The Nepal Digest - July 27, 1995 (13 Shrawan 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Thursday 27 July 95: Shrawan 13 2052 BkSm Volume 40 Issue 5

 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta *
 * SCN Correspondent: Rajesh B. Shrestha *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" - Sirdar Khalifa *
 * *

********************************************************************** Date: Wed, 26 Jul 1995 10:07:56 +1100 To: From: Subject: Thank You

        FUNC: ACT Office
        TEL: (06) 289-7370 <HAMAL KRISHNA@A1@CBR> To: mx%""@cnb09w@mrgate

Dear Editor,

Thank you very much for sending TND regularly. We Nepalese in Canberra really appreciate your good effort to keep us informed about Nepalese politics, economics, culture and people. On the behalf of the Australian Nepalese Friendship Society, please accept our congratulations to you and your editorial board.

Since I am moving to another office from tomorrow, please do not send me future issues of TND at this em address. I will send you my new ema asap.

Cheers and have a good day.

Krishna Hamal Australia Nepalese Friendship Society Canberra.

***************************************************** Date: Tue, 18 Jul 1995 03:33:44 -0500 From: 194038@JPNIUJ00.BITNET To: The Nepal Digest <> Subject: 50,000 Nepali Girls Enslaved in a Hell-Hole!

Here's a distasteful article that I came across in the India News Digest just yesterday. The political limbo in Nepal has caused no serious look to the this kind of social issue by any government so far. Those who engage in selling and buying of women should be punished severely like in Islamic countries. The criminal justice system has failed utterly in both India and Nepal. Those who argue for rights of criminals and due justice need to open their eyes further if these kind of problems are to be eradicated under the existing laws and code s that are totally weak to punish the guilty thuugs who engage in this kind of business.

#4 Bombay brothels enslave 50,000 Nepali girls - Report

    By Sonali Verma
     NEW DELHI, July 17 (Reuter) - As many as 50,000 young Nepali girls are enslaved in Bombay brothels, most working to repay the price their families were paid for them, according to a U.S.-based human rights group.
     Thousands of young Nepali girls are brought every year across the 500-mile (800-km) open border India and Nepal share, by greasing palms of officials on either side, Human Rights Watch Asia said in a report titled
"Rape For Profit."
     The report said many, lured from remote, impoverished village homes with promises of marriage or jobs, are sold for 200 Nepali rupees ($4) to brokers who deliver them to Indian brothels where they are beaten, raped and tortured.
     "If I had known what was to happen to me, I would have killed myself halfway," it quotes 16-year-old Tara as saying. "My purity was violated, so I thought, why go back, go back to what?
     "When they brought me here, I kept wondering what kind of work was going on. Men would go and come through these curtained entrances. People on the street would be calling out, two rupees, two rupees (six cents). In two days, I knew everything. I cried."
     "In India's red-light ares, the demand for Nepali girls, especially virgins with fair, 'golden' skin and Mongolian features, continues to increase," the report says.
     "The Nepalis also suffer from a reputation of sexual compliance among both Indian sex workers and customers, who say they engage in higher-risk sexual acts than their Indian counterparts, who may have more control over the terms of contact."
     In 1991, the average age of new recruits from Nepal, among the world's 10 poorest countries, was 10, compared to 16 in the 1980s, the New York group said in the July 16 report.
     Brothel owners pay 15,000 to 40,000 rupees ($500 to $1,330) for newcomers, then imprison, beat and rape them to weaken them physically and psychologically, the report said.
     "I am not living even now, so how does it matter if I die," a young Nepali prostitute was quoted as saying. She was infected with HIV, the virus which can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrom (AIDS), for which there is no known cure.
     The report accuses Indian and Nepali police of colluding with brokers in trapping and sending women through a vast trafficking network, and allowing brothels to flourish despite laws forbidding prostitution, in exchange for hefty bribes.
     It quoted Nepali officials as saying poorly-paid policemen were not trained to identify traffickers among the estimated 100,000 people who cross the border without visas every day.
     "Because many of the girls contract AIDS sooner or later, there is a growing demand for 'fresh meat' and traffickers have begun looking for Nepali girls of all castes and localities," the report said.
     The women, many illiterate, uneducated and very young, were powerless to negotiate to protect themselves from HIV infection. It said 20 percent of Bombay's 100,000 prostitutes were under 18. At least half of them are suspected to be infected with HIV.
     "Customers are falling off these days. Those men who want to live stay away," it quoted a brothel owner as saying.

************************************************************** From: GP <> To:, Subject: e-mail or air-mail or FAX: cost analysis

Many peoples overwhembled by the internet connection provided by , but, soon their interest has been resulted "Kunthit" because of expensive price list for the personal use. It is because everyone using internet in foreign land know that the internet is most cheaper means of communication. I have ever seen the guys having connection in their private apartment saying that their bill has reached US$80. permonth when they do mass mailing for thousands. But, if you do this using services from Nepal you will be bank-rupted within a month because you have to pay for incoming and outgoing both mails. Like a company, (most of peoples here might have seen the message which had been posted to as much as 3(?) thousand newsgropup and repeatedly for many times ) Saigel and, for filling the US citizenship lottery application form, and received 55,000 mails within few hours and jammed the whole system. If you post such message and are getting such huge replies you have no way other than to suicide to save your property. Next point is how many nepalis know how to use lotus 1-2-3 which can be called the basic package in our computer life. Which is much easier than the dos's basic 36 commands. Going from Lotus-dos- to Unix is too much difficult. How many people know the real meaning of deleting or erasing a file. Then mv or rm in unix. Then comes the vi editor or line editor. So, your relatives need some consultants to use the e-mail FACILITY. In that sense, the normal mail by air is quite better and most probably most of the SCNers/TNDers mother hardly can read the english, I believe. When you write a letter in computer and print using laser printer or line printer the total time required is quite long, because you need to print it to read by your family members.

For me a hand written letter has different impression than printed letter. I felt the computer printed letter is like a formal letter which does not have any correction. I don't feel it a need to keep the letter for future backup, while I am keeping my letters I received in last 11 years, i.e. written with hand. the other important point, is you can't write it in you most preferred language, Nepali, Gurung , Sherpa, Maithali or Nepal bhasha. You have to confine your self on this one level english , monotonus language. Your father is also "you", your close friend is also you, not e.g. "TA". I feel more impressed with correct use of such words rather than every time "YOU" for every one. "Talla ghara ko mailo" can not be expressed using second language.
"Thaykkai" 's tranlation is not always "EXACTLY". So, for personal letter writing the use of such expensive mailing services is not justified and does not provide that impression as you get from the real airmail letter. E-mail means you have to sacrifice both.

The most important thing, is, I think, feeling in the letter in your own language. You can express exactly on paper. But, when you translate there is some "TRANSLATION LOSS". There will be translation loss two times. For example, the rumor part in your letter if translated correctly by 80 percentage by both side persons, then total exact rumer enjoyed by the receiver side is only 0.8x0.8 = 0.64 i.e. 64 percentages. So, there is 36% loss. So, you should consider the translation losses.

Un-necessary, pain in printing, typing and correcting the spelling and content is just a wastage of time for both side peoples. Because, when you have this e-mail system you will send un-necessary mails for a person in Nepal who may have to go to mos's central office to see and get the hard copy. It will be annoying if he has to do it reguraly with his own cost. But, sending air mail, he does not cost, what he has to do is just to read. So, s/he enjoys several times than the paining for opening the system, then
................ He may loose his patience and sometimes if the content is repeating in every mail (if it is regular), the person may say "GIVE UP".

For emergency purposes, use of email is still a useless. Because, you need to inform him by telephone, where you will explain all the things in telephone. You are spending two time the expense. As receiver has to spend for receiving mails and you have to spend for the telephone. But, how many times you will have emergency
/urgent messages? Is it appropriate to spend Rs. 5,000 connection charge for few urgent messages. Lets see the cost analysis. The FAX for one page hand written/type cost about 170. The 2Kilobyte means 2,000 characters. Usually , half of this is (1 K) contains many messages on the header part of the mail. So, you type your very urgent message using Times font which has 100 character in one line x 56 lines , including headers suppose 16 lines (max). Thus, 100x40 characters. 4Kilo byte letters can be sent by fax in Rs. 200. while if you use e-mail and send the same content you need to spend only Rs. 50 for that letter. How many times you send such FAX, urgent messages 15days once. Then 24 times a year. 24 x 200 = Rs. 4,800. For the person sending from Nepal. While by email, 5,000+ 50x24=6,000. So, FAXING a letter every alternate week is still cheaper than going mos office and sending it my email. How nice feeling you will have a bold, underlined italic fax compared to the dull courier type font with lot of line on header part. When you get FAX, you will respond much faster than the message you get by e-mail.

