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The Nepal Digest Saturday July 18, 1998: Shrawan 4 2055BS: Year7 Volume76 Issue4
Today's Topics (partial list):
Internet in Nepal
ANMF press release
Re: Indo-Nepal Border and the state of Bihari Nepali
TKP Book Reviews
Dogmandu: the 'Barking-Dog Capitol of the World'
An essay on the issue of dual citizenship by Rabindra Mishra
The Nepal Human Development Report 1998
* TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
* -------------------------------------- *
* The Nepal Digest: General Information firstname.lastname@example.org *
* Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh email@example.com *
* (Open Position) *
* Editorial Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra firstname.lastname@example.org *
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* Dr. Krishna B. Hamal HamalK@dist.gov.au *
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* Anil Shrestha SHRESTHA@CROP.UOGUELPH.CA *
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* TND Archives: http://library.wustl.edu/~listmgr/tnd/ *
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* WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
* Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista email@example.com *
* +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
* "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
* "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
****************************************************************** From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 21:15:55 +0000 Subject: Internet in Nepal
Thought you guys out there might get updated on Internet happenings in
Nepal by my this little dabbling with Internet in Nepal.
Internet in Nepal
By Kishor Pradhan
The Independent, 8 July, 1998
It all started roughly two decades ago when US Department of Defense
Research Project needed to better their communications. The result was
a network of few computers, then a network of such networks, and
eventually what we have today a global electronic network the
The network of networks took another half a decade more to reach
technologically lagging behind Nepal. It was in the mid 1990s that
Nepal, by the initiative of a private communications
enterprise--Mercantile Office System (MOS), ordained into the world of
The history of Internet in Nepal is very recent. It was only from
sometime in July 1995 that MOS started providing full Internet
service. Since then, there has been no looking back. In leaps and
bounds Internet has sprung up in Nepal and touched upon almost all the
MOS as the pioneer Internet Service Provider (ISP) after a hard earned
permission from the state owned Nepal Telecommunications Corporation
(NTC) was followed by WorldLink and Computer Land Communications Systems Limited (CCSL), to carve a niche as ISPs. As of today these three ISPs in Nepal are providing full-fledged Internet services. Electronic mail (e-mail), web page designing and hosting, e-mail to fax, fax to fax, are some of the popular communication services the ISPs in Nepal are catering to the Internet users. The Internet users are mostly from commercial sectors like travel agencies, hotels, business companies/groups, and banks. Government and non-government organisations, educational institutions also take a major share in the Internet users' pie. Private/personal Internet users of late are also observed to have gradually increasing in number. It is estimated that to date the three ISPs are altogether providing services to near about 7000 Internet users.
Nature of Internet users
In a recent rapid survey of the Internet users which was indeed the
first electronic survey also in Nepal, half the respondents were from
commercial sectors, and the other half from mostly non-government
research and development organisations. All the respondents opined
that the Internet has been an ingenious communications technology
which is fast, convenient and above all inexpensive. Communications
management in their work and private lives as well, by the virtue of
Internet has brought about a sea change.
Internet users in the commercial sectors have been able to promote
their business by the means of Internet tools like homepages. As well
as keeping abreast with global business scenario has been other
advantages they have been able to derive by using Internet.
The research and development Internet users on the other hand find
that by access to Internet there have been a better facilitation of
promoting their work. Sharing and disseminating information, better
managing information and communications, have been the best of
benefits they have been able to draw out from Internet use.
Though it appears that the Internet users in general are satisfied
with their access to Internet, most of the survey respondents opined
that the government, that is, the NTC should be doing more than just
giving permission to private ISPs to get wired to the satellite. A
respondent who is in travel business and using the Internet for the
last two years, said: "The NTC should serve as an ISP and subsidize
the Internet connectivity cost." Government provisions of subsidy in
Internet connectivity can affect to facilitate expansion of Internet
access, adds other respondents. Subsidizing the Internet cost and
subsequently expanding the Internet access will not only increase the
number of users, but it is deemed to affect expediting the development
process as well.
Internet in development
Apart from use of e-mail for both internal and external communications
by development organisations, Internet networking via webpages and
discussion lists with like minded organisations and individuals is
observed as the most significant application of Internet in Nepal.
Development organisations like ICIMOD/International Centre for
Integrated Mountain Development
(http://www.south-asia.com/icimod.html) with leased server routed through MOS has adopted the Internet technology in a number of its networking projects for information sharing and dissemination on sustainable mountain development. For example, the Mountain Forum
(http://www.mtnforum.org) and the Asia Pacific Mountain Network
(http://www.south-asia.com/icimod/AP.htm) are two electronic networks funding supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
(SDC) in which ICIMOD has applied Internet technology to network to share and disseminate information on sustainable mountain development at the global as well as regional levels.
To expedite the development process by better managing development
communications at the national level, another Electronic Network for
Sustainable Development in Nepal (http://dits.icimod.org.np/nepalnet)
has been operational since the early 1997. ICIMOD with a funding
support from International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in
Canada under this network has by means of Internet established a
network of development organisations in Nepal. About 40 national level
development organisations in Nepal have been brought together by this
network. In a recent development ICIMOD has grant supported Nepal
Internet Users' Group (NIUG)--an organisation of Internet users in
Nepal, to implement a Nepal Intranet Pilot Project. This Intranet
(within Nepal only) network will once established make efforts to network the whole of Nepal and provide connectivity to individuals and organisations at a minimum cost.
Other development NGOs and INGOs are also found to have adopted
Internet technology in bettering their communications. By the dint of
Internet it has become possible for development organisations to
communicate with their field office in remote areas.
Impact and conclusion
Although there has not been a thorough study of impact of Internet in
developing countries like Nepal undertaken. From casual observations
and user's experience it can be surmised that Internet indeed has
brought about tangible changes in at least the mode and pace of
communications. Internet's direct impact on economic development in
countries like Nepal is something which can not be pin-pointed at the
moment. However, Internet based development communications development
project funding agencies like IDRC has been carrying out studies on
Internet's impact on development in countries like Africa. With the
churning out of "indicators" to fathom the impact of Internet on
development, it can be assumed that in future, it can be assessed more
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 16:48:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <email@example.com>
To: The Nepal digest Editor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: The Problems of Christianity (Part 2)
On Fri, 8 May 1998, Joel Hafvenstein wrote:
> I am in fact well aware of the thesis of "Hitler's Willing Executioners".
> I am also aware that, after an initial surge of popularity, the scholarly
> world overwhelmingly condemned Goldhagen as a sensationalistic young
> "historian" who twisted the historical evidence to fit his arguments. I
> hope you'll excuse me, then, if I take it with a large grain of salt as a
> "scholarly source." (If you're interested in following the debate on this
> topic, you should look for a recent book entitled "A Nation on Trial: The
> Goldhagen Thesis and the Historical Truth," by Finkelstein and Birn).
