The Nepal Digest - Feb 21, 1995 (9 Falgun 2051 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Tuesday 21 Feb 95: Falgun 9 2051 BkSm Volume 36 Issue 14

  Today's Topics:

          Apologies for no headers due to time restrictions.

 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh *
 * SCN Liaison: Rajesh B. Shrestha *
 * Consultant Editor: Padam P. Sharma *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta *
 * Book Reviews Columns: Pratyoush R. Onta *
 * News Correspondent Rajendra P Shrestha *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" - Sirdar Khalifa *
 * *

********************************************************************** Date: Sat, 18 Feb 1995 22:46:24 EST To: The Nepal digest Editor <> From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <> Subject: Of Intellectuals and Fools

        Are intellectuals fools and fools intellectuals? What makes a PhD--whether earned after years of grinding course work and sweating dissertation writing and defense in the hallowed precincts of American academia or after two years of functional research and jumbling together information and getting the degree honestly in Nepal or India or just pirating some dust-gathered, long-forgotten dissertation from the libraries of Calcutta and buying a PhD--what makes such PhDs intellectuals is a difficult matter to decide. And in recent years we have had much soul-searching about the role and characteristics of an intellectual.
        In Nepal where the age of darkness ended only in 1950, what could an intellectual do? What is his role? What is the role of a Nepali college and university? These are questions we must ask now. The atmosphere of fear and arrest that prevailed only some years ago has lifted now in Nepal.
        The Hindu tradition itself greatly emphasizes the significance of knowledge for sons (I presume those of the upper castes). Many of us know the Sanskrit shloka: "Vidya dadati vinayam / Vinayat yati patratam / Patra dhanamapnoti / yatra dhanam tatah sukham." (Learning brings modesty; from modesty comes good character; a person with goodness and politeness earns wealth and where there is wealth, there is happiness.)
        The implication of this Sanskrit stanza is obvious. Knowledge is gained for not generating further knowledge by writing books, nor for agonistic battle of dismantling one's forbears' theory and formulations, nor for putting that learning in practice by educating the oppressed and hungry millions to rise against feudalism, autocracy, and tyranny of political, religious, or social systems, but to be polite, to be modest.
        If the intellectuals become polite and modest instead of asking difficult questions, then the society would perptuate itself as it is. The privilege of the corrupt and the powerful would remain intact, unchallenged and unexposed. (Folks! I'm trying to write in short paragraphs, but I leave it for the TND Consultant Editor to decide whether what I'm writing is therapeutic and guilt-ridden babble or serious stuff). Every son should have this kind of knowledge, and one who did not such knowledge was considered good-for-nothing. There is a Sanskrit shloka in Vishnu's Sharma's animal fables Panchatantra: "Ko arthen putren jaten yo na vidwan dharmika / Kanain chakshuh kimba kewal pidalam" (What's the use of a son who is neither learned or religious? To have such a son is like to have an eye that cannot see).
        Knowledge was decorative as well. In the same fable, there is another shloka that says: "Rup yauvan sampanna vishaal kul sambhava / Vidya hina na shobhante nirgandha iva kinshuka" (One may have good features, yourth, born in a great clan, but if he doesn't have learning, then it's like the flower of a tall cotton tree--beautiful and high-up in the sky, but without fragrance and so useless).
        So what should we expect from a Nepali PhD? One could say they are prestige-hungry, title-grabbing ignorant bums always after some lucrative posts and profitable pursuits. One can blame them for their sterile degrees, vegetable minds, and starving bodies--both self and and family.
        But one charge that cannot be levelled against them is of only producing dust-gathering, tenure-getting jargon-filled trivia in the name of advancing knowledge. Although the value of this kind of the production and consumption of knowledge cannot be denied because once in a while some gem does come out of this process, it is nonetheless suited only for some places not for others.
        Schools and colleges in some places need not be politicized because the fundamental questions about the political structure of the society have already been settled by the forefathers (although many would disagree with me here), because a few don't fill their coffers with foreign aid while the majority live in poverty, illiteracy, and degradation. In such places, revolution takes places in the books or on the television screens, not in real life. In such places, you can get only experts who could invent knowledge that could transform the rest of the world without regard to the complexities that lie where the theory is to be applied.
        Let me give you the example of our Nepal. I don't know how far it's true, and I haven't investigated this claim. In Nepal, back when even a straw burned under the Panchayat system, they said that the idea of a limited democracy was first propounded by a Harvard political scientist from which Ayub Khan of Pakistan, Sukarno of Indonesia and King Mahendra of nepal borrowed and gave it a local color and it became
"suitable to the soil" Panchayat system. The second example is that of the Naya Siksha Yojana, New Education Planning, that flopped miserably in the Nepali soil. It was only after coming to the United States that I realized for the first time how important and useful that educational system have been for Nepal. It would be interesting project to investigate why this new system of education failed. In this system, teachers, having power to give grades, began to tutor privately at expensive costs, at times even taking bribes. And the students instead of writing original papers, began to copy en mass the note books and text books giving the teachers as their own original works.
        In a place like Nepal, colleges and university are the places where intellectuals reside, people who are neither starving nor tied to their sunup to sundown work with half-empty stomachs. These students and teachers, those who already don't get sold out to some temptation of power and pelf, keep alive the flame of change. They are thus not only passive learners of some information from books to get a lucrative jobs, which were never there in the first place without born privileges, but they are active agents who roam the precincts like watch dogs.
        Of course, they should read and write and learn to generate knowledge, but they cannot just forget politics, for we must give credit to them for keeping the flame of democracy alive for these many year. And the teachers, those who did not go to lecture on certain birthdays and days of national festivals, they spoke against the system in the faculty rooms and class rooms and acquainted the students with the reality of the country. That work was more important than writing a paper and publishing it in some obscure journals for promotion.
        Besides, what could they do? Without speaking continuously for six hours a day, they couldn't even get their one-room residence and feed themselves and their family. For me, Sanglu Miyan, the starving tenant in my village, also is in intellectual. Sanglu get up in the morning and looks up in the sky and philosophizes about the sun, the clouds, the wind, the birds, and goods off to work with his bullocks in front and his plow on his shoulders. When he comes back in the evening, tired and mired, he reads the adventures of the Persian tale Hatimtai, which he says he learned to read in his dream. He is old, poor, and decrepit but knows what is wrong in his society. He is a Muslim, offers his prayer five times a day at the muezzin's call, but this time voted for the Communists because last time he had voted for the Congress. And he was not happy with the result. Maybe next time he will vote for the Congress back again if the Communists fail to satisfy his hunger and take away his pain. For me he is as important an intellectual, given the situation, as a PhD in Kathmandu or in the US. In fact, more. I end this piece with a quote again:

