Received: from mp.cs.niu.edu (mp.cs.niu.edu [22.214.171.124]) by library.wustl.edu (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id MAA13955; Sun, 22 Jun 1997 12:44:25 -0500 (CDT) Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu id AA16858 (5.67b/IDA-1.5 for nepal-dist); Sun, 22 Jun 1997 10:02:07 -0500 Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu id AA16851 (5.67b/IDA-1.5 for nepal-list); Sun, 22 Jun 1997 10:02:05 -0500 Date: Sun, 22 Jun 1997 10:02:05 -0500 Message-Id: <199706221502.AA16851@mp.cs.niu.edu> Reply-To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: The Editor <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sender: "Rajpal J. Singh" <A10RJS1@cs.niu.edu> Subject: The Nepal Digest - June 22, 1997 (10 Ashadh 2054 BkSm) To: <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Content-Type: text Status: O X-Status: X-Keywords: X-UID: 235
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The Nepal Digest Sunday June 22, 97: Ashadh 10 2054BS: Year6 Volume63 Issue 2
For What Its Worth
KURA-KARI; Economics, Politics, Foreign Policy.
"Top ten list" from The Kathmandu Post
Nepali women work to save the villages
Tidbits from Columbus, Ohio
A Nepali Play in Translation
* TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
* -------------------------------------- *
* The Nepal Digest: General Information email@example.com *
* Chief Editor: RJP Singh (Open Position) firstname.lastname@example.org *
* Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra email@example.com *
* SCN Correspondent: Rajesh Shrestha (Open Position) firstname.lastname@example.org *
* TND Archives: http://library.wustl.edu/~listmgr/tnd/ *
* TND Foundation: http://www.nepal.org email@example.com *
* WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
* Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista firstname.lastname@example.org *
* +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
* "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
* "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
****************************************************************** Date: Sun, 08 Jun 1997 13:11:17 EDT To: The Nepal digest Editor <email@example.com> From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Patriotism Galore
I don't think it'd be the violation of his civil rights if I
claimed Arun Gupto to be a friend. But I must point out the basic
flaws of his piece "Western Perspective on Nepal: ek chintan." There is no
doubt that the West (if it means the hegemony of Europe and things
European) has eyes with which it has seen and made unseen, understood and
misunderstood, helped and exploited, saved and maimed, freed and
colonized whatever has been non-Western in the five hundred years of its
ascendancy. But as Helen Abdzadi points out in the previous issue of TND,
Arun's whole point in his gossip column is self-defeating and
The Nepali expatriate who ridiculed Arun's friend's English or the
English of the professors in Kathmandu ("Do they know good English?") and
the one who congratulated on the state-of-the-art English curriculum at
Kirtipur--both these people, whoever they were, were both perceptive and
shortsighted, wise and foolish (forgive me, folks, for strong words here).
It's long been the habit of the colonized and the ruled to live
by the standards of their colonizers and rulers. And in this respect my
friend Arun is not much different than the man who ridiculed the English
of the English professors at Kirtipur. Whereas my friend Arun suffers
from Patriotism Galore syndrome, the man who ridiculed the English of the
English professors suffers from another syndrome, the snobbishness whose
roots go back to the feudalsim and colonialism of the Received
Pronunciation of English aristocracy. This snobbishness is both
self-defeating and ignorant. The question of the English language
(Helen's interesting thesis needs to be further examined) is a little too complex to indulge in here.
Instead of asking whether something was up-to-date, both the
admirer of up-to- dateness and Arun should have asked another, more
fundamental, question: What gives birth to the state of the art, the
cutting edge, the up-to-date? Is up-to-dateness a matter of borrowing alone
or a result of self-regeneration and perpetual renewal? Indeed, a
continuous process of discarding the outdated present and searching for
the better- working future? Does this process have any place in Arun's
Sure, Nepal is not all poor. Look at the number of deaths of the
mountaineers atop the Everest in spite of all their state-of-the-art
equipment. Yet, there is no dearth of moneyed crowds impatient to
scale the peaks in Nepal. Seldom does anyone say (except for the
custom's officials at certain airports) that Nepali people are bad;
everyone says they have a hospitable manner and rich smile. What Arun
seems to be saying in effect in his gossip is that it dunn matter if
Kathmandu is like hell with its smoke and dust, if people in Nepali
villages die without medicines or doctors are scoundrels, prescribing
vitamin pills for cancer, if politicians are opportunists, civil servants
corrupt, the aristocracy selfish. As long as some dunderhead expatriate
Nepali, complaining to Arun before, has a change of heart and praises the
English curriculum at Kirtipur as up-to-date, God's in heaven, all's well
There's a world of difference between complacency and
self-dignity, between snobbishness and self-respect. And I'm sure Arun
knows it. Arun would do a yeoman's service to his country if he turned
his patriotism galore into merciless analysis and criticism of what is
wrong with his country. Nepali people are just coming to from a
thirty-year Panche overdose of self-congratulation and patriotism galore.
And this brings me to another related, point. KTM Post
needs writers from the US and other overseas countries to write
interesting, clear, relevant essays for its pages, including the gossip
columns. The writer is paid Rs. 500.00 a piece upon publication. I
think it's an opportunity for people overseas with better English and a dry
smile at the poor English of the English professors at Kirtipur to
demonstrate the health of years of wanton grazing in the English-speaking
pastures. The fax # of KTM Post is the following: 977-1-470-018.
****************************************************************** Date: June 3, 1997 To: The Nepal Digest <email@example.com> Subject: Nepali News
Source: The Kathmandu Post
Paras Shah will be punished: Police
By a Post Reporter
KATHMANDU, June 17 - Action has been initiated against Paras Shah, son of
Prince Gyanendra, who allegedly killed a driver
and seriously injured a passenger last Wednesday night when his Pajero
collided with a taxi, police claimed Tuesday.
The claim comes at a time when people were wondering if Royal figures were
immune to existing laws. The police, however,
refused to formally confirm that Shah in question is in fact
Prince Gyanendra's son.
The Superintendent of Police (SP) in Kathmandu, Dilip Kumar Shrestha, told
newsmen at a monthly press meet that a letter has
been forwarded to the Chhauni military hospital where Paras Shah is
"We have asked the hospital authorities to send Shah to the district police office for inquiry as soon as he recovers," Shrestha said, adding the case against Shah is proceeding as in the case of any other citizen. According to newspaper reports, Shahs vehicle was hurtling from Kamaladi when it hit the taxi at the Putali Sadak crossroads mid-night Wednesday. The taxi was coming from Dilli Bazaar. The taxi driver, Sanu Kaji Maharjan of Kalimati, died on the spot. He was just 18 year old. The passenger, Kedar Simkhada of Tahachal, was admitted to the Bir Hospital. Reports said that Shah, accompanied by a foreign girl and an unidentified person, was drunk when the accident occurred. Earlier that night, Shah had hit a Maruti van in front of the Yak and Yeti Hotel. The taxi, which Maharjan had recently bought on instalment, was extensively damaged on impact. The incident came at the end of a long chain of allegations of misbehaviour against Shah. The young prince has been accused of, among others, slapping a traffic inspector, firing shots to intimidate police officers and bullying the staff of the Everest Hotel.
Source: The Kathmandu Post
What's CPN-UML's political philosophy ?
By Pradip Koirala
In Nepal, an alliance of seven small communist parties including CPN-UML
supported the Nepali
Congress led the movement of 1989. Yet, their sincerity in supporting the
democracy within a constitutional monarchy is still being questioned. CPN-UML
agreed to the
tripartite agreement between the King, Nepali Congress and Communist alliance.
This brought the
democratic constitution of 1990. After the promulgation, the communists
officially accepted the
constitution but said that they did it with "critical support".
No doubt, in different conventions voices against multi-party democracy have
been heard. In the
fifth general national convention, the CPN-UML decided in favour of one
republic in Nepal even though multi-party system and constitutional monarchy
principles of our constitution. The CPN-UML, however, accepted multi-party
however, is only a short-run strategic act in the process of establishing a
one party communist republic.
Man Mohan Adhikari, as the prime minister in CPN-UML minority government also
underlying motives guiding the CPN-UML during a chat with the foreign press.
He had then
commented Monarchy in Nepal should remain for a certain period of time.
Other CPN-UML leaders like Khadga Oli, CP Mainali and DPM Gautam in a
organized to commemorate the establishment of communist party in Nepal also
pledged to bring
about a one party communist republic in Nepal. Madhav Nepal, the CPN-UML
has however issued a party statement instructing party workers not to give
multi-party democracy and constitutional monarchy, the irrevocable principles
constitution. MKN also reiterated that CPN-UML is committed to the present
constitution and its
important elements like constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy.
The question therefore arises whether a statement by CPN-UML general secretary
can go against
the official party decision that CPN-UML is committed to bring about a
one-party communist rule
in the fifth general national convention? Or, is Madhav Nepal's statement
merely intended to
hoodwink Prime Minister Chand into continuing the UML-RPP alliance? It
goes without saying
that ex-panchayat leader Chand is a staunch monarchist. Lokendra Bahadur
Chand, the current
prime minister, has already warned CPN-UML not to give any opinion
democracy and constitutional monarchy, the two irrevocable principles of the
To any communists, the end is what is important, whatever the means. Communist
who themselves are well acquainted with communist theories understand the
Madhav Nepal's statement. Communist party workers know that the
secretary's words are only
meant to deceive those who find CPN-UML's commitment to democracy questionable.
Deputy Prime Minister Bam Dev Gautam is clear about the long term objective
He says CPN-UML is in the process of gathering strength to speed up towards
communist republic. But, to do that, according to him, CPN-UML needs a
landslide victory both
in local and mid-term elections to take rapid steps towards establishing one
party communist rule.
This dream of CPN-UML can turn into a nightmare if PM Lokendra Bahadur Chand
is not taken
into confidence. In this context, can general secretary Madhav Kumar
Nepal's statement carry
any other political implication?
