The Nepal Digest - May 13, 1998 (26 Baishakh 2055 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Wed May 13, 1998: Baishakh 26 2055BS: Year7 Volume74 Issue3

Today's Topics:

      Re: Outside of KTM - FYI
      ANMF 2nd Annual conference
      128 signatories against A-T Bill
      On the humerous side
      Rajan Panthi and Xeroderma Pigmentosum (horrible form of cancer)
      volunteering fall '98?
      The Problems of Chritianity
      Slugs in the Garden

 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information *
 * Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh *
 * (Open Position) *
 * Editorial Columnist: 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) *
 * SCN Correspondent: Open Position *
 * *
 * TND Archives: *
 * TND Foundation: *
 * WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
 * Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista *
 * *
 * +++++ 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: Mon, 4 May 1998 10:05:59 -0500 Forwarded by : "Rajpal J. Singh" <a10rjs1> To: Subject: Re: Outside of KTM - FYI

Source: The Hindustan Times (duely acknowledged)

China is threat No.1, says Fernandes NEW DELHI, May 3 (HTC)

Defence Minister George Fernandes has declared China as the "potential threat number one" with its military and naval involvement beginning to "encircle" India along the border with Pakistan, Myanmar and Tibet.

"Any person who is concerned about India's security must agree with that fact," verred Mr Fernandes. In support of the perception, he drew attention to the transfer of missile technology and nuclear know-how to Islamabad by Beijing besides the nuclear weapons stockpiled in Tibet along the borders with India.

The Defence Minister disclosed that over the last six months, there has been a lot of elongation of military air fields in Tibet, where the latest version the Sukhoi aircraft were going to be parked. On the eastern frontier with India, the Chinese have also trained and equipped the Myanmar Army, whose overall strength has gone up from 1,70,000 to 4,50,000.

This scenario of a Chinese involvement along the Indian borders from Pakistan right up to Myanmar, including Tibet, extended to the Indian waters, continued Mr. Fernandes. He said Myanmar's territory of Coco Islands, on the northern tip of Andaman and Nicobar, has been taken on loan by Beijing and converted into a monitoring post (for keeping track of India's activities) through installation of "massive" electronic surveillance equipment.

"There is no doubt in my mind that China's fast expanding navy, which will be the biggest navy in this part of the world, will be getting into the Indian Ocean fairly soon," contended the Defence Minister. He pointed in the same breath to Beijing's plans to transform Coco Islands into a major naval base - which would be a direct threat to India - and the construction of harbours on Myanmar's western coast where Chinese ships can be towed in.

"Their (the Chinese) senior officials have said that the Indian Ocean is not India's ocean," remarked Mr Fernandes. In support of the view that New Delhi has often underplayed, even ignored, the potential threat from China, he said: "To underplay the situation across the Himalayas is not in the national interest... I think there is a reluctance to face the reality that China's intentions need to be questioned. This is where our country has made mistakes in the past - in the early fifties and in the sixties, for which we paid the price."

In an interview to 'In Focus With Karan,' to be telecast tomorrow by Home TV, Mr Fernandes, while terming China as a bigger threat to India's security than even Pakistan, remained unconvinced about Islamabad's claims of possessing a
(nuclear) bomb. The threat posed by Beijing to New Delhi's security interests also figured in the V. K. Krishna Menon Memorial lecture the Defence Minister delivered here this evening.

"India is against war and believes in peace. Discussing Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) with our immediate neighbours is not enough. We want negotiations to be carried to a decisive stage while discussing CBMs," Mr Fernandes told newspersons after delivering the lecture. "We must get down to serious talks," he insisted, "given the fact that countries in the neighbourhood are in possession of weapons of mass destruction that could cause havoc."

However, the Defence Minister stated that he had no verified version of Pak Premier Nawaz Sharif's statement that Islamabad has a (nuclear) bomb: "One can give a definite answer to the question only if one has the verified version. At this point in time, I'm not convinced whether I should say I believe him (Sharif)." While agreeing that the security environment (in South Asia) has deteriorated with the test-firing of Ghauri missile by Islamabad, Mr Fernandes went on to confirm a shift in New Delhi's nuclear policy under the BJP-led Government. The predecessor regimes, he replied in response to a specific question, had not ruled out the nuclear weapons but the new Government has ruled them in: "Well, (earlier) it was not ruled out. We have ruled it in. Agreed."

Significantly, Mr Fernandes noted that among the options available to India were to make a review and see whether there were threat perceptions "where you have to go for a nuclear weapon." He said the Government would exercise the nuclear option in the event of the planned strategic review making such a recommendation.

The Defence Minister linked the change in the nuclear policy to the change in threat perceptions. He said: "It's because there has been a change in threat perceptions today. If those threat perceptions are as one visualises them to be
(following the review), then you have no option. If one says options are to be exercised, then one exercises them at some point in time. We believe the time has come to exercise the option."

Mr Fernandes clarified that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's statement about no change in India's foreign policy couldn't be "lumped with" the defence policy.
"The defence of the country," he asserted, "cannot be equated or clubbed with foreign policy... I am very sure that the Prime Minister did not have in mind the strategic defence review and the decisions which follow from that...."

****************************************************************** Date: Wed, 06 May 1998 22:31:48 EDT To: Rajpal Singh <> From: Tara Niraula <> Subject: ANMF 2nd Annual conference

The theme of the America Nepal Medical Foundation (ANMF) second annual convention in New York City on June 13-14, 1998 is "Sharing Knowledge To Improve Medical Care In Nepal". Panels of guest speakers and experts will share their interesting and insightful perspectives/experience based on their practical involvement and/or planned activity in the medical field in Nepal.

ANMF, a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of New York in 1996, has defined its mission, goals, and objectives. Furthermore, we have significant achievements in the areas of Continuing Medical Education (CME) and mobilization of material resources, such as medical books and journals. More specifically, ANMF has:

    1. Solicited, procured, and shipped medical books and journals to a medical school library in Nepal.

    2. Organized a CME program in Kathmandu in November 1998 in collaboration with the Society of Internal Medicine of Nepal (SIMON), a national organization of the Nepali internists in Nepal. This is ANMF's first CME initiative and both SIMON and ANMF are very excited about the events and are working hard to make it a grand success. It is our intent to conduct CME programs on various themes on a regular basis in Nepal.

    3. Been active in supporting the transfer of technical expertise to Nepal as it relates to the medical needs of our country.

These achievements, though small in magnitude, are a matter of satisfaction to the entire ANMF family, especially given that the organization is less than two years old. This success is due to shared vision, good will, and collective efforts. It gives me a tremendous pleasure to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuing support and involvement in realizing the organization's noble goals.

The June meeting provides unique opportunities to all of us to share our knowledge and perspectives on medicine in general, with reference to Nepal in particular. Since ANMF's future direction depends on your insightful thinking, active participation, advice, and suggestions, your very presence at the conference will mean a lot to all members of the organization. Therefore, we look forward to your participation in the forthcoming gathering.

Some details regarding agenda items, registration procedure, and other arrangements are enclosed. Should you have questions concerning making your trip to New York City worthwhile, please feel free to contact me at
[(401) 245-0935 or e-mail me <>] or Tara Niraula at
[(212) 678-3504 or e-mail him at <>] or write to the address below. If you need assistance in hotel reservations, please direct your queries to Mr. Vijaya Sigdel at (212) 966-9635 or e-mail:

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very happy (Nepali) New Year 2055. May god bless you all.


Arjun Karki, President American Nepal Medical Foundation Columbia University Station P. O. Box 250793 New York, NY 10025

Please print this registration form, fill out and mail it to the following address

America Nepal Medical Foundation (ANMF)

                    "Sharing knowledge to improve medical care in Nepal"

                                    Second Annual Convention
                                   New York, June 13-14, 1998
                 Registration Form

First Name _________________Middle Name _______Last Name
_______________ Title
___________________________________________________________ Institution
___________________________________________________________ Mailing Address:
  Street Address _______________________________________________________

 City _______________________ State ______ Zip Code
  Telephone ( ) __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Fax ( )
__ __ __ __ __ __ __

Registration fee:
        - $100 for a full-time working medical doctors
        - $150 for a full-time working medical doctor plus spouse
        - $ 50 for medical doctors doing residency
        - $ 75 for medical doctors doing residency plus spouse
        - $ 30 for other students
        - $ 40 for other students plus spouse

Please make checks payable to America Nepal Medical Foundation and mail it along with your registration form to: America Nepal Medical Foundation Columbia University Station Post Office Box 250793 New York, NY 10027

_______ I enclose a check for $ ___________

Hotel Accommodation: Do you need hotel accommodation ? YES _____ NO _____ Please specify your needs:
___ Single (1 person/1 bed)
___ Double (2 people/1 bed)
___ Double (2 people 2 beds)

Arrival and Departure Dates (Must be completed): Arrival 06/ ___ / 98 Departure 06/ ___ /98 If you need our help in reserving a hotel accommodation for you, please contact Mr. Vijaya Sigdel at (212) 966-9635 or E-mail him to:

For further information, please contact Arjun Karki, MD, (401) 245-0935 E-mail: Tara Niraula, (212) 678-3504 E-mail: Or write to the above address.

