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The Nepal Digest Sat Jun 26, 1999: Ashadh 13 2056BS: Year8 Volume87 Issue6
Today's Topics (partial list):
* TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
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* Co-ordinator: Rajpal JP Singh firstname.lastname@example.org *
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* Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
* Dr. Krishna B. Hamal HamalK@dist.gov.au *
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* Anil Shrestha SHRESTHA@CROP.UOGUELPH.CA *
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* +++++ 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: June 17, 1999 To: The Nepal Digest Subject: This and That
Dear TND Readers:
To keep the quality of TND entact and to avoid
personal stuff indulged upon other readers, TND
requests that writers edit-out personal section
in emails, notes, references from their piece.
We would like to have the writers themselves
edit the piece than to have us evaluate our
"publish as it is" policy. Please do not forget
that the freedom of speech is not just
"dumping" per-say (though some of you may argue
against it), we here at TND would like to
promote "responsible dumping" per-say. Let us
try to keep TND flowing with our own little
"shared responsiblities" - otherwise you smart
folks already know - it can not sustain :)
Please remember that the whole purpose here is
to "focus Nepal, Nepalis and Friends of Nepal"
that relates to "Nepal, Nepalis and FON" and
NOT us personally - though at times we do
realize it is hard to draw parallel of "the
focus" without "sometimes" inlcuding ourselves
personally. The whole effort has to be such
that we try HARD to keep that "sometimes" to a
ABSOLUTE MINIMUM and RARE! Now, we're sure you
smart folks knew that already!
Have a wonderful summer.
The Nepal Digest
From: Bhupendra Rawat <email@example.com>
Subject: For your amusement: Signs of Development
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 11:37:27 EDT
Signs of development
by Bhupendra Rawat
Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai wants to make Nepal a
developed country. His is a fine goal. But all goals, according to the
Quotable Quotes section of one issue of The Reader's Digest, are dreams
that you should be able to measure. taking that to be true, how can one
measure Nepal's development?
Whatever our measurements are, I propose that only when they
include these 10 incidents/events/happenings may one consider Nepal to be
a developed country.
10. When Surya Tobacco, Janakpur Churot and Seti Cigarette are
slapped with a class-action lawsuit of about 10 billion rupees.
09. When the FNCCI, that inflated cartel masquerading as a friend
of competitive markets (when it is not!), splits into ten different
units, each competing with one another for markets and customers.
08. When the National Planning Commission is dismantled, and its
place is taken up by private consulting firms competing with one another.
07. When our politicians open up their otherwise boring speeches
with personal anecdotes and funny jokes -- making fun of themselves at
06. When it doesn't matter whether our actors/actresses sleep
around or not, and even if they do (will they ever stop?), our journalists
have learnt to ask beter questions than the same old ones on "anga
05. When today's 20-year-old hungry-looking Maoist idealist takes
off his fatigues, says goodbye to Babu Ram, and enrolls in the MBA program
at the Kathmandu University.
04. When urban, upper middle-class parents' nuttiest cocktail
chatter centers around who their offsprings are dating these days, and
which charities to suppport for next year.
03. When Himal South Asia actually finds subscribers who read that
magazine cover to cover and understand what the hell it's saying.
02. When the winner of the Miss Nepal Beauty Pageant boasts an SAT
score of 1530, and speaks fluent Tharu.
01. When the Prime Minister and the cabinet is full of
40-something years old, who are Dipak Kharel, Deep Shrestha, Aruna Lama
fan, who each spend half-hour a day on the stairmaster, read Khagendra
Sangraula for inspiration, and are mostly smart, savvy, intelligent women.
written by Bhupendra Rawat during fits of sheer boredom about the pace of
Nepal's development: Comments, if any, are welcome at:
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 10:06:13 +0500
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
From: "F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: HVN, et.al.
Chintimani, and all my friends at HVN:
Thanks for the interesting evening, music, dinner, and inspirational
Speaking of music... That man, whose name, of course, I cannot remember,
the musician... He can be the center piece for a video I keep suggesting
(I'm getting Shree and Boleram Pandey/Prime involved).
You're always saying that I inspire you, although it's you (and the
children) that inspire me!
And there's no reason why you/we can't inspire Nepal, as it needs it so
Now, I would know how to do this (via media), as I've been trying to
explain, although practically no one in Nepal understands this... Maybe a
few... Maybe you there...?
Nepali people have an inferiority complex... Why? Because the anglos
have been telling you for so long that their way is best ('laced' with
the 'drug' money) that you now believe it! You now believe the white man
is superior, <underline>but nothing could be further from the truth!
Nepali people are always telling me they're 'poor.' I
counter with... "Yes, America is very rich in dollars, but at the same
time very poor in heart and soul! Nepal is poor in $, but very rich in
heart and soul (the important things)!"
If I were King or P.M., or had political power I'd throw every
bloodsucking country out of Nepal, including the U.S. and the World Bank.
They conspire with the Nepali middle class/politicians to keep women, and the poor, the uneducated masses, just that... 'developmentable.' And they do this for money and power!
If they have their way Nepal will be 'developed,' ad infinitum. They're
And what has been 'developed' after fifty years? The middle class
bureaucracy; the 'development establishment.'
Nepal has the highest international financial aid of any country in the
world, yet there is garbage in the streets, irregular electrical power,
drinking water full of typhoid fever, and air and noise pollution (to
list only a few).
It is rated the penultimate (second to last) poorest country in the
world? How can this be? How can billions of dollars have been poured
into Nepal, and the roads be in such ill repair, the telephone system so
And after I'd thrown out every country in the world, mostly the British
and the U.S., I'd go on TV, and I'd say this to the people of Nepal!