Source: The Kathmandu Post
Counseling for broken hearts
KATHMANDU - Raveena, like many other girls, feels she is sick and tired of her
life. She just
wants to end her life as she doesnt see a ray of hope. Like other girls,
she too is a victim of a
tragic love story - but in real life. She says she has been betrayed by her
boyfriend despite her true
and sincere love. But so far she has not found a proper person with whom she
could share her
problem. Shes also not aware of the availability of any counselor in the
Valley to confide in and seek advice.
Raveena is not the only one. There are many girls in the city who share the
same trauma. Another
girl, Rita, has a different kind of story to tell. Rita has been used by a
married man as a sex-toy for
his entertainment. "He just lured me, and I could not say No to him;
it just happened I can't
recall how it happened," she says, while explaining how she entered into
a sexual relationship with
him. Since then she has been more like his Keep because his wife
is away. Although she had had
a physical relationship with her boyfriend earlier, the present relationship
is dragging her into a new
kind of psychological stigma . On the one hand, she just wants to end this
relationship, and on the
other, she is finding it difficult to do so because she has become a slave
to sex and prefers to keep
it going from her inner- most sanctum, but, she pretends of not liking it.
Yet, the truth is she wishes
to get out of it. Rita is perplexed and does not know where to go for
counselling due to her fear of parents and relatives.
Of late, suicide as the subterfuge of sour marriages and split love affairs
is rampantly on the rise.
This kind of pitiable crime can be positively prevented if proper counselling
can be provided to
victims in time. In Kathmandu itself, counseling centres like Sumitra has
been providing advice
free of cost : by correspondence, entertaining phone-callers and
even face-to-face. However, it
seems, they are yet to get publicity and public acceptance due to lack of
information about their
activities. Like Sumitra, there are a few other NGOs that provide the
needed advice. Fearing a
counselor might know their identity, girls feel unsafe to make a call or even
to write to them.
Another reason being that they don't feel at ease to disclose their secrets
fearing it would bring shame to them and their family.
Recently, an Indian weekly magazine Sunday extensively published a well
researched report on
incest. The Last Taboo, the title given to the report, cites many examples
about this unholy
relationship between close relatives. Although the report itself is not based
on data, there are quite
a few things that people want to know about it. Basically, it is based on
calls and reports given by
victims themselves to counselors asking for help to soothe their inner guilt
and shame. It has also
stated the names of a few NGOs with their addresses which are working as
Helpline. It's in fact, an eye-opener to those many who think incest is not
a big problem in India.
Situation in Nepal too is not very different from India. The only difference
is that it has come out in
black- and -white in India, but not in Nepal. Such types of reports are the
need of todays
journalism. However, one question that immediately comes in the mind
is who will bell the cat first?
Ours is still a closed society, and needs great courage and skillful personnel
to bring such reports
out in print both by the victims and others.
Nevertheless, you can bet your last penny on one thing timely counseling
saves lives of many
whose distress and desperation knows no bounds. Both girls and boys, who are
in need of expert
counseling, should not allow their agony and solitude to consume them. The
more you share, the
more you feel comforted and relaxed.
It is prudent on the part of all counselling centres to provide their helpline
number and address in
newspapers so that people-in-distress can get proper counseling in time.
(The names of girls have been changed to protect their identity.)
Source: The Reuters
FEATURE-Rights groups in Nepal battle vice traffic
By Gopal Sharma
KATHMANDU, May 22 (Reuter) - In the cradle of the world's highest peaks and
a stunning Himalayan landscape, human rights activists have intensified a fight
against trafficking in women, an ugly offshoot of poverty.
But they say they feel handicapped by ingrained social habits and political
indifference to the vice trade.
Poor, illiterate and jobless girls in Nepal are increasingly tricked into
red light areas in neighbouring India where they are forced into prostitution.
Women's groups say up to 160,000 women from the Himalayan kingdom may
have been lured to Indian cities on false promises of a better life.
There are no official figures, but most of these vulnerable young women have a
common fate -- life in the brothels.
Gauri Pradhan, executive coordinator of Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN), a
non-governmental group, said governments in the region lacked the political
will to solve the problem of trafficking in women.
``Thousands of women are beaten, tortured and abused. The governments are not
giving any attention to this,'' she said.
A conference of the Asian Women's Human Rights Council (AWHRC) in
Kathmandu recently urged South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
(SAARC) countries to discuss trafficking in women at the summit level.
India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh form the
seven-nation group. Poor women from Bangladesh are also among major victims of
AIDS THREAT MAKES VICE TRAFFIC WORSE
Young girls, tricked into leaving their homes and sold off to prostitution
rackets, suffer confinement and physical abuse.
Activists say the price paid for a girl varies according to her age, facial and
physical beauty, with some fetching up to 25,000 rupees ($440) or more.
The threat of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is seen providing a
push to trafficking in girls.
``They (the brothel owners) are looking for virgins because of the fear of
HIV," said Meena Poudel, programme coordinator with the British voluntary
Nepal is among the world's poorest nations with an annual per capita income
barely touching $200.
Most of its land is either under snow or comprises barren hills, making life
difficult for more than 80 percent of the kingdom's 21 million people who
depend on agriculture.
UNEQUAL LAW, POOR ENFORCEMENT
Motorable roads do not reach all districts. Villages lack drinking water, basic
health care and electricity.
Marrying off daughters is considered a major responsiblity in rural Nepal, but
poor parents are often hard-pressed to afford increasingly expensive weddings.
Marriages are often conducted before children come of age, but young grooms who
go to towns or to India in search of jobs marry again in their new homes or
never return to their homeland.
Nepal has tough anti-trafficking laws and those convicted for selling a woman
face up to 20 years in jail.
``But the implementation (of legislations) is loose,'' said Durga Ghimire,
chairwoman of ABC/Nepal, an anti-trafficking organisation.
Girls face discrimination on several fronts.
Activists say major political parties have failed to agree on proposed
legislation to give daughters equal right with sons to inherit property.
Under the existing laws only those girls who remain unmarried until 35 years of
age can claim a share in their parental property.
STRUGGLING DAUGHTERS, GULLIBLE PARENTS
Young girls struggle hard to help their poor families, carrying water on
their backs up and down hilly trails, and fetching fodder and firewood from
fast depleting forests.
Activists say unscrupulous touts target these young women who easily fall prey
to their false promises of well-paid jobs in cities, or marriage to rich
Gullible parents often consent to such arrangements, hoping their daughters
would bring home some savings. But the girls end up in brothels, and only a
few manage to escape.
Last year, more than 100 girls rescued from brothels in Bombay, India's
business capital, were rehabilitated in Nepal.
Families often refuse to accept them back for fear of losing prestige in a
society that attaches a stigma to prostitution. REUTER
Date: Wed, 04 Jun 1997 23:13:27 CDT
From: "Rajpal Jwala Pratap Singh" <a10rjs1>
Subject: For What Its Worth
Watching influx of postings on PRT and other comments, I couldn't resist
but to include the following piece. The piece was published on
January 10, 1776. The author is Thomas Paine who worked for General
George Washington, the first CEO of USA.
All comments welcome!
Excerpts from "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine
"Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best
state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one;
for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a
government, which we might expect in a country without government, our
calamities is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which
Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of
kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the
impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man
would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it
necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for
the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two
evils to choose the least."
"I know it is difficult to get over local or long standing prejudices,
yet if we will suffer ourselves to examine the component parts of
the English constitution, we shall find them to be the base remains
of two ancient tyrannies, compunded with some new republican materials.
First - The remains of monarchical tyranny in the person of the king.
Secondly - The remains of aristocratical tyranny in the persons of the
Thirdly - The new republican materials, in the persons of the commons,
on whose virtue depends the freedom of the country.
The two first, by being hereditary, are independent of the people;
whrefore in a constitutional sense they contribute nothing towards
the freedom of the state.
To say that the commons is a check upon the king, presupposses two
things. First - That the king is not to be trusted without being
looked after, or in other words, that a thirst for absolute power
is the natural disease of monarchy. Secondly - That the commons, by
being appointed for that purpose, are either wiser or more worthy of
confidence than the crown.
But as the same constitution which gives the commons a power to
check the king by witholding the supplies, gives afterwards the king
a power to check the commons, by empowering him to reject their other
bills; it again supposes that the king is wiser than those whom it has
already supposed to be wiser than him.
A MERE ABSURDITY!
There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of
monarcy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet
empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgement is
required. The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the
business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore
the different parts, unnaturally opposing and destroying each other,
prove the whole character to be absurd and useless."
More than 200 years ago, Thomas Paine gave a surgical fine tuned and
a very logical argument under the title "Common Sense" which swept
the American continet with overwhelming approval.
Today, I am hungry for a similar rational and logical viewpoints for
both constitutional monarchy and republic. Perhaps some netters amongst
us can throw some intriguing light. No emotional blah..blah please.
"Democracy perishes among the silent crowd." - Sirdar_Khalifa
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 13:07:04 CDT
From: Anil Tuladhar
Subject: Re: For What Its Worth
Rajpal J.P. Singh (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
: Excerpts from "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine
: There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of
: monarcy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet
: empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgement is
: required. The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the
: business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore
: the different parts, unnaturally opposing and destroying each other,
: prove the whole character to be absurd and useless."
I liked this passage. But let us not forget that our life is full of
such absurdities and paradoxes. What is needed is more rational thinking
I think, we still need a king. Time has still not come for Nepalis that
we could do without a king. As Girish wrote in his article, we
desparately need a symbol of unity at this juncture to prevent further
erosion in our political climate. But we need a reasonable king. We need
a cheaper (i.e. not expensive, no pun intended) king. We can not afford kgs
of gold in the name of princess's marriage. We can not afford millions
of ruppees in the name of Royal family budget. These are the things to
be considered while judging the need of a monarchy.
: More than 200 years ago, Thomas Paine gave a surgical fine tuned and
: a very logical argument under the title "Common Sense" which swept
: the American continet with overwhelming approval.
