Received: from mp.cs.niu.edu (mp.cs.niu.edu [184.108.40.206]) by library.wustl.edu (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id PAA11739; Wed, 16 Dec 1998 15:48:54 -0600 (CST) Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu id AA17929 (5.67b/IDA-1.5 for nepal-dist); Wed, 16 Dec 1998 12:48:51 -0600 Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu id AA17925 (5.67b/IDA-1.5 for nepal-list); Wed, 16 Dec 1998 12:48:50 -0600 Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 12:48:50 -0600 Message-Id: <199812161848.AA17925@mp.cs.niu.edu> Reply-To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: The Editor <NEPAL-REQUEST@cs.niu.edu> Sender: "Rajpal J.P. Singh" <A10RJS1@cs.niu.edu> Subject: The Nepal Digest - Dec 18, 1998 (1 Poush 2055 BkSm) To: <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Content-Type: text Status: O X-Status: X-Keywords: X-UID: 294
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The Nepal Digest Friday Dec 18, 1998: Poush 1 2055BS: Year7 Volume81 Issue2
S E A S O N ' S G R E E T I N G S ! ! !
Today's Topics (partial list):
IS THIS A POEM OR WHAT?
DELAY , WHY ?
Maoist Insurgency and Nepal's Ruling Elite
Re: An environmental threat
Lessons for the Nepalese economy
Health Transition in Nepal Conference: Call for Papers
* TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
* -------------------------------------- *
* The Nepal Digest: General Information firstname.lastname@example.org *
* Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh email@example.com *
* (Open Position) *
* Editorial Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra firstname.lastname@example.org *
* Sports Correspondent: Avinaya Rana email@example.com *
* 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 firstname.lastname@example.org *
* WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
* Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista email@example.com *
* +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
* "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
* "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
****************************************************************** From: ShresthaNS@aol.com Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 16:32:33 EST To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: IS THIS A POEM OR WHAT?
Aaja, Gajendra Narayan Singh ko Gai geet gaunu hunchha.
Hami amrit barsane asama
Batuki haroo liyera daudanchhau.
Aaja, Gajendra Narayan Singh ko Gai geet gaunu hunchha
Hami waha ko akha ma phureko
Bhakti rash pan garera
Birsanchau ek arka lai.
Arth aaphno aaphnai ho,
Akhha aaphno aaphnai ho,
Amrit jaha bata pani barsana sakchha
Amrit jaha bata pani khasna sakchha
Chinna lai akhha chahinchha
Ra tipna lai kehi phohor hath haroo.
Sangit ko kunai samaya hudaina
Sangit ko kunai thegana hudaina
Gol Prithbi ko charai tira chakkar katdai
Gajendra Narayan Singh ko Gai geet gaunu hunchha
Ra hami lai sunaunu hunchha rastriyata.
Hami wah wah bahek ke garna sakchhau ra?
Hamra sasana tauka ma
Thula thula kura haru lattu jhai ghumirahanchhan
ananta kal samma.
Seto dhoti ko pahiran ma
Sitar lai bistarai khur haroo le
Jhankrit garaunu hunchha
Aaja, Gajendra Narayan Singh ko Gai geet gaunu hunchha.
Hamro man ma alikati rastriyata jagayera
Gahut charkera bistarai bilaunu hunchha
Aaja, Gajendra Narayan Singh ko Gai geet gaunu hunchha.
From: PRAKASH@hbl.mos.com.np (PRAKASH BHANDARI)
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 13:12:01
Subject: DELAY , WHY ?
Organization: Himalayan Bank Limited, Nepal
The Nepal Digest
I am writing about the delay of The Nepal Digest. We could have it
only after about One and Half month. I had thought that it has been
stopped. Thanks God, it is alive. I want its continuity. If it
happens to be delayed, then at least we, readers, expect some
information. Forgive me for your inconveniences, if any, that I
I am also in opinion that the matters to be appeared in TND, should
be shorter. Ofcourse, they should not be missed with proper sufficient
information. Making articles lengthy just to make it
lengthy is not the subject to appreciate. Otherwise, sometimes,
while trying to express the sentiments in detail, naturally word
constraint be missed. It is natural and not the matter to damn at all.
With Best Regards,
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 17:11:07 -0500 (EST)
From: Ashutosh Tiwari <email@example.com>
Subject: Looking for old friends
Hi! I am looking for old friends. I'd appreciate any info on the
whereabouts of these lost friends.
1. Anup Parajuli -- last I heard he was in Wisconsin.
2. Rassendra Shah -- last I heard he was in Idaho/Indiana.
3. Surendra Ratna Manandhar -- last I heard he was in Chicago.
4. Rajendra Kumar Gurung -- last I heard he was in Minnesota.
5. Shova Chand -- last I heard she was in Paris, France, attending an
Would appreciate any contact-info on any of these folks. Please e-mail me
directly. Unlike in Nepal, do not go to the najik ko prahari tha.naa with
this maan.che hara.yeko su.chana, if you rememebr those Gorkhapatra
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 98 14:18:55 EST
From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <Paramendra_Bhagat@smtpgtwy.berea.edu>
Subject: Nov 7: Seventh day of hunger strike
Seventh day of hunger strike
Five leaders, including General Secretary and MP Hridayesh Tripathy of the Nepal
Sadbhavana Party, are on a hunger strike since the last seven days. But the
government has not taken any interest in their fast. The party has been
demanding an amendment in the constitution. If their demand is not fulfilled,
they plan to burn the constitution on Monday (Nov. 9)
(Ghatana Chakra, Saturday, Nov. 7)
From: "Sudhir Shrestha" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: visa experience
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 08:40:26 -0600
Namaste to all of you:
Would any body be open and kind enough to share his/her recent experiences
in obtaining a visa from the US Embassy in Kathmandu. The last time I went
home was four years ago. Lots of changes have occurred since then.
I tried to connect to the website of the American Embassy in Kathmandu.
The information in the website is from a few years back and it never gets
updated unlike in other countries. Some of the officers are no longer in
Nepal yet their names remain in the website list. Nepal must not be in
their priority list. It is very SAD. If it gets updated on a timely
basis, perhaps the embassy would function better and more people would be
aware of the changes and process rather than throng at the embassy for the
My wife and I are planning to go for a visit next summer. We would have to
re-apply at the Embassy not knowing whether the visa will be issued.
Please send email with your suggestions/ideas/advice. Thank you.
-Sudhir and Julee in Milwaukee
From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <email@example.com>
Subject: People's Movement didn't alter ethnic equation
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 13:13:34 PST
People's Movement didn't alter ethnic equation: Analysts
By a Post Reporter
KATHMANDU, Nov 18 - The 1990 Peoples Movement was a major political
upheaval but it has had very little impact on the countrys ethnic
equation and that the dominant classes--mainly the Bahuns and
Chhetris--continue to enjoy the pre-eminent position in the Nepali
society,according to some political analysts.
There are a number of reasons why minorities feel alienated in the
majoritarian-ruled Nepali society, the most conspicuous being the
Constitution itself which regards Nepal as a Hindu Kingdom, said Kapil
Shrestha today at a programme organised by Centre for Nepal and Asian
All major political changes--be it during the 104-year Rana rule or the
Panchayat--have revolved around the ruling Bahuns and Chhetris only,
according to Krishna Bhattachan, a vocal critic of the current social
"This is exactly why none of the political change has really changed the
brutal fact that majority of the total population of Nepal comprising
indigenous ethnic groups Dalits, Madhesis, Muslims and Christians," he
notes in his paper, "have been suppressed, oppressed, depressed,
exploited, subjugated and discriminated by the ruling Bahuns and
The Maoist Peoples War is primarily a class-based war, he said.
"However, given the social structure of the Nepali society and the collective memory of different groups of people, they have invited various indigenous ethnic groups to join in and support the Peoples War."
According to Pancha Maharjan, despite the constitutional provision which
grants all castes equal opportunity, the real-life ethnic picture is
rather lop-sided. For instance, in bureaucracy Brahmins, who constitute
12.9 per cent of the population, are over represented--73.5 percent of
Section Officers in the Civil Service. Anthropologist Dilli Raj Dahal,
however, argues the concept of
dominant caste alone is not a powerful tool in addressing the problem of
governing elite in Nepal.
In his paper "Nepals Governing Elite: Their Composition and Role in
Constituting the State", Dahal says, "Historically, it is the context of
the family and the connection with the palace that has played more
important role than the dominant caste..."
