The Nepal Digest - June 12, 1995 (29 Jestha 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Sunday 12 June 95: Jestha 29 2052 BkSm Volume 39 Issue 4

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

********************************************************************* Date: Fri, 09 Jun 1995 18:48:35 EDT To: The Editor <> From: mahesh maskey <> Subject: Parijat and Progressivism


This is my last piece on Parijat in response to Amulya's inquiry regarding Progressivism in Nepali literature. I apolozise in advance to the readers for the length of the text, and the inadeqacies that invariably accompany when a vast subject matter is squeezed in a narrow space.

When Parijat died one of her five last wishes was to keep Lenin's Photograph
(which used to hang on the wall of her room) near her head. When this wish was honoured in Khula Manch Tundikhel, it generated surprise response from many distinguished persons who had difficulty in understanding the rationale behind this wish. Persons like late C. K. Prasai and Toya Gurung even went as far as saying that it was not possibly her wish and it might have been politically fabricated. But it is evident , by saying that, they miserably failed to understand Parijat. When Lenin's statue was being pulled down on the streets of Russia she is reported of saying " They may dismantle the statue of Lenin in the streets of Russia but they can not dismantle the Lenin form our heart. Gorbachev and Yeltsin do not have the power to destroy that Lenin which lives in the hearts of hundreds of millions of people" ( memoir of musician Ramesh "Parijat Didi Sangaka Ti Dinharu" - Parijat smriti granth)).

Parijat was only reaffirming that conviction of her. And she knew how to do it. She knew it would be seen as an act of defiance but she was prepared for that. She was a born rebel and act of defiance came naturally to her. Those who are familiar with Taslima Nasarin's views on Lenin will notice the similarities of conviction between these two rebel personalities - albeit on a slightly different plane.

But perhaps more interesting contrast would be with Bhupi Serchan. Bhupi Sherchan is regarded as one of the most gifted poet in Nepali poetry. He was a towering personality in the arena of poetry then and still his style of writing and reciting poetry remain unchallenged. In 1960's when he was in the peak of his performance , he was a radical left. And he used to decorate himself with the title "Sarvahara" (Proletariate). His famous
"Ghumne Mech Mathiko Andho Manchhe" contains some poems like "Ho Chi Minha lai Chitthi" and " Yo Hallai Halla ko Desh Ho" imbued with progressive spirit and satire. This one time darling of left wing progressive writers made a somersault later in his life regarding his conviction and stated in a interview a few years before death " I have suffered from two 'ka's in life, Kavi and Kamunist (poet and communist). His later life was spent in criticizing the values he had held at one time.

Parijat's acceptance of progressivist thinking and aesthetics should also be viewed in the light of the fact that that when person like Bhupi were turning away from the difficult challenge of class struggle , Parijat was internalising and expressing it through Literature. In 70's when she became the guiding light of the progressive literary movement, she expressed her conviction in few simple words - "Literature is the weapon of Class Struggle". This was coming out from the mouth of a person who took great care in the selection of metaphors , writing style and forms of her literary work. And by saying that she was simply giving voice to the purpose of literature in a larger revolutionary necessity of her time. This nessecity was expressing itself in the student movement of 1975 and 1979-80 leading to Political Referendum, and later, in the historical people's movement that overthrew Panchayat System, wrested sovereignty from the Crown and brought it back to the People where it belonged. She may sound very political to the foreign readers but it is understandable in nepalese context. In Nepal literature and politics have a tradition of interdependence. When Parijat was openly acknowledging the interrelationship of politics and literature she was only expressing the spirit of Nepalese literature that began a conscious participation in the revolutionary change process in Nepal. To understand that spirit we have to go back in time to the SHARADA age of Nepali Literature.
  Subba Ridhi Bahadur Malla has somehow bagged Prime Minister Judha Sumshre Rana's permission to start the SHARADA Magazine in 1934. This remained asthe most important forum for Nepali writers until the deposition of Rana rule in 1951. In the turbulent period of pre revolutionary Nepal, poets and writers like Siddhicharan Shreshtha, Gopal Prasad Rimal, Govinda Bahadur Mall(Gothale), and Vijaya Malla formed the core group of the magazine while outside the core group
  were writers like Guru Prasad Mainali and B. P. Koirala. In the class struggle that was gaining momentum between feudal aristocracy and popular classes of Nepal, these writers were also politically very active, even to the extent of risking their own lives. In his article " Nepali Literature: A critical Survey
 Abhi Subedi notes that "The writers of the core group shared a common predicament and led a life fraught with danger and insecurity. Most influential
  members of these group were involved in secret political activities too. Sidhicharan Shreshtha, Vijaya Mall and B. P. Koirala were imprisoned by the regime."(compiled in "Nepal: Perspectives on continuity and change" 1989).

Other distinguished writers who were not in and around Sharada were also politically very active. Kedar man Vyathith, though impressed by the
'Chhayavadi' trend of Indian Literature, was more outspoken politically and used to express his revolutionary political conviction through poems. At the same time he was an active politician also. Even Laxmi Prasad Devkota was politically active and became minister in the government of Dr. K.I.Singh. Most of these poet combined romanticism with social realism and they had a great influence on the contemporary intellectuals and youths. The political and literary during that period had close collaboration , their bounderies overlapped, and the revolution was carring out the welding job between the two quite efficiently. Literary forums like Sharada were instrumental in encouraging rebellion against Ranas from the domain of literature. Abhi Subedi
  lucidly sums up these developments of those bygone days:

" In Nepal literature has always attracted the intellectuals more than any other forms of writing. During the years of the revolution against the Rana rule, i.e. in the late forties, literature attracted many brilliant people. The same people who were good writers such as the late B.P. koirala, vijaya Malla, Kedar Man Vyathit, the late Gopal Prasad Rimal, Siddicharan Shreshtha, the late Laxmi Prasad Devkota and many others, were also active politicians. Thus the appeal of literature to the sensitive and conscious Nepali elites has been a phenomenon in its own right. These youths had started a forum around the literary magazine Sharada in the early years of the revolution. That forum played a great role in producing the rebellion against the Rana rule"( "Nepali literature a critical survey").

