The Nepal Digest - June 20, 1995 (6 Ashadh 2052 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Tuesday 20 June 95: Ashadh 6 2052 BkSm Volume 39 Issue 10

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********************************************************************** From: ponta@sas.upenn.edu (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: Gurkha history discussion To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu (tnd) Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 12:37:27 -0400 (EDT)

The following essay is posted here in the hope that it will augment our current discussion related to the Gurkhas. In particular I argue for a writing of Gurkha history informed, as it were, by relevant "little voices" of history. This essay was written in late November 1994 and published in the Kathmandu Post of 15 Jan 1995. I will post separately regarding some of the points raised by other discussants in recent issues of TND.

Gurkha Suffering in Oral Narratives

by Pratyoush Onta

As I have argued elsewhere, the dukha P bodily pain, mental suffering, extreme hardship and death P experienced by Gurkha soldiers in the battlefields has not received much attention from writers and historians
(Himal, Nov/Dec 1994). While celebratory accounts written, in the main, by white Gurkha officers have been obsessed with Gurkha bravery, stoicism and loyalty, academic historical analyses have been mainly limited to the domain of high diplomacy associated with Gurkha recruitment. Some Nepali historians have recognized the suffering of the Gurkha soldiers but they either sanitize it by saying that it augments the reputation of Nepal in the world or denounce it as part of their criticism of soldiers for hire.

It must be acknowledged right away that for histories that are only based on "objective facts", the theme of suffering is theoretically difficult to deal with. Apart from the difficulty of determining what is an evidence of dukha, the language that dukha appears in P its sheer 'subjectiveness' P causes discomfort to those historians for whom objectivity and belief in the neutrality of the written word are the discipline's only foundation. Moreover, official documents and government records, usually provide little evidence of dukha experienced by individual soldiers and their families. For this we have to look elsewhere, and oral narratives, memoirs, diaries, letters P when they are avialiable P provide valuable insights into the history of Gurkha suffering. In the article referred to earlier, I have presented some samples from censored letters sent by Gurkha soldiers from Europe during the First World War. Therein I have also re-presented oral narratives of Gurung women who lost their loved ones during the World Wars. The latter was borrowed from the pioneering research done by anthropologist Mary Des Chene in Kota, a village in central Nepal, as part of her 1991 Stanford University dissertation.

Gurkha dukha did not end with the world wars. As is well known, the Gurkha regiments of erstwhile British India were split between the Indian and the British Armies in 1947. While the soldiers who enlisted in these regiments after that year have not had to face wars as devastating as the two world wars, it would be a mistake to say that dukha has not been experienced by these more recent generations of soldiers. For those in the British Gurkhas, the years between 1948 and 1970 were mainly spent in duty in British colonies in southeast Asia. After years of jungle warfare and patrols, one could argue that it was only when the headquarters of the Brigade of Gurkhas was moved to Hong Kong in the early 1970s that the burden of Gurkha dukha has lessened collectively. For the case of those who have served with the Indian Gurkha Regiments, the many wars in the Subcontinent since India's Independence have proved to be moments of substantial hardship. Oral narratives, recently published as part of the United Mission to Nepal (UMN) Pipal Pustak series for recently literate readers, testify to this fact.

It must be stated here that doubts raised about the reliability of oral sources are misplaced when history is stopped being considered as an account of the past 'as it actually was'. Oral sources of history, like any other piece of evidence, are not unproblematic. Any set of experiences is itself a product of culture and historical conjunctures. Oral narratives of those experiences, in turn, are structured by differences of age, class, gender and other relationships of power between the researcher-interviewer and the interviewee. Nevertheless they provide the necessary evidence with which historians can begin to question and decenter the dominant representions of any historical theme. Consider the contents of the UMN booklets.

In Ladainko Pida (The Pain of War) Jas Bahadur Dambur Pal Magar describes the moment he was wounded in the 1965 Indo-Pak war in the following manner: "At midnight we went to attack a Pakistani post....In the midst of live fire exchange and bombing, people were looking for their head. A red river of blood was flowing on the white snow. I was firing from an MMG even as I took position. As I raised my head, I was hit on my head and throat with MMG shots. My body was thrown nearby. I was unconscious for 15 minutes. Thereafter my friend from Baglung Bal Bahadur Thapa gave me first aid....I looked around. Everyone was dying. Everywhere there were dead bodies." He recovered from the first wound only to be wounded again in another aid raid. Abandoned because medical personnel thought he would die, he recovered. His eyesight became bad and he was sent off on pension.