Family connections play important role for forming the governing elite
or holding key positions. Though higher education plays some role in
occupying some kind of position within the structure, it plays an
effective role only if education is systematically embedded with proper
family ties, according to Dahal. He suggests the changes in many fields
of Nepali life in recent years are due to "dominant individuals" rather
than "dominant caste".
From: "Dal Bhat" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: answers to the cultural question
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 18:04:57 PST
Although I tried very hard for a long time to resist the urge to respond
to your questions, It was
just too tempting! So I hope this helps and in future I shall also
inquire in such matters, hoping
thou shall answer them in earnest.
Here are the answers ye seek. With a little less patience and more
complaints thou shall also be
able to earn the much coveted experience of being a true Nepali.
>>1) The Buddhists, who are into meditation, retreat, solitude
>>contemplation allow their dogs to bark all night long, disturbing
>>neighbors... Help me out with this one...? Is their a Buddhist
>>concept/word for courtesy, thoughtfulness...?
The Buddhists were being thoughtful, courteous to the dog and letting it
bark freely. Who is to
say that Dogs can't bark, or shouldn't. I mean, they do not have any
other means, like we do (tnd), to
make themselves be heard. Every time i hear dogs bark, i join them.
>>2) Thy hand that wipes thy 'arse,' feeds thy face... I'm sorry,
>>makes any sense to me...? Do the Hindus have a concept/word for
Makes no sense to me either, unless you eat from your "arse". but then
how do the rest, non-hindus,
wipe their "arse", with their feet perhaps. That explains the phrase
"feet up your arse".
(Head could also be used instead of feet->explaining why so many have their head up their arse)
>>3) People walking on the street in Kathmandu are in no hurry.
>>But, as soon
>>as you put these same people on wheels, they're in a monstrous
Since everything else moves so slow in Nepal we have to compensate for
it somehow to keep it all in balance and harmony.
>>4) 80% of the people in Kathmandu walk around without shoes or
>>this 'shithole,' as an American tourist described it. Then these
>>are required to take off whatever and their very dirty feet walk on
>>floor... Help me out with this one...?
If x is the no of people walking around without shoes and socks
and y is the no of people walking around very fast.
then (x + y)/W * .24 = 80% where W is the constant of "what the hell are
they required to take off when they aren't wearing anything".
>>5) Additionally, part of the reason Nepal is 'so poor' ($) is
>>inefficient and unproductive... Part of the reason has to do with
>>so much time (which is money). Part of that has to do with spending
>>taking your shoes off and then putting them on again... Help me out
I leave this one for interpretations. I have invested all the time i
used to spend, putting on my shoe and
taking it off, into Nasdaq. my feet are itching to reap the return.
>>6) On narrow, busy, trafficed streets, children walk abreast,
>>four, and five wide, thus causing a traffic hazard, when every
>>must figure out how to get around them (without killing them)...
>>children, whose lifes are yet to be lived, seem not to care whether
>>live or die, nor if they cause a traffic jam. Couldn't they be
>>walk single file...? I'm sorry, walking in the street this way,
>>sense to me... Maybe you can explain...?
Two words: Speed Bumps
(to slow the drivers who are in a "monstrous hurry")
>>Finally, please, readers feel free to contribute to these
>>wherever you live. Nepal is not the only country with cultural
>>inconsistencies, America has many! Thus, let's get this thing going
>>have everyone contribute, from whatever country they live in... And
>>it will end up being a book... And we can contribute whatever
>>any) to Mr. Singh's Foundation.
good day, and happy thanksgiving to you all.
From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <email@example.com>
Subject: Maoist Insurgency and Nepal's Ruling Elite
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 08:18:25 PST
Rebels threaten idyll of Nepal's mountain king
By Julian West in Kathmandu
A WAR of terror is being waged in the remote mountains of Nepal,
shattering the Himalayan kingdom's customary tranquillity and
threatening to destroy its tourist lifeline.
Self-styled Maoist guerrillas, with links to Peru's Sendero Luminoso or
Shining Path, have launched a campaign of brutal murders and attacks on
government installations from the country's far western jungles, in an
attempt to overthrow Nepal's monarchy and replace the government with a
The so-called "People's War" - which unnervingly resembles the Shining
Path's Eighties campaign in the Andes - and attempts by police
paramilitaries to combat it, have plunged much of the country into an
unprecedented spiral of violence and terrorised villagers in the poorest
regions of Nepal.
Entering villages in the dead of night, black-hooded men, wearing red
headbands and chanting Maoist slogans, have singled out their victims -
usually local bureaucrats or government supporters. They often murder
them with their bare hands, dismembering them with kukris, the
traditional Nepali knife, or smashing their hands and legs with hammers
and rocks, leaving them barely alive.
Elsewhere, the guerrillas have bombed police stations, burned local
banks and disconnected power and telephone lines. They have also
targeted foreign aid agencies.
Ten days ago, two vehicles belonging to the United States' Save the
Children Fund were burned by suspected Maoists in Nepal's southern Terai
region. In May, a Nepali worker for USAID, the American government's
overseas development wing, was ambushed in his jeep and killed.
As many as 600 people are believed to have been killed in terrorist
attacks and police reprisals since the Maoists began their campaign
almost three years ago. In the past month, since the guerrillas began
the "Fourth Stage" of their war - an attempt to establish
Maoist-controlled areas of the country - more than 80 people have been
killed and the insurgency has spread from four areas to about half of
Nepal's 75 districts.
The level and brutality of the killings and the subsequent police
crackdown, in a country where violence was virtually unknown, has drawn
criticism from human rights workers, who accuse both sides of abuses. It
has also alarmed Western observers, who fear that it may not be long
before tourists are attacked.
The Nepalese government, which relies on tourism as a primary source of
foreign exchange - the tourist industry brings in about #90 million a
year and about 500,000 tourists are expected to visit by the end of the
year - has placed four Western districts of the country off-limits to
travellers. Embassies have issued advisory notices to their nationals to
avoid certain parts of the country and Kathmandu's international schools
have cancelled their normal winter treks this year.
But despite almost daily reports of terrorist attacks, the Maoists
themselves remain obscure. Described by one human rights worker as
"emerging suddenly, from nowhere", little is known of their strength or their membership - although it is believed to comprise mainly poor peasants and possibly a number of former Nepalese army soldiers. Inquiries after them, in the remote villages where they operate, have invariably met with closed doors and silent stares.
However the roots of the movement are believed to be Nepal's intractable
poverty. Almost half of the population now live below the breadline, in
villages where basic medical supplies such as aspirin are unavailable,
and there is increasing disenchantment with Nepal's corrupt and
fractious politicians, who have produced five governments in four years.
The Maoists' Web site, which displays long tracts of rhetoric on "class
struggle" by their leader, Dr Baburam Bhattarai, a Nepali intellectual,
expresses this disenchantment.
It declares their aim of overthrowing the government, abolishing the
monarchy and turning Nepal into a "Red fort", with a "hammer and sickle
flag hoisted atop Mount Everest". It also reveals links with a worldwide
network of Communist groups, notably the Shining Path, on which they
appear to have modelled themselves. Organised cells of Maoist cadres,
described as well-trained and disciplined, are believed to have training
camps in the forests of Nepal's western foothills, and to be supported
by villagers in the poorest regions who have long-standing Communist
sympathies. In Nepal's first election in 1991, the Maoists, who have not
run since, won seven seats.
But although they are suspected of raising money through extortion from
several hundred thousand Nepalis living in India, the exact source of
their funding and extent of their foreign support remains
About three years ago a North Korean sealed diplomatic container
containing weapons, telecommunications equipment, timing devices and
gold was intercepted by Nepali customs on the Indian-Nepal border. In a
subsequent incident about a year ago, Nepal customs opened a North
Korean diplomatic pouch also containing gold bullion.
Both incidents were swiftly hushed up and the motive and eventual
destination of the shipments were never discovered.
"There are any number of bad guys passing through Nepal," said one
Western observer. "Those shipments need not necessarily have been for
the Maoists. They could have been for anyone."
So far, the guerrillas have used mainly crude homemade weapons and
gelignite bombs or rifles stolen from villagers or the police, and the
insurgency is still believed to be in its early stages.