Let me remind you that Nepal is not America yet. So Thomas's "common sense",
if forced on to Nepal, may not do any good yet. But I can not deny the
alternatives. As we successfully curtailed the absolute power of king and
made him a constitutional monarch, now I think, time has come to curtail
the expenses related to the palace. If king is the symbol of our unity
and he is patriotic, I am 100% sure that he will have no objection to
this curtailment. He knows the living standard of a common nepali people.
I think, he hates to be the richest king of the poorest people. If we are
poor, he also has to be poor.
So the middle way between the monarchy and the republican is to have a
clean, sober, less-expensive king as the symbol of our unity and pride.
If PRT really said that we do not need a king, then he was wrong. We do
need a king but not an expensive one.
Now the question is whether the things which seem reasonable to us will
be reasonable to him and his near and dears. If there is a conflict,
then we will have to decided rationally again. Then we will have to ask
ourselves seriously, "Do we need a monarchy?"
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 1997 22:43:13 CDT
From: "Rajpal J. Singh" <a10rjs1>
Subject: Re: For What Its Worth
Reflecting on Anil's comments......
Thomas Paine published "Common Sense" over 200 years ago
when the colonies and the setlers were living in quite
a chaotic environment, if I can quote Mr. Paine.
Sure Nepal's situation and American situation is a different
one. Perhaps to a degree, no two situations can be alike. Each
will have its own unique elements. What is interesting is the
core not the subtle differences.
At any rate, tangents aside, not being able to predict future
events precisly, we can only move forward with the lessons we
have learnt from the past. Hence, one would have to wonder if
the wish for a benign (sp?) ruler can ever come true.
If the saying "Good comes to the one who wait" still holds,
perhaps its too early to fold the tents.
Just my oppinion......
"Enterpreneurship and Philantropy: That is the way of life!" -Sirdar_Khalifa
Date: Sat, 31 May 1997 01:12:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Make media research specific
Book Review by Ashutosh Tiwari
Book: Mass Media and Democratization: (A country study of Nepal.)
Edited by: Anand Aditya
Published by: Institute for Integrated Development Studies, Kathmandu, 1996
Page: 260; Price: Rs. 300; US$ 20.
First, a fact, and then an observation. Fact: In the year 1996 alone,
five 'national' broad-sheet newspapers appeared from the private sector
in Kathmandu. So far, two of them (The Everest Herald, and, now going by
the latest report Lokpatra too) have already folded. Others are
struggling hard to shore up both the circulation and ad-revenues.
Meantime, the competition has only gotten fiercer with the advent of a
number of fortnightly and weekly magazines in Kathmandu.
And that leads us to this observation: If one goes by the number of
news-stands that have sprung up in almost every urban or semi-urban
areas of Nepal, what becomes clear is that the choice of which Nepali
magazines or newspapers to buy and to read has never been as
overwhelming in Nepal as it is today. Besides, given the proliferation
of satellite channels and the increasingly competitive private-sector
presence in the media, the influence and the stronghold of
government-owned media alone have never been shakier.
Against this backdrop, her comes a study in a book-form -- Mass Media
and Democratization, 1996 -- that bemoans, perhaps echoing Nepal's
conventional wisdom, about both "the long-felt absence of a truly
independent and competitive media in the private sector," and "the
dominant role of the government-owned media."
The book, which has also been translated to Nepali, starts from an
assumption that "democratization is a central prerequisite to the
development of mass media". As the book's foreword makes it clear: Six
years have gone by since the restoration of mullet-party democracy, and
it is now time to take a good look at what's going on in the national
communication sector -- defined broadly to include the press, the radio
and the television.
But look we do, and what do we find? A laboriously put-together study
that both earnestly and ambitiously drives the cattle of details so hard
-- page after page -- that it ultimately drops with a thud. Instead of issue-specific analyses that would have shown us how the public has or has not used the media to further its particular agendas, what we get from the first few sections of this book are broad semblances of theories sans specifics about their relevance in the Nepali context.
This is a let-down because the book's layout of different chapters is
designed to give an impression that theories developed in the early
chapters would help understand the results of surveys summarized
afterward. But as the book unfolds, it becomes painfully clear that
adoption of theories sheds little or no light on the examination of
The book's chapter two, for example, contains a few lines each on John
Rawls's "veil of ignorance" and Immanuel Kant's "categorical imperative"
But missing are discussions -- perhaps with some Nepal-drawn examples --
on why and how Rawls and Kant, together with Bentham and Mill, are
relevant for the purpose of this study.
It's one thing to cite (Western classical) theorists, and examine the
extent to which they are helpful in deriving some sort of a 'code of
conduct' for Nepali journalists or any journalists to refer to. But
since the chapter, or indeed the entire book, attempts no such thing, I
found it puzzling as to why western philosophical notions were brought
up at all. If those behind the study wanted to provide a rigorous yet
relevant treatment of the links between Nepal's democracy and mass
media, then they would have done us a greater service by critically
reviewing the extant literature on, say, Nepal-related political
science, anthropology, sociology, public-policy issues and so on. Such
an exercise would at least have placed media research in a broad,
Likewise, the chapter on "what ails Nepal[i] mass media?" offers the
usual culprits: A lack of access to and a poor distribution of
newspapers, state-control over the most-visible forms of media
apparatus, partisan journalism, centralization of media in urban areas,
and so on and on. Again, missing are discussions on why the access to
and the distribution of newspapers are poor, what the response of the
peripheries has been to the centralized media-structures, and so on.
These why's and how's are surely not too much to ask of this book which
claims to have done "original research" while adhering to "substantial
methodological rigor" to reach its conclusions. One example of such a
how, not taken up in the book, would be: Amidst all the talks about the
media's urban bias, how does one explain the editorial continuity, not
to mention, the popularity, of village-based newspapers such as
Palpa-based Deurali and Dang-based Gaun Ghar?
Another chapter of the book is devoted to "media coverage". But the
approach here is so broad that it is difficult to see to what extent the
results could be of interest to other researchers. How exciting, for
example, can it be to know how many times Deshanter or Gorkhapatra
covered the broadly defined issues of the environment or health? More
illuminating would have been an illustration of how the media covered,
say, the Flood of 1993, and how the coverage, in turn, made people
participate in a national tragedy of such a scale. Therein we would have
seen the work of the press in helping people put such a particularly
tragic event in a context consistent with their larger democratic rights
Likewise, instead of another list of how many times the media covered general 'policy issues', far more interesting would have been a focused analysis of how the various representatives of the "rational actors"
(i.e. the public) used and abused the media to argue for and against, say, the Arun III hydro-power project. Again, such an analysis need by no means be exhaustive in and of itself, but it would at least give a better indication about the level of media-sophistication in Nepal. Ultimately, however, the study fails to generate excitement because of its own grand theoretical flirtations that are backed up with little or no issue-specific analyses. As a researcher, I would have preferred if the book had simply stated: We did surveys for this long a time, we crunched the numbers and here are the results. That would have been a credible claim, and the ensuing critiques could then deal with the study's methodological shortcomings. To its credit, the book does scrupulously present its statistical results/findings, together with a brief history of mass media in Nepal. All these will be of help to media researchers to understand some of the trends within -- and the potentials of -- Nepali media. That said, it's also time we demanded more issue-specific analyses that make use of theories to better explain Nepal-related media matters. (Originally published in : Kathmandu-based development magazine called Face to Face, April 1997) THE END.
Date: Sat, 31 May 1997 19:18:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: Madhusudan Bhattarai <mbhatta@CLEMSON.EDU>
Subject: KURA-KARI; Economics, Politics, Foreign Policy.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND SOME CONCERNS IN THE
HYDROPOWER SECTOR IN NEPAL
-Madhusudan Bhattarai, Clemson University,S.C., USA
During the last days of Deuba's government, environment in Kathmandu was
warmed up not only by the political maneuvering but also by the agreement
and disagreement on the hydropower projects, particularly Pancheswar, and
Upper Seti. Bargaining for the agreements and visit by high profile
corporate heads from the western countries have also raised, to some extent,
the importance of Kathmandu in South Asia. Now the climate and high
aspirations of Nepali from such hydropower project all have calmed down. At
least for a while the center of concern at Kathmandu has shifted towards the
local election, of course, also with the recent upsurge of Maoist movement
in the mid-western region, etc.
In addition, some of the political stalwarts also did not dare to charge
that the fall of Deuba's government was somewhat related to the series of
developments of the hydro agreements that were going on in Kathmandu at that
time. If it is correct then, this also showed the other face of coin for the
first time and has indicated how vulnerable the political institution in
Even in the U.S. Nepalese community in Boston area have recently initiated
the talk, seminar, workshops and electronic convention mostly among Nepalese
living outside of Nepal, and are again trying to keep alive the issue of
development of Nepal's hydropower sector. Thanks to all those who initiated
and formed the Hydropower Nepal Committee (HNC). Probably most of us have
also read such news and announcements in some of the recent issues of The
Nepal Digest (TND). Despite this development, it remains to be seen at what
level, Nepali living in the US and out side of Nepal can contribute in this
type of path-breaking development issues in Nepal. The success and outcome
of the HNC in the future course would certainly provide some of the answers
of this question, even if not to all of these.
In this context, some of the recent developments and major concerns about
the Hydro power sectors of Nepal, which are also raised recently in the
media are summarized here with author's concluding remarks.
1. At least, the keen interest and willingness to invest even billions of
dollars by these multinational corporations on such large scale Hydropower
Projects in Nepal have proved that Nepal's Hydropower sector, on the basis
of long term investment, is one of the most lucrative ventures in the whole
region of South Asia. Otherwise, no doubt, these multinational corporations
would have already shifted their priorities to other sectors, which in fact,
they have been done untill now. Therefore, at this moment, it is worthy of
analyzing, in the context of south Asia, what factors have led to sudden
change in the foreign investment scenarios and have raised the importance of
Nepal's hydropower sector so high level that some of the multinational
companies are even ready to invest billions of dollars on this sector.
