Received: from mp.cs.niu.edu (firstname.lastname@example.org [188.8.131.52]) by library.wustl.edu (8.8.5/8.8.5) with ESMTP id JAA04497; Thu, 15 Jul 1999 09:23:53 -0500 (CDT) Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu (8.9.3/8.9.3) id HAA06475 for nepal-dist; Thu, 15 Jul 1999 07:02:29 -0500 (CDT) Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu (8.9.3/8.9.3) id HAA06470 for nepal-list; Thu, 15 Jul 1999 07:02:28 -0500 (CDT) Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 07:02:28 -0500 (CDT) Message-Id: <199907151202.HAA06470@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 - July 15, 1999 (4 Shrawan 2056 BkSm) To: <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Content-Type: text Status: O X-Status: X-Keywords: X-UID: 312
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The Nepal Digest Thurs July 15, 1999: Shrawan 4 2056BS: Year8 Volume88 Issue2
Today's Topics (partial list):
Men of Conscience and Principles
Women and Environment
MaHa in America tour
Literary South Asia
* TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
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* +++++ 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: "Rohini Sharma" <email@example.com> To: The Nepal Digest <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Fw: Men of Conscience and Principles Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 09:01:45 -0700
A friend at work forwarded this to me at work. Its interesting fact and I
am not sure how many of us knew it. I was not aware of it. Thought you may
like to read as well. Happy 4th of July to all of you. With regards,
President, Nepalese American Council
Men of Conscience and Principles
Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the
Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured
before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two
sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds
or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged
their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind
of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were
farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But
they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the
penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships
swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties
to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move
his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and
his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and
poverty was his reward. Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of
Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British
General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters.
He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was
destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt. Francis Lewis had his home and
properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13
children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to
For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find
his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later he died from
exhaustion and a broken heart. Norris and Livingston suffered similar
Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution.
These were not wild eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken
men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty
Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of
declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence,
we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred
They gave you and me a free and independent America. The history books
never told you a lot of what happened in the Revolutionary War. We
didn't just fight the British. We were British subjects at that time and
fought our own government! Some of us take these liberties so much for
So, take a couple of minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and
thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they
Lest we forget:
"You would be surprised how much we can get done if we don't care who gets
From: SHREEJANA THAPA <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, July 03, 1999 1:00 PM
Subject: Re: article for TND
Women and Environment: A Symbiotic Relationship
By Shreejana Basnet-Thapa
Nepalese women's population outnumbers men almost fifty-three
to forty-seven percent and, naturally, they play a paramount role in our
country's overall development. Most of these women are still
self-employed and homemakers. To this end, women are the primary consumers of water, fuel and food since they carry the responsibility of cooking and cleaning for the entire household. But their work is not limited to doing household chores - it extends from the farm to the forest. As Bennett and Pradhan state that sixty-seven percent of their time is spent working in agriculture farming: planting, harvesting, irrigating and taking care of the animals. Women do over half the tasks associated with agricultural production in Nepal (WRCUN 1), where more than ninety percent of the people depend in agriculture for sustaining their livelihood.
If Nepal truly wants to enhance its development efforts, it
recognize women as the primary producers of goods and services. This
awareness must be based in the inter-relatedness of women to household
work, agriculture, forest and other natural resources and the factors
contributing to rapidly increasing environmental degradation in Nepal.
Hence, women, protection of environment or natural resource conservation and economic development in Nepal have a very intrinsic and intertwined relationship. However, this symbiotic relationship may no longer be possible without the Nepalese women's renewed and proactive participation.
It is obvious that the Nepalese women play a much larger role
in the society than just performing the task of procreation and doing household work. Therefore, their role in preserving the environment cannot be overemphasized. But, their contributions are recognized neither by policy makers nor by planners who are responsible for the political and economic management in which women rarely participate (or are rarely allowed to participate). Consequently, most projects have given only verbal commitment to the inclusion of the rural female in their activities, and have bypassed the female farmer in their education and extension programs (Schroeder and Schroeder, 1979). So far, the most devastating impact of the depleting environment has been on women as Vandana Shiva points out in Development, Ecology and Women: "Insufficient and inadequate participation in development was not the cause for women's increasing underdevelopment; it was rather, their enforced but asymmetric participation in it, by which they bore the costs but were excluded from the benefit, that was responsible . it destroyed women's productivity both by removing land, water and forests from their management and control, as well as through the ecological destruction of soil, water and vegetation systems so that nature's productivity and renewability were impaired."
In any event, we are slowly beginning to understand by now that conservation and management of natural resources should be the prime concern of any development plan in Nepal. In other words, development cannot and should not be achieved at the cost of the environment. We must seek a harmonious balance between development and ecology. Because of their heavy involvement in agricultural fields, soil, water and forest, Nepalese women are uniquely suited to fulfill a crucial role in conserving and nurturing our precious natural environment. In the same vein, not only Nepalese women fulfill a crucial role in this critical area, but they are also cost effective and it is the most convenient way of preserving our environment. Furthermore, it will also increase self-reliance while reducing outside assistance. Women
are already familiar with the management of soil, water, plants, animal and agriculture production. Their knowledge must be augmented with modern and scientific know-how, improved agricultural skills, technology, innovations, and so on. These new skills can be taught to the local women with a minimum of cost rather than bringing outside experts to work in the villages. Moreover, Nepal also must search for new ideas or paradigms because old ideas have simply not worked. To begin with, we must learn to efficiently manage our domestic resources; they include both human and material resources. A broader participation of not only the urban elite but also the vast number of rural poor (both men and women included) should be the criteria of any development plan. The prevailing state-centered, top heavy or top down bureaucracy-led development plan is not working. It has never reached down to the society where the vast number of people live at the lowest rung of world's economic ladder, especially women. Nor it ever will as long as we stay on the current course. No one can, perhaps, honestly argue that we have outlived the utility of all public sectors. But the state-centered development policy has been too dominant and it has given no real opportunities for private enterprises or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to grow. Neither the state nor the NGOs will solve the developmental problems single handedly. There must be a combined efforts from both sectors. The history of NGOs in Nepal is very short. They started during mid eighties and began to grow rapidly after the ninety's revolution which reestablished democracy in Nepal. Already few women-led NGOs and environment-related NGOs have established an impressive record. However, many of them are burdened with over regulations and others, because of lack of regulations or proper supervision, are functioning without any accountability. They lack an effective central regulatory organization that helps them to be in proper place. In addition, these NGOs are also not very well linked with international organizations. As a result, these organizations are not performing what voluntary organizations should be performing. In fact, they have become as inefficient and corrupt as most government agencies are, if not more. Nonetheless, voluntary organization should be encouraged with proper regulatory guidelines. They have the potential to create "participant" political culture like they did in Western Europe and the United States of America.
To encourage the people to understand the importance of women's involvement in the conservation and protection of environment, we must emphasize women's participation in forestry, agriculture and development activities. Most of the rural people hold opinion that no investment should be made on things that do not give immediate return because most peasants live on marginal or insufficient land to support their basic livelihood. The government and the media should take the initiative of disseminating information, educating and creating awareness about the significance of our environment. But more fundamentally, Nepal must work towards restructuring its political and social institutions, values, behavior, and attitudes, which conform to the present-day nation's need and global reality. Thus, the role of women and protection of environment should be the prime concern of any development plan. Only, then, a genuine and sustainable development may ensue in Nepal.
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 15:03:51 -0500
Subject: A POEM
Traditional wedding band sound is
Travelling swiftly in the thin air of
This mountain valley.
There is excitement in this
Serene village with mud huts.
Mass of humanity focused for this
Occasion and others who are trying to
Look busy are milling around.
I can't help to wonder
How perfect the setting is ?
The heart piercing music echoing
Through the white peaks
And the prayers flag fluttering
In the wind sending prayers
To the heaven.
The color red everywhere ?