'We are a proud group of people, in the great Gurkha tradition! No
effort or sacrifice is too great to save our country! We are at a
crossroads! It is 'sink or swim' time! We are either going to make it
on our own two feet, or we're going to die trying! We are going to
develop ourselves! And this will be without one dollar of AID from any
country! We have been seduced into being virtual 'slaves,' to AID, for
the benefit, not of us, but others! It is time to take responsibility
for ourselves! 'Arise, Awake! Stop not until the goal is reached!'"
Note: Of course, the G8 would be the first to have me assassignated!
And there's no reason why HVN can't lead this spiritual (first) movement,
to reclaim Nepal!
There's no reason why you Chintimani, can't be the leader Nepal needs...
I said 'leader,' however, and not politician... Not someone who is fond
of talking about the problems (there's an entire industry around the
world that makes money off nothing but talking about it), of giving
speeches, but getting out on the street and inspiring the people!
Leading... leadership! Leading by example!
If I were King or P.M., I'd be out of the street every day, shoveling
garbage, arresting polluters, and inspiring people with some rhetoric,
but mostly action and example!
'Why can't we have clean streets? Why can't we have clean air? Why
can't we reduce the noise level? Why can't we have potable drinking
water? Why can't we have integrity in government?'
Note: I'd publically execute politicians for taking bribes! Corruption
can be stopped, if we accept the responsibility for it (it begins in the
home)! Of course, I'd be assassignated a second time!
People in Nepal seem absolutely (politically) 'paralyzed,' to me! They
are incapacitated ('crippled') by an antiquated mythology, that 'locks,'
them in a cultural (group-think) paradigm.
I don't think I've ever met a group of people, who can't seem to change,
or evolve, or grow, or adapt (to a rapidly changing world). They listen,
they 'nod,' they smile, but nothing changes (I'm not sure if it's a
matter of understanding, consciousness, or what?)... Or, resentment (of
When I first came to Nepal I was full of ideas that would help the
country of Nepal! Nepali people, in general, responded negatively, and
indicated to me that things are basically 'impossible' in Nepal! 'We'll
see,' I told myself... But, now, some sixteen months later, I would have
to agree... I can't even get Nepali people (there are exceptions) to even
respond...? Thus, I'm beginning to see the futility, myself...
It seems to me Nepal is trying to 'jump cut,' from the 18th century into
the Third Millennium!
They are ill-prepared for democracy (and the future), because democracy
only works well for those who will 'stand up and be counted!' For those
who are educated and willing to participate beyond just voting! You have
to get involved, complain (yes Saroj), write letters, demonstrate
(peaceably), and otherwise 'watchdog,' what goes on in 'government.' You have to become a part of it! Remember YOU ARE THE GOVERNMENT!
My favorite American 'founding father,' Thomas Jefferson, said this, "The
price of freedom is eternal vigilance!'
Ke Garne? What to do? Get involved! Lead a spiritual revolution! Act!
Faith is proved in action! Be fearless! Think of those who have sacrified (B.P. Koirala) so that you might have the opportunity to live free!
When an educated Rana person began the usual complaining about an
'objectified' government! I stopped him, and said this... 'But, don't you understand... In a democracy YOU (pointing at him) are the
'government!' He looked at me incredulously and said, 'I don't understand!' And thus, he articulated the 'problem!' in three words! understand the 'problems' now...
I have been educated about Nepal in the last sixteen months... I
<underline>You really have none</underline>, you just 'think' you do...
You have no 'problems,' (actually), except the ones in your minds...
You've just been lead to believe you have 'problems,' so they can
continue to 'develop' you (for as long as they want). Note: Nepal is
the perfect country in the world to 'develop' forever!
But, is this what you want...?
Everyone in Nepal is optimistic about the new majority government... I am
not! Maybe it's my age and experience! I don't believe in 'political'
solutions, only spiritual ones!
I'm afraid that unless a real leader arises out of the false political
hopes, that Nepal is condemned to suffer more!
Look at Kathmandu... It's needs to be 'saved.' But, until the people
have the courage to admit that there is a problem, and stop blaming an
'objectified,' government, it's going to get worse, before it gets better!
I tell one of my Nepali friends this (as he has a lovely three-year old
daughter). "Everyday your daughter breathes poison! Do you care?" Again
he looks at me incredulously... Note: This is the kind of poison you
can't see, and takes years to kill you.
Everyday, Chintimani, the children in your school, the ones you say you
love, breathe poison! Do you care?
There's no reason why HVN can't lead the 'fight,' to 'Save Kathmandu!'
Go see an American made movie entitled, 'Blade Runner.' This is
Kathmandu in twenty years!
But, what about the children that were so 'fun' to create in a moment of
passion... Does anyone really think about the children... What so-called
'future' we're leaving them...? Ever wonder why they rebel, or participate in violence...?
'Arise! Awake! Stop not until the goal is reached!'
One of these goals has to be saving Kathmandu!
Yes, I know, it takes extra special courage... Sometimes you have to
speak out against the status quo! You'll never change much, but
aggrandize your own, by just playing the political 'game.'
Be a real leader! Lead Nepal into the Third Millennium!
I wish you (us) all God Speed, as I pray for the people, especially the
'little good people,' of Nepal! And, of course, the children!
Frederick Alexander Hutchison Dalrymple
Date: June 16, 1999
To: The Nepal Digest
Subject: Nepali News
Source: The Kathmandu Post
Fall from grace for 1,000 pounds
By Rabindra Mishra
Aminister spends a weekend at the luxury Ritz Hotel in Paris. The 1,000 pound bill is paid for by his businessman friend. That is against the ministerial code of conduct. A leading daily newspaper exposes this. The minister tries to cover the truth and takes legal action against the paper, he goes on lying until it becomes impossible to sustain it. He finally admits perjury and is sentenced to jail in utter disgrace and is left penniless.