Because of these reason I still don't prefer to ask some one obtain e-mail account just to send few mails a year, rather I prefer FAX and airmail . I am some time enjoying while reading the age old letters written by my friend, relatives , by parents
.....who not.....wife......son........................... If there is e-mail , then there will be only one language? Prototype letter,..................

So, mos.nepal should change the e-mail rate for personal use and if possible may provide a public e-mail address for one way purpose, then people may use it as a substitute of FAX and may save 100 rupees if the cost is Rs. 50 for the mail content and Rs. 50. for overhead charge as I had shown by numerical illustrations. mos.nepal should consider Japanese style of business i.e. facilities (production) for mass public where take little benefit from one person but large amount when you add 1010101010101 (like binary where only 0 and 1 can represent same number as used by 0 123456789 1o digits). What you may do is , you can add another overhead charge for some one if s/he uses your computer for typing, i.e. based on total time shared. If your rate is somewhat similar as I proposed, then I will certainly appreciate your system. Those who want to use foR everyday mail or for mass mailing they will certainly use the fixed+per mail type address. Such mass mailers also intend to get large number of mails , so for them fixed system (current) is benefecial. Looking at the present economy of the peoples, the method of payment I proposed will certainly be a benefecial to mos.nepal and will attract a lot of people. First job, you should do is attract people, peoples will be attracted only when the initial cost is cheaper and the system is friendly for them. If peoples can type their mail somewhere and can just mail it by paying Rs. 50----100. surely the number of users will incerease.

Good luck. I wish all the success and also wish to be your system's user in near future.

Bye. GP

********************************************************************* Date: Fri, 14 Jul 95 9:57:38 EDT From: "Robby Khanal" <> To: Subject: re: The Nepal Digest - July 13, 1995 (29 Ashadh 20
         52 BkSm)

Dear Editor,

    I think there might have been a misunderstanding when I sent my e-mail last week about Amrit Kayastha's claim that he's the only Internet provider in Nepal. I responded by saying his claim was false. What I thought he said was that he's the only e-mail provider in Nepal through the Internet. Since then I've realized what he meant by his statement. I guess I can blame this on my lack of Internet knowledge. My apology to Amrit Kauastha and the Mercentile Office Systems in Nepal.

                                                Robby Khanal
********************************************************************* To: Subject: Nepal's incentives to foreign investors may fail Date: Fri, 14 Jul 1995 13:21:42 -0400 From: Amrit R Pant <arp@kanchenjunga.LCS.MIT.EDU>

  KATHMANDU, July 14 (Reuter) - The Nepali communist government's fresh incentives to lure foreign investors to the Himalayan kingdom could fail as political uncertainty checks the flow of foreign capital, analysts said.
         ``Investors will study the impact of policies, their continuity, stability of the government and labour laws before they put their money in,'' said Banwari Lal Mittal, a businessman and industry analyst, on Thursday.
         Nepal's King Birendra in June ordered mid-term general elections -- the nation's third vote in five years -- to be held in November after dissolving its parliament.
         Mittal said investors will seek a guarantee for the security of their capital. ``Investors may wait until the elections are over before they actually bring in their money,'' he told Reuters.
         Finance Minister Bharat Mohan Adhikary on Tuesday presented a fresh set of incentives for foreign investment while announcing Nepal's annual budget.
         He said the governement was working towards easing current restrictions on foreign investment, welcoming small investors and cutting the rates of corporate and personal income tax.
         ``The personal income tax rate is the lowest in the entire SAARC region,'' Adhikary said, referring to the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation, a regional body that comprises India, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Nepal, Bhutan, the Maldives and Pakistan.
         The finance minister said the communists would guarantee foreign investors 100 percent repatriation of income and capital.
         Foreign aid currently accounts for 36 percent of Nepal's 52.89 billion rupee ($1.06 billion) budget, but Adhikary stressed: ``This is not an age of aid but of trade.''
         ``The phase of soft loans is now over -- Nepal now needs investments,'' he said.
         A Finance Minstry official said the Asian Development Bank did not approve of the kingdom's arbitration laws, saying they run counter to foreign investors' interests.
         ``I think these laws have to be changed,'' Adhikary said.
         Nepal adopted a market economy in 1992, soon after its populous neighbour India began a radical economic reforms programme.
         Liberalisation in the kingdom, one of the world's 10 poorest nations, followed its first democratic multi-party elections in 1991, in which the Nepali Congress party swept to power.

************************************************************** Date: Sat, 15 Jul 1995 15:59:54 PDT To: The Editor <> From: Dahal Durga <> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - July 14, 1995 (30 Ashadh 2052 BkSm)

Xinhua Reports: Election in Nepal

A total of 97 political parties have registered with the Election Commission (EC) before the dead line to apply for registration on Thursday afternoon. Last year there were 69 parties applying for registration with the EC. This year 28 new parties are born. The total constituencies are 205 according to the Constitution of Nepal 1990. Any party needs 103 constituencies be won by public voting to make a government.

Several returnees from abroad may miss their name in the voter list. It is hard to correct the missing voters name. Such a person should appear in front of the EC in a given time, with two witnesses already registered in the EC book. Ordinary Nepali can not claim "I am a voter!

It takes three working days to correct the name. First day go check the book, read from top to bottom, cannot find name. Second day go talk to some registered honorary Nepali in the desired constituency. Third day take them in the EC Office, might be feed them in the restaurant, talk about foreign trips, and be registered.

The real election day comes in November. Get up from the bed, get fresh, and think to vote. If some one goes to vote, in Urban area in the Valley of Kathmandu, and may be Birat Nagar, Dharan, Pokhara, or other Cities the AMALE voters will be on queue a mile. First vote there, and run for proxi votes in other constituencies, it will be interesting if really checked the queues in each 20 minutes by Video Cameras.

The newly registered voter may wait gently for his term to vote. He will ask the police to be entered. Police may look at the voter ID no. The voter may or may not vote inside. If someone already did this job, then no worry. The job is done. If the real voter votes, it is a surprising pleasure to him.

Whoever whatever patriot be, the comming election won't be stopped. Welcome to this electiion 1995. It will cost Rs.40 crores, 400 million rupees ($7.92) according to Xinhua. The expenses will be unlimited. The real voter marker ink will cost Rs.3 crore. But election commission will not buy the stainy ink so expensive. In place they will use ordinary ink, may be washable by the proxier.

Just right after the announcement of the elction, lots of AMALE's will be seen on the street singing and chanting the rhymes they are asigned. Several temos do this job 24 hours, non stop, carrying two AMALE workers and a tape recorder with a loud speaker. Everybody are paid. Good employment.

Walk around the city, or go anywhere, even by bus or taxi,if any wall appears will be nicely painted. Some body like it or not, the painters are good paid. Sometimes, the wall owner also is paid good.

>From my side, I have no objection for comming election. Girija
operated last election, and Man Mohan is operating the comming election. What I wish is, come one party with atleast 104 to 155 seats. If 155+, that works to change the constitution of Nepal. If just 104, that will work for one full term, provided not dividing, like last year. Elections are doing good for the development of Constitution. People are people finally, they should be respected.

Comments of lots of expenses is useless. This expense is unavoidable, for the survival of Nepali gin for tomorrow. It is not acceptable to me to neglect the voting rights of the people and make somebody selectively on power.

