Received: from mp.cs.niu.edu (mp.cs.niu.edu [126.96.36.199]) by library.wustl.edu (8.6.9/8.6.9) with SMTP id PAA17700 for <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Mon, 9 Jan 1995 15:09:33 -0600 Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu id AA02515 (5.67b/IDA-1.5 for nepal-dist); Mon, 9 Jan 1995 12:40:01 -0600 Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu id AA02495 (5.67b/IDA-1.5 for nepal-list); Mon, 9 Jan 1995 12:40:00 -0600 Date: Mon, 9 Jan 1995 12:40:00 -0600 Message-Id: <199501091840.AA02495@mp.cs.niu.edu> Reply-To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: The Editor <email@example.com> Sender: "Rajpal J. Singh" <A10RJS1@cs.niu.edu> Subject: The Nepal Digest - Jan 9, 1995 (25 Push 2051 BkSm) To: <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Content-Type: text Content-Length: 51749 Status: O X-Status: X-Keywords: X-UID: 79
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The Nepal Digest Monday 9 Jan 95: Push 25 2051 BkSm Volume 35 Issue 5
Note: There was a file update problem on the system last week. If
you or one of your friends are not getting TND, please re-subscribe!
Apologies for the inconvinience.
1. TAJA_KHABAR News from Nepal
Economics - Re: NPC
Ethnic Bias in NPC?
3. PUBLISHED ARTICLE - Vikas and Imperialist Nostalgia (KTM Post)
4. KATHA_KABITA - Poem: Still Not Found
Looking for .....
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From: email@example.com (Gopal Shah)
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 1995 11:48:05 -0500 (EST)
Thanks to all TND board members for this Matrimonial("Lami")
section. Let's hope through this section many hearts will join
together. At the moment, we have two candidates. If it works, we will
have more candidates.
Name: "Raju" Name: "Daya"
Height: 5' 8" Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 165 lbs. Weight: 155 lbs.
Caste: Brahmin Caste: Brahmin
Age Group: 25-30 yrs. Age Group: 25-30 yrs.
Education:BA in Chemistry,MBA Education: BA in Chemistry
Job: Work in a chemical company Job: Work in a chemical company
Location: Georgia,USA LOcation: Georgia,USA
Height: 5' 1" + Height: 4' 11"+
Age: 19 yrs+ Age: 19 yrs.+
Education: undergraduate Education: undergraduate
Interested candidates/parents can send confidential email to
firstname.lastname@example.org. PLEASE DO NOT CALL.All the confidential reports
including names will not be disclosed.
%%%% Editor's Note: Welocme to MATRIMONIALS! You quite possibly might %%%%
%%%% be the first romantic souls to be in matrimonial %%%%
%%%% "Nepali-Style" in Nepali history (Pratyoush, %%%%
%%%% please verify if I am correct). TND hopes more of %%%%
%%%% you will join in search of your soul mates. %%%%
%%%% Best of wishes and good luck! %%%%
Date: Sat, 08 Jan 1994 04:28:34 GMT
From: email@example.com (Mike Gawryletz)
Subject: Happy New Year
Hope this finds you well...
I'll keep this short:
My wife's sister is moving to Kathmandu in April...was wondering if there was a way to E-mail to there.
Date: Sat, 07 Jan 1995 13:53:32 MST
From: "VIVEK S. RANA" <RANA@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU>
Congressi Ambassadors resigns
----------------------------- News-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41
All the ambassador appionted politically by the Nepali Congress government resigned collectively yesterday. Those included were Thakkan Mallick (Burma), B.C. Malla (China), Gopal Sharma (Japan) Nepalese ambassador to Germany and Jai Raj Archarya Permanent UN Representative.
The UML Government announced that it will soon fill up the vacant ambassadorial positions.
The other news
UML reinstated 49 civil servants that were retired (dismissed) by the Nepal Congress government.
Date: 06 Jan 95 18:44:40 EST
From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha)
Trade Gap Soars as Carpet Sales Plunges
Excerpts from Reuters report
During the four months to mid-November, Nepal's trade deficit
skyrocketed to 11.64 billion rupees ($232.9 million) from 4.87 billion
rupees ($97.4 million) in the same period in 1993, Finance Ministry
Imports surged 28.3 percent while exports dropped 17.5 percent,
yielding a record trade gap.
Much of Nepal's trade is with its southern neighbour, India, with
which the kingdom had a 4.8 billion rupee ($96 million) trade deficit,
the central bank said.
Hand-knotted woollen carpets account for more than half of
Nepal's exports to countries excluding India.
Central bank officials who asked not to be identified said some
foreign buyers upset over the use of child workers to make carpets,
especially in Germany, had cut back on purchases.
