The Nepal Digest - August 6, 1998 (11 Shrawan 2055 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Thursday Aug 6, 1998: Shrawan 11 2055BS: Year7 Volume77 Issue3

Today's Topics (partial list):

               Response ad infinitum...
               Re: Ten reasons
               Contribution...
               Vitamin A projects
               Education system
               100 reasons? Contribution
               Titbits from Canada
               Racism in Nepal
               The problem with national identity

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information tnd@nepal.org *
 * Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * (Open Position) *
 * Editorial Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra pkm@acpub.duke.edu *
 * Sports Correspondent: Avinaya Rana avinayar@touro.edu *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Dr. Krishna B. Hamal HamalK@dist.gov.au *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Canada Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Anil Shrestha SHRESTHA@CROP.UOGUELPH.CA *
 * SCN Correspondent: Open Position *
 * *
 * TND Archives: http://library.wustl.edu/~listmgr/tnd/ *
 * TND Foundation: http://www.nepal.org tnd@nepal.org *
 * WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
 * Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista tnd@nepal.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: Tue, 09 Jan 1990 09:17:25 +0530 From: "F. A. H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <hutch@wlink.com.np> To: editor Contributions <nepal@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Re: 1 August 1998 issue

I always appreciate you putting my 'stuff' into the TND, and unedited, no less! Bravo!

But, in this last issue, I answered a letter to 'Nepal Cat,' for which there is a minor problem... You wisely included his letter to, prior, but then had the wrong response following (I'd sent two 'messages' at the same time)... What followed 'Nepal Cat's' was a letter that addressed 'rude audiences,' at a concert I attended here in Kathmandu.

Then way down, many pages, came the response to 'Nepal Cat's' original letter.

I bring it to your attention only for the record!

I know it must be trying putting together this garganuan effort every week(?). Generally, speaking you do an excellent job, and we, who read it regularly, appreciate the contribution you're making!.

TND is an important on-line forum!

We look forward to more and better!

Namaste! F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple hutch@worldlinkless (soon to be hutch@htp.com or hutchat@usa.net)

********************************************************* Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1990 18:26:36 +0530 From: "F. A. H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <hutch@wlink.com.np> To: editor Contributions <nepal@cs.niu.edu> Subject: your response to my response ad infinitum...

It is good to know Anil that you're going to come back to Nepal and save
'us!' But, I will believe it when I see it... In fact, I'll be at Tribhuvan Airport waiting... Words are cheap... 'Action is eloquence,' Shakespeare said.

Now, please enlighten me to the Nepali mythology that 'instructs' Nepali people as to their own 'power,' their own 'self initiative.' I want to read and study this... Give me some titles of books, please, that I can read... I'm very much interested in this...

One of your own (whose name escapes me at the moment) wrote a book entitled, 'Fatalism and Development,' which seems to argue the reverse
(what I've discovered)... That Nepali people have been incapacitated by a fatalistic 'mythology,' which tells them they don't have control of their own destiny... Thus, they basically do nothing but either, talk about it,' (seems to be the national pastime) and/or complain about the state of affairs! Then, they 'objectify' the situation: 'Someone will come in the future and save us!'

You see I came here to Nepal, with no agenda... I didn't come to 'help save,' or whatever, 'to teach.' I came to learn and to disappear up in the Himal.

But, then I discovered a wonderful loving people, by in large, that seem to be 'trapped,' by their own cultural history, and at the same time preyed upon by a predatory 'government!' (Note: Nepal is very similar to Mexico in this regard!) And a culture that certainly doesn't understand what democracy is all about (although some are learning fast, i.e. the VAT people, the Maoists actually! This guy, Dr. Baburan )...

How can you have 'democracy,' in an undemocratic culture (caste system and subjugation of women)? Please tell me...?

Now, you probably think I'm typically pro American and condescending toward Nepal...?

I think, however, it was you who said that Nepali culture is 'uneducated and unsophisticated.'

I've got news for you... America/Canada isn't sophisticated to me
(although there are pockets: Berkeley, Santa Fe, Manhattan, Cambridge, Montreal possibly)... Nor, for that matter particularly well educated...

Well educated to me has nothing to do with your bank account... Bill Gates is not necessarily well educated in my estimation...

They only thing Americans (and/or Canadians) know how to do well is make money via selling/marketing... But, what may be more important is think they can do anything!

Whereas Nepali culture thinks it can't do anything without foreign intervention! (Note as example: Why are you studying in Canada and not here in Nepal...?)

As for educated, I don't think North Americans are educated necessarily! As for sophisticated, I don't think North Americans are sophisticated necessarily!... You have to go to Europe to get any kind of sophistication: France, Switzerland, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, for example.

Secondly, it doesn't bother me that Nepalis are 'uneducated,' nor
'unsophisticated,' as I ultimately place less value than most on either! (Actually, I've met some highly educated people here in Kathmandu!)