Please send your completed registration form by June 1, 1998 to above address.

                                                    Please initial

****************************************************************** Date: Tue, 05 May 1998 21:40:52 -0700 To: The Nepal Digest <> From: Mahesh Maskey <> Subject: 128 signatories against A-T Bill


About eight months ago, responding to the concern of the intellectual community in Nepal, and in solidarity with them, we had strongly condemned the then RPP(Chand)/UML government's efforts to pass the infamous "Anti-Terrorist Bill" from the parliament. We were witness to fierce public opposition inside and outside the country which forced the government to backtrack and abandon such anti-people adventure. And it had appeared to us that government do fear public opinion in Nepal. However, in utter disregard to this historical precedent, the newly formed minority government of Nepali Congress led by G.P. Koirala has again tried to revive the old Anti-Terrorist Bill as "amendments" to the existing Anti-State Crime and Punishment Act.

The Anti-Terrorist bill was originally hatched in the tenure of Nepali Congress/ RPP government led by Sher Bahadur Deuba, passed by the cabinet in RPP/UML government but prevented by the public pressure from being ratified in the parliament. RPP/ NC government led by Surya Bahadur Thapa initially claimed such an Act unnecessary, but introduced the above-mentioned amendment bill in its last remaining days. At the height of public protest last year G.P. Koirala too had called the bill unnecessary but is now trying to bring it into law in the form of an amendment to the Anti-State Crimes and Punishment Act - 2046 v.s., retaining the despotic essence of its predecessor.

Those who do not learn from the mistakes committed in the past are condemned to repeat them again. And Nepali Congress is no exemption. The fury of public opinion, inside and outside Nepal, is already being unleashed against the government's attempt to pass this amendment bill into the law. We, the Nepali people in USA and abroad , and Friends of Nepal, reiterate our condemnation of this draconian bill. We believe that no government in Nepal can curb the sovereign rights of the Nepali people, any attempt to do so would only discredit and ultimately lead to the downfall of the government in question. We express our solidarity with all the intellectuals, human right forums, political parties and the people at large who are standing firmly against this nefarious bill. And we further believe, this combined strength will again force the government to refrain from passing this draconian bill that will give unlimited and extra-constitutional powers to security organs of state.

Signed: Nepalis in USA and abroad and Friends of Nepal.

Dr. Mahesh Maskey, MD MPH Boston University, USA International councillor, PSRN

Chitra K.Tiwari, Ph.D Arlington, Virginia, USA

Dr. Balram Aryal, PhD Maryland, USA

Sukh Dev Shah, Ph.D. Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Stephen L. Mikesell, Ph.D. Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Dr. Jamuna Shrestha, D.M.S. Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Dr. Karl-Heinz Kraemer Hennef, Germany

Lhapa Sherpani Hennef, Germany

Dr. Andrew Russell University of Durham, U.K.

Sherry B. Ortner, Ph.D. Columbia University, NY, USA

Dr. Arjun Guneratne,PhD Macalester College, MN, USA

Kamal Raj Adhikary University ofTexas,Austin, USA

Dr. Stephen Bezruchka MD, MPH University of Washington, USA

Kalyani Rai, Ph.D. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Bikash Pandey Berkeley, California, USA

Manisha Aryal Berkeley, California, USA

Krishna Pradhan, Ph.D. Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Bishnu Pradhan Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Sil Kumari Shrestha Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Lauren Leve Princeton University, NJ, USA

Katharine N. Rankin Cornell University, USA

Coralynn Davis University of Michigan, USA

David Kirkman
(Asst. Atorney General) North Carolina Department of Justice, USA

Lazima Onta-Bhatta, Ph.D candidate Cornell University, New York, USA

Pramod Parajuli, Ph.D, Syracuse, NY, USA

Allison Macfarlane, Ph.D. Harvard University, USA

Rakesh Karmacharya New York, USA

Manju Thapa, Seattle, Washington, USA

Rajesh B. Shrestha Cambridge, MA, USA

Shree Krishna Pandey San Diego, CA, USA

Bikash Thapliya Vienna, VA, USA

Robert B. Keiter,
(James I. Farr Professor of Law) University of Utah College of Law,UT , USA

Robin Sharma Durham, NorthCarolina, USA

Mandira Sharma Durham, North Carolina, USA

Arun Sharma Chicago, Illinois, USA

Sushma Sharma Chicago, Illinois, USA

Santosh Basnet Chicago, Illinois, USA

Niraj Ojha Chicago, Illinois, USA

Debra Skinner University of NorthCarolina, Chapel Hill, USA

Ann Forbes Dartmouth College, USA

Ashok Gurung Columbia University.

Bikas Joshi Columbia University, NY, USA.

Bernardo A. Michael University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA

Clay Leonard

Susan Hangen University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin, USA

Tika Gurung University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin, USA

Damber K. Gurung, Ph.D. Clemson, SC, USA

Ellen E. Skeele Mill Valley CA , USA

Upendra Dev Acharya , SJD candidate Univeresity of Wisconsin,Wisconsin,USA

Parashu Nepal

Basant Shrestha New Hampshire College , NewHampshire USA

Mary M. Cameron, Ph.D. Auburn University, AL , USA

Pramod Mishra , PhD USA

David Seddon MA Ph D Professor of Development Studies University of East Anglia UK

Guenter Rose, Ph.D.; University of Michigan, USA

William F. Fisher, Ph.D. Harvard University, USA

King Beach Sociocultural Research Group (SCRG) Michigan State University, USA

Madhav P. Bhatta School of Public Health University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

Aiko Joshi M.A. Candidate, Georgia State University Atlanta, GA USA

Rajiv Rawat Harvard School of Public Health, USA

Malinda Seneviratne Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Ali Mir Assistant Professor School of Business, Indiana-Purdue Univesity, USA

Eknath Belbase Cornell University Ithaca, NY , USA

Shuchi Kapila, Cornell University. USA

Saurav Dev Bhatta Cornell University, USA

Stacy Leigh Pigg, Ph.D. Simon Fraser University, Burnanby BC Canada

Abi Sharma, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Nalini Visvanathan School for International Training

Dr. Mahendra K. Karki Columbia, Maryland, USA

Dwight R. Holmes Florida State Univeristy, Tallahassee FL USA

Cabeiri deBergh Robinson Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology Cornell University, USA

M. V. Ramana, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Nina D. Bhatt Department of Anthropology Yale University, USA

Chukka Srinivas Malden, MA.

John A.Grim, PhD Department of Religion Bucknell University, USA

Vijaya Shah Alexandria, VA , USA

Ashutosh Tiwari Cambridge, MA. USA

Prof. Deepak Kapur State University of New York at Albany, USA

Gregory G. Maskarinec,Ph.D. University of Hawaii.

Raju Sivasankaran, Boston Aparna Sindhoor, Boston

Narain Rana Honolulu, HI, USA

Biju Mathew Asst. Professor of Business Rider University, NJ, USA

Sudip Pradhan University of Cambridge, UK

Deepak Khadka Ben Gurion University Israel

Polly Fabian & Craig Seasholes University of Washington, USA

Frank F Koger, BA, MPA , Seattle WA

Raksha Malakar, Ph. D., Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., USA

Dr. Aruna Upreti The Hague Institute of Social Studies The Netherlands

Vijay Prashad Asst. Prof., International Studies Trinity College, Hartford, CT.