Carpet exports plunged 36 percent between mid-July and mid-November
and clothing sales, for which figures were not available, were also
expected to weaken, government officials said.
Tulak Bikram Rana, chief controller of foreign exchange in the
Nepal Rastra Bank, the country's central bank, said the kingdom's
foreign exchange reserves could support 10 months of imports.
Five Envoys to be Recalled
Foreign ministry sources said Thursday that five Nepalese envoys will
be recalled soon. The ambassadors to Burma, China, Germany, Japan, and
the United Nations, all of whom are political appointees of the former
Nepali Congress government, will be recalled. Career diplomats will
not be recalled, the sources said. Narendra Bikram Shah will be asked
to become the permanent representative to the United Nations, while
Prof. Harsha Narayan Dhaubadel will become the abassador to
India. Tulsi Lal Amatya, a veteral communist leader, is to be
appointed as the ambassador to China. In an innovative move the new
government has placed ads to fill vacancies for 17 other offices,
positions that were traditionally given to party supporters. (Xinhua)
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 1995 19:02:03 -0500 (EST)
Subject: On NPC: The Question WHY from McGill
To: Nepal Digest <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is from Ganesh Pandey at McGill University, Canada.
It looks nice to have high sounding organizations, but I am
confused on why do we need NPC? My confusions are based on
the following points:
- Before election, all political parties have outlined their
economic programs in their election manifesto.
- The ruling party is supposed to implement their election
manifesto, at least in the beginning unless it turns out be
bad for the country, rather than working for the new one.
- This means planning is already over, hence there should
be implementation commission not the planning
- If the ruling party wants to fine tune its programs, then
NPC should be work under PM's supervision like all other
ministries. Its responsibilities should be limited on the day
to day task only.
- If the above points are false and the NPC members really
work hard to prepare economic planning then the ruling
party must have lied in the election. Otherwise paying
salary for NPC members is the waste of money. Lying, if
NPC comes up with different plans not mentioned in the
election agenda; Wastage, if they reconfirm the program
outlined in the election manifesto.
- Further, do the NPC members have some specific
deadlines on the submission of their reports? If so why they
keep on hanging on the post until the next government is
elected? If they do not have any deadlines then they are
working for the plans that will go in the waste basket? (all
the previous plans of the NC members must be in the waste
basket by now). Again waste of time and money.
-Or they will be working for preparing election manifesto
for the next election by using tax payer's money.
- If it is very important and above politics like judiciary
body then why is it reshuffled immediately after the
-Provided it is above politics, then all political parties
should be fighting the elections on the political ground not
on the economic policies, which is highly unlikely.
So no matter whether the NPC members are competent or
incompetent, but I am the wondering why NPC is there in the
first place? To give JAGIR for some party workers or to prepare
backgrounds for another election?
Fact: I even don't know the definition of planning and have
never taken any courses on economics. So please educate me.
Ganesh R Pandey, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
tel: (514) 8429057 (h), (514) 398 6871 (o)
********************************************************** From: email@example.com (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - Jan 5, 1995 (21 Push 2051 BkSm) To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Date: Fri, 6 Jan 1995 20:03:37 -0500 (EST)
Published in The
Kathmandu Post of 30 October 1994. Pratyoush
Vikas and Imperialist Nostalgia
By Lazima Onta & Pratyoush Onta
When asked about Nepal being often described as the Switzerland of Asia,
Toni Hagen once said "It [Nepal] is a wonderful country. It is in fact
more wonderful than Switzerland if you take into account the Nepali
people. The people here are open-minded. They are always smiling. This
is what the Swiss people have already lost. That is why Nepal is such a
fascinating country for us. What we have lost you still have. My main
concern is that with the opening of development aid in the region the
Nepali people may lose their identity. This is the real danger. You can
solve ecological problems. No amount of money can buy back the Nepali
identity and culture" (The Independent , 25 November 1992). Hagen, who we
know only through his writings, suffers from what the Stanford
anthropologist Renato Rosaldo has described as "Imperialist Nostalgia" in
his book Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis (1989).
Imperialist nostalgia, as Rosaldo defines it, is "a particular kind of
nostalgia, often found under imperialism, where people mourn the passing
of what they themselves have transformed." In other words, agents of
change, colonial and post-colonial, desire for the very forms of life they
have altered or destroyed intentionally. Rosaldo analyzes the works of
colonial military-administrators, missionaries and anthropologists like
himself and his wife, the late Michelle Rosaldo, in the Philippines for
evidence of imperialist nostalgia. The work of development consultants
like Toni Hagen are not included in Rosaldo's analysis, but undoubtedly
some members of this tribe provide the subject par excellence for studies
looking for evidence of imperialist nostalgia today. Just take Hagen's
Hagen's credentials as an agent of development in Nepal are well known and
need not be repeated here in their entirety. Over forty years ago, he
first came here as a member of the Swiss Mission for Development Aid.