In another booklet, Lahureko Katha (The Story of a Lahure), we learn the life-history of Om Bahadur Rana who joined the Indian Gurkhas in 1949 and saw action during the 1962 India-China conflict. Making a living as a porter in the impoverished economy of Syangja, Om Bahadur went to Gorakpur to get himself recruited in the Indian Gurkhas after an accidental meeting with the gallawalla (recruiter). During the India-China conflict of 1962, he was wounded. "Many who were nearby were killed. Many were taken prisoner ...We went into the jungle and toward the hills to save ourselves from the attack by Chinese. It was snowing very heavily then. We could not see the sun. It snowed continuously for seven days. Many friends were abandoned in the way because of the cold, hunger and fatigue, many died. The face of those who died were covered by their own caps as we left them. Despite our efforts to save the lives of many, we could not do anything." Furthermore he says, "We ate grass on the way. When we became thirsty we drank the ice that had melted under our friends' boots and licked some salt....On the ninth day of our walk, I could walk no more. I thought I was going to die as well. My friends abandoned me and continued walking. I was alone. When I could not move my body anymore, I threw myself on the ground inside a cave and slept through the night. On the tenth day, there was some sunlight. My body started to warm up as well." Om Bahadur's troubles did not end there but he was lucky. Making his way out of the battle zone, Om Bahadur eventally recovered and later participated in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. He was pensioned in 1974.

The horrors of war have been for too long masked through recourse to some supposedly essential characteristic of the Gurkha soldier (his growing-up in the harsh hill environment, his stoicism and loyalty to his commanding officers) or through the discourse of nationalism that celebrates battlefield participation as the soldier's sacred duty to the Nepali nation even when the wars are fought on behalf of someone else. These technologies of masking have proved to be so powerful that even sympathetic observers among Gurkha commanding officers and Nepali intellectuals P who together make of the crowd that has thus far made authoritative claims to write on the history and lives of the Gurkha soldiers P have been categorically unable to listen to the soldiers' cries from the battlefield. But as testified by the letters extracted elsewhere and the oral narratives collected by several researchers, suffering remains central to the lives of Gurkha soldiers throughout their history. The oral narratives presented here proffer an image of the Gurkha soldier quite different from the battlefield image presented in standard writings, of the Gurkha, khukuri raised, charging the enemy with the battlecry "Ayo Gorkhali". Instead of the superhuman Gurkha we have here human soldiers who feel the pain of their wounds and are afraid of death. And that they suffer is beyond doubt. It is therefore not for nothing that VC Lachhiman Gurung told the magazine, Gorkha Sainik Awaj, that he feels that anybody who sends an able young person to the army to experience dukha is doing paap.

These oral narratives alone, unfortunately, do not allow us to carry out a more sensitive analysis of how Gurkha soldiers from different parts of Nepal might have "experienced" these wars in the Subcontinent. As Des Chene has alerted us, we should not assume that just because they belong to the same cohort, the experience of soldiers in any battlefield was a homogeneous one. The different cultural worlds within Nepal from which the soldiers emanated and specific circumstances they encountered during the course of the wars in the Subcontinent would have to be minimally accounted for to capture the variation of their experiences. A detailed account of these experiences will only be possible through extensive recording and comparison of oral narratives.

If previous packagings of the Gurkha past have excessively highlighted only a single theme, new research projects committed to a vision of a broad social history promise to rediscover that past in other illuminating ways. Restoring the humanity of the Gurkha soldiers should be an honourable project.

********************************************************************** Date: 19 Jun 95 09:37:58 EDT From: "C. Tiwari" <74641.3624@compuserve.com> Subject: IPS News Analysis