I think both these books should be mandatory reading for every German
high school student. Sure, the scholarly world has disagreed with
Goldhagen but the evidence he presents in his book, without going into
what he makes of it, is overwhelming, too. I'll tell you an anecdote
here. Duke history department had organized a semester-long Mellon
lecture series in the fall of 1997. In one of the lectures, there was a
historian from UNC, Chapel Hill, who gave a talk on the Serb ethnic
nationalism. The gist of his talk was that Serb minority extremists
hijacked the moderate majority and once that happened, ethnic cleansing
couldn't be stopped. In my question to him, I said that it was time
scholars like him should pay attention to the roots of prejudice in
society and examine the prejudices of the so-called moderates, who have
in history time and time again so easily been hijacked by the
extremists. I asked him about the circumstances that lead the moderate
majority to be silent spectators of their soldiers who commit crimes in
their names and their welfare and safety. I then gave Goldhagen's book
as an example that examines the roots of prejudice among the German
people. And the German people should take a hard look at themselves and
not become too easily defensive about it. Only then, such things won't
be repeated. Otherwise, attributing such crimes the handiwork of the
extremists becomes too easy at times. But this historian without even
thinking, without even reading, called Godgagen's book a "fable"! I was
tempted to tell him that if Goldhagen's book is a fable, what guarantee
is that his lecture was not a fable? So, as you said, there are dime a
dozen scholars. Why a person takes one side rather than another has
deeper reasons than mere persuasive arguments. These reasons need to be
analyzed and understood. (In this context, the whole furore about Swiss
gold, the involvement of Spain, Sweden, and others in their dealings with
the Nazis is interesting. And also interesting is, as I said earlier, the
Pope's recent exhortation to the European Christians about their
treatment of the Jews).
Surely, not every German was directly involved in the crimes of the Nazi
party. There were German resistance groups also, whatever weak it might
have been. But the fact remains that anti-Semitism or such racial
prejudices were widespread in German society at the time, and, many, as
Goldgagen says, became Hitler's willing accomplices (Max Frankel's NYT
July 28 review is interesting in its position).
> : a whole religion by the actions of some of its members.
No. A whole religion needs to be examined with a view to see if there's
anything in it that goes against the times and the freedom of the human
spirit. Examine the books themselves and see what is it in the books
that lead people to do bad things in the name of God and religion. Such
apologies as yours won't do. As the millenniam draws to its close,
there's a danger that religious extremism and fundamentalism of all major
religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism have shown such tendencies)
would be a major threat to world peace. The fundamental question about
the nature of God and crisis of faith people had in England in the 19th
century as a result of Darwin, etc., is no longer important. The danger
is purely political. The case of Hindu fundamentalism in India and
Muslim fundamentalism in the Middle East are interesting but dangerous
phenomena. While Hindus have for the first time in one thousand years
been able to take control over their destiny, after five hundred years of
oppression at the hands of the Muslim rulers and another four in the
hands of the British colonialissts, the Muslims are still struggling to
do so. In the Middle Eastern countries, there's no democracy and US
presence has hardly promoted it for feear of losing business. So it is
difficult to judge Islamic fundamentalism there, but in Pakistan and
Kashmir, it is unexcusable to see the killings of the Hindus. And
because of this fanaticism, in many countries, Muslims are killing
Muslims (Pakistan, Iran and Iraque important examples). So the
twenty-first century would be the century of religious wars, albeit
disguised as cultural, poltical,
and economic wars (Hutington's book is interesting but it is
overwhelmingly anti-Islamic) and that's why, it's all the more necessary
the founding books of all religions be examined and their undesirable
elements questioned, instead of blindly followed. Absolutist faith in
the absolute veracity of the founding books breeds fundamentalism and
fanaticism; and they are undesirable in any religion.
> Christianity was used, he would be justified in demanding its abolition.
Jason has not asked for "abolition." He in fact says taht a religion
that so many people believe can't be abolished. You are misrepresenting
> provides an extremely well-written, balanced example. Missionaries also
> provided education for poor indigenous peoples (often over the objections
> of both the colonial governments and the native elites), which eventually
> enabled those peoples to overthrow their European rulers and build
> independent governments.
Did you do some study of the writers' background and institutional
affiliations as well? I also acknowledge the contribution of
missionaries in the educational efforts in the third world countries.
And if you look hard, it's not impossible to see that colonialism
benefitted, however little, the colonized (Nirad Chauduri), but that doesn't
justify colonialism. Here let me say something about Ashu's and one other
person's testimony about St. Xavier's not attempting conversion.
They totally misunderstood my question. My question was, Why have the
students of St. Xavier's, Kathmandu, not converted and why have the poor
and the Dalit converted and converting? As a follow-up, I must ask them,
Are they sure that as a result of St. Xavier's presence in Kathmandu,
conversion hasn't occurred? So the question was not directed toward the
good faith of the missionary fathers and brothers who aimed to
contribute to Nepal's efforts to modernize itself, but at those
factors--poverty, insecurity, oppresion, lack of self-esteem in one's
own religion--that lead to conversion. I look at myself. By now, if
you have read me, you know that I abhore, indeed hate, many of
Hinduism's traditions, but, inspite
of my knowledge and experience of otehr religions, conversion has never
occurred to me as an option. Why is that? If people like me convert,
what will happen to Hinduism? I know that liberal Hindu students like
Ashutosh Tiwari would only point out the "cynicism" of people like me but
will remain ensconced in their liberalism and harvest its fruits. So you see
mean? The conversion that is taking place now is not the same as the
conversion of Ashoka the Indian emperor to Buddhism, or the conversions
of St. Paul and St. Augustine and Constantine into Christianity or many
Indians during the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb's reign to Islam. That was
> rebellions against the European powers. African Christians were no less
> convinced than European Christians that Christianity was the truth, and
> that Africa should be evangelized... but they wanted it evangelized by
> Africans, who could communicate Christianity without unnecessary European
> cultural baggage.
Joel, do more reading of such books by Africans. Read particularly its
writers such as Achebe, Koofi Awanoor, etc., in order to get a full
picture. As you said, such scholars are dime a dozen.
> And though I deeply appreciate your compliment to my father, Pramod, your
> inflammatory comments hardly foster a friendly dialogue, either.
As I said, fanatics have done more harm than good. And when you launched
a personal attack on Jason, I thought you were one of them. But in this
response, I see that you are different. I understand you better now.
But if you have faith, nurture it and share it with others, but don't be
arrogant about your faith. If somebody finds peace in religion, I
congratulate such a person. Friendly dialogue is fine, but no attempt at
conversion, please. I find it ridiculous for someone to have a
dialogue with me all the time thinking that somehow because I don't
literally follow someone else's faith that my soul is this or that. I
get the same feeling when an Am Way man I meet and find his talk so
sweet and nice and begin to have a positive feeling about the good
will of the human race but soon I find the person calling me to be an
Am Way member and surrender the privileges that capitalism affords. Let me
find my own way in life and take it in full measure.
If race brought calamities in the twentieth century, religion seems to be
the factor in the twenty-first. So educated folks's faith in religion, if
they find one, is admirable, but beware of fanaticism and absolutism.