This is in brief, the story of a man once deemed by many as a prime minister-in-the-making in Britain. Jonathan Aitken, a 56 year old politician with a brilliant background and a bright future, ironically travelled to prison in the company of convicted murderers in a security van recently (June 8) instead of to No 10 Downing Street, the British prime ministerís official residence. He will be spending 18 months in prison for perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Legal experts say he got off lightly for an offence that is often regarded as one of the most serious in the criminal spectrum.
This writer is not bringing up this matter in an attempt to compare one of the most sophisticated legal and political systems in the world with that of Nepal. It is just an attempt to show how seriously rules, regulations and moral codes have to be taken if a country wants clean governance. Trying to cover up a matter of a mere 1,000 pounds (around 112,000 Nepalese rupees) can result in an influential politician being completely in disgrace and bankrupt. Mr Aitkenís 1.75 million pounds house is being sold and all his belongings, including his wristwatch, have been confiscated to settle his debts.
This is how the rule of law should prevail in a proper democracy and that is how peopleís faith is attracted towards a system. The defenders of Nepalese democracy argue that one cannot expect a country like Nepal--poor, backward and ruled under absolute monarchy for three decades--to develop a democratic culture as that of Britain or the United States in less than ten years. They say things are improving and will get better in the years to come.
It may or may not improve - this author is not quite sure. But a thing worth noting here is that if one evolves an idea one needs time to nurture it and for it to mature. That may not be a smooth process. However, the Westminster style of democracy that we have chosen to adopt is not our creation. We have copied a system that has been around for hundreds of years. We have seen its trials and tribulationsí we have seen what threatens democracy and what makes it work. It would not be logical to repeat that process. Their experiences are enough for us to learn. And it is a major advantage for a country like Nepal that it can gain tremendously from othersí experiences.
We introduced colour television without watching its black and white initial form; we are enjoying the internet without experiencing its early problems; anything modern you name, we have just been its consumer but have had no part in its creation or development. The same applies to democracy. But the difference is: we need money to introduce and maintain modern amenities while democracy is not a development project that requires donor agenciesí support for its implementation. The rule of law is enough for its survival and that comes out of commitment and sincerity of the leadership.
Therefore, the problem with Nepalese democracy is not that it is in a fledgling state. The problem is that a majority of leaders lack commitment and sincerity and they abuse the rule of law. If there are flaws in the formation of laws or any other problem in adopting the new system to suit the local context, that is excusable.
For that we certainly need time. But if someone thinks we need time to learn not to be corrupt and immoral, he needs to think twice. Present and past events are enough to determine the fundamental moral codes for any individual.
However, the overwhelming majority of Nepalese leaders seem to have failed to learn both from the past and present. The people seem to have matured as seen in the recently held general elections but Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai rebuffed the peopleís judgement by inducting some of the most corrupt Nepalese politicians into his cabinet. He is relatively a better read politician in the local context and he should have realised that democracy always descends into danger when government is run by immoral people.
Our politicians have mostly failed to do what they could have done by themselves for the country's betterment. They have rather sought excuses for their failures by blaming others -- opposition politicians, external forces or donor agencies. A survey conducted by a Nepali fortnightly news magazine just before the elections showed that people considered the activities of politicians as a major threat to democracy in Nepal and this writer fully agrees with that conclusion.
If things are not happening because of reasons beyond the control of politicians, it is the duty of the people to be sympathetic and be supportive towards them. But if things are deteriorating or not improving because of the politicians themselves, it is also the duty of the people to put pressure on them by any legal means possible. Only coming out into the street to serve the vested interests of political parties will not be enough to have clean governance in the country.
Nepal seems to have just copied the cover of Westminster style of democracy. A majority of its leaders have deliberately avoided adopting the essence of the system because at heart, they do not want the rule of law to govern the country. If they allow that to happen they are sure to face Jonathan Aitkenís fate. And the tragedy is that unless the likes of Jonathan Aitken are purged, punished, disgraced and left bankrupt, the system will never improve.
From: "Prakash Bhandari" <PRAKASH@HBL.COM.NP>
To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu, email@example.com
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 10:54:55 +0545, NST
Subject: Why Delay to form Human Rights Commission ?
Delay in Formation of Human Right Commission: Lack of Rationality
Every government in the world seems to be committed for the protection
of human rights of the people. They are seemed to be devoted for it
every time. Even a tyrant does not deny in principle the fundamental
of human rights. But in practice?
In practice, the experience shows that every government are not
committed for the protection of human rights. This can be visualized
in large extent especially in South Asian Region.
The top most issue of today's Nepal in the field of human rights is
the formation of Human Rights Commission. The bill was adopted by the
House of Representative about 3 years ago and each government, then
after always talked positively regarding the formation of the
commission. Prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala took high concerned
to form the commission in front of the ex-chairman of Amnesty
International Ross Danials but when the meeting was over,it seems
that he also forgot all the matter they talked during the meeting.
In the mean time, 11 Human Rights related NGOs launched month long
programme to create pressure for the government to form the human
rights commission. But their joint effort also has not created any
positive sign in this regard so far.
Now the Krishna Prasad Bhattarai is in power. He is also not in mood
to form the commission in near future. In an informal meeting with
human rights activists, he shows his problem. He said, as has been
said by HR activists, he is not finding the right person to head the
commission. He also asked them to propose the name for the chief
commissioner of the proposed Human Rights Commission.
According to the Human Right Commission Act 2053, the chief
commissioner should be as qualified as that is required to be the
justice of supreme court. Human rights activists say this provision
as a rigid one. This provision has also played a vital role for the
delay to form the commission.