06/15 1645 NEPAL: COMMUNISTS LIKELY TO RETURN TO POWER SAY ANALYSTS

KATHMANDU, (June 15) IPS - The world's first communist monarchy is likely to be re-instated when Nepal's United Marxist-Leninist Party (UML) faces the electorate for the second time in six months in pre-empted polls this november, say analysts here.
   But many senior political leaders question the wisdom of one of the world's poorest countries undertaking the expense of a nation-wide election for the third time in four years. The last election cost the country a whopping $80 million.
   Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikary himself, whose recommendation resulted in the dissolution of parliament on June 13 by King Birendra, told IPS: "I am not too happy that this country has been forced into mid-term elections."
   But, he added, "I have to settle it so that a functional parliament is formed.
   Nepal switched from an absolute monarchy to a multi-party Westminister-style democracy after a popular movement in 1990. The first election saw the centrist Nepali Congress assume power in 1991.
   But bitter infighting brought about the collapse of the government led by Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala in July of last year and another election in November saw the UML form a minority government as the single largest party in parliament.
   At that time, the Nepali Congress had negotiated for days to form a coalition government with the right-wing Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), but the deliberations fell through.
   The two parties were coming together again the UML and had even called for a special session of parliament tomorrow to test their strength. But Adhikary pre-empted their move by recommending that the king dissolve parliament.
   "I don't know who played their cards well and who badly...But they drove us to the wall and, after all, no political party wants to commit suicide," says the 74-year-old prime minister.
   He says he is hopeful that the election will help strengthen democracy by establishing a stable government that will be able to carry out its programs without having to depend on outside forces for support. He says many of the UML's programs were thwarted because of the lack of support from other parties.
   He is confident that the UML will ride to power for a second time. But the opposition is extremely unhappy with the move and has been seeking to stall the election.
   Prakash Chandra Lohani, general secretary of the RPP, plans to challenge the king's decision in court. He says, "The election is unconstitutional and motivated by bad intentions."
   Koirala says, "It is an organized conspiracy against parliamentary democracy."
   But there are few takers for these arguments. A poll in the capital Kathmandu conducted by a reputed market research group for the country's influential daily Kathmandu Post showed that a majority of voters supported the king's decision.
   And analysts said the performance of the UML in six months and a series of populist programs launched by it for Nepal's 20 million mainly poor people, would see the care-taker government through this time.
   "The UML stands a good chance of coming back," says Ganesh Raj Sharma, a well-known Kathmandu lawyer. He says the government's measures to appease its support base of poor peasants and workers will help it.
   "Several programs that aim at that target population are already underway. That is where the majority of the votes are and one can thus guess the result."
   Under a "build your village scheme", the Communists have sent
$6,000 to each of the 4,000 villages in Nepal for local development programs. The scheme encourages people to form small user groups to formulate and implement the programs without depending on support from local governments.
   The government has also announced scholarships and special programs for the poor and minorities. It has also handed out land deeds to at least 20,000 landless families under a resettlement scheme.
   All this while, the Communists have resisted pressure from the International Monetary Fund and other donors to embrace market-driven economic policies.
   "We are only prepared to go as far with liberalization as is in the interest of the country and the people," says Madhav Kumar Nepal, deputy prime minister.
   At the same time, they have managed to avoid antagonizing the business community, whose spokespersons say the UML is most likely to provide a stable government that would help in attracting investments.
   Experts here say the UML government is likely to announce a populist budget for the coming fiscal year a few weeks from now to corner more votes. "This time our budget will have to be more people-oriented," says Adhikary.
   Says Shridhar Khatri, a prominent Nepali political scientist,
"In general, six months is a good time to rule. You can announce programs and succeed to build up a positive image even without fulfilling them. You can always say you tried."
   But he adds that a workable electoral alliance between the Congress and the RPP might still result in a defeat for the UML.
   Another academician requesting anonymity says, "In the absence of a workable strategy, the already desperate opposition may even try to whip up latent issues such as religious and ethnic confrontations which may prove to be very destructive over the long run."
   But a relaxed Prime Minister says he is confident that the poll will result in a majority for his party. "Tha psychology that will evolve out of the experience of a hung parliament," he says.

************************************************************ Date: Fri, 16 Jun 1995 14:55:04 EDT To: a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu From: Keshab Bhattarai <kbhattar@lynx.dac.neu.edu> Subject: Cost of General Election (fwd)