While in Nepal, he did, among other things, extensive geological and
aerial surveys. Later he was responsible for starting Nepal's carpet
industry as part of the Tibetan refugee settlement program. His
interventions as an agent of development, we would suppose, were made with
the belief that life in Nepal could be improved through them. Without
belittling his contributions to that end, it should be pointed out however
that they must have been carried out in a rush with lack of
self-reflectivity regarding the nature of changes he was helping to bring.
That development means change, and that although positive changes are
hoped, it cannot be assured is a fact that nobody will quarrel with today.
That development efforts in Nepal have already greatly affected "Nepali
culture," both positively and negatively, is a fact that Hagen does not
seem to be aware when he is warning us about the impending danger of our
losing our "identity and culture." To say that his development efforts
have not yet affected "Nepali culture" P pay some attention to the
discussion about the carpet industry in Nepal today P is to make an
Moreover, for Hagen, our present "open-minded" and "always smiling"
selves P is the Swiss past that no longer exists. By constructing such a
time-line, Hagen compounds his imperialist nostalgia with an evolutionary
language that made the modernisation paradigm so attractive not too long
ago. Our development, that paradigm told us, was going to give us the
living standards of the industrial West. We just had to be patient before
we would "take off" to those standards. The ruins of that thought lay
strewn over our and many others' landscapes all over the world. In truth,
we are neither open-minded nor always smiling. The rigidities of our
caste and partially feudal society hardly qualify us for these
appellations. Our present is nobody's past. Nor is our future anybody's
present. Swiss folks and us co-live in this world in the present.
Defunct Notion of Culture: One reason Hagen suffers from compounded
imperialist nostalgia, we would like to suggest, is because of his
adherence to a notion of culture that cannot be supported under close
scrutiny. The notion that culture is static, something bounded, or only
to be found amongst people "without history" has been discredited among
certain brands of anthropologists who, because of historical connections,
have had an academic monopoly over the word. That culture somehow only
resides in life-cycle ceremonies, masked dances, and festivals, is a
notion that is now difficult to support. The anthropology that propped up
this increasingly defunct notion of culture largely legitimised itself, as
Johannnes Fabian has argued vigorously in his book Time and the Other
(1983), by denying coevalness to its subjects of study.
This means that the people being studied were always thought to be
existing in a time other than and prior to that in which the researcher
lived much like Hagen's time-line discussed above. The more illiterate,
the more rural, the more untounced by "modernity", the better was the
primitive subject of anthropology. Primitive culture was sometimes
thought to be what 'natives' deserved to have in the lower rungs of the
evolutionary ladder, or at other times to reside in the functions that
their social arrrangements performed to keep their primitiveness together.
At other times culture was thought to be all in the native's head as
postulated by an entire generation of cognitive anthropologists in the
1950s and the 1960s. Meandering through the thick descriptions of
intrepretive anthropology and several variants of "pratice" theories and
surviving the orgy of self-reflectivity that marked the "crisis" of
anthropology in the 1980s (at least in the US), culture is now thought to
be a hard-to-define, unbounded, variously localized, power-laden process.
When used in this sense, it becomes impossible to talk about "Nepali
Culture" as if it has remained as yet unaffected by millions of
development money that has poured into Nepal for the last 40 years.
Moreover, if simplistic representations of Nepal and Nepalis are to be
abandoned, we are not even sure what something like "Nepali culture" would
consist of. Hagen says that "Nepali people might lose their identity" as
if identity was a "thing" that was outside of and unaffected by time and
politics. Identity is more fluid than he and others like him would grant
us, although we recognise that it is not infinitely plastic. Supine
prajas whose obeisance was described in mythical terms until yesterday can
now call themselves sovereign. And if words like culture and identity are
to make any sense, then people who use them better learn ways to encompass
Hagen helped bring change into Nepal even as he may wish that "Nepali
identity and culture" remain unchanged. As Nepal now reels under the
stress of change, Hagen feels that the destruction of this Nepali identity
is his "main concern." Rosaldo wrote: "Imperialist nostalgia occurs
alongside a peculiar sense of mission, 'the white man's burden,' where
civilized nations stand duty-bound to uplift so-called savage ones....When
the so-called civilizing process destablishes forms of life, the agents of
change experience transformations of other cultures as if they were
personal losses." Hagen, an agent of change, is now experiencing
transformations in Nepal as a personal loss.