Many of these sensitive and conscious Nepali intellectuals, however, rapidly got disillusioned by the post revolution developments in Nepal. So much so that one of the core member of Sharada and a revolutionary writer Gopal Prasad Rimal lost his mental balance. At the height of rage and frenzy, he ran in the New road with a naked Khukuri (nepali knife) in his hand. The reason being the revolution, so dear to their heart, was actually left unaccomplished/ unfinished or rather betrayed, by being forced to compromise in the dictate of India without making a fundamental change in class relations in the Nepali society.

While political forces contended for state power within the country,ironically, India emerged as the major victor of the 1951 revolution having imposed an unequal treaty on Nepal. This is a sore point in our history that keeps hurting even now. Present day Nepal has not yet solved the problem created by painful and unequal trade and friendship treaty of 1950 with India which Nehru thrust upon Nepal by threatening a weak and desperate ruler Mohan Shamsher just before the eve of revolution. Nehru implied that the Rana rule must change and he did scare the Rana Prime Minister with these words but he would not let the revolution go out of India's control as well. 1950 treaty is the substance of the interest of Indian ruling class which Nehru represented and wanted the nepalese side to keep and carry on but he needed a relatively credible government than the pure Rana rule to do that. He understood the pivotal importance of king Tribhuvan, who had taken shelter in India, and kept him under his influence in isolation from Nepali Congress. He was even prepared to halt the revolution by negotiating peace talks between the King and the Ranas only, leaving the Congress out of the scene if occasion so demanded. In order to understand the circumstances of the imposed treaty and forced compromise , I want to present here a lengthy quotation from Ludwig F. Stiller, S.J. in his article "Modern Nepal":

"In 1950 Prime Minister Nehru requested a meeting with the Prime Minister. Mohan chose to go to Delhi. At the confrontation, Nehru made it clear that he wanted peace in Nepal, and peace in Nepal required changes in Rana rule. At that meeting Nehru also presented to Mohan the text of two proposed treaties: A Treaty of Freindship between Nepal and India and Treaty of Trade and Commerce. The Treaty of Freindship was threatening. Lettters of exchange that accompanied the Treaty practically recognized India's right to defend the Himalayan line, should need arise. All this, unknown at that time to the Nepali public, would cause much trouble later. Clause in the Treaty of Trade and Commerce shocked Nepalese merchants. The Government of Nepal was to charge customs duties on goods imported from third countries at the same rate India charged on such goods. The Nepal Government would also charge sufficient excise duty on goods manufactured in Nepal for sale in India to raise the prices of such goods to a level comparable to prices charged in India. Controversial as the treaties were, Mohan accepted both, on the condition that Nehru not press publicly for changes in the Rana system of Government at the time of the signing ceremony. Nehru agreed and the treaties were signed....

.... Mohan's attempt to set King Tribhuvan aside and continue to rule failed, as did the congress attempt to achieve their aims by force. The pivotal person was King Tribhuvan, and he, with Nehru's support, claimed the right to negotiate a settlement. Mohan buckled to King Tribhuvan's wish after the international community refused to recognize his new puppet king. the Congress held out longer, but yielded when it became clear that King Tribhuvan and Nehru were quite willing to proceed without them: Under these condition they could not carry on. The key to their strategy was King himself. To array themselves against him was to court failure. The congress accepted the compromise on 15 january 1951.."

These were the main context in which the sensitive writers felt betrayed. They looked at the partners of Delhi compromise with distrust. Those who opposed the Delhi Pact were suppressed by bringing Indian troops in Nepal. Bhim Dutta Pant was killed and Dr. K I singh imprisoned. The promise of constituent assembly never fulfilled, the slogans of "land to the tillers" were quickly forgotten by the new government busy in the internal strife of balance of power between the compromising forces. In this background Nepalese Intellectuals were trying to understand the essence of neo-colonialism and examining the relationship between India and Nepal. Success of Chinese revolution had already brought the Ideology of New democratic revolution in to the consciouness of Nepalese Intelligentia. A communist Party was already established one year before revolution and was active during the revolution. By 1956, writers like Yuddha Prasad Mishra , Shyam Prasad Sharma, Devi Prasad Kisan and later Ramesh Bikal were taking a progressive Ideological stand. The social and critical realism of Siddicharan shreshtha, Gopal prasad Rimal ,Hridaya Chandra Sing Pradhan were also providing the congenial atmosphere to the sprouting of progressivist thinking in Nepalese literature. Around that time a progressive writer's and artist's association in the leadership of Shyam Prasad Sharma had also emerged. Whatever expression of progressivism in literature was at that time It has not developed into a strong undercurrent, and with the advent of Panchayat in 1960, this literature hardly could made its presence felt as a movement. Despite the odds, a few individual continued to contribute with conscious progressivist stand in the literature of 1960's. The contribution of the writer and critique Govind Bhatta and Modnath Prashit is well documented. It was Govind Bhatta who first attempted to present the critique of " "Shirishko phool" and later "Tin Ghumti" from the perspective of marxist aesthetics. Modnath Prashit was awarded Madan Puraskar for his "Manav Mahakavya" some where around 1966 immediately after Shirisko phool. But he was more drawn to political activism and was jailed for a long time. Khagendra Sangraula and D. R. Pokharel were among the young writers who were making impact in the progressive literature of late 60's.