        "Shaastranidhityapi bhavantu muurkhah
        Astu kriyawan purushah saha vidwan"

(People become fools even after studying books. Those who act--put theory and praxis together--are intellectuals.

********************************************************************** Date: Fri, 17 Feb 1995 21:53:18 -0500 (EST) From: Jagadish Dawadi <> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - Feb 18, 1995 (6 Falgun 2051 BkSm) To: The Nepal Digest <>

Hello from Rochester!

It was nice reading the Feb. 17th issue of the TND. I would like to thank Ashutosh Tiwari for his comment on my idea about the publication of the TND in our mother tounge. I think that I didn't say TND be published in Romanized Nepali(RN). My "Bichaar" was to know whether or not there were possibilities that TND could be published using "Nepali Font." Now, I came to know from the TND editor that publishing the TND in devenagiri is impossible using ASCII code
. If there are some technique to make this possible, attention should be given to this regard.

Sure, I agree with Ashutosh that publishing TND in RN is sometime interesting and sometime boring, but as far as people who really love Nepali language are concerned, they can't remain complacent expressing their ideas through RN. Anyway, I am not against publishing of TND in English, but I am just putting my
"Bichaar" before you all readers regarding this.

I would like to draw your kind attention that I am not neither in RPI nor in The University of Rochester, I am here at Rochester Institute Of Technology, RIT. Thanks for your kind attention!

It would be great to hear your further comments and ideas regarding the topic above. Lau ta, ahilelai yati nai,

Have good weekend!

Namaste! Jagadish Dawadi

********************************************************** From: (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: Buddhanil kantha: an ex-Princely School (fwd) To: (tnd) Date: Sat, 18 Feb 1995 01:06:51 -0500 (EST)

The following was sent to be with the request that I forward it to TND.The author wishes to remain anonymous.