One might say that that is expected from someone who in the blurp to his
1961 book, Nepal, was described as someone who "can claim to know Nepal
better than any other foreigner." There it is stated that behind the man
who has travelled thousands of miles in Nepal " lie concealed such fatigue
and privations as only few explorers have experienced." But if this is so
then we say that it does not suit a man like Hagen to continue to mouth
words like culture, identity, "open-minded" and "always smiling" when
talking about Nepal and Nepalis. We expect him to do better.
By no means do we want to suggest that only foreign consultants like Hagen
suffer from imperialist nostalgia and its above-explained link with denial
of coevalness to Nepal and Nepalis. Hagen has lots of company, not only
amongst foreign consultants but also among his Nepali counterparts who
have now claimed "Nepali culture" as their subject of expertise. However,
in most of the cases, their training as social scientists does not prepare
them for suggesting remedial prescriptions required for interventionist
vikas work. But this is a subject that deserves separate scrunity.
Date: 6 Jan 95 17:03 -0800
From: Anil Tuladhar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>
Subject: Poem "Still Not Found"
STILL NOT FOUND
Eyes see scene,
Ears hear sound. Who is behind them,
Still not found.
Heart a fleshy lump
Acting as a pump. Throbs incessently
Sending blood around. Who is monitoring it
Still not found.
No wonder brain is there
An organic computer. Doing all calulations while
Weighing just a pound. Who is operating it,
Still not found.
Every system with proper provisions
Every organ with proper labour division. Nay whole design is prone to age
And decay bound. Who is that failing engineer,
Still not found.
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 1995 22:33:37 +0900
From: Gyaneswor Pokharel <email@example.com>
Ashu wrote ?
>>>I would rather have a rigorously trained (in ANY
>>>discipline, including mathematics or history!)intelligent GENERALIST who
>>>shows these three qualities...
Then, Belbase wrote!
>>I definitely agree with you there. Certainly "experts" who have been
>>doing narrow research for years would be better in universities. However,
>>experts who have a multi or interdisciplinary education and work experience
B ################################### B >>(preferable lots of it) would, I think, be great. B >> My comment:
Before,Belbase ji make further comment on experts...., I want to raise objections regarding his comment on the aforementioned statements.
As the world is moving from 20th century to 21st century, you can see many
new disciplines have emerged or divided/separted from mother discipline,
whether it is your maths or my civil engineering branch.
In the first half of this century, the civil , mechanical or electrical
engineering were distinguished only after the completion of second year
studies. Now it has almost come to a stage that you may not be allowed
to switch just after you complete first year course, because the discipline
has become such a vast that the rest three year is not enough to study
even the basic of civil engineering and most of the universities just
outline today what is basic philosophy in civil engineering and
they give the rest responsibility to the organisation/company where the
graduate will work. The company usually train these fresh employees
according to their demand and they become very specialized in their field,
rather than confusing with vast knowledge, which is sometimes called
as "jack of all - master of none". Then, some of those students who
completed undergraduate enter into the Masters level where usually
30 hour credit is expected to complete within one year. In these
30 credit you can usually take 10-12 subjects, thus within these 10
subjects if you go for really multidisciplinary subjects from
history to mathematics then I wonder what the student can learn
and I will raise why should the student be given Masters degree
in the particular subject because he hardly knows the subject matter
of his discipline. Fruthermore, most of the universities offer
one year research program in second year of Masters degree which
should be considered by the student the year allocated to understand the
ways to tackle problems related to his discipline, rather than
calling him-self expert of that narrow Masters thesis topic.
If you really do independent research as Masters thesis, you
can tackle all most all the problems related to your Masters level
studeis and also can identify the solutions to Many problems
(provided you have enough time) relevent to your undergraduate discipline, too. Therfore, my conclusion is that research you do at universities is aimed to teach you how to tackle problems rather than confining yourself the Master of your thesis title. Once, you succeed conducting research studies you are supposed to handle most of the problem encountered as practicing man " professional".
Eventhough I hear multi-disciplinary courses offered in many
universities, do you really think they are really multi-disciplinary ?
My understanding is that they are multi-disciplinary within the
framwork of mother discipline.
You said Research works in the univesity only. This is
not correct. The usefullness of a research depends on what level
of research you conduct. If your research is realted to a topic
of industrial demand, which is called a basic research, then
the research output is instantly implemented by the industry
or the public. Otherwise, the research will be published in a journal
and piled in library for years and if worth someone in next century
may dig it out, other I call it just a production of #PAPER#
good for recycling in developed countries and for packing
#chana chat-pat# in Nepal, nothing else. Therefore, those who do the research what public/industry demands can work everywhere and need not be confined in the university. Only thing is you should be practical researcher rather than theoretician talking about millions of light year away galaxy.