At that time Parijat was coming out of the grip of existential influence and her frustation were being replaced by the rebellious outbursts against status quo. She and a group of writers/musicians/critics were giving lead to what they called "Ralpha movement". They liked to call themselves
"Ralpha Generation" as was the fashion at that time - "Hungry generation"
" Digambar Pindhi(Generation) " in India and " Beatnik generation" in Europe and America. They claimed to bring an intellectual revolution and was against all kind of authority. Particularly State was their target of attack as they identified it with exploitation and suppression - in a similar way as the anarchist did. They were talented hence their songs, poems and literature had a popular quality which ranged from incomprihensible surrealistic expressions to the songs that touched and aroused people. Songs like " Bhokai Marne Mahakavika Petka Sarangi Haru Hamra Geetharu"
(Our songs: the violins of the empty stomach of the great poet who died of hunger). They had a mixture of existentialism, anarchism and progressive thoughts as their ideology and because they were claiming to be a distinct trend they had to justify their identity to the people. Parijat and Ninu Chapagain were the Ideologue/writer/critics and Rayan, Ramesh, Manjul and Arim were the Musicians/poet/singers. They made tours in the country trying to answer the questions and criticisms from the public. This interaction with the people and country seems to have played a major role along with the external influence of the time to bring these Ralpha down from their citadel of abstract thinking to the core of real existence of nepalese people struggling for liberation, for betterment of their life. Interaction with Govinda Bhatta and Modnath Prashit and many other marxist leaders contributed in friendly criticism of
"Ralpha" ideology helping them to seriously evaluate their own thinking and ideological base and encouraging them to join the progressive literary movement, the condition for the emergence of which were becoming favorable at the end of the 60's. After passing through the influence of Che and Castro, they did join the movement but only at the at begining of 1970's , a time which coincided with the world wide impact of cultural revolution of China.

Before Cultural revolution, Vietnam war had already aroused sympathy and admiration to the heroic struggle of Vietkongs and had introduced the ideas of Ho Chi Minh in Nepal. The popularity of Bhupi's poem
'Ho chi minh lai chitthi' was one indication how the nepalese people particularly intellectual and youths, sympathized with the vietnam resistance. Cultural revolution brought an upsurge of political polarization. India responded with what is popularly called the Spring Thunder, the Naxalbari uprising. In Nepal the response was visible in the polarization of two communist forces both inspired by cultural revolution. The "Jhapali rebellion" in the style of Naxalbari movement which emphasised in the armed struggle and " The nucleus for organizing the Fourth Congress of communist Party" which emphasised in the mass struggle. The Jhapali movement later gave rise to Communist party (marxist-leninist), which after taking a U turn from its earlier "ultraleft" policies, shedding most of its radical slogans and workstyle and after uniting with other communist parties became the present day ruling party NCP UML . There are debates going on about the true nature of UML political substance and its adoption of reform as main strategy of change. Political Scientist like Leo Rose think that the substance of UML is social democratic. The NCP Fourth Congres split into three more Parties. And all of them claim to stick to the path of revolution rather than reform.