> ===================================================================
> >>Date: Sun, 30 Oct 1994 00:46:21 GMT
> >>
> >>> | wrote:
> >>> |
> |:The school was a big ego trip to the Crown Prince Dipendra
> who could not go to
> |: a "normal" elite school such as the St. xaviers or
> other convents in India. he
> |: had to have the latest school built for him,
> |
ans:> ||I passed out from Budhanilkantha in 1982, and I believe this school
> |is giving quality education to nepali community. What the Crown prince did
> |or where he studied afterwards, I do not want to talk about it at the moment.
> |Maybe, I missed the real article by Bhusan Khanal, but Budhanilkantha School
> |is a good school not just because the Crown Prince happened to study and pass
> |out from this school.
> |
> |Sanjay Bajracharya
> >>
> >>
> >>We might have to look
> >>at the root over here.
> ans: >>
> >>The school was made for the crown prince, there is no doubt about that. The
> >>school cannot be run with only one student and therefore there were many
> >>students as everybody has seen. It is good that the school is continuing
> >>till today, but one should see the quality now. The product is not as good
> >>as it was during the CP's time. The reason, the allocation of fund and
> >>man power. The fund allocated to the student was very very high compared to
> >>any government school in Nepal. If only about 20% of that fund is allocated
> >>to any government school and management be handled by the secretary of the
> >>Ministry of Education, I am sure that it will not be lesser than the B.
> >>Kantha school. One might know that the board running now is also highly
> >>powered (in terms of bureaucratic and political). During CP's time there
> >>were prime minister's involvement (as an advisor) too, you can imagine now.
> >>Why a school needs a lot of importance, it is because there is CP.
> >>
> >>If B.Kantha is to be run as a school, I recommend to all that let the same
> >>fund as allocated to other government school be allocated to that school and
> >>all the cost be recovered from the tuition. The able can pay. The
> >>government's fund could be used to provide scholarship to the needy and poor
> >>students.
> >>
> >>I do not regret the establishment of B.Kantha, in fact, if we can afford,
> >>all schools should be made like B.kantha. I do not regret that the crown
> >>prince studied there and a lot of fund was allocated to that school in
> >>earlier days. What I want to emphasize that we do not want to produce more
> >>than one CP from that school. The beneficiary must pay for it. The
> >>government should not subsidize the elites.


************************************************************ Date: Sat, 18 Feb 1995 01:00:52 -0500 (EST) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <> Subject: Re: Membership List To:

        TND membership list should NOT be made public. Why? Three reasons.

        First, an e-mail address is a PRIVATE address, not a public address. For example, at least in the US, if you request your university or company to give you an "unlisted" (so to speak) e-mail address, no one can 'finger' your account and get the info that they would otherwise normally get. Think of your telephone number: Even the phone company CANNOT put you in the publicly available directory unless you give them express permission to do so. Why should the treatment of e-mail addresses be different?

        Second, TND's primary responsibility is to serve as a Nepal Interest Group through the posting of news, views and so on. Strictly speaking, it therefore carries no obligation to give one Nepali's e-mail address to another Nepali, even if they happen to be father and son living on two different continents. That the editor has been giving out addresses on request should be attributed to his "being a nice guy". But it should never be mistaken as subscribers' "rights" or the editors' "duties".

        In fact, I would even urge the Editorial Board NOT to give out any member's address (except of the people on the masthead and contributors) but, instead, encourage readers to send in their "looking for falana" request to TND so that OTHER subscribers can give/pass e-mail addresses to the inquiring party in their PERSONAL capacities.

        Third, there exist substantial evidences that abuses of e-mail address list happen all too frequently on the net. If you don't believe me, why not spend a few minutes talking to experienced system administrators at your sites, and see what horror stories you can get?
        What guarantee is there that a wide cirulation of a PRIVATE e-mail list like that of TND members' list is immune from abuses?

        So, what do we do?

        Thankfully, Padam, Sushovit, Diwas and others have volunteered to compile a list of Nepali e-mail addresses at each their sites. Those who want to be on their list should get in touch with them, and give them the approval to put your names and addresses on their data-bases. That way, you'd be agreeing to make your e-mail address PUBLIC. If enough people respond to their requests, their lists could get substantially big over time, and this "need" to get Nepalis' e-mail addresses could be publicly satisfied without getting tripping into the sensitive area called privacy.

        This way, the folks who bring you TND can maintain their editorial
"sanctimony" while you get your "public good" (i.e. e-mail addresses of friends lost since kindergarten) from other explicitly arranged sources at Padam's, Sush's, and Diwas's.

        To play on Dorothy's words: "We're not in Nepal anymore, Toto!"

namaste ashu

********************************************************************************************** From: (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: Book Review To: (tnd) Date: Sat, 18 Feb 1995 10:45:58 -0500 (EST)

What follows is my review of a much-reviewed book. I have posted it here in the hope that it will still be of interest to some TND readers. This review was published in Spotlight Weekly of 20 May 1994

Book Review James F. Fisher, Sherpas: Reflections on Change in Himalayan Nepal, Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1990, xxv + 205 pp., Rs. 275.