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 11:39:45 -0400
From: Sudip Pathak <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Racism!
"Hatti baliyo ki Hatti Chhap Chappal Baliyo. Ustai Ustai ho nanu." Mr
Bhagat quoted this to highlight the implied meaning of the word "madise"
which, he feels is similar to the word negro in the US. I totally
disagree to his implication for the following reasons.
1. They were never a slave, were never treated like a slave and will
never be treated like a slave.
2. The word "madise", if you break down becomes "Ma - Desi". "Ma" means
"I" and "Desi" relates to the people originated not in Nepal but in India. In other words this word was self-created. 3. Another way the word might have originated is from the word "Mades" , which means the Indian land and also the Terai in someway. As we call the people who live in Nepal as "nepali", with an addition of "i" we call madesi.
My question is that, are we being racist by calling the people who are
from Britain as "British" or the people from America as "American"?
It is a bitter truth that Nepal is one of the poorest nations in the
world. But that doesn=92t mean only the "madise" are facing poverty. I am
confused by what Mr. Bhagat is trying to say when he says, 'I have given
up on the "Sadbhavna"-solution to racism in Nepal...you have got to move
beyond the constricting borders of Nepal.' With due respect to his
ideology, I will say its difficult to find a place that Mr Bhagat has
imagined. If someone feels insecure in the entire world, then we say
the person needs counseling not that the entire world is racist.
Everyone knows that racism is still prevalent in Nepal. If we are to
form political parties for all the races (castes) then can we count the
number of parties that would come into existence? Nepal should never
have allowed such separation motivated parties to come into existence.
Talking about racism in Budha, I will frankly say that I never
experienced it at Budhain my 10 years life at Budha. I had friends from
all over the country but we all treated each other equally despite
different origins and likes. It is surprising to note that Mr Bhagat
feels that his "final three years at Budhanilkantha School were the
loneliest, unhappiest years of his life to date for one and one reason
alone: his personal experiences in institutional racism." I would like
to ask him how he felt for the other 7 years he spent at the same
school. He was even nominated as the house captain of Kanchenjunga.
Instead I feel that he had all the respect he could expect as a citizen
of Nepal. Now we don=92t call it racist when a girl rejects a person for
various reasons unless it was for ethnic origin.
I am impressed by Mr. Bhagat's knowledge of American history but I doubt
if all those are applicable in our context. The thousands of illiterate
people of Nepal can not understand what it means by the word "racism".
In our context the "literate whites are not taking advantage over the
illiterate blacks". I would rather say we need to educate and increase
the literacy rate before fighting over racism. Take examples of the
educated places like Kathmandu, Pokhara and other major cities where
people are fully educated to outcast racism.
Thus I would rather prefer discussion on the critical issues like
education, poverty and health than to incite a fight between the
different races within the country. Are we being treated as sovereign
nation? Why do we always succumb to India despite our ancestor's
heroism. Are our political leaders really trustworthy? Are they really
doing what the entire nation wants them to do? Was the nuclear tests
conducted by our neighboring countries really good for our national
interest. Are we going to leave the issues like murder of MPs and Monks
who worked for the nation, unsolved forever? Where are all these talking
points? If you are a true citizen of Nepal and would like to call
yourself a Nepali just take a moment to think what would be the
situation of our country if civil war were to start at this particular
time. At least we don=92t have to go after the UN's food trucks expecting
them to throw a piece of bread.
Respect others to be respected.
PS: Hey don't call me Brahmin, otherwise I will call you a racist!!!
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 01:01:23 -0400
From: Tara Niraula <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Rajpal Singh <email@example.com>
Subject: ANMF press release
Press Release of America-Nepal Medical Foundation (ANMF)
=93Sharing Knowledge to Improve Medical Care in Nepal=94 was the theme of
second annual convention of ANMF, which was held on June 13 and 14 at
Columbia University in New York. About 50 participants (mostly
physicians) from across the US, Canada and Nepal attended the
ANMF, established in 1996 through the joint efforts by Nepalese,
American and Canadian doctors, primarily aims to help strengthen the
technical capabilities of the medical institutions of Nepal by tapping,
expertise, resources and the goodwill that exists for Nepal in North
America. ANMF is keenly aware of the complex nature of Nepal=92s health
problems and recognizes the need for sustained and multi-sectorial
interventions to resolve them. To this end, the development and
delivery of quality medical care is one of the essential components of
such interventions. It also understands that the people=92s efforts
within Nepal will be the determining factor in upgrading health care.
ANMF, nonetheless, strongly believes that expatriate Nepali physicians,
other health-related personnel and friends of Nepal can make a
significant contribution towards achieving this goal. Given the
paramount role of North America in medical field, ANMF believes that the
best way to strengthen Nepal=92s medical capabilities is by facilitating
the transfer of appropriate technical know-how and promoting academic
and professional cooperation between individuals and academic medical
centers of North America and Nepal.
On the first day of the convention, Doctors Brendan Thomson, Hari Har
Sharma, Charles Richert and Richard Hirsch spoke about their sharing of
work experiences and expertise with Nepali doctors. They also expressed
their deep interests to continue working in Nepal in the foreseeable
future. Dr. Kristin Stueber and Dr. Libby Wilson summarized their
experience of providing plastic surgical care through zonal and regional
hospitals in Nepal and proposed a framework to train interested Nepali
surgeons in this discipline. Mark Barsoum shared his experience
regarding the challenges of sending medical equipments to Nepal. Jim
Fanning spoke about his observation regarding the current status of
biomedical engineering in Nepal and made recommendations to improve the
situation. Dr. Scott Meskin appraised the participants about the
proposed project to improve the emergency medical service system in
Subsequently, Dr. Roshan Shrestha presented the progress report on
continuing medical education (CME) seminar to be organized in Nepal on
November 5th, 1998, in collaboration with Society of Internal Medicine
of Nepal (SIMON). He also presented an outline of CME programs for the
year 1999 and 2000. Dr. Sunil Sharma briefed about the progress made so
far regarding plans to send standard medical reference books and
peer-reviewed professional journals to Tribhuvan University Teaching
Hospital Library. Following the report by Dr. Stueber on the current
financial status of ANMF, Dr. Hirsh outlined the principles and strategy
of fundraising. Dr. Gaury Shankar Adhikary briefed the participants
about the current status of membership drive. He announced that Dr.
Seaborn Beck Weathers has became the first person to obtain a life
membership of ANMF. The session ended with a vote of thanks by ANMF
General Secretary and coordinator of the convention organizing committee
Tara Niraula. The evening ended with an well-organized Nepali dinner.