Last year, the same time the same thing happened in Nepal. I had to share my part as I am. I did not think some body come and secure our country, we have to secure our country, at least by slogans. So, went and queued to vote. Some checkers found my namelegible to vote, some found already voted. I voted to Prakas Man Singh, (Professor of Statics, Tri Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University) son of the Great SARBAMANYA, LAUHAPURUS, Ganesh Man Singh, from Dillibazar Constituency. It was a real fun. I wish you have fun too.
********************************************************************** From: (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: Social Polemics Debate - Amulya's response to P Onta - I To: (tnd) Date: Fri, 14 Jul 1995 22:47:51 -0400 (EDT)

Amulya's comments My responses to some of the discussion on the linkages of development and modernity with the generation of cultural problems in contemporary Nepal is given below:

From: IN%"" 30-JUN-1995 01:10:40.33

I would like to add a note to the recent and very interesting discussion initiated by Amulya regarding Development and Social Polemics in Nepal today. At the time of this writing, only Mahesh Maskey has responded to Amulya's provocative thoughts and I hope that Amulya and others will join this discussion in a vigorous way.

I would like to begin by summarizing what has already been said so that my following notes make more sense. However my summary can not do full justice to the entire contents of the original postings and I encourage interested readers to read them before reading what follows.

Amulya has argued that what he calls "social polemics" (SP) - argumentation about sanskrit, cow slaughter, etc - is a historical contingency that has arisen in Nepal due to the convergence of several factors. He writes that the strength of the SP is closely tied to the national project of bikas. The post-1951 state took bikas and an ethos of modernization as the its public dharma. More than any other ideology bikas legitimized the state's role to both represent a putative Nepali nation and create one at the same time. The international development regime that supported the Nepali state helped in the creation of a middle class (in the Kathmandu and global sense and NOT in the national sense) with a
"modern lifestyle" but the promises of bikas remained elusive to most of Nepal's population.


An important, perhaps subtle, distinction must be made here between
"development" and "modernization" as it is understood for nepal.
"Development" is here understood as the tangible, explicit projects with very often visible material manifestations such as irrigation, afforestation project, adult education, distribution of condoms, etc. It refers to specific foregn collaboration in specific activities by the State institutions and now the "NGO"s, activities which Stacy Pigg says constittutes development as a job, as message, as idiom of social hierarchy and and an idiom. Historically, the period identified with "development" is post-1951.

"Modernization" on the other hand defines the substratum on which development is operating, the whole philosophy of social change that beganwith Enlightenment, the quest of Rationality that originated in Europe at the end of the Dark Middle ages. Among its not-so-visible manifestation are a) a metaphysical committment to Cartesian rationality, i.e., simplistically that reason is separate and superior to passion; b) the metaphysical committment to totalizing philosophhies and ontologies, or a belief that there are universal realities, truths, and values, which ; c) the projects of science and technology that privileges empiricism as the fundamental nature of such reality will access; and as corollary to social engineering we d) institutins such as the State with universal and standard rules called Laws that are supposed to grant equal justice and opportunity to all.

My application of modernity to nepal refers to unquestionable public committment to the notion of written law from the law of land such as the constitution in 1990 to the Muluki ain in jung bahadur times. Contradictions between what is avowedly a project to ape the West resulted in the powers exerting that "Ain ma je lekhe pani hukum le katcha"{whatever is written in the law can be cancelled by my Rana decree}. During Panchayat times attempts to install a Weberian type ideal bureacracy that rolls in the ineluctable tide of rationality in government spheres had to be overruled by the famous,
"Hu_pra" institutions or "hukum pramangi or basically royal decree to promote someone close to the palance over universal, rational virtues of written statutes such as merit, training, seniority, or service in remote areas. Dor Bahadur Bista's book, Fatalism and Development: Nepal's struggle towards modernization, contains a rich litany of such contradictions in Nepal's pretence towards modernization and he hypothesizes that such contradictions emerge from traditional, re Hindu values of afno manche, cakari, and other anti-development values which he identifies with the label, "Brahminism". Despite such contradictions, some would call it hypocrisy, modern nepali intellectuals, both capitalists and progressive marxists, believe that the march of modernity is not only inevitable but desirable for Nepal.

My concerns over the effect of modernity was not limited to the traditional focus on State institutions and elite social group but also on rest of nepal. For purely heuristic purposes, one can segment the nepali population to two groups: those that have been exposed to development and modernization and those that have been exposed to modernity. Any body who lives in a nation state who is governed by rules of the state and is exp[osed to radio anc cultural programs participates in modern devices such as roads and planes or travel has exposed to modernity. This process, i argue began much earlier than 1951 and scholars such as Stiller call the period after unification and thebirth of nepal as a nation in 1769 as the beginning of the modern period.

Some historian and scholars like to argue that the dark days of Rana and the period nepal was closed to the west was not really a modern period. But histories written by Regmi and Stiller and Locke all assume leit motif of modernity: the story told is the rise of rationality in the expansion of state instituions first for defencs and revenue extraction then for other social and cultural activities. The people of Nepal were both passive and active agents in the definition of modernity in nepal.

It is in this context that I see such tinker-tanker, band-aid reforms of fundamental contradictions such as a pretence to promote para-State organizations in the NGOS lately, the billion dollar development in
"community" forestry and decentralization when the central trend is the consolidation of the central administration and universal logic of the state as opposed to the variable logic that are function of variable spatial and temporal particularity, as hopeless and futile, or at best an ideological obfuscation.


Although Amulya does not put it this way, he seems to be saying that in the aid squeeze that "structural adjustment" amounts to, more members of the above-mentioned middle class are finding themselves also disillusioned by the promises of bikas and increasingly more disenfranchised within a state that is only capable of being a policeman for World Bank Inc. This crowd and the always already disenfranchised majority part of the population then, according to Amulya, are easily attracted to social polemics.

Being "attracted to social polemics" does not automatically translate to eruption of social conflicts. Social conflicts at any given time are a function of not only material condition but cultural meanings the particioants of a conflict draw upon. While Western scholars in general and many Nepali modernists believe in the awewom powers and the ultimate victory of the Western technology, secular values, the global march of history in which every nationa is playing catchup tothe ideal state that is America, despite the fantastic ironies we see here in deep racial hatred, environmental failures, breakups of society, it is important to realize that discoursive field that defines meanings in nepal is not exclusively or even dominantly engineered by modernist or developmental discourse as scholars such as Pigg explicitly and many others, implicitly, try to argue.

Hinduiz\ation, Sanskritization, Nepalization are just some of the other dominant ideologies that contest in the generation of meaings at the subsidy fo the State and these have received at least some attention from anthropologiests and sociologists. Other discourses from bonpoism Buddhism, animism alsw receivd their share of "state and communal" sanction from the time social groups were organized in smaller scales.

One of the essences, forgive me anti-essentialists, is that Nepal has tremendous spatial heterogeneity (you would know a geographer would bring that up sooner or later ) but what is not apparent is the temporal heterogeniety too. Both spatial and temporal heterogeniety determine various grades of discursive meaning fields in which modernization tries to sow its "fruits of development".

All of us can locate our individual standpoints in this mish-mash of meanings, sure the most "moderns" of us, those that have been literally born in the West if not had early schooling in English medium, reacted with modern instituions of state, science and technology, capitalisme and marxism, continue to dedicate our lifes to cause to humanity might wonder if we have vanquished all of the traditional meanings which we see adn so does dor bhadur bista as impediments to progress. I have seen in tnd padma sharma arguing for scientific paradigms in managing affairs fo the state, from some Nepali in california arguing the answer to Nepal's problems are rationality, from the implicit front-staging of the committment to modernity in the latest issue of The Association of Nepalies in the Americas, LINK/Samachar Bichar where Harvard and Mit Nepali graduates trying to solve the problems of Nepal as the reduction of "inefficiencies and the enormous wastage of scarce resources"
{implying the existence and pursuit of an unproblematic efficient method out there and the resources are automatically scarce} or pointing out how "Nepal has a high degree of hypocrisy [a "vice that is generated from the Cartesian committment to strong boundaries between reason and passion, between certainty and uncertainty, from failure to tolerate ambivalence and play and multiple meanings} mixed with a strong need to pontificate on the ideals of good society, pointing routinely at Western social inadequacies".


Since the above configuration is a historical contingency, Amulya hints of a possibi. lity of "social emancipation." Mahesh comments that this aspect is not developed by Amulya and adds that we need to have a historical understanding of ethnic relations/social polemics. He suggests that if we were to engage in such a project, we might discover that Amulya's sole designation of the twin development-modernization as being responsible for our current polemics is misplaced.