Rajpalji,

Would you please include the following in the next isseu of TND. Thanks. I would be grateful to you if you keep me in your mailing list.
                                                            -KB
> Cost of Untimely General Election
> ====================================
> Nepal is going to have another untimely general election on Nov 23,
> 1995, just one year after such an election last year. Such tragic event
> to development process happens when the politicians put their own or
> party's interest above the national interest, when they speak one thing
> and do another thing.
>
> General elections are costly every where, particularly so in a least
> developed economy like that of Nepal, where means of communication and
> transportation are undeveloped, due to unthinkable magnitude of poverty
> and illiteracy opinions of people can be distorted through money,
> influence and coercion. Whole process of election from updating the
> voter's list, registration of candidacy, canvassing, provisions of
> ballot-booths, manning 7-8 thousand booths, collecting and counting them
> is very painful process. Besides that the conflict and division of
> society, election violance are not uncommon. All and above, all this
> drama only to form a new government, which is most likely to be in a
> situation like the present one !
>
> Apart the social tension, direct and indirect costs of general election
> may be following. The election commission spends around one billion
> Rupees to perform the process listed above. Then candidates of many
> different parties (not less than 60), spend 10 to 15 times more than the
> budget of the election commission. At least 10 billion Rs. is gone in
> this process. Equal amount of money is spent in terms of productive time
> by the people. Besides these direct costs, economic and political
> uncertainty created by such untimely election, raises the risk of
> investment projects. Private investors postpone ungoing investment
> projects, and drop some other projects from their agenda. Morever, it
> creates a crisis of confidence among the to-be-investors. Meanwhile, the
> caretaker government is likely to bring a rampant inflationary and
> populistic budget that will bring immediately visible effects among the
> voters, at the cost of higher prices and a rising trade deficit in
> periods to follow, which may take another five year to come into
> normalcy. The outcome of all these short term measures will
> trigger the tendency of capital to fly away from the economy.
> Individuals with calibre, frustrated from the whole process, my
> temporarily or permanently migrate to other places where they can see
> better prospect using their talents. Foreign investors will erase Nepal
> from their activity map. To sum up such
> indirect costs may be many times more than the direct cost of election
> stated above. It is not unlikely that altogether, both direct and
> indirect cost, make up to 3 billion dollar GDP of Nepal, if all sorts of
> costs are taken into account.
>
> Who does benefit from the yearly general election? First of all, we may
> think that such an irrational behavior of Nepalese politicians reflects more
> a conflict over rent-sharing, than on the issues of national development. If
> politicians were concerned about the national development, such as when
> they were united in re-installing the democracy in 1989-90, they could
> have easily formed a national collition or concensus government.
> Short sighted P.M.s such as Girija and Man Mohan, and their followers do
> not care for growth and development, though they themselves are very much
> aware of devastating consequences of such childish political gambling to the
> future of the country. How can they convince the outside world to help
> Nepal, when they are not helping themselves? It will not be long from
> now, when the chronic poverty may take revenge with such childish playing
> in a very much disturbing and uncontrollable manner, if such a risky and
> irrational activities becomes a permanent characteristic of Nepalese
> politicians. How long can poor people pay to the luxury of election to
> their political masters?
>
> -Keshab

************************************************************* Date: Sat, 17 Jun 1995 11:36:40 CDT To: a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu From: psharma@emh1.tic.bismarck.nd.us (Padam Sharma) Subject: Indian Kaliedoscope

Dear Rajpal:

I have obtained permission from Dr. KV Rao of BGSU to include some Indian news and other info into Nepal Digest! I have attached two pieces for now! Regards

Source: India Digest : June 13, 1995

Child workers have higher IQs - Indian study

    NEW DELHI, June 11 (Reuter) - Indian researchers have discovered that children who are forced to work generally score higher on intelligence tests than those who go to school.
     The Press Trust of India (PTI) said a study by four university professors showed the average intelligence quotient, or IQ, among child labourers was 130, compared with 120 for pupils of the same age.
     "The working children do not reveal any disability, inferiority or disadvantageous conditions due to their work and no schooling," said Ashok Gupta, assistant professor of paediatrics at S.M.S. Medical College, and N.K. Sanghi, director of social sciences at the University of Rajasthan.
     The study was conducted in collaboration with Rameshwar Sharma, former vice chancellor of the University of Rajasthan, and D.C. Jain, former dean of law faculty ad the University of Jodhpur, PTI said.
     Opponents of child labour say it can stunt their development, but Gupta and Sanghi said they found that child workers and schoolgoers had attained similar levels of physical, psychic and social maturity.
     New Delhi estimates that about 20 million children are forced to work in factories in India, while private organisations put the figure at about 50 million.
     The study's authors said a ban on child labour which is widely flouted should be applied only to dangerous jobs.
     They recommended legislation to provide adequate wages and health care, regulate work hours and protect children from physical abuse.