Before the beginning of the session, Dr. Arjun Karki, founding president
of the organization, highlighted the background, aims and objectives of
the ANMF. ANMF representative in Nepal Dr. Prativa Pandey shared the
local perspective with regard to ANMF and its programs. Professor
Donald Blair of State University of New York Health Science Center at
Syracuse and Chairman of the board of directors of ANMF, delivered an
inspiring and uplifting keynote speech. H.E. Narendra Bikram Shah, The
Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Nepal to the United Nations
praised the goals of ANMF and said that his office will be more than
happy to render any help it can to accomplish the goals ANMF has set
On June 14, the deliberation was focussed on several organizational
issues. The convention ended with the election of Dr. Gaury Shankar
Adhikary as the new President, and Dr. Roshan Shrestha (ANMF North
America), and Dr. Shankar Rai (ANMF Nepal side) as the new
Vice-presidents of ANMF.
Date: Thu, 16 Jul 98 18:56:26 EST
From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <Paramendra_Bhagat@smtpgtwy.berea.edu>
Subject: Re: Indo-Nepal Border and the state of Bihari Nepali
Thank you Bijay Raut, my cousin at Middlebury College, for participating in the
discussions on Racism in Nepal. I had certain points to make in response to your
recent posting on the Digest-
(1) I would rather be called a Teraiwasi than a Bihari Nepali. What are the
Shahas in Narayanhiti, Rajasthani-Nepali? I don't consider myself any less
Nepali than those in the hills or in Kathmandu. Racism in not a biological
term for me, but sociological. I don't feel the need to prove my ancestry to
(2) "...one fifth of the Nepalese population which is of Indian origin."
* You got the figure wrong. We the Teraiwasis constitute half the population
of the country. That's why the Sadbhavana Party says, "Sadbhavana ki yahi ek
awaj,madhesi hum lenge sau mein pachas." (The Sadbhavana says in one voice,
we the Terai peoples will take our justly due share of 50% in everything.)
(3)"My friend....over the duration of ten years of his schooling in Kathmandu...
had to endure countless encounters of racism and harassment from his
colleagues, general public and even his teachers, often by the use of such
popular derogatory and racist remarks as "dhoti," "Madhise," "Kaale," etc.
Not only he, but also his parents on their trips to Kathmandu had to face
similar occasions of harassment by general public in the bus parks and other
places around Kathmandu. It is hard to imagine what psychological impacts
these events might have had on the young mind of my friend. However, it is
evident now that his bitter experiences in Kathmandu have left him wondering
about his "identity." He still questions himself, who really is he -- a
Nepali or an Indian? I am sure he felt more of a "foreigner in his own
country" than the author felt in Biratnagar.
* I am glad you go into the specifics to show the plight of the Teraiwasis
in Nepal is worse than that of the Afro-Americans in the United States.
Nepal is one hell of a racist country.
(3)"....just a couple of centuries ago the most of Terai was occupied with dense
forests, wild animals and was heavily infested with deadly malaria. The only
people who dwelled in Terai were the native "Tharus.""
* The myth that the Terai was uninhabited until a couple of decades back is
not true. In a country where the reigning monarch's ancestors fled from
Rajasthan in India a couple centuries ago, why are you so worried that the
Marwadis also came to Nepal from Rajasthan? I as a Mithilawasi feel my
ancestors have a longer history in Nepal - my (and your) hometown
Janakpurdham in the Jerusalem for the 30 million Maithili speakers - than
the Shah Dynasty. Where did King Janak have his kingdom? Or did he have his
capital in Janakpurdham several thousand years back and had all his people
live in India who finally settled around Janakpurdham after King Mahendra
eradicated malaria five decades or less back? Bijay, don't fall into this
racist design where people ask you to prove your ancestry. Tell them all of
us descend from the monkeys of Pashupatinath temple. Racism is a sociologial
disease. It is wrong, with or without what the pages of history might say.
(4)"....migration of Indians to Nepal in search of economic opportunities is
still rapid, unchecked and uncontrolled."
* 10 times more Nepalis go to India looking for work. As for the
"unchecked, uncontrolled" part....that is the agreement between the two
governments. The government of Nepal may repeal the agreeement any time it
wishes to and stop Nepalis from going to work in India and vice versa. But
this has nothing to do with us Teraiwasis. We are not part of this talk. It
is between the Indians and the Nepalese government.
(5)".....the Indian origined citizens of Terai..."
* What do you mean? Except for the Tibetan-origin Nepalis in the Himalayan
region, everyone in Nepal is Indian-origin, the royal family included.
(6)"....there are numerous poor and illiterate old people in his village who
were unable to obtain citizenship due to lack of money (to take a photograph
or to go to the district headquarters in some cases) or awareness."
* The racist government in Kathmandu has confessed 3.4 million (out of 10
million) Teraiwasis have been denied citizenship certificates. No it is not
lack of money for snapshots - that costs about 25 cents - but a systematic
attempt on the part of the racist government in Kathmandu to deny the
Teraiwasis their just claim to citizenship.
(7)"They are not Nepali because they don't look like the so-called "genuine
* To me it is the hills people who "look Indian," like the Indians in
Darjeeling and the Uttarakhand state of India.
(8)"...a high number of matrimonial ties between the people on each side of the
* Don't racists like Karna Lama Karki even try to suggest the cross-border
marriages practised by the Terai peoples offends them. Back off!
(9)" It should be noted here that many so-called "genuine" Nepali blame
India and Indian origined Nepali for "encroaching" their
culture......Talking strictly about cultural "encroachment," it appears to
me that it is the "hilly" Nepali, who though inhabited Terai only after
Indians, have "encroached" the culture of Indian origined Terai people by
forcing them to the compulsory education of Nepali language and making
Nepali as the only official language!"
* Yeah, put an end to the cultural encroachment of the Terai.
(10)" Whatever the so-called "genuine" Nepali feel or say about India and the
* The racists in Nepal suffer from Indophobia.
(11) As for the speculation that Nepal should merge into India, I disagree. A
South Asian economic union might be an inevitability, and that is not the
same thing as what you suggest. The economic union will involve all members
of the SAARC.
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 00:40:53 -0400 (EDT)
Forwarded by: Ashutosh Tiwari <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: TKP Book Reviews
World Population Day, Womens' Bodies and My Friend Sangini
By Sushma Joshi
A man is holding a large needle and seems to be stabbing it into
the figure of a woman. Below, there is a larger depiction of a hypodermic
syringe. The large red letters say simply: The three month needle.
There is no other information on these large advertisements that
have started appearing in strategic places around Kathmandu, like
bus-stops and pharmaceutical shops. The billboards are advertisements for
a synthetic hormonal contraceptive to control fertility - female
fertility. No alternatives to Depo-provera (we assume that this is what
the advertisements are referring to) are given.
Side-effects, of which there could be many, are not mentioned. No
information is given about conditions like diabetics and previous jaundice
cases that could make it unsafe for a woman to receive the injection.
Finally, these advertisements fail to tell you that a woman cannot stop
using the injection if she starts suffering from bad side-effects.
But perhaps this sign is not meant to be read by women at all -
especially not the women who are going to be injected with the needle.
Unlike the advertisements for oral contraceptives like Nilokan, these
signs display images not designed to appeal to an urban elite. So who is
the projected audience for this sign? The diagrams depict a bikase
"villager" with his dhaka topi bending down towards a woman in her choli and patuka.