Besides all these, the main problem is the problem of attitude. We
have knowledge but we don't have rationality. Unless we posses
rationality, nothing will happen. All the ministers, prime ministers,
know the fundamental rights that is to be protected but while they
are in power, their mind is covered with the cloud of irrational. It
is all due to the lack of education of rationality.
We are educated, we have earned the degree also, but we never tried
for the education of rationality. Unless we posses the rationality,
the problems of society can not be solved. This is the situation
actually existing in Nepal.
If We really want to solve the problem of Human Rights, then in my
opinion, all educated personality should be converted into human
rights activists who will be full with rationality. If people be
really rationale, then there will be something to hope to achieve.
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 10:19:39 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ashutosh Tiwari <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Don't read this
I am co-ordinating -- via email -- the publication of two issues
of The Kathmandu Post Review of Books September,1999. I am particularly
interested in working with [Nepali or non-Nepali]
writers/reviewers/essayists who have NOT written anything for the Review
yet but are interested in publishing something in it.
If there is a book you want to review, or a thought-essay you have
been wanting to publish, please get in touch with me as soon as possible,
and let's see if we can work out the deadlines, word-lengths and other
If writing in English gives you a headache, don't worry. It's your
IDEAS that matter more to the Review, than your language skills. As the
issue-cordinator, I'll be doing a fair amount of editing anyway: so RELAX,
and just concentrate on getting your ideas/criticisms and obsevations
[Yes, you can review any (recent) book, of any genre, of your
choosing, be it written by Harold Bloom or Elmore Leonard or Ram Sharan
Humagai. And yes, you will be paid upon publication -- enough, that is
after adjusting for inflation, for a solo Italian dinner at Al Fresco at
Please bookmark the following site to continue reading some of the
excellent, thought-provoking, intellectually engaging and at times
thoroughly infuriating writings being published in Kathmandu today.
The Kathmandu Post Review of Books: brought to you by folks some
of whom love books, and some of whom almost declare themselves bankrupt
after buying sprees at amazon dot com :-)
address for correspondence: email@example.com
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 13:22:55 +0500
To: editor contributions <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <email@example.com>
Subject: question for linguists
Any of you linguists out there know what the connection is between
'Kathman<underline>du</underline>,' Nepal and Cheng<underline>du</underline>, Sichuan, China?
I find this interesting as these two cities are in two entirely different
cultures... But, there must be some connection?
How many cities (in any country?) 'du' you know that end with the
I look forward to hearing at:
Date: June 16, 1999
To: The Nepal Digest <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Nepali News
Source: The Kathmandu Post
Govt for curbing women trafficking
-By a Post Reporter
KATHMANDU, June 16 - Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai today said that the government would leave no stone unturned to amend existing legislations dealing with the issues relating to women trafficking and child rights.
Inaugurating a two-day workshop on Human Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation: Challenges and Remedies, Premier Bhattarai said, "I will immediately ask the Law Minister to look into whether the existing laws are sufficient to take action against girl and child traffickers and abusers. And if needed, in keeping with the changing times, the government--following extensive consultation with organizations working in women and children related fields--will correct legal provisions."
Addressing the seminar organised jointly by Nepal Police and the US Embassy, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Tara Nath Ranabhat suggested raising public awareness against the heinous crimes with top priority.
"The government is committed, if needed, to delete out-dated clauses and accordingly substitute them with new clauses to enforce women trafficking laws more effectively. However, generating awareness among people about such anti-social activities should be given first priority."
In his observation on women trafficking and child rights in Nepal, US ambassador Ralph Frank said while Nepal was known to the outside world more as a country of Sagarmatha, unique wild life and brave Gurkhas ("whom I see each day on television fighting for settling peace in the war-stricken Kosovo"), it is one of the worst possible nations as the rate of girls trafficking is increasing.
"Better law enforcement and political commitment could be good way to combat against women traffickers and child abusers," the ambassador suggested.
Attorney General Badri Bahadur Karki, however, asked the government either to set up separate court or make arrangements for a separate bench to handle cases related to women and child crimes.
"The trial process, according to the existing legal system, is too long and the perpetrators could have chances of committing another grave crime by the time the previous ones are redressed.
Therefore, to make legal procedures more flexible and transparent, short procedures, if adopted by all the courts, would sound much better, Karki suggested.
Karki pleaded cases on women and children should not be dealt with the way other mundane cases are.
Others addressing the programme were Home Secretary Padam Prasad Pokhrel and Inspector General of Police Achyut Krishna Kharel.
A total of four working papers, dealing with various aspects of women trafficking and violation of child rights were presented at the programme.
The programme was attended, among others, by senior police officials, government officials and representatives of NGOs and INGOs.
From: Paramendra Bhagat <ParamendraB@ChaiTime.net>
Subject: Reply to Umesh Giri
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 19:17:15 +0100
(1) My letter to my college friend was more personal. It was not
supposed to be a talk on Nepal, but of my personal experiences which
happen to involve Nepal.
(2) It is true a Teraiwasi can be prejudiced as much as a Pahadwasi. After all, the caste system is as entrenched in the Terai as it is in the Pahad. And sex discrimination is as bad. Infact, contrary to your understanding, I feel the issue of the lower castes and women is much more acute than that of the Teraiwasis.
(3) I agree that India has acted hegemonic often times and it has failed to provide the leadership that will lead all countries in the region to prosperity. True. If only India were to engage with Nepal more constructively, Nepal would be able to harness its hydropotential for mutual benefits.
(4) It is not true I disregard those Madhesis who are with the other parties. Infact I have been critical of the Sadbhavana's failing to make the National Economy the Number One issue.
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 12:27:12 +0100
"..................but I am happier now"
by Paramendra Bhagat
Rebecca, I sent this to Jan Pearce not long back
............................ As a prized friend who got to know me long before I got into the SGA mess, what do you think?