What I'm interested in is consciousness...

I've come to learn that they're aren't really 'nationalities,' or
'tribes,' but 'types' of people: basically those with consciousness and those (in the vast majority) that don't!

There are Nepali people here that are more 'American,' (less conscious) than I'll ever be, and I dare say I'm more 'Nepali,' (more conscious) than they'll ever be!

I've also learned that people hide behind 'ethic' distinctions, cultural/religious notions, and 'borders.' 'It is our custom,' they say... Or, 'This is the way we do it here!' As if that's justification enough for whatever is morally wrong!

Worse, like you, they get all up tight when someone suggests 'they' might improve! Or, for that matter, that there's even a 'problem.'
(check out my response to 'Nepal Cat').

But, you're young... It isn't so much that you're Nepali and that I'm anglo, it's that you're young and think you know everything (like I did), and I'm older and know I know little!

My 'job,' is as a catalyst to stir up the debate... To shine a 'light,' in dark corners! I'm basically a vagabond poet/philosopher...

If ultimately, no one wants my 'help,' here in Nepal, or doesn't have the courage to look inside their own soul(s), or refuses to grow and change (ultimately to reach for enlightenment), I'll be moving on... I don't particularly like the weather here, and the Kathmandu Valley, is not a healthy place to live...

I think Tibet is more my kind of terrain... Plus, Tibetan Buddhists are so organized and clean compared to Hindus...

In the meantime, the Kathmandu ('Dogmandu' I've dubbed it) is basically self-destructing, and I cannot live in a place and watch this happen (to some really good people) without trying to do something! It's my nature. But, I dare say I will do this my own way, and not listen to a 25-year old who, as my mother used to tell me, is not yet, 'dry behind the ears!'

On the other hand, I welcome any information and/or help, that can change things in the world (not just Nepal or America)! We ultimately have to do whatever together! We ultimately have to save ourselves on
'this spaceship.' (Note: It will not be good for Nepal if India and Pakistan get into a Nuclear War...)

As for action... I walk all over Kathmandu and never pass a hand out that I don't give some rupees to (and I'm not well to do in the $ category)! Yet, I've been told by 'Nepali' people (the ungenerous kind) that this is not a good idea... Just their way of rationalizing being stingy! I see children eating out of the garbage here every day... I don't ride around in some big Embassy 4-wheel drive chauffeured vehicle.

How much have you given to charities in Canada.? Or, people on the street there...?

Finally, you said, 'Forget about speaking out,' then in the next breath you suggest I join you (I assume to discuss whatever ) in a 'News Group,' 'soc.culture.nepal?' Thus, I'm confused...

Then, again, I understand... young people are full of contradictions!

Cheers to you! and Namaste (as I salute the divine in you)!

F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple hutch@nodoubt.com

P.S. One thing about 'the Christ story,' that even Christians don't understand... You must learn (all must learn) the difference between the
'literal' and the 'figurative'...

There will be no literal 'Christ' ever 'returning,' to earth (if there ever was a historical Jesus). What's important is this Story (Myth) that says: It is possible to be 'redeemed' (die of the 'body,' to gain the spirit), but that YOU MUST DO IT YOURSELF (OR YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO IT YOURSELF) IN THIS LIFETIME! So few people understand this... They think and hope for an 'objectified,' figure actually 'coming again,' to 'save them,' thus missing the whole point of the Myth!

Myths, by the way, are stories we live by...

Where are, and what are the stories (Myths) that Nepalis live by...? I'm eager to read them...

*********************************************************** From: "shisha" <shisha@mbox5.singnet.com.sg> Subject: Re: Ten reasons why Nepal should join India Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 01:56:53 +0800