The signs point to a target audience schooled in understanding a
bikase diagram with reading skills to understand a simple phrase. Perhaps
the targeted audience is the "rural mass" of Nepal? Or more specifically,
perhaps the men from rural areas who come down to the Valley for seasonal
work who then can act as cultural transmitters of the cosmopolitan
developed values of the city when they return home to the villages? Or
even more disturbing, perhaps the advertisements do not speak at all to a
lay audience, but are targeted directly to such professionals as
traditional birth attendants and health post workers working in and out of
The positioning of the sign and its site forces us to reevaluate
concepts of "reproductive health" that has become prevalent in the Nepali
government's national development strategy. Although Safe Motherhood and
traditional birth attendant projects were tacked on after the Cairo
Conference on Population and Development, it is disturbing to see how much
of Nepal's strategies of "reproductive health" are still very much tied to
strong notions of population control.
Women, within these models, are still very much target groups to
be worked upon: not human beings with agency who can understand their own
bodies and need information about what is being done to them. As
Population Day is celebrated in Nepal with a host of programs sponsored by
the population control lobby, the Malthusian assumptions that have lost
validity or are being contested in most other parts of the world still
seemed to be depressingly in vogue in ours.
The time has come to ask those questions that have become common
currency in the rest of the world but seems to have eluded the public
dialogue in Nepal: why is rising population considered such a big problem?
And is the control of women's fertility the only way to think about it?
As the "solution" to everything from poverty to environmental
degradation, population control has managed to corner a large slice of the
development pie. Among other strategies, contraceptives like Depo provera
and Norplant, in spite of the controversies they have raised in other
parts of the world (Depo provera and Norplant were banned in the US and
India until a few years ago, and were highly criticized by the activist
movement in Bangladesh), are still accepted by the Nepali government as
valid strategies to pursue in its quest for development.
Synthetic hormonal injections by their nature tend to locate the
control of fertility in the hands of health bureaucrats and medical
institutions. In the context of Nepal, where women are imbedded in larger
social systems and are only marginally involved in the decisions that
control their fertility, promoting injections means that the body of the
woman is doubly acted upon: once by the family and other social
institutions, and the second by the medical apparatus of the state.
The health care system of Nepal, patched together with few
resources and even fewer trained personnel, is a dubious system to carry
out this mission of "choice" advocated by international donors who see
contraceptives as a way to empower women and free them from their
life-threatening task of childbearing. Many women who are injected with a
implant like Norplant are not able to voice their side effects as anything
other than "women's illnesses" for which there is no conceivable cure.
Medical personnel, used to treating women's perceptions of their
own health from the lenses of their medical authority, are hard pressed to
take any complaints seriously. Tied to this is the notion that all
injections are "good medicine", and you have the perfect conditions of
Third World female bodies being the physical testing ground for the
ideologies of an unholy trinity: transnational pharmaceutical companies,
Malthusian international aid, and national development.
The idea of "choice", popular among international donors, becomes
a mockery in these circumstances. As the advertisements point all too
clearly, the (female) targets of population control are not even afforded
the choice of a nice array of hormonal injectibles, far less anything more
easily controlled and less invasive like female condoms or diaphragms.
Their rights to information to what is being done to their bodies and
their rights to safer methods of fertility control are overridden to the
larger imperatives of a nation-state and international aid regime
frenetically obsessed with "development".
One of the advertisements for the three month needle has a nice
addition - a cursive hand flows airily across the white board and informs
me: Sangini is your friend. I assume that Sangini (friend) is the name of
the brand of Depo provera and therefore it points to some sort of
confidential, trusting relationship that I should attribute to the
injection due to its name. As a not-so-trusting Third World female
subject, I am not sure what this newfound "friend" can do to my body and
to those of my friends.
And I would feel better if I knew of the choices not listed in the
board - of other ways to approach the question of fertility; of men's
bodies as a site for fertility control and of less invasive technologies
It is way beyond time in Nepal to view women as knowing, thinking subjects actively involved in their own health and fertility.
Sushma Joshi is editor of the BOL! E-mail network which is part of the
Global Reproductive Health Forum.
Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in Women and Girls: A Pre-Study for
Media Activism by Asmita June 1998.=20
Reviewed by Seira Tamang
=09At a time when reports, news coverages and books on the
trafficking of women and girls seem to abound in Nepal , Asmita, the
Women's Publishing House and Media Resource Organization, has completed a
study compiling and analyzing just this information. =20
=09"Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in Women and Girls: A Pre-Study
for Media Activism" has the following objectives: to review existing
literature, media coverage, plans, policies and legal provisions related
to trafficking, and to make subsequent recommendations for media activism
in this field.
The second chapter written by Bidhan Acharya, reviews available
international, regional and national literature. Acharya basically
summarizes arguments put forward concerning such topics as prevalence and
magnitude, socio-economic factors, rehabilitation and so on.=20
=09Chapter three consists of an analysis of print media publications
(taken to be newspapers, and magazines with mass circulation as well as some specialized journals) on trafficking in Nepal by Saroj Pant. Based on a total of 1,591 articles (1,235 in Nepali and 356 in English), this chapter is by far the most critical and well written. =20
=09As Pant states, "[t]he =91created reality' about trafficking
produced by the media is presented in this chapter and whether that is
near to "reality" or not is also examined through comparative study."
A review of the electronic media production on trafficking in
Nepal by Anju Chhetri and Manju Thapa comprises chapter four. Included in
this section were NTV presentations, Nepali and foreign movies, telefilms,
and radio and television fare.=20
The final chapter on law, plan, policy and programmes is also
written by Manju Thapa and Anju Chhetri. As well as international
treaties, the 1997 National Policy on Trafficking, the National Action
Plan for Women Development 1997, the Trafficking in Humans (Control) Act
1986 and parts of the Civil Act 1963 are all discussed. National, regional
and international NGO alliances are also covered, as is the Ninth SAARC
Overall conclusions reached include the need for: new laws on
trafficking; more informative documentaries and news analysis programmes;
enforcing codes of conduct on journalists; cross-checking sources and
data; more government and NGO cooperation in working with the media and
more victimizer (as opposed to victim) -focused studies.=20
=09While this Asmita report shows the unevenness in quality that is
evident in any volume of differently authored chapters, it is quite
comprehensive and thorough. In view of the very scattered nature of
studies on trafficking, this report has done an excellent job in compiling
disparate sources of information into a very accessible format. It is
clear that a lot of hard work has been put into this endeavor. To be
particularly applauded is the fact that they have sought sources beyond
what is usually available and covered in Nepal.