Bal Gopal Shrestha, Ph.D. Student Leiden University, The Netherlands

Abha Sur Program in Science, technology, and Society MIT

James F. Fisher Carleton College Northfield, MN USA

Madhusudan Bhattarai Clemson University South Carolina

Anil Tuladhar Jasmin Tuladhar Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering University of British Columbia. Vancouver, B.C Canada

Dr. Walter Limberg Edith Hellmeyer Germany

Pramod Tandukar The Netherlands

Kathryn S. March Cornell University, USA

Thakur B Karki Ph. D. Candidate University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA

Clinton Bamberger Professor Emeritus School of Law , University of Maryland, USA

Dr. Rajesh Adhikari, Ph. D. University of California, San Diego, CA, USA

Dr. Amita Adhikari, MD, MPH University of California, San Diego, CA, USA

Manohar Sharma Springfield, VA, USA

Surendra Upadhaya Chantilly VA , USA

Kanishka Goonewardena Department of City and Regional Planning Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Rajwinder Singh Boston University, Boston MA USA

Junas Adhikary Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada

Megha N. Parajulee, Ph.D. Texas Agri. Exp. Station Vernon, TX , USA

Maharaj K. Kaul, Ph.D. Fremont, CA, USA

Kanhaiya Vaidya, Ph.D. Office of Economic Analysis Salem, Oregon, USA

Frederique Apffel-Marglin Dpt. of Antropology Smith College, Northamton, USA

Jay Shrestha CPA candidate, University of Alabama @ Birmingham, USA

Dipesh Risal University of Rochester Rochester, NY

Sanjay Joshi Asst. Professor of History Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ

Sujata Moorti Asst. Professor, Women's Studies Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

Geeta Chowdhry Dept. of Political Science Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ , USA

Himal Ghimire American River College Sacramento, California, USA

Dr. Cyrus Umrigar Cornell University Ithaca, NY. USA

Rajpal J.P. Singh, TND Foundation, USA

Aniruddha Das Rockefeller University, New York

Damber K. Gurung, Ph.D., Fairfax, Virginia, USA

Ambika Gurung, Fairfax, Virginia, USA

V. BOUILLIER, CNRS, Paris, France

Harald O. Skar Norwegian Institute of Interantional Affairs, Norway

Ram Acharya University of Ottawa Canada

Dr. Sankar Rai MD, MS USA

MAY 5, 1998

****************************************************************************** From: Ben Thapa <> To: "''" <> Subject: On the humerous side Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 12:52:09 -0700

On The Humerous Side

Ready for the DENSA Quiz???

Write down or remember your answers and Please DON'T CHEAT!!!!!=20

Do they have a 4th of July in England? Yes/No=20

How many birthdays does the average man have? =20

Some months have 31 days; how many have 28?

Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow's sister? Yes/No =

Divide 30 by =BD and add 10. What is the answer? =20

If there are 3 apples and you take away 2, how many do you have? =20

A doctor gives you three pills telling you to take one every half hour. =

How many minutes would the pills last?

A farmer has 17 sheep, and all but 9 die. How many are left?

How many animals of each sex did Moses take on the ark?

A clerk in the butcher shop is 5' 10" tall. What does he weigh?

How many two cent stamps are there in a dozen?


The Densa Test, Your Evaluation

Is there a fourth of July in England?=20 Yes, it comes after the third of July!

How many birthdays does the average man have?=20 1 Just one!

Some months have 31 days; how many have 28? All of them!

Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow's sister? No - because he is dead!

Divide 30 by =BD and add 10. What is the answer? 70, (30 divided by =BD equals 60!

If there are 3 apples and you take away 2, how many do=20 you have? 2, you took them, remember?

A doctor gives you three pills telling you to take one every half=20 hour. How many minutes would the pills last? =20 60 Start with the 1st pill, 30 minutes later take the 2nd, then=20 30 minutes for the 3rd.

A farmer has 17 sheep, and all but 9 die. How many are left? 9(If 8 out of 17 die, all but 9 die, eh?)

How many animals of each sex did Moses take on the ark? 0 Moses didn't have an ark, Noah did!

A clerk in the butcher shop is 5' 10" tall. What does he weigh? =20 meat, a butcher weighs meat!

How many two cent stamps are there in a dozen? 12 --There are 12, 2 cent stamps in a dozen!

Add Your Score... How did you do?

Correct Answers Rating
     11 Genius
     9-10 Above Normal
     7-8 Normal
     4-6 Slow
     1-3 Idiot
     0 Brain dead

On the Humerous Side
        10 words that don't exist, but should:
      1. AQUADEXTROUS (ak wa deks' trus) adj. Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub
        faucet on and off with your toes.
  2. CARPERPETUATION (kar' pur pet u a shun) n. The act, when vacuuming, of running
        over a string or a piece of lint at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up,
        examining it, then putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.
  3. DISCONFECT (dis kon fekt') v. To sterilize the piece of candy you dropped on the floor
        by blowing on it, assuming this will somehow 'remove' all the germs.
  4. ELBONICS (el bon' iks) n. The actions of two people maneuvering for one armrest in a movie theater.
  5. FRUST (frust) n. The small line of debris that refuses to be swept onto the dust pan and
        keeps backing a person across the room until he finally decides to give up and sweep it under the rug.
  6. LACTOMANGULATION (lak' to man gyu lay' shun) n. Manhandling the
"open here" spout on
        a milk container so badly that one has to resort to the
'illegal' side.
  7. PEPPIER (pehp ee ay') n. The waiter at a fancy restaurant whose sole purpose seems to be walking
        around asking diners if they want ground pepper.

8. PHONESIA (fo nee' zhuh) n. The affliction of dialing a phone number and forgetting whom
        you were calling just as they answer.
  9. PUPKUS (pup' kus) n. The moist residue left on a window after a dog presses its nose to it.

10. TELECRASTINATION (tel e kras tin ay' shun) n. The act of always letting the phone ring at
        least twice before you pick it up, even when you're only six inches away.

Kabindra Thapa Phoenix, Arizona


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Thu, 07 May 1998 11:23:31 +0530 From: "F. A. H. Dalrymple" <> To: editor Contributions <> Subject: Rajan Panthi and Xeroderma Pigmentosum (horrible form of cancer)

Because I first discovered the plight of the Panthi family in The Nepal Digest (when I was in the U.S.), I thought you'd like an update (three
'pieces' attached, plus a photograph).

I'm now in Kathmandu, dealing with helping the Panthi family firsthand.

We are raising money, both here in Nepal and the U.S. to send the family, Rajan including, to the XP Society's 'Sundown Camp,' in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. in July. Please help!

Check out their WEB site: (for more information on the disease)

We are producing a benefit concert here in Kathmandu (in July), and also urging, those who can, to make a donation (have a bank account both here and in the U.S.), to please do so. God will bless you!

And if you need further information, please contact me:

F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple

Namaste! and thanks!

Bio article for Melody, by F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple - I ask only one thing from you for this article... That you will publish this in both English and Nepali. And this might be a suggestion for all you text... That way both cultures can learn each other's. Make it a bi-lingual publication.

Namaste! I first heard this word from my friend June in Dallas, Texas, maybe a year ago. I didn't know what it meant, but now that I do, and I like the idea...

Namaste! To all my Nepali friends! I salute the divine in you! For it lives... You have only to discover it!

My name is 'Hutch.' This is an American 'nickname.' I don't know if there is such in Nepal...? My full name is long: Frederick Alexander Hutchison Dalrymple.

The name on my birth certificate (born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1940) is Fred A. Hutchison II. I have the same name as my father.

But, recently I lived in Guadalajara, Mexico for a year and like their tradition of adding your mother's name... So, my mother's name, being Dalrymple, I add to my 'legal,' name... I say, give the women some credit, for better or for worse.

But, when I introduce myself I say, 'I'm Hutch!' keeping it short and simple... This is the American way. But, the Nepalis, being more formal want to call me 'Mr. Hutch,' which would be improper in the States... There you would say only 'Hutch,' or if you wanted to be more formal, you'd say, 'Mr. Dalrymple.' But, never 'Mr. Hutch.'

America is different from Nepal, in that it is very informal. We treat everyone the same, Kings, or beggars, because it says in our Constitution, 'That every man and woman is created EQUAL. We do not say His Royal Highness, Clinton (our president). We say simply, 'Mr. President.' We do not bow to anyone in America... That is not our style. In fact, the Government works for us, the people! We are their employers! Of course, they like to forget this, like all 'democratic' governments...