The mocha color sunburned
Forehead covered with red powder
The soft arms of the women
Covered with red bangles
And their slim hard working body
Covered with beautiful red saris
Mouth watering food covered
With red paprika
The red hue of the sun reflecting
>From the mountains in this crisp evening,
It all seems like a very surreal Painting from Dali?s canvas. Even the flickering flames of oil lamp And candles seem crimson red.
Red is auspicious I have been told.
But when I go to bride?s room to
Satisfy the hungry eye of my camera
I can?t believe what I am
Seeing through my lens.
A terrified child made up like a doll.
I want to scream she should be Doing homework for her 5th grade class Or playing with dolls , or jumping rope With her friends carefree. But she is the bride. Tomorrow her whole world will change, She will be far away from the world she knows Thrust into an alien universe- A child in captivity. I hear people rushing through Pushing my frozen body. I hear a sound barely audible She is needed on the Stage for the ceremony.
I walk out of that narrow
Mud hut room
To the twilight of the evening.
I can?t stop walking,
Can?t stop cursing the cruel joke
Destiny is playing with this child.
Hot streams of tear
Burn my cheeks.
In the distance
I see a bird fly out of a Pipal Tree.
I run toward that tree
Where the birds are
Free to fly??
From: "John Whelpton" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Writing on Nepal: a reply to Seira Tamang
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 23:54:13 +0800
As a foreigner who has been involved with Nepal in various capacities for
the last twenty-five years, I should like to comment on Seira Tamang's
essay `Legitimating Marginalized Voices' originally published in the
Kathmandu Review of Books and then posted in the June 7 issue of TND.
I will not get into detailed discussion of Michael Hutt's translation of
Bhupi Sherchan's poetry nor of Vincanne Adam's essay in medical
anthropology but I think I may be qualified to respond on some of the
As Seira Tamang makes explicit, the background to the controversy is the
concern voiced by Edward Said and others over the way in which western
academics come to be regarded as `authorities' on aspects of non-western
cultures. The central arguments are that such `Orientalist' scholarship
has often produced dubious and belittling generalisations which obscure the
real complexity of the cultures under discussion, and that it reduces the members of those societies to mere objects of study or, at best, to providers of `raw' facts which can only be interpreted by the Western scholar. Whatever their nationality, virtually everybody now studying non-Western societies would acknowledge there is something in that criticism but many of us would also argue that the critique of
`Orientalism'. (particularly in the hands of Said's disciples rather than Said himself) can itself become a dangerous over-simplification. Said's own book is in itself an example of the complexities involved. He wrote it in protest at his own `marginalization' as an `Oriental' but the finished product is now quite central to `Asian studies' : you may agree or disagree with it but you cannot ignore it.
In the Nepali context. both Khagendra Sangraula and Seira Tamang
exemplify a trend amongst Kathmandu intellectuals to react against anyone
who enjoys a reputation as an expert on some aspect of Nepali life whilst
spending most of their time outside Nepal. I think `outside of Nepal'
is probably the key factor since resident `kuires' such as Ludwig Stiller
(a naturalised Nepali citizen) usuallly seem exempt whilst Nepalis who have settled in the U.S.A. sometimes come in for similar criticism. Nevertheless the `kuire factor' may also be important as shown by Sangraula's reference to `white skin' and some of Seira Tamang's other writings. She is quite right to point out that Europeans generally are sometimes still treated with excessive deference by Nepalis, but, in reaction to this, there seems a tendency now in some quarters to go to the opposite extreme and react with indignation when outsiders express any definite opinion on Nepali. Ideally, of course, whether anyone is based in Kathmandu, New York or London he or she should neither be regarded as some kind of oracle nor as an intruder but simply have his or her work examined on its merits.
The reason why this ideal is often not realised has a lot to do with the
fuzzy boundaries between the different arenas in which discussion about
Nepal takes place. If, for example, there was a clear linguistic
demarcation of labour with people outside Nepal writing about the country
and its culture in English whilst those within it normally wrote in Nepali
(which is roughly the case with the use of English and Chinese in writing on mainland China), there would be less of a problem: most people would be seeking a central position within one arena but accepting as natural a more marginal one within the other. The role of English as a second language in Nepal, not just a foreign one, complicates matters and is itself, of course, partly a reflection of Nepal's dependent position within the international system. In some ways this `intellectual globalisation' is very helpful, since it facilitates the rapid exchange of ideas but it also makes it easy for people in Nepal either to welcome foreign `products' over-enthusiastically or to feel there is an inherent bias against publication of their own work in the
English-medium, international `market.'
Though there is not now any sharp boundary between these two spheres, their
relative importance differs as you move from one academic discipline to
another. As Pratyoush Onta pointed out some years back, there is an
interesting contrast between anthropology and my own field, history.
Anthropological work in English on Nepal, particularly in its more
theory-laden varieties, is very much centred on Western academia
whilst Nepalis (by descent or adoption) who work in Nepal are much more
prominent in history. Earlier this year, with help from Michael Hutt and
other friends and colleagues in Nepal, Britain and France, I compiled a
select bibliography of just under two hundred works (English with one or
two in French) on different aspects of Nepal published over the last ten
years. The brief from the publisher was to cater for non-specialists and
to give preference to work which
would be easily available to library users in western countries. That
automatically created a bias in favour of work published in the West and
thus also of writers based there. However, trying to give adequate
each field and including items we felt were particularly outstanding
resulted in a list with only 50% by outside scholars (normally
foreigners), 40% by people based in Nepal (normally Nepalis) and 10%
collaborations between the two categories. Not surprisingly, the
anthropology and history sections were out of line with the overall
average: `outsiders' were solely or jointly responsible for twenty-nine
out of thirty-four of the anthropological works included but accounted for
only one of the twelve on pre-1951 history. In contrast, there was roughly
a fifty-fifty split for the thirty-three titles on `development' issues
(economy and environment). I don't claim the selection criteria were particularly scientific - as I was responsible for drawing up the initial list it often came down to what one not-yet-dead white male happened to come across or particularly like. However, as I was concerned with what I felt would be most useful and accessible to a non-Nepali reader, not with advancing the interests of either Nepali or non-Nepali writers, the proportions I ended up with may be representative of what the average non-specialist would come across as they began investigations.
Whether these figures represent `marginalization' of Nepalese voices clearly varies from topic to topic, and, of course, we are only talking about marginalization in one particular forum - academic writing readily available in Western countries. Such a forum is itself quite marginal for a field such as Nepali literature, where what really matters is publication in Nepali for a Nepali-reading audience. In some disciplines, however, the figures will probably reinforce the feeling of a lot of Nepali scholars that they do not have enough direct access to an international audience. They also raise the question of whether the predominance of an `outsider' perspective might skew the picture of Nepal given to that audience.
On the access point, it is important to remember that an `outsider's'
account will often be only the first port of call for the new enquirer who
will then move on to works by `insiders'. Particularly in history and
literature but also in politics and economics you would not be able to
explore the subject in any other way. In addition access is likely to
get easier. Publication of Nepalese scholars'
work in the West is likely to be more common, particularly as more and
more Nepali students pass through North American PhD programs, though
those Nepalis who actually stay on in the West will have the best
opportunities in this regard. Most fundamentally, as Seira Tamang notes,
the rise of `instant publishing'
via the Internet means that anyone can speak to the international
academic community as long as they have a command of English and access to
computer - the real `marginalized voices' , of course, are those who lack
those attributes. ( The Internet would be an even more effective tool for
Nepali authors if there were better arrangements for work published in
Kathmandu to be distributed abroad. Many books on Nepal in print in the
West or in India can be ordered on-line through Amazon but not those from
The seond question concerns not the identity of the messenger but the
message itself - how much does the kind of misrepresentation Said and
others are woried about characterise writing by foreigners on Nepal? There
are certainly some examples of this but you would have a hard job
discerning a general `foreign and inauthentic' line to contrast with an
`authentic and local' one. Outsiders writing on Nepal disagree with one another on many points, those disagreements frequently mirroring ones amongst Nepalis themselves. In addition, problems of representation can occur for Nepali writers as they do for foreigners - whether an American or an American-educated Nepali writes about life in a remote part of the western hills you most likely still have a case of someone analysing a world that is very different their own daily experience.