 Bihar to ask centre to send doctors to combat encephalitis

      PATNA, Jun 13 :PTI: The Chief Minister, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, today assured the Bihar assembly that the state would urge the centre to send a team of specialists to check encephalitis which had broken out in parts of Muzaffarpur district in north Bihar.
     Mr Prasad said that the government was seized of the matter and would send a team of senior doctors to carry out necessary treatment.
     The Chief Minister was responding to a notice during zero hour brought up by mr Brijendra Chaudhary (JD) who claimed that the disease had left many children dead in Muzaffarpur district and said that 100 such cases were being admitted daily in various private hospitals and nursing homes.

Padam P. Sharma Email (Home): psharma@emh1.tic.bismarck.nd.us Email (Office): sharma@plains.nodak.edu

***********************************************************************************************

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 17:46 EST Forwarded By: ATULADHAR@vax.clarku.edu To: nepal@cs.niu.edu From: g44329a@nucc.cc.nagoya-u.ac.jp (GP) Description: Re: New elections called for Nov. 23

In article <3rkac2$snj@dartvax.dartmouth.edu> rajendra@coos.dartmouth.edu (Rajendra P. Shrestha) writes:
 
 | ``His majesty the king on the advice of the prime minister,
 |Man Mohan Adhikary, has dissolved the House of Representatives
 |and ordered fresh elections to be held on Thursday, November
 |23,'' the palace said in a statement read on state radio.
 
             It is better to go for election rahter than hang around with hung-parliament. Even if, congressies have made the govt. they will call for another election within 6 months+6months period as analysed by C. Tiwari. IF some majority govt. comes we should be happy otherwise we should go for dictatorship, kick out all these politicos.
 
 | The statement called on Adhikary's caretaker government to
 |``successfully carry out the task of holding the election in a
 |peaceful, fair and impartial manner.''
 
           Hope they don't misuse radio nepal, TV and Helicopter
, airplanes and other 'sharkari' transportations.
 
 
 | However, three opposition parties controlling a majority of
 |the 205 seats in the lower house had asked King Birendra to
 |allow them to form a new government without calling polls.
 
                I don't understand why the UML deserved to go for no-confidence voting, is just a "shapat roti-paicho-gas".
 
 | The communists welcomed the king's decision, which scrapped
 |a parliamentary no-confidence motion set for Friday.
 
           Peoples should welcome this election because the election has to come in any way within a year or later.
 
 | ``We are very happy,'' UML's parliamentary whip Rajendra
 |Pande told Reuters. ``We asked for it (an election). It has
 |come.''
 
           Except Koirala and associates (P) Ltd. , every one is happy, I think so.
 
 | The leader of the main opposition Nepali Congress's
 |parliamentary party, Sher Bahadur Deuba, expressed surprise at
 |the king's decision.
 
           I am not surprised with the election, because it was inevitible, since the last election. I was rather surprised with GP(K) 's decision to go for election instead of solving intra- party unsatisfaction. He would have stepped down, like Thachter did when the situtation was similar. I think Girija would have appreciated in the history of Nepal. Now, he should be called a cult in Nepali democracy.
 
 | ``Nepali people did not want the mid-term election nor can
 |the Nepali economy afford it,'' Deuba told Reuters. ``Frequent
 |elections are not going to help anybody nor democracy.''
            Did you say this last year when your boss did the biggest mistake in present Nepal.
 
 | Deuba said the opposition had been in a position to win the
 |no-confidence motion and form an alternative government without
 |resorting to the second snap polls in a year.
 
           This is your tricky statement to win peoples faith. But, peoples have already tired of GP(k)'s Koirala and Associates (P) Ltd. I would rather say F... You Koirala and Associates (P) Ltd.
 
 
 | ``We call upon all democratic parties to unite and save the
 |situation created by the dissolution,'' Thapa said.
 
 | ``The decision of the government to hold elections renders
 |the constitution as trash and has inflicted grievous injury to
 |all democratic-minded people,'' he told a news conference.
 
             Grow up Mr. Thapa , you have delayed Nepals ' democracy by 10 years and you taught the crime, rap, cheating, birbes and what not during the 'jana mata shangraha'. You shit now talk of democracy. F... You, too.
 
 | Nepali Congress was joined by the RPP and Nepal Sadbhavana
 |Party (NSP) in demanding a chance to form a government to lead
 |one of the world's poorest countries, with 20 million people.
 