by Pratyoush Onta

The first ethnographic monograph based on fieldwork done in Nepal, Christoph von Frer-Haimendorf's The Sherpas of Nepal: Buddhist Highlanders, was published in 1964. In the three decades since then, more than 15 doctoral dissertations and books have been written by various American, European (mainly German) and Nepali anthropologists on the Sherpas. Quite a few of these writers have noted the changes that have occured in the Sherpa homeland (and Nepal in general) since the 1950s. A general sense of alarm as to how various "modernizing" forces have wrought havoc on the cultures and lives of the diverse Himalayan peoples
(including the Sherpas) pervades much of the journalistic and scholarly writings on Nepal. However this literature, by and large, has remained silent on the roles played by modern schools and tourism in the changes it describes. Moreover, the roles played by foreign anthropologists in these changes, in their research or other avatars, have remained somewhat obscure. James Fisher's book under reveiw here addresses both of these shortcomings.
         Fisher's contact with the Sherpas began in 1964 when he was "not yet ... a bona fide anthropologist." While in Nepal as a Peace Corps teacher, he joined the Himalayan Schoolhouse Expedition led by Edmund Hillary of the Everest fame, and helped to build a few elementry schools and one STOL (short-takeoff-and-landing) airstrip in the Solu-Khumbu and Lukla areas of the Sherpa homeland. The airstrip, although built to effectively transport the supplies necessary for a hospital that Hillary constructed in the area in 1966, reduced the fourteen-day walk from Kathmandu to Khumbu to a forty minutes flight. After completing his doctoral dissertation on the Magars of northwest Nepal from the University of Chicago (see his Trans-Himalayan Traders , 1986), Fisher returned to Khumbu on multiple occasions to find that the number of outsiders who visited the area had increased from a handful in 1964 to about 3,500 by 1974 and almost double that number by 1986. The longevity of Fisher's association with the Sherpas coincides with the history of intense interventionist contact in the Sherpa homeland.
        The book is then partly a memoir spiced with poignant photographs of the "before-and-after" genre, and partly an anthropological analysis of the impacts on present day Sherpa society of modern education and mass tourism (in which Fisher includes mountaineering expeditions). In the first chapter, Fisher describes his involvement with the Himalayan Schoolhouse Expedition. His very readable narrative, constituted around excerpts from the diary he kept at that time, describes the many trials and tribulations that marked the construction of the schools and the Lukla airstrip. In the following chapter, Fisher briefly describes the pre-1960s Sherpa history, emphasizing that ever since their migration from eastern Tibet to their present homeland in Nepal at the end of the fifteenth century, Sherpa society has seen "a tradition of change."
        However, Fisher argues that the changes that have occurred with the coming of modern schools (as opposed to religious education imparted in the Buddhist monasteries of the area), a hospital, an airstrip and a large number of tourists have "in some ways fundamentally realigned the ecological, economic, and political pillars of Sherpa society." But this realignment does not mean, as Fisher shows in the next two chapters, a dilution of Sherpa identity. On the contrary, he argues that the education they received in schools have enabled educated Sherpas to take advantage of the tourist trade. Also, as their homeland was increasingly linked to the political and administrative infrastructure of Nepal, these educated Sherpas were able to deal with the central bureaucracy from an empowered position. Their relative prosperity has enabled rich Sherpas to assert their Sherpa identities, and take part in religious/cultural activities in their homeland in a scale not possible in the pre-1960s period. Therefore, Fisher argues that although many Sherpas have migrated out of the Solu-Khumbu area to Kathmandu and elsewhere, their cultural and economic linkages to their homeland remain strong. As should be obvious,
"imperialist nostalgia" (Stanford anthropologist Renato Rosaldo defines this as a longing for things one has helped to destroy) is not for Fisher.
        Before concluding, James Fisher resorts to "ethnographic futures research" by eliciting views from ten adult male Sherpas of various ages of what their middle-term future - a period of twenty years - holds. Significantly a variety of viewpoints were obtained. A majority of these men agreed that "education will be a more central and critical feature of Sherpa life" and that firewood and forest resources would be critically depleted in twenty years' time. Six thought that although there would be modest increases in the tourist trade, people in Solu-Khumbu would not benefit all that much from this growth.
        It is to be noted that the views of poor Sherpas and that of Sherpa women who have in general not been the direct beneficiaries of the tourist trade, are not included in Fisher's future research scenario. This reviewer gets the impression that Fisher's optimistic appraisal would have to be qualified when these views are taken into consideration. Recent publications have shown that the benefits of trekking/mountaineering tourism are not distributed equitably among those involved in this trade. The majority of the Sherpas who engage in portering get only the crumbs of the tourism pie. Also tourism's fluctuating fortunes in Nepal make it difficult to predict future scenarios with any level of confidence.
        Fisher's argument (regarding cultural reinvigoration) has parallels elsewhere in Nepal. Instead of naive descriptions of mono-directional cultural degradation, "sanskritization," or
"westernization," we have in some of the recent anthropological writings on Nepal, sophisticated representations of extremely complex cultural lives of people. Coinciding with this sophistication is, of course, the theoretical shift in anthropology where the identities of "natives" are no longer conceived as primordially given but rather as consciously chosen and asserted by a heterogeneous group of actors. Years of discussing the politics of representation have now made it difficult to accept academic work that makes essentialized claims about the subjects of research.
        Even as it discusses topics important to current agendas in anthropological theory, James Fisher's book is largely free of the anthropological jargon that makes some books unreadable. Its substantive contents and its readability should encourage others to look at the issues concerned in more detail. That some of this is already happening can be seen from Stanley F. Stevens' tome Claiming High Ground: Sherpas, Subsistence and Environmental Change in the Highest Himalaya (Berkeley, 1993). However, as senior anthropologist at the CNAS, TU, Dilli Ram Dahal, has pointed out on a number of occasions, Sherpas and their homeland have received a disproportionate amount of scholarly attention. It is time that researchers interested in pursuing themes highlighted by Fisher - cultural change in the context of modern education and tourism-inspired economy - examine other places and peoples within Nepal as well. The comparative insights that might come from such projects could really enhance our understanding of contemporary Nepal. END