Overall, I can see why a Nepali scholar would naturally want to have a
louder voice in the international arena but I am puzzled by the depth of
indignation that some people are expressing. It would be more
understandable directed aginst a World Bank consultant writing his report
on the basis of one brief visit to Nepal but seems odd when directed
against foreign academics who spend many years studying and writing about
If anyone in Nepal thinks that a particular work by a foreign scholar has
got something wrong then, obviously, they have the right to say so and TND
is a marvellously convenient forum for doing that. It is equally obvious
that Khagendra Sangraula's views on Michael Hutt's translations of Nepali
literature should get a careful hearing because he is himself a
distinguished writer of Nepali, and also that Saroj Shital, as a Nepali
doctor, is in an especially good position to review Vincanne Adams'
Doctors for Democracy. However, anybody reviewing someone else's work,
and anyone responding to criticism, surely ought to consider the other
person's views carefully and throughly and to show respect for the person
even if they thoroughly reject the views. On that criterion, it seemed to
me that what Shital wrote, though quite critical, was fair comment and so
also was Vincanne Adams' reply: it is perfectly normal for a reviewer to
question the value of what a writer has tried to do and for the writer then
to suggest that he did not in fact fully understand her purpose. The case
with Khagendra Sangraula's criticism of Michael Hutt's translations of
Bhupi Sherchan's contribution posted in December 1997 was very different.
Instead of simply putting forward his alternative version and his reasons
for preferring it he launched a personalised attack on Michael Hutt, making
broad allegations and drawing sweeping conclusions that clearly do not
follow even if we grant that he is right about all the passages he thinks
have been inadequately translated. It is quite absurd, for example, to
argue that the omission of a reference to `the commando gang' in the
translation of one passage is evidence of sympathies with the
Panchayat-system and its strong-arm methods. As Michael Hutt himself
demonstrated in his own response (TND, 20/12/97), only who was wholly
with his other writings could reach such a conclusion.
Whilst not going to quite the same extreme, Seira Tamang also seems to be
reading things into people's words that were not intended Vincanne Adams
may want to reply for herself, but surely she was suggesting not that a
`native' is not allowed to criticise a foreign scholar's methodology but rather that a reader trained in a different field might have problems with the thoretical formulations currently in vogue in anthropology. As I myself am sometimes not sure I understand fully what an anthropological text means, I don't think anyone need feel insulted by her suggestion. Of course, Vincanne Adams could probably have made her point with less specialised jargon but then Seira Tamang also writes in `social sciencese':
`acultural objectivism' (Adams) and `experienced materiality' (Tamang) both represent a very specialised use of the English language.
Seira Tamang herself goes on to quote a statement from the preface
to a book of which I am a co-editor: `As foreign academics our job is
simply to provide a record and analysis. It is for the Nepali people
themselves to determine their own political destiny.' Our point, of
course, is that foreigners are entitled to join in the analysing but only
the Nepalis can decide what should happen in practice. She interprets us
as meaning only foreigners can provide the analysis. Looking again at the
words with a lawyer's eye I admit that technically speaking both
interpretations are possible but surely readers would naturally assume the
former one: if we did have the strange belief that foreigners had a
monopoly on analytical powers, why would we have invited two Nepalese
scholars to assess the other essays and add their own views in the book's
To end, I return to what I think is the fundamental question of how
debate should be conducted between people of any nationality wherever they
are working. Seira Tamang sought to defend Khagendra Sangraula's
intemperate language as a legitimate response to his own situation in a
`post-colonial' world of `structured inequality.' There is, of course, nothing particularly `post-colonial' about `structured inequality' since the latter has been a feature of all societies since the invention of agriclture. It is no reason why one 20th. century scholar cannot express disagrement with another in a spirit of mutual respect. We are all usually ready enough to criticise the squabbling politicians, so why can't we deal with each other in a way that sets them a good example?
Source: People's Review
Thursday, June 24-July 01, 1999
Subarna Shamsher Ranajee tells Of how Mohan Shumsher reacted to King Tribhuvan's asylum
(An account from the diary of the author, who was Nepal's very first election commissioner. Rana claims he is the only living person today who was associated with the Nepal-India Friendship Treaty and the Delhi Agreement before the return of King Tribhuvan from asylum in India. He also recounts HRH Prince Gyanendra's "enthronement". In fact, he says that decision was not accepted by King Tribhuvan, the Government of India or the British government.
The account below has been provided as it sheds considerable and interesting illumination on a little known aspect of modern Nepalese history. - Ed.)
On Tuesday, 7th November 1950 (22 Kartik 2007), that eventful day at 7 am, the Maharaja Prime Minister, the undisputed plenipotentiary ruler of Nepal, briefed the Bharadars and elected members of parliament about the situation in the country following India's granting of political asylum to His Majesty King Tribhuvan. He pointed out that this was an unwise and imprudent step by India, which had recently signed a Treaty of Friendship with Nepal. That move had come after a century of peaceful co-existence between Nepal and India.
Further, the Maharaja explained that he did not think it wise or proper for him to go to another country to try to convince the King about the unpatriotic step he had taken and request him to return. For that purpose he deputed General Arjun and General Vijaya to request the King for an audience. But the Indian Ambassador Chandraswar Prashad Narayan Singh sent them back saying that the King was unwilling to meet them. He again tried to contact the King by sending a deputation of General Vijaya and General Arun who was the brother-in-law of Yubaraj Mahendra. The Ambassador of India once again indicated that the King was unwilling to meet them. Then they requested the King -- through the Ambassador -- either to give Yubaraj Mahendra or his son Birendra permission to be the King. This request also was refused point blank. After that, Vijaya Shamsher read aloud his petition to the King at the gate of the Embassy and left it at the Embassy before returning.
The Maharaja then bemoaned that the burden of duty entrusted by Maharajadhiraj Surendra Bir Bikram to the Rana family to save the Kingdom from misrule and to rule Nepal in perpetuity, added a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of the Ranas. At present, he explained, his immediate concern was to safeguard the independent existence of a country which had no history of being ruled by others. The Maharaja emphasised that his and his successors' wish was not to break the lineage of the Gorkha Shaha dynasty like it was done of the Malla Kings of Kantipur.
The de-facto ruler of Nepal then, Shri Teen Mohan Shamsher revealed his intention to make Prince Gyanendra, (2nd son of Crown Prince Mahendra, who was intentionally left in the Palace when the rest of the family took refuge in the Indian Embassy of Kathmandu), the King of Nepal. The resolution to that effect was unanimously accepted.
Armed with the authority vested by King Surendra to rule Nepal in perpetuity to General Jang Bahadur Kunwar's family and the sanction of the Parliament to dethrone King Tribhuvan and enthrone King Gyanendra, the de-facto ruler Maharaja Mohan in the capacity of the Prime Minister of Nepal, put the de-jure ruler on the Nasalchowk throne (on which late King Prithivi Narayan the Great, had sat by himself, on that bright Chaturdasi night, of 26th September, 1768 without opposition just as Napoleon, the Great had snatched the crown of France from the hands of the Pope and put it on his head by himself) to reign over Nepal.
Thanks are due to the Government of India that the Rana regime which began after the enthronement of King Surendra was forcibly ended by the enthronement of King Gyanendra. Therefore, a new era of power struggle and intrigue began again with the end of the Rana regime. Those self-styled historians proudly try to erase that 104-year Golden Age from Nepal's history. It began with Maharaja Jung Bahadur Rana and came to an abrupt end on 15th February 1951 (4 Fagun 2009 B.S.) when Maharaja Mohan Shamshere Jung Bahadur Rana received King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shaha Dev at the Gauchair Airport in Kathmandu.
************************************************************* Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 01:12:13 -0400 (EDT) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Timro tyo hasilo mu.haar ko
Just a short note to let you know that this Nepali song ko
web-site has been wowing visitors for some weeks now.