=09More importantly perhaps, is the manner in which they have
critiqued existing written literature and other fare on trafficking,
revealing them to be far from satisfactory. Methodology used has been
found wanting. The fact that reliable quantitative reports on trafficking
are severely lacking is made abundantly clear. Incisive comments reveal
the manner in which people writing on trafficking have stated certain
claims without any evidence. Commonly held beliefs are also inspected for
their validity and found to based on shaky grounds. =20
=09For example the question is raised, if there is such a purported
demand for "mongoloid faces" why is there not an acute problem of
trafficking in such Indian states as Sikkim and Manipur where such
"mongoloid" people reside? Furthermore, on what basis is such a demand thought to be presumed - given that a survey of clients' sexual preferences does not seem to have been done.=20
=09While such commendable analyses and critiques are numerous, there
are also some weaknesses to the Asmita study. To begin with, nowhere in
the report is there a clear and explicit definition of "trafficking" and
"prostitution". While the two are interconnected and it may be that "[a]n insignificant proportion of [trafficked] girls might [sic] have been used for the purpose other than prostitution", conceptual clarity must be maintained. The latter is especially in important given that one of the recommendations made is for the de-criminalization of prostitution.=20
=09The confusion that results from this lack of conceptual clarity is
clearly illustrated in the report itself. For instance, it is argued at
one point that if a notion of higher incomes earned by prostitutes in
brothels is put forward, enticement factors may be such that trafficking
would be harder to prevent. =20
=09Similarly, in the context of discussing anti-slavery laws in Nepal
it is written "..however, it is really difficult to prevent it when an
adult woman is decided (sic) to involve in prostitution....awareness
strategies and even legal provisions would not work until the women
themselves are not motivated to get rid of this malpractice". This blurs
not only the coercion factor behind trafficking, but also the multiple
power relations which permeate society.=20
Also problematic, and this is especially true of chapter 2, is the
manner in which it is not at all clear as to when mere summaries of
different written material is being made, and when the author's own view
is being projected. This makes for very confusing reading.=20
=09While the prevalence of such general and unexplained statements
such as "[t]he expansion of capitalism in India and its influence in
Nepal's villages is ... responsible for the trafficking of Nepali women
and girls" is annoying, further comment on the nature of confusing
statements or questionable sentences appear inappropriate in the larger
context of the issue of language. This Asmita report was prepared in
English. Why not in Nepali, a language in which the authors could clearly
have expressed their ideas so much more articulately and unambiguously is
a question that needs to posed - both to Asmita and to the donor agencies.=
However, this is not to excuse Asmita for spelling errors (easily
removed by spell-check) and the non-inclusion in the bibliography of some
material directly quoted in the study (for example, Fredrick, 1995 and
=09 On a more general level, along with which treaties were signed
when, reviews of analyses of global trends would have been helpful. For
example, a recent issue of the Economist magazine (February 14th-20th,
1998) revealed how with globalization, not only have international tourism
and business travel made prostitution "spectacularly" rewarding in many
poor countries, it has also resulted in increased commoditization and
competition where in the lower end of the industry, "prices are ratcheted
downwards and only the cheapest supplier survives." =20
=09The article further states "[t]here is still plenty of money to be
made in this line of business. But in the longer term the future of
cut-price prostitution looks bleak. Bruised, terrorised prostitutes in
ugly surroundings attract only the least choosy, and worst-paying,
customers". In terms of the future demand for and welfare of trafficked
Nepali females and indeed a partial response to Pant's question as to if
there is such a high demand for Nepali women, why is their selling price
not higher than that of Indian or Bangladeshi women, such analyses are
=09Much could also be gained from more critical readings of
international works. For example, while Robert Friedman's article in "The
Nation" on sexual slavery in India is referred to, no mention is made of
the consequent debate that raged in that magazine concerning his
stereotypical and voyeuristic depiction of prostitutes - especially
Nepali. If the media is to be critiqued for perpetuating certain
gendered, simplistic and stereotyped portraits, then a thorough analysis
of the politics of representation must be made at all levels.
=09Additionally, a new angle could have been cast onto the issue of
"state inertia" concerning trafficking, with historian Prem Uprety's article in the June 1997 issue of the Tribhuvan University Journal - Research Division. He makes clear that trafficking had once been of concern at the highest levels, becoming "the theme of endless correspondence between the Maharaja of Nepal, the Government of India and the Nepali Vakil in Lhasa." This is important in terms of media advocacy in so far as a key question becomes, "why is this no longer so?"=20
=09Furthermore, a discussion (as opposed to just mentioning) the new
bill for the abolition of trafficking in humans being prepared by ILLRR,
would have been helpful for sketching up the sorts of issues that might
arise in opposition to that bill, and hence in preparing some sort of
"defensive-advocacy" plan accordingly. Indeed, the appropriateness of that bill itself could have been debated, in so far as it intends to change laws which have hitherto been silent on the question of prostitution (ie it is not legally criminal at the present moment), to making it outrightly illegal.
Finally, it is not clear why only the role of female journalists
is highlighted as being able to play an important role in media activism
related to trafficking. At a time when female journalists are trying to
break out of the stereo-type of "just covering womens' issues" and the
need for "gender awareness" and "the importance of including men" (as
opposed to male -bashing) runs rife, this does not seem very appropriate.
=09Overall, while Asmita has made clear the poverty of current media
interventions in trafficking, media advocacy based on fuzzy concepts and
confusing reports are fundamentally self-debilitating. This added to the
inherent difficulties in the practical implementation of "media advocacy"
(as highlighted by Pratyoush Onta in recent articles in the Kathmandu Post) suggests that additional "pre-studies" are needed. More conceptually, analytically and methodologically rigorous homework and research must be done before "media activism in trafficking" can become more than just another nara.=20
(Seira Tamang is a student of Political Science.=20
Servants of the Buddha:Winter in a Himalayan Convent By Anna Grimshaw.
