The Nepal Digest - June 26, 1999 (13 Ashadh 2056 BkSm)

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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 *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information *
 * Co-ordinator: Rajpal JP Singh *
 * Editor: Pramod K. Mishra *
 * Sports Correspondent: Avinaya Rana *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Dr. Krishna B. Hamal *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Canada Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * *
 * TND Archives: *
 * TND Foundation: *
 * WebSlingers: Open Position *
 * *
 * +++++ 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.

Co-ordinator The Nepal Digest

****************************************************************** From: Bhupendra Rawat <> To: 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 last.

        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 prada.san".

        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. THE END.

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: "" <> From: "F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <> Subject: HVN,

Chintimani, and all my friends at HVN:

Thanks for the interesting evening, music, dinner, and inspirational chat...

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 much...

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 not fools!

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 antiquated?

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 the anglo)...?

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... Unless...

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:, 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 <> To: Subject: Don't read this

        Namaste everyone,

        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 such details.

        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 right.

        [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 Soaltee.]

        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 :-)

oohi ashu address for correspondence:


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 13:22:55 +0500 To: editor contributions <> From: "F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple" <> 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 letters, 'du?'

I look forward to hearing at: Thanks! hutch@

****************************************************************** Date: June 16, 1999 To: The Nepal Digest <> 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 <> To: 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.

Subject: Happier........ 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
> 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
> you realize that for someone of my passions
> 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 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 for money
> ....there is more money in other fields 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
> is not even that really 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 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 torial.htm#5 Hard line stance propel new party initiatives 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 forum, himself.

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 topic.

"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, time permitting.

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 date.

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 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 Ultimate Return.

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 country.

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 alive.

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 States.

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 School.......

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 same time.

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 points:

(1) (for 5 bucks a month, can't beat the deal)
(2) (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 center-stage.

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