Eknath ji, I will put one joke and I express my sincere applogies
because there is one character who is also mathmatecian. This joke
is not meant to hurt you.
" many of us have heard of the following joke, I also heard this
in my school days where I used to mean in different way than I
mean here : (It was also told by one very famous Professor as well as
vetran professional practicing engineer in an international conference
of my field).
Somewhere, one beautifull girl wanted to get marry. So, she
posted a wanted notice and based on her requirements two candidates
were screened for final selection. Then, she proposed one last
question, when she asked them to stand 5m away on right and
left sides. Then, she said O.K> gentlemen, you are allowed to jump once
only half of the distance between you and me. Out of these two
candidates one was professional engineer and the other was
excellent pure-mathematician. Both had good knowledge of mathmatics.
Just after the whistle they started jumping, and approaching her.
Within 6th jump the professional engineer touched whereas the
pure mathematician was still calculating the 5/2, 5/4, 5/8... and
so on. The girl announced that she is going to marry with the engineer.
When asked to engineer why did you touched her when the distance was still
about 15cm, then he said in his calculation compared to 5m the 15 cm was
tolerance (3%), so he thought it is enough.
The girl's reply was that she was searching a practical man who works
according to situation and importance of the objective, thats why
the engineer was more practical , so was her selection.
In layman's concept she married with the engineer because he earns money
in Nepal more than usual mathematics teacher.
Therefore, we should do research practical and situational which
is acceptable in practice as well as in university teaching.
P.S. Happy new year to all TND staff and readers.
From: Ashutosh Tiwari <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Mid-Night Thoughts While Listening to Bacchu Kailash
To: Nepal Digest <email@example.com>
What follows is very long; if you do not have the time, please skip this, but, if interested, please read later at your leisure. Thank you. ashu
Previous [personal] letter from Ganesh Pandey, a long post by Padam Sharma, and a recent post by Amulya Tuladhar have convinced me that my views on 'what makes a leader', either in Nepal in general and the NPC in specific, have been seriously misinterpreted to serve a rather NARROW set of criteria.
Perhaps I had not made my points clearly: Let me make another attempt.
1) WESTERN EDUCATION: I was surprised that almost all commentators,
on both TND and SCN, seemed to assume, rather automatically, that I was
talking about western educational degrees as some sort of prerequisites to
being [political or other kinds of] leaders in Nepal. I WAS NOT! Nowhere
in my various posts have I mentioned that a western education works
wonders to be a political or other kinds of leaders/ministers and so on
Nepalis of any ethnicity, educated anywhere, either formally or
informally, can become leaders -- especially in things away from politics
-- if only they demonstrate and continue on with both the commitment and the dedication to their chosen public or private causes. [Dilli Choudhary is not that educated by the standards of almost all TND readers; but he's doing much more amazing and influential work! And I'm sure that there are other such leaders, of all ethnic groups, in all regions, quietly bringing about positive changes in their communities.]
2) QUALIFICATION OF MINISTERS: I understand that both political and
personal considerations on the part of the prime minister -- regardless
of the Party s/he represents -- do play a big role in who becomes ministers
and so forth. But I believe that being a Nepali State Minister SHOULD
not be a cushy reward for party karya-kartas on the mere basis of their
seniority, number of years served in jail, their personal suffering and
other highly subjective criteria.
To be sure, their seniority, years spent in jail and suffering under
the Panchayat should be honored and publicly respected; but those 'points'
must not be the OVERWHELMINGLY DOMINANT criteria for any new prime
minister to choose his ministers. A minister, after all, is there to
serve the entire nation. And that is why, in a little more ideal Nepal, the
"baggage of qualifications" -- consisting of education, professional training, experience, competence, sensitivity, integrity and so forth -- that a person -- of any party -- is likely to bring to meet the
"challenges facing the country" would be given more serious considerations.
[I am aware, however, that this is also a set of subjective criteria; yet, I would argue that these represent at least a BETTER or at least more publicly palatable degree of subjectivity than the previous set.]
As a citizen of Nepal, I am heartened, however, by two recent
acts of the UML government: A) Their decision to make the wealth-figure
of the ministers public; and B) Their decision to fill in the general
manager-ship of various corporations by publicly soliciting resumes.
[Of course, with regard to B), I would have been even happier had the government gone ahead with the gradual privatization of those corporations so that the shareholders themselves could hire and fire their OWN managers. That would at least free the government to be the umpire to make and enforce relevant [business] laws so that LEGALLY FAIR processes of business could prevail.]