2. Equally, in this context, it is also important to remember that even for
a less than one billion dollars Arun III project, Nepal had been begging
with her open hand for more than a decade to the World Bank, Japan and to
more than dozen of other major donors. They too finally declined, even after
so many of their prior commitments and promises. In fact, the involvement of
these multinational corporations and their eagerness to fund on it has, at
once, dramatically changed the scenario. Now, the ball is in Singh Darbar'
court, at least for a while. The final outcome depends on how efficiently
the current generation of Nepali politicians and bureaucrats will be able to
handle the situation that history has given to them. These political leaders
(of all the major parties) and the bureaucrats in Kathmandu have learned enough lessons from the havoc of ARUN III in the recent past. 3. The wave of privatization and liberalization in the Indian peninsula and in the whole region of South Asia has in fact changed the scenario dramatically. For the first time over the long history of hatred and antagonistic feelings, the politicians in the region are talking about the issues of economic development, regional trade and liberalization in the bilateral and multi-lateral talks, sidelining the usually heard issues of national pride, terrorism, releasing border tension, and sovereignty. Thats why SAFTA and sub-regional free trade zone were the major issues of recently concluded SARC summit at Male (Maldeves). Here, the emergence of India and China as giant economic forces has also made them some of the major power (energy) hungry countries in Asia. This opportunity, if properly utilized, could drastically change the development pace and trend in Nepal, which have been virtually at trivial level until now. 4. However, dealing in such huge projects, some are more than eight times the annual GDP of the country, Kathmandu also needs to take enough precautionary measures, such as maintaining adequate transparency, doing adequate homework and building national consensus before going to the agreement table. These were almost neglected subjects in the past starting from Koshi agreements in the early fifties to the Mahakali agreements in the early nineties. Moreover, there is equal chance that any mistake or negligence (either knowing or unknowing) by the politicians and bureaucrats dealing with such huge projects now could also submerge the country in the burden of foreign debt and obligations from which even coming few generations of Nepal could not come out of it. Any one interested in these events can learn enough lessons from the events in the Philippines in the recent past (high level political corruption during Marcos regime and its present stagnated economy in the whole region of ASEAN). Therefore, the development of proper political institutions (which is comprised of many sectors), and the procedures are also some of the crucial issues here. 5. Here, particularly, the administrative and technical incapability of NEA and Ministry of Water resources (high level of corruption) are some of the major bottle necks for the development of water resources sector in Nepal. Even in the Panchayat regime, water resource sector, compared to other development sector, was more closely linked with the sensitive political institution in the country, and the high level corruption in the sector then used to be well protected. Now also same trend is there though the connection points might have changed. Therefore, openness, project bidding through international standards, maintaining adequate transparency, and maintaining certain level of national debate and national consensus in dealing with such huge hydropower projects are always socially desirable than any in closed curtain agreements. Even 6 years of conflicting interest and hatred debate over the recent Mahakali agreement (of 91s), Nepal has not loosed any thing, rather significantly gain in its 1996 agreements compared to earlier one. This case is also a good lesson to all the Politician and decision makers in Kathmandu who go for signing such huge impact creating agreements with neighboring countries without a priori preparation and homework, and accepts whatever the terms and conditions set by the other parties. 6. Likewise, when the Singh Darbar (Prime Minister's Office in Kathmandu) starts to set the standard of "first come, first served basis" as the major criteria for granting such huge hydropower projects to interested multinational parties (without national consensus, and national debate), then of course every Nepali has to be concerned about it and should be apprehensive about such recent developments in Kathmandu. At least, maintaining of adequate national debate and involvement of representative other sectors of societies in such debate always would lead towards socially desirable and optimum out comes (except to the corrupt politicians). When the world bank's pulled back its hand from the ARUN III project in 1995, unlike the feelings at that time, now it seems Nepal has not loosed any opportunity. Instead of the World Bank's loan and uncertainty about export to India then, Tata Energy Company and other few parties are now ready to finance and even export to India. Instead of the world bank's term and conditions and huge burden of loan, now at least, Kathmandu can set terms and conditions of ARUN project which could be more in its favor than in the past.
242, Barre Hall,
Dept. of Agril & Applied Economics
Clemson. S.C. 29634-0355, USA.
Tel: 864-656-7143 (off), 864-653-6344 (Res).
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 1997 22:52:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: "Top ten list" from The Kathmandu Post
(The Kathmandu Post's weekly Sunday Supplement has recently started
publishing a weekly "top ten list" a la David Letterman. Each list is
supposed to be based on Nepali context, and can be as stupid, funny,
corny, sophomoric, brilliant, pun-ny, witty, hilarious, satirical, and
childish as the contributor wants it to be. Feel free to e-mail/fax your
own top ten lists, addressing them all to Mr. Sanjay Murthy at The
Kathmandu Post. Here is a list that was published on Sunday, May 25,
TOP TEN QUESTIONS that are likely to be asked by the Judges to Nepali
contestants at the Miss World-Nepal Pageant that's going to be held in
Kathmandu in July 1997.
10. How did you celebrate the King's 25th Anniversary of Accession to
(Answer: By reading about it all the time.)
09. When you grow up, what do you want to be?
(Answer: Three inches taller than I am now.)
08. If you were stranded on an island, what would you do?
(Answer: I'll just stay there. That's the way I, Cinderella, can avoid my step-mother.)
07. What would you do to make the Visit Nepal Year successful?
(Answer: I don't know. I'm trying to emigrate to Australia myself.)
06. What do you think is Nepal's most serious issue?
(Answer: Convincing the world again and again that Buddha was indeed born here.)
05. What is today's most pressing problem for a woman like yourself?
(Answer: Deciding between Nirula's and Wimpy on Durbar Marg for a bite of that greasy burger.)
05. What's your idea of a perfect man?
(Answer: Someone with a red Maruti car and lots of his father's money).
04. What's your opinion on what's happening in Zaire?
(Answer: Sorry, Yuba Manch never carried any article on that country.)
03. What profession would you choose for yourself?
(Answer: A few. First, I'll be a mini-Mother Teresa for a month, then a fashion-model, then an actress in Nepal's Kollywood, but eventually a rich guy's 'Trophy Wife'.)
02. What's your definition of beauty?
(Answer: Myself. My own self.)
01. Why are you in this beauty contest?
(Answer: Because I've nothing better to do.) THE END.
Date: Mon, 02 Jun 97 18:10:52 GMT
anyone know the whereabouts of rajiv rauniyar
(tripureswore). the last i heard he was in australia.
london school of economics
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 13:45:14 -0400
To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>
From: email@example.com (Namita Kiran)
Subject: a poem
Your image is blurred; or is it the tears in my eyes?
Hands stretche to touch your golden hair
you are fading- Just a mirage - hallucination drugged out of my mind drunk to the bone do I believe everything I see? should I?
and that Chilling love
swept off me
all the good senses-
-stay- don't leave me? What will I do with all this love? - a big boulder!
But, can I make a mirage real?
ghost a human? Were you really there?
Had you really whispered the melodies
into my heart?
drugged out of my mind...
can I be sane, ever?
May 15, 1997
Subject: Nepali women work to save the villages
To: Nepal Digest <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 97 16:41:20 PDT
From: Paul Johnson <email@example.com>
Topic: Nepal's Development Sees Gender Tug-of-War **
Written 9:17 AM Jun 2, 1997 by mmason in cdp:headlines **
Edited/Distributed by HURINet - The Human Rights Information Network
SOURCE: PACIFIC NEWS SERVICE
450 Mission Street, Room 204
San Francisco, CA 94105
HEAD: A GENDER TUG OF WAR -- WHILE MEN MIGRATE TO THE
CITY, NEPALESE WOMEN WORK TO SAVE THE VILLAGE
EDITOR'S NOTE: The road to development typically involves
dramatic migration from countryside to city. But in Nepal,
there is a firm pull in the opposite direction and the pull
comes from women determined to keep village life viable. PNS
editor Franz Schurmann, a professor emeritus of history and
sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, is
author of "American Soul" (Mercury Press).
BY FRANZ SCHURMANN, PACIFIC NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU -- Nepal's future is being written by a tug of
war between men and women. On one end, men are
migrating in droves from the countryside to this capital
city. They hope to make a lot of money, buy a piece of
land, and bring their families. On the other end, women are
digging in their heels, refusing to leave the villages.
This tug-of-war is not about development. Ever since
democracy made a comeback here in 1991, Nepalis have been
talking development -- the English term crops up frequently
in Nepali speech, as do phrases like "income generation."
For all sectors of the population, the idea of
Westernization, citification, has caught hold.
The real struggle is over how to interpret the word in
a way that allows the village to survive. And the
women of Nepal have the intuitive sense that unless
development includes the village, enables the village to
draw in the city rather than allowing the city to absorb
the village, their children will have no real future in
either the city or the countryside.
Nepal, officially classified as poor, is no economic
tiger. It lacks the drive of supermodern Hong Kong or
Bangkok. (Like the rest of East Asia, Nepalese describe
countries like Thailand or South Korea not as tigers --
which they regard as shy creatures -- but as dragons or
serpents. Nepalese worship serpents as divine creatures,
but they would never consider becoming one.)
Still, this city's population has grown in the last 30
years from 200,000 to 2.2 million, and the number goes up
every day. Never mind that water is so short people have
to fetch it from distant taps -- what counts for the
newcomers is a stake in the city's land.
For the urban migrants and their children, love of
village life remains -- in their clustered settlements,
they draw the village in around them. But villages are
where you go when you're old and there's nothing left to
earn and learn. They are places where drinking water is
still hard to get, where children get sick, even
die, from diarrhea, where people have little money and
have to carry huge burdens every day up to high mountain
areas, where "at night the toilet is anywhere and
Who would want to live in places like these? It happens
that a lot of people in Nepal do, especially women, and
with their determination to save their villages and keep
their families intact they are emerging as a strong new
And it is the women who want real development -- meaning
safe, clean drinking water. They want toilets -- the
English word is used -- in their homes. They want
all-weather roads connecting their villages with towns
and cities so they can do "income generating" (again, an
English word). And they want a health post with
medicines and a medical person to heal their children.