Amulya and especially Mahesh call for a vigorous discussion on the subject which I support. However, I do not share Mahesh's position that those of us with access to the net (its speed and resources) are necessarily in any better situation to clarify the multi-dimensions of the linkages explored by Amulya. Much discussion has happened and is happening - especially in print media - regading this subject in Nepal and it would be presumptions for us to pretend that we can set any examples for others to follow.

Here I want to propose an idea that might - I repeat - might help us to see the emergence of the current social polemics squarely within the political culture of Panchayat. Here are the constituting parts of my idea:

Yes while the memory of the Panchyat polity's committment in the promotion of development is fresh, i would take exception in granting the Panchyat the dominant privilege you give in the promotion of "modernization" in Nepal for reasons discussed above.

a) The implication of bikas-modernization as state dharma: The state took it upon itself to decide and elucidate what was entailed in being a member of the nation which it putatively represented (even as it engaged in creating a nation). As Amulya points out, this meant that in the public sphere no one could question the bikas agenda of the state without at the same time risking one's membership in the nation. Incarceration, torture, and other possibilites remained real for those who asked too many questions. The success of the bikas project and the willingness with which the state might resort to physical violence to discipline "deviant" citizens became clear when the post-Panchayat Congressi government used physical threat and the special police against members of the Alliance for Energy when they questioned the appropriateness of Arun III.
.... And Man Mohan is on record for accusing his Opposition for trying to stymie "development" by seeking or precipitating a costly midtern election.

b) Nationalization of the past as one harmonic whole made up of "bir Nepalis" (ie no internal differentiation in terms of ethnicity) and a promise of comforting future via bikas dharma infused almost ALL of the public sphere debates. With strong print, radio and visual media under its wings, the Panchayati regime was able to control most but not all of the parameters within which public discussions could take place. This included discussions regarding bikas and its twin (see above), citizenship.

c) The contradiction between the Panchayati state's claim to represent the nation and its project to create one at the same time - and here I follow a line of inquiry suggested by the late Richard Burghart - became all too real in the post-Referendum era. When this state collapsed in 1990, its ability to control the parameters of public discussion on
"proper citizenship" collapsed as well. This, more than any other thing, led to the emergence of what Amulya calls social polemics: a phenomenon in the Nepali public sphere where intense argumentation regarding ALL aspects of what it means to be a "Nepali" has been and can be discussed.
============= I disagree that social polemics just literally woke up one fine day after 1990, sure it seems so, for many exposed only to govt media, but i have tried to explicate evidence of such conflicts from documented, anecdotal, oral histories. For instance, Vivek Rana claime that 5000 Muslims were killed by irate Hindu orthodox villages in kalaiya and had to put down by the aARmy during the Panch time; the persecution of Buddhists monks with exiles by the Ranas is well documented; the marginaliation of Gurungs, Tamangs druing the modernization can be read in ethnographic accounts.

d) Those used to the controlled ethos of the Panchayati public sphere have suddenly realized that they cannot manage the project of unquestioned bikas as before. They also can not manage the meanings of what it means to be a Nepali anymore. This is mainly because the state cannot claim legitimacy to represent all the communities/nations inside Nepal (here we do need to recognize the successes in creating a nation recorded by Panchayati education etc.). It is no longer the only big player in the public domain. Thanks to certain developments in print technology, the message of others with other ideas about what it means to be a Nepali today is reaching a large audience.

e) This is then the social polemics that Amulya talks about. To make things more clear, I would like to posit a hypothetical history of Nepal for the past 5 years. Let us assume that the Panchayati regime had not ended in 1990. If that were the case, then despite changes in the international development regime (structural adjustment squeezing middle class etc) it would be hard to imagine that our public sphere today would be full of social polemics. The controlling mechanisms would still have greatly limited the possibilities for identity politics discussions.
============== True, the strenght of the Panchayat polity had a significant role in rendering visible aor invisible the social polemics, but I posit that there are overdetermining factors and process that would literally nourish social polemics in nepal. At least one of them is the global emphasis of nation-state by international politics and the necessitities of the capitalistic logic. While from the end of World War II to the early 1980s we see the nation-state being described as teh harbringer of development and modernization both in neoclassical and marxist literatures, there is now a search for development bny "NGO"s and para-State institutions. While communism has been defeated and the secular humanism has reached the "end of history", nation states are no longer needed to facilitate efficient global surplus extraction with naked suppression with the development of cultural dopes of late capitalism like Micahel Jackson. {It is rumoured that one reason Panchayat won in 1979 refferendum was because a royal conspiracy was hatched by Dhirendra and Gyanendra to bring in video and pornographic films en masse, the videos were just beginning to hit the market then, so that all or at least the most volatile of these frustrated urban yuouths would visiting the gallies of makhan, wotu, in many clandestine video parlous being drained of their libidinal energies including political fire, not a cut-and-dried theory, but a plausible one at that.}

f) The implications of my argument: I am not denying the linkages that Amulya tries to draw between a particular constellation of the international development regime, post-revolution Nepali state and social polemics in Nepal. While I feel that we need to elaborate on these linkages, I have no doubt that they exist. What I have tried to show here is the particularity of the emergent public sphere in Nepal today and highlight how it has superceded the Panchayati management of meaning in the public domain with respect to bikas-citizenship.

g) I feel that just because the magnitude of identity-related discussions have increased in a geometric fashion in the past 5 years or so, it would be an exaggerration to express fears about a possible splintering of the Nepali state. This is not to say that there are no real grievances. Nor is this to say that we have a glorious history of ethnic harmony in Nepal. This "glorious" history is as much the result of the machinations of apologists for the Panchayat regime as the collective failure of both Nepali and foreign scholars of Nepal to provide detailed social histories of conflict in our history (Here I assume that overt violence is not the only evidence of conflict). While I would not use brands of acculturation arguments to say why I think the Nepali state will not break up any soon, I take encouragement from the words of prominent ethnic activists who say that it is not a part of Nepal that they desire for themselves but a differnet Nepal where more than just a few can enjoy the fruits of citizenship and use the state, as someone put it, as an institutional resource for themselves as well.

h) I would like to sum up this posting by repeating what I have tried to suggest here
(i) The bikas dharma of the state, although still very strong, can no longer tie membership to the putative Nepali nation by asking all its members to do unquestioned puja any longer. Therefore you see the emergence of alliances - some admittedly fashionable ones - that take the state to task on its development plans and others who call for a overall repudiation of the whole development imperative (among Nepali academic types, Promod Parajuli has voiced the second line of argument, resting his case on the emergence of "new social movements"; rich ethnographic information, unfortunately, has not been part of his presentation). The state can no longer claim that bikas and citizenship are one and the same thing in Nepal any more.

(ii) In the post-Panchayat era, a new public sphere has emerged in which all kinds of identity politics are fair game. The state can no longer dictate what it means to be a Nepali any more. I welcome this phenomenon. I also feel that we do not know enough to discuss the social bases of some of the claims that are being made by certain leaders of identity politics in Nepal today. Just as I cannot accept the Panchayati state's claim to speak for all putative Nepalis, I cannot accept some of the claims being made by different leaders and organizations in the name of Newars, Magars, Gurungs or what have you. As a Newar I have been amazed how in the post-1990 configuartions of janajati politics one organization and a small body of what were previously Nepal-bhasa activists have taken it upon themselves to represent ALL concerns of Newars. The right to represent and the class issue within ethnicity politics are only TWO important issues that have NOT been discussed throughout the spectrum of janajati politics in Nepal. As one reader of TND pointed out to Amulya months ago, the absurdity of Kathmandu high class Newars claiming an "oppressed" history for themselves (and simultaneously
------------ Different Newars have different voices. High class Newars true to the overdetermination of class considerations complain that their very privileged status, facilitated historically by access to the Palace and converting to Hinduism, are being eroded and displaced by rural elite brahmin who bring with them historical privilege of being part of the conquering social group of the Prithvi narayan shah and the ideological hinduism that legitimates the ruling by brahmins and chettries as opposed to the rational rule which modern newars want where those with best education and training, the super-educated newars, can lay preferential claim to, obscuring their own historical position in getting access to material wealth to pay for such education in a subsidized locality of the nation's capital. Being dominant, these high-class newars sell their versions over other Newari version.