The 'Caste' system we have in America is a de facto one... caused by the worship of the dollar. Thus, people with money are treated differently than people without money (I suppose this is true everywhere in the world.).

Generally speaking foreigners, in America, (particularly Mexicans) do the hard physical construction (labor), and the anglos get the 'cushier,' better paying jobs. But, there is no 'automatic' Caste system. A Sudra person in American could rise to Brahman. Our country is based on that principal!

What am I doing in Nepal? Kathmandu? It has been a life long dream of mine, to come to the land of the Himal! I am a mountain climber and intend to be the oldest anglo to reach the summit of Everest in the year 2,003, the Fiftieth Anniversary of the first ascent by Hillary and Tenzing. I will be 63, years old. The current record is 60 years, 160 days old, by a Spaniard, Ramon Blanco. But, I am in no hurry... as that's four and one-half years from now. Thus, I have four and one-half years to work my way up in elevation. As I will probably live at 5-6K meters the year prior. I am not one of these rich anglos that pays $60,000 dollars and does it in one month.

I also came to Nepal to help your country develop... There is so much potential here... And yet such a negative attitude about life. I hear all the time: 'Oh, Nepalis won't help Nepalis,' 'You can't do that.' 'That's going to be impossible.' 'I don't feel very good.' 'I'll never get to America.' The lamenting goes on and on... Nepal needs, what it really needs, is a psychic 'facelift,' and I intend to do just that. I'm sure someone will say, upon hearing this, 'Oh, he'll never do that!' I say, 'WATCH ME!' I go by one slogan: 'The absence of all doubt leads to complete success!' ( Padmasambhava)1 I simply don't doubt. Doubt kills! Negativity makes 'it' difficult, if not impossible.

There's nothing you can't do, NOTHING! It's only your mind that prevents you! The way you think!

If I were a Nepali I'd get my hands on a book that I read when I was eight-years old, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. Read it! A publisher should translate this into Nepali if it already hasn't been...

People have been telling me all my life that I couldn't do things... like get a job at a television network in New York City. I called my future boss everyday, everyday mind you for six months, before they would give me an interview. Perseverance wins out over all! Then the department where I was working wouldn't release me (cause they were jealous). I had to wait three more months, but I finally got the job I wanted, with ABC Sports, Inc., and went on to work there for eight years, travelling all over the world and producing/television sporting events like the Summer and Winter Olympics.

If I would have listened (and not believed) to all the negative people in my life (who are just basically afraid to try) I'll still be back in my home town of Tucson, Arizona, and probably miserable for it! Thank God, God gave me, at least, the courage to try.

"If you are courageous, listen to your heart! If you are a coward, listen to your head (be rational). But, for the cowards there is no paradise! Paradise opens its doors only for the courageous!" Ohso

You ultimately learn that 'success' is never giving up. I have failed many, many times in my life. I have literally failed my way to 'success.' For one thing I know what 'that' is...Now... But, that took all my life!

People have told me for years that Nepal was a 'pipe dream,' that I would never get there. Then when they found out I was going they told me I'd be back soon. I'm never going back to the U.S. I will die in the Himalayas! It may not be Nepal, but it will be the Himal, for they stretch over about four other countries: Kashmir, Ladakh, Indian, Sikkim, and Bhutan... I guess that's five, besides Nepal.

If Nepal doesn't get its 'act' together (need a longer visa), and let me stay to help I'll move on...

But, I have many ideas to help Nepal, particularly about promoting tourism in America. Americans don't know about 'Visit Nepal '98,' because no advertising was done there.2 And it's The America of right now that's riding a wave of prosperity, with more money than they know what to do with. They're just looking for ways to spend it, invest... But, America is the land of marketing and advertising and you have to understand how to get their attention. I know how!

I have an idea to bring the Winter Olympic Games here to Nepal in the year, 2,014. I ask... Are there no visionaries in Nepal? Oh, they say you'll never be able to do that. WATCH ME!

I also know powerful people who could build dams here, that could eliminate the power and water problems. It seems ludicrous to me that a country, with the highest per capita hydro-electric potential in the world, lacks water and power. It also seems ludicrous that Nepali people just accept it the way it is... We would never in America... And it's not because we have more, it's beside we think we can!

I'm going to start a movement in Nepal... not a political one, because I don't believe in political solutions. You have 'to take the bull or cow by the horns.' (another American saying), and we are going to... Did you hear that? WE ARE GOING TO!!! It's going to be called 'Nepalis Helping Nepalis,' or NHN. We're going to be selling T-shirts (and baseball caps), so buy one or the other, it'll get you into the benefit concert we're having for the Panthi family (three out of four children with a horrible kind of cancer) and the Sushma Memorial Hospital. We're going to raise enough money to send the Panthi family to the U.S. to get treatment, and we're going to raise money for the Hospital, so they can continue operating on children with cleft palates, or burn disfigurement. WE ARE GOING TO!!! And don't tell we can't!

Don't look to the King, the government or the U.S., OR ANY PATRIARCHAL FIGURE to solve your problems... If you do, you'll be waiting a long time... Solve them yourselves! WE ARE GOING TO!!!

Start the drums! (I want to wake up some morning soon and hear people playing drums! And I want to hear them all over Nepal!) Sound the call! And the call is...

I stand here today, writing this, with a temperature of 103, and a pounding headache my body racked with pain. When my friend Bijay Threstra told me that there was a deadline of tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon for this article, I told him I doubted (here's that word again) I could do it... As all I feel like doing is sleeping... But, here I am doing it! I can! You can! We can together!

I pray that the pain I am feeling lessens Rajan Panthis'! I pray to God that 'he' (who knows maybe a 'she') will give me Rajan Panthis' pain. That I might have it and he not. I pray than I will see a little less that he can see more! I pray that he can hear more, and that I will hear less. I pray that he can be in the sun longer, and me less! I pray that his face be restored and mine disfigured.

I've lived my life, Rajan Panthi is dying at age 24!

And the next time you're feeling sorry for yourself, go see Rajan Panthi here in Kathmandu! He is all alone in a room above his parent's house. He waits to die in the dark. Bring him hope, talk to him, give him your strength... If you can do nothing less, like donate rupees. There is an account set up in Gokul Panthi's name at the Himalayan Bank! So, if you have more money than time (think yourself very important) contribute rupees. You will be blessed!

The reason we are having this benefit music/humor concert is to raise money for this family and the Sushma Memorial Hospital. This publication is a proud sponsor of the event! So, support this publication, Melody too! Buy from their advertisers! Become an advertiser!

So, as we say in American, 'Stay tuned for the next exciting episode!' I must lay down in the bed now, before I fall on the floor!

I want to hear those drums! I want to hear those drums wherever I go in Nepal! I want to see people, Nepali people (don't count on the anglos) wearing those T-shirts and caps!

Start the drums! Sound the call!


1 Note: I am not a Buddhist, nor a Hindu, nor a Christian, nor a Mormon, nor a Sufi, nor a Moslem, nor a member of any religion great or small. I am simply someone who has a relationship with the 'unseen,' but not 'unknown' to me! 2 This is absolutely ludicrous... I can think of no other word to describe it, that Richard Gere, a promoter of this area, was in Kathmandu a week before he realized (someone must have told him) that 1998, is 'Visit Nepal '98' year! I mean if Richard Gere mentions, just mentions, Nepal, you would probably get another 100,000 U.S. tourists... What is that worth in rupees?