           SCN Netters, don't feel laughing. Yesterday's lion of Nepali political arean is now struggling to make 51/49 ratio? I have heard that Lions when gets old , it goes under a tree and pretends as dead where monkeys are playing. Then monkey approach to it, thus it grabs the monkey and survives . But, how long?
 
 | The three parties have one more seat in parliament than the
 |number needed to push through a no-confidence motion.
 
 | Nepal, sandwiched between China and India, held its first
 |multiparty polls in 1991 after pro-democracy demonstrators put a
 |bloody end to the monarch's absolute powers.
 
       Pashupati nath le hami sabhaiko kalyan garun.
  Gyaneswor Pokharel Department of Civil Engineering Nagoya University Japan

********************************************************* Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 17:47 EST Forwarded By: ATULADHAR@vax.clarku.edu To: nepal@cs.niu.edu From: SPOKHARE@SYSTEMS.watstar.uwaterloo.ca (Euta Nepali) Description: Re: Two Successful Nepalis
  As far as Manisha I do not have anything to say because she has not disowned her country at least in print I have read that she has said that she is proud to be born Nepali. And of course, I have not met her and have no comments.
  But well..... About UDIT I have a doubt on what you say not on your part but on the part of Udit. Did you read about a decade ago he said in " Dharmayug" that he is an Indian, that was because he was getting high in industry and would not want to lose his whatever position he was getting to. Well, when I first met Udit, it was after the Bal KaryaKram the Radio Nepal organizes. That time he had come for a voice test and he spoke only Hindi (not even Maitheli, his mother tongue) with the people around, he was not the present Udit that time but some ordinary fat boy. Of course, he sang the song in Nepali. We (not only me) noticed him that day because he was the only boy around with a girlish (I do not know the word now, not a feminine) voice. I believe that he wants to keep feet in both countries and enjoy his presence. At least because Nepalese music and film industry is growing now. Well.. I have nothing against him but I am telling my perception here.
  Namaste
 
**************************************************************** Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 21:06:43 -0400 (EDT) From: Aevendra Lohani <lohani@alpha.fdu.edu> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: Response to Ashu Tiwari's response

Dear Ashu:

Thanks for the good wishes you extended on behalf of the Nepalis in Boston. Thank You also for the insight into your age, if little else, we at least have our ages in common !

It seems that a little clarification is due with regards to your interpretation that we "conviniently deleted" the second reason. Unlike the Nepalis in Boston, we do not personally or otherwise know Mahendra Man Sakya (Honda) and his virtues. Void such knowledge, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on his apparently praiseworthy character. Thus the 2nd reason (which attributes the harmonious state-of-affairs of Boston Nepalis to Honda) was not conveniently deleted, instead, it was left unaddressed for the above mentioned reasons. In other words, it is not with your 2nd reason that we are disagreeing with.

The sole disagreement occurs with your first reason. Which states:"the collective IQ of Nepalis in Boston is simply too high for them to get caught up in stupid ethnic/social/political jhagadas that have, one hears, torn apart Nepalese communities in other parts of the planet".The statement (whether intentional or due to a poor choice of words) comes across as self-praising, irresponsible, and, to the Non-Boston Nepalis, belittling. If the basis for your statement is your insight into Nepali communities, one has to wonder about the extent of the exposure. All across the United States you would have found situational leadership and harmony. Nothing unique about that, the struggle to survive in a foreign land assures that. Sure you have a right to your opinion, but in the politically correct realm of the 90's of which we are all a part, one has to be careful when presenting one's opinion in a public forum. For someone who boasts a leadership role this should have an added emphasis. Perhaps you have heard the old adage likening one's opinion to that part of one's body that is vital to have but wise not to expose.

You state that you were confident of other Nepalis across the world finding your words AMUSING. Amusing ? What is so amusing about a statement that attributes jhagadas (we are still awaiting your response as to which jhagadas you are eluding to) to IQ levels ?

Some Nepalis, whom we had earlier associated to your statement, have recently detached themselves from that part of your post. Persumably because they read it on a crisp June morning and recognized the various ways in which such comments could be interpreted, including offensive. Perhaps its time you read those words again. If you fail to see where we are coming from, so be it. However, we rest assured that many Nepalis do not find such words amusing.