************************************************************** Date: Sat, 18 Feb 1995 13:51 EST From: particle ana <> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - Feb 18, 1995 (6 Falgun 2051 BkSm) To:

In reply to Anak's search for his good old friend Yogendra: The last time I talked to him on the net was last year when he was at Trent University. I wonder if he's still at Trent 'cause I heard this rumor that he was transferring to some other school in Canada. You could still give it a try at YSHAKYA@TRENT.EDU.CA



*********************************************************************************************** Date: Sat, 18 Feb 1995 12:14:35 -0800 (PST) From: Amresh Karmacharya <> To: Subject: Lost!


The last mail failed to be sent. I do not know what was wrong. The address was correct of course. Anyway if you happen to see this message please do send a reply. I have few friends named Roshan Shrestha. I think I am not wrong to guess that you are the one doing Ph.D. in Israel in algology.


********************************************************* Date: Sat, 18 Feb 95 16:14:28 EST From: (Eknath Belbase - Math Grad) To: Subject: nepal in the news

Regarding the lack of US mainstream media attention given to events in Nepal-

Why do we WANT more coverage about Nepal? So we can get more information about what is going on in Nepal, or so that people here can? Or do we want to be able to feel that our country is more significant in the scheme of things as viewed from a US perspective? If it is for the first reason, there are plenty of non-mainstream sources of detailed news about Nepal
(TND included!). As for the second, lets remember that there are 100 other countries which are mentioned as infrequently as Nepal in the US News. When was the last time a "general" periodical had news about Botswana, the Maldives, the CAR, Mozambique (or just about every country in Africa except Egypt, Nigeria, Somalia and Rwanda)... if ever country was given SOME attention when significant internal changes occurred, weekly periodicals would probably average 4-5 hundred pages!

In addition, do we really WANT to see Nepal written about more in USA Today and Newsweek and Time? That is the best way to get incorrect, vague, silly
(add any pejorative) sensationalized bs going around. Instead of an almost complete ignorance about Nepal (I did a pseudo-random sample in Ithaca the other night - about 1 in 2 people could place Nepal in Asia, about 1 in 3 could place it between India and China, and about 1 in 10 knew it had a monarch. No one I asked knew that it had a monarch AND a "communist" prime minister. This in a town where half the people, especially half of the people you'd be likely to find in a bar, are in college or grad school) you would have the propagation of standard cliches, absurd romanticized articles straight out of National Geographic... think of the ideas one can get about the Middle East (a well publicized region) from reading some of the crap thats written about it! Contrast this with how some of these countries are like when one actually goes there.

Thinking about all of this, I feel pretty lucky that Nepal is completely ignored by mainstream US media. When *I* meet someone who knows almost nothing about Nepal (which is true of almost everyone I meet, excluding people who have taken anthro courses or are into mountaineering), but is interested, I can give them my version of things without having to fight any bs that's already there. If I were from Egypt or Lybia, this would be quite a challenge!

Cheers, Eknath Belbase

****************************************************************** Subject: testing To: Date: Sat, 18 Feb 95 18:35:05 MST From: "Rajendra Kumar Joshi" <> rajendra kumar joshi department of geomatics engineering university of calgary calgary, alberta. canada eml:

************************************************************************* Date: Sat, 18 Feb 1995 21:41:10 -0500 (EST) From: Ranjan Panth <rpanth@uceng.uc.EDU> Subject: BKS: A Clarification for Bhushan To: The Nepal Digest <>