        Rajan Panthi lies in his bed in Kathmandu, shrouded by death, waiting to die! His face horribly disfigured, he is blind, the Xeroderma Pigmentosum 'eating' away his flesh! The sun, usually a life giver, his enemy, the darkness his 'friend!'
        How can we understand such agony? Karma? Fate? Is it the inexplicable deadly mixture of genes? Evolution?
        There is no cure! Rajan Panthi waits for the darkness to swallow his body whole, for his mind to be made whole again!
        "Out of the night that covers me,
        As black as pitch,
        From pole to pole,
        I thank whatever gods may be,
        For my unconquerable soul!"1
        I hold his hand! I squeeze it! I ask God for a miracle (I believe in and have seen miracles!)
        This kid is only 24-years old, his life a living hell from two years on!
        What goes through his mind?
        Not the usual things a 24-year old young man might dream about... There are no thoughts of career. There are no thoughts of getting married (to a beautiful girl), no thoughts of having children, not thoughts of getting a job, of recognition, of security, of old age... Of a life lived, even!
        He wants only that his body to be used so that medical science can find some solution to this disease, so that no one might have to suffer as he has!
        How lucky we are to be healthy! How lucky we are to think we have a future! Rajan Panthi waits in the dark to die, sentenced to death from birth, by chance! How cruel fate can be!
        How lucky are we to live a life!
        He waits in the dark to die!
        I ask God for a miracle everyday now! Or, at least some explanation...
        Rajan Panthi lies in pain in the dark alone (for near death we are all ultimately 'alone').
        Below, one level, at the Panthi house, his parents, Narajan and Janaki, live with hope... How else could they survive, two of their other children, Gokul, and Parbati have the same dreaded death sentence hanging over them. The expressions on their faces tell the story... These two children have tried to commit suicide a couple of times! Parbati, in her white dress, knows she will never have a man interested in her disfigured face, Gokul, in his Nike baseball cap, knows the same fate awaits him as upstairs, where...
        He waits in the dark to die! He waits for death with no eyes, the look of a leper!
        I pray for a miracle! I ask God for a miracle!
        How lucky we are to have a life, to walk in the sun, to enjoy a bird's song, a lover, a restaurant meal, a job, a future... To see, to hear! Oh, how lucky we are!
        He waits in the darkness to die!
        Like a building storm it comes!
        First, it begins to rain... Yet, rain brings life! I want to bring him music, life, hope! I want my friend, another Rajan, who is healthy and attractive with a bright future, to read to him from Sogyal Rinpoche's, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying! I think of making a video... No, I cannot exploit this man's agony!
        He waits in the dark to die!
        How lucky we are!
        Oh God, I ask, what can I do for this boy turned into an 'Elephant Man?'
        The thunder answers through the valley!
        "I speak to you through the thunder and lightening, be still, know I am God!"
        Across the way, through an opened door, a bottle of Champagne sits in an ice bucket. A man and a woman embrace! Below there is laughter, a group of people having a party.
        I kill a mosquito that buzzed in my ear last night!
        He waits in the darkness to die!
        How lucky some creatures are...
        It is Saturday, a holiday in Nepal.
        I see a rainbow! Has God answered my prayers?
        "I speak to you through the mysterious rainbow. Be still know that I am God!"
        Why Rajan Panthi? Why not me? Why not you?
        How lucky we are to have lived a life with hope!
        He waits in the dark to die!
        You can see the pain on their faces, the Panthi family!
        How lucky we are not to be in pain!
        We think we suffer, and have problems.... Next time you start feeling sorry for yourself, go visit Rajan Panthi (or someone like him)!
        Be thankful for what you have, whatever that is. Be thankful you don't have, three out of four of your children suffering from this version of hell (in front of you everyday). Be thankful you can see, or hear, or can sit in the sun!
        Oh, how lucky we are!
        He waits in the dark to die!

        Some people have an amazing capacity to avoid; ignore, or otherwise rationalize how not to get involved, or how not to contribute to relieving the plight of their fellow human beings. I see it demonstrated everyday, and I hear the plausible explanations. In some ways, these people are lucky, because I cannot do the same! I cannot ignore, any longer, another's pain, another's need. Maybe it's my age, maybe it's what I've been through in my life...? But, I know that, "There, but for the grace of God, go I..."

F.A.H. Dalrymple Kathmandu, Nepal 24 April 1998 1 Gerard Mandley


Take a good look at the photograph of the three Panthi children, Rajan aged, 24, and his sister and younger brother, 21 and 19 respectively... They have all been diagnosed as 'terminal' from the voracious, disfiguring cancer, Xeroderma Prigmentosa! That's three children in the Panthi family, and all dying of cancer!

But, let me have Rajan Panthi, the oldest tell their story...

I am Rajan Panthi, a twenty-four year old resident of Anam Nagar, Kathmandu, Nepal. I have a serious, debilitating cancer called Xeroderma Prigmentosa, and am nearing the end! One of my eyes has been removed and my other eye is so badly swollen that I am now blind! My whole body is badly infected and is completely covered with sores that ooze a puss. Black scars can be seen to cover my entire body. My whole body aches with severe pain, sometimes its almost unbearable. I have to remain isolated in a room. But, despite all of this I am still alive!

With the little money that my father earns from his small shop, we have made it this far...

My youngest sister 21, and my younger brother, 19, both are also suffering from the same disease. They are also disfigured and are suffering.

I have been from different hospital to hospital, both inside and outside of Nepal, but with little in the way of positive results. A large amount of money has been spent at several types of treatment, but there is no sign of improvement or recovery.

I'm sure too that the three of us have become an unbearable burden on my parents. The stress has caused them to become ill themselves.

I am under the impression that there is a recent invention and/or discoveries in the field of science and medicine that may help people like us...?

I, from the bottom of my heart, want to stop financially burdening my parents. My last desire is that this will all be for nothing, that an institution will take on the responsibility a solution to this horrible disease. I solemnly pray that no other single human being will have to suffer from such a deadly disease.

It will make me personally happy and grateful for any assistance from individuals or institutions. I am willing to donate my body for investigation, so maybe my sister and brother might be saved.

Thanks a lot for your compassionate consideration.

Rajan Panthi Kathmandu, Nepal (011+977+1+227311)

Thus, anything you can donate will be gratefully accepted, as we are planning a benefit concert here in Kathmandu. Anything... As small as $1U.S. dollar... Anything, as it all goes to producing this concert which we hope will raise a substantial amount of money for the Panthi family, as well as, call attention to this type of dreadful cancer.

Contact F.A.H. Dalrymple in Kathmandu as how you may contribute, and/or otherwise help 011+977+1+410319 or via the Internet

P.S. There is a XP Society in the U.S. available at: to learn more about this form of cancer.

****************************************************************** Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 17:31:18 -0800 From: Dianne <> To: Subject: volunteering fall '98?

Please advise if you know of organizations who operate volunteer workcamps for people from around the world in Nepal for this coming fall/winter. Thank you, Loren Holmes, Anchorage, Alaska

******************************************************************* Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 10:41:17 -0400 (EDT) From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <> To: The Nepal digest Editor <> Subject: The Problems of Chritianity

Dear Joel and Dr. Lewis,

It was entirely my decision to post Jason Ritchie's paper "The Problems of Christianity" in TND. I was hesitant, however, in doing so, not because "Nepal" was nowhere mentioned in it, but because I feared that many Hindus would probably think, "You see! After all, we are not so bad! We are not the only ones who discriminate and treat those who are not caste Hindus (i.e. the touchable castes) as subhumans and savages! All of us are after all humans, and as humans we commit crimes in the name of religion, tyrannize sactioned by religion, and do some feel-good works as well. We are truly multiculturalists!"

(Since Jason can't come to respond, let me take up your points and gear the conversation toward Nepal.)

But just the opposite has happened. Joel has said that all religions have done bad things, so what if Christianity did them as well? Isn't that what you imply when you say, "All religions have been guilty of condoning crimes such as slavery or racism for long periods in their histories . . . ."

If you carefully read the paper, Jason does credit Christianity to have done some good work in the past and he does imply that since countless people practice it, criticism should be at the level of ideas not shouting in the streets, or pestering at someone's door, nor violence, or any otherkind of action. He even criticises, albeit tacitly, the Communists, who unsuccessfully used state action to proscribe Christianity.

I would on the contrary suggest to both Joel and Dr. Lewis that if you read at least the books that Jason mentions and educate yourselves, and still retained your faith in Chritianity, you'd come out stronger and more convincing. You would be better Christians. For unlike the tools of rhetoric that Jason has used in his paper--arguments and evidence, including ethos, pathos, and logos, to mention only a few rhetorical categories--you have taken recourse to your faith and bland, hapless multiculturalism. Dont' they teach rhetoric and composition at Yale, or you haven't taken it? Otherwise, you wouldn't have used this sentence, "At time his simplifications of the issues turn into flat-out lies, such as this one." And then you quote Jason "Simply stated, Christians will always hate Jews as long as they are taught that their savior, Jesus Christ, was killed by Jews."

One wonders what's "flat-out lies" about it? Do some reading in recent literature. I'd suggest two books to start out with. One written by a Cornell professor, who is actually Israeli Prime-minister Ben Netanyahu's father, on Inquisition; and the other Goldhagen's "Hitler's Willing Executioners." Adn then of course, you have the whole host of recent scholarship on colonialism to guide you through the history of Christianity.
> polemics -- papers intended to convert others to their point of view --
> rather than objective, helpful analyses of the religion in question.