> .....a newly wed woman said," It is not like I was unhappy before, but
> I am happier now."
> For the first two years at Berea
> I was a maniac hooked on wanting to go home to run for public office
> ..... For the last two years I have been unhappy ..... And then there
> is this foreseen ongoing tension between family and career - it is
> somewhat like physical fitness - you never can hope to achieve it, but
> you can constantly strive for it ....and then, really, noone at their
> death-bed wished they had spent more time at their office ............
> But then I like the Newt Gingrich model - it's in his book .....the
> family is at the core ...the more firmly you are rooted at the core,
> the greater your capacity to keep abreast breath-taking changes -
> people, technology, knowledge - in the outer rings .....I buy
> that....but you see that implemented more in Clinton's life than in
> Gingrich's....the Clintons are the closest-knit First Family this
> country ever had .....Monica was no affair ...Bill was getting back at
> Starr for the Whitewater hell he put Hillary through .....hatpins are
> no affair ...Bill Clinton is hopelessly in love with Hillary......do
> you realize that JFK and Bush are from the same generation...if
> Hillary runs for the Senate now, she can get the White House down the
> line, hands down....I mean what would it feel like to have a former
> White House occupant - one of the very greatest, the most skillful
> ...I think Bill Clinton is the best of all Heads of State alive today
> on the planet ....he is the Joe DiMaggion of politics, the Bill Gates
> of politics, and in 1992 he was earning $30,000 a year - for your
> Campaign Manager, strategist, chief advisor.....Hillary is my favorite
> Clinton anyway..and I am a Billie fan...where does that put
> Hillary.................................Only the two people involved
> really can know all the details in a friendship, in a
> relationship........do you realize that for someone of my passions
> ....it will be easier to become US Secretary of State than it would be
> to become Prime Minister of Nepal? It is hard enough being an Ethnic
> Minority in the US, but it is much much harder in
> Nepal.........Infact, my looks which would be a disadvantage in Nepal
> might be a plus at the global level ...a fifth of humanity shares my
> looks.......that is a lot of numbers on the political billiard table
> .............................I feel so strong about Iveta....("Mother,
> pray for me, it is Hillary or it is nobody!")........but if I were
> still thinking Nepal, I would not have said so much....if one of us is
> following the other, it better be me following her.......and her
> career keeps her in the US.......if I were thinking Business or
> Journalism myself, I would be thinking the US as well.......after your
> Freshman year, you become a Sophomore, you hope to become a Junior, a
> Senior, you hope to graduate.......................Nepal and Slovakia
> are Freshman years....The economy is going decidedly
> global......Politics will follow suit..........It is not realistic to
> think of going back to the Freshman year; you just don't do
> that....the Global South is my newest constituency......It is time to
> think of Grad School, Business School, Law School .........I can do
> more for Nepal by moving on, if that is the issue, which it is
> not........ The passion for the process is not anger, though I have
> reasons to be angry at the Nepali Speaking High Caste Male and the
> White Male .....it is not greed for fame or money .....the "fame" that
> the SGA Presidency brought me made it possible for me to have the
> lousiest social life of anyone I knew on campus.....as for money
> ....there is more money in other fields ....as for that rare
> opportunity where you might be able to command fees for speeches and
> books ....well, if that happens, it will not hurt....I fantasize about
> having the latest in communications technology at home...(I will
> e-mail you!) .....and it would feel good to provide for the family
> (ies)...I would hope we will pay "taxes" to the two families that
> raised us.......we are in the land of opportunity, they are not...and
> there is always some charity you can believe in ............ but it is
> not anger or greed....although the public good is at the back of the
> mind...it is not even that really .....it is mental aptitude
> ...wanting to do .... as I told Rajiv Shah and Shivam Mallick with the
> IAPAC,"You two will do fine. It is people like me passionate about
> the political process to the point of addiction who will end up
> hungry." Shivam has a degree from Harvard Business School; Raj - both
> parts of his name are royal, I pointed out to him - is into medicine
> and also getting a Business degree at Wharton .......... By thinking
> in terms of the State Department I can hope to contribute to a Total
> Spread of Democracy and Free Markets......Opportunity, Responsibility
> and Community ...as Billie Clinton puts it ... I told Iveta I want to
> be Hillary's Secretary of State...not modest at all, ha!
> ........Nelson Mandela calls the US "the greatest nation on earth"
> .....I kinda know why....I have the other perspective......Democracy
> is not culture-specific ........It is not Euro-centric....China is a
> target as is the continent of Africa, Malaysia is ....No country
> discusses Race Relations as passionately as the US.......American is a
> great concept not yet fully worked out ....the Women and the Ethnic
> Minorities need to feel more included......
> what has happened so far is nothing compared to
> what I see happen in future......the more successful you become the
> more powerful enemies you earn.........Success is accompanied by good
> friends and bitter enemies.......that comes with the chosen field
> ......mud is to be expected .........but the good you end up doing is
> worth the trouble.......................... at least these are not
> physical bullets ... there was this politician I knew ... they pushed
> 32 bullets into his body last summer ................ But then I don't
> have my mother around close by and I only recently converted to
> Buddhism ..........................
%%%%%TND NOTE: Please refer to the coordinator's note above. %%%%%%
Subject: News Titbits
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 09:43:45 -0400
Election 1999 : A second look -- By MR Josse
torial.htm#5....... while Sadbhavana won five seats this time, its share of
votes actually fell below the level of what it received in the 1994 poll
(3.49) when it could only manage to win three seats, or half of what it had won in the 1991 general election. ..............It may thus be a little premature to jump to the facile conclusion that we are now unshakably on a two-party track, not least since one can already hear the sounds of open dissidence and bitter intra-party feuding within the NC.