> Ranjan Panth writes:
> > Can you tell me how much the following people have "given back" ? ( If you
> > know them, of course.) Sitaram Joshi, Subodh Bhatta, Sanjay K.C. and Kiran
> > Thapa have not ever thought about rural health or anti-AIDS. You may
> > say that they are the exceptions.
> Sitaram Joshi, who came board 2nd after being kicked out of BKS (from
> boarding housing, but not from the school) couple of months before the SLC
> exam, had an offer to study at Harvard for an undergraduate degree. He
> instead chose to study @ Bangladesh where he completed his medical school. I
> think he is back in Nepal right now.
> Bhushan.
        Sitaram Joshi is a very close friend of mine and I have known him for years. My point about "giving back" had to do with social service and not about what he has accomplished in life. My argument was that "social service" is not something that he really cares about, even though he is a BKS graduate. The same holds true for the other persons I have mentioned along with many, many others. I mentioned only those persons who were close to me and would not take offense to my using them as examples. Sitaram's academic achievements and disciplinary problems were the furthest from my mind when I wrote that piece. The same holds true for Subodh, Kiran and Sanjay. They are all great people. Bhushan misunderstood me. Maybe now he'll understand that I was only referring to their attitude toward social service and nothing else. Knowing Sitaram, Bhushan probably realizes that Sitaram did not study medicine to "help the poor and needy".

***************************************************************** Date: Sun, 19 Feb 1995 11:50 +0000 (GMT +8:00) From: K.PAUDYAL@CGNET.COM Subject: TAJA-KHABAR To: NEPAL <>

     UPLB Nepalese Students Organization (NSO) welcomed Dr. Kailash Nath Pyakurel, Member, Planning Commission, Nepal on Feb. 17 1995 at Los Banos, Philippines. During the meeting Dr. Pyakurel highlighted the policies of the government related to agriculture and rural development. Answering a question on how the present system is expected to make difference in the life of target population (rural) he opined that "the transparency of budgets/activities in local level planning/implementation units is expected to induce creative people's participation resulting in a strong positive economic effect".
     Dr. Pyakurel was here at Los Banos to participate in International Rice Research Conference held at IRRI during 13-17 February 1995.

*************************************************************** Date: Sun, 19 Feb 1995 03:16:58 -0500 From: (RaJesh B. Shrestha) To: Subject: Need advice: intro to Nepal?

Cross-posted from SCN:

> I'm going to be graduating soon and plan on making a trip overseas as a
> personal reward sometime in late 1996.
> ...
> If anyone would like to suggest a title or two, I'd be much obliged. I
> should be able to dig up the standard travel information without a
> problem, but if there's a book that "captures" Nepal, please suggest it.
> (does this group have a FAQ?)

I went to Nepal for 6 weeks last year, and it is my favorite place I have ever gone. (But then, I hadn't left the continent before.) I didn't do a whole lot of reading, except for travel books, which are all you can find without much trouble here anyway. Some are better than others. The "Insight Guides" book has really nice pictures and gives a nice introduction to many aspects of Nepal which are not covered in most travel books. The Lonely Planet series contains some good practical guide books. For trekking, Bezruchka's book is the most comprehensive. I forget the exact titles of all these, but I bought them all in Knoxville, so they can't be hard to find.

Travelling in Nepal is not difficult if you do a little reading and start early enough when getting your passport and immunizations. I had the impression that Nepal at least as safe as the US, and that Kathmandu is safer than Knoxville. The standard precautions and some common sense should suffice. You do have to watch what you eat and drink. I got sick three times, but not seriously.

This group doesn't have an FAQ. If you have WWW access, see Rajendra's Nepal Home Page at Dartmouth:
   <URL: > I have a trip report on the WWW:
   <URL: >

********************************************************************************************** Date: Sun, 19 Feb 1995 13:52 EST From:


Are the Indians punishing the nepalese people for daring to choose a communist govt, for endorsing a party that criticised the Congress govt of Girija for selling of Tanakpur, for favoring nepali industrialists over Indian capitalists, for asking for a review of the unjust treatis, or for demanding to regulate the labour that floods the Kathmandu markets?

These are questions that are on the mind of Nepalese who are closely watching the Indian response to the electoral changes late last year. The politicians on both sides operate within the lexicon of plausible deniability, diplomatic ambiguity, and obscure communique talk but close watchers develop rich contextual meanings to decipher the direction of change before things become so bad that it becomes a "prestige issue" to back down as when Nepal suffered when Rajiv and Birendra had a personal showdown of who is bigger in protocol
(Birendra would invite the President of India and the King of Bhutan but not the Primi Minister of India to his breakfast talk of heads of government when he was the rotating chair of the SAARC).

A couple of recent Indo-Nepal events deserve analysis here:

First the recall of Indian Ambassador Prof Bimal Prasad. Prof Bimal Prasad had been accused of being blatantly pro-govt, meaning not only pro-congress but also pro-Girija. Anti -Girija Congressis complained several times in local papers how the Indian Ambassador was doing Kissingerian shuttle diplomacy between Chetrapati and Baluwaterdurbars to prevent the fall of the Girija govt in the several earlier strains. Credit for averting several earlier challenges by Ganesh Man and later by Krishna prasad to bring down the govt of Girija through internal party mechanism has won Prof Bimal Prasad several extensions on his job as the Ambassador on specific Girija's request.