But last week, Kathmandu police found 19kg of plastic explosives and
timing devices in a hotel room in the capital, suspected of being for
"The next phase could get very nasty if they get recourse to weapons,"
said a Western diplomat. "It's already serious and it will become more
so, if the government doesn't address the root of the problem. They
haven't targeted tourists yet, but everyone is waiting for the first
Amnesty International - News Release - ASA 31/07/98
19 November 1998
Amnesty International delegation reports on deteriorating human rights
Amnesty International today expressed its shock at the Nepalese
government's inaction in the face of the deteriorating
human rights situation in the country, now reaching alarming levels.
An Amnesty International delegation visited the country to research
reports of increasing human rights violations since
the start of a police operation on 26 May 1998 to "flush out" armed
activists of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN -
They found evidence of systematic use of severe torture, including of
women held in police custody, committed by
police constables as well as senior level police officers at district
and regional police headquarters.
The delegation also gathered information on a number of cases of
"disappearance" where suspects had been seen being arrested by police, but the latter subsequently denied their detention. It also interviewed people who had suffered abuse after being kidnapped by armed members of the CPN (Maoist).
In meetings with the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Inspector General
of Police, Amnesty International delegates
-- comprising Mr. Jan Borgen, Director of the Norwegian Section of Amnesty International and Ms Elizabeth Rowsell, a member of staff of the International Secretariat in London -- expressed concern at the level of impunity prevalent amongst law enforcement officials.
During these talks, the government showed a lack of commitment to
investigate reports of human rights violations. The
delegation called on the government to ensure the police force stops
murder, torture, "disappearance" and arbitrary
detention of people suspected of supporting the armed Maoist movement,
as well as members and supporters of
mainstream political parties.
As a long term measure aimed at establishing a mechanism of impartial
investigation, the delegation urged the Prime
Minister in particular to honour his commitment to establish the
National Human Rights Commission which has been
awaited for more than two years.
There is a need for a clear and integrated approach to solving the
deteriorating human rights situation which can only be
achieved if all basic human rights are guaranteed. The government should
ensure respect for the right to life, the right
not to be tortured and the right to full and equal participation in the
political and economic life of Nepal.
The organisation is concerned about the apparent increasing
politicization of the issue of human rights and by a
suggestion that reports of human rights violations are only investigated
by the government when raised by MPs in
parliament. The Home Minister and Inspector General of Police should
take responsibility for investigating all reports
of human rights violations, making the findings public and taking action
against the perpetrators. The issue of impunity
urgently needs to be addressed.
The delegation also asked the Home Minister to take personal
responsibility to establish the facts behind several
"disappearances" after arrest by police, including that of Mohan Prasad Oli of Mahatepuri village, Banke District, in June this year. They were told that, contrary to the evidence obtained by Amnesty International, Mohan Prasad Oli had been abducted by CPN (Maoist). While Amnesty International has consistently condemned abuses by members of the CPN (Maoist) the delegation reiterated Amnesty International's appeal for an immediate and impartial investigation into his "disappearance".
The Amnesty International delegation also met a variety of human rights
organisations. It found that human rights
defenders' activities are being curtailed by government authorities and
armed members of the CPN (Maoist). Relatives
of torture victims filing cases under the Torture Compensation Act and
lawyers defending people suspected of Maoist
activities have been threatened by police.
The visit also included meetings with members of the diplomatic missions
in Nepal to report on the mission findings.
The delegation stressed the need for the Nepalese government to
acknowledge that police excesses were more
widespread than is being admitted and to check the continuing spell of
violence in the country.
POLITICO-ECONOMIC RATIONALE OF PEOPLE'S WAR IN NEPAL
Com. (Dr.) Baburam Bhattarai
Chairman, United People's Front-Nepal
ORGAN OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF NEPAL (MAOIST)
Interview with Dr. Baburam Bhattrai by Nepali newspaper
The Independant, Vol. V no. 41, Dec. 13-19, 1995
From: "Kishor parajuli" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: information request
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 23:32:42 +0900
I am looking for data on the following :
a) the present population of Kathmandu and the rate of increase per year.
b) the present traffic situation of Kathmandu Valley (no. of vehicles
,pollution level etc) . c) the level of different environmental indicators( BOD , COD of rivers etc) d) the possibilities ,planning and efforts for the development of Kathmandu valley. I would be extremely grateful if you could also provide me with URLs or any other sources where I can get these informations.
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 19:09:48 +0700 (GMT+0700)
From: Nawa Raj Khatiwada <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: An environmental threat
A recent news on 'WITHERING OF SISSOO TREES IN NEPAL' published on
Kantipur of 27th November draws an attention of the researchers
concerned to environment and development of Nepal.
Sissoo (Nepali- Seesou, Scientific - Dalbergia Sissoo) plantation
became very popular in recent years in Terai region. Sissoo is usually
planted along roadsides, riverbanks and even in the cropping fields and is
considered as a valuable timber widely used for furniture and other wooden
items. During past 15, 20 years, hundreds of hectars of land have been
planted with this species for both commercial production and
The news says that a recent outbreak of a disease (not known if it is a
real disease or an ecological disorder), has caused many sissoo trees to
wither (decay) which makes the tree of no use.
I think, it is the responsibility of all concerned reseachers to find out
the reason of this threat and suggest mitigating measures to the
concerned. I would further like to request Nepali professionals staying
out of the country to play a catalystic role to draw the attention of
With best regards, Nawa Raj
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 09:51:53 -0500
From: "Paramendra Bhagat"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Mirza Again
MP's murder and investigation
The brutal and cold-blooded murder of a sitting MP in the
heart of the capital and while
parliament was in session is an event that the home minister
should have resigned on moral
grounds, if he had any morality at all. It also gives a clear
indication on how inefficient and
corrupt the administration plus the police force has become.
This is the return that the nation has
got for the billions of rupees that the government has
invested on the civil administration and the
police force during the last eight years. Every home minister
and IGP of the last eight years has
harped that the law and order situation in the country has
never been better, but the real truth is
quite different. Anarchy and lawlessness is rampant
everywhere, but at the same time, the
budget of the home ministry and the size of the police has
been increasing annually much faster
than the national GDP.
Initial newspaper reports about the murder of Mirza Dilshad
Beg, as carried by some
newspapers, stated that 9 mm and 7.62mm pistol bullets cases
were recovered from the murder
site. Later reports released by the police about the bullet
cases and the slugs recovered from the
murder site differ from the original version. Surprisingly,
the police and the high level
investigation team comprising of only police officers were
also strangely silent twenty days after
the shocking murder. The police were very quick in issuing
their version of how the murder was
committed and the people they think were involved in this
brutal act, immediately after the issue
of "India Today" with the Chota Rajan interview hit the
newsstand and the police version of this
crime is very similar, if not an exact version, of the
article in "India Today". After hearing the
home minister's report to the parliament and the police
briefing to the press later the same day,
one would think that the Nepalese police had Chota Rajan in
their payroll and that Mirza Beg had
been under close police surveillance for many years!
This gives ample reason to suspect either foul play or a
deliberate attempt to conceal the truth. If
it is later discovered that there was deliberate attempt to
hide the truth, then there could be
nothing more damaging to the concept of the rule of law in
this new democracy. If the
investigation of the murder of a sitting MP cannot be done
efficiently and quickly and the
murderers identified and apprehended at the earliest and, at
any cost, then what sort of law and
order can the general public expect from the government and
its law enforcing agencies?
The main reason that one should not rule out foul play during
the investigation is that the Nepal
police is the only agency that uses 7.62 pistol in Nepal and
this weapon is rare even in India.
With the rise in police brutality as well as government
sanctioned extra judicial killings by the
police, it would be rather foolish not to suspect the
involvement of the police in this case. This is
something that the government appointed judicial inquiry must
not ignore if the investigation is
to be considered valid. The allegations by various local
papers that there was police involvement
in this murder and that a police vehicle was used must also
be considered gravely and
investigated deeply. The extension of the tenure of the
judicial commission appointed to look
into this case is a positive step provided the commission is
trying diligently to get to the truth,
but they must be aware that their are powerful forces that
are trying to mislead them. The
integrity of the members of this commission will have a
significant bearing on the report of the
commission and as such it is hoped that they were selected
very carefully. Extreme care should
have been taken while selecting these people who should
ideally have been dedicated
professionals who have a clean career as well as real respect
for the laws of the land.
It is sad to see certain newspapers, especially those who
have clearly and regularly displayed
their political leanings, make headlines of the article
carried by "India Today" concerning the
cold-blooded murder of a Nepali MP. This is definitely the
repulsive side of Nepali journalism
and it must stopped at all costs. After eight years of
democracy, or standard of journalism seems
to have been so polarised that it is virtually impossible to
believe any of the newspapers available
in the capital and outside the capital. One gets the
impression that many of our newspapers have
their masters sitting at Delhi durbar.