Ralpha joined the progressive movement but they were also split into the two sphere of influence between the two contending communist forces.Parijat, Ninu chapagain and Rayan joined the Fourth Congress group. Ramesh ,Manjul and Arim joined the Jhapali group. In the 70's and the 80's the history was to witness a fierce competition between these ex-Ralpha personalities and the groups around them in their effort to surpass one another in the literary creativity and music thus enriching the progressive literature and music. Reestablishing the tradition of SHARADA Magazine, they joined forum like " Bedana" headed by Parijat and Ninu and Rayan and " Sankalpa" led by Manjul, Ramesh and Kunta. The aim was to spread the revolutionary consciousness
  from the domain of literature. By the end of 1970's they were established on their own right as the leading figures of Progressive literary movement. Many of Parijat's brilliant works correspond to this period. Her "Parkhal Bhitra Parkhal Bahira" tried to encompass the debate of these two different political streams within the left movement. Her " Anido Pahad Sangai" was written in the backdrop of 1979-80 student's movement, that forced the king to call for a referendum between Panchayat and Multi party system, and its aftermath. She helped revive the "Progressive Writer's Association" in 1980's. The active members of this orgaisation like Khagendra Sangraula and Murari Aryal along with some writers close to Nepali congress like Ashesh Malla, were instrumental in organizing the now historical black band protest of writer/artists and their mass arrest on mid march 1990 in support of pro-democracy movement. Britta Stovling and Rayan have drawn a vivid picture of Parijat's participation in those events in their memoirs in Parijat Smriti Granth. Even after the change of 1990, Parijat continued to be busy in several forums. She led the protest of writers against the bureaucracy of Royal Nepal Academy. She was active in Human rights issues. The wretched condition of prisoners was her special concern. She continued to raise voice for women's liberation and dignity of oppressed minorities. Politically she was utterly dissatisfied to observe the seat of corruption left intact and its influence in degenerating ministers and bureaucrats in new government She was also surprised to see that those who were responsible for brutal killing of people in the 1990 movement escaped unpunished. The new statepower was using the same old technique to suppress the popular discontent. There was no change in the living standered of the common people. She started voicing her concern and warned that another powerful mass movement may surface to do away with the fetters of progress if the situation continues at it is.
  Before ending my attempt to trace Parijat's road to progressivism I think the meaning of the word progress and progressivism needs a little bit of clarification. I do not know much about the
"postmodern" thinking, hence I have difficulty in understanding the definition of Progress "as the fence crossing from the duality of tradition to modernity" as mentioned in amulya's posting. This definition carries the prerequisite of defining what is meant by tradition and what is modernity in relative sense. It appears to me that there is inherent danger of misinterpretation if this definition is understood in static and absolute sense.Ideologues and apologists of Panchayat had spent lot of energy in arguing
  Panchayat democracy as 'mato suhaudo' 'modern' and 'progressive' contrasting it with the'tradition'of ruling systems while shielding its blatantly exploitative
  and neofascist core. In Nepal, I think, the understanding of Progressivism is relatively simple and is mainly used in the field of literature as a method of appreciating and applying marxist aesthetics which is inspired by the dialectical materialistic way of looking into continuity and change, in the development of society and in movements of history. It is an assertion that despite occasional set backs, the human history always moves forward towards the betterment of humanity in accordance to the laws of social development. That continuity or change which facilitates the forward movement of history is called Progressive (Pragati) and those which tries to pull history backward is retrogressive (Pratigami) or reactionary (Pratikriabadi). Applying this outlook, a tradition may be progressive and a modernity may be reactionary. The same event, thing or process in one historical context may be progressive and in another historical context may be reactionary. For instance the same Feudal values when compared to the values of slave owning society can be considered as progressive but compared to bourgeoise value they may be reactionary. In a simplified form it may be said that all that justifies or attempt to justify in any garb the exploition and alienation of human being from human being is against progress and all that stand and strive for their end for a more humane society is progress - and progressivism is the outlook and method for understanding and transformation of the world towards that end.

When Parijat adopted Progressivist stand that was a turning point in her life. She belonged to an oppressed gender and oppressed ethnic group, her consciousness and material poverty brought her to the camp of oppressed class. In her interaction with the people she discovered that individual pains do not go by itself , but when seen in the larger context of the suffering of the people they hurt less and they can be lessened even more by sharing pain and happiness with others, by supporting one another. She also realised indiviual freedom can only unfold itself in relation to - and not in isolation from , the collective of human society. Her ecstasy for life and rebellious nature were revived and transformed when she found herself in the thick of progressivist thinking emanating from the direct intercourse with common people, intellectuals and the national/ international influence of her time. As she had openly acknowledged in interviews and letters written to her friends, she found a vision in marxism leninism that could help her to fight for the liberation of oppressed class, gender and nationalities. She had discovered her truths treading through a long, tortuous and hazardous road to life. These truths had changed her life and transformed her being, from a person who once glamorised death wish, to a symbol who personified the strength of life urge (JIJIVISHA). Parijat was the name chosen by herself. Her real name was Bishnu Kumari Baiba. But in her lifetime she also acquired another popular name - APARAJITA (who can not be defeated) that reflected her indomitable spirit. She knew there is a long way to the dreamland she nurtured in her heart and she did not believe it will come in her lifetime. A society free of oppressed class, gender and nationality may take centuries to emerge , amidst fierced battles of ideas and temporary setbacks. She had understood the lessons of History well and as an progressivist thinker she had seen the movement of history in wave form - ebbs of setbacks invariably accompanied by the tides of progress.

The Photograph of Lenin was perhaps her message, to those who would continue her tradition, that the job she devoted her life and energy is unfinished, and also, despite the setbacks, the method she adopted in her lifetime remain the only method in her conviction that could accomplish the job in the long run.

mahesh maskey june 9, 1995.

***************************************************************************** Date: Fri, 09 Jun 1995 12:25:00 PDT To: Nepal Digest <> From: "Khanal, Bhushan" <,> Subject: Harassment

     Harassment is not a new issue and although most of may or may not have been directly involved with one, we manage to hear a few every once in a while. With the rise of electronic means of communication, definitions of terms such as "harassment" are evolving every day in an attempt to preserve the rights of the public, ensure the safety of individuals , and to
 preserve its accuracy in the brand new context in which it is being used. While the exact meaning of harassment is evolving and will probably continue to evolve, there is something that we have that is not bound by time, technology or culture and it is called "common sense."

     I am sure most of you are familiar with the term "freedom is responsibility" and to put it in the context of our continuing discussion about harassment, it means that when you participate in an open forums like TND, you are sanctioning people to respond to your ideas, thoughts, personality or any other characteristic of yours that might be interpreted from your writing. Although most of the responses should and are "healthy" and beneficial for the purpose of the argument, there are some that are not and we must not forget that people will take advantage of that fact. Now I am not legitimizing any derogatory exchanges, but I would however like to clarify that when you write articles in TND or exchange E-Mail addresses by any other means, you are exposing yourself through the electronic media just as you would be when you give out you home address and phone number to the public. I don't want to sound like some one's father giving moral lessons or common sense advice but I have to say that it is very easy to forget how vulnerable we are especially when all we are trying to do is have some fun and maybe educate our self in the process while wondering through the
"information super highway."