NO! I shan't let Nepal join India!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Over my dead body! Nepal are far separated from the Indian life and culture, community!!! Nepalis have their own ways of lives in Nepal. Once, my country, Singapore, joined Malaysia in 1961 and afterwards all, she already suffered a lot from all corruption, nepotism and unloyalness towards us in the past. Still fresh in our memories, we took a risky challenge to become independent from Malaysia after 1963. Then now, we are in the modern life unlike Malaysians do. Do you know why we had to separate from them? Even though the country-country merger would sound good and promotes more economically active together, we used to pay taxes to Malaysia last time. Who's paying taxes??? Of course, non-Malays had to pay!! Whilst Malays pays little or no taxes and enjoy the best privileges given to them, while Chinese and Indians get poor wages and less privileges. It's unfair to us, that's why we are trying to promote the racial harmony among Chinese, Indians, Malays and others. So, It might be referring to Nepal and India merger. In any case, Nepal's resources and economy, other basics Nepal only has will be affected by India's political disputes and worse, nuclear tests to be taken place-I hope that they shan't do it with its peoples' wish to stop it from happening. In India, life was too cosmopolitianic and modern for Nepalis to adapt to. I noticed that many Nepalis liked to live in the Himalayas, their mystic homeland. Actually, Nepal is my FAVOURITE AND MOST ADMIRED COUNTRY. It was well famed for its sacrifaces of the Gurkhas. I used to think that Nepal is only country I could rely on in spite of their poverty and low standards of modern life. I wish to tell you that Nepalis may be affected by the way of living in the modern cities of India. They will like to form Nepalese groups to give each other a sense of security and own community. Like Limbus or Newaris of Kathmandu usually were seen in the ethnic groups. Nepal is a very interlocked country where it is difficult for them to talk over the merger question. Nepal is completely closed to the outside world. Therefore, Nepalis may be too sensitive about it. They are very tranquil and serene which India are different from them. I don't want to see Nepalis being cheated and taken advantage of from Indian people if corruption and crime rates rises. Nepal should remain forever and the gap between Nepal and India are quite wide, I suppose. Nepal is Nepal. What if the leading parties in India don't make their solemn promise to ensure that everything are being taken care. Too much criminals in India- how can Nepalis survive with them? I am worrying about their safety. Since I am obssessed with Nepal, I should show my concern over Nepal. I just want Nepal to be like my country whom just survived from lack of resources we needed. I am sure that Nepal can do it! I can notice that Nepal is still progressing. Otherwise, India can help Nepal in times of worry, peril and other catashropes. Hopefully, India will not talk to Nepal about joing togther. I bless Nepal to be sacred and clean, free from India. I feel that if Nepal join India, they will face no freedom if there are some communism rumours in India like LTTE. You know about LTTE? Ok, I has to end here and pray that Nepal will be ONE! Hope to hear more about Nepal.

>From Maurice,
email: nepalina@cybertech.com.sg

******************************************************************** From: "Bibhuti Nepal" <bibhutinepal@hotmail.com> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: Re: Ten Reasons Why Nepal Should Join India! Date: Sat, 01 Aug 1998 13:29:19 PDT

Dear Readers:

  Thanks for your various responses for my article. First of all let acknowledge my mistake for the first point (and subsequently the second) among
  the ten reasons I gave why Nepal should join India. My claim that the
  unification will increase the purchasing power of Nepal is incorrect and devoid
  of any economic reasonings. I failed to realize the simple economic theory (I
  thought I had taken Macro Economics class) that the increase in money supply
  due to the straight conversion of all Nepalese currency into Indian currency
  will result into inflation, since there will be more money in the economy while
  the amount of goods and services will remain the same. The inflation will negate
  any increase in the purchasing power. Furthermore, I don't think Indian Reserve
  Bank will allow straight converion of Nepalese currency (i.e. NRs. 100
= IRs.
  100) into Indian currency. India will rather buy all Nepalese currency and
  distribute the equivalent Indian currency.

  Besides my first and the second points, I still believe all my other points hold
  true. There is no doubt that Nepal will benefit a large from the unification.
  All the claims that Nepal will lose "Identity" and "Freedom" after conversion
  are false and shortsighted. Have Tamils, Punjabi or Marathi lost their identity
  in the Indian Union? No! The great thing about India is that each ethnic group
  can assimilate to the traits of other ethnic groups while can still preserve its
  own identity. To allow easily assimilation and retain individual identity, the
  Federal government has granted 16 official languages while made the state
  officially a secular one. Nepal has such a great culture. I see its great
  culture will attract other ethnic groups and the resulting assimilation will
  have more traits of Nepalese culture than any other culture. Above all, for
  majority of Nepali, the most important thing is bread and butter. They are less
  worried about what their citizenship is. For them the sense of identity is
  usually limited to their locality. And they will retain their identity whether
  or not Nepal unite to India. That's why there are so many ethnic groups in such
  a small country. Only the upper middle-classs and the elites are worried about
  their "identity", obviosly of their vested interests. The current Hindu caste
  system and other aspects of the culture have granted them with certain
  privileges which they fear will lose if their country unite to India.

  And for "freedom," how can Nepalis lose their freedom when they will be a part
  of the largest democracy in the world?

  Constructive critcisms are always welcome.

  namaste,
  Bibhuti Nepal

************************************************************************ Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1990 10:55:29 +0530 From: "F. A. H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <hutch@wlink.com.np> To: editor Contributions <nepal@cs.niu.edu> Subject: contribution...

In Tuladhar's 'Ten Reasons Why Nepal Should Join India,' Mr. Tuladhar articulated the Nepali Syndrome to me, once again: 'Someone will definitely come in (the) future to save us.' Gosh, 'the future'... Isn't that a long time to wait...? That could be five thousand years from now!

You Nepali people are going to have to learn to save yourselves! That's my whole point vis a vis the Nepali psyche... It requires some patriarchal entity to come along (hopefully) as savior, some time, 'in the future!'