Women may know that if they, too, abandon the villages,
the villages will surely die. For one thing, retired people
cannot carry big loads up to high mountain settlements,
villages, and only so much can be piled onto the backs of
the fewer and fewer young people who remain.
Young women may also want to stay away from the cities
because they know that city men may work hard outside the
house -- but inside it is the women who must do the
And perhaps the women also sense that the city life
cannot last without land that produces food and medicine
and crops. So all over the countryside, women's groups
meet and discuss problems and, above all, collect money
from each other without the suspicion of corruption that
often afflicts men of power handling money.
For these women the village has become a public space
where they can talk as the men listen. To make sure the
men do not laugh them off they keep records in great and
precise detail. The men who find it hard to manage cash
and too often drink too much are impressed.
Maybe these women are gaining the strength of goddesses --
like Kali, who is widely worshipped here and in India. The
result a generation down could be regenerated villages
producing crops rather than real estate.
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 1997 23:50:25 -0400 (EDT)
From: Puspa Man Joshi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Tidbits from Columbus, Ohio
We would like to congratulate Rakesh Kumar Singh on his
successful completion of the MBA degree program at Capital
University. We wish him the best in the future.
We would also like to congratulate Sarala (Pandey) Singh on her
graduation from Capital University with an undergraduate degree
in Computer Science. We would like to thank Sarala and Mukesh
for the "Shandar" graduation dinner with wonderful entertainment
including singing and dancing. We wish Sarala the best in her
Puspa Man Joshi, Arun Laxmi
Rummi, Kiran, and Ashish
Date: Tue, 03 Jun 1997 16:05:22 EDT
Subject: New Email list Nepal adoption
I'd like to announce a new email list--NCHILD, the email list for discussion
of all things related to the adoption and support of children from Nepal.
NCHILD is an email list intended to foster discussion of all topics related
to the children of Nepal, especially those involving international adoption.
Below is just a sampling of the subjects into which we can delve.
How to adopt from Nepal.
Once you're home.
Worldwide resources to support our adopted children.
Other Nepal internet resources.
Supporting all the children of Nepal.
Improving the understanding and management of adoption in Nepal
This last point is of special importance--I hope that NCHILD will become a
forum to gather information that could be used to educate the Nepal
government about western attitudes toward adoption and the success of their
(your) children in our homes. This, in turn, might help motivate adoption reform, both in the area of qualifications and process. There are many children and adoptive parents-in-waiting to whom this would mean the world.
We are interested in the participation and support of any and all who have an
interest in the children of Nepal. Although the original focus of the list is
adoption (and this includes domestic adoption by Nepalis of Nepali children),
we are also interested in all aspects of child welfare in Nepal.
Please feel free to join us by sending an email to email@example.com. It
doesn't matter what you put in the subject line or body of the message. It
will take awhile for discussion to get going, so I hope that all you
opinionated ex-pat Nepalis all over the world will help get us started by
giving us your opinions on international adoption.
Also, if you know of any families who are interested in adopting from Nepal
or have already done so, please let them know about the list. There are
hundreds of us out there, but we need to get the word out.
Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 17:31:16 CDT
From: Jay Shrestha <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: search command for tnd!!
To the editors of TND,
It has been quite some time since I've started reading your subscriptions
and noticed that a search command for the names of writters and subject, is
not available. My suggestions are that creating such an alternative might
help readers to access thier reading material more efficently. However, I
might add, reading the subscriptions has always been a part of my interest.
Date: Wed, 04 Jun 1997 17:11:21 -0400
From: Roger Smith <email@example.com>
Subject: People's Review: MAY 29, 1997: monarchy
Source: People's Review
MAY 29, 1997
A Communist doesnt believe in monarchy
by PUSHPA RAJ PRADHAN
After the publication of Padmaratna Tuladhars interview and later,
his clarification, saying that a Communist never believes in
monarchy and they are always for the establishment of peoples
republic, as this is the ultimate goal of the Communists, this
topic has become the talk of the town.
The Nepali Congress tried to cash in on this as an important
election issue by describing UMLs attitude against the
establishment and highlighting that aspect. Also, those pro-palace
people too are taking the issue as a serious matter. Those, who
were anti-Congress and had believed the UML as a nationalist force
and appreciated present RPP-UML coalition government, have also
started to criticise UML party as a radical party. They even
started to express doubt on whether there is any connection between
NCP (UML) and NCP (Maoist)?
It is remarkable that until now, neither the party chairman, nor
party general secretary or any other senior party leaders have
condemned the view expressed by Tuladhar. Surprisingly, other
leaders including Tulsilal Amatya are lauding the voice of Tuladhar
by saying that there is no place for the King in Communism. It is a
fact that UML has not amended the constitution of the party in
which it has been stated that their gradual aim is the
establishment of a peoples republic. UML leaders have always tried
to twist the issue when media persons ask questions relating to
this issue. Intellectuals have now started to ask whether UML is
having double standards? Even member of the Upper House, Rajeswar
Devkota, has condemned Tuladhars view against the monarchy. To
recall the past, from the effort of UML, he was elected as a member
of the Upper House and he was one among the key figures who helped
in the formation of the present coalition government. Devkota, a
prominent leader of the RPP and a royalist, has even stated that if
UML doesnt take any action against Padmaratna and the senior
political leaders dont clarify about their belief, RPP may not
support UML. He, even, has said that the present coalition may
Also the intellectuals point out that UML is always playing a
double game. They say that UML has proved itself as an opportunist
party. The party says anything to achieve its interest. They also
blame the Palace for always giving blessing to the Communists since
panchayat days, thus, now, UML has come to a situation where it can
make a threat to the Palace too. According to them, now the time
has come to understand who are the supporters of the Palace in
Nepal. Some intellectuals also suggests why Tuladhar and the
supporters of his belief dont join Dr. Baburam Bhattarais camp?
Tuladhar is enjoying each and every facilities of a MP since
Marichmans (the then panchayati prime minister) time. Now, he is
enjoying the facilities of vehicle imported on a heavy discount in
import duty. If he was the person dedicated for the poor people,
why didnt he discard the facilities provided to an MP? Why he
didnt dare to oppose the present constitution of which he himself
was an architect? There are many questions which have been directed
against him. Enjoying every facilities provided by the government
and at the same time opposing the constitution is a clear double
standard, intellectuals say.
According to them, Tuladhar also took the oath of secrecy in the
presence of the King when he was appointed as the Health Minister.
Why didnt he refuse that job at that time? If he was against the
constitution, why he hasnt become a Maoist activist?
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 1997 02:03:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: What you think?
TOP TEN things that are reportedly on the "to do" list of Kathmandu's
newest Marxist-Leninist Mayor. (An attempt at humor.)
10. Like every other self-declared democrat in town, erase his own
Panchayati past for good.
09. Erect a statue each of Marx, Stalin and Bam Dev in Ratna Park.
08. Start giving all the juiciest construction-contracts to his AVM
07. Send a thank-you note to PL Singh for making the UML victory so easily possible.
06. Start planning his tirtha-yatra to North Korea, Cuba and Albania.
05. Let his suave French-cut beard grow into a wisp of a proletarian
04. Hire hungry-looking, unemployable yet revolutionary UML karya-kartas
to staff the municipality.
03. Allow Maobadis to become Momobadis by letting them open tax-free
momo-pasals in Kathmandu.
02. Come up with a working-class slogan to replace PL Singh's "swaccha,
safa, hara-vara Kathmandu"
01. Sit back, relax and do nothing while getting paid -- just like what
PL-cha and his Congressi karya-kartas did during the last five
years. THE END.
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 1997 23:49:23 +0700
From: Krishna Pahari <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>
Subject: GIS lab at Pokhara
Following is the information about a newly established GIS lab in
Pokhara. I hope some of you will find this useful/interesting.
A laboratory for GIS and Remote Sensing has been recently set up at the
Department of Geography, Tribhuan Uniersity, Prithvi Narayan Campus,
Pokhara. The laboratory consists of 4 pentium PC's (1 with 17" monitor
and 3 with 15" monitor) all with UPS and CD-ROM drives, 4 digitising
sets (3 units of 12*18 and 1 unit of 18*24 inches), a color printer
(Epson Stylus 1520, A2 inkjet printer), an ordinary laser printer. At the moment, the image processing software WINASEAN, has been installed and an order has already been placed for 4 licenses of ARC/INFO and one license of ERDAS IMAGINE (windows version).
All the funds for setting up the hardware and software have been
personally provided by Prof. Shunji Murai, a professor at the university
of Tokyo, who is currently at the Space Technology Applications and
Research program of the Asian institute of technology. The total amount
spent for this project is approimately US$ 18,500.00.
The lab was inaugurated by Dr. Birendra Singh Gurung, the campus chief
on 5th June. At the inauguration ceremony, Prof. Murai gave a key note
speech on "New advanced technologies on Geoinformatics".
I am very happy to be a part of this process assisting Prof. Murai in
purchasing the hardware/software and setting up the lab facilities and
serving as a bridge between the campus faculty and Prof. Murai which
eventually led to this stage.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the first GIS lab in Nepal outside
the Kathmandu valley and plans for the near future include inviting
faculty members from the department of geography of the campus for
training at AIT, organising a trainining program in Pokhara with the
trainees from Nepal and various asian countries with the support from
NASDA (Japan) and AIT, and some joint research.
Contact address for this lab is as follows:
Dr. Kedar Basnet,
Head, Geography Department,
Tribhuvan University, Prithvi Narayan Campus, Pokhara.
Tel: +977-61-21142 (Dr. Gurung, campus chief)
Email link is to be established soon.