This is the primary goal of persuasive writing anyway, isn't it?

> Let me offer one or two examples of how Jason is either factually wrong or
> unfair. (In fact, I think the whole paper is incorrect -- even when the
> crimes he alludes to are real, the conclusions he derives from them are
> unjustified. But refuting him point for point would take up too much
> space, and divert this message still further from the topic of Nepal).
> First, Jason continually tries to attribute exclusively to Christianity
> characteristics which are shared by religions and/or cultures across the
> world. Many (if not most) religions have a conversion impulse --
> including Islam, many forms of Buddhism and Hinduism (the Hare Krishna
> sect leaps instantly to mind), "artificial" religions like Scientology,
> and not least of all, the aggressive agnosticism of people like Jason
> Ritchie. _All_ religions have been guilty of condoning crimes such as
> slavery or racism for long periods in their histories. And all religions
> have been attended at times by superstitions (such as witch hunts) or
> cultural baggage (such as myths of racial superiority) which proved
> harmful and unjust.

This is called Multiculturalism gone wild.

> Second, Jason has adopted the classic strategy of confusing Christianity
> with European imperialism. This is a particularly easy strategy to take,
> since for the last few centuries, the most powerful people in the world
> have generally been European Christians or Europeans of Christian descent.
> The evils committed by these people (and justified by many European
> religious authorities) are an undeniable moral outrage. However, in
> claiming that _Christianity_ is responsible for all the enslavement and
> genocide perpetrated during this period, Jason overlooks two key points.
> First, there were plenty of European Christians who opposed the crimes of
> colonialism -- I recommend the movie "The Mission" (starring Robert de
> Niro) as a dramatized illustration of one such example. Second, there
> were and always have been plenty of Christians who are simply not
> European. Claiming that all of these Christians are as guilty as (say)
> Christopher Columbus is not only unjust, but ridiculous. _Their_ form of
> Christianity did not encourage colonialism or proclaim the superiority of
> the white race.

Joel, how wrong and uninformed you are here! You give an example of a movie to make your point! How about Jason's scholarly sources? I strongly believe that you need to read the accounts of Western colonial expansion. You'll find that there's a famous saying that European imperialism spread with the Bible in one hand and a gun in another.

> Finally, Jason's accusations of prejudice against Jews, homosexuals, and
> women are hopelessly confused. He attributes to _all_ Christians the
> flaws of some; he has no sense of how the understanding of (say) the role
> of women has changed over time; and, again, he claims that Christianity is
> solely responsible for social evils which have been present under other

Again, read into feminist and gay and lesbian studies literature.

> Nepal and Nepali interests are not served by this kind of religious
> polemic. Like almost all new democracies, Nepal is becoming open for the
> first time to philosophies and religions which were previously suppressed
> by the government. Accordingly, religious unrest is slowly beginning to
> rear its head -- between Hindus and Muslims, Hindus and Christians, even
> between Hindus and Buddhists. This is a potentially huge disaster (as any
> student of Indian politics is well aware). To keep Nepal's long tradition
> of peaceful religious coexistence intact, a friendly dialogue between
> religions must be maintained under the new, democratic conditions. If the
> Nepali people begin to think in terms of religious polemic -- if they
> begin to think of other religions (and their followers) as destructive,
> immoral, and evil -- the tension between different religious groups will
> inevitably turn into violence, repression, or both.

Peaceful co-existence of religions in Nepal! As long as high caste Hinduism has an upper hand in running the state. As soon as that is threatened, you'll see Indian style Hindu fundamentalism rising in Nepal. It has already taken form in Nepal since 1990. Friendly dialogue among religions can't take place as long as there are people whose sole purpose in life is either to call others "untouchables" and "mlekshas" or to convert others because they are heathens and savages and their souls will burn in hell or to treat others as "kafirs" and idolators and demolish their temples and places of worship. This is precisely why people like Jason are needed in this age of facile multiculturalism when
"ego-massage" and self-congratulation have become the order of the day.
> I'm not suggesting that Nepali leaders should only examine religious
> issues through rose-colored spectacles. The growing Christian community
> within Nepal, not to mention the Christian foreigners who come to the
> country with an interest in converting Nepalis, present very real and
> knotty problems -- especially when so much of Nepal's rich and beautiful
> culture stems from its traditional religions. Allegations that Christian
> groups have sought to make conversions by offering money or education
> opportunities to potential converts should be investigated, and (if proven
> to be true) the perpetrators should be punished.

I agree with you partly here. But the question I ask is, Why is it that not many alumni of St. Xavier's and St Mary's, many of whom live and work in the West, have converted to Christianity in spite of long association with the parphernalia of Christian missionary education? And why is it that many of Nepal's poor and oppressed in the remote areas have so easily converted? As long as the powerful in the Hindu religion continue to treat the oppressed among them as sub-humans, these oppressed have every right to find other dispnsations. I think that sooner they did, the better for the sake of recuperating their humanity. And those among the oppressed who are adamantly refusing to convert and staying as Hindus, it's their greatness and generosity. High caste Hindus would do well to worship them; their children should be taken by the Sanskrit schools in order to teach them Sanskrit and make them priests free of cost. I know that not everyone could be B.R. Ambedkar, the Indian dalit leader, who, was sent to school by a Maharaja, later drafted the Indian constitution and, defeated by Hinduism's intrangency, converted to Buddhism.

However, individual Christians have
> _undeniably_ done a great deal of good for Nepal. My father (to pick a
> close-to-home example) was responsible for the construction both of Patan
> Hospital and of the Andhikhola hydroelectric project. The late Father
> Gafney was respected by all, as a man whose Christian convictions led him
> to do good works (without expecting those he helped to convert to
> Christianity).

People like your father and other such individuals (Gandhi's friend Joseph Andrews comes to mind) have been the saving grace in any religion. No doubt about it.

And I've personally witnessed the efforts of many Nepali
> Christians to improve the food, shelter, and life of those around them.

Laudable as they are, I'm not sure if this is going to amount much in the long term. I don't have much faith in such feel-good work. For centuries such works have not been able to bring about much change in fundamental lifestyle of the people.

> Subject: It is dangerous to fall in love with Jesus
> Like many before him, he confuses the church and Jesus. He follows a well
> worn path of four centuries of critics of the church in western culture. The
> Enlightenment philosphers have "progressed" from scepticism to atheism, to
> meaningless despair. Now in post-modern, post-Christian times, western
> culture is on the brink of spiritual collapse. People like Jason, in
> rejecting the roots of their culture have come to reject the culture itself.
  Dr. Lewis, what do you say about the colonial studies? It's not the Enlightenment philosophers, who themselves have come under heavy criticism, but scholars of postcoloniality who have questioned both. I'd like to hear your engagement with postcolonial discourse.

> For those who come to know Jesus there is a dangerous decision to make - a
> life turning decision. I am no longer my own, now Jesus lives in me. For
> this reason I went to Nepal and spent seven years working in the health
> field.

You talk like a veteran missionary here. While I respect the work of your kind, I have no faith in your unquestionable faith in only Jesus. Sure, Jesus was a great men, but so are many of them--Gandhi, Buddha, Mohammad, Vardhamana Mahabira, Zoroaster, Kabir and so on. Why not Buddha, too? However, it's your personal choice, and I have nothing much to say about it.

> Listen too, you Nepali secularists - which is a bigger threat to you,
> Christianity or global cultural imperialism via the market and the media?

You speak as though there's no third choice for Nepal. This again reveals what you think of Nepal and the Nepali people.
> After four years back in Australia I still read TND because I love Nepal,
> and I still pray for it and my Nepali friends.

Nepal has gone down the tube because of too much prayer. So, Dr. Lewis, Nepal doesn't need your prayers as much as it needs the foresight and vision of its political leaders. It needs infrastructure-building foreign aid. It needs the sanity and selflessness of its democratically committed political leaders instead of their inter and intra party quibblings like children.

I'd be interested in your response, but please don't talk as Joel did about Jason's paper, using terms like "lies" and "chips on the shoulders."

Best wishes and God speed.