Stop looking to some 'objective' force or entity to come along 'in the future!' Stop looking to 'someone' else to save you! Save yourselves! That's your responsibility in a 'democracy!'

Return to Nepal, Mr. Tuladhar, and help save your own country, as you will be saving yourself in the process! Realize what a democracy is all about... As Thomas Jefferson said, 'The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!'

Democracy is alive and well here in Kathmandu, in spite of what you hear...

I saw it in action the other day, in Thahity, Kathmandu (just happenned to be walking through):

Ten thousand, if there was one, motorbikes past by me in a loud procession, honking and the riders blowing mouth whistles, creating a cacophony of noise, dust and (yet more) pollution!.

Most of the motorbikes had passengers, and all had signs protesting the government's 'Value Added Tax' (VAT for short)!

I had to retreat into a store to watch and was delayed walking home for thirty minutes... But, it was well worth it! As I support such demonstrations! They, the courageous, gave me hope and I salute them...

Now, you may disagree and be for the value added tax, but even if you are, you should support their right to protest (peaceably!)! This is democracy in action! This is what it's all about!

Personally, I agree with the protesters about theVAT...

It seems like every time a government gets into financial trouble, they tax the 'little' people... The least able to pay! Doesn't matter if it's Nepal, the U.S., or Columbia (in South America)... It's always the same... pick on the little 'guy and girl!'

If you wonder why the Maoists have a 'foothold,' in Nepal, it doesn't take a genius to figure it out! They obviously fulfill a need that's not being met by the current Nepali Government! And it would be easy to dissolve that 'need,' thus eliminating such 'opposition.' You simply take care of the people!

In a 'democracy,' the way we deal with what we think is wrong is to speak out (I don't believe in violence as solution: as violence only creates more violence: look at the Middle East as example). But, I believe in speaking out! As it reads, the 'motto,' of this publication, The Nepal Digest: 'Democracy dies among the silent crowd!'

Thus, let's have a discussion here (in TND) about the 'Value-Added Tax,' a euphemism, if I've ever heard one... But, I don't know the specifics.

So, can someone start off by explaining VAT to me...?

My friend Rajan here is for it... Many are against...

But, let us find out the details before making up our minds! This is what democracy is all about...

I find it ironic that most everyone here in Kathmandu complains about corruption in the government, yet doesn't pay their taxes! There's an old anglo expression; 'the pot calling the kettle black...' Doesn't integrity begin at home...?

So, until you're perfect, I suggest you stop 'objectifying' the problems here in Nepal (elsewhere) and take responsibility for your own life! And, most of all, take some responsibility in changing what you don't like! This is what democracy is all about, Mr. Tuladhar, not waiting
'in the future,' for something to 'save us!' If you do, you're going to waiting a long time!

F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple hutch@nodoubt.com.np (soon not to be of wlinkless... We're starting a new AND BETTER ISP here in Kathmandu!)

******************************************************************** Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 14:25:37 -0500 From: Deborah Meliti <dmeliti@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu> To: info-tnd@nepal.org Subject: Vitamin A projects

Namaskar,

I am interested in knowing in which districts Vitamin A projects exist. As well, which NGOs' are responsible, eg.. Helen Keller, OMNI etc. I was working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Baitadi 1993-1995; I am familiar with locations. I would appreciate it if you would assist me with this. Thank you very much.

                        Sincerely, Deborah Meliti
                        dmeliti@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu

**************************************************************** Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 18:08:22 +0200 From: marta <isabel1@jazztel.com> To: "'tnd@nepal.org'" <tnd@nepal.org> Subject: isabel diaz

I would like to know if it=B4s possible to work in Nepal if I am from Spain=
=2E I went there in October 97 and I lovew the coutry. I have a Bachelor De= gree in Audiovisual Communications and a master=B4s degree in International=
 Affairs and Communications,. My aim is working within the International Co= operation system in a field related to the Communications and the Media.=20 I send you my CV attached so that you can consider if I would be a candidat= e to work with the TND foundation and the Nepal Digest as well. Thank you for your kind attention, ISABEL DIAZ BLAZQUEZ

**************************************************************** Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 09:18:56 -0300 From: Walter Lee <wlee@nbnet.nb.ca> To: tnd@nepal.org Subject: education system

Dear Sir or Madam;

I am having trouble finding information about the Nepalese secondary school system. I need to information about the grading system in Nepal in order to assess applications to our university by Nepalese students.
 Also, I need to know how the Nepalese system compares to other systems in the area, such as India.

Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I have enjoyed your website, which is very informative.

Thank you for your time.

Kind regards,

Walter Lee International Marketing Representative University of New Brunswick in Saint John Canada

***********************************************************************************************

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 11:47:54 -0700 (PDT) From: Anil & Jasmine Tuladhar <tuladhar@unixg.ubc.ca> To: editor Contributions <nepal@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Re: contribution

It will just be a few years. When I complete my PhD and gain some experince in my area, I will go back to Nepal. The saviour I am referring to is no other person than myself. So, did I make my point clear now?

