiritual, even
social matters, which were based on convention and oral tradtion. The
Panchayat system by its discriminatory structure ingrained in its high
caste ideology and pervasive nature not only dismantled the local,
self-sufficient power structures and cultural networks, it beefed up the
hill high castes with power in various forms, making mostly them the
beneficiary of foreign aids and subjugated and impoverished the tribes,
all tribes, but especially the smaller tribes, such as the Rajbanshis, the
Dhimals, the Kabash, and so on.
No wonder that when I met a Dhimal in the late eighties who lived
by the East-West Mahendra Highway now but whom I had seen but not spoken
to since childhood, visiting Kata Mela in a "sampani gaadi," said, "Rana
Rule was far better for us Dhimals than the Panchayat Sirkar. I had
fifteen bigha of land when the Ranas ruled, but now I have nothing. I
work as a wage labor on the same land I once owned."
But this Observer, by virtue of his ethnicity, education,
profession could have bridged the gap and become a mediator among the
diverse ethnic groups in Nepal. He was a hill high caste, perhaps a
Chetri, not so encumbered by the Brahmanic principles of purity and
pollution; he was in the flexible middle and could have been a medium, a
negotiator of the ethnic complexities in Nepal. He was a learned man, had
done his university, completed at least his masters in one of the social
sciences. So he knew some theories, some world history, some comparative
structures and principles. And as a college teacher in the Valley, he
himself was in an alien land, in the heart of Newar culture. So he
perhaps had some knowledge of what it means to know culturally different
people with their own rich tradition of language and culture and history.
He could reflect upon his condition, the state, and nationalism. If a
scum, an ignoramus, a benighted person uses anti-national, ethnic
prejudices and resorts to name-calling, one could understand and educate
him or her or just ignore. But this was a learned man. It seemed that
people like him becamed educated only to serve the cause of prejudice in a
more sophisticated fashion; from a position of unassilable confidence and
rationale. The positive side of all his breeding and experience seemed to
have been nullified before the sweeping influence of the state ideology
and prevailing mores, which formed a vicious circle once it interacted and
reinforced the prejudices of the laity. As long as people looked like
him, spoke his language, had identity like his, they were fine. And if
they didn't look like him, then they were fine if they didn't have foreign
ideas, didn't have power and comparative knowledge. But soon they came to
claim to be his equal, they became bad, dangerous, an incentive to move
"What do you think of Biratnagar?" my fellow guard asked.
"South of Tintolia, things are not so good. It's too close to the
border," he said.
I now had begun to be skeptical of my father's wisdom in
Saraswati's power to cleanse a person's heart. Saraswati could complicate
the whole picture for the worse. I began to wonder if Nepal--the Nepal of
the towns and power structure--was filled with people like this learned
man. In time, I would know more.
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 21:39:09 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Bill Duckworth" <email@example.com>
Subject: guests/friends from Nepal
My wife Nora and I were very fortunate to have two Nepali guest here in our home for the past two months. We had met Diki Yangdon in Namche Bazaar in 1996 twice. And we had met Sonam Palmo in Jawalkhel in Kathmandu later the same month.
we've stayed in touch with both of them and several other Nepalis and finally asked them if they were interested in coming to the U.S. Both were pleased and both had family here in the US as well. So Sonam came to New York last winter and Diki came directly to colorado this May. Nora and I had already planned a vacation thru the Southwest and so we added Sonam and Diki and our grandson, Zion, and together we had a wonderful vacation seeing the grand canyon, zion, bryce, Phoenix (well, yes in the summer), Carlsbad Caverns, Sante Fe, and Durango for a month. They also got to meet my son and his wife and baby daughter and my daughter and her husband and son, Zion, and my step son and step daughter and their families too.
At the end of the time, we took a two day backpacking and climbing trip and you knew that Sonam and Diki felt like they were back home. The San Juan Mountains arent the Himalays but they are beautiful and colorful with a mantle of wildflowers. All got to climb a 14,000 foot peak, the same elevation as the valley at Pheriche!!
As all of you must feel, we are one family togehter and everyone feels that way.
We'd be happy to share our home and our time anytime with any of you.. it's nice to have these kind of bonds. We are members of SERVAS too and love the opportunity to share and to share our nice home with all of you and all friends of Nepal and Tibet (both Sonam and Diki are ethnically Tibetan) and Nora and I have started our own group a year ago called the "Western Colorado Friends of Tibet". We welcome any contacts, visits, sharing or support.. we hope someday to walk home from Nepal to Tibet and share both of our homes there with our friends. In the meantime, Nora and I are planning to return to Nepal in 1999 and 2000 to serve as volunteers and of course to enjoy a place and a people we love very much.
Sincerely, Bill and Nora Duckworth
From: "Dhiren Fonseca" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Hope you can help me?
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 18:51:50 -0700
I found this email address on your web site. I was hoping that you help me
get some infomation.
regarding the dates for this year's Indra Jatra, Pachali Bhairav
Jatra, festivals in Kathmandu. I am interested in traveling to
Kathmandu to attend and photograph these celebrations.