*************************************************************** From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <> To: The Nepal digest Editor <> Subject: Slugs in the Garden

Dear Editor,

        It's Friday night, 1 May 1998, and I feel troubled and restless. I look around my room; there's definitely a chaos of things all around. I am able to find my way through this disorderly mess of books, journals, newspapers, and other such junks I have habitually accumulated and find hard now to dispense with. But this sort of disorderliness has been there as far back as I can remember. So for tonight's source of unease, I look outside my room, through the metal netted window. Through the thin suburban darkness, I see the tomato bush, eggplants, a few inches tall cucumber vines, trying to hang on to the sticks--all mouldering in midnight meditation like some ancient ancestors. Maybe the slugs have entered again, I think. Once again this year, my two tiny patches of garden (10'x10' and 4'x4') have aroused envy in my otherwise ideal neighbors and awe in the passersby. I haven't seen an obvert demonstration of their vile emotion yet but in this matter I know when I see green. "Apne manse janiye auraun ke manki baat" (From one's own experience, one knows what others feel).

        I have two adjacent neighbors: one to my left and one to my right. Both families are from China, and both have planted, as I have done, seedlings of cucumber, beans, tomatoes, and greens. To the right (from the garden side, which is in the backyard) is a neighbor from somewhere near Shanghai--from deep in the countryside. Last year, his garden had aroused my envy. It was the handiwork of his peasant father, who had come to visit him for a year. Since he knew no word of English and I knew no Chinese except what sounds like syan-syan, and both of us made no effort to learn each other's language either, we communicated in amateur signs, taking care of much of the communication part of it through smiles and goodwill exchanges of vegetables--I hiding my envy and he gloating over his success. The old man, short, Rajbanshi- looking, smoked a lot; he could have been any one of the workers from the Morang village I grew up in. If you got up at midnight in winter (which I didn't have to because it isn't time yet for me to go to bed), you could find him smoking outside the door, even in winter. Chinese opera, I guess that's what it was, was another of his addiction--those heartbreaking, thin-voiced anguished songs, each one of whose stretches sounded, to me, like the outpouring of a woman's broken, long-lost love or deep-seated grief from centuries past. I never heard a man's voice singing from the old man's music box. In the loneliness of midday America, this man turned his sound box to full blast, and I never told him to turn it down a bit.

        His son, my age, who works as a genetic scientist at Duke, told me that his father hadn't gone to school at all. He worked on a small piece of land in the Shanghai countryside. No wonder, I thought, he had beaten me in raising his tomato plant, taller and studier than mine; no wonder his "lauki" (which they call Chinese vegetable) spread in lush luxurience over the neatly laid horizontal stakes, made from pine, dogwood, and oak branches from the North Carolina forests and bore mouth-watering fruits--swollen, whitish-green things. I wished he had given away more--to me.

        Yes, I had to accept my defeat. Many of my farming instincts had been slow in coming back to me. In my childhood, like learning a language, heard words and seen things had turned into skills, and skills had turned into instincts. Like the instincts for adding the right amount of salt, tumeric dust, cumin powder, etc., at the right time while cooking, which I had learned from watching my mother, my farming skills had taken time in returning. Like cooking, farming requires an acute knowledge of timing and proportion. I had learned all the details of farming as part of growing up in the village. The differences of opinion between my mother and father about the details of farming resulted in loud arguments sometimes, and if you are a kid, it's hard to avoid learning the fine points of the parents' quarrells. Actually, my mother seemed to know everything about raising crops--the appropriate moisture of the soil for sowing, the number of turns needed for planting, and distance of seeds and seedlings for planting and transplanting, and every other small detail about cultivation. And she vociferously made claim on her knowledge, too, and I had no choice but to believe her, given my father's gross failures, absences, and stories from the scriptures. And later, for many years I had worked as the puller and transplanter of rice seedlings in the monsoon mud, bending double, and harvested rice, jute, and mustard. Jute harvesting was the worst because of the leeches in the stinking ditches, where jute bundles rotted for anywhere between two weeks to a month, depending on the caustic power of the scum. But I had forgotten these things over the years. I had, instead, spent my time interpreting, among other things, "The Solitary Reaper."

        As a result, my real competition last year was with the father-in-law of the other neighbor. The neighbor works as a scientist of some sort in the lab of the famous hospital nearby. Her father-in-law, tall, sturdy with pointed-nose, almost like the Japanese or from the Muslim part of western China, never smoked, hardly ever smiled, and I never heard him listening to Chinese opera. His build spoke of years in the military. He was particular about his gardening. He refused to buy top soil, manure, compost, humus, peat moss, black cow manure, or any of the other sorts of myriad additives of American ingenuity that I had spent money in. He would fill the empty milk gallons with water and put them out in rows to heat up in the sun. And when it cooled down a bit in the evening, he methodically watered the plants. He grew good cucumbers, but not as many as mine; as for his tomatoes, there was no comparison. I was far ahead of him. Well, it turned out that he had really worked all his life in the army. And then one day both these old men returned where they had come from.

        This year the geneticist and his China-trained physician wife, whose skills have lain useless here because of language difficulties, have been left to their own devices. Both, particularly the wife, have grown enthusiastic and planted stuff as if unable to resist the taste or the memory of last year's harvest, but everything has gone wrong for them. The beans are yellowing; the solitary tomato plant has stunted and refused to compete with mine. And the tomato seedlings they bought recently, they were already overgrown in their cups; and now they look like drying reeds. They look desperate about their garden, and I smile and brag about this, that, and the other thing about gardening and farming--now that his father is gone.

        The other neighbor's father came as soon as the father-in-law left. This old man, who loves to get drunk even during day time, looks like my Rajbanshi Bhaya Bau--toothless, sleepy eyes, meditative demeanor. Whenever I see him, he is busy, touching a leaf here, raking a seed bed there, watering, digging--and, when our eyes meet, smiling. And he has learned three words of English, which he was jocularly showing off today--banana, coffee, and nose. He refused to learn the fourth, saying, through his gestures, that he couldn't handle any more. And, to my annoyance, he comes over sometimes and insists, all the while smiling, on doing favor to me. For example, he dug part of my garden and brought out his cucumber seedlings--the stunted and weak ones--from his seed bed and planted them the way he thought fit. I didn't like it, for the soil wasn't ready; the stubborn grass roots hadn't been pulled out; the soil hadn't been aerated, and mixed with manure and compost the way I would have liked. I said nothing, however, amused by his country ways. But whereas the cucumber seedlings he planted in my garden have given out their ropes, most of his have stayed where they were. They even seem to grow smaller. Just the other day, I heard from his daughter that he has spent all his life working in the mines in north- eastern China near Manchuria. Both my neighbors' parents have been simple, uneducated folks, yet their children have somehow, in spite of growing up in the countryside in meagre conditons in the remote parts of China, have become scientists.

        But I don't think this knowledge about China, or Chinese life, or my garden has made me restless tonight, even though slugs have eaten up three of the soft sprouts of "lauki" seedlings I had grown with great difficulty. And I'm mad. But I think the e-mail messages I have been receiving for the past few days about the Nepali anti-terrorist bill is what has caused this urease in me tonight. I guess hidden in these messages is the idea of man's incapacity to remember his painful past and prevent that past from becoming one's and one's country's future. As the fifteenth-century vernacular Indian poet-saint Kabir said, "Dukh me sumiran sub kare, Sukha me karena koi; Jo sukha me sumiran kare, dukh kahe ka hoya" (People remember only in pain, but when happy days return, people forget. If people remembered in happiness, why would there be pain?).

        Although Kabir has talked about remembering the formless
("Nirgun") God, this could very well apply to Nepal's successive governments, especially the Communists and the Congress. How soon they have forgotten the days of incarceration without habeas corpu--and years of exile and underground? How soon have they forgotten the shrieks of pain of their women workers in police custody near Trichandra? How soon have they forgotten the beating given to school teachers in the villages of Morang at the sub police stations just because they gathered together to discuss their political ideas? The police and the bureaucracy are the same in Nepal as they were before 1990. As far as I know, there hasn't been a change in the training, nor in recruitment policies; so presumably nor in the attitude of the police or the bureaucracy in dealing with the people in a democratic setup. It's not intelligence or talent that characterize the government machinery in Nepal; it's still the structural bias against certain communities and language users, and of course source and force and bending double in obeisance that determine the hiring and promotion of the police and the civil servants. So in the absence of maverick skills and talent in handling the Maoist threat, a draconian law is the easiest solution. How easy it is to disguise inefficiency and corruption and opportunist politics in passing an anti-democratic bill so they can solve the country's deep-rooted problems?