Space Technology Applications and Research program
Asian Institute of Technology
Klong Luang, Pathummthani 12120, Thailand
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 08:46:00 EDT
To: The Nepal Digest <email@example.com>,
From: Ann Joshi <AJoshi@RUSSREYN.COM>
Subject: re: [GAWOMEN] PJ and Sexual harassment
This is in response to a statement written re the sexual harassment
cases that have been *rocking* the US re the military. This has been a
long-standing problem and I wonder how prevalent it is in other
Sexual misconduct has been a long-standing thing in the military. It's
like they have their own set of rules and moral standards; their
judicial system is even slightly different from civilian! Also, the
military has long had a bad reputation for sloppy medical and dental
work. I was in the Army and the Calif. Nat'l, Guard for awhile and saw
horrible things going on in terms of SH, harassment from JAG( the
military's judicial branch), and the medical people. Men molesting men;
men molesting women; women molesting women(when I write *molesting* I'm
also including SH); officers and NCO's fraternizing; NCO's and trainees
fraternizing. . . .on and on and on.
Now, everything is coming to light so that those in high positions in
the military must now *pay the piper* and throw a few lambs to the
We should not become complacent,, however, in thinking life for us women
will improve as far as the workplace is concerned. These allegations
and admissions are only the *tip of the iceberg*. I suspect much of
this is merely political manouvering, and once the public is fairly
satisfied, this kind of behaviour will again go underground and remain
active in therein until the next sacrifical offerings will be required
to appease the Public Wolf.
It's always interesting how the loudest condemners are often the very
ones GUILTY of the very thing they are ranting and raving against. Not
only Mike Bowers but Jimmy Swaggart with his railings agains sexual
*perversion* and being caught with prostitiutes; and Ted Kennedy sitting so piously on the committee to hear Anita Hill and pass judgment on her!
I still hope Paula Jones wins her case!
Aiko (Anne) Joshi
GSU Women's Studies
I think it's really interesting that we are at the threshold of major
change regarding sexual behavior ,and it's probably very telling that so much
of the uproar is in the armed services. What probably is going on is a
REAL change in public policy that is just now catching up with previous
changes in the way we live and view our lives as ordinary citizens. The army is
generally the first to implement real social change, ie., racial
integration, because, unlike politics, the army runs on a set of definable
and enforceable rules. Obviously, the sexual behavior issue and the
arbitrary application of the rules is beginning to be disclosed as a problem
for them, and this is a Martha Stewart Good Thing! And now we have Mike
Bowers begging the publc for forgiveness for his indiscretions, while he has
been imposing his own sanctimonious, self-righteous set of rules of conduct
on others for lo these many years. Disclosures of this kind, however
unpleasant, are important. No one can be held to ridiculous standards of
perfection, but those who sleep, expose themselves, harass, or cuckold in
glass houses should not be enforcing rules by which they themselves do
not live. That goes for Newtie too!
Linda A. Sheldon
The Access Group
Center for Rehabilitation Technology
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332-0156
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 08:46:08 MDT
From: "Girish C. Ghimire" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: China graduates of Nepal
Pls post following in your coming edition.
I am trying to gather information about Nepalese who graduated from
Chinese Universities and colleges. I am building a home page for china
graduates of Nepal. If there is anybody you know of or you are in the
net pls e-mail me in the following address.
home page can be seen in following URL address.
From: "sudheer birodkar" <email@example.com>
Subject: Contribution of South Asia (SAARC Region) to Modern Civilization
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 22:14:21 PDT
I am a student of the History of Science and Technology and have
recently completed a book on the theme Science and Technology in South
Asia (SAARC Region).
Examples of elements of material culture and
civilization that originated in South Asia in
ancient times and which the world
owes to the genius of ancient scientists and
- the technique of algorithm used in computer science today.
- the science of algebra.
- the concept of zero - on which ultimately rests the binary code which has given us all software including the WWW through which you are reading this mail!
- the technique of manufacturing crystal (sugar)cane sugar
(the word sugar is derived from the Sanskrit term "Shakara").
- the making of camphor (this word is derived from the Sanskrit root word "Karpuram" according to the Oxford Dictionary.
- the making of tin (the technical English word for tin is Cassiterite which is derived from the Sanskrit term
"Kasthira" according to the Oxford Dictionary).
- The making of dyes like Anline
(the word Anline is derived from the Arabic term An Nil which is derived from the Sanskrit term Neelam, according to the Oxford dictionary).
- the Gumbaz that we see on mosques all over the world could have possibly originated as the interlocking dome in the "Stupa" of the Buddhist architectural tradition.
There are many such instances in the virtually all fields.
Be it civil engineering, architecture, mechanical
engineering, production technology, chemical engineering,
physics, medical science, mathematics, logic, astronomy,
or be it shipbuilding, navigation, the fine arts, etc.
There are evidences that many elements in all these
varied aspects of today's global civilization owe
their origin to people from South Asia (our ancestors)!!
The arguments marshalled in this book draw from irrefutable
sources like current western dictionaries, Encyclopedia Britannica, observations of ancient Greek, Roman, Persian, Arab and Chinese travellers. The advances made in ancient times have been noted and praised by these travellers and chroniclers from other parts of the globe.
For more on this subject visit the site:
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 21:39:56 BST
Subject: India published a false News about Buddha!
We have been complaining that the Indian News Agencies (INA) had
published false news about "Lord Buddha." I heard that INA have claimed
that Lumbini was/is part of India so Buddha was born India. Obviouly its
FALSE. Lately, however, I found the same thing in a book, called A
MESSAGE OF ANCIENT DAYS (page No. 251). This book was published in 1991
by HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY (222 Berkely Street, Boston, MA 02116).
Looking at Nepal's political situation, India has already send FALSE
messages to the INTERNATIONAL Publications Levels. And so far no
political leaders have cared about it, if this conditions go on, one
day, India will definetly claim that NEPAL is part of India. Therefore,
something must be done quickly about it!! Even though the political
leaders don't care, if we are to save our country and our identity, we
(educated young Nepalese) sould do something about it. WE SHOULD FIGHT AGAINST FALSE STATEMENTS OF INDIAN PEOPLE. WE CAN DO THIS!!
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 22:33:50 +0545 (NPT)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mary Des Chene)
Subject: A Nepali Play in Translation
Below is an essay in introduction to a play, "Mechi-Mahakali Express", by
Sharad Paudel, followed by a translation of the play itself. Both are
forthcoming in Vol. 2, No. 1 (June 1997) of the journal Studies in Nepali
History and Society. The full table of contents of that issue will be
on-line soon at http://jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu/~deschene/sinhas/index.html
Tramping on the Skin of the People: The Politics of "Compulsion"
by Mahesh Maskey and Mary Des Chene
With Lokendra Bahadur Chand as the Prime Minister and Sadbhavana as
comrades-in-arms, the United Marxist-Leninist party (UML) has amply
demonstrated that in the field of political opportunism it can outdo the
Nepali Congress (NC) by a wide margin. How will history judge such
shameless horse-trading of political power in which leaders of the Jana
Andolan (People's Movement) compete with one another to reinstate the very
Panchayat forces against which people shed their blood in the streets? The
question looms large as the bumpy road of post-andolan politics in Nepal
takes a 'U' turn backwards.
One can easily recall the (in)famous post-andolan declaration of NC leader
Girija Prasad Koirala which laid to rest the spirit of co-operation between
Nepali Congress and the United Left Front for the forthcoming general
election and thereafter. He said it loud and clear: "Male, Mandale and
Mashale are birds of the same feather". By saying this he tried to position
the NC as the only political force representative of the Nepali people.
Ironically it was Nepali Congress that first grew "Mandale" feathers when
many ex-Panchas made entry in Nepali Congress, including the likes of
Parashu Narayan Choudhary and Arjun Narsingh KC. These feathers were spread
for all to see when Girija attempted to oust K. P. Bhattarai as a political
competitor by joining hands under cover with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party
(RPP) of the erstwhile Panches in the Baneshwar election a couple of years ago. Later his party took the lead to form a cabinet with RPP stalwarts. Even as late as February of this year, as the leader of the party and parliamentary body of NC after Sher Bahadur Deuba had stepped down, G.P. Koirala desperately sought a continued coalition with RPP. So much for Girija babu and his party's hypocrisy, claiming that it, and it alone, was not singing to the tune of 'mandale'.
However, with another ironical turn of the wheel of history, UML has done
its best to save Girijababu's dignity from the utterance he made 6 years
ago. What is more, it has sunk much lower than Nepali Congress in the quest
for power by reinstating to premiership the same person responsible for the
Chaitra 24 massacre as the last Prime Minister of the Panchayat era. The
possibility was in the air for a long time and many people will have been
unsurprised at this outcome. Yet for many well-wishers of UML, the cold
reality must still have come as a shock. Now that the RPP-UML marriage has
been confirmed beyond any shred of doubt, UML's 'innovative application of
Marxism in Nepali soil'-"Bahudaliya Janavad"-has also reached the point
from which all roads to power only lead to the degeneration of political
morality and alienation from the people. The same people, it should be
remembered, "tramping on whose skin" as Sharad Poudel puts it, they had
achieved their political position.
The "India factor" was strongly incriminated in the media during the latest
change of government. In Nepal's power games, India has always been
implicated, either directly or by virtue of its hidden manoeuvers. But what
makes the political forces susceptible and amenable to the manoeuvers of
India? Sometimes the answers to such political questions are best expressed
by literary works. Sharad Paudel's "Mechi Mahakali Express" gives us
insights into such power plays. Rather than the usual move of raising the
"India factor" simply to place blame outside the country (and onto some party other than one's own), Poudel looks at the Nepali side of the "India factor", and rightly spares none of the major players in doing so. This popular street play was performed by Indreni Sanskritik Samaj (ISAAS)* in Basantapur, Asantol, Bhaktapur and other places around the Kathmandu Valley during the time when the Vote of Non-Confidence natak (in 2 acts) was being performed in Singha Darbar. ISAAS also staged the complete play at the Royal Nepal Academy not long before the fall of the NC/RPP government.