Any person with a little bit of common sense would read the
so-called interviews of Chhota
Rajan, as printed in "India Today" with a big pinch of salt
because there are no means of
confirming the validity and the authenticity of what has been
printed. There is a good chance that
this article has been deliberately printed by people who like
to see the national interests of Nepal
diluted. How can one believe that Chhota Rajan could be so
stupid as to confess to a murder in
public? With a bit of common sense, one can see that this is
deliberate attempt to mislead the
Nepalese public and Chhota Rajan is not capable of playing
such a game. Therefor, the logical
conclusion would be that there must be a definite involvement
of a Bada Rajan residing in either
Delhi or Kathmandu who is deeply involved in the planning and
execution of this cold-blooded
murder, and Chhota Rajan is only a scapegoat.
Subject: Lessons for the Nepalese economy
`India can still be a top-growth economy'
Business Times Bureau
NEW DELHI: India could be among the three fastest growing
economies of the
world in 1999, according to president of World Economic Forum
``If right policies are undertaken, and the momentum is not
lost, India could be
among the one, two or three fastest growing economies in the
world in 1999,'' he
said in his opening remarks at the India Economic Summit that
began here on
This year, in contrast, Mr Schwab started by commending the
resilience'' demonstrated by the Indian economy in the face
of the Asian financial
Complimenting the Vajpayee government for significant policy
initiatives in the
areas of power, airports and other infrastructure, he noted
the government had
started preparing the economy for E-commerce and made the
system more transparent.
CII president Rajesh Shah said earlier that the past few
months have seen several
policy announcements, improved laws, facilitating growth in
infrastructure, continuing reform and initiatives to
encourage Indian industries
where they are competitive.
Although Mr Vajpayee did not announce major policies at the
meeting, he did
outline a 12-point medium term agenda while reiterating that
changes, reforms were irreversible.
He promised that the government would strengthen the
financial and banking
sectors by introducing transparency and accountability and
non-interference by government.
He listed information technology as a priority in addressing infrastructure
constraints. The Prime Minister also promised that public sector enterprises
would be ``productively restructured''.
Mr Vajpayee promised that the government would create
strategies to strengthen
support base for reforms, especially at the level of states.
The government would
also ``encourage massive private investments in agriculture
and agro processing
industry to achieve sustained agricultural growth and
widespread rural prosperity,''
the Prime Minister said.
In what was essentially a presentation to promote India as an
destination, Mr Vajpayee also emphasised the point that India
had survived the East
Asian crisis. He pointed out that India continued to achieve
a GDP growth of ``well
over 5 per cent'' with inflation below the double digit
number and comfortable
foreign exchange reserves.
From: "Jeet Joshee" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 17:13:54 -500
Subject: (Fwd) 1999 ANA Convention in Connecticut
Could you please post the following message in the next edition of TND?
Greetings from Connecticut. Those of you who do not know me, I am Jeetendra
Joshee, your Convention Co-chair for the 1999 ANA Convention. Sharada
Bhandari, ANA Vice President, will serve as the other Co-chair.
I realize it is barely December and some of you may not have the time to
think about July 1999, but I wanted to bring you up-to-date information
about the planning that has been going on in Connecticut to host the 1999
ANA Convention. Additionally, I wanted to let you know of some key people
that you might want to be in touch with since we anticipate your
participation and seek your help during this Convention. Please do not
hesitate to contact me or any of the people listed below with your
suggestions, how you may be of help to us, and the ways to improve our
Conventions as many of you have had experience in the past in organizing
these events together.
Some Key Information for you to post in your refrigerator:
Convention Dates: July 2-4, 1999 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
Location: Sheraton Hartford Hotel (Will change to Hartford Hilton in 1999),
Hotel is located in downtown Hartford, adjacent to the Hartford Civic
Airport: Bradley International Airport (20 minutes from Hartford, shuttle
service available regularly)
Driving Distance: 2 hours from New York City, less than 2 hours from Boston
Highway Access: Interstate 84 East/West and Interstate 91 North/South
The Planning Committee which consists of the Nepali Community in
Connecticut and Western Massachusetts is meeting monthly to make
arrangements and plan events for the convention. The committe has already
selected the site Hartford Sheraton (Hilton in 1999) which is a full scale
downtown hotel located in the heart of Hartford. It has an indoor pool,
whirlpool, sauna, and a full workout facility. The guest rooms are equipped
with a coffee maker, iron, ironing board, hairdryer, TV, and even Nintendo
games.The hotel is adjacent to the Civic Center and the Shopping Mall and
is in walking distance or in close proximity to many other local
attractions such as Hartford Stage Company, Bushnell Park, Mark Twain
House, Wadsworth Atheneum, and the Old State House.
Some of the highlights of ANA 99 include a seperate Children's Cultural
Program -"Ramaailo Saanjh", Professional Cultural Show - "Rumjhum", Poetry
Festival and Competition, Soccer Matches, Nepali Movies, DJ/Dancing, Yoga
session and much more.
Complete information about the Hotel and booking information, and
convention registration procedures will be available in early Spring. In
the menatime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact
me, Jeetendra Joshee, Convention Co-chair, phone 860-742-6854, email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Program Committee is Chaired by Bidya Ranjeet, phone 860-423-5564,
e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. For the first time in ANA
convention planning history, we will be asking you all to submit
proposals in your topics of interests to be presented at the Convention. We
are doing this to improve our convention forums with your suggestion and
the input we have gotten from past participants. You have the
option to present solo or in groups if you want to put a complete panel
together with 5 or 6 presenters. All selected single proposals will be
matched in one of the realted forum area by the committee. Additionally,
we are trying to organize family oriented fun filled activities. You can
organize these activities yourself and fully participate in them. In the
proposal, we are asking you to submit what family activities you would like
The call for proposal is already out and will be (if not already) posted in
the ANA web page http://home.stny.lrun.com/ana/. Also, the proposal will
be printed in the next edition of the ANA Newsletter. Please print out the
porposal form from the web site or find it in the newsletter and submit
your session propsal by March 15, 1999. Please give Bidya or myself a call
if you have any questions.
We will continue with our convention tradition to hold the Nepali Poetry
Festival and Competition. In order to allow for more participation, this
event will be held the second day July 3rd instead of the customarily done
the first night. Hari Koirala is Chairing this activity, phone
860-456-1657, e-mail email@example.com. You may submit your poem
either for the competition or just to be part of the festival. All poems
entered into the competition will be judged by a panel of judges.This
event, with rich cultural values to all of us has been well recevied in the
past conventions. Please be part of this and lets see your poetic side. The
Call for Proposal contains a section to submit your poem for the
convention. Or give Hariji a call if you have any questions.
The Professional Cultural Show - "Rumjhum" and the Children's Cultural
Program - "Ramaailo Saanjh" is being coordinated by Sita Koirala, phone
860-456-1657, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and Narendra Ranjeet,
phone 860-423-5564, e-mail email@example.com. The Children's
program will be held the second night July 3rd, and the Professional
program will be presented the last night on July 4th. Complete information
about these activities will be forth coming shortly. In the meantime,
please feel free to contact Sitaji or Narendraji if you are interested in
being part of this activity.
Soccer matches representing different cities and teams will be held the 2nd
and the 3rd day. This event is being coordinated by Ganesh Basnet, phone
413-785-1129, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a section in the program
porposal for you to enter your team for this event. Normally we have had
4-5 teams in the past. Due to the time constraint, we may not be able to
accomodate more than 4 teams. If you have any questions please give
Ganeshji a call.
We want to make your convention attendance as pleasurable and hospitable
as possible. Therefore, we have formed a Hospitality Committee so that
we may answer any of your questions about the area or any other questions
you may have while you are in Connecticut. While you may approach any one
of us, this committee is being coordinated by Geeta Pfau, phone
860-456-4153, e-mail email@example.com.
Convention Registration, pre and during the convention will be coordinated
by Subarna Joshee, phone 860-742-6854, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and
Hemanta Shrestha, phone 860-487-0046, e-mail email@example.com.
Convention Registration information will be published in the ANA web site
http://home.stny.lrun.com/ana/ and also in the ANA newsletter. We strongly
recommend that you pre-register for the convention which will help us
tremendously in making logistical arrangements with the Hotel, Banquet
Caterer and so on.