        There was a time in Nepal not long ago, when even a simple police man could come to my village and act menacingly even against people who knew the law, knew the law makers, and had taught their police bosses and hadn't committed any crimes. In the heart of Kathmandu, at Trichandra, not long before 1990, an incident occurred in the time of an annual examination. There was an examinee from another campus, who had taken out a book and was cheating. And when the teacher saw this act, he asked for the book, politely. The examinee refused and rolled his eyes, tightened his jaws, giving off menace. He had close-cropped hair, and on it adorned a small black cap. Somehow the news spread that he was a police officer. In the days of Panchayat, it was difficult to directly deal with this man. You never knew.

        By then I had realized that in the Nepal of the time people like me could never have enough izzot to amount to anything. For this realization, my colleagues had made me some sort of a Secretary of the College Teachers' Union. And of course by then I had also tutored more than one junior police officers in English to get them through the hurdled of the English language. And all of them had acted fairly and well. They seemed reasonable. So I thought my responsibility and my knowledge of the tribe might help diffuse the tension.
        But the case proved tougher than I had thought. This guy, unlike the other ones I had dealt with, said he had his man at the top somewhere. He refused to hand over his books, "cheats," and other things he had brought to help himself out onto the next level of promotion. I reasoned with him that it was not fair for him to indulge in such deeds while we disallowed the rest of the room from doing so. He said he was from the force; he had to pass the exam anyhow. I said, In that case, we wouldn't let you. He rolled his sleeves, caressed his neck, rubbed his nape- -all the while staring at me, sizing me up, trying to figure out, measuring my everything with his eyes as though I was one of his village thieves and he was my inquisitor. I stepped forward and took out his book from his hand. He brought out another, a page of writing scribbled in minuscule letters. I politely asked him to hand that over, too. He said he was a police officer, and I said, fine. In that case, he should arrest himself. He laughed--in imitation of one of the famous Hindi movie villains that Nepali patriotic youth worship. Then, I said, if he wants us, we would report to the police headquarters that he was a police officer.

        After much hassle, he left the room and went out cursing--the easy, favorite Nepali words. Some folks said we should better report his case to the police, but we said, no. Since we hadn't done such a thing before, we'd better let him keep his job. And, besides, we weren't sure, even if we had reported, anything would have happened.

        After that whenever I would run into him--on the pavements, in some offices, in the grocery market--he stared at me, scowled, giving off his police man's menace, those subtle ways they teach the law enforcement agents in authoritarian countries to scare people. It was just ridiculous that this fellow, at the time an ASI (assistant sub-inspector) would try to scare me for preventing him from cheating in Kathmandu. But that was not surprising at all. In my village, all the years of my growing up, a simple red-capped policeman could come and sent shivers of terror among my elders, the Rajbanshi tribals. Many had to hide in the rice fields, for you never knew if they would take you to the Panchayat office and pour dung water over you on winter nights for trivial matters. The only other time they fled the houses and hid in the jute fields was in the summer, when robbers across the borders from the south said to be coming with their flashlights on.

        Years later, a similar policeman came to do a confidential report on me. I was up for tenure for my job. You needed such reports to make sure you were not anti-national or a traitor or something that they thought undesirable. Right in front of me (I had come home from Kathmandu during a break), he called out a local thug to give opinion on my fealty in private. Anyone could see that it was neither private nor confidential. And all day long, my father, in my absence, had fed him and made him rest in my bed as a gesture of his well-known hospitality.

        But those days were the dark days of Panchayat; and the Panchayat state was a police and zonal commissioner state. You could have seen how a zonal commissioner spoke when you went to ask him in very humble words to release from prison one of your colleagues who he had incarcerated for almost two years without trial for speaking his mind peacefully in public against some education officer. But to run a state, the police and the bureaucracy are indispensable. The question Nepal's political leaders, those who swear by democracy and fairness, the question they need to ask themselves is, What kind of state they want Nepal to be? What convention do they want to establish? How are they going to handle the threat of Maoism? But an anti-terrorist law is by no means the solution for their inefficiency and opportunism and bickering and lust for personal power. What they have to decide is, Whether Nepali democracy is enough to neutralize the extremist ideologies of the Maoists. What if the anti-terrorist bill fails to quiet down the Maoist movement? In stead of disappearing, what if people in the villages and outlying areas, oppressed by the new law, famished by crop failure, lack of work, and centuries of indignity and dispossession, join the Maoist movement or sympathize with them? Do they think their democratic principles so weak and ineffective that they need the anti-terrorist bill which tomorrow might be used against them?

        Democracy doesn't succeed by the mere act of borrowing institutions and passing bills. Democracy requires a national dialogue about everything, about the past injustices and present anomalies and corruption and future opportunities. It requires change in lifestyle and functioning and attitudes and beliefs. Are the Nepali political leaders willing to wage a battle of ideologies and ideas with the Maoists? Do they have the courage to listen to the grievances of the Maoists? And face the stark realities they represent? We just heard a couple of weeks ago that in one of the western hill districts, people couldn't get even
"sisnu" to eat--those pricky thorns that grow on the cliffs. Hell, these Maoists are not just your any dime a dozen criminals. And they deserve the due process of the democratic law, even if they are treated as such; and those who have joined the police force will have to be better equipped, better skilled, and better accustomed to the democratic process. They will have to change the Panchayat mentality of senecure living. When you hear that a Bishwakarma man, Maoist or a terrorist or whoever, gets shot while being taken in a police jeep and the DSP in charge is a Upadhaya, you wonder what's going on.

        If the Maoists spread their mass base among the tribes and lower castes and succeed in convincing them that Maoists are their only saviors and that there is no other remedy for their centuries of dispossession and humiliation, it would be because of the bankruptcy of the ideas and actions of the leaders of Nepal's multiparty democracy in envisioning a new Nepal. When a child is born in the remote hills even now, and he thinks growing up that he has only two choices-- either to live a life of humiliation and hunger and deprivation in Nepal and India or gain quick respect and easy power over those who seem to be their direct cause of misfortune, it's an unfortnate affair. And it is the duty of the democratic leaders to be able to convince such people that there's hope, there's a better solution, and the solution is not far. That they, too, have a vision for a revolutionary future. Revolution is not the Nepali Maoists' monopoly alone, nor does it have to be necessarily bloody. But revolutionary pace is a must for Nepal, especially for its remote areas, both in the hills and the plains. Who says that Nepal doen't need a revolution? It all depends on how you define "revolution," and revolution for a belated country like Nepal is hardly a bad thing.

        The question Nepal's Congress and Communist leaders need ask themselves is, What have they done since 1990 to bring about fundamental transformation in the workings of the Nepali state machinery? What have they done to make the state people-oriented, inclusive, efficient, trim, indeed an agent of service and progress and change? No wonder in the classic fashion the Maoists are waging their so-called people's war in the remote and rural areas, whereas in Kathmandu tourists land in the Visit Nepal Year, vehicles spew smoke, officials exchange cash, leaders break and impede their parties and indulge in mudslinging, and the rest of the comfortable bunch sleep in peace and security in their velvet bedrooms. They are all happy with "three-foot" path to their houses. Kathmandu seems to have become a liability for Nepal. Passing anti- terrorist bill in the cozy comfort of Kathmandu's corruption and dollar flow is no a solution at all; it will invite, even if passed, other, more serious troubles. The leaders of Nepali multiparty system will do well to remember the story of Bhashmasur, the Ash-Demon, who in his foolishness and power-menia got duped into putting his hand on his own head and turned into ashes. State violence has never brought peace in a democracy; it has bred further violence. Nepali democrats ought to learn from India's recent history.

        A couple of years ago, I had asked the Vietnamese writer Nguen Thiep, "How is it that the Vietnamese people have been able to show such endurance and courage since the 10th century in facing wave after wave of outside invaders, the Chinese, the French, the Japanese, the Cold Warriors, who committed unspeakable crimes against them? Where's the source of that strength in the Vietnamese culture?" I had thought that the Vietnamese people had certain special endurance genes or something.

        "It's not so complicated at all," he said, this small, bent, chain-smoking man, through his translator. "What can you do when they come to kill you? You are a human being; you are not an animal. You have no choice but to fight."

        I hope Nepal's leaders take note of a human's fundamental urge for bread and dignity.

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