Cleveland, Ohio, USA: The Pilgrim Press, 1994 [Originally published,
London, UK: Open Letters, 1992]. Pp. ix + 159, 9 Plates.=20
by Mary Des Chene
Servants of the Buddha recounts the daily life of a community of
Ladakhi Buddhist nuns from the bustle of the late fall harvest into deep
winter, ending shortly after the February Tibetan New Year. It is based
on the author's sojourn sometime in the 1970's. As a Cambridge University
Ph.D. candidate, Grimshaw spent nearly a year in Dharamsala. Dissatisfied
with what she was learning, and the project of anthropological research,
she tells us that she gave away her notebooks when she departed for
Ladakh. This book is not intended as a scholarly treatise, but rather an
"imaginative re-creation" of her life with the nuns of Julichang, a nunnery attached to the Rizong monastery near Leh. It is an engrossing tale, and one that will interest scholars concerned with the social and economic aspects of celibate monasticism.=20
Grimshaw's detailed accounts of working in the monastery kitchen, of the tight rationing of provisions to the nuns, and of their agricultural and animal husbandry labour for Rizong provide a close-up view of labour relations between nunnery and monastery. Economic relations between surrounding villages and the monastery are recounted in less detail since her vantage points include the monastery and nunnery, but not the villages. She paints a familiar picture of provision of unpaid labour and a portion of harvests, in return for feasts on ritual occasions and year-long provision of spiritual protection. But what Grimshaw adds are interesting observations on the centrality of the nuns as mediators in the relationship between the monks and their lay client/patrons.=20
In regard to both nuns and the lay populace, she vacillates between finding economic relations with the monastery exploitative and considering them symbiotic. Subtly present in her account are ruminations on the nature of Buddhist spirituality. She suggests that the nuns who, with their relentless round of physical labour, are afforded only rare opportunities to read a religious text, are perhaps closer to living the Buddhist ethic than are the relatively more comfortable monks who devote much of their days to devotional pursuits.=20
=09There are a few puzzling aspects to this book. Grimshaw presents herself as having tossed away her notebooks, yet she has also written a dissertation and other scholarly publications based on her sojourn at Julichang. She tells us she found an anthropological role "too closely associated for comfort with a colonial past" (p. 24), yet there is little reflection here on the consequences of her presence. The book begins and ends with sketchy accounts of her arrest (she was in Ladakh without permission). That the acting abbot of Rizong was not enamoured of her presence is never considered in this light, nor do we learn whether after her departure the nuns suffered any consequences for having harboured her. The bursar of Rizong, with whom she frequently interacted, emerges as a somewhat comic, somewhat sinister character, and one wonders if this is a fair portrait. But this is perhaps a measure of her deep engagement in the life of the nuns (for whom he was taskmaster and purseholder), and the feel for the tenor of these women's lives alone makes the book worth reading.=20
There are only hints at larger contexts and histories that affect the institutions described here (the abbots, for example, reside in South India for most of the year). A reader knowledgeable about the history of Tibetan Buddhism in the Himalayas will be able to place these details in context. For the lay reader, this book provides some accessible and thoughtful reflections on the monastic life of women.=20
(Mary Des Chene is an anthropologist. Reprinted from Himalayan Research
Bulletin 15(2), 1995).=20
Visweswaran, Kamala. Fictions of Feminist Ethnography. Delhi: Oxford
University Press, 1996.=20
A Call for Reflexivity - Feminist Ethnography By Melinda Pilling
In Fictions of Feminist Ethnography, Kamala Visweswaran creatively
explores the theoretical and historical relationships between fiction,
ethnography, and feminist praxis. Through interdisciplinary, cross-genre
research and theorizing, Visweswaran achieves an innovative and highly
readable account of her experience as a feminist researcher in South Asia.=
=20 This book is a must-read for creative writers, activists, and feminist researchers doing work in or about South Asia.=20
=09Central to Visweswaran's innovative approach to the problem of ethnographic praxis in a postcolonial context is an exploration of the relationships between fictional and ethnographic texts. Visweswaran points out relationships between the historical marginalization of women ethnographers and traditions of women's ethnography as fiction, biography, and folklore. She suggests that feminist ethnographic practice has much to gain from an understanding of its relationship to fiction:=20 Ethnography, like fiction, "constructs existing or possible worlds" all the while maintaining the idea of a made world.=20
Ethnography, like fiction, pretends to be descriptive, all the while "remaining detached from the realms to which it points." The choices she makes in style and arrangement reflect her perspective on the history and purpose of the ethnographic text. In anecdotal stories from the field, rigorous essays on feminist ethnographic theory, and reflections on the fictions and failures of feminist ethnographic praxis, Visweswaran sets up poetic tensions between feminist and deconstructive theories and the practice of feminist ethnography.=20
Visweswaran develops concepts of "failure"and "betrayal" as windows through which postcolonial feminists may view feminist practice. She argues that the betrayal of feminist principles -- as well as that of ethnographic subjects -- may be read as allegory for feminist practice and action "at a moment when feminist theory is repositioning itself along lines of difference." In Visweswaran's usage, "betrayal" is symptomatic of the shift taking place in feminist ideological production -- a shift toward a deeper understanding of the differences contained within the sign
"woman" and toward revaluing feminist practice and action in relation to this understanding. In Visweswaran's hands, "failure" -- like "betrayal"
=96 becomes a tool of trade for the new ethnography that values difference and incomplete meaning over similarity and wholeness. "Failure" marks neither the negative end of a line of inquiry nor something to learn from; instead, "failure" and "betrayal" designate the fundament of self-reflexive feminist ethnographic praxis.=20
=09As part of this new feminist ethnographic practice, Visweswaran encourages the feminist researcher to attune herself to silence and contradiction as sites of resistance to social structures and to hegemonic ethnographic practices. In the essay, "Betrayal," she tells the story of two women who were jailed in the Indian nationalist movement and of their silences about themselves and betrayals of each other when she tries to collect their stories. Silence and contradiction, argues Visweswaran, often mark sites in which a woman maintains the integrity of her secrets.=
=20 Visweswaran emphasizes that, for the feminist ethnographer, a silent will to knowledge drives the will to definitive interpretations. As ethnographic practice, listening to silence and contradiction -- rather than pursuing the ethnographic will to a complete story -- may undermine the still definitive power of objective stance. She advocates listening to silences and contradictions as a tool for examining the unvoiced workings of ideology and resistance.=20
Self-reflexive feminist praxis is central to the new trend in feminist ideological production. Visweswaran urges feminist ethnographers to do "homework," or work on and about ourselves and our homes. In her short autobiographical pieces and stories from the field, she illustrates how this might be undertaken in the context of academic work or creative writing. Taking the failures of feminist ethnography and the betrayal of feminist principles and ethnographic subjects as a starting point, Visweswaran urges us to look to the politics of our homes in the search for a sense of feminist purpose.=20
=09At a moment when feminism is being realigned along axises of difference and in which objective stance has come into question as the root of ethnographic praxis, Fictions of Feminist Ethnography provides an innovative model for feminist ethnographic praxis. Visweswaran's main point is simple and long overdue: The relationship between a feminist researcher (or activist) and her subject is central to feminist work and should be considered at every stage of a project =96 from developing research agendas, through the execution of the project, and including writing reports. Increasing attention to women's issues in development and academic circles necessitates a well thought-out program of feminist research and action. Women in Development workers and feminist researchers may gain reflexivity, intelligence, and direction from a careful reading of Fictions of Feminist Ethnography.=20
Melinda Pilling was a student at the Wisconisin Year in Nepal program.=20
AUTHOR: Visweswaran, Kamala. =20
BOOK: Fictions of Feminist Ethnography. Delhi:
University Press, 1996.=20
Reviewed by: Melinda Pilling
In Fictions of Feminist Ethnography, Kamala Visweswaran creatively
explores the theoretical and historical relationships between fiction,
ethnography, and feminist praxis. Through interdisciplinary, cross-genre
research and theorizing, Visweswaran achieves an innovative and highly
readable account of her experience as a feminist researcher in South Asia.=
=20 This book is a must-read for creative writers, activists, and feminist researchers doing work in or about South Asia.=20
=09Central to Visweswaran's innovative approach to the problem of
ethnographic praxis in a postcolonial context is an exploration of the
relationships between fictional and ethnographic texts. Visweswaran
points out relationships between the historical marginalization of women
ethnographers and traditions of women's ethnography as fiction, biography,
and folklore. =20
=09She suggests that feminist ethnographic practice has much
to gain from an understanding of its relationship to fiction:=20
Ethnography, like fiction, "constructs existing or possible worlds" all
the while maintaining the idea of a made world.=20
=09Ethnography, like fiction, pretends to be descriptive, all the while "remaining detached from the realms to which it points." The choices she makes in style and arrangement reflect her perspective on the history and purpose of the ethnographic text. In anecdotal stories from the field, rigorous essays on feminist ethnographic theory, and reflections on the fictions and failures of feminist ethnographic praxis, Visweswaran sets up poetic tensions between feminist and deconstructive theories and the practice of feminist ethnography.