Visit the site for once.
Rediscover the joy of listening to those great aadhunik songs
played on the Radio Nepal ko Farma.yashi Geet Kar.rya.kram when many of us
were growing up in Nepal.
Whistle a few tunes. Leave comments.
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 19:10:40 -0400 (EDT)
Forwarded by: Ashutosh Tiwari <email@example.com>
Subject: from www.salon.com
The following article (forwarded to me by Sagun Karmacharya) appeared a
while back in Internet's hippest, coolest magazine:
---------- Forwarded message ---------- K @ m a n d u
Sanjib Bhandari may not exactly be the Bill Gates
of the Himalayas. But his cyber-teahouses and other schemes
are pushing Nepal down the "road ahead."
BY JEFF GREENWALD
KATHMANDU, Nepal -- Back in the dark ages -- i.e. the 1980s -- phoning
home from Nepal was a major project. I had to stay up well past
midnight, then ride my rented bicycle down to the Kathmandu
Telecommunications Center. There were endless, baffling forms to fill
out. A good read was essential; connecting to the U.S. via funky trunk
lines could take over an hour. And after all that, half the time the
payoff was a dreaded busy signal, and a long slide back to square one.
Today, the Kathmandu Valley, once the archetypal South Asian backwater,
is wired to the gills. Satellite dishes yawn amid drying dung patties on
the roofs of Himalayan lodges, the crown prince surfs the Net, and Radio
Nepal -- the Hindu Kingdom's flagship AM station -- is online in real
time, on RealAudio.
But the coup de grace is coming in the next couple of weeks, when Sanjib
Bhandari, founder and CEO of Mercantile Office Systems (MOS), opens
Nepal's first cyber cafe. Called K@mandu and situated just 50 meters
from the high, spiked gates of the Royal Palace, K@mandu will be the
first in a series of culturally hyper-conscious "Cybermatha teahouses."
The phrase, Bhandari explains, is a play on "Sagarmatha," the regional
name for Mount Everest. "And they won't be cyber cafes," he notes,
"because in the mountains you wouldn't drink coffee."
Bhandari, 37, is the dean of a new breed of Nepali techno-wizards. He
has a round face, bowl haircut and easy, boyish charm. Like Bill Gates,
he looks a lot younger than his age. Further comparisons between the
Nepali tycoon and Microsoft's CEO are inevitable, though, by Bhandari's
own admission, "I probably lack (Gates') killer instinct."
Educated by American Jesuit priests at a private school in the Kathmandu
Valley, Bhandari studied accounting in Bombay before going to the U.K.
for a one-year course in computer systems. "It was very, very basic," he
laughs. Still, the know-how he brought home was enough to thrust Nepal
-- essentially a medieval nation until the 1950s -- into the information age. He founded MOS in 1985, immediately after returning to Nepal. He now has 120 employees.
Bhandari decided to open his cyber-teahouses after visiting similar
venues in Singapore and Sweden. It helped that improved telecom links
have recently made such an enterprise practical in Nepal. But he faced a
more intractable foe than technology: government censorship.
"The Communication Act of Nepal," Bhandari says, "flatly states that no form of communication can promote violence, sedition, treasonable acts or immorality -- i.e. sex. Right now the government is creating policy for Internet businesses and they know full well that you cannot guarantee -- no matter what technology you use -- that forbidden things will not come in. So we've had the buck very conveniently passed back to us. 'We'll allow you to run the Internet,' they say, 'but you can't do anything prohibited by the Communications Act.'" Bhandari's stopgap solution has been to follow Singapore's example. He'll set up proxy servers, block a few hundred of the Web's most notorious sites and hope the government credits him for observing the spirit of the law. "We think that's how it will be," he says, grinning.
"Of course, there could be one nasty guy who says, 'Oh, I saw a nude woman on a site through your service, and I'm going to shut you down!'
"Of course," Bhandari adds rapidly. "You can dial up India, you can dial America, you can dial anywhere, any outside line, to get access to the Internet. And they're fully aware of that, too." K@mandu will be launched later this month with five Internet stations. Two months later, Bhandari will open a larger teahouse with up to 20 stations. The design was inspired by the Sherpa teahouses you'd find on a trek into the Everest region. Like a Sherpa lodge, K@mandu won't have desks or office chairs. Instead there will be long tables and benches covered with traditional, loom-woven carpets.
But is there a market for a cyber-teahouse in such a remote location?
"Initially," says Bhandari, "I thought of tourists and expats -- people who've gone trekking and have lost touch with their electronic mailboxes for two or three weeks. For a cyber buff, an unthinkable situation! But I now think such people will constitute a very small part of our clientele. I'll tell you why: We had a computer show here in January, and we put about a dozen stations at that show. They were used from the moment the show opened until night time. All Nepalis.
Film Fare <http://www.filmfare.com/> (an India-based "Bollywood"
fanzine), universities, chat rooms, you name it. And the average age was
less than 20: people who can't afford an Internet link at home."
Ever the entrepreneur, Bhandari has a number of other projects in the
pipeline. One, already underway, is a "telemedical" service, a
nationwide Net link that would allow doctors in far-flung health posts
to communicate online with specialists at the major Kathmandu hospitals.
Another -- inevitable, perhaps, though bittersweet -- is a plan to place
VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminals) links in lodges or teahouses along
the major trekking routes. Such links would provide around-the-clock
connectivity to the MOS server in Kathmandu, and hence to the world at
large. As Nepal gets about 50,000 trekkers a year, such a service could
make a bundle.
"You could take a laptop with you on the Everest trek, or into the
Annapurnas, and link up from there. It's a straightforward set-up." With
a sigh, Bhandari adds, "The only obstacle is the governmental
And a formidable obstacle it is. Despite ever-increasing baud rates at
the telecom office, Nepal's bureaucracy creeps along at a snail's pace.
One example? About 10 years ago, when personal computers first arrived
in the Kingdom, customs officials at the airport didn't know where to
list them. New customs forms have never been printed, so motherboards,
modems and microchips are still being recorded right where they were in
the 1980s: under "animal husbandry."
From: Paramendra Bhagat <PBhagat@ChaiTime.net>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Replies to Bhupendra Rawat and Pramod Mishra
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 10:49:07 -0400
Replies to Bhupendra Rawat and Pramod Mishra
"On a serious note though: When he first started contributing to TND, Bhagat had a legitimate observation: That, all else being equal, a dark-skinned -- and excuse my choice of phrase, "madhisay-looking" -- Nepali citizen has less of chance of succeeding politically, socially and culturally in the so-perceived Nepali mainstream, which Bhagat defined as being dominated primarily by Kathmandu-based high-caste/high-class bahun/chettri/newars."
To me this is achievement. Finally someone has acknowledged the grievances
are just. But Rawat continues to be sceptical of the two new strains I have
introduced: the National Economy and the experiences of the Nepalese
Americans. Maybe a year from now he will come around to them also. All
those "links" he derides fall in the former category, and all the "personal"
talk I have been talking fall in the later category. Infact I am about to
introuduce a third strain: an experimental literary form of intensely
personal talk. Hope that goes down well enough. To me the only real beauty
about TND is it publishes stuff unedited. To each his or her own. I talk
what I want to talk about, you talk what you want to talk about, read what
incites interest, scroll down for the rest, and all remain happy. It is
this free-wheeling attitude that keeps me here. Otherwise if TND were to
change its policy, as the convenor recently has threatened to do, I will be
"Drawing upon his interest in economics, he started tooting the horns of free-market economics, and initiated a discussion on Nepal's economic performance. The discussion turned out to be a flop, with Bhagat exhorting readers to join him, with the readers typing the other way, despite there being a number of fine, young Nepali economists among us 1200-plus readers."
I wish things were otherwise. I wish those "fine, young Nepali economists"
participated in a spirited discussion on the National Economy.
"It's obvious that Bhagat has a first-rate mind and is a fluent writer......"
I don't know about the former but as for the latter, you are right, all my
postings herein are first drafts, and hence some of the spelling mistakes,
like Joe DiMaggion instead of Joe DiMaggio.