We believe that a convention of this nature and magnitude will not be
successful without the participation and help from all members of the
community. This is your convention. Therefore, we would like to hear from
you so that we can cater the needs of our larger membership. I encourage
you all to be part of it - by either submitting a session proposal, having
your child dance in the cultural program, playing a soccer game, reciting a
poem or simply giving us a call with your suggestion and lending a hand.
Watch for more information on ANA Convention 1999. For now -
Dr. J. Joshee, Executive Program Director
Center for Professional Development and
University Conference Services
University of Connecticut (860)486-3231 Fax:(860)486-5221
Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998 10:09:46 +0530
From: NEPAL MEDICAL COLLEGE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Health Transition in Nepal Conference: Call for Papers
Conference on Health Transition in Nepal: Call for Papers
An international conference on "Health Transition in Nepal" is being
planned for the later part of 1999.
Family Health International is the lead organizor for this conference to
be held in Kathmandu. The co-oganizers are being finalized.
The conference may cover, but not necessarily limited to, the following
* impact of parental education on child survival and health,
* impact of women's position on their own and their children's survival,
* impact of newly arrived health facilities in traditional areas,
* morbidity and mortality differentials between relatively
inaccessible and accessible areas and explantations for differendes,
* interactions between changes in the health system and changing
* statistical information on morbidity and mortality trends as well
those of social indicators,
* traditional and transitional family structures and their
implications for health and treatment decisions,
* sequences of treatment decisions as differentiated by education,
* impact of family planning and smaller families on child health.
The conference organizing committee is inviting persons interested in
attending and presenting papers to submit, via email or post, a brief
preliliminary outline of the paper. The outline should include the main
objective of the paper, data source and methodology.
On behalf of the Organising Committee, I would like to request you to
send/e-mail a write-up of your interests and tentatively title of your
paper. Approximately six months of time will be set aside for interested
persons to submit the paper(s) after the suggested topics are selected
by the Organising Committee.
Please send your preliminary topic(s) and author(s) by the end of January 1999 to:
Debendra Karki, PhD
Department of Community Medicine
Nepal Medical College and Teaching Hospital
P O Box 13344
Those who would like more specific information may contact:
Shyam Thapa, PhD
Family Health International
Nepal Population & Reproductive Health Office
GPO Box 8975 EPC 1523
Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998 11:35:30 -0500
From: "Paramendra Bhagat"<email@example.com>
Tuesday December 1, 10:27 PM
Workshop on NAFTA-SAFTA begins in Kathmandu
KATHMANDU, Dec 1 (AFP) - A five-day workshop on the North Atlantic Free Trade
Area (NAFTA) and South Asia Association for Regional CooperationFree Trade Area
(SAFTA) began here Tuesday.<p>The workshop, jointly organized by the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu and the Canadian Development Agency (CIDA) was inaugurated by Nepalese Minister of State for Commerce Jagat Bahadur Bogati, SAARC Secretariat officials said.<p>The SAARC, established in 1985 groups Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.<p> Economic experts, CIDA representatives, government officials from SAARC nations, academics and representatives of the private sector are participating in the workshop.<p>"The move towards closer economic cooperation among developing countries and eventually formation of economic union allows member countries to reap not only static efficiency in terms of resource allocation but also dynamic efficiency by widening the extent of market inducing innovations ..."he said.<p> They would also benefit by "... transferring technology, skills and entrepreneurship and thereby increasing productivity," Bogati said.<p>Bogati hoped the workshop would be a positive contribution towards the realisation of a free trade area in the South Asian region.<p>The state minister also charactarised SAARC as a regional economic grouping at a "nascent" stage with much to learn from the experience of the NAFTA which could be a guideline for the SAFTA.<p>Speaking at the same occasion, Canadian Ambassador to Nepal Peter F. Walker discussed the special interest Canada had in free trade arrangements and its contributions towards negotiating and strengthening multi-lateral arrangements.<p>Walker encouraged the SAARC nations to persue the goal of free trade in the region.
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 06:33:41 -0500 (EST)
Forwarded by: Ashutosh Tiwari <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Review 1
A review By Manjushree Thapa
BOOK: Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard
By Kiran Desai
New Delhi: Viking, 1998; IRS 295
Kiran Desai's first novel Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard has met
with steady applause from the literary world; excerpts have been
printed in the New Yorker, and in Salman Rushdie's cannon-forming
new anthology of Indian fiction Mirrorwork (to be reviewed in the
next issue of the KPBR). Indeed, Desai's novel contains the most
fashionable must-have ingredients of contemporary Indian English
fiction: lush landscapes, muddleheaded natives, quaint language and
a whimsical plot. What it strikingly lacks is difficult,
challenging insight into human nature or Indian society.
Hullabaloo's basic premise is lighthearted, but not lacking in promise: frustrated with the dullness of his life, the dimwitted but goodhearted postal worker Sampath Chawla climbs a guava tree and finds treetop conditions so much more pleasant than those at home, he decides to live there. At first mortified, his father soon finds a way to market his son as a local baba.
Sampath's coddling mother is avenged by her son's deification, and uses
the occasion to unleash her suppressed talent for cooking unlikely dishes
- "quail eggs, snail eggs, liver of a wild boar, tail of a wild cat" - from ingredients found in the guava orchard. Sampath's sister, meanwhile, is distressed about the effects of her brother's new lifestyle upon her marriage prospects. What ensues is a slightly overlong romp involving a band of drunken monkeys, the Superintendent of Police, the Chief Medical Officer, the Brigadier, a spy from the Atheist Society, the waiter at the Hungry Hop restaurant, the local post office staff, and Sampath's devotees.
Hullabaloo's intention is to entertain, and considerable
sections of the novel succeed in doing so. The opening, comprised
of snippets of newspaper reports about an ongoing drought, shows
off Desai's talent for observing local absurdities - reasons for
the drought include volcanic activity in Tierra del Fuego and a
plot by Iraq to steal the monsoon. The book also contains passages
of great beauty, and Desai has a deft, evocative way with words.
And yet the novel creates a facile effect that is ultimately
Much of this problem stems from the flatness of Desai's
characters, who tend to be caricatures incapable of psychological
complexity. Sampath's mother, who is perhaps the most carefully
portrayed character, spends most of her life possessed by a
near-mystical passion for cooking. Because she is written so
imaginatively, the reader feels her passion. But the other
characters lack depth. Sampath himself remains obscure in
motivation after inhabiting the guava tree, and his father and
sister seem to be written with the primary intention of providing
In societies where individuality is greatly obscured
by rigid roles (determined by caste or ethnicity, for example), it
is common for people to view each other as socially prescribed
types like the stiff bureaucrat, the corrupt cop, the greedy Bahun.
These stereotypes are the beginning point for character development
in much South Asian English fiction; while some authors (like
Kiran's mother Anita Desai) expose the prickly individual lurking
behind crude social masks, others (like Salman Rushdie) exaggerate
stereotypes in order to explore flaws in their construction.
Desai's typified characters do not make the reader question the
mismatch between the individual and the social types they
exemplify; instead her characters conform to these types and allow
readers to remain unchallenged in their views about people and
This said, Hullabaloo can be a good introductory book to
contemporary Indian English fiction for teenage readers, who might
appreciate the novel's quirkiness. Desai's language, marked as it
is by familiar South Asian grammars, constructions and accents,
will undoubtedly provide the Nepali teenager moments of linguistic
self-recognition that can make her/him feel more at home in the
English language. Young readers may thus be turned on to other
works of fiction emerging from this part of the world.
M. Thapa is a writer based in Kathmandu.
by Wayne Amtzis
BOOK: Morning Raga for Sun Ra
by Wesley Ames
New York: Copper Mountain Press, 1998
Neither this book nor this author exists. This review is a work of
the imagination, a work in progress-one of delusion's games.
In Morning Raga for Sun Ra Wesley Ames goes for the ephemeral
jugular. No longer do the exigencies and epiphanies of daily life
dominate his gaze; it's the thief in the house-language
itself-that's caught his attention. Staking language's survival on
its postmodern demise, the book opens with Ames' paean to the
intergalactic musings of the musician Sun Ra. Erratic, incoherent,
chaotic, this river of disjointed phrases jangling among themselves
offers moments of brilliance and eddies of obfuscation.