Newars as you well know differ in religion, in various shades of bhuddishm to hinduism even islam and christianity; language, not all speak but most areproud of the newari languagne; geographical distribution all over Nepal, though all claim to originalte from Kathmandu; differnet social and cultrual rituals though most are pround to claim that kathmandu culture of the temples, thje arts, the dances are a Newar heritage. Justifiable or not, most who say they are "newars" share a deep perception that as a community they have defined by bahuns from the childhood mocking of the pronunciation of ta, ta, to the displacement of Narayan Prasad as the Private Secretary of King Birendra by Ranjan Nath Khanal and Chiran Thapa.

suppressing their own location in the bikas/aid pipeline) can not escape our scrutiny if we are to have an HONEST discussion on this issue.

This has been a long note. I have been unable to suggest any "solutions" as Mahesh has expected but we would be hurrying if we were to look for solutions before we have even a partial understanding of this moment in history.

Any comments on my note or the subject itself are most welcome.

Pratyoush Onta June 30 1995


*********************************************************************************************** Subject: Social Polemics debater - P Onta clarification To: (tnd) From: ponta (Pratyoush R. Onta)

Thanks for sending in your long note. I would just like to point out two things:

1) My point was not that "social polemics" suddently emerged in 1990. The history of conflicts that I mention later as having been poorly studied should indicate this. What is new is the emergence in the public sphere constituted by the media - especially print. Why this could not happen has to be found squarely in the Panchayati management of that sphere during 1960-90.

2) Your point of distinguishing modernity and bikas is well taken. BIkas as state dharma is definitely post 1951 although the Ranas started thinking about (slightly) it in the 1930s. Modernity: As you know it is difficult to define this word for all purposes. Although some historians have used the term "modern Nepal" to refer to post-unification Nepal, Regmi prefers to use this term for the post 1846 period because he says that the central agrarian bureaucracy that grew under Jang Bahadur and his successors is the defining characteristic of state modernism (Daniel Edwards has looked at this bureaucracy and evaluated it in light of Weber).

If notions of democratic citizenship is central to what we call modernity, then it would be difficult to trace it in Nepal prior to 1920 This would be a major project by itself, also greatly unexplored outside the framework of anti-Rana political history.

Hope others get excited about your posting as well.


*********************************************************************** To: Subject: Nepal's premier dismissed minister Date: Sat, 15 Jul 1995 18:04:04 EDT From: Amrit R Pant <arp@MIT.EDU>

         KATHMANDU, July 15 (Reuter) - Nepal's prime minister has dismissed a dissident cabinet colleague, exposing a rift in the Himalayan kingdom's ruling communist group before crucial polls, officials said on Saturday.
         They quoted a Royal Palace communique issued late on Friday as saying Man Mohan Adhikary had sacked Chandra Prakash Mainali from his post as minister for local development and supplies.
         A spokesman for the ruling Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) Party told Reuters that Mainali, who represents a minority faction in the group, had frequently criticised decisions made by Adhikary's cabinet.
         The prime minister had earlier dissolved a committee formed by Mainali's ministry to promote the UML's 'Build Your Own Village Yourself' programme.
         Mainali reacted to the move during an interview with a local magazine, saying: ``Dissolving the committee would impede the success of the programme in my ministry. That would bring about the failure of the government.''
         He was not available for comment on Saturday, but officials close to Adhikary said he had apparently declined a less important portfolio.
         Last month, Adhikary's minority government, facing likely defeat in parliament in a no-confidence vote, asked King Birendra to dissolve parliament and order general elections in November.
         The polls will be the third in less than five years.


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Sun, 16 Jul 1995 15:52 EST To: From: Bishwa Shrestha <> Description: Re: Short-wave net// BBC Nepali Sewa

Hi Prakash,
        Thanks for your interest. Actually, the freq listed below has been replaced by 11720 kHz and the Nepali Sewa can be heard at 9:00AM MDT or 11:00AM EST. The program is 1/2 hour and the reception can vary considerably depending on the ionospheric condition.
        I am using Sony ICF 2010 with the 20 ft long wire antenna. Try using the lower bandwidth if the reception is not good. I do not know your location but last time I checked with one guy in California and he said the signal was good.
        Hope this helps and if you have some more questions, feel free to contact. Sincerely, Bishwa Shrestha, KC7JFV
  On Thu, 13 Jul 1995 wrote:
> What about BBC nepali sewa? Do you have one for that?
> In article <> you wrote:
> : Hello,
> : I would like to exchange the information regarding the short-wave
> : radio reception through this net. Please send your comments regarding my
> : idea. For example, it is possible to listen to BBC's Hindi Service at
> : 7:30 MDT in 11920 kHz.
> : I think this kind of information would benefit the short-wave
> : listeners in our group. Just a suggestion.
> : Thank you for your interest.
> : Sincerely,
> : Bishwa Shrestha

************************************************************ Date: Sun, 16 Jul 1995 16:23:03 -0800 To: From: (om gurung) Subject: Looking for a friend

Dear editor,

 could you please post this information to nepal digest? Thank you for your help.
        I just came from Nepal to study environmental science at Qincy College in MA. I am a new comer to the US and unfamilar with the American system. I need a friend to share a room. I will appreciate if any one from Quincy college or nearby areas is iterested to help me. Please give me a call as soon as possible at (607) 257-3669 or send me e-mail in care of I am badly in need of a friend to share a room. I would also appreciate if any family can provide me accomadation around Boston area.

Anup Shrestha

****************************************************************** Subject: Removal of SLC board list To: Date: Sun, 16 Jul 1995 18:19:36 -0700 (PDT) From: (Sanjiv Shrestha)

>I read in some nepali weekly that this year's SLC result was published.
>But to my great surprise.. UML govt. has broke some 69 years long trend of
>publishing the top 10 students by not publishing board students.
>May be the increasing amount of publicity given to the schools which
>secure more no of positions in board and the race between the schools to "buy"
>the brilliant students, trying to obtain question papers before exam and even
>tracking who is responsible for correcting the question papers.. etc, might
>have led the UML govt to come to this decision.
>But it certainly nips the competitive feelings amongst the students.
>just my thought...
>pradip... --

  I picked up this article from scn and I was surprised to find that the government has decided to stop publishing board students in SLC. I had heard about this earlier from unofficial sources and the apparent reason given for that was the guy who came board first in SLC previous year had failed his ISc exam and had committed suicide. I don't know if this is true. If anybody knows more on this issue, please enlighten us.

******************************************************* Date: Mon, 17 Jul 1995 07:48 EST To: From: (Pradip Baniya) Date: 16-JUL-1995 14:16:19 Description: slc trend!!!

I read in some nepali weekly that this year's SLC result was published. But to my great surprise.. UML govt. has broke some 69 years long trend of publishing the top 10 students by not publishing board students. May be the increasing amount of publicity given to the schools which secure more no of positions in board and the race between the schools to "buy" the brilliant students, trying to obtain question papers before exam and even tracking who is responsible for correcting the question papers.. etc, might have led the UML govt to come to this decision. But it certainly nips the competitive feelings amongst the students. just my thought... pradip... --

************************************************************ From: (Ajay Pradhan) Date: 16-JUL-1995 21:41:40 Description: Re: Nepal's communist premier dismissed minister