Devu & Raju

************************************************************* Date: Mon, 19 Jun 1995 20:50:54 -0500 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu From: psharma@emh1.tic.bismarck.nd.us (Padam Sharma) Subject: ANA Convention

Association of Nepalese in the Americas (ANA) 13th Annual Convention

When: June 30 - July 2, 1995

Where: Denver, Colorado
        Sheraton Denver West Hotel and Converence Center, Lakewood, Colorado.
        Lakewood is a suburb located approx. 10 miles west of Denver city center
        Contact 1-800-525-3966 for hotel reservations.

Tentative Program:

Friday, June 30, 1995
        2 - 6 pm: Registration at hotel lobby
        6:30 - 9 pm: Dinner hosted by Rocky Mountain Friends of Nepal at the
                     Green Mountain Presbyterian Church

Saturday, July 1, 1995.
        8:00 am -- Registration
        9:00 - 10:00 am -- Welcome and opening remarks
        10:00 - 12:00 -- Nepal issues
        12:00 - 3:30 -- Outdoor picnic lunch and outdoor activities
        7:00 - 9:30 pm -- Cultural program

Sunday, July 2, 1995.
        8:00 am -- Registration
        8:30 - 10:00 am -- Women's issues
        10:15 - 11:45 -- Teens' issues
        12:00 - Lunch on your own
        2:30 - 3:30 pm -- Nepali enterpreneurs
        3:30 - 4:30 pm -- Immigrants' forum
        4:30 - 5:30 pm -- ANA membership meeting
        7:00 - 11:00 pm -- Dinner/Dance

Directions to Sheraton Denver West Hotel

>From Denver Airport: Pena Blvd to I-70 W, to I-25 S, to 6th Ave W, exit Simms St
                     /Union left on Union - 2 Blks to Hotel Driving from South: I-25 North to 6th Ave West - then same as above Driving from North: I-25 South to 6th Ave West - then same as above Driving from East: I-70 West to I-25 South - then same as above Driving from West: I-70 East to 6th Ave. East - then same as above

For further information: Raja Prasad Upadhyaya (303)-674-8985

Padam Sharma 812 West Divide Ave, Bismarck, North Dakota, 58501 Phone: 701-258-2066 (home) 701-667-3050 (office) Email (Home): psharma@emh1.tic.bismarck.nd.us Email (Office): sharma@plains.nodak.edu

********************************************************************** Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 16:09:01 -0400 (EDT) From: Jagadish Dawadi <JXD8795@ritvax.isc.rit.edu> Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - June 19, 1995 (5 Ashadh 2052 BkSm) To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>

Hello there, Netters!

Does someone on net know when Father's & Mother's Days are celebrated in Nepal? Pls send me an email at jxd8795@isc.rit.edu to let me know of these. Thanks for your time, and have a great summer!

Jagadish Dawadi Rochester, NY

********************************************************************* Date: Wed, 14 Jun 1995 16:44:56 PDT To: a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu From: khana_bp@whitworth.edu (Bhushan P. Khanal F94) Subject: Re: Harrasment

        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, definition s 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 also to preserve its own 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 "guru j i" 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 newly discovered frontier: "information super highway."

- Bhushan Khanal
  nepalimen@aol.com

********************************************************************** Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 17:03:37 -0400 (EDT) From: Pravignya Regmi <pregmi@emerald.tufts.edu> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Help Nepal Save the Environment

Help Nepal Save the Environment - VII (Part-II).
                 _______________________________________
                 AND KARNALI WILL NOT BE SINGING ANYMORE
                 ---------------------------------------

  Dealing with an environmental issue is a complex process than talking about several other ecological stress and disasters.
  Karnali, as usual, has been one of the major areas in Nepal having accelarated evironmental degradation since last couple of decades. The same common problems of soil erosion, deforestation, to name but few, have been prevailing. Nepal, as whole, is basically heading through the same trends of environmental problems. The tropical forest, charkoshe jhadi, is no more a continious belt now but patches of forest fragments. The hills are no more covered with the deciduous woods, but are being degraded to naked, exposed bare slopes.
  The environmental problems in Karnali (and in Nepal) can be defined by two ways. The first definition deals with the biophysical and ecological factors which is based on pure scientific view. While the latter deals with the social causes which includes economics, people and most significantly politics.