With an onrush of words and phrases, with broken syntax, punning
assonance, misspellings that trigger asides, the poem offers language but
withholds meaning. Sensing that the sounding presence of voice will not
override incapacities of language, and that stunned incoherence may not
bring the reader into the poem, as a reader himself, Ames pauses:
and in the mean
we are here"
Then, through repetition and variation, the poem winds back upon
itself, forcing the harshness of juxtaposed and unfinished phrasing
to sieve through to lines that work, that finally make sense.
"we are two strands --not tangled not knotted
woven of one weaving
the light we give
Am/Pm, a series of journal entries written by Ames in the hours
before dawn follows upon this re-evaluation and revelation.
Experiences of the immediate day linked to events and persons in
the past and dreams the poet has just woken from alternate. The
recollections quickly move down the page, while the dreams meander.
Soon the prose like lines dominate, and an indistinguishable sense
of wonder and futility suffuses Ames' world. With his waking voice
Ames intrudes. The lived and dreamed reality ("waking dream
daydream dream itself") in so far as we speak of them are all
marked by delusion.
"winds that carry it lips and tongue that mark it all say "delusion"
undeluded would I speak in this manner?
would you bend to hear me?"
Carried away by this rhetoric Ames hangs the axiom
"language=delusion" over the final portal of the book.
The linked poems in Box 37: phrases (in response) are from personal
correspondence. Here we are not privy to these letters, but are
shown Ames' words spoken anew. Though it is hard not to be seduced
by the chosen phrases, the reader drawn back to the work, wondering
who is being spoken to, is not yet willing to take on the guises of
the unidentified respondents.
The poet's game is to leave us mid-sentence-"our phrases our words/ always
in response/ one half the correspondence/ always to be filled in." In
these dialogues with absent others, however, Ames falls into his own trap.
The respondent's voice is absent and the reader will not be baited. The
need to be heard and to hear another speak doubles back upon itself:
"..to be with you to be you I will hear I will listen tell me your
name tell me mine tell me what to say
when you tell me what to say tell me what to say tell me tell me
you are here you are there
tell me." If this is a cry in the wilderness, Ames would do well to
reread his Godot-no one is there.
In his twelfth book Wesley Ames asks more of the reader than he has
previously; yet he senses this. In the title poem, unstoppable
force is abandoned for light that plays across the current. In
Am/Pm the structure of dream indemnifies Ames' world; futility is
borne with wonder. It is only in Box 37: phrases (in response) that
Ames cannot account for his demands. The jaded reader thirsts for
details and will not allow, as the poet would, imagination, no
matter how lyrical, to compensate. To console.
(W. Amtzis teaches meditation at the Himalayan Buddhist Meditation
NRIs in Nepal
By C. K Lal
The clamber into the hills from the plains below is as old as
history. The Mahavarata mentions the Kirat Kings of the Himalayas,
and Emperor Ashoka trekked to the birthplace of the Buddha and
erected a pillar on the spot. Adi Shankara is believed to have set
the tradition that only Keralites Brahmans of a certain sect could
be eligible for priesthood in the holy shrine of Pashupatinath.
Raja Harisingh, the Tirhut king of Karnataka origin, fled to
Kathmandu valley upon pursuit by the invading Muslim army and
founded a culture that continues to give the valley its distinctive
identity. But all these visitors didn't come in hordes, and were
easily assimilated into the local population.=20
The early 20th century clearing of the Terai forests by the nobles of
Kathmandu valley, and an almost simultaneous famine in the neighboring
states of Bengal, Bihar and Abadh, forced many Indians to choose a life of
considerable difficulty in the plains of Nepal. Over time, they came to be
known as Madhesis - people of the Madhes. Never a term of endearment,
Madhesi has degenerated into a label of scorn, and can mean anything from
being devious, dirty, cruel, uncouth or - a plain Indian.
Not Man, a Madhesi
Old-timers insist that there is no exaggeration to the following
anecdote, and that it is based on real life. In the days when there
were no toilets, the ladies of noble families also visited the
banks of Bagamati to attend to the calls of nature. Some of them
These servants were instructed to shout 'Man' to save
the ladies the embarrassment of exposed derri=E8res. On one misty
winter morning, a servant could not recognize a Madhesi and did the
shouting as per the instructions. The lady sat up, threw a glance
towards the intruder, and resumed her business nonchalantly. The
ignorant servant was duly reprimanded, "Didn't you see? He was a
Madhesi, not a man." Ladies go to toilet nowadays, but this
attitude has not changed much.=20
In the Hindi blockbuster of all times, Ramesh Sippy's 'Sholay,' a
mother would instill the fear of Gabbar in her child if it wept at
night. The goblin evoked in the Valley of Gods is handier - mothers
here simply have to mention a Madhesi, pronounced Madishe. The
symbol so taken is often a poor little Bihari with a jute sack on
his shoulders, calling from house to house collecting empty beer
bottles and old newspapers. Braving the stray dogs, abusive
natives, resentful street children and a less than tolerant police
force, these hapless scavengers provide a service without which
Kathmandu would become one huge refuse dump. Nobody is grateful.
The government has already levied a tax on their cargo, and there
is clamor for more levies on them.=20
Onion, Potato and Tomato
Until Biharis came with their cycles, street vendors were almost
unknown in the Valley. These days, one can buy anything from carpets
to cosmetics, fruits and vegetables, utensils, toys and tin-food from
these very enterprising salesmen from across the border. Their Nepali
is a joy to hear and lends itself so well to caricature that Nepal
Television cannot produce a single soap without them.=20
They do not
take offense if haggled with rudely. Even their merchandise compares
well in price and quality with the those in the burgeoning
departmental stores in Kathmandu. And what do they get in return?
Eight to ten people lodging in dingy basements, abuses from anyone
with an urge to vent his or her anger, and a small profit at the end
of the day to money-order back home to Laloodom.
There was a time when Marwaris were respected as sahujees. No more.
These days, they are depicted more as practitioners of unfair trade
practices. They are assumed to be harmful for the nation's economy,
in spite of being one of the largest private sector employers and
the largest tax-paying community. If a local smuggler is caught
sneaking in goodies, he is dismissed as a misguided person. To turn
him into an object of sympathy, associate his name with any
manipulative Marwari - real or fictional.=20
The clamor of blood would
be astounding. This, despite the fact that no big-time Marwari runs
his show entirely on his own - the norm, rather than the exception,
is to have a local noble as a sleeping partner, often with a
controlling interest. Many Marwaris insist that people of their
community who arrived from Burma in the 1970's cheated the
government and gave them a bad name. Be that as it may, the fact is
that they have become minor players in foodstuff and textiles,
lucrative trades that they had dominated for years.=20
Plumbers from Udisa, electricians from UP, carpenters from Bihar,
bricklayers from Bengal - one can't build a house without them
these days in Kathmandu. Contractors love them - they work longer
hours for lower payment. Owners like them too - they hardly need
any holidays. But the traditional craftsmen from Kirtipur and
Madhyapur are not happy about these aliens who have undercut them
out of the market. Hence a call for their ouster can arouse frenzy.
At middle class dinner tables, much concern is shown about Indian
domination of the Nepalese labor market, but come daylight, these
bleeding hearts go to Kopundole, Baneshwar or Kalimati and hire an
Indian hand at nearly half the going rate of a comparable Nepali
laborer. Free-market and jingoism survive cheek-by-jowl without any
Labor and Religion
Even Nepalese employers do not like local laborers. Apart from being
too easygoing, they are often considered to be potential
troublemakers. They prefer Madhesis instead, whose lower salaries,
longer working hours and lack of rights to organize make them
attractive. This has resulted in a situation where almost all
garment workers are Indian.=20
Indian dyers man the Nepalese carpet
industry and till yesterday, nearly all machine-men were Bengali. A
large number of these immigrants are Muslims who take up the whole
thoroughfare in front of the Royal Palace for Jumma Nawaz. It does
not help the flow of traffic that Fridays are half working days.
The Kashi, Kashmir, Ajab, Nepal attraction for the Indian tourists
is gone. Earlier they were amazed to see a more beautiful valley
than Kashmir peopled by more devout Hindus than in Benares. These
days, Muradabadi Muslims dominate the brass-ware market and
Kashmiri Muslims enjoy a near monopoly in high-end handicrafts
sales. Once again, a case of Hindu Shangri-la gone sour in the only
Hindu Kingdom of the world.=20
Having nothing to differentiate them from their temporary
immigrant brothers, Madhesis who have made Nepal their home find
themselves at the receiving end of much misplaced scorn. Consider
the Nepali proverb that a dead Madhesi more cunning than a living
Nepali; picture a Pahariya Bahun with his Yadav compatriot from the
plains, and one might have to turn the old adage on its head. Any
Madhesi is suspect in the valley. They have to keep proving their
allegiance to the country, very much like Hindus in Sri Lanka and
Muslims in India.=20
This is ironic in a way, because Madhesis have
less dependence on India than many Pahariyas who have, for
generations, been saluting the tricolor for their livelihood.