Of Jung Bahadur and fair elections-By Saubhagya Shah
torial.htm#3 The author happened to be in a district where the election was
certified officially as "peaceful and fair." In one of the booths here,
polling went normally till the middle of the day. Then a 15 - man mobile
police team arrived at the booth and its commander took away the returning
officer for a short tete-e-tete around the building where the polling was
taking place. Apparently, the commander told the election officer that one
of the parties in the fray was known to be planning to capture the booth
anytime now and the police would not be able to ensure security in that
case. This was in spite of the fact that there were already another 17 armed
personnel guarding the booth besides the 15 new arrivals. Soon enough
activists of one party arrived as if on cue and shooed away all the other
party agents from the area. Then the voters who were waiting to cast their
ballots were also told to go home. There was not a murmur of opposition.
..........The group took over the whole process and began casting proxy votes as efficiently as they could. The police and the election staff displayed commendable "neutrality" while this process was going on for some four hours. No angry words were exchanged, no one was hurt. At 5:00pm the boxes were duly sealed and dispatched to the district HQ. The event could not have been more peaceful, but was it fair? Apparently it was, if one is to go by official and other observer's verdict. Beckoning ex-bureaucrats-By P Kharel http://www.nepalnews.com.np/contents/englishdaily/ktmpost/1999/Jun/Jun22/edi torial.htm#5 Hard line stance propel new party initiatives http://www.nepalnews.com.np/contents/englishweekly/telegraph/1999/Jun/Jun23/ index.htm#1 .........As the much talked about rift between Prime Minister K.P Bhattarai and his party Chairman G.P. Koirala continues
Subject: As to what is of relevance and what is not on this forum
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 10:57:35 +0100
As to what is of relevance and what is not on this forum
by Paramendra Bhagat
Questions have been raised about the relevance of several of my
submissions on The Nepal Digest forum. I am submitting this article
after some private discussions I had with Rajpal, the convenor of this
It is my claim that every piece I have submitted so far has been
relevant. And I have appreciated it that most submissions have been
largely published unedited. I have had several motivations to become a
regular contributor to the Digest. Primarily it has been a cathartic
experience. I got sick of the Nepali Speaking High Caste Male attitude
that No, they are not the WASPs in Nepal, that they are not at
advantages for the accident of their births. I got sick of those people
who think I am letting my alma mater Budhanilkantha School down becauses
I have been asking some uncomfortable questions. And then I have been
keenly interested in the issues of Race Relations in the United States,
primarily due to the fallouts from some of my experiences from my days
with the Berea College Student Government Association and the immediate
aftermath but also because of my ongoing intellectual curiosities on the
"America has solved all problems except the problems of the heart," as
Bill Clinton has put it. Race Relations are not an issue on the
sidelines. It is The Issue.
So, yeah, it has been cathartic to be discussing the issues stemming
from my experiences as an Ethnic Minority in Nepal and in the US. But
then I have moved on. Although the issue of Race Relations will always
be pertinent - it is not true a successful marriage is one where two
partners don't discuss the relationship anymore - I have decidedly moved
on to other issues in my discussions. More than anyone else I have
tried to initiate a comprehensive discussion on Nepal's economy, not to
the same results as the Terai issue, to my regret. And I have tried to
see Nepal in the context of the larger Global South. And I have tried
to look at the Nepalese Americans, a tiny Ethnic Minority, through the
prism of mainstream American politics. And I hope to continue doing so,
Instead of asking people like me to shut up, some people need to get a
life and start counter-arguing instead. Tell me why you disagree. Tell
me why you think I am missing the point. Tell me why you think I am off
the mark. And I will respond. And that will be some fruitful dialogue.
And we will cover distance together.
I am still hoping we will have some raging discussions on the National
Economy. I was hoping those from my alma mater unhappy that I have been
asking prickly questions on the Terai issue will at least be happy now I
am wanting to discuss the National Economy. But there has been a poor
turnout so far.
Subject: Music from Nepal
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 14:23:30 -0400
The best place on the web for Nepali songs that I have encountered to
Subject: Budhanilkantha School and Berea College
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 10:07:14 PDT
I have openly discussed the Terai-related issues on this forum for the past
year or so. Alongside I have liberally quoted from the website
antiracist.com which discusses the extreme end of the plight of the Ethnic
Minorities in the West. I attended a school that was founded by the British
in 1972 and most students there were not Teraiwasis. If it were not for
Budhanilkantha School I would not be where I am right now, not that I am
that far! Budhanilkantha School opened up possibilities for me that would
not have been mine otherwise. At Berea about 80% of the students are of
European-American background. That proportion is higher among the
professors, administrators, members of the Board of Trustees, and donors.
Today I dream of stuff I could not have barely four years back, thanks to
Berea College I do. So what does that mean? Of course Budhanilkantha and
Berea have opened up possibilities for me. One of those possibilities have
been these very questions I have been asking. But then those who try to
portray I am some ingrate just because I have been asking these questions
are basically saying, we are the Nepali Speaking High Caste Males in Nepal,
we are the European American Males, and we are the institution, and you are
some insignificant individual who will not say Thank You to us. That
attitude in itself is an expression in institutional racism. Because of
what our background is, we represent institutions, you don't. You are not
part of the We.
Will you go home? I have been at Berea College for 30 months now and I have
been asked this question all along. Most of the time people are not asking
if I will go home over Christmas or Summer. It is a question on possible
Usually I reply by saying if I get good enough grades I would like to go to
Law School or Grad School. So what is the answer? Will I go home?