"One may hate your views ..... but they reflect what many in the Tarai think in their hearts but for various reasons choose not to express. So in this respect, I must thank you for taking the time and making your views public."
Thanks for the compliment.
"It does not belong to TND. Who cares what you do or did or will do in your private life, how you spend your leisure, where you go during vacation, who you meet and so on?"
I have been trying to introduce a new strain on this forum: the experience
of the Nepalese Americans. That is why I have also tried to take a look at
the American politial spectrum as they impact the Ethnic Minorities, which
is what the Nepalese Americans are.
"(I)t is damaging for any writer to be self-complacent, but unforgivable for an Third World undergraduate with First World opportunities and of such energy and enthusiasm to waste both his or her time and energy in posting material that has no relevance whatsoever."
I am about to get intensely personal, more than I ever was on this forum
through an experimental literary forum. Bear with me!
From: Bhupendra Rawat <email@example.com>
Subject: Parmendra Bhagat one oh two
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 13:25:39 EDT
>To me this is achievement. Finally someone has acknowledged the grievances
Don't be so smug already. You are already SELECTING only some
parts from my earlier comments (TND July 1), while IGNORING others.
OK. Racism occurs in Nepal. You've established that again and again.
Beautiful. Now what?
Do you expect people to sit around, beat their chests and cry themselves
hoarse like you are fond of doing? What if people are interested in the
issue but NOT interested in the way you keep shoving it down their gullet as
though you are their saviour? After all, don't people have the RIGHT to be
uninterested in your causes and in the ways you are promoting them?
Scrolling is one option, of course;
but what if people want to read -- Bhagat-free TND issues -- for
a change. Would this be impinging upon your right to expression?
>From a polemical standpoint, though: you haven't gone beyond ASSERTING a
simple truth. A Rai could stand up and say the same thing that you have been saying. A Gurung could stand up and say the same thing. A poor bahun from Tikapur, Kailali could also say the same thing. Racism occurs in Nepal. Beautiful. Now what? And I can show you a number of "dark-skinned madhisay"
(excuse my choice of phrases) who -- born in Sirahs, Saptari wherever -- have gone to win government-sponsored scholarships for higher education, and who have gone on to hold significant positions civil service and the private sector and so on.
The point is: your assertion is so general, so vague that it is hardly
useful as a debating strategy to push your points forward. And you are
definitely NOT serving anti-racism's interests by intellectually ALIENATING,
what I perceive to be, a large
number of the people who are at least sympathetic (note my choice of word
here) to your assertion.
>But Rawat continues to be sceptical of the two new strains I have
>introduced: the National Economy and the experiences of the Nepalese
>Americans. Maybe a year from now he will come around to them also.
>those "links" he derides fall in the former category, and all the
>talk I have been talking fall in the later category. Infact I am about to
>introuduce a third strain: an experimental literary form of intensely
Oh, Mero Bhagwan!!
Memo to myself: Be sure to cancel my subscription to TND
as soon as Bhagat gets "intensely personal".
Memo to TND readers: All right, guys and gals,
coming soon to a computer screen near you: The sex life of Parmendra Bhagat
as he gets "intensely personal" to tell you all about that
gori Kathmandu ko keti who rejected him on the basis of his skin color.
Is this the sort of stuff we will have to put up with to bear up with your
"intensely personal" chatter? I see why not, noting the directions Bhagat is moving to.
>Hope that goes down well enough. To me the only real beauty
>about TND is it publishes stuff unedited. To each his or her own. I talk
>what I want to talk about, you talk what you want to talk about, read what
>incites interest, scroll down for the rest, and all remain happy. It is
>this free-wheeling attitude that keeps me here. Otherwise if TND were to
>change its policy, as the convenor recently has threatened to do, I will be
Why don't you start your own internet magazine on issues that are dear to
your heart and find your own subcribers? You believe in free markets, don't
you? Well, dammit, become a competitor, and find your own market. Why
piggy-back on TND like this?
TND, after all, is based on a socialist model: The editors work for free;
contributors are free to dump anythingthey want; readers put up with
enormous amount of garbage and so on and on.
A free-marketeer like yourself is better off testing the validity of
your ideas by creating your own markets and own niches. This would also
publicly best prove your commitments to free markets. Think about this.
>I wish things were otherwise. I wish those "fine, young Nepali economists"
>participated in a spirited discussion on the National Economy.
Bhagat: Let me not beat around the bush. Few people are going to learn
anything new from you about economics at this point. So leave it at that for
And remember the irst rule of human relationships: Barring a few, people
often discuss things with people they are comfortable with. Now, that's
something you can chew on.
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 09:49:28 -0600
From: "Umesh Giri" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: MaHa in America tour
All time greatest Nepalese comedian dual 'MaHa jodi' is planing to visit
US with the purpose of launching its recent comedy show called 'Remote
Control', a comedy show about the Nepalese in America. They have
requested all individuals and Nepali organizations to provide them with
necessary accommodations needed for their program. They are accompanied
by other artists like Raja Ram Poudel, Kiran KC, Prakash Shrestha,
Saranga Shrestha.... who will be performing other programs as well. They
are anticipated to arrive in Denver, Colorado in 2nd week of September
but the exact date is to be fixed yet.
Since it is not easy for MaHa to coordinate the program from Nepal, I'm
taking the initiative to provide you as much information as possible.
I'm sure many of us are waiting for this opportunity. We, a group of
Nepalese, are arranging this program in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. We
are requesting each city individual/organization to help perform the
program in the corresponding city by reserving the theater/auditorium,
selling tickets, etc. Before we schedule a program, it is necessary to
find out how many of us are ready to have fun with the greatest
comedians. As for now, the venue is still tentative because we have to
have some kind of assurances to bear all the expenses Ė travel,
logding/fooding, etc. Iím sure they would like to make some profit as
well because this is what they do for living.
If you have any questions, I will try my best to gather information for
you. Pradeep Shrestha, MaHa's colse friend, has asked me to pass the
above information to all Nepalese in the US. Please pass this message to
your friends/organizations. To advertise the program, I have set up a
web page at http://www.webwrks.com/giri/maha.html. FYI, Iím a huge MaHa
fan and Iím doing all this as a volunteer.
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 10:08:19 -0400
Forwarded by: "Prahlad D. Pant" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Visa
In case you missed, here is a recent article from the New York Times. Can we
now hope for some action by the Nepalese government?
INDIA OPENS ARMS TO EXPATRIATES AND MONEY
BY CELIA W. DUGGER The New York Times
NEW DELHI, India -- The Indian Government last week initiated a program that
will make it easier for people of Indian descent sprinkled around the globe to
travel to their familial homeland and to invest in it, but it stopped short of
giving them the right to vote, which many of them have sought.
The hope is that doctors, lawyers and bankers, as well as executives in
multinational corporations and others among the millions of people of Indian
descent living around the world, will invest in India, or persuade others with
deep corporate pockets to do so contributing to the country's economic growth,
"There will be a broader mass base who may be willing to invest in India," said
Anin Trigunayat, an officer in the passport and visa division of the Ministry
of External Affairs.
'The new program came in the same week that Indian officials announced loosened
import restrictions on almost 900 consumer and agricultural goods, a step aimed
at encouraging foreign trade.
An interdependent world
Indian embassies and consular offices last week began accepting applications
for the so-called Persons of Indian Origin card, which will be issued for a
fee of $1,000 and be good for 20 years.
It will entitle people of Indian descent who are citizens of other countries to
travel to India without a visa, buy and sell real estate here (except for
farmland), invest in government bonds that only Indian citizens living abroad
could buy before, and apply for admission to Indian colleges.
The steps are part of a broader recognition by a growing number of countries
that people who move abroad remain potentially valuable contributors in an
economically interdependent world.
For the large and prosperous settlements of Indians in the United States,
Canada and the Caribbean, the new card will make it easier to sustain close
ties to India. Lower air fares and telephone rates, as well as communication by
e-mail and fax, have already tightened the connections between India and its
diaspora of about 15 million people.