Madhesis pretend to support Pakistani players in Indo-Pakistan
cricket matches to impress their friends, but go home and weep in
silence over India's defeat. This would be hilarious if it weren't
so pathetic. If not for themselves, the Indian team should get into
the habit of winning every now and then to keep the morale of the
Nepal has India's largest diplomatic establishment in the world,
barring England, with whom they have an altogether different kind of
relationship. What this diplomatic corps does to keep employed is a
mystery. The Hindi term for a country bumpkin is "Vadheshi." One
thing is for sure, these diplomats do not stoop low enough to
associate with local Madhesis - no matter whether resident or
(CK Lal is a prolific columnist.)
The Politics of Medicine
by Dr. Saroj Dhital
BOOK: Doctors for Democracy: Health Professionals in the Nepal Revolution
by Vincanne Adams London: Cambridge University Press, 1998
When the decades of discontent accumulating among the people
reached a critical point in 1990, the People's Movement exploded,
overthrowing the Panchayat regime. For the most part, popular
discontent was aimed at the rampant corruption and violation of
Less than a decade after the movement for democracy, people
seem totally disenchanted with the way democracy is being practiced
in the country. Those same people who were ready to give their
lives to achieve multiparty democracy are - perhaps painfully but
silently - watching revivalists' attempts to bring back an absolute
It seems that the country has reached a dangerous point.
Discontent has been accumulating again, but not enough energy is
left in the people to lead to a catharsis. Corruption and the
violation of human rights - the evils that the people hoped to get
rid of through the democratic movement - are making their grand
presence felt, and nothing substantial is being done to counter
It has become imperative at this point to review people's
motivations and expectations of the 1990 People's Movement, and to
look back upon the nature of that movement.
Just at this moment, Doctors for Democracy: Health
Professionals in the Nepal Revolution, the work of a western
scholar, has established its presence in Kathmandu bookstalls. The
title, naturally, creates a strong appeal for students of the
Nepali revolution. It is not surprising if the reader expects to
find in Vincanne Adam's book the answers to some of the above
questions relating to the People's Movement.
Published as one of the works of the "Cambridge Studies in
Medical Anthropology" series, the book appears in a nice getup. It
gives a rather detailed account of how health professionals worked
for the revolution. In spite of some obvious errors in chronology
and in some minute details-which is but natural in a work done
retrospectively by a foreigner-Doctors for Democracy provides a
vivid and detailed picture of health professionals' involvement in
From the beginning, Adams introduces important
philosophical discussions into her text. At a time when nothing
serious of this sort is forthcoming from those intellectuals allied
to political parties which claim to be the leaders and architects
of the 1990 rebellion, the appearance of a foreign book analyzing
our democracy movement in a philosophical plane is, of course, very
Leafing through the first few pages of the book, it is
evident that Adams' work is largely based on interviews with Nepali
doctors, the most important being her interviews and interactions
with Professor Mathura Shrestha. In fact, her conversations with
the professor before and after the Movement have served as the
window through which she tries to look at the democracy movement.
Although the title of the book Adams has chosen gives her
liberty to focus on Nepali physicians' role in the Movement, her
opening remarks that the "participation of Nepali physicians in
their revolution marked the rise of a professional class exercising
a distinctively modern form of power in Nepal" sounds a little too
exaggerated and belittling of the role of other intellectuals.
Adams seems intrigued by the thinness of the boundary
between the use of politics for people's health, and the vulgar
politicizing of medicine. She tries hard, through most of the book,
to justify the political actions of medical professionals. In the
Nepali context, this fact is so obvious that her exercise was not
necessary at all.
Adams presumes that the prototype of Nepali doctors
participating in the Movement consisted of those committed to the
Alma-Ata declaration. In truth, at least four different kinds of
medical doctors were involved in the Movement. This is evident even
from the small sample of doctors she has interviewed. While there
were doctors who had more or less clear visions, and who could
easily correlate politics to people's health, some others were
involved in politics simply because of familiar or historical ties
to some politicians.
For the latter, politics was not at all
associated with their profession. Besides them, there were other
doctors who were totally unconcerned with politics, but who chose
to help the Movement reactively, after witnessing the bloodshed and
the blatant violation of human rights. Finally, of course, there
were the omnipresent opportunists who opposed the Movement until it
became evident that it would end in success, and then switched to
the side of the rebels at the last hour.
Failing to make a simple distinction between these different categories of medical professionals, Adams forces herself into the tiresome exercise of trying to solve her self-created riddle concerning politicization and medicine. This has made her book unnecessarily long, boring, and difficult to comprehend for the average reader.
Adams rightly points out that the patrimonialist culture of the social fabric of Nepal has created impediments in modernization. But unfortunately, she equates patrimonialism with collectivism. Throughout the book, she takes collectivism negatively, while glorifying possessive individualism. Even in the introductory chapter, she admits that the collectivism inherent in Nepali society has, in her opinion, created an impediment in the modernization of the country. To her, corruption, nepotism, backwardness and all the darker aspects of Nepali society find fertile grounds in the collectivism inherent in Nepali society.
Should collectivism be understood as a culture of slaves in a patrimonial order, or a process of expansion of the Self and the thinning of ego boundaries? Is individualism a process that shrinks the Self and thickens ego boundaries, or a process that unfolds human potential? Adams misunderstands both these terms in the Nepali context.
But this misinterpretation is not difficult to understand. She laments the fact that Nepali doctors and intellectuals are preoccupied with and tied to Nepaliness in their drive for science, modernity, and democracy. For her, the universal nature and objectivism in science and modernity rule out this possibility. Her very mechanistic way of thinking is evident when she talks about the "production" of different "truths" but fails to conceal her great faith in the "truth" produced in the West.
Reading Doctors for Democracy, one can feel that in spite of Adams' bias (which she has revealed very honestly) she is very sympathetic to the Nepali people. One can even feel the pain she is suffering while being torn between her beliefs on one hand and the reality of Nepal that she witnessed on the other.
Doctors for Democracy has, indeed, challenged Nepali intellectuals to find answers to some fundamental questions regarding the Nepali revolution. The degeneration of political parties into piles of stinking garbage is perhaps heralding the need for another revolution beyond the realms of power politics: a movement that would nourish and be nourished by the "micropower" authored by Foucault, who Adams frequently quotes in her work.
(S. Dhital is a surgeon at the Kathmandu Model Hospital.)
Through the Looking Glass of Indian Fiction
by Rob Millman
BOOK: Mirrorwork: Fifty Years of Indian Writing
Edited by Salman Rushdie and Elizabeth West
New York: Henry Holt, 1997
and London: Vintage, 1997
Mirrorwork is a rich and colourful tapestry of selections from
thirty two works-either novels, short stories or memoirs-prefaced
by Jawaharlal Nehru's famous "Tryst with Destiny" speech delivered
on the eve of independence in 1947. The anthology is not strictly
"Indian" in the broadest sense of the term, for it is a collection of only English language writing. But in his preface, Salman Rushdie argues convincingly and with wry, self-deprecating humour that neither partition nor international boundaries can restrict or define the richness and variety of Indian writing, nor contain the impact that Indian writers are making on contemporary world literature.
Like Alice in Through the Looking Glass, Mirrorwork's
readers may cast their gaze over the mirror or truly enter in. Why
have certain pieces been included? Is there some intrinsic value in
each piece, whether political, historical or literary, which
escapes us? Do the short stories achieve the evocative quality and
focused incisiveness that marks the best of this ever-expanding
genre? Are the extracts from longer works sufficiently
self-contained and coherent to stand alone?
Initially, neither Nehru's speech, Sahgal's 'With Pride and
Prejudice' or G.V. Desani's 'All About H. Hatterr' conform to a
style that rests easily with the reader. The first is crafted for
history. The second bears witness to the death of Gandhi through
the youthful eyes and emotions of a member of the ruling political
dynasty. And the third is a kaleidoscope of language, imagery,
events, people and places, which at first appears to mystify a
little, and amuse at best. Juxtaposed in between, and in stark
contrast to these three pieces, stands the allegorical and
historically accurate tale of 'Toba Tek Singh,' capturing the
absurdity of partition for those whose lives were already
circumscribed by imprisonment in asylums on the wrong side of the
The excerpt by Desani begins elliptically: "The name is H.