I had the good luck of attending the National School in Nepal. One of its
British headmasters, Mr. John Tyson,a prominent geographer - there is a
cliff in north-west Nepal named after him,he is on personal terms with His
Majesty King Birendra, the Eton-Harvard-educated reigning monarch who
Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, the first Prime Minister after the May 1990
People's Movement that reinstalled democracy in the country after a gap of
30 years, described as "gentlemanly" after he emerged from his negotiations
for the handover of power - once remarked the British government was only
paying back for the Gurkha blood spilt on the British side during the two
world wars. Of all the non-warring nations, Nepal lost the most men during
the two World Wars. The then ruling Rana family felt it expedient to send
the men from some of the hill tribes in Nepal into British service as
mercenaries. That way the British would keep the milieu of South Asian
geo-politics favorable for the Ranas in Nepal.
That still does not prove I am the son of the Sultan of Brunei: I was there
on a scholarship and I had to sit nationwide entrance examinations to get in
in the first place. I was a half scholarship student until my Class Ten
year. My family's business went shaky around then. Dr. Lady Shirley
Richmond, whose husband was Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor of Manchester
University, paid my family's share for the next three years. I am stil in
regular touch with Shirley. She likes getting letters from me and our
correspondence has the majesty of snail mail in this day and age of e-mail;
we like to take our time. She has a brother who is married to an American.
They live in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Andrew Wild, my Housemaster for many
years, Physics teacher,College Counsellor, and the guardian angel who
basically put his foot down when the Discipline Committee was on the verge
of kicking me out a couple times, and the-then British Headmaster Mr. Brian
Garton, now somewhere in Africa, got me in touch with Shirley. Later on
there were misunderstandings between Mr. Wild and myself when I felt he was
not being sensitive enough to Nepal's domestic politics and how the cards
are decked against people born into the community I was from. But I have
written to him since I came to Berea. At one point he was working for a
school on the island of St. Helena of Napoleonic fame. I teased him about
that. Now he is gone to some school somewhere in Africa.
I have schoolmates at most of the top colleges and universities in the US,
UK,Australia, India and, not to mention, Nepal. I know the Crown Prince of
Nepal, the guy who will become King some day. And his younger brother. Had a
quarrel with the King's nephew my Class 10 year though we later patched
things up not long after. I recently sent a message to him through a mutual
friend who is off to Nepal after having spent seven years in the US. So I
guess attending that school was like meeting the cubs of the elite in the
I spent a decade at Budhanilkantha. For the first seven years I was the top
of my class academically. I also did well otherwise. I was in various
leadership positions. Won a couple of national children's art competitions.
Was placed third in Division A Pentathlon my Class 10 year.
I mention Shirley, Andrew Wild, Brian Garton, John Tyson. There were a bunch
of other British teachers: Berry, Morgan, Shrubshall, Spice, the Aussie Miss
Tulip, that Chemistry teacher from Denmark who flattered me no bounds by
telling me I was "every mother's dream of a son-in-law" - she had two
daughters my age at that time! - and all those school-leavers who would come
to Budhanilkantha for their year between high school and college:William
Ramsbotham, Ian Pugh-Cook of the many. Sadly Ramsbotham is no more.
My school years are peopled with a bunch of Britishers all of whom were
positive influences in my life. They tried their best to give me a sound
education. They,of course along with the Nepali and the Indian teachers -
Praveen Moktan, Seva Chandise, Salim Khan, Robert Wilson - gave me the base
on which my college years stand. Without Budhanilkantha Berea would not have
been possible for me.
To be anti-racism is as anti-white as to be anti-cancer is anti-human body.
To me, a student of Political Science, racism is just one of the many issues
on the plate. Should I get offended that a student of Economics might have
curiosities about inflation? Or is a student of Medical Science supposed to
have suffered from all those diseases before he or she may talk about them
or deal with them? Sometimes I have people confront me saying I am making a
bigger fuss on the racism question than anything from my past would warrant.
In my country I am a Madhesi, a Teraiwasi, a southerner, if you will. My
homevillage and my hometown are flat as this desk on which this computer
rests. But when you think of Nepal you think of the Himalayas. The NSHCWAHM
- Nepali Speaking High Caste Wealthy Aged Hindu Males - rule. That puts people of my background on the blind spot. My cultural background keeps me out of the mainstream. The Teraiwasis like me are almost half the country by population, but then if the game of political power were simple arithmetic women might have ruled the planet for at least half of the past 10,000 years. Unlike anywhere else in the world that I have heard of, in Nepal the mountain people have had a hold on political power. That characterization is unfair to the poor people in the mountains however. It is the elite among them mostly living in the Kathmandu Valley, the only city in the kingdom, who rule. I like to say in my country I am the "nigger." Although half the people in Nepal have that "Indian look" like I do, we get taken for Indian and not "genuine Nepali" as my cousin at Middlebury, Bijay Raut, likes to say. We get taken for recent immigrants from India. Not true. My mothertongue Maithili, spoken by about 30 million people worldwide, was once the court language in Kathmandu, when the Mallas ruled before the current Shahas took over. My hometown Janakpurdham features large in the Hindu epic Ramayana as the capital of the scholar-king Janak. Well, in my case, it is different. My mother's side of the family is Indian. But then that was not a cross-cultural marriage. Both sides of my family speak the same language.
In the US context I am an ethnic minority. I am no WASP. I am no
European-American. I am a South Asian. I guess that coining takes care of
both sides of my family!
As an ethnic minority I have felt more comfortable at Berea than I ever did
at Budhanilkantha. "Here I drink orange juice. Back home they make you drink
the concentrate," I wrote to a friend recently.
I took Dr. Jackie Burnside's Race in America class in Fall 1998 and the way
the WASPs have bit the non-WASPs has not been pretty at all. It has been
particulary bad for the Native Americans and the African-Americans. And the
European-Americans cannot justs tart afresh. Atonements have to be made. As
I was explaining to a friend of mine the other day who said he was sick of
being blamed for everything including that hole in the ozone layer just
because he was a White Male.