"I have seen the hunger of Indians abroad to have their children linked to
their country of origin," said Home Minister L.K. Advani, who said introduction
of the card was motivated by a desire for closer ties between India and its
diaspora, not for their investment dollars.
The new card is a step toward welcoming back people of Indian descent, Mr.
Advani said. All Indians who have become citizens of other countries, as well
as their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, will be eligible for
People from neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, however, will not be eligible,
because officials say they worry that the card could become a vehicle for
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 11:23:45 -0400
From: Thomas Baker <firstname.lastname@example.org> (by way of "Rajesh B. Shrestha" <email@example.com>)
Subject: From the IT-Nepal Mailing List: Dublin Core in Nepali
I am writing to everyone I have been in touch with, directly or
indirectly, about the possibility of creating a version of Dublin Core
The Dublin Core is a metadata (cataloging) standard that has been
developed since 1995 by an international initiative and adopted by many
content providers, universities, and libraries for describing their
Web materials (see http://purl.org/DC). The most recent major workshop
was held last November 1998 at the Library of Congress in Washington;
the next major workshop will be held in October 1999 at Die Deutsche
Bibliothek in Frankfurt.
In its simplest form, the Dublin Core is a two-page
standard that can quickly and easily be translated into
other languages. The current official version resides at
http://purl.org/DC/about/element_set.htm, but I can unofficially point
you to http://www.dstc.edu.au/RDU/DCAC/PR-DCV11.html, a draft which will
be approved as Version 1.1 (with a new URL) by the end of July 1999.
The minor revisions reflected in Version 1.1 have been based on several
years of feedback from implementers. We expect Version 1.1 to remain
stable for a long time.
We are looking for an appropriate person or project team to translate
Dublin Core Version 1.1 into Nepali. Ideally, this would be someone at
an institution that provides content in Nepali on the Web or is otherwise
involved in Nepali resource discovery and who could host a stable Web page
(and later an RDF page) of DC-Nepali for the medium term.
In the medium term, we want to link versions of Dublin Core in
multiple languages into a distributed registry on the Web using the new
Resource Description Framework standard. As the Dublin Core is used
in real projects and applications, it is usually extended and refined
with qualifiers. Maintaining interoperability for searching across
languages as the Dublin Core evolves into a more complex standard will
require the participation of people from many language communities in
ongoing standardization and certification processes yet to be defined.
Not all language communities will want to commit themselves to this
longer-term project, but all are most welcome. These goals are
described in an article published last December in D-Lib Magazine
The multilingual registry, along with other policy issues related to the
management of Dublin Core as a multilingual standard, will be topics of
discussion at the Seventh Dublin Core workshop in Frankfurt in October
(http://www.ddb.de/partner/dc7conference/index.htm). It would be nice if Nepali could be represented in the prototype RDF registry that we will demonstrate and discuss at that time and in the version we then post on the Web.
In the longer term, it would be nice if representatives of the
Nepali-speaking community could participate in managing the ongoing
evolution of Dublin Core as a multilingual standard. Simply creating
and hosting a version of Dublin Core in Nepali, however, does not commit
anyone to participating in this broader goal.
In the meantime, I would like to invite any of you
to participate in the dc-international mailing list
(http://www.mailbase.ac.uk/lists/dc-international/). Traffic on the list has been light over the past few months but will become somewhat heavier with the approval of Version 1.1, the expected resolution of the RDF Schema specifications in the Fall, and preparations for DC7.
I am writing both as leader of the Working Group for Dublin Core in
Multiple Languages and as a member of the Executive Committee of the
Dublin Core Initiative. I have been working for the past two years at
the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok and return this week to
GMD in Bonn, Germany, so I will be out of email touch for most of July.
Please get in touch if you are interested, or perhaps refer me to a
colleague who is.
To subscribe to or learn more about the IT Nepal mailing list, please visit http://www.gbnc.org/it-nepal
From: "Eknath Belbase" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "'The Nepal Digest'" <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 18:15:19 -0400
I agree completely with Bhupendra Rawat's post. Though Bhagat was right to
bring up the issues he originally did, it has become clear from most recent
postings that he suffers from
serious exhibitionism and extreme electronic narcissism. I would like to add
a couple of further flames - I am quite sure he has not asked the people he
mentions about telling 1200 people who they are, where they live, and what
they do. Their privacy should be respected.
The reciting of names and elite institutions is decidely tasteless. But the
worst impact of all this is that the quality of TND writing and the number
of other contributors has fallen to the point where the cost of scrolling
through all manner of electronic exhibitionism is no longer worth the
trouble of reading a few scattered posts.
While the extreme idealistic freedom of expression taken by TND in the past
is commendable (I suspect that it is not so much idealism as much as the
time it would take to EDIT!), it is almost at the point of making the medium
itself irrelevant, as people leave or delete TND issues without reading
them. I would request TND to add some subject content criteria and privacy
rights issues to the list of criteria (along with obscenity) by which posts
may be rejected. While I do not think editing each article is possible or
neccesary, I do think that rejecting articles in whole or accepting them in
whole is time-feasable, and may motivate writers to keep their posts within
certain very broad and very flexible perimeters.
Finally, I would like to add that selecting content for relevance to the
readership is something every journal or magazine does, whether print or
electronic, and in no way constitutes censorship. Just as "Discover" would
not take articles intended for "Time" and "Newsweek" would not take articles
intended for "Scientific American", TND should not take articles intended
for www.bhagat.com or the "Paramendra Fan Club (read every trivial thought
I have ever had)" club.
I encourage you to consider subject content as a criteria before the only
TND is Bhagat himself.
Forwarded by: "Eknath Belbase" <email@example.com>
To: "TND post (E-mail)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Economy Post
(cross-posted from soc.culture.nepal, originally posted by Mr. DonJ)
from KTM post
------ By a Post Reporter
KATHMANDU, June 25 - During the first ten months of FY 1998/99, a
satisfactory performance has been recorded by the external sector with the
continuation of the declining trend in trade deficit. A surplus in the
current account has been registered for the third consecutive month along
with a substantial surplus in the balance of payments, according to a
communique issued today by the Nepal Rastra Bank.
This has contributed foreign exchange reserves to increase. The budgetary
deficit has, however, increased due to higher growth in government
expenditures. A decelerating tendency in the growth of money supply has been
observed. The rate of inflation has still stood at the lowest double digit
point due principally to the pressure of food and beverage group
particularly that of rice having both higher weight and prices. The NEPSE
index has shown a better performance in the securities exchange market.
During the review period, narrow money increased by 13.3 percent to Rs
51,153.7 million. The broad money also registered a growth of 16.7 percent
to Rs 147,553.3 million. The significant growth of time deposits by 18.6
percent has been attributable to such a substantial rise in the broad money.
As a result, the share of time deposits in the broad money ascended to 65.3
percent in the review period from 63.5 percent last year.
Net foreign assets of the banking system moved up by 17.2 percent while the
domestic credit rose by 8.5 percent. Of the total domestic credit, the share
of credit to the private sector remained at 70.0 percent, almost the same
level of the previous year.
On the fiscal sector, the total resources marked a growth of 15.5 percent to
Rs 30,477.9 million with the rate of growth of revenue collection of 11.2
percent to Rs 27,636.5 million. Last year, it had increased by 3.4 percent.
The total expenditure expanded by 14.6 percent to Rs 37,065.9 million due
mainly to a significant rise (20.4 percent) in regular expenditure caused by
the recent general election, and 6.3 percent in development expenditure. The
review period witnessed a budgetary deficit of Rs 6,588.0 million. The
budgetary deficit is met by foreign cash loans of Rs 2,895.0 million (43.9
percent) and domestic credit of Rs 3,693.0 million (56.1 percent) of which
Rs 843.0 million of overdraft facility has been used, the press release
On the price front, the national urban consumer price index (base year
1983/84 = 100) on point to point basis surged up by 10.1 percent compared to
a rise of 6.7 percent in the corresponding period last year. The rise in the
price index of food and beverages group though in a sharp declining trend,
helped to keep the national price at the lowest point of double digit. The
upsurge in the index of rice which carries a substantial weight of 24.13
percent (31.4 percent) contributed primarily in exerting upward pressure in
the index for food and beverages group. The index for non-food and services
moved up by 3.9 percent compared to a rise of 4.8 percent registered in the
previous year. Regionwise, the price index for Hills recorded the highest
growth of 13.1 percent followed by respective growth of 11.9 percent and 6.7
percent in the Terai and Kathmandu.