>Hutch worte:
> You Nepali people are going to have to learn to save yourselves! That's
> my whole point vis a vis the Nepali psyche..

Read my reply above. I am not a christian who keeps on believing jesus christ to come down to save the soul. I believe in my self effort.
 
> That's your responsibility in a 'democracy!'

Already replied.

> Return to Nepal, Mr. Tuladhar, and help save your own country

That is exactly what I will be doing in future.

> Democracy is alive and well here in Kathmandu, in spite of what you
> hear...

Well, I hope so.

> It seems like every time a government gets into financial trouble, they
> tax the 'little' people... The least able to pay! Doesn't matter if

What you are saying is known to all. We Nepalis may be comparatively uneducated and less sophisticated, but the collective intteligence we have surpass all others. All those people in villages who can not read and write still know what is good for them and what is not. So keep your preaching to yourself and try to do good to people around you. We need your action and not some theories which look beautiful but does not work. So forget about all the craps of democracy, demonstration, human rights but just do good to people around you. They will respect you.

> In a 'democracy,' the way we deal with what we think is wrong is to
> speak out (I don't believe in violence as solution: as violence only
> The Nepal Digest: 'Democracy dies among the silent crowd!'

Forget about 'speaking out'. We waste too much time spoeaking out only. I speak something, you come to misunderstand it, I put an idea you dispute it. If we start working right away, we will get some results immediately. So work and do not talk.

> Thus, let's have a discussion here (in TND) about the 'Value-Added Tax,'
> a euphemism, if I've ever heard one... But, I don't know the specifics.

On another note, I respect your interest in our lifestyle and problems. But I strongly disagree with you that we lack proper myth to get the inspiration. That view point of yours simply shows that you do not know much about our history. So if you want to discuss our myths and their impact on our culture, you are welcome to join the ng called soc.culture.nepal (SCN). I find SCN more informal and faster for discussion than TND.

Cheers! Anil

**************************************************************** From: "Eknath Belbase" <eknath@ad-co.com> To: <a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu> Subject: 100 reasons? Contribution Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 12:38:22 -0400

Many people have written in response to the Original Post called "TEN reasons" about joining India. I personally was happy to see a barage of 100 responses with perhaps 20 reasons we SHOULD NOT. I'd like to suggest a few, and ask a few questions-perhaps someone has a few ideas on or has studied the topic.

The main reasons cited FOR joining were conjectures of an economic gain. Let's look at some of the possible economic COSTS. Suppose 10% of the total hydro potential of Nepal were developed with Indian capital. Who would get the money and where would it go? Where would the ELECTRICITY go? To villages in Nepal or to the soon to be 10-million plus burgeoning cities in the northern states of India? Also, let me repeat - the "strong currency" argument was COMPLETELY SILLY. Having a currency that is worth 1.6 times as much only helps you if your wages are static. If a driver making 2500 Nepali rupees is suddenly going to make 1700 Indian rupees, he's right back where he started. What our young writer should have examined was purchasing power - where would that go? A serious projection of that would require a comparison of wages and prices adjusted for the additional transport costs (to get to Kathmandu if that's where you want to examine the impact) across a variety of goods. Finally, a question that arises from that post. If India IS SO MUCH BETTER OFF economically or otherwise WHY IN THE WORLD have 2 million+ Indians come across the border in the last 5 years?? And this leads to the larger question of Nepalis going to India and Indians coming to Nepal, both for work - does anyone know of any research on what types of work Nepalis go there for and what type of work Indians come to Nepal for? My impression is that there is a big difference between the two.

As everyone knows, economics is an important part of but nevertheless only one component of overall quality of living. I think it is clear that most of those who replied recognize precisely why, for those of us who grew up in Kathmandu in the 1970s and 80s, the city was better than any in India we have visited. Perhaps the writer missed those reasons and similarly some of the other reasons cited by every tourist I have talked to who has gone to both Nepal and India. Some of those reasons have diminished with the increasing population and congestion in Kathmandu but outside Kathmandu, that sense of Nepal as a place very different from India (both to live as well as for tourists to visit) has not changed as much. One wonders what would happen to those things for another state of India. An interesting number on this front - if India had Nepal's per capita number of tourists visit, more tourists would visit per year than the entire population of Nepal. Currently it is much better and it isn't just because we have more of the highest mountains in the world. It's because its a "kindler, gentler" place to visit than the bordering areas in India. As well as to live in. If all those who wrote in from the US plan on going back one day - please keep in mind that regardless of whether we become a state of India or not, if the population influx continues, it becomes a moot point.