Visweswaran develops concepts of "failure"and "betrayal" as
windows through which postcolonial feminists may view feminist practice.
She argues that the betrayal of feminist principles -- as well as that of
ethnographic subjects -- may be read as allegory for feminist practice and
action "at a moment when feminist theory is repositioning itself along
lines of difference." =20
=09In Visweswaran's usage, "betrayal" is symptomatic of the shift
taking place in feminist ideological production -- a shift toward a deeper
understanding of the differences contained within the sign "woman" and
toward revaluing feminist practice and action in relation to this
understanding. In Visweswaran's hands, "failure" -- like "betrayal" =96
becomes a tool of trade for the new ethnography that values difference and
incomplete meaning over similarity and wholeness. "Failure" marks neither
the negative end of a line of inquiry nor something to learn from;=20
instead, "failure" and "betrayal" designate the fundament of
self-reflexive feminist ethnographic praxis.
=09As part of this new feminist ethnographic practice, Visweswaran
encourages the feminist researcher to attune herself to silence and
contradiction as sites of resistance to social structures and to hegemonic
ethnographic practices. In the essay, "Betrayal," she tells the story of
two women who were jailed in the Indian nationalist movement and of their
silences about themselves and betrayals of each other when she tries to
collect their stories. =20
=09Silence and contradiction, argues Visweswaran, often mark sites in
which a woman maintains the integrity of her secrets. Visweswaran
emphasizes that, for the feminist ethnographer, a silent will to knowledge
drives the will to definitive interpretations. As ethnographic practice,
listening to silence and contradiction -- rather than pursuing the
ethnographic will to a complete story -- may undermine the still
definitive power of objective stance. She advocates listening to silences
and contradictions as a tool for examining the unvoiced workings of
ideology and resistance.
Self-reflexive feminist praxis is central to the new trend in feminist ideological production. Visweswaran urges feminist ethnographers to do "homework," or work on and about ourselves and our homes. In her short autobiographical pieces and stories from the field, she illustrates how this might be undertaken in the context of academic work or creative writing. =20
=09Taking the failures of feminist ethnography and the betrayal of
feminist principles and ethnographic subjects as a starting point,
Visweswaran urges us to look to the politics of our homes in the search
for a sense of feminist purpose.
=09At a moment when feminism is being realigned along axises of
difference and in which objective stance has come into question as the
root of ethnographic praxis, Fictions of Feminist Ethnography provides an
innovative model for feminist ethnographic praxis. =20
=09Visweswaran's main point is simple and long overdue: The
relationship between a feminist researcher (or activist) and her subject
is central to feminist work and should be considered at every stage of a
project =96 from developing research agendas, through the execution of the
project, and including writing reports. Increasing attention to women's
issues in development and academic circles necessitates a well thought-out
program of feminist research and action. =20
=09Women in Development workers and feminist researchers may gain
reflexivity, intelligence, and direction from a careful reading of
Fictions of Feminist Ethnography.=20
Melinda Pilling was a student at the Wisconisin Year in Nepal program.=20
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 16:44:02 +1200
Subject: Khoj Khabar
To the Editor
I have been looking around for Mr.Mohan Adhikari for a long time now. All I know is, he is in US somewhere. He comes from Kabrepalanchowk district of Nepal. If anyone knows where he is or know his email, please send me his email or send him my email.
33 Tika street
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 21:33:58 +0530
From: "F. A. H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <email@example.com>
To: editor Contributions <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Dogmandu: the 'Barking-Dog Capitol of the World'
DOGMANDU (written, after being awakened at 3A.M. in the morning, by...)
The 'kakophony' of Dogmandu,
The 'Barking-Dog Capitol of the World!'
All night long too!
There are few 'Kaths' in
Bad luck they say...
Yet, Brahmin is silence!
The 'Kath's mehow!'
Stray dogs lie
Dying for food
On the street,
Roaming in packs,
Eating out of plastic sacks (This is good luck?)!
The dogs of Dogmandu
Pollute, then scoot,
Barking at what
They cannot 'shoot!'
The 'kakophony' of Dogmandu,
Unhappily, through and through!
Their 'parents' don't discipline,
Let them run wild,
Only to revile in the end!
At the 'kakophony;' the
'Barking-Dog Capitol of the World,' Dogmandu!
F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple
Lazimpat, Dogmandu, Nepal
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 5:24:28 GMT
Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - July 14, 1998 (30 Ashadh 2055 BkSm)
In answer to Dr. Suresh Chalise's query about materials on Nepali
politics in London, here is a list of relevant journals regularly
received in the Periodicals section of the Library of the School of
Oriental and African Studies (SOAS):
Nepal Press Digest
Studies in Nepali History and Society
Contributions to Nepalese Studies
Journal of the Nepal Research Centre
Himalayan Research Bulletin
European Bulletin of Himalayan Research
I think the Library has pretty near complete sets of each of these. I
hope this is helpful.
School of Oriental and African Studies London
fax 171-436-3844 or 171-436-2664
From: "BCN" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 18:54:57 +0200
I am looking for exports companies in Nepal of rise paper products.
Please can you help me in provide me some addresses & details ?
Thank you very much for your help
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 12:14:48 +0530
From: "Swarnim Wagle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The Nepal Human Development Report 1998
The Nepal Human Development Report 1998, launched in Kathmandu on 1 June
1998, can now be accessed at:
This report is the first of its kind to be produced in Nepal.
Commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the
report is an editorially independent study undertaken by Nepali scholars
under the aegis of the Nepal South Asia Centre (NESAC), Kathmandu. As a
collective effort of a team led by Dr. Devendra Raj Panday, former
Minister of Finance, and Dr. Chaitanya Mishra, Professor of Sociology at
the Tribhuwan University, it reflects the works, insight and perception
of the principal authors. This study has also drawn on the inputs of a
wide cross-section of people from the government, academia and the civil
society, as well as the rich body of literature and scholarship on
Nepal. The report took well over one year in preparation and has gone
through several drafts including the one that was extensively discussed
in a national seminar organised by NESAC in December. Although initiated
by and submitted to UNDP, major responsibility for the structure and
content of this discourse lies with the authors.
Please contact Swarnim Wagle (email@example.com) or Devendra Raj
Panday (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information and comments.
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