 - Bhushan Khanal

************************************************************* Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 15:34:32 PDT To: From: Subject: Looking for Mr. Nabin Nepal

I am looking for Mr. Nabin Nepal who is from Biratnagar and currently in US. If anybody knows his address, could you please send it to
        Rita Khatiwada

I am looking for Dr. Prakash Neupane from Jhapa, who is currently staying in Ne wYork. If anybody know his address please send it to

        Nawa Raj Khatiwada


*********************************************************************************************** From: Subject: Private planting To: Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 20:50:06 -0400 (EDT)

I am a graduate student here at NCSU, Raleigh in forestry discipline. Its almost 2 years since I left Nepal. So, I am not pretty sure about peoples' willingness to plant in private-holding both to meet basic needs of DAURA and DALEGHANS and in the mean time generating few rupees from the forest products at this point of time when major bilateral and multilateral projects are out of scenario as these projects through forestry offices used to distribute millions of seedlings to farmers to promote private planting with a hidden goal of protecting govt.owned forestlands.World Bank funded TERAI COMMUNITY forestry project which came into operation in late83's was a pioneer project to stimulate people in planting ( AFNO BARI KANLAMA ), but nobody knows how many trees are there in the plantation sites against the distributed fiures which run into millions. I would appreciate if some body share their information regarding implication of this donor initiated activity.

********************************************************************* Date: Sun, 11 Jun 1995 03:57:49 -1000 From: Ratna Shrestha <ratna@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu> To:

+++PM Adhikary's recommendation to the King to dissolve the parliament and call for a fresh snap polls is too hasty a decision. It would have been better for UML to go out of the power after facing a no confidence motion in the house rather than voluntarily relinquishing well before the motion could be filed.
        UML came to the power as a minority govt as per the article ..(?) of the constitution when no coalition could be formed. Both NC and RPP ratified the govt later only. UML should have opted to go out, the way it came in.
        The present decision reflects the inability of the govt to run the country in the face of NC's bid to gain a wider support against the govt. UML knew it beforehand (when it formed the govt) that such action would be taken by the oppositions some time in the future. Although it played a right card when it formed the govt in the name of 'a govt of national consensus', UML has prematurally withdrawn from the game with the fear of being defeated. There is no guarantee that the no confidence motion will be successfully passed by the house just because NC has called for it. NC holds only 83 out of 205 seats and therefore needs RPP's, which holds 20 seats, support to pass the motion. Political scenarios may change by the time NC actually launch the motion in the house ( RPP may not support it or fractions may arise within NC itself) or such motion may not be launched at all.

        Just a thought! Anyway it will be interesting to see the king's reaction!

Ratna K. Shrestha Hawaii.

******************************************************************** Date: Sun, 11 Jun 1995 13:16:22 -0400 (EDT) From: Jagadish Dawadi <> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - June 10, 1995 (27 Jestha 2052 BkSm) To: The Nepal Digest <>

Namaste, TNDers around the globe!

I would also like joining with all of you to welcome Sagun to the "TND World" as he palns on assuming the responsibilities of the news correspondence as of this coming colorful fall. Welcome abroad, Sagun!!

Also, a warm "Goodbye" to Ragendra. We will miss him much, but will continue to cherish his contribution to the TND that helped us to keep up to date with news about Nepal for quite a long time. Again, congratulation on your graduation, and best of luck with your future endeavours!!

Namaste again! Jagadish Dawadi, Rochester, N.Y.

***************************************************************** Date: Sun, 11 Jun 1995 14:38:54 -0400 (EDT) From: Jagadish Dawadi <> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - June 10, 1995 (27 Jestha 2052 BkSm) To: The Nepal Digest <>

- Cow or Beef Issues

It has been interesting to see views and opinions expressed about Cow-slaughter or beef issue relating to Nepal on the TND ever since our honorable health minister began to advocate for it there back in Nepal. Anyway, let me share with you this tale about my encounter with "beef" in one hotel at Thamel. Well, here goes...Two years ago, my four Danish counterparts and myself had gone to Marshyandhi(s?) Hotel for a dinner after a long hours walk around Kathmandu city. The menu at this "hotel" had four to five listing of meat labelled
"beef" in upper case letter. I being taught that "beef" is forbiden in Nepal was surprised to see this, and hesitated having dinner there. But, when a waitress approached us for orders, I inquired her about the "beef" listed in the menu, and asked her if the listings really meant the meat OF cow. To my surprise, the "beef" in menu didn't mean actual beaf that we have here or the meat of Cow. What the word "beef" meant to the chefs there was : Buffalo Meat or Bhaisiko Masu not the Cow - meat or Gaiko masu!!!!!!! I feeling relievd, satyed there with friends, and ordered Chicken and some rice, my fabourite meal for dinner and enjoyed it! While, my Danish friends, who had "beef" there told me that it didn't really test like "beef!!"

With this experience, I doubt the views expressed by some TND readers who tell that hotels in Nepal DOES SERVE REAL BEEF.