Even most Indians I have talked to who have travelled to Nepal recognize this palpable difference though many of them also feel the strong hostility towards them. The reason the writer probably does not is that he grew up with the same hostility directed towards him! You cannot recognize why Nepal should stay Nepal, if you never got to feel how it is to 'be a Nepali' with all its benefits and inclusiveness as felt by the other writers who wrote in. Communities such as these may be IMAGINED but the imagination is a very important part of existing and being happy.

Finally, on the point of "national identity". Nepal has been around in more or less consolidated form for over 200 years. If Indians can feel a sense of Indian-hood after 50, when many people alive still remember when their country came into being, imagine a people who have been raised with stories of 150 year-old battles where Nepalis fought to keep Nepal intact. Were you in Kathmandu during the trade blockade? Despite all the inconvenience, everyone I knew was HAPPY to see our government standing up to India's, even though most realized the ultimate futility of the act. The teaching of Nepali in schools has, if anything, increased that sense of belonging.

************************************************************** From: "Anil Shrestha" <SHRESTHA@plant.uoguelph.ca> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 13:01:11 EST Subject: Titbits from Canada

To: The Editor, TND

A new Nepali restaurant in Canada A new restaurant called "Kathmandu Kathmandu" recently opened for business in Toronto. The restaurant is located in Yonge Street in downtown Toronto.

Nepalese Association in Canada (NAC)'s 10th annual picnic NAC is organizing it's 10th annual picnic on Saturday, August 15 from 10 AM to 10 PM at Morningside Park, Scarborough. Further information can be obtained from: Shailendri Rana- (416) 543-8853 Dinesh Shrestha- (416) 223-8511

****************************************************************** Date: Mon, 03 Aug 98 15:18:07 EST From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <Paramendra_Bhagat@smtpgtwy.berea.edu> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: Racism in Nepal(Nirmal Ghimire, Pradeep Bhandari, Prakash..)

My response to the postings by Nirmal Ghimire, Pradeep Bhandari, Prakash Bhandari, and Thirendra Rayamajhi in brackets () below. By the way, I invite you all to http://www.saworld.com/community/currentframe.html where you may discuss South Asian issues. I have put up a piece called The Nuclear Fallout recently. Considering India keeps cropping up here!

Nirmal Ghimire <ngh42799@marauder.millersv.edu>

    "It is better to be a free poor person than a rich servant.....Okay India is
    all around us but we have always been capable of surviving without being
    part of india and we will always."

(Don't bring up the racism issue because the Nepalese in the remote hill districts are poor. But the same folks deserve to continue in their state of poverty because we suffer from Indophobia and refuse to be cured of it. Is this what I hear you saying? People like you who refuse to accept India as an indispensable economic reality are the greatest enemy the poor people in the remote hills and mountains districts have.)

Pradeep Bhandari

    "The way you are portraying yourself and so called 'Madhises' is pathetic.
    How does the word 'Madhise' has the same connotation as 'n' word? To me if
    you live in the hills, you are Pahade and if you live in the Terai you are
    Madhise.I am amazed by your loyalty to 'Sadhvawana party', the party that
    wants our Terai to be a part of India. Pahades never abused Madhises and
    you tell me if any of your ancestors were slaves."

(Madise, Marsya, Dhoti, Bhaiya = Nigger; Madhesi = Negro; Teraiwasi = African- American. As for the Sadbhavana party, I never have been a member, not that that is anything to be proud of. My father ran for parliament on a Sadbhavana ticket in 1991. He was then the Vice-Chairperson of the Mahottari District Committee of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party for a while. Then he quit active politics. After I graduated from Budhanilkantha School in February 1993, I spent about a year with a bunch of high school classmates toying with the idea of a new political party. They abandoned ship as soon as they learned I was as indignant as the Sadbhavana people, if not more, on the Terai question. It was about then that trouble brewed within the Sadbhavana party. Tripathy was feeling isolated after he got elected Chairperson of the all-important Public Accounts Committee. While the media was rife with speculation he was preparing to join the UML, we were working to launch a new party. He outfoxed me on the name of the party. He wanted it named Nepal Samajwadi Janata Dal. I did not. He won. Only after the launch of the party I got to meet the other stalwarts like Rameshwar Raya Yadav, Rajendra Mahato, Naresh ________ , Sarita Gupta, Murli Singh, Harka Rajbanshi, and a whole bunch of others. Unlike some of the SEBS (Society of Ex- Budhanilkantha Students) folks who acted like they were "waiting to be nominated Senators," this was more of a real thing. I tried to bring the Sadbhavana and the Dal together. I met several figures within the Sadbhavana party, Gajendra Narayan Singh included. But I guess the time was not ripe yet. And I tried to broaden the ideology of the Dal. I was unhappy the Sadbhavana came across as a single-issue party. The Dal faced the danger of becoming a double-issue party. Tripathy had managed to bring the corruption issue on the bandwagon. What was the number one issue for Gajendra Narayan Singh was number five for me, not that that means I felt any less passionate about the issue. What was number one for Tripathy was number three for me. I worked to have the following priority list incorporated into the party (I was the Vice General Secretary of the Nepal Samajwadi Janata Dal which now has merged with the Sadbhavana for good.)