3) NPC: In his last post on TND, Amulya called for an ethnically
diverse NPC. I agree with Amulya's conclusion, but NOT with his reasoning.
First, Amulya wonders how come there are no other Nepali "experts"
beyond the usual representation of bahun-chettri-newar (in that order!).
[Aside: this is reminiscent of the 'fights' going on in the
American academy to hire and tenure Black faculty members: The argument
there being, with 11 percent of Americans being Blacks, how come there
are not enough Black professors at the universities? A good, sincere
question, but a depressing one -- when you consider that the number of
Black scholars with PhDs is disproportionately so low that most American
universities are simply reduced to the game of chasing the same handful of
Black scholars from coast to coast. But the over-arching remedy here is
not to hire Black professors indiscriminately just to increase their
number on campus but to do two things: First, continue to recruit
aggressively; and, second, more importantly, do everything possible to
attract, support, nurture and encourage more and more Black students to
consider careers in the academia. The latter, I believe, is lot more
important for the FUTURE of the American academy if diversity is
to continue to be cherished, respected and celebrated.]
In Nepal, ethnic diversity should matter and should be celebrated
and respected publicly through all media of communication. I agree with
Amulya, Dor Bahadur Bista notwithstanding, that for too long only a few
select groups of bahun-chettri-and-Kathmandu ka newars have dominated the
socio-political structure in Nepal [read: Kathmandu].
I agree too that the state must take the marginalization of various
communities into consideration when making decisions regarding public
health, education and so forth. Indeed, how to bring the usually neglected
jana-jatis and the tarai-basi into the center of "development
activities" should be the concern of any Nepali government -- though, quite
frankly, my knowledge and experience are too inadequate to suggest
[However, I do think that the American-style Affirmative
Action would be harder to work with in Nepal, where just about everybody
seems to be some sort of an ethnic minority. For example, Newars, on the
strength of their number, would certainly count as even 'smaller' minorities
than, say, the Bhojpuris. Yet, despite their smaller
percentage-of-the-population, no one can deny that Newars, as a group, have
done visibly much better (that is, in education, business, industries and
so on) than the collective visible gains of the Bhojpuris. Now, how would
the American-style affirmative action -- which, in theory, should be fair to
ALL minorities -- take such extant differences into account? Aside: What
do other Nepalis think? What do former Peace Corps volunteers think about
Having said all that, let me argue -- if on the contrary --
that Amulyas's implied reasoning for an ethnically diverse NPC is flawed.
I think it would be a disaster to hand out an NPC post to, say, Mr. Nar
Bahadur Tamang, PhD (a fictitious name) just because he's a Tamang or to
hand another NPC portfolio to Mrs. Shyama Lawati (another fictitious
name) just because she's a woman. To hire Mr Tamang and Mrs. Lawati
SOLELY on the basis of their ethnicity and gender is to INSULT both the
Tamangs and the women, and to pander to the potentially divisive idea of
ethnic and gender tokenism.
Sure, I agree that ethnicity and gender should matter, and that
people who had historically been denied access to 'higher' opportunities
should be given chances -- BUT ONLY AND ONLY WHEN ALL ELSE IS EQUAL. In
other words, the hiring criteria for Mr. Tamang should be that he's a
professionally respected expert (of whatever that's relevant to NPC)
first; NOT that he's an educated Tamang and that that's the ONLY
criterion to get into NPC! Still, in other words, to be hired in
NPC or any other organizations, being an educated Tamang
should be the feather in Mr. Tamang's cap -- not the cap itself! [Remember,
Dr. Harka Bdr. Gurung? Isn't it safe to say that regardless of his
ethnicity, Gurung is the most-respected-professionally geographer of his
generation in Nepal? And that we can say that . .. isn't that wonderful?]
Otherwise, by using Amulys's 'ethnic criteria' to choose NPC members,
I fear that in an ethnically diverse nation-state like ours, there
is great potential for misuse and abuse of the "ethnic-card". [Here, I
wonder how relevant a discussion of India's Mandal Commission would be . . .!]
Of course, the best way to train Nepal's future policy-makers is to
spend more money on and make the quality of instruction better at Nepal's
hundreds of public schools -- from those in Fikkal, Ilam to those in
Dadheldhura -- that have unfortunately been NOT able to train ALL
students of all backgrounds and ethnicities everywhere to be active,
participating citizens! [Another argument against BKS!].