Sharad Paudel is an inspiring example in these troubled times, when talk is
too often only about what can't be or isn't being done. While most bikas
efforts either unthinkingly or intentionally institute neo-liberal economic
policies and infantalize the janata with their assumptions of backwardness
and ignorance, Paudel's Sustainable Living Forum has, for the past 10
years, quietly engaged in projects that give real meaning to ubiquitous
bikas slogans like "participatory community development", "jana chetana"
and "empowerment" (though these are terms he is more likely to critique
than to use). At the same time, Paudel is a prolific writer. As editor and
contributor to SLF's journal "Bikas", and in other publications, he has
made available some of the most grounded and critically-informed
discussions of development practices in Nepal. But he is probably best
known in the field of progressive literature, where he has contributed many
songs and plays that expose the hypocrisies of politics, and bring to life
the contradictions and clashes of poverty and wealth, cultural "tradition"
and "modernization" (see for example, another recent street play, "Gorkha
Jackson", Pyar (Sahitya Pradhan) 2(3) (Asoj/Paush 2053). He has also
published a longer giti natak, "Buhari" (Kathmandu: Atma Nirbhar Bikas
Manch, 2053) and a collection of songs, "Sachetataka Nimti Githaru"
(Kathmandu: Atma Nirbhar Bikas Manch, 2053).**
With "Male" (UML) aligned with "Mandale", the only remaining political
force that G.P. Koirala saw fit to mention back at the end of the andolan,
is "Mashal". This force is at present divided into 3 currents. "Maobadi",
with their reliance on armed struggle, constitute the extreme left current
while "Ekata Kendra" and "Masal", by relying on popular movements and mass
struggle, seem to be trying to avoid the ultra-left tendencies. A street
demonstration a few months back on the issue of Mechi-Mahakali by the
united popular front of these latter two organizations, "Rastriya
Janatantrik Morcha", was described by many observers as one of the biggest
since the 1990 Jana Andolan. People who understand the bankruptcy of the
theory of collaboration with Panchayat forces in affecting promised social
changes in Nepal may turn to this third force - for two different reasons.-
some for hope and some for a chance to witness the final realization of
G.P.'s dictum that "Male, Mandale and Mashale are birds of the same
feather". The fact that Mashal represent the most organized remaining
political alternative need not be emphasized. What is not clear is the
guarantee that these forces won't tread the same path as NC and UML.
Perhaps there is no such guarantee in politics. One can only hope that they
will be careful not to fall pray to the same pitfalls of political
opportunism which Sharad Paudel portrays with such force and clarity in
"Mechi Mahakali Express".
*Indreni Sanskritik Samaj is politically close to "Ekata Kendra". For some introduction to this cultural organization's activities and history see Mahesh Maskey's, "4 Hazar Indreni Toliharu", Jana Ekata, 5 May, 1997, Pratyoush Onta's "Invoking Revolution on Stage", Kathmandu Post, 2 Feb. 1997, Mary Des Chene's, "Pragya Bhawanmaa ISAAS Herepachhi...", Jana Ekata, 27 Jan. 1997, and "'Kalapani hamrai ho - Mechi hamrai Ho'. ISAAS ko Desbhaktipurna Sarthak Sanskritik Saajh", Jana Ekata, 20 Jan. 1997. Some of ISAAS's songs will also soon be available to listen to via the internet. A notice will be posted in TND.
** For a more extensive introduction to Sharad Paudel's artistic
endeavours, see the Introduction in "Buhari" by Khagendra Sangraula and the
Introduction in "Sachetataka Nimti Githaru" by Ninu Chapagain.
____________________ Notes on Translation:
Slang expressions, and especially the interweaving of Hindi and Nepali, are
used to great effect in "Mechi Mahakali Express". We've done our best to
translate slang expressions into ones that have a comparable feel and tone
in (American) English, while still retaining the original imagery.
Conveying the work done (humour, political commentary and commentary on
politics) by the admixture of Hindi and Nepali presents greater
difficulties as it is necessarily flattened by translation into a single
language. We have noted in parentheses any word, phrase or sentence that
was originally in Hindi - most often words of the "Bharatiya Sarkar"
(Indian government) character and his sidekick, but sometimes those of the Nepali politicians too - and attention should be paid to which politicians, at which moments, are given lines in Hindi. Likewise, when the "Bharatiya Sarkar" occasionally deigns to speak in Nepali, readers should note to whom he accords this privilege. The translation cannot do justice to the biting humour of the original.
Below are a few explanations to aid readers less familiar with Nepal with
some of the references, especially political ones, embedded in the play:
Darchula: Refers to an area of NW Nepal near the Tibetan border where the
Indian army has been stationed since 1962. Whether India recognizes this
area as Nepali territory remains to be clarified.
Dettol- a common antiseptic solution.
Kurta and Dhoti: A Congress leader appears in a kurta, and UML leaders in
dhotis. Both are stereotypically Indian clothing and serve to mark their
subservience to India.
Lendup - The chief minister of Sikkim who engineered merging of Sikkim into
India. Used in Nepal by leftists as a symbol of a traitor, and especially
when Nepali interests are being sold out to India.
Mahakali: Refers to the Mahakali hydropower agreement, just ratified by the
Nepal and Indian governments. It has been a subject of great controversy
and is considered by opponents to be the latest example of Nepali
governments failing to protect Nepali interests when making deals with
Mechi: Refers to border encroachment and unilateral redefinition of part of
the Nepal-India border by India.
RPP: The panches, who strove for the implementation of a
autocratic political system, opposing and outlawing party politics during
the 30 years of their rule, have formed the National Democratic Party (RPP)
in order to participate in multiparty politics. RPP has a small
representation in the parliament, but has played king-maker in two
coalitions, first with the Nepali Congress and currently with UML.
Mechi-Mahakali Express was written while the NC-RPP coalition was in power.
Sadbhavana: A Tarai-based political party generally pro-India in its
policies. Though it has very small representation in parliament, the
opportunistic power sharing of coalition governments has
made it powerful at certain moments.
Sun: symbol of the United Marxist-Leninist party (UML).
MECHI MAHAKALI EXPRESS
A one-act play
by Sharad Paudel
Originally published in Bedana 57: 33-35 (Saun-Paush 2053)
Translation by Mary Des Chene and Mahesh Maskey
Scene: On the street, 3 or 4 people in Nepali dress are processing in a
circle and shouting. They are beating a drum and shouting steadily)
Nepalis: Looted! our country is looted! Mahakali gone! Mechi also gone!
Oh..., are you all listening? Looted, the dacoits looted the country!
Indian dacoits looted our soil!
(They beat the drum). (A moment later:)
Entered! Again a leopard entered our house! Clawed, it clawed us!
(They make a round beating the drum steadily. After a moment a couple of
Nepalis enter into the circle and ask of those who are circling:).
Nepali 2: What's happened? What's happened? Why are you shouting?
Nepali 1: What hasn't happened? Your mother, our mother has been raped!
Mother's honour is robbed. Vultures ravaged our mother like they ravage a
Ravaged in Mechi, ravaged in Susta, Mahakali ravaged, ravaged in Darchula.
(Another, becoming agitated:)
I spit on you, thieving son of a bitch! Plunderer! And you still call
(Others join in shouting:)
Yes! Yes! That one tried to swallow our mother.
Nepali 2: If that's so ... If that's so then we should slug him, that
bastard. We should knock him to the ground the way we knock the bullfrogs
down. If we people and the government get together....
Nepali 1: (dismissing him with a wave of the hand:)
The government does these things too. They sit around with oil-filled ears,
everyone of them. They too are all assassins. People-murdering imbeciles!
(Again moving inside the circle:)
Ate, ate our soil, and with it the sinners ate our burial grounds, ate our
temples, ate our blood and sweat.
(Everybody becomes excited and shouts in unison:)
- Down with!
(*One begins to lead the shouts while the others circle, crying out:)
Down with soil robbers, down with country ravagers!
(The sound of a policeman's whistle can be heard in the distance. Gasping
and twirling his nightstick he also enters into the circle and shouts:)
Police: Hey! What kind of sloganeering is this? Shut up. Silence! Bastards,
what kind of unrest is this? Are you guys some kind of extremists or what?
Hey, brother officer! Who are you calling extremists? Don't you know our
soil is gone, ravaged by looters. In the broad daylight they buried their
claws in mother's chest.
Police: Huh, what's he saying? Whose mother are you talking about, eh boy!
Nepali: Your mother, my mother, it's Mother Nepal I'm talking about.
Police: (Starting, as if he'd just remembered something)
Hey...Shut up. The Honourable Minister's motorcade is on its way here right
now. Shut up.
(A commotion can be heard outside the circle)
"The Honourable Minister has come" The Honourable Minister's motorcade has
arrived" " Clear the road" "Clear the road".
(Amidst the commotion the minister enters the circle). The Minister bears
the signs of the Nepali Congress. On his kurta the signs of 'tree',
'plough' and 'palm' are imprinted. After the Minister enters into the circle his eyes scan cautiously all around. (They look.)
Minister: What's happened? What's happened to these people? Why such a
Nepali: Why wouldn't there be a commotion, Minister, sir? Why do you talk
double-talk? You don't know the country has been looted? You don't know
people's shelters have been lifted?
Police: Shut up! Is that the way to talk to a Minister?
Minister: Understood, understood. You're communists. You've opposed us.
Look here, as I've said, this is politics. Here not an inch of soil has
been shifted this way or that. We also know.
Nepali: Oh...Minister! Want me to show you what has happened to our soil?
(Abruptly gets up and heads out of the circle. Minister becomes a bit
nervous. A moment later Nepali enters with a wild-haired dishevelled woman
and, standing her before the minister:)
Okay then, ask: What has happened to our soil. If you have the courage, ask.
(The Minister is nervous, but slowly asks:)
Minister: Who are you? What's happened?