(1) Lead the Nepalese economy towards rapid economic growth,
(2) Reach out to those living below the poverty line with the fruits of the
    economic growth thus attained,
(3) Rid the governmental structure of corruption,
(4) Wage political and legal struggles for women's rights,
(5) Participate in and lead the struggle waged by the madhesi and the janajati
    communities to attain equality and dignity, and
(6) Engineer the Dalit community's entrance into the nation's mainstream with
    active Dalit political leadership.

The Sadbhana has to go national. That is my point. It is no true the Sadbhavana wants the Terai to be part of India. Cure yourself of your miseducation.)

    "As far as citizenship, where did you come up with that statistics? We sure
    can not grant citizenship to everyone that crosses the open border. How does
    that make the government 'racist'? If Pahades were really racist like you
    portrayed them to be, how come there are plenty of Madhises in the
    government? If we were so racist, your Sadhvawana party would not have been
    in existence, whose sole purpose is to unify Terai with India. And what
    about your representatives in the Sadhvawana party? From what I understand,
    some of the MPs are convicted felons in India living as fugitives in Nepal,
    and at the same time enjoying the luxury of being in the government in
    Nepal. That sure does not look like discrimination to me."

(As for the "plenty of Madises in the government," the Teraiwasis do not depend on your mercy to get their fair share in state power. They will get it through the ballot box.)

    "Now let's talk about your loneliest years at your JUNIOR HIGH. How mature
    you think kids are? You are just holding grudges because of few isolated
    incidents that happened to you when you were a kid. Do you think that your
    school represents the representative sample of the entire grown-up
    population?"

(Budhanilkantha School calls itself the National School of Nepal. The institutional racism, the racism in the air....you met plenty of cubs of the power elite of the country there. On both counts, BS failed the litmus test.)

    "As far as enforcing Nepali language into Madhises, I am sure we have not
    barred you from educating your people in your native language. Are we
    supposed to have our text books printed in forty seven languages just to be
    politically correct? How rational is it for a country like Nepal where
    people are starving to death?"

(You don't "barr" or not "barr." The point you seem to miss is the Teraiwasis are not your vassals. It is the ballot, stupid. [supposed to rhyme with It is the economy, Stupid of the Clinton-Gore Campaign '92] People might be starving does not mean we should become a one-people-one-language-one-religion-one- culture people.)

    "If you are a true Nepali and care about Nepal at all, you should stop
    wining about our petty differences and try to find a common ground for our
    diverse people to live and grow together in peace and harmony."

(That common ground is a country devoid of racism, casteism, sexism that is working for the rapidest possible economic growth. People like you need to disinfect your minds. Otherwise the Teraiwasis and the Janjatis will have to spend their political energies on racism rather than overall economic growth.)

"Bhandari, Prakash - Broomfield, CO" <Prakash.Bhandari@cexp.com>

    "Terai Baasis ......... are the same people, who happened to live in two
    countries."

(Compare the looks of people like yourselves and the Indians in Darjeeling. It is you who "are the same people, who happened to live in two countries.")

    "I was a supporter of a solution of Dr. Harka Gurung who proposed the
    closing of Nepal-India border. That way we can know who is Nepali and who
    is not. ....... no matter how difficult is is to imagine, it has to be done
    one day. The economic cost to Nepal of course ......will be enormous."

(Harka Gurung is a racist with a racist proposal. The open border is Terai's lifestyle. Don't you even think about it. Harka Gurung is a case study in a PhD not being able to cure you of racism. Gurung is an answer to those who think education is an answer to racism. No. Racism asks for political action.)

    "I see so many Teraibasis doctors and engineers, needless to say
    businessmen. To compare them with American Negros was incomprehensible to
    me."

(Denied of careers in politics and the bureaucracy, those Teraiwasis who can become doctors, engineers and businesspeople. Reminds me of a Robert De Niro line. He says, "I will give him money, but not power.")

Thirendra Rayamajhi <thiren@cegt201.bradley.edu>

    "Sadbhavana ki yahi ek awaj,madhesi hum lenge sau mein pachas. (The
    Sadbhavana says in one voice, we the Terai peoples will take our justly due
    share of 50% in everything.)"........it's a democratic country now. If
    you've got the mettle don't take 50 take 100. It is justified."

(Finally you are talking the language of the ballot box.)

    "......it doesnot concern me on which side (Mr. Bhagat) is on.......What
    concerns me is that I feel I am as deeply attached to Terai as is anyone,
    regardless of their history. And it should be open for anybody who want to
    embrace it. We are not building fences here. Are we? Atleast not in the
    beginning of the twenty first century.....The issue here is not what Terai
    'was' rather what Terai 'is'. Today, Terai is fast becoming a pot pourri of
    ethnic diversity in Nepal. You can't stop this tide. Neither can anyone.""