 Opinion is divided o whether Bimal was represented only the interests of the Indian govt or his personal selfish reason. for instance, indian interests are said to be closer to the visions of Ganesh Man and Krishna Prasad who both share a committment to socialism over Girija's capitalism, a political vision that Nepal's destiny is locked with India over Girija's perception that it is locked with US and Western interests and in the early stages many of the pro-Establishment papers of India such as the India Today and Times of India were giving negative pictures of the Girija govt and generally sympathetic pictures of anti-Girija Congress leadership while the Washington Post and the South Asia Desk in US State Department Ms Raphel strongly endorsed Girija. What possibly clinched Indian weight behind Girija is the demonstrated inability, call it incompetance, of both Ganesh Mand and Krishna Prasad to enginner the Congress party behind their leadership to throw out Girija. so when it came to stability vs instability, Indians opted for the "stable" govt of Girija.v

After the fall of Girija, the communists leadership openly accused the Indian Ambassador of meddling in the electoral politics of Nepal by supporting Girija. It was not specified what this "electoral meddling " was about. some say he called the Indian businessmen to give campign funds to Girija, others say he was speeching about instability over communist govt in Nepal and that the Indian govt did not want a party that was determined to make Tanakpur a major issue and so on.

It came as no surprise that when communists did come to power, Bimale, as he was derisively referred by his detractors, had to go. And swiftly he was recalled, ostentisively because his term was over several years ago, a face saver.

Following quick on the heels of Bimal's kickout, we had news of 3 Nepali diplomats in India being kicked out. The Indians would have loved to kick out a Nepali Ambassador himself, if for nothing else than to get even on the diplomatic tit-for-tat, but this pleasure was denied them by Chakra Bastola who resigned to contest Parliamentary elections. So next best thing is to kick out the 3 top diplomats short of the Nepali Ambassador including the First Secretary.

When I was in Nepal in jan, the Nepali press generally played this issue as only a personal morality case. Hey, we all know how corrupt these diplomats are right, abusing their diplomatic privileges to enrich themselves? So what is new if the Nepali diplomats did a little of thier own when they knewy they would be recalled when a non-congress gvot came to power. So 3 Nepali diplomats were "punished" for abusing diplomatic privileges to import contraband items from Singapore in the diplomatic immunity. This line of discourse fit the ruling Communist govt who wanted to tone down any sign of official indian displeasure and perceived lack of legitimacy by toning down Indian gestures as the personal things and hey it is comfortable believe that these Congressis are just corrupt sin-bags.

However, the Indians prefer to paint this gestures as political diplomatic displeasure against the Nepalese govt and the nepalese people for electing this govt. While the official Indian govt talks of "the ageless relationship between Indian and Nepali people, irrespective of the govt n power" it means just the opposite. "The relationship between nepal and India depends very much on govt in power. The innocuous dilomatic doublespeak, "irrespective of govt in power" is invoked only when this matters. What happened to this ageless special relationship that "swavimani Nepali" cringe about for fear of its national sovereignty being crushed in the brotherly embrace of INdia when Nepal's Marich Man's govt was being blockaded in all but 2 transit points and the treaty left expired? What happened to this ageless friendship when Indira Gandhi was campaigning that the Janata govt was being too subservient to Nepal by agreeing to a separate trade and transit treaty?

A few anti-govt papers of Nepal including, the rightist "Chaksu" claimed that India was "ghumao_ing" (i.e. literally playiing cat and mouse game) with the proposed visit of Deputy Prime Minister Nepal to India. Evidence of this dilly-dallying was refusing to accept the agrimor to endorse the proposed the Nepali Ambassador Prof. harsha narayan Dhoubdal until he had only 2 days before nepal visited to present his accreditation to the President of India. India is said to be cool to the proposal to require work permits for Indian labor in kathmandu and the communist govt demand for the reveiw of treaty.

It is interesting that "INDIA ABROAD" A Paper published in USA reports from their correspondent Ashok Easworan should report that:

" 'If one smuggle items to make personal profits, it cannot be overlooked,' an Indian government official said. The Nepali contention apparently is that Indian officials could have asked the diplomats to pay the customs tariff and ended the matter. But in December Indian authorities summoned the charge de'affairs of the Nepali Embassy and asked him to recall the three diplomats.

" A few days later a senior Nepali official arrived from Kathmandu and sissued a letter recalling the diplomats. Although the three have been recalled, Kathmandu is reported not convinced about the charges. 'it is felt that Indian authorities acted in haste and did not wait for an explanation from the three diplomats.' the PIONEER newspaper said quoting unidentified Nepali government officials."