Woman: I... am Mother Nepal. Minister... I've been robbed. A neighbour
ravaged me. Ravaged in Mechi. Ravaged in Mahakali, Susta and Darchula.With
his own poisonous nails he clawed at me. You're a minister and you don't
know that I, Mother Nepal, am ravaged? Fie on you, your party, your
Minister: (making a show of sadness, wiping away tears) Mother there's been
a mistake from my side. Made a mistake.
(looking towards his lackeys)
Hey, you've got Dettol, don't you? Well, give Mother here some Dettol then.
(going close to Mother:)
Mother, simply apply Dettol. If there's a wound, it will be healed. Okay
then, we're off.
(Minister's party departs. Nepalis are astounded. They rise up as one and
shout in unison).
Nepali 1: Oh, what a traitor! Shove your Dettol. Mother's honour has been
robbed. Mother's shelter has been lifted. Blood and sweat have been
snatched away. And you hand out Dettol?
(All shout again:)
Down with - Down with the three-legged Minister. Down with the
country-seller. Down with the progeny of Lendup.
(As these slogans are shouted two neatly clad men enter into the circle. On
their dhotis a 'sun' symbol is imprinted.)
Neatly Clad: What's happened? What's happened Comrades? Why such an uproar?
Nepali: What else could it be? You mean you still don't know? Neighbours
have encroached and pounded us. India has squeezed us. Swallowed -
swallowed our soil in broad daylight.
Neatly Clad 1: Uh! The bastards, those who'd eat our land must be beaten.
We're with you. Comrade, life may be lost but the country must be
(He makes a fist)
Neatly Clad 2: Look here friends, sure it must be said our Comrade
(pointing towards his friend) spoke with great feeling and sentiment. But the thing is not that simple.We don't have proof that our land has been encroached.
Nepali: Oophh, double-talker, weasel. What's the deal, talking like that?
You haven't seen right here (showing mother) - who is she, can you
recognize her? You did politics tramping on her skin. Today, after becoming
a leader, such betrayal. Mother-betrayer. Nation-betrayer!
Neatly Clad 2: No no Comrades, you people haven't gotten the point. We
would never support betrayal of the nation. But to find out whether India
has or hasn't squeezed and ravaged us we are forming a committee, (trying
to remember) - what was it? what's it called again? - an Investigation
Committee. It will give a report and then we.....
Nepali1: Who needs your report. Seeing mother being raped before your very
eyes again and again, what's this masquerade of forming a committee.
Down with opportunism. Down with committees for show!
(In the unrest, the two neatly clad ones flee. After reciting the slogans
for a little while, the Nepalis go to Mother's side:)
Mother! Each and every one of them are turning into agents. But don't you
worry, we're here. We Nepalis are here. We'll do battle so long as a drop
of our life-blood remains. We'll do battle with the encroacher. We'll do
battle with their agents too. We'll save you. We won't make a Sikkim. No,
we'll do battle, do battle mother.
(All stand up at once and together shout the slogan)
Long live - Nationalism! Mechi Mahakali - are ours!
Down with - agents!
(All disappear within the circle. After a moment an Indian arrives in the
circle bearing a placard that says "Delhi Darbar". Following him there's
another Indian too. He's the Indian leader. Immediately upon arrival he
sits on a chair placed inside the circle and whispers in the ear of the man
carrying the placard. Then he [the placard-carrier] shouts:)
Indian 1: (speaks in Hindi) Sadbhavana be present!
(The Sadbhavana leader comes inside the circle and sits with folded hands)
Indian 2: (speaks in Hindi) What's going on? Citizens of your country have
started making a big commotion.
Sadbhavana: (speaks in Hindi) No, no sir, it's just the voices of one or
two people and we have kept all the others in the dark.
Indian 2: (speaks in Hindi) But the voices are very loud.
Sadbhavana: (mixing Hindi and Nepali) Shall I suppress it sir - their voice?
Indian 2: (speaks in Hindi) No, no, not now.
( after a pause)
How are your feelings? this...Mechi Mahakali.
Sadbhavana: (speaks in Hindi) Mine! I don't have any objections, whatever
you wish. (continues in mixed Hindi and Nepali) If need be, I can even fix
Nepal for you, you see.
Indian 2: (speaks in Hindi) Excellent, Excellent! Slave, what a magnificent
servant you are.
Sadbhavana: (speaks in Hindi) Shall I massage your feet sir?
Indian 2: (speaks in Hindi) Yes yes Lendup, do it.
Indian 1: (speaks in Hindi) RPP be present!
(The RPP leader comes within the circle)
Indian 2: (speaks in Hindi) What's up RPP? You used to call yourself
patriots didn't you?
RPP: (speaks in Hindi) No no sir. That's a long long time ago. (continues
in Nepali) You speak of such distant bygone days, sir.
Indian 2:(speaks in Hindi) That minister though, that foreign minister
(continues in Nepali) he's of your party, no?
RPP: (speaks in Nepali) Yes sir, we are arranging everything according to
your hints, sir. We're saying whatever has happened till today is in
Nepal's best interest. But sir, perhaps you need to give some protection to
our share of power?
Indian 2: (speaking in Hindi) Oh, why do you worry brother? While we exist
no shadow will be cast upon your power.
RPP: Shall I massage your feet sir?
Indian 2: Yes yes!
(RPP starts massaging the feet of the Indian)
Indian 1: (speaks in Hindi) Nepali Congress be present!
(Congress leader comes inside the circle)
Indian 2: (speaks in Hindi) What's up friend. You're our old friend.
(continues in Nepali, mixing in a few words of Hindi) The pleasure of old friends is different isn't it. How are things? Oh, and that Mahakali Mechi, what are your people saying?
Congress: (speaks in Nepali) The people are asleep. There are one or two in
opposition. Those ones...are communists.
Indian 2: (speaks in Hindi) Ah... Does the UML also oppose?
Congress: (speaks in Nepali) UML is neither here nor there. Sir you must
instruct the UML. Nothing is certain with them. They do nothing but talk of
going into the government. 'My power too....'
Indian: (speaks in Hindi) Don't worry. Don't worry. Nobody can shake your
rule so long as I exist.
Congress: (speaks in Hindi) Truly, you are with us aren't you? Shall I also
massage your feet?
Indian : (speaks in Hindi) Yes yes, do it.
(making a sign to the other Indian)
Oh.....hey now, that chain, where is it?
(the other Indian, taking the chain from a bag, gives it to him. Addressing
the three foot-massagers:)
This chain, each of you three fasten it around your own neck, lock it and
hand the key over to me.
(Sadbhavana and Congress do just as the Indian has said)
RPP: (speaks in Hindi) But why, I don't understand?
Indian: (speaks in Hindi) Is your rule precious to you or not? If you want
my blessing to survive in power then whatever I say, do it.
(Saying [in Hindi] 'Okay, then', RPP also fastens the chain around his
neck, locks it, and gives the key to the Indian.)
Indian1: (speaks in Hindi) UML be present!
(The UML leader comes inside the circle. Seeing everyone with a chain
fastened around their necks, and the chain in the hand of the Indian, he
UML: (speaks in Nepali) What this? What's this that's going on?
Indian 2: (speaks in Hindi) You'll understand, you'll understand. Later
you'll understand. What's up these days? (continues in Nepali). How is it
now, Mechi, Mahakali?
UML: (speaks in Nepali) How could it be? It seems that you've done a little
too much. It should have been done slowly, slowly!
Indian 2: (speaks in Hindi-accented Nepali) So, you're still patriotic are
you? Still anti-Indian...
UML: (speaks in Nepali) No, it's not like that - but still. Our own party's
friends are opposing.
Indian 2: (speaks in Hindi-accented Nepali) You don't want to move into
power? Where is it, that key to power? Have you forgotten?
UML: (speaks in Nepali) Of course I haven't forgotten. It's just become a
Indian: (speaks in Hindi-accented Nepali) So, what to do now. Go then -
oppose. (acts as if angry)
UML: (speaks in Nepali) No, are you angry or what? I haven't said 'oppose
Mechi-Mahakali', not at all.
Indian: (speaks in Hindi-accented Nepali) Oh, is that the state of things?
So what about Government?
UML: (speaks in Nepali) Whatever the means, it must be arranged, so many
days have passed since we fell from power. Always feeding them, it's not
fair you know, sir. Our turn....
Indian: (speaks in Hindi-accented Nepali) So you need power? I have the
ladder, want to climb?
UML: (speaks in Nepali) (becoming happy) Yes please sir
Indian: (pulling a chain from his pocket) (speaks in Hindi-accented Nepali)
Kid, take this ladder and wear it - around your neck.
UML: (speaks in Nepali) Oh no. I won't tie this on. What gives, acting like
Indian: (speaks in Nepali) Are you unhappy, or what is it? This ladder,
it's the ladder to power. The thing is this UML, when you come into power
then this is the means to control you. It's nothing. Here now, put it on -
UML: (speaks in Nepali) Oh no. I won't wear it. I'm ready to do anything
else. I would rather massage your feet.
Indian: (speaks in Hindi-accented Nepali) No no no. It's not a matter of
feet. Really it's nothing at all.
(points out the others)
There, look now. Your friends are quietly wearing the chain, it's no issue
at all. So, if you want to sit in the opposition forever....
UML: (considering for a moment) (speaks in Nepali) If it must be worn, I'll
wear it, but don't pull it really tight, okay?
Indian: (speaks in Hindi-accented Nepali) Oh no. No question of tightening
it You'll tie it on yourself, lock it up and give the key to me.
(UML does just as the Indian has said)
(Holding the ends of the chain in his hand, the Indian rises and asks:)
(speaks in mixed Hindi and Nepali)
So, there's no inconvenience is there?
All: (speak in Nepali) No none, none sir, we're just fine.
(Holding the chain the Indian walks out of there. Right then, the Nepalis
arrive on the spot and shout slogans)
Long live - nationalism, Down with - treason!
Nepalis: (Signalling to the audience:)
Did you see who runs them? They're crocodiles. They're agents. Down with agents!
Long live nationalism. Long live nationalism. Long live nationalism!
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