(I am all for an ethnic mix-up in all parts of the country, why only the Terai. I await the day when a Teraiwasi will get elected into the parliament from Kathmandu.)

******************************************************************
>From bibhutinepal@hotmail.com Mon Aug 3 15:42:48 1998
Received: from hotmail.com (f229.hotmail.com) by mp.cs.niu.edu with SMTP id AA18103
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        Mon, 03 Aug 1998 13:42:35 PDT X-Originating-Ip: [140.233.203.171] From: "Bibhuti Nepal" <bibhutinepal@hotmail.com> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Ten Reasons...The problem with national identity Content-Type: text/plain Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 13:42:35 PDT

Dear TND readers:

It has been quite thrilling week for me after receiving all sorts of responses to my ten reasons why Nepal should join India. Well there is no doubt that Nepal will benefit economically, as many of you have agreed, it seems that many of you are concerned more about losing your
"national" identity than having your and your fellow Nepalis's mouth fed well. I am not surprised at all that you, the proud members of the middle class and the elites, will favor "national" identity over additional bread and butter. How would you know the sufferings of the poor people of Nepal who starve because of hunger in the remote Himalayas or rural Terai? How would you know these poor people's dream of sending their children to good schools? How would you know that these poor people care less about what their citizenship status is than how to meet their both ends? They were oppressed during Rana period, were exploited during Panchayati Raaj, are discriminated now, and will be supprssed in the future. What pride would they get calling themselves Nepali when their fellow Nepali discriminates them because of their lower caste, because of their poverty and because of their ethnic difference?

But if you really want to talk about "national" identity, let's talk about it. So you say you are Nepali. What kind of Nepali? Because I see differnt kinds of people in Nepal with their own notion of Nepalihood. What qualifies you as Nepali? Citizenship, ethnicity, language, religion, color of the skin ? The legal definition of Nepali is the one who has citizenship of Nepal. But do you consider all with Nepali citizenship as your own? What about the Bhotiya and Sherpa of the North and the Madhises of the South? Aren't you confused with the Bhotiyas because they look like Tibetans or with the Madhesis because they look like Indians? Do you accept them as Nepali as you refer yourself? Do you ever ponder over their plights regarding "national" identity? These people around the borders are facing "identity crises" because of your inability to accept or recognize them as Nepali as you recognize yourself, and yet you claim to be speaking for them in terms of national identity and national pride? Just because a group of people like you speak of "national" identity does not give an identity to these people. They will be happy to accept any identity to feed themselves and their families. That's what they have done in the past and even now: they became "panche" during Panchayat; they are "congress," "communists,"
"maoists," etc. now. Give them bread or hope of getting it and see how quickly they will change their identity.

You seem to cling to your "national" identity as if you had it forever and you are damn sure you won't lose it ever. Don't think you were Nepali forever or remain the same forever. Your identity was determined by history, is because of the certain upheavals in the history and will change with another sweep of the history. Just ask Kathmanduites, what their "identity" was before Gurkhas conquered them? I am sure at that period of history, Kathmanduites hated Gurkhas as much or even more than so-called Nepalis hate Indians now. But wait, what is the identity of Kathmanduites now? Gorkhali? In fact, it was Gorkhali until early 1930's when name Gurkha was changed to Nepal. Again, what about the "national" identities of the Rais and Kirats of VijayPur in eastern Nepal? Do they feel "Nepali" in the same way you feel? OK, now take a shift from the hills to Terai. Go and ask any layman Tharu, Maithili, Bhojpuri about his/her "national" identity. I am sure they won't identify themselves as "Nepali," but as tharu, maithili, bhojpuri or by caste. If you insist and say that they are "Nepali," they would probably say how can they be
"Nepali?"; Nepali are the people from the hills, i.e., Paharis!

The concept of "national" identity is a pretty recent phenomenon. There were no "nation-states" until the middle of the 17th century (after 30 years of religious war in Europe), and hence no "national" identity. The identities of people were limited to their clans, tribes, village, city, or ethnic/religious groups. The modern nation state is in one way a superficial imposition of identity on the disparate groups of people. One of the reasons why differnt ethnic groups in a country fight over
"national" identity because none of the groups want to lose its identity to other groups while there is not something called "national" identity in the thin air from where all ethnic groups can pick. In Nepal, this holds perfectly true. The Nepali as the "national" identity belongs mainly to the Paharis ethnic groups as well as some other hilly groups. This national identity fails to give "national" identity to many other ethnic groups in Nepal, the prominent of them are "Bhotiyas" and
"Madhesis." As long as there is not the development of a distinct
"national" identity in Nepal, the diferent ethnic groups will quarrel and the sovereignty of Nepal will remain in danger.

Jai Nepal!

Bibhuti Nepal

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