"Christianity did not start after you were born. And you still claim it as
your own. The US was founded in 1776, long before you were born, and you
make it a point to celebrate Independence Day. But the slavery that was
around as late as 150 years back, you want to have nothing to do with, you
don't wish to accept as your legacy. That does not sound fair," I explained.
And racism is not all MLK and Abraham Lincoln. It is very much contemporary
And still there is something appealing about America. The caste system in
India is more complex than racism in the US. Sometimes people talk about
racism as if it were an American thing, an American invention.
Racism in the US is bad and maybe someone ought to try and build a Grand
Coalition of women, ethnic minorities, socio-economically challenged white
males and everyone else who will come along, but even so one has to admit
there is a greater acceptance for cultural diversity in this country than in
any other.The Hutus and the Tutsis both look black to the American, but one
massacred millions of the other faster than the Nazis annihilated the Jews
and that too with primitive technology: machetes. I like to say the US is
the Kathmandu of the world. There are 4000 villages, about 30 towns and a
city in Nepal. People from literally every single village and town have come
to Kathmandu in substantial numbers primarily for jobs, or education
followed by jobs. I can imagine people from every major town and city in the
world can be seen to have come to the US.
What is this pull? Yeah, the US is the most successful economy on the
planet. But then Europe is a pretty large economy too. And Japan is large.
And look at the pace of growth of the Chinese economy. But then even the
Japanese, the Chinese and the Europeans have been coming to the US
throughout its history.What is that pull factor?
History says the Europeans who first came to the US were fleeing the
political and religious persecution back home. Those early immigrants
started on a cleanslate, or rather cleaned the slate and started on it.
There is that spirit of innovation around here. I feel the emergence of the
Internet is fundamental. Human society before and after the invention are
two different entities. The internet is like paper. It offers human society
a fundamental departure from its past. The internet is monumental. And,
along that line, check this fact out: 80%of the users of the Internet today
are Americans. That tells me a lot about the experiment called the United
By the way, there is e-mail access in my hometown by now!
So am I going home? Well, if I can would like to go to Law or Grad
Na. I will give you a more forthright answer.
I was this whiz-kid my first seven years at Budhanilkantha. My final three
years were hopeless. You can see that F-15-style nosedive on my transcript.
It started with some of my experiences with the school administration. I
guess after a child is born it is while before he or she realizes "Gravity!"
Until my Class Ten year I had managed to feel detached about the
disadvantages that accompanied the ethnic background I had been born into.
It was all about enjoying school. Most of my classmates and schoolmates were
from the dominant ethnic groups, but I still had managed to get into all
prominent leadership positions. It was about then I hit the roadblock. It
was a rude awakening, a long, painful opening-up of eyes that generated a
lot of negative, self-destructive energy. Outwardly I hadbecome "lazy,
unwilling to work, shiftless." Of course there was denial. You just do not
bring up the r-word. Maybe I had picked up wrong subjects. Maybe all those
early successes were experimental error. My inner struggles remained my own.
It was a slow, painful, gradual awakening. It has been to this day.
One thing I am determined on is I am not going to let any Tom, Dick or Hari
convince me I have a choice: either I stop asking these questions or I
disown Budhanilkantha and Berea. I happen to think I can have both at the
Subject: Three Recommended Webpages
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 07:21:54 PDT
I have been surfing the web for three years now. To the point I am
currently interning for a company that is totally online. If I were to
reduce the time I spend surfing the web, I would go to these three starting
(1) http://www.eb.com (for 5 bucks a month, can't beat the deal)
(2) http://www.spinner.com (tons of free music)
Subject: The truly American Century
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 16:47:04 -0400
The 20th Century has been referred to as the American Century by the leading
figures in American life, journalists, intellectuals, politicians. I
consider that to be an incomplete statement. America is a great concept not
yet fully worked out. It is only through a Total Spread of Democracy and
Free Markets in the next century will the concept truly realize itself. The
concept cannot be defined as the latest incarnation of the domination of the
White Male over the past five hundred years, more high-tech, more
sophiticated, and yet only a reincarnation. No longer can the American
Dream be defined only in economic terms though that is a Great Promise no
doubt, especially for the grossly impoverished Global South which awaits
Great Strides Towards Prosperity that are not environmentally unfriendly.
As the world's culturally most diverse country and growingly so, as the
country that discusses Race Relations more passionately than any other, the
US needs to redefine the American Concept, the American Dream. The American
Century as to be defined next will be inclusive of the Global South, the one
having been defined thus far has been largely exclusive of that part of the
globe. Democracy and Free Markets as defined so far might not be able to
incorporate the intricacies of Cultural Diversity on their own. There is of
course ample room for New Thinking. There is a relationship to be
discovered between the right end of the American political spectrum and the
defensiveness of those populations in the Global South deprived of
democratic norms of their obviously defunct non-democratic ways. The
negative stereotyping that marginalizes those from non-European backgrounds
cannot be part of the American Dream and has to be actively marginalized as
such. And as always, the tough choices on touchy issues like Race Relations
are not a Whites Vs. Non-Whites question. Rather it is a grouping between
those, White and Non-White alike, who dream of a better paradigm for Race
Relations and an ongoing dialogue and those who, for reasons of prejudice
and hatred, would prefer to turn the clock backwards if they could. Race
Relations are not a side issue that can be looked at, time-permitting. They
are The Issue integral to a redefinition of the American Century that is to
be the 21st. The Issue that will redefine for the better what the American
Dream has meant thus far. So the Great Concept cannot be only about
Deomocracy and Free Markets but also Cultural Diversity. Infact, as the
concept handled least well of the three, Cultural Diversity needs to take
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