On the external sector, total exports increased by 35.6 percent to Rs
29,907.0 million while total imports decreased by 4.9 percent to Rs 70,232.5
million. Last year, total exports had risen by 18.0 percent while total
imports had declined by 4.1 percent. The increase in exports followed by the
decline in imports has significantly contributed to reducing merchandise
trade deficit by 22.2 percent to Rs 40,324.7 million. During the review
period, the share of imports in total trade has moved down from 77.0 percent
to 70.1 percent while that of exports moved up from 23.0 percent to 29.9
percent. As a consequence, the present exports can cover about 42.6 percent
of total imports value. During the review period an outstanding performance
in the exports of main exportable items woollen carpet (16.7 percent) and
readymade garments (39.0 percent) is attained. These two merchandise goods
carry a significant weight of 83.1 percent in the total exports to other
countries. Based on the first seven months record, a surplus of Rs 330.6
million has been noticed in the current account balance for the third
consecutive month in this current fiscal year, states the release.
Monetary statistics for the first ten months of FY 1998/99 showed that the
overall balance of payments remained surplus by Rs 9,570.5 million. As a
result as of mid-May, 1999, the foreign exchange holdings of the banking
system increased significantly by 26.6 percent to Rs 75,594.9 million
compared to the level of mid May 1998. Based on the available import trend,
this amount is sufficient to cover about eleven months' average merchandise
imports. Of the total reserves, 87.4 percent accounts for convertible and
12.6 percent non-convertible.
cross-posted from soc.culture.nepal, originally posted by email@example.com
------- Gurkha Soldiers: The other side of the story
It is quite natural to show concern when any fellow citizen is killed,
specially if he or she is killed in a war. When such a tragedy happens in a
battle taking place far away in another country, the controversy intensifies
Perhaps it sounds strange when one says a citizen of one country has been
killed in the war of another country. However, Nepal has a chance of this
happening more than perhaps any other nation in the world, because thousands
its young men are recruited by the armies of Great Britain and India. This
been possible through a tripartite agreement signed between the three
But even before India was given independence by Great Britain, the British
had started recruiting the hardy and tough Nepalese, specially from the
areas. And these people had proved their worth in the First and Second World
Wars and at other battles too.
Now, some politicians and intellectuals in Kathmandu are questioning the
logic or morality in sending our young men to work in foreign armies. Some
political parties had made it a point to raise this issue once in a while in
the past too.
Surprisingly, joining these ranks of politicians, have been some retired
personnel of the British Army itself. An Association has been formed and
through that organisation a lot of pressure has been put on the British
Government to treat the Gurkha soldiers in its army on par with the native
Both the theories sound very logical and any sensible person can see the
that is being made. For example, why should Nepalese be recruited in foreign
armies and then be sent to do the fighting for them? Also, after they have
recruited, why should the Gurkhas, who are well known for their bravery, be
treated less equal than the British?
However, one has to answer more questions than these to understand this
First of all why have these young Nepalese chosen to go and work for another
country? Is it for fun or adventure? Is it because they are traitors? Is it
because they donít care about their country? No. It is because of the abject
poverty they see in their villages and the opportunity they donít see in
own country. Joining these armies is the only way out to make something of
their lives and provide a good life for their families.
One another aspect is, who are these young people? They are the youths of
various ethnic communities living in the hilly areas of Western and Eastern
Nepal. The Gurungs and Magars are mostly from West Nepal and the Rais and
Limbus are from Eastern Nepal.
One interesting point that could be raised here is, what percentage of the
population do these ethnic communities make up? If added, just these four
ethnic sides could make up about 30 per cent of the Nepalese population. But
how many of the people belonging to these tribes are doing well in the
Probably a negligible number, compared to the Brahmans and Newars, who add
to make less than half the population of these ethnic people.
In terms of employment opportunities in such places like the government
bureaucracy, political parties, University, government corporations and even
private sector, a handful of people may be there.
No in depth research has to be made to find any statistics regarding these
numbers. How many Magars, Gurungs, Rais and Limbus are there as party
How many of them are ministers? How many are secretaries or top ranking
bureaucrats? How many head govt corporations? How many are ambassadors, vice
chancellors, generals in the army, top ranking officials in the police or
doctors and engineers?
All such things point out that these people have not received the
to go into any sector, except eke out a bare living in the hardy hills of
Some may find it too harsh when this is said, but it is a fact that there is
some sort of a discrimination against these ethnic people. Yes, the Gurungs
Magars and Rais and Limbus are a straight forward lot. Specially so the
but this does not mean they are slow in learning or in gaining knowledge.
given the opportunity, the members of these tribes have proved that they can
compete with the best. But when no chance is given, how can they do
It has been reported that even in such an extreme case like the Maoist
insurgency, almost 50 per cent of the people killed by the police are
And ironically, almost 50 per cent of those killed by the Maoists also
to be Magars. How could this have happened, it does not happen even in
It is either the Serbs killing the Albanaians or the Albanian extremeists
killing the Serbs.
More interestingly, who is the leader of the Maoists? The two top leaders
Now the point is, when all doors have been closed, if a young and determined
boy gets the opportunity to go and find a good job from which he can make
which he could never dream of if he stayed back home, then who wouldnít take
such an opportunity?
There are hundreds of thousands of young people from these communities now,
are what they are, an educated lot and professionals, just because their
fathers and other family members received the opportunity to find work
in the British or Indian armies. Had they been given the same opportunity
it is sure they would never have left their motherland.
So ideologically, it is definitely wrong to go and work abroad, including in
places like Japan, Australia and the Middle East, forget the British or
armies. But what can the poor people do when they have no option back home?
Therefore, if the political parties and other so called intellectuals who
from their comfortable rooms here in Kathmandu donít want to see Nepalese
working in foreign armies, then they must first provide equal opportunities
these people here in their own country. Otherwise it will be sheer hypocrisy
shedding crocodile tears for them.
Now to come to the protesting former army personnel, one simple question is,
did the British government drag them to go to join its army? It is common
knowledge that youngsters in the hills of Western and Eastern Nepal,
it their fortune to find a job in the British army. Their second choice is
Indian army. They prepare night and day to join these armies. There is
competition and only a lucky few are recruited. Furthermore, they know fully
well the terms and conditions when they join the army.
Had it not been for their army job, they may have been poor porters or
labourers barely making out an existence and ignorant of all their rights.
why the protest now?
Yes, seeking to increase pay and perks through quiet dialogue is one thing,
jeopardising the future of other young Nepalese like them, who could have
a better life, is sheer selfishness. What if the British government says
is enough and not recruit any Gurkha boy? Who will lose more?
As for sending the army men to fight in places wherever their employer finds
necessary, is it logical to ask any question regarding this? What have these
tough and brave people who have proved themselves in innumerable wars been
recruited for? To change guards at the Buckingham Palace or to make a march
past at Indiaís Republic Day parade? It would be an insult to the bravery of
these people to even think like that.