************************************************************* Date: Sun, 11 Jun 1995 16:40:54 -0400 (EDT) From: Pravignya Regmi <> To: Subject: Help Nepal Save the Environment

Help Nepal Save the Environment - VI


  Systematic position

  Phylum : Chordata -> Subphylum: Vertebrata -> Class: Reptilia ->
  Order : Crocodylia -> Family: Gavilidae -> Genus: Gavialis ->
  Species: gangeticus.
  Common names: Gharial or Ghadial in Nepalese. Gavials in English.
                Scientific name: Gavialis gangeticus.
  Nomenclature: The male gavials bear a swollen structure on the tip of the snout which in Nepalese is called by "ghara" or "ghada". The generic name Gavialis was derived from the vernacular word "ghara" which means water vessel, and species name gangeticus was derived after the name of the river Ganges where it has been thriving for thousands of years.
  There are twenty one species of the crocodiles reported in the world so far. Gharials belong to the family Gavilidae (Huxley, T.H. 1859) that have been derived from the same ancestral eusuchian stock as the other recent crocodilians (Von, F. 1956). The animal represents the characters of Archosours. Gharials are the only members of the family Gavilidae existing today.
  Gharials are indigenous species of the Indian subcontinent thriving in the river Ganges, Indus and other major Himalayan tributory rivers.

General Morphology
  Gavials are the crocodiles that have the longest snout. The snout possesses sharp and scattered teeth that are marginally arranged on both rows of upper and lower jaw.
  The snout to tail length of a male gharial may reach up to 26 feet long
(Bustard, H. R. 1979). The body is divisible into three main parts, head, trunk and tail. Neck is reduced. The head consists of the slender protrusion of the maxillary bone that forms the snout. In males, the nasal cartilage is extraorinarily swellen to form the "ghara". Gharial is the only species of crocodiles to have sexual dimorphism by the presence of
"ghara" (Maskey, T. M. 1989).
  Body or trunk is somewhat falttened and bigger than the skull in breadth. The skin possesses spines made up of scutes on the dorsal surface in double rows that gradually combine to make a single row at the end of the tail that architectures a perfect model for undulating swimming.
  This giant animal looks horrifying (neverthless it is a beautiful species), however; is relatively calm and shy. Gharials have not been yet reported to attack people.
  Current Status
  The animal is on the verge of extinction and has been categorized as an endangered species by the IUCN in the Red Data Book in 1975.
  There are few hundred juveniles in the captive rearing pools in the Royal Chitwan National Park, Head Quarter, Kasara in Nepal presently.
  The animal was abundantly present in 1960s in the major river systems of Nepal, namely, Kali, Koshi, Trisuli and Narayani. There is only one group of the animals present in Kali, none in Trisuli and few released gharials in Babai and rest others are in the Narayani River at this point.
  Present number of wild species in the major habitat Narayani River is only 42. A project, supported by the Frankfurt Zoological Society, King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, has been set up in the Chitwan National Park for captive rearing and releasing the gharials back into the nature
(presently the project is supported by the DNPWC only). The project has, of course, helped for preservation of the species to some extent; however, satisfactory results have not been obtained. The problem of saving gharials from extinction from Nepal is still burning as it was before despite huge effort and resource mobilization. A great deal of conservation measures have been also taken in India (Singh, L.A.K., 1976) to save the animals that are relatively successful than in Nepal.

Reasons of the Gharial Population Decline in Nepal
  The rate of habitat perturbation by the local people and overfishing in the tributaries and the main rivers have been accelarating. Such activities have directly affected the propagation potential of the wild species. Becasue of forest fragmentation and lack of buffer zone over the upper region of the Royal Chitwan National Park, the gharial's habitat has been encroached to a river segment of 20 Km (from Materi to Tribeni, by Kanha Khola area), however, the sparse population has been thriving between Sikhrouli (Nawalparasi) bifurcation point of Narayani River to Khoria Mohan confluence. Following points clarifies the major reason for population decline:

* Local people tend to kill gharials for "ghara". The local ethnic group of fishermen locally known as "Bote", believe that putting the "ghara" over the mother's abdomen during delivary time makes the process easy and reduces labor pain. Ghara also has economoc value.
* Poaching for leather.
* Local people have been reported several times to poison fish in waters (they eat the fishes) and poison the wild animals, birds that destroy their croplands (this poison on the soil is carried to the main stream rivers by storm water run off). Poisoning has directly affected other acquatic species including the gharials.
* High rate of the hatchling mortality. Early flooding of monsoon that results in washing of nests and juveniles have been an impediment for the natural recruitement.
* A huge dam, Gandak Nahar, has been constructed just after the animal's encroached habitat. The crocs that go down or washed by flooding can not return back to their original habitat area. The land below the dam is extensively exploited for agriculture and the farmers kill them as soon as they see for the animal's economic value. Gharials that pass thru the irrigation channels have low chances of returning back to wild.
* Poaching of eggs by local ethnic people.
* High rate of predation of eggs by wild animals such as fox, hyenas and jackals.
* Overfishing and direct human perturbation in the habitats.
* Low sex ratio, i.e. Female:Male = 5:1, causing high rate of egg infertility.
* Captured in ramified fishing nets (both matured and growing) and indiscriminate killing by the fishermen (Bote) to obtain thier fishing net back when the animal gets entangled in it.
  Nepal possesses unique land, unique natural structures that provide the unique habitat for many specialized animals, such as Gavials. Such kinds of specialized animlas animals are highly volnurable to human perturbations. As Nepal has confronted several environmental and ecological disasters, the problem of nature conservation has been dramatically intensifying everyday (not only over the non -protected areas but in wildlife sactuaries also). The growing pollution in the Narayani River (sewage from local towns and Narayan Ghat, effluent from Bhrikuti Kagaz Karkhana, beer factories, jungle resort activities, excessive loading of silt in water due to heavy erosion etc.) will result in severe impacts on the wildllife species of the Royal Chitwan National Park unless strict measures are taken. We might lose other species including gharials from such beautiful park which has been recognized in the world heritage site by UNESCO.