4) Finally, a few words on Amulyas's quibble regarding the economics
departments at Harvard [and LSE] and his implication that what they teach
is NOT relevant to most Nepalis:
To that all I can generally say is this: Sure, I may not have learnt many 'relevant-to-Nepal' things at my university, but I've surely learnt to think much better and more clearly (at least, in moments of desperation, that's what I would like to believe!) than when I first arrived here. I am sure that most of you feel the same way about your universities either in the US or elsewhere.
And now that I've been taught to think a little more sharply, I,
as a citizen of Nepal, like many of you, cannot stop attempting to
apply my parts of my academic training to think more clearly and in detail
about the problems, the challenges, the opportunities and the
successes facing Nepal -- the place where I sincerely hope to establish
a career (after first paying back my depressingly large amount of
educational loans, that is! :-). Still, if education in the United States
or elsewhere prepares many of you and me to make a meaningful
contribution to Nepal -- either from abroad or by physically being in Nepal
-- in whatever way to your tole, community, jilla, gaun or chosen profession, then I would say that that in and of itself IS RELEVANT TO ALL NEPALIS, regardless of whether you study economics or history or philosophy or mathematics or computer science or engineering!
Enough said. What do others think? See you at the end of Januray.
Bacchu Kailash has reached the end of the tape . . .
******************************************************************* Date: Sun, 08 Jan 1995 16:01:13 -0500 (EST) From: Shirish <RANJITS@WABASH.EDU> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - Jan 6,
1995 (22 Push 2051 BkSm)Ethnic Bias in NPC
I against these types of separatist ideas. We have to select the
commission on the basis of academic excellence because this commission is
responsible for bulding our country. Hey we are all Nepalese and our
main interest is to make the country better not worse by separating
ourselves in different groups. We have to be loyal to our country and
its development. We should spend our energy in up bringing all the
people's life. So why argue in how the NPC should compose. We should
select those who are able to bring some change not the bullshitters.
Anyway, make peace and be one, lets not divide ourselves. We have to be
strong by being together.
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 1995 17:07:04 -0500
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rajendra P. Shrestha)
Subject: Deputy PM to visit India in February
Deputy PM to visit India soon
Excerpts from AFP, UPI and Xinhua reports
The Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Madhav
Kumar Nepal will visit India next month to pave the way for a visit by
Prime Minister Manmohan Adhikari. In an interview with the official
Rising Nepal, Mr. Nepal said, "Although there has not been a formal
invitation from india for my visit, it has been thought that the visit
will take place in the first week of february and talks are going on
for the visit." "We are still in a process of preparation and issues
to be taken up in New Delhi are yet to be finalized," he said.
The Nepalese premier is due in India in March at the invitation of
Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. It will be his first foreign
visit after taking office as Nepal's first communist prime minister in
Trade, an open border, Bhutanese refugees and the Tanakpur accord
with India will be some of the issues to be discussed, the newspaper
quoted the minister as saying. In the interview, Nepal said that the
1040-kilometre (650-mile) frontier should be regulated to check
smuggling and illegal immigration from India.
He also said that Nepal will seek Indian and international support
to send home more than 100,000 Bhutanese refugees living in camps in
East Nepal. In the interview, the minister said that ''Bhutan should
take back its people with honor and dignity because Nepal could not
continue to bear the heavy burden of the refugees. ''For this, we
expect good understanding from the Bhutanese government and seek
cooperation and support from India and the international community.''
Nepal's previous government, run by the Nepali Congress party that was
defeated in November's election, attempted unsuccessfully to resolve
the refugee crisis through bilateral negotiations with Bhutan.
The minister also said that the thorny issue of the Tanakpur dam
treaty would also be on the agenda. The two countries signed an
agreement in 1991 whereby Nepal would receive free electricity and
water from the India-based hydro-electric facility in exchange for
land in Nepal used by the project. But the treaty still needs to be
ratified by the Nepalese parliament. In the interview, Mr. Nepal said
that the new government would seek "corrections" to the Tanakpur River
accord. ''Prior to the ratification by Parliament, the Tanakpur accord
needs some corrections,'' he said. The communists, when they were the
opposition, accused the Nepali Congress party of selling Nepalese
interests in the multi-purpose river project on the common river
border with India. ''Without a good understanding between the leaders
of the two countries, the Tanakpur problem cannot be sorted out
More than 50,000 Children Labourers in Kathmandu
A study by the Child Welfare Centre in Kathmandu has reported that
there are more than 50,000 children below the age of 14 working as
labourers in Kathmandu, writes the daily Kantipur. Of these 9,500 are
working as domestic helpers. Some 20 percent of the children serving
as domestic servants said they had been sexually abused by their
Some 6,000 children are employed in restaurants, most of them
working more than 13 hours daily. Another 8,000 are working in garment
and carpet industries, the report says. Apart from this, 5,000 others
are involved in prostitution, about 25,000 are homeless and there are
nearly 300 street children in Kathmandu Valley. The average age of girl
children in prostitution is from 11 to 17, the report says. According
to the report, More than 70 percent of the child labourers are
Meanwhile, the government has postponed the issuing of "child
labour free" certificates to Nepalese carpet manufacturers for
unspecified reasons. The "child labour free" certificate was
originally due to come into force over two weeks ago. (DPA, Xinhua)
Government Asks World Bank to Postpone Meeting on Arun Project
The Nepali government has asked the World Bank to postpone its
January 9 meeting scheduled to decide the fate of the Arun-III hydro
project. In a letter to the Bank, the Nepalese government is seeking a
three week delay to explore avenues of cutting down the cost of the
project and easing some of the Bank's conditionalities.