In article <3uccea$>, Anil Tuladhar <> wrote:
>In article <3u9drh$gbu@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU> Amrit R Pant <arp> writes:
>> The prime minister had earlier dissolved a committee formed
>>by Mainali's ministry to promote the UML's 'Build Your Own
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>Village Yourself' programme.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>In Article 7966 Sunil Shakya writes
>>Source: The Independent, July 5. '95.
>>Q. You claimed that your party may win the elections, but what have you
>>deliverd the people to attract them to your side?
>>A. In the last six months in power we built up confidence in the people.
>>We demonstrated that our party and leaders have the capacity to lead
>>the country toward brighter futures and mobilise the idle villages'
>>workforce by encouraging the participation of the people in develooment
>>projects. The "build your village yourself" program has set a new
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>developement trend in the villages which has had a good impact on
>>people. We have made the people realise they should develop their
>>villages instead of being dependent on the centre. Other important
>>achievements include programs to settle the homeless, resolve
>>citizenship problems and a great deal of work on land reform. We have
>>controlled corruption and made our stance clear in the diplomatic arena.
>>We have strengthened relations with neighboring countries in
>I could not make anything out from these two postings. Whether UML thinks
> "Build ......" slogan (program I mean) is a right one or WRONG. Please
>enlighten me!
  Mainali had formed a committee within his Local Development Ministry to promote
"BYVY" program which is seemingly a major program put forward by the UML government. The decision to form the committee was taken by Mainali and was against the wishes of DPM Madhav Kumar Nepal. Mainali and Nepal are rivals, and represent two different unequal factions within the party. Of course, Nepal is more powerful (probably the most powerful within the party) and according to his wishes it was decided in a cabinet meeting to dissolve the committee on the ground that the existing government apparatus is capable enough to promote the "BYVY" program and no additional money ought to be expended on a new committee. Following the dissolution of the committee, Mainali spoke to the press representatives saying that the dissolution would impede the implementation of "BYVY" program and could cause harm to UML's success in forthcoming elections. (Here I read between the lines and imagine that Mainali may have thrown a veiled threat to the party leaders and may have something up his sleeve given that Mainalis are popular in Jhapa). Nepal suggested in the interview (part of which appears above) that whencabinet decisions are made, a minister's decision must be subordinate to it. He openly displayed his displeasure at Mainali, saying that being a minister, Mainali is a party to the cabinet decisions and must follow them and not talk against them openly. Next think we know, Mainali is ousted.
******************************************************************************* From: Amrit R Pant <arp> Date: 15-JUL-1995 18:01:21 Description: Nepal's communist premier dismissed minister

KATHMANDU, July 15 (Reuter) - Nepal's prime minister has dismissed a dissident cabinet colleague, exposing a rift in the Himalayan kingdom's ruling communist group before crucial polls, officials said on Saturday.
         They quoted a Royal Palace communique issued late on Friday as saying Man Mohan Adhikary had sacked Chandra Prakash Mainali from his post as minister for local development and supplies.
         A spokesman for the ruling Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) Party told Reuters that Mainali, who represents a minority faction in the group, had frequently criticised decisions made by Adhikary's cabinet.
         The prime minister had earlier dissolved a committee formed by Mainali's ministry to promote the UML's 'Build Your Own Village Yourself' programme.
         Mainali reacted to the move during an interview with a local magazine, saying: ``Dissolving the committee would impede the success of the programme in my ministry. That would bring about the failure of the government.''
         He was not available for comment on Saturday, but officials close to Adhikary said he had apparently declined a less important portfolio.
         Last month, Adhikary's minority government, facing likely defeat in parliament in a no-confidence vote, asked King Birendra to dissolve parliament and order general elections in November.
         The polls will be the third in less than five years.
*********************************************************** Date: Mon, 17 Jul 1995 07:49 EST To: From: (Sunil Shakya) Description: News from Nepal

  Source: The Independent, July 5. '95.
"The Supreme Court has no alternative to ordering another poll"- Madhav Kuman Nepal
  Deputy Prime Minister and CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal is now the most powerful man in the party and government. A former bank employee, Nepal has been handling the portfolios of Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministries since his party formed a minority government last December. Considered the de facto prime minister in some political quarters, he has steered party and government affairs, rendering septuagenarian PM Adhikari virtually powerless. He is considered a most fortunate man, since he does not have a constituency, yet is an upper house member. After the dissolution of the house of representatives and announcement of another mid-term poll, Nepal is now busy deputing his party workers for election campaigning in the districts. He talked to Achyut Wagle of The Indepnedent at the CPN-UML party office July 1 about recent political developments and party infightings. Excerpts:
  Q. After coming to power, the communists seem to be trying to give the impression that the CPN-UML is extremely pro-palace.
  A. Our policy toward the monarchy is clear because we are committed to working under the constitution.
  Q. But your party policy is different. The fifth (latest) national conference has passed a resolution that the party's ultimate goal would be the establishment of a republican communist state with a classless society, but you are now praising the monarchy. How can you establish a republic under a monarchy? Does it not sound like a strategy to fool the people?
  A. There can be two sorts of republics - real and practical. We believe in a practical one. If we can reduce the gap between the haves and have-nots that may be a step toward establishing a classless society by eliminating feudal exploitation. Right from the drafting of the constitution we were involved. Therefore there should not be any confusion regarding our vision of the monarchy.
  Q. Contrary to your statement, your Deputy General Secretary Bamdev Gautam has challenged the monarchy and other non-communist formations, expressing a desire to bury them all in the same grave, terming them all
"reactionaries" and threatening armed struggle.
  A. I asked him if he had said anything regarding the monarchy and he said, "No." There is nothing on record as claimed by the media. Regarding other political parties, we believe they are not functioning democratically and he has challenged them inthe battle of the ballot. We are confident that we may defeat all pseudo-democrats in the elections, and may be equivalent to digging their grave. As far as armed struggle is concerned, we are ready to battle to safeguard the country's democracy.
  Q. Instead of safeguarding communist ideology you are talking about democracy these days.
  A. If the country has a democratic future, it can only be guarnateed by us. All other parties are wearing lions's skins of democracy but working against it. The motto of any political system should be to work for the people and think a democratic system may also translate communists' dreams into reality.
  Q. You claimed that your party may win the elections, but what have you deliverd the people to attract them to your side?
  A. In the last six months in power we built up confidence in the people. We demonstrated that our party and leaders have the capacity to lead the country toward brighter futures and mobilise the idle villages' workforce by encouraging the participation of the people in develooment projects. The "build your village yourself" program has set a new developement trend in the villages which has had a good impact on people. We have made the people realise they should develop their villages instead of being dependent on the centre. Other important achievements include programs to settle the homeless, resolve citizenship problems and a great deal of work on land reform. We have controlled corruption and made our stance clear in the diplomatic arena. We have strengthened relations with neighboring countries in particular.
  Q. All your moves are confronted by serious problems. You are distributing land ownership certificates to the homeless but there is no land available for them. You are also encouraging people to encroach on the forest. Are these achievements?
  A. I have already directed the commission that, before distributing land, the deforestation and social impacts aspects should be assessed. I understand there were some problems earlier but now there are none. The homeless are now trying to settle on the land they have been provided.
  Q. While in the opposition, your party protested against the Tanakpur accord but now your government is talking about inviting India foar the Mahakali Basin project.
  A. All the wrongs were committed by the Congress government. The Pancheshwor project was agreed on by the Koirala government. We just followerd it up according to the understanding. We have slso said that all the undrestandings related to this project should be brought into a treaty format so that we can talk about is stauts. Different provisions are in different papers, and thus difficult to deal with.
  Q. Your most populist BYVY program is also in trouble due to your party's infighting. Local Development Minister C. P. Mainali has been critical about the cabinet decision to dissolve the BYVY follow-up committee constituted by him.
  A. The cabinet did not feel a necessity for the commitee since existing governmental agencies can do it. It was also felt that unnecessary expenses should be avoided. In countries with parliamentary system, ministers cannot change cabinet decisions or be critical of them on moral grounds. Even those who take a stand on moral values should not go on criticising decision in which they were involved.
  Q. But he has already done it.
  A. Our prime minister must have taken his statements into account.
  Q. Regarding the continuation of business in the national assembly, the government and oppositions seem at loggerheads. Don't you think the upper house should be allowed to function?
  A. It is ridiculous that the majority of national assembly members are forcing the caretaker government to be accountable to that House, though undre Article 35(2) of the constitution, we can recommend its being prorogued. Being extremely flexible, we are not doing so. They are creating an issue where there is none. A caretaker government can't present a budget in the House. It must come by an ordinance. That is also a precedent set by the Congress.
  Q. It seems, the country has been polarised politically into communist and anti-communist formations. That must cause you some insecurity.
  A. We had expeced it. I believe this polarisation will help the people identify the political forces really working for them. All the parties against us are intimidated by our popularity and lack the courage to face us. I have laready said that their veil of democracy will soon be lifted by time, and they will be nowhere. Now the real battle has started between the forces really working for he country and the high-sounding betrayers of democrary.
  Q. On the one hand you are talking about holding free and fair elections and on the other you have assigned concerned ministers work for your party's election campaign. The election commission has also issued an order to stop some of the activities you are carrying out. How can the polls be fair if you continue with your populist posture, and set the budget accordingly?
  A. I assure you that it will be conducted fairly. As far as our ministers' involvement in party committees is concerned, being party workers, they have obligations to the party too. But we know how to function, not being immoral like the Congress. In the budget, we will not propose programs on which questions may be raised. Besides, we are confident that, by all fair means, we will get a majority to form a permanent government after the November polls.
  Q. You were critical of the congress when you were in the opposition. Now your are treading the self-same paths, saying this was also done by the congress. Your are not trying to correct the ministers. lt is as if two wrongs make a right.
  A. We have to follow what they have done politically. Except for corruption and nepotism, there is no alternative. If there is wrondoing it is their, not ours.
  Q. Your PM recommended dissolution of the House of Representatives. If a minority PM recommends dissolution, the constitutional provision for tabling a no-confience motion (59(2))and summoning a special session of the House (53(3)) will be void. Do you think in your heart that the dissolution was constitutional ?
  A. It was the oppositions's desire to go to mid-term polls not ours. Regarding different Articles of the constittuion, it is for the supreme court to interpret them. Its interpretations are acceptable to us.
  Q. What do you expect the court's verdict to be?
  A. I am confident that the honorable supreme court judges will not give a verdict disgracing themselves. Due to their longstanding background they may not drag themsleves into controversies by giving a verdict against last year's precedent.
  Q. That sounds like a threat.
  A. It is not, but they have no alternative to ordering the political parties to go to the polls.
************************************************************************* Date: Mon, 17 Jul 95 19:42:01 -0400 From: "Sher Karki" <> To: Subject: Chootkila
                                A Smart American:

        At a doctor's convention in Switzerland, a conversation was taking place in a tavern after an enthusiastic mid-day lecture. A Jewish doctor said,
"medicine in my country is so advanced I can take a kidney out of one person and put it in another and have him looking for work in 6 weeks." A German doctor said, "that's nothing, in Germany they could take a lung out of one person and put it in someone else and have him looking for work in 4 weeks." A Russian doctor said, "In my country, medicine is so advanced they can take half a heart from one person, put it in another person and have them both looking for work in 2 weeks."
        An American doctor, not to be outdone said, "We can take an ASSHOLE out of Little Rock, put him in the White House and half the nation will be looking for work the next day."

Namaste, Sher Karki

********************************************************** From: "U.P.Rai" <> To: Date: Tue, 18 Jul 1995 16:15:10 GMT Subject: Anybody in Institute of Development Studies, Brighton UK!!

I would appreciate if you could post it in TND.

Dear Netters,

I would like to talk to somebody in the network from Nepal if you are in the University of Sussex, Brighton UK. It would be really great if you do not bother to respond.

Thank you.


Uddhav Rai University of Manchester, UK Tel:0161 2245301

***************************************************** Date: Tue, 18 Jul 1995 12:26 EST From: Subject: news from Nepal To:

Nepal ko Political Analysis: Rastra dhuk-dhuki kahan ra kata?

This essay is based on the package of newspapers from july 9-14 which i just finished skimming. The essay contains specific news items that are not usually covered by western wires we get to read in the internet as well as my impressions of what these may mean.

One of the surpising absences i noticed is the apparaent lack of political visibility of the big loud-mouth Girija Koirala. He was only quoted as being happy at the release of Aung Sang Kyi of Burma. He is either very busy building up party cadre or fast accelerating to political oblivion.

Ganesh Man, the man without a govt post or party post, is again in the news for his conditions of participation in politics again. They include among others:

1. That Girija and Krishna Prasad do not stand up for elections.

2. That all the old generation leaders from Girija and Bhattarai
        remove themselves from leadership positions. [hey, i thought
        girija said this in relation to ganesh man and look who
        are still fishing in muddy waters.]

3. That he will not speak publicly under the auspices of the
        Congress 4-star flag.

4. That he will speak for democracy not for Congress.

5. That those who sponsor his talks are not Congress but
        independent persons.

6. That all those Congressi rebels who were in the
        "Nepali jana jagaran" campaign of Jagannath Acharya,
        a proxy Ganesh Man iniative aimed at inciting Congressi
        activists against Girija, be readmitted to Congress with
        due respect. [It may be noted that there is a new party called
        Nepal jan jagaran party registered for elections.}

There is a lot of whining that Ganesh man is a nothing, a have-been and why his conditions still deserve so much media play but it is obvious he is still considered a power to reckon and the congress would like him back because he presence has been historical victory at the hustings and his withdrawal of support has meant congress loss. There is little confidence displayed by the cogress that tbey can win the elections without Ganesh Man.

        Instead the congress seems to jumping and prancing like a headless chicken at what they percieve is a sure victory of UML over the Congress. First, the Congress leadership is panicking that the new UML budget by decree has the vastly popular, "Build your own village yourself" program where Rs 3 laks will be disbursed to each village to spend as they wish. The congress leadership characterize this as "irresponsible populist" move that will push deficits, devaluation, and inflation. There are all kinds of futile move to counter this vote capture strategies from hoping the Supreme court will still render Adhikari's decision extra=constitutional to pleading the King to reconsider his decision and appeal for his activist role by Krishan Prasad to now the General Secretary Mahendra narayan Nidhi announcing that the
"institution of monarchy is a too costly for the country and not really working {for them, obviously".

        The insinuations of responsible people of one of the most powerful political parties against the insitutions of the monarchy when these very same parties have religiously paid lip service tothe constitutional committment to monarchy in Nepal has many political pundits wondering where the country is going. Monarchy-baiting is not limited to the frustated and bitter congress but also UML leadership. both PM Adhikary and Party Secretary Bam Dev Gautam has been caught in recent post-parliament dissolution election season mouthing sentiments such as, in effect, "UML is ultimately committed to republicanism, i.e. the removal of the king" which the pm had wiggle out because he is in the responsible position but has yet to bre refuted by the Party secretary.

        The UML leadership seems to responding to the general accusations by their opposition from both the right and the left that UML and the Palace has been too cozy lately and it is specifically the mashal, "Sanyukta Janmorcha" headed by the Baburam Bhattarai, PHD, who have been spearheading this confrontations with the UML with public strikes and postering and re-postering over UML slogans in public places as Ratna Park. Accusing political opponents of being close to the King and the Palace seems to be the politically correct thing to do. Nepal Sadabhavan party Chairman Gajendra Narayan singh, a former Congress and Panche who spear headed the cause of the "Mashesis" by publicly wearing a dhoti to Parliament and Rastra Panchayat and speaking Hindi publicly, accused his former Party secretary Hrideyesh Tripathi, a former socialist who came under the regionalist slogan of Sadbhavana and who has now deserted his party to form his party and align himself with the left forces as opposed to Sadhvana aligning himself with the congress, as "Raat ko adhyanro ma daura-suruwal lagayera chor justo durbar jaane uhi Hrideyesh hun
{Hridedyesh is the one who stealthily crept like a thief to the palace in the
"national costume" considered a breach to the "Madhesi" faith.

        All this is pointing to the clear political capital in mass support for anti-king republican sentiment by various parties from the Congress, Sadhabhavan, to UML and the Sanyukta janmorcha. It is probably due to his vulnerability that the Monarchy insist that all political prties pay their legal allegiance to the Monarchy.

        Political pundits like to characterize the current political dhuk-dhuki as the congealing of political forces into polemic Communist, read left forces, and the anti-communist rightist forces. While this was superficially so in the last formal confrontations in the Parliament, a closer look reveals others schisms and realignment of political forces.

        One interesting and potentially very signigicant political realignment is along ethnic politics of pro and anti Hindu socio politics of Nepal. Here are some of the evidences.

1. Recently in Dharan, there was a constellation of various modern categories of political pluralism such as the Human Rights Organization coalescing with ethnic, anti_Hindu label ethnic organizations such as "Tamu Tsedung, Kirant Rai Yayokkha, Kirant Yankthung Chumlung, etc[note how these organizations have abjured Sanskritzed names for organzatins such as 'samitis, sangh, samudaya, samaj']" by speakers who celebrate their ethnic surnames such as Tilak *Yongden*, or Khadga Meyanbo, under an ethnic coherance called,
"Sakeladi BhumiDevi Kirant Sanskritic Sangh" to fight against the "B.P. Memorial Health and Science Academy ' for bulldozing and defiling sacred Kiranti land, values, sentiments. The speaches were fiery. It is to be noted that the diety, "Sakeladi Bhumidevi" refers to a pre-Hindu earth-goddess and the participants came in traditional war attire bedecked in spear, bows, in specific rejections of the HIndu, "national" norm of the daura-suruwal, a dress which the multiparty leaders associated with the regimentations and the cakari of the Panche govt by deliberating wearing simple western shirt and pants immediately after the 1989 change but now are increasing wearing daura-suruwal topi with a vengeance in a iconographic message that they are with the Hindu definition of what is right and normal for the country. This meeting also witnessed political critizisms against all the modern parties from the Panche to congress, to UML and the leftist for paying lip service to the cause of Kiranti identity and politics.