[This note is intended to provide an example of growing habitat encroachment to the unique wildlife species in Nepal in the protected areas. There are some other aquatic as well as terrestrial species being pertubated by human activies over the different national parks in Nepal]

__________________ Comming up next-

     We will go to the far western region of Nepal to see its environmental beauty and talk about the current ecological pressures over the areas.

**************************************************************** Date: Sun, 11 Jun 1995 20:52:53 -0400 (EDT) From: Pravignya Regmi <> To: Subject: Nepalese Environmental Policy

   According to TND, May 11
  AFP reported "Nepal is considering lowering the US $ 50,000 fee it charges people to scale Mt. Everest, in a bid to attract more foreign climbers to the world's highest peak"
  "The seven men team royalti on everest has risen fivefold since Autumn 1993. Up to three extra climbers are allowed to join on expedition for a further US $ 10,000."
  It is not clear from the news that how much is the Nepalese government going to charge the scaling fee for Everest at the new rate altogether and what kind of speciefic policies the govt has fromulated to protect the natural environment from the growing tourist pressure. However, if it is allowing more tourists for the sake of money only then it will have certainly high chances of ruining the Himalayas by the environmental pressure.
  Nepal still lacks proper trash control and cleaning measures for the Himalayas. Nepal Mountaineering Association on its proposal clearly says that though garbage control policy measures have been stipulated by the government but it lacks implementation. Policy is dead if it is not implemented. However, the policy of cutting down the number of trekkers was an effective measure that had definitely positive impacts on preventing the environment from further pollution at this point. This speciefic policy could be altered after both establishing strict pollution control measures, such as DR system, and determining the number of expedition that the environment can carry (carrying capacity).
  It will be one more evidence of absurdity of the Nepalese environmental policy IF it was Nepal who solely changed its measures of regulating trekkers because it lost 20 teams. Therefore, the Nepalese govt would be prudent to talk to the Chinese authority first of all to reach an agreement regarding the fees and environmental stress. Such negotiation would be advantagious to both sides. Nepal and China should equally understand that the environmental protection is not only a nation's problem but a bilateral issue.
  Furthermore, it is not ONLY the Everest which is polluted. Most of the high Himalayas in Nepal that are popularly trekked are all trashed, only the account of garbage has not been maintained over those mountains.
   Three points are essential if we want to gain benefits continiously from any ecological resources without interfaring it:

1. Save the environment. Saving the environment makes sure that we will be gaining from its sources without cease.
   If wealth is gone, noghing is gone; if health is gone, something is gone; if character is gone, something more important than health is gone; if environment is gone, EVERYTHING is gone.

2. Restore the environment that has been hampered. Resurrect the dead lands with presently available methods. We will have more resources.

3. Obtain the maximum economic benefit from the resources that the environment will not deteriorate AT ALL and the rate of extraction and production is maintained.

Please Utter the following line:

"Help Nepal Save the Environment"

Thank you. Pravigya Regmi
***************************************************************** Date: Sun, 11 Jun 1995 15:45:13 -1000 From: Ratna Shrestha <ratna@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu> To: Subject: Midterm poll:NC vs.UML

          PM Adhikary's recommendation to the King to dissolve the parliament and call for a fresh snap poll is too hasty a decision. It would have been better for UML to go out of the power after facing a no confidence motion in the house rather than voluntarily relinquishing well before the motion could be filed.
        As a single largest party, UML came to the power as a minority govt as per the article ..(?) of the constitution when all the possible coalitions failed to form. Both NC and RPP ratified the govt later only but both of them spared no time to threaten the govt to topple it had it gone out of what they call the national interest. Recently, NC leaders even threatened the govt to sweep it off in a blow and in fact they did. UML should not have withdrawn so easily, it should rather have opted to go out, the way it came in. This could have helped UML to make an excellent case against NC in the forthcoming election (midterm or regular).
        The present decision reflects the inability of the govt to run the country in the face of NC's bid to gain a wider support against the govt. UML knew it beforehand (when it formed the govt) that such action would be taken by the oppositions some time in the future. Although it played a right card when it formed the govt in the name of 'a govt of a national consensus', UML has prematurely withdrawn from the game with the fear of being defeated (on June 16). However, there is no guarantee that the no confidence motion will be successfully passed by the house just because NC has called for it. NC holds only 83 out of 205 seats and therefore needs RPP's, which holds 20 seats, support to pass the motion. Political scenarios may change by the time NC actually launch the motion in the house ( RPP may not support it or fractions may arise within NC itself) or such motion may not be launched at all.
        Even if NC succeeds to pass the motion, it will be with the help of RPP only. This could be a major point of propaganda for UML against NC to gain a wider support of the people. It could have charged NC for hatching a conspiracy against UML govt with an unhealthy support of RPP. But UML has missed this nice opportunity. The political trump is on NC's side now. It has become victorious without the help of RPP toppling the govt with a single blow.

        Just a thought!

Ratna K. Shrestha Hawaii

******************************************************************** Date: Mon, 12 Jun 1995 00:39:33 +0000 From: deschene@JHUVMS.HCF.JHU.EDU (Mary Des Chene) Subject: a kuire query To:

In Ralph Lilley Turner's Nepali dictionary, I have come across the following:

kuire ko taauko maa thwaakka!