Subject: Re: Hindi vs. Maithili
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 20:38:28 GMT
I strongly disagree on Mr. Raut's opinion on the ground that, should there
ever be a second official language then it oughtta be Hindi. From what you're
deriving your suggestion is that our culture has been too overwhelmed by the
Bharati culture. A valid conclusion, but how do you see in the long run? To
begin with, why opt for a 2nd official language? Such provision will only
dilute our respect towards our own Nepali language. If you bring in an alien
language in our society, tomorrow it's the currency (which I believe is
already circulating) then in no time it's the sovereignty. Not to sound too
crude but we all know how an Indian mind works. Their imperialistic views
dates back to the days when they booted the British regime. Forgive me and it
may sound very unrealistic in the present situation to say that I'd vote for
English over Hindi. Again, Newari would be more practical but I still would
like English be taught more vigorously in all schools. All our miseries and
poverty stricken situations are a direct result of total dependence over our
shrewd Southern neighbor. We all know how it can starve us by just denying us
oil and gas for a few months. If we ever would like to survive without that
bullish attitude hovering over us, we should gradually find ways to be less
dependent over India. And, accepting Hindi as one of the official languages,
is never a good idea. Indians will appreciate it for a few days and you never
know, like in Kuwait, we may see banners like "Nepal hamara 16th state he"
running all over Hindustan. Like Tibet, our mighty Himalayas will be their
dumping ground for nuclear material. We already know HOLLYHOOW is not
interested in what we have to offer. Ours will be a "lost cause". It's a very
cynical scenario. I'm not saying these are the sure outcomes but we must
realize that language is a very strong tool. And, we're talking about HINDI
Subject: Re: Hindi vs. Maithili
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 02:01:55 GMT
Bijay Raut 99 <email@example.com> wrote:
> If there would be a second official language in Nepal other than Nepali, I
> would recommend HIndi (and not Maithili, Bhojpuri or any other regional
> language). Although the percentage of people who speak HIndi as their
> mother tongue is small, it is well spoken by many as second language and
> understood by even more.
Here he goes again!!
1. FIRST Mr Raut tried to paint a overblown picture of racism in Nepal.
2. He then hypothesised a stupid solution, integration of Nepal into India.
3. Now he is trying to develop a back ground for his hypothesis, that HINDI
laguage be a second official language of Nepal.
4. Don't be surprised, if he later come to suggest then Nepal should fight
Pakistan to save India.
Mr. Raut you are a loner among taraibasis. No wonder you have an identity
crisis about yourself.
Even taraiwasis don't prefer Hindi! A friend of mine, a taraiwasi, prefers
speaking Nepali with other nepalis and speaks Marwadi at home. Unlike you, he
hates India. You wanna know why? Because, he grew up watching his village
getting floaded every rainy season and running dry every winter season. Not
because of meterological reason, because of that stupid water treaty, in which
India screwed Nepal.
From: Dig Tamang <tamang@ mail.erols.com>
Subject: Re: Ten Reasons Why Nepal Should Join India!
Date: 31 Jul 1998 02:37:59 GMT
I don't think you are a real bhibhuti, if you are a patriotic, you
wouldn't have wrote this kind of article in social culture nepal. Nepali
Aama never think she would have such a nonsense son like you.Nepal
always maintained its independent in Asia, becuase Nepali Aama had
Saput sons not like you , now she is afraid of having kaput.Nepal was
independent and she will maintence her independence in the world no
matter how poor we are.Khabardar don't try to sell your own mother
for money. Whatever you think but I am a Saput Nepali.
YOur Saput Bhai
Dig B. Tamang
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Anil Tuladhar)
Subject: Re: Ten Reasons Why Nepal Should Join India!
Date: 31 Jul 1998 05:35:34 GMT
I won't blame you for your analysis. You weighed everything in terms of
money. But, life is not that simple. There are many things in life
which can not be measured in money. If you account for those things, I
am sure, you too will not be convinced by Bijay's analysis.
In my opinion, we need to wake up and do something and NOT to live as a
parasite on India. I believe, we hate to be parasites, don't we?
May be true. But let us not forget that there are 40% indians below the
poverty line and we will have to share thier pain too.
Work hard and find ways to balance the trade deficit. Do not be tempted
to sale yourself. It is always easy to be a slave than a master. But
the vitory lies not in becoming a slave. You are a learned soul so go
Is this a joke? Why does not India join China? China is so powerful and
Sorry to say this but Hindus do not believe in Mecca nor in Madina.
India's secularism is just a sham. All Nepalis will be killed by muslims
in no time should a muslim hindu danga errupt.
We do not need anything for free. We want to earn our achevement ourselves.
Nepal will then reduce to an Indian toy. India will deploy heavy military
against China in Nepali borders. Who knows, India may even dump its
Nuclear waste in Nepal. "Yasta Nepali lanthu haru lai ke thaha? Aaha
India le ta Nuclea bomb banayo ni bhanera khusi hunchhan, bhare sabai
nuclear waste Nepali ko thaplo maa."
Well, wait for a few more years. ...
They (Gurkha soldiers) will one day work for Nepal. Believe me, the day is not far.
What do you mean? So you accept that our security is already under the
umbrella of India? If China takes Nepal, Nepal should celebrate it,
shan't it? China is much more powerful and richer than India. From your
own analysis, it will be a great achievement for Nepal. You just seem to
have a very biased view.
All you need is a little bit of courage. Do not get alarmed by the
present chaotic situation in Nepal. Someone will definitely come
in future to save us. He will be a Nepali and he will never bargain his
country for some economic gain.
Let us keep this discussion alive. This helps us to dispell all the
weakness hovering above us due to our fragile economy and undue
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 98 09:17:55 EST
From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <Paramendra_Bhagat@smtpgtwy.berea.edu>
Subject: Re: 10 reasons...........
It is one thing for Bijay Raut, a Teraiwasi, to make this point, quite another
for Bibhuti Nepal, a Kathmanduite, to make the same. I still think an eventual
South Asian economic union would be more palatable.
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