2. Obviously the Kiranti accusation has deep resonance in contemporary political reality of Nepal. Among the 67[of the 97] political parties which had registered till July 13, 53 or nearly 80 % were from Brahmin or chettri castes.

3. That modern categoris of political discourse are breaking down in their ability to define and contain ethnic and culture politics is indirectly evident in another political development. The UML govt recently fired C.P. Mainali for speaking against the govt in relation to the Cabinet dismissing his special monitoring committee in his Local Development Ministry for the
"Build your own village yourself." The explanation given is that C.P. was trying to cash in the immensely popular political capital of the program to increase his weight in the UML and maybe to oust the present chief, Madhav Nepal. Nor being an insider, one wonders how much political damage CP was really doing to its electoral chances by makig sure the popular program worked that this merited his firing, specially considering how heavy he is within the party, beig a founding membner fro the Jhapali days, struggling in jail while Madhav Nepal was masquerading as secure bank employee.

When this is contrasted to the way Padma Ratan Tuladhar issue has been handled, one begins to wonder at the difference. Padma Ratna Tuladhar definetly does not have the same following among the party cadres of UML as C.P. but he has an independent cross-party appeal, beginning with his core Mankah Khala to the oppressed by the Panche people when he bravely demanded multiparty within the mono-party panche legislative body, to human rights activists and those who value dignity of the oppressed especially the new cultural politics outsde of the mankah khalah's traditonal challenge of establishmentarian Hindu values. Certainly he has caused more damage to political capital of the UML: from his insistence on his independence, despitethe ridicule fo the congress, when standing up for elections to his breaking teh sensitive work permit issue before visiting India as a labor minister (much to the chagrin of the South Block) to his threat to resign over the Sanskrit broadcast of news in Radio Nepal to the ultimate sensitive faux pas, his alleged statement supporting cowslaughtert taht the PM and the Deputy PM had to apologize and explain their variance with Tuladhar's stand.

My question is this: if UML govt so publicly disagrees with Tuladhar's culatural politics why don't they fire him when CP should be fired for just stablishing a small monitoring cell within his own ministry. I posit that UML is very aware of the strong inde[endent political capital Tuladhar caries and the negative political price they will have to pay if they send a message by firing him.

It is an uncomfortable marriage of convenience between the Marxist and ethnic politics" pretty soon the privilege paid to Hindu values over modern marxist values would tear asunder the current left politics of capitalizing on the feelings of the oppressed of Nepal. The PM is paying his obligatory respects of Nepali by attending to Bhanubhakta's anniversary and Mod Nath Prasit, the architect of cultural policies of the UML, is now defensively asserting taht Sanskrit cannot be dismissed as a dead religion.

Besides these political dhuk-dhukis, the papers have printed a phot caption of Makhmali Mali weeping over the prizes won by her retared son, RaMesh Mali; she is obviously a heart-broken woman of humble back ground, not one of those well-off who might use their afno-manche connections to wheedle n opportunity to go to States.

Christianity seems to have increaed in the Valley, says one report. There are 125 chruches with 100-2000 followers in each, a total of 35-40000 in all.

130 cows and oxen were intercepted at Palhi VDC in Nawalparasi as they were being smuggled to India for slaugther.

There is tension between the Transportation Department responsibnle for fixing traffic lights and the Police dept responsible for enforcing traffic rules. Kathmandu valley had 2000 traffic accidents in 1994, this is nearly ten times the rate ten years ago. The total road length is 941 km with 81000 vehicles plying and about 500 new drivers getting their lincence everymonth.

The interest offered by Himalayan Bank in Nepal for savings deposit is 8% a year, that is more than any mutual fund stock market in usa, the cd offer 9.5% for 2 year deposits.

Populist measures of the UML budget, would you give your votes for this?

1. Rs 100/mo social security for elders over 75 yers of age, [Nepali
        who have a life expectancy of 56, rightly regard seniours over
        77 as reaching godhood.]

2. Rs 5,00,000 for Build your Village yourself, up from Rs 3 lakhs.

3. Rs 3.5 millions for each of the 205 constituencies for upgrading
        health, drinking water and transport facilities {sure beats
        raisind money for the police bullets.}

4. Property Tax abolished.

Nepal had record rainfal in the central part. The rainfall in Pokhara was 1391 mm, highest in 23 years; naturally a number of landslides have been reported in Syangja.

Modnath Prasit increases the budget of the Sanskrit University by 33 lakhs this year.

A. K. Mainali becomes the first Ambassador to Sri Lanka, can any one tell if he is related toa the Mainalis in communist leadership?

According to Arjun narshing, Girija will take over as Acting President of the Congress Party given the current President Krishna Prasad Bhattarai "due to reasons of health".

The money earmarke for Kathmandu cleanup i the curent budget is Rs 210 million.

Budget has been allocated for a minimum of 3 ha of community afforestation in 1352 villages and 18 townships.

Compiled and written by:

Amulya Tuladhar Clark University

******************************************************* From: (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: Portering Conf. (fwd) To: (tnd) Date: Tue, 18 Jul 1995 15:23:51 -0400 (EDT)

Mary Des Chene wrote:

Here's the list of papers for the portering conf. It was on HimNet:

#03 Hard Livelihood Conference, Kathmandu
                From: Kanak Mani Dixit (

Hard Livelihood Conference on the Himalayan Porter 3-4 August 1995, Kathmandu

               Final List of Papers

Nancy Malville (Dept of Anthropology, University of Colorado) Commercial Portering on the Jiri-Namche Route: Loads and Body Mass

Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa (Department of Parks and Wildlife, Kathmandu) Russian Helicopters versus Himalayan Porters

Dibya Gurung and Tsering Tenpa (KMTNC/ACAP, Pokhara) Women as Porters

Ramamurthi Sreedhar (Academy for Mountain Environics, Dehra Dun) Portering in the Garhwal Himalayas

Ken MacDonald (Dept of Geography, Univ. of Toronto) Push and Shove: The Construction of a Portering Economy in Northern Pakistan

Dr. Buddha Basnet (Himalayan Rescue Association, Kathmandu) Medical Problems in Trekking Porters

Pitamber Sharma (ICIMOD, Kathmandu) Equity and the Nepali Porter

Dr. Upendra Devkota, Bir Hospital, Kathmandu The Cervical Spine of the Male Nepali Porter

Tirtha Bahadur Shrestha, Anil Chitrakar (IUCN, Kathmandu) Thaplo Bata Namlo Hatau: Porters' Perspective on Development


        Himal, the magazine of the Himalaya, is organising a meeting to discuss different aspects of portering in the mountains of South Asia. This will be a gathering of experts from diverse disciplines coming together for the first time to address the most excruciating of human labours. Panelists will be economists, sociologists, mountain medicine specialists, physiologists, geographers, planners and tradespeople. The audience will include all of the above as well as a larger group representing academia, media, community activists, as well as the portering world.

        The conference seeks to raise awareness about the portering way of life and to promote scientific study of an important sector of Himalayan society and economy. What is the impact of a lifetime of portering on the physiology of a porter? Does portering affect the health of men and women equally? What is the migration pattern of porters? Which muscles are used? How does one measure the physical pain of carrying loads? What are the techniques of portering that the mountain people have evolved over the centuries? What is the nutritional value of an average porter's diet? What will helicopters and highways do to portering? What are the prospects for collective bargaining? As the rural economy meets the market forces, what will happen to porters and their profession? Is there a future for portering as a source of income for rural hill people?

        These are some questions to be addressed in the two days of discussion in Kathmandu. The sessions will be divided under two broad heads: economics of portering, and health aspects. There will be two half-day sessions devoted to each. While Himal magazine will be carrying a detailed report on the conference, and some media coverage is expected, an edited volume of the papers and discussions is planned.

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