So before making any judgements and comments in newspapers, it would be
worthwhile to contemplate on all these issues on why a young boy has made
tough decisions of leaving his near and dear ones and going abroad to find
work. At least those people who are secure about their existence and living
the comforts of Kathmandu are not qualified to make honest comments about
Forwarded by: Paramendra Bhagat <PBhagat@ChaiTime.net>
Subject: Bal Krishna Joshi on the National Economy
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 15:58:00 -0400
"Hello Bhagat ji, I saw your numbered comments and I thought I jot down some
lines....I thought your comments were comprehensive on the things that have
gone wrong but what we need is how you and I can participate to up lift
without any "political" bull shit. Remember we are all Nepalese and yes it
is pretty sad to be compared our GNP with the yearly expenditure index of
Dog's food in the UK. Its not very cool is it?.... I think what we need is a
feeling of nationalism. Responsive act and mind set for the country as a
whole than a criticism and self minded interests for political seats. We
need to learn about the self subsinence. We are too spoilt by being
"favored" by foreign Nations..."ooohh the poor guy from the himalayan Kingdom." What I feel is that someone like you and me should initiate a program, a venture so that we can teach our people to stand on our own feet...learn to grow their own potatoes and onions for crying out loud...(you must have heard the price increase in veg)now tell me how someone with the average percapita income of $220 be able to afford Rs 90/kilo pyaj and Rs 50 Dharni AAlu...Pretty messed up isn't it. I am currently in the process of forming businesses that promotes Nepal to the west. My plan is to form an organization that supports different programs in Nepal. I am trying for a shot of initiating of giving..which necessary does not mean $$$ only...Thanks to the greatest invention of E-commerce..you have any ideas or interests in development let me know...Lets form a net work of
"interested" nepalese who want to give vs complaint and complaint and make some sarcastic stupid comments on the net about Nepal.....I do admire your guts to go out there and do whatever your heart speaks off..my only request and advise to you is try to be productive of your efforts cos its hours off your life.... Bale" Bal Krishna Joshi <mailto:Bale@hotmail.com >> San Anselmo, ca 94960 - Friday, June 11, 1999 at 13:47:15 (EDT)
Bale, I agree with the basic tenet of your message. I think a good starting
point would be for a bunch of us to get together on The Nepal Digest forum
and initiate a comprehensive discussion on the National Economy, to start
with. We can follow up on that later as the momentum builds up.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 11:29:10 -0700
From: Himal <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Literary South Asia
literary South Asia
Call for Submissions
Something is lost when stories from different parts of South Asia are not
shared. litSA is short for Literary South Asia--a new department being started
by Himal in an effort to bring together the literary talent of the Subcontinent.
The creative voice of women and men from all over the region, we feel, are as
necessary to share as the journalist's presentation or the social scientist's
Himal hopes that litSA will develop as an important forum for writers--
contemporary and traditional, and from everywhere, inside and outside, the
centre and the margins, and from all sides of the barbed wire fences that
attempt to divide the South Asian people. Besides featuring a wide range of
literary styles, litSA will encourage experiment and adventure. Above all, it will
champion the writer's right to be irreverent.
Over the years, Himal believes litSA will help develop an indigenous
appreciation of the region's creative talent, free from the shackles of power
publishing and marketing hype. We also aspire eventually to bring to readers
anthologies and collections culled from the best writings that feature in litSA.
Himal invites writers and poets, whether established or new talent, to make
submissions to litSA.
Relli Road, Kalimpong 734 301
West Bengal, India
1. litSA prefers unpublished material in the form of short fiction, poetry, memoir, travelogue, literary essays or criticism. We also welcome book reviews and literature-relevant interviews, as also book extracts which can stand alone.
2. Nationality or regional origin is no bar, as long as the submission has a link
to South Asia.
3. We prefer receiving submissions by email or on diskettes. If submitting on
paper, please do not send in the original. Prose should be typed double
spaced, and poems should be submitted individually.
4. Translations should specify the source and, wherever possible, the author's
5. Manuscripts/diskettes will not be returned unless requested and
accompanied by selfaddressed, prepaid postal requisites.
6. Submissions may be edited.
Remuneration for published works will range between USD 50 and USD 150.
Every effort will be made to respond to submissions and queries in the shortest
PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW EMAIL ADDRESS.
__________________________________ Himal GPO Box 7251, Kathmandu, Nepal Tel: +977-1-543333/34/35/36, 521013 (fax) email@example.com http://www.himalmag.com
From: Paramendra Bhagat <PBhagat@ChaiTime.net>
Subject: News Clippings
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 11:07:28 -0400
Focus on Congress politics to dominate Parliament
Kathmandu: As budget day approaches and the Royal address to parliament are
imminent, the Prime ministers' much postponed cabinet expansion is
considered urgent in the Congress camp. In case, K.P Bhattrai doesn't
deliver this much-awaited event, it is yet another indicator that the KP-GP
rift has become unpatchable. GP's fastly eroding hold over the Congress
organization is said to be in proportion to KP's widening reach on account
of his ability to muster government offices and resources and GP's inability
to deliver to his supporters such emoluments as that made possible from
government. The Prime Minister thus becomes the biggest hurdle to GP's
Rana accuses election observers of dishonesty
Country heading towards Sikkimization: Baburam Bhattarai
Bhattarai is a villain of the first category.
From: Paramendra Bhagat <PBhagat@ChaiTime.net>
Subject: Baburam Bhattarai, way off the mark
To: The Editor
I read the article on Bhattarai in your recent issue. Baburam Bhattarai
belongs with the dinosaurs and he does not realize it. He is a one-track
train headed for collision and total demise. He is a first rate mind gone
berserk. He loves the poorest of the poor in Nepal so much that he gets
them killed. I read news on Nepal almost on a daily basis, I have
especially this summer when I am with the Current Events section of
Chaitime.com, the South Asian online community. So of course I read stuff
on the Maoist circus. People killed on both sides - the Maoists and the
low-ranking police personnel - look the poorest of the poor to me. So who
exactly is Bhattarai for? Max Planck once said people don't change their
ideas, they die with them. I doubt Bhattarai's grasp of the communist
doctrine ever was better than Gorbachev's. I mean c'mon, Gorbachev lead the
country where communism supposedly flowered better than anywhere else. Who
on the planet ever heard of Bhattarai? And Gorbachev pronounced the market
as the best vehicle for the creation of wealth ever invented by humankind.
Get over it, the communist drama is over. Marx is dead.
As for his Indophobia, I as a Teraiwasi would like "bahuns" like Bhattarai
to know that I feel as close to the Biharis in India as he might feel to the
Sikkimes and the Darjeelinges. Bhattarai is no communist, he is a freaking
Subject: What options for an Ethnic Minority politico
Date: Fri, 2 Jul 1999 15:50:32 -0400
Bhupendra Rawat writes: "............Drawing upon his interest in economics, he
started tooting the horns of free-market economics, and initiated a
discussion on Nepal's economic performance. The discussion turned out to be
a flop, with Bhagat exhorting readers to join him, with the readers typing
the other way, despite there being a number of fine, young Nepali economists
among us 1200-plus readers."
You say a discussion on racism alienates you. So I move on to what I see as
common ground: the National Economy. But you don't want to participate in
that because I committed the offense of bringing up the r-topic earlier.
And you insist racism is relevant as an issue, that the Teraiwasis have been
largely marginalized. So where does that put me? Can I or can I not
discuss racism which has been The Issue of my life? Can I or can I not hold
discussions on the National Economy that people like you might participate
in? What are my options? How do you suggest we deal with racism whose
existence you do acknowledge unlike most others who have taken their swipes
at me? How can someone like me hope to dabble in both issues because both
Racism and the National Economy are pertinent issues.? Or are you in a way
suggesting people like me ought to just shut up because no matter what topic
we dabble in we will always offend people like you?
And I really don't understand the alienation you speak of, especially when
you insist racism does exist. What alieanates you? That racism does exist
and people of your background have largely benefitted from it? And that
people like me point that out?
I hope you realize you are suggesting a no-win situation for me, and you bet
I am not about to shut up because that just is not the way things are going
to play out. But then you are so different from most everyone who has
gotten back with me on the topic. At least you acknowledge the existence of
racism. It is structural. It is a statement on the society at-large. Why
don't you suggest as to how we move from here on the racism question so that
we can then together come together to discuss the National Economy and draw
in more people? If the National Economy cannot bring us together, I don't
know what will.
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