Turner's dictionary was first published in 1931 and the research for it was done between 1914 and 1930. Much of his information on usage came from the lahures of the 3rd Gurkha Rifles, with whom he served during World War I and up to 1922. So the story below can be taken to be a claim about that time.

Under the entry for khaanro (best I can do without nagari: long nasal a, retroflex r): long thin somewhat curved sword, he says the following:

"used to perform the ceremonial vigil over, or worship of, one's weapons
(part of the matrimonial rite of a Chetri, during which the bridegroom cuts a plantain-leaf with a scimitar [i.e., khaanro] and recites the martial exploits of his ancestors, finishing with the words kuire ko taauko maa thwaakka in reference to the wars with the English)."
        The war with the English is a reference to the war of 1814-1816 A.D. between the British and the Gorkhali state.

        I initially thought that a lahure might have been having some fun with Turner. Then I asked a Chetri. He did wear a khukri (not a khaanro) in his wedding and said there was some kind of worship of it, but no "kuire ko..." recitation. Then he remembered that while at a Bahun friend's wedding, there was a sudden to-do late at night, with the purohit saying
"we need a Chetri". As available Chetri he was called upon. He was given a small "souvenir khukri" (being Bahuns, he explained, they didn't have a real khukri) and had to strike something, saying "x ko taauko maa thwaakka" He can't remember for certain if it was kuire ko taauko, but thinks this sounds right. There is a video of this wedding so I will soon discover what he said.
        Meatime, though, this tells me there is something to Turner's story. Has anyone in the TND readership ever heard of anything like this?!! Any and all versions/stories welcomed.

This is the best thing I've ever found buried away in Turner's dictionary, but for those who don't know it, it is full of proverbs as examples of usage, and can be fun to look through.

Mary Des Chene

******************************************************************* From: "Mr. Mahendra Prasad Panthee" <> To: Subject: News Date: Mon, 12 Jun 95 8:26:51 IST

Oppn. Parties Stake claim to form coalition govt.
================================================= Kthmandu, June 11. The three major opposition parties in nepal today staked their claim to form a coalition government even as King Birendra is yet to deside on the minority Left regime's recommendation for dissolution of the Pratinidhi Sabha and holding of mid-term polls.

The Nepali Congress(NC), the Rastriya Prajatranta Party (RPP) and Nepal Sadbhabana Party(NSP) today formally registered a joint petition to King Birendra requesting him to allow them to form a coalition government.

The NC-RPP-NSP joint petition was also supported by atleast two of the seven independents in the 205 seats Pratinidhi sabha, which has 82 NC members, 19 of the RPP and 3 from NSP.

NC parliamentry party leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, RPP parliamentary leader and former prime minister Lokendra Bahadur Chanda, and NSP president and parliamentary leader Gajendra Narayan Singh went together to the Royal Palace here and got formally registered their petition to the King.

King Birendra, meanwhile, kept his consultation suspended for the weekend and was expected to resume his deliberations with political parties and constitutional experts only tomorrow on prime minister Manmohan Adhikari's recommendation for dissolution of the Pratinidhi Sabha and holding of snap polls to parliament. -UNI.

Mahendra Panthee IISc, Bangalore.

*************************************************************** From: "Mr. Mahendra Prasad Panthee" <> To: Subject: News Date: Sun, 11 Jun 95 9:01:19 IST

The following is the News from "The Times of India", June 10th


Move comes ahead of no-trust vote,

Kathmandu, June 9 : Staving off a no-confidence vote, Nepalse PM Monmohan Adhikari resigned today, recommending to king Birendra dissolution of the six-month old Parliament and calling for fresh elections.

According to the sources colse to PM and his UML, Mr Adhikari went to the palace after a cabinet meeting at his afficial residence this evening.

He was said to have recommended that the snap pooll be held in the last week of November, exactly a year after the UML minority government took office.

The PM's resignation comes ahead of the June 16 special session of Parliament for which the main opposition party the NC, had submitted a petition to King Birendra yesterday.

A palace communique calling for the special session of parliament on June 16 in accordence with the petition was broadcast over Radio Nepal this afternoon.

The king late yesterday had summoned the regular session of parliament to meet on June 25 during which the budget was to have been presented.

The NC, which has 83 seats in the 205-member House, was expected to move a vote of no-confidence against the minority UML government, which is backed by its 88 members and four members of the another leftist party. The UML can also count on the support of two independent members who belong to extreme left parties.

The PM's resignation came in the midst of mounting criticism of the government by the NC.

Analysts say the rapid political developments in the kingdom could precipitate
 further political and constitutional crises.

The resignation followed the failure of talks between the government and RPP, belonging to leaders of the former Panchayat system. Mr Adhikari is said to have sided with opponents of unity with the RPP and this was said to have resulted in the failure of talks between the two parties.

REports said the UML government was preparing to offer the RPP the deputy prime ministership and three or four other ministerial berths for their support to the government.

The RPP is said to have preferred to join the coalition with the UML rather than join hands with tthe NC, whose three-and-half-year rule was marked by non-performance and a perceived pro-India tilt.

The analysts have not been able to determine if king Birendra will accept the resignation of PM and order fresh election or ask other parties to form a government.

The most likely scenario, they say, will be for the NC and the RPP to form a coalition government.

But they say if this happens , the communists will step up their activities to dislodge the government and go to the polls, and once more invite political unrest in the kingdom.

A mid-term poll was held only last Nov. following the fall of the NC government led by Mr Girija Prasad Koirala.

Mahendra Panthee IISc, Bangalore

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