Water resources state minister Hari Pandey, speaking to Xinhua,
said, "if the road to the project area is constructed by nepalese
instead of foreigners, the country would save 3.6 billion rupees
(73.46 million us dollars) for the 800 million us dollars project." Asked about if the world bank would be willing to ease the "harsh" conditionalities, Pandey said, "we should not blame the world bank because these conditionalities were imposed as the previous governments could not keep financial discipline nor guarantee proper use of the loans."
The world bank's conditionalities on the Arun Project include:
-- only those experts deputized by the bank should be employed on the
-- the power tariffs in nepal should be increased 85 percent
-- the government should accept the terms put forward by the
multinational corporations with regard to small economic structures,
-- the government should not undertake small and big economic
construction projects without getting the permission of the world
Supreme Court Reinstates Fired Workers
Excerpts from UPI report
Two special benches of the Supreme Court has ordered the
reinstatement of 39 civil servants forced into retirement by the
previous administration. The court said the decision of the previous
government under the Nepali Congress party, which had forcibly retired
2,000 workers to streamline the administration was illegal. The
supreme court also rejected the petition by the previous
administration to review the court's decision to reinstate 26
employees it had ordered rehired. The previous administration's
decision to push employees into retiring was immediately questioned
when it rehired 11 people as secretaries in various ministries on a
Custom Officials Intercept Money
Excerpts from UPI report
Customs officials at Katmandu International Airport have recovered
more than $500,000 in cash and traveler's checks from a Danish
national and a toilet on an aircraft about to take off for Hong
Kong. Customs officials found more than $360,000 in cash and $28,000
in traveler's checks in the toilet while searching the Royal Nepal
Airlines plane shortly before it was to take off for Hong Kong.
Police found another $100,000 in cash and $25,000 in traveler's checks
on a Danish national who was going to Hong Kong on the same aircraft.
The money was hidden in bandages around the Dane's legs, airport
officials said. The Dane was arrested for questioning, authorities
King Accepts Resignations of five Ambassadors
Excerpts from UPI and Reuters reports
King Birendra has accepted the resignations of five ambassadors,
officials said Saturday. An official statement issued on Saturday said
King Birendra had accepted the resignations of ambassadors Bharat
Prasad Dhital (Tokyo), Basudev Chandra Malla (Beijing), Gopal Prasad
Sharma (Bonn), Thakkan Malik (Rangoon), and Jaya Raj Acharya, Nepal's
permanent representative to the United Nations. All five were
appointed by former prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala, whose party
was defeated in recent elections.
Sources in the Nepalese foreign ministry, seeking anonymity, said
however that all five were asked to step down after the Communist
Party of Nepal -Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) formed the minority
government in November 1994.
Nepal has not appointed any ambassador to Washington after Yog
Prasad Upadhyaya was recalled in 1993 following differences between
him and Koirala.
The communist government will also have to appoint a new ambassador
to New Delhi, a post which is lying vacant after Chakra Prasad Bastola
resigned to be elected to the Nepalese parliament.
The new government has appointed Basudev Dhungana, a former
minister and a lawyer as ambassador to China, while Narendra Bikram
Shah, a former diplomat will head the Nepali mission to the United
Nations, foreign ministry sources said.
Date: Mon, 09 Jan 95 08:42:44 EST
From: "Thapa, Khagendra" <KTHAPA@MUSIC.FERRIS.EDU>
Subject: Looking for my friend
I am looking for my friend Bimal Keshary Poudel. He used to teach in
Forestry Institute in Hetauda. I was told he is somewhere in Malaysia
now. I wonder if anybody knows where he is now. I would really
appreciate it if you could send me his internet address (if available).
I have been working at Ferris State University for the last
Dr. Khagendra Thapa
Professor, Surveying Engineering
Big Rapids, Michigan.
%% END OF "THE NEPAL DIGEST". %%
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