Hatterr, and I am continuing. Biologically, I am fifty-five of the
species." But go through the looking glass. Piece together the
life and language of a dispossessed Anglo-Indian. Allow the writing
to coalesce. What emerges is a character with a passionate desire
to do more than just survive the epochal changes that have
destroyed the ease and comfort of his pre-ordained way of life.
Discover his anger, his humor and his compassion, and you have
begun to unravel the riches that lie ahead in Mirrorwork.
Each early piece in the anthology paves the way for a
collection of writings that expand in content and style to explore
themes of class, caste, religions, social and family relations, duty,
power, sexuality, mystical experience and sensual imagery. There are
some magical evocations of place, of mood and of landscapes. There
are also chilling and frightening reminders of the harshness of
climate, poverty and hunger, as well as the brutality that can
assail individuals and entire communities. Yet do not be mislead.
Mirrorwork is not a covert political treatise on post-independence
India. What it offers is a broad swathe of work from established
and emerging writers that is pre-eminently literary, always
entertaining, and quite frequently insightful and informative.
Whether viewed through the eyes of a child ('Rana's Story'
by Bapsi Sadwah and 'Games at Twilight' by Anita Desai), or the
eyes of a youth ('Trying to Grow' by Firdaus Kanga), or those of an
adult ('Meatless Days' by Sara Suleri), or those of the writer ('In
the Mountains' by Ruth Prawer Jhabwala), there emerges in many
characterizations and portrayals a deeply felt search to rediscover
or hold on to personal belief, and a desire to assert individual
human identity in a world where everything and nothing changes
constantly, and sometimes overwhelmingly. This wonderful paradox is
most finely and acutely displayed in the wit and humor of Anjana
Appachana's short story, 'Sharmaji.' Every single reader, of
whatever age or background, will find some personal trait or
characteristic reflected in the mirror of this particular tale.
Mirrorwork is a fine collection of writings with a mere
handful of selections that perhaps owe more to the inclinations of
the editors than to the tastes of, and recognition given by, a
broader readership. As an invitation to see what lies through the
looking glass of Indian writing, it offers a superb introduction to
a host of writers whose work deserves to be read as widely as
--------------------------------------------------------------- ANOTHER Review
A Fine Balance
by Rohinton Mistry
London: Faber and Faber, 1995
If Mirrorwork offers a glimpse of the wealth and depth of Indian
writing, then Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance plunges headlong
into that world. Set in Bombay and its rural environs during the
time of Indira Ghandi's internal emergency, this novel follows the
fate of four ordinary people whose lives slowly and inexorably
intertwine as their individual struggles bring them together.
Mistry plays with time, introducing each of the four characters
within the first few pages of the novel, only to steer us back in
time on a voyage of discovery.
Through the struggles of caste and
communalism in rural villages, through the withering of traditional
life in the mountains as roads and commercialism bring exploitation
in their wake, through the rigid patriarchal control of tightly
controlled family life and an early tragic loss, the characters are
propelled outwards, forwards, and ultimately drawn into the tight
confines of Bombay. There, the powerful undercurrents of the
emergency will define the direction and interdependent fate of each
Through the eyes, minds, hearts, lives and emotions of the characters Dina, Ishvar, Omprakash and Maneck, Mistry unfolds a world that is as harsh in its oppression and inhumanity as any writer could wish to depict, without resorting to crude shock tactics. The excesses of the emergency are powerfully portrayed and skillfully understated. Onto this background of real events-police round-ups, feudalistic goon squads, enforced sterilization and worse-are grafted the lives of his main characters. Yet throughout this moving story, drama and tension evolves primarily around the growing tolerance, attraction, and tenderness, within and between the main characters in their shared lives and inter-dependency. There are many characters and events in the supporting cast which add to the seamless richness of this novel. A Fine Balance is both moving and enthralling, with perhaps one inevitable and pardonable weakness, namely, that it has to come to an end.
(The name is R. Millman, and I am continuing. Biologically, I am fifty-one
of the species.)
Blowing One's Own Trumpet
By CK Lal
The Call of Nepal
by JP Cross
Kathmandu: Series II Volume 17 of Bibliotheca Himalayica, 1998.
It is pointless to pretend that this review is unprejudiced.
Colonel Cross does not hold Madhesis, or Indians, as he chooses to
call them in Nepal, in very high esteem. The antagonism is mutual.
This reviewer is a Madhesi and harbors a rather ambivalent attitude
towards Gurkhas in general and their English officers in
The Call of Nepal has been placed by its editor and
publishers in Series II of Bibliotheca Himalayica, the category
that deals with linguistics, biography and literature. In its
attempt to be all three, it ends up being just a crude effort at
self-glorification. Confusion is evident in its every page.
Take the linguistics part first. A mercenary, according to
Oxford Dictionary, is a soldier hired to fight in a foreign army.
Colonel Cross does not accept such 'a strained interpretation' of
the term. Instead, he chooses the terms laid down by an 'Ad Hoc
Committee of the United Nations' that was 'considering a possible
draft convention!' Some straining, that. With this kind of
language, it is no wonder that the author failed almost every
examination he took in his life. The fault never lay with him, of
course. As he makes one of his characters say, "You did not fail.
They did not pass you."
The book is only slightly better as an autobiography. As it
is, it's extremely challenging to examine oneself. Thoreau once
said, "It is as hard to see oneself as to look backwards without
turning around." An additional difficulty arises in this case
because officers aren't the best of people to either look back or
turn around. In a flash of candor remarkable for an English and
even more so for a colonial soldier, the author admits, "None of us
are as good as we think we are or would like to be and I was no
exception." Correct the tense and replace 'was' with 'am' and you
realize what a difficult read this book is.
"The two names taught in the village school were the King of
Nepal's and mine," says the exalted colonel, who mentions without a
twinge of embarrassment: "Men would come to me with bowed head for
my blessings." The author is enlisted into the Indian Army as a
BOR--British Other Ranks--and remains its phonetic equivalent all
The literature part of the book is a little less insulting
to the intelligence. Despite, or maybe because of the author's
extraordinary lack of formal education, the prose sparkles with
occasional wit and passages of noteworthy narration. Whenever he
puts his argumentative style to rest and lets his observations do
the listening and his emotions do the talking, the result is a
pleasure to read. He is in his element telling the story of
Yet the book abounds with many instances of intended
slight. The author claims, without even making an attempt to hide
his nastiness, "The living legend that is the military mark of
Gurkhas' greatness is, to an extent, the reflection of the high
caliber of British officers who have served selflessly with them
for so many years." Elsewhere he observes that poverty is paraded
almost proudly and then pontificates, "Before Nepal could be saved
from Indian or Chinese hegemony, it had to be saved from itself."
Then there is Colonel Cross's rank ignorance to reckon with.
For him, tika is a caste-mark, though even an occasional tourist to
Nepal knows it to be a religion-mark used by all castes. Such a man
was a historian to our army and a researcher at the supposedly
prestigious Center of Nepal and Asian Studies at the Tribhuvan
University. Remember the moving stanza from Bhupi Sherchan's famous
poem: we are brave, because we are stupid? Colonel Cross knows this
only too well, hence has the gall to quote with glee, "To be tasty,
radishes have to be buried; to be good, a Nepali has to be pressed."
This book should be made required reading for all those who
favor the continuation of Gurkha recruitment; they would realize
what a shame it is. Just as our grinding poverty cannot justify the
selling of our sisters in Sonagachhi, selling our brothers in the
name of obscure treaties and lack of opportunity in our own country
"In comfortless camps, in sweltering offices, in gloomy dark
bungalows smelling of dust and earth-oil, they earn, perhaps, the
right to be a little disagreeable," wrote George Orwell in Burmese
Days, way back in 1935. Colonel Cross asserts this right only too
forcefully with his ramblings in the form of a book. "Nepalis have
a touching faith in the sanctity and infallibility of written
words," he observes, and hints darkly that he may be reborn as a
Christian in the royal palace of Kathmandu and become the leader of
In a nutshell, this book is a load of crap, all two hundred
and forty-one pages of it bristling with racial overtones and
colonial snootiness. Read it to test your patience in taking
insults and soldiering the brown man's burden of putting up with
the white ones' ignorance coupled with impertinence.
(CK Lal likes to believe he is a multidisciplinary student.)
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