THE NEAR FUTURE: Nepal in the Indian Scheme of Things

While there are familiar themes of macro-level hegemony of Indian interests over Nepal, the nature and contextual meanings are changing. For long democratic and secular India inherited the colonial perpective of the British India and the even more deeply embedded premise of "Akhanda Bhara" which the Bhratiya janata Party has insurrected to include Nepal firmly withing the Indian cultural, political, and economic entity. This attitude ingrained in the ossified values of the Indian foreign service, the brown sahibs, that make up the civil service of the South Block that houses Indian foreign offices interpreted Nepal in terms of Hindu refuge when India was partitioning during the early 1950s (so cunning Mahendra declared Nepal a Hindu state to get RSS and other Hindu parties to stop the border armed revold of BP's congress); this was again reinterpreted as anti-Communist buffer in line with the buffer state real politik after Indian suffered defeat from the Chinese in 1962; as brief respite of Janata govt largesse as a co-sufferant of Indira Gandhi's emergency erraticity; as possible refuge and nest of anti-Indian terrorits from the Sikhs, the Kashmiris, and the Tamils during the reign of Rajiv Ganghi; and now in the nineties, a continued suspciion for harboring anti-India terrorits (witness the alacrity with which Indiansecurity personnel roam around in full uniform and guns after suspected terrorists i kathmandu last year) and possible captured market for Indian capitalist interests.

The signal that indian interests are changing from the primal place of military and security interests of bulwarking against the communist takeover by china by building roads to commercial and economistic is heralded by the switchover of the switch of the foreign minister portfolio position from Dinesh Singh to Pranab Mukherjee. Dinesh Singh is an old Indira Ganhi insider with cold war real politik world view that privileges rigid security interests over flexible economic interests. Pranab Mukherjee is a respecrted economist turned politician with great deal of experienc ei India's revitalistion in recent years. The appointment of Pranab signals India's growing perception that their foreign interests are economic now that they do not have to worry about the containe d dangers of Punjab, Kashmir or Pakistan or other regional risks once Russia is out of the scene, US and the West is trying to actively Woo India with the prospect of a permanent seat in the UN security council on par with Germany, Japan, and China.

So on this logic, India is receptive to the communist govt of Nepal's demand for the revision of the Nepal-India treaty because many of the premises do not hold in post-cold war, yes, but cool to proposals to limit the growth of indian capitalist interests in Nepal, including Nepal's hydel resources, the labor market for its citizens of Bihar and UP, the restrictions on Indian business and investment ove rthe Nepali businessmen.

We have to see how this develops in the near future.

Amulya Ratna Tuladhar Clark University Massachusetts, USA

***************************************************************** Date: Sun, 19 Feb 1995 17:34:35 -0500 (EST) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <> Subject: Graduate Student's Anthem... (fwd) To:

                                                                                 A friend sent this to me, hope you like it,
> -------------------------------------------------
> The Graduate Student's Anthem
> song sung to the tune of hotel california!!!
> -------------------------------------------------
> In a dark deserted room,
> Brylcreem in my hair.
> Warm smell of unwashed socks,
> Rising up through the air.
> Up ahead on my PC...
> I saw a shimmering light
> My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim,
> I had to work through the night.
> As he stood in the doorway,
> I heard the Rush Rhees bells.
> And I was thinking to myself,
> 'two years of researching - and this could be hell'
> Then he picked up my paper,
> And he gave me an 'F'.
> there were voices down the corridor,
> Thought I heard them say,
> 'Welcome to the world of academia
> Such a lovely place, such a lovely place, such a lovely phase.
> Plenty of room at the world of academia,
> Any time of year. any time of year, you can get screwedout here.'
> My mind was stiff and a-twisted,
> The coursework never seemed to end.
> Got a lot of glassy genius boys,
> That we call friends.
> How they crammed in the libr'ry,
> Sweet summer sweat.
> Some mugged to remember,
> Some mugged to forget.
> So I called my advisor,
> 'Please make me a T.A.'
> He said ' We've never had such spirit here
> Boy, you really make my day'
> And now those students keep calling from .. far away,
> Waking up in the middle of the night,
> Just to hear them say
> 'Welcome to the world of academia,
> Such a lovely place, such a lovely place, such a lovely phase
> Livin' it up at the world of academia
> We don't mean to cheat, we don't mean to cheat,
> where's your answers sheet?
> Four years was my ceiling,
> Then came some advice.
> He said 'We are all just prisoners here
> Failed my defense thrice'
> In the dissertation chambers,
> The doctoral committee,
> They quiz him with their steely glares
> And he can't get his Ph.D.
> Last thing I remember,
> I was running for the door.
> I had to find a passage back
> To the place I was before.
> 'Relax', said the chairman,
> 'Til some results we receive.
> You can check out any course you like
> But you can never leave.'

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