The Ecological Stress - Technical View
  The ecological stress in Karnali has been ever accumulating since last twenty years. There are fundamentally two different factors contributing the ecological stress over the areas. They are the natural factors, and the dominant species of the ecosystem human being.
  The climatic, topographic and geological factors are strong over the higher mountains. Soil erosions by the glaciers is a common phenomenon. However, human intervention has become the major catalyst in accelerating the natural processes of environmental changes. According to Neppon Koei survery, the entire Karnali River catchment basin removes 75 x 10 to the power 6 cubic meters of fertile top soil each year. Accordingly, the Karnali region is losing 1.7mm thick cover of fertile top soil every year. Top soil is a thin layer about 2 to 3 feet which is ecologically active that sustains plant and animal life by several processes such as humification, mineral recycling etc. The subsoil that lies below lacks organic constituents and is coarse which is not suitable for plant growth. Removal of topsoil is desertification.
  Extraction of firewood and timber has directly affected the local ecology. The consumption of firewood has been estimated at the rate of 6,000 Kg per household. Besides the firewood needs is the timber and fodder supply that has contributed on local ecological problems. The virgin forest have been exploited to meet the deficiency for increasing demands. According to a study, average distance for fodder and firewood collection has increased by an hour walk in Karnali Hills. Besides, there are several other biophyiscal factors directly contributing on ecological stress such as population growth, shifting areas of cultivation. If such pressures are continued, the Karnali will be denuded almost by the end of this century (Bishop, 1990).
  Poaching and killing of the mountain antelopes such as bluesheeps, musk deers etc. for fur and other economic values has affected over the local population dynamics of the wild ecosystem.
  Barry C. Bishop in his book, Karnali Under Stress, warns, "....Now the options are rapidly disappearing, and the cultural ecological subsistence system may be locked onto an ever increasing, downward spriral or degradation".

The Ecological Stress - Political View
  There is often heated argument between the political ecologists and ecological technicians on the issues of environmental degradation. The former group usually do not prioratize the scientific factors, rather define environmental problems thru the political and social reasons. They believe that the tight wave of power relations pervades families, societies, nations and the global political and economic systems. Power politics is considered as the major root for the environmental degradation.
  There are some political causes of present environmental problems in Nepal which is also applicable to Karnali region. They are as follows:

1. Historic politics is deleneated as one of the major root causes. This speciefic reason deal with the Rana Regime. During those times, the forest belts of Terai was cleared for rail road construction in the British colonized India by the contemporary elites. After the clearance of the forest of the Terai belt, the denudation of Hilly reason started. Therfore, the denudation of Hill is not a recent phenomenon created by the peasants that caused the current problem but a result of the political motives behind the feudals.

2. The second hierarchy of the feudalism steps down to the local landlords. These landlords (who occupied from few 10s to hundreds of Bighas of lands) used the poor peasants to clear the forests in order to expand their property. The people who lived at the lowest hierarchy provided major part of the share to the landlords to receive shelter and security in return from them. The local tribal groups of people in Kanchanpur and Kailali, Tharus, are an example of extream manipulation by those landlords. So the argument continues, are these poor people the major cause of environmental degradation ?

3. The rate of population growth, that has been a cause for the current ecological problems in the Hilly regions, is also supposed to be an exaggerated digits accordingly. Most of the census takers did not bother to visit every house in the remote Karnali Hilly villages; but just filled up the numerous census forms with fictious data, as they knew that they would be paid for the number of the filled forms.

4. Merely denudation of the local woods is not the sole factor for soil erosion in the Karnali region. But the major cause of soil erosion in the massive quantity is due to the geological causes. Accordingly, topsoil whased down from the hills is only a small part of the sediments which contribute to flooding downstream in the monsoon season that has been occuring for centuries.

5. The modern methods of tree plantation or most of the environmental protection methods are an over emphasized slogans of the western academic circle. It is like imposing western framework of environmental theory to eastern people which actually does not fit. It is considered as a coercive manner over the poor peasants to control and legitimize the political power. These political ecologists argue that the methods of plantation and agriculture by the local peasant farmers are actually sustainable and there is no issue of over landuse. The local peasants know bertter than the modern engineers by their centuries old experiences of cultivating their land and extract firewood and fodder in the sustainable way. Therefore, the small farmers are rather environmentally friendly than those who try to "teach" them the sustainability.

Finally-
  Whoever the people or whatever the reasons are, the environment in Nepal and in Karnali region have been deteriorating. It is not plausible to stop the local people from penetrating the local forests that sustains their lives or reforest all the denuded hills which is highly capital intensive. What we need today is to get firmly to the effective methods for restoration of the damaged environment and stabilize the threatened ecology.

Pravigya Regmi

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