The Nepal Digest - May 19, 1995 (6 Jestha 2052 BkSm)

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Date: Fri May 19 1995 - 14:50:51 CDT


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        % N N N EEEE P P A A L %
        % N N N E PPPPPP AAAAAA L %
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The Nepal Digest Friday 19 May 95: Jestha 6 2052 BkSm Volume 38 Issue 9

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND Board of Staff *
 * ------------------ *
 * Editor/Co-ordinator: Rajpal J. Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * SCN Liaison: Rajesh B. Shrestha rshresth@black.clarku.edu *
 * Consultant Editor: Padam P. Sharma sharma@plains.nodak.edu *
 * TND Archives: Sohan Panta k945184@atlas.kingston.ac.uk *
 * Book Reviews Columns: Pratyoush R. Onta ponta@sas.upenn.edu *
 * News Correspondent Rajendra P Shrestha rajendra@dartmouth.edu *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "If you don't stand up for something, you will fall for anything" -Dr. MLK *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" - Sirdar Khalifa *
 * *
 ******************************************************************************

********************************************************************** Date: Mon, 15 May 1995 12:42:40 -0400 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Sanskrit University From: karmas01@tigger.stcloud.msus.edu

I am curious about Sanskrit University in Nepal. Unlike T.U. or K.U. I have little/no information about it. Can anyone here tell me where is it ? What degree does it confer ? Who is the Vice chancellor ? Is it just a language university or does it teach anything else ? How many graduates do es the university produce every year and what do they do with the degree ?
(I mean if there is a defined field where the graduates go to work ?) How much budget is allocated to the university ?

Thanks in advance for any information. Sagun K.

******************************************************************* Date: Mon, 15 May 1995 12:43:13 -0400 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Nepali fonts..... From: sbhattar@osf1.gmu.edu (Sushovit Bhattarai)

Hey,
        Just to let you all know:

        I have archived the necessary files needed for the PCS nepal font for windows. It can be retrieved through anonymous FTP from
<osf1.gmu.edu> under the support directory. The file name is 'nfont.exe'

Download it as Binary.

This file self un-archives so you won't need any utils. There is a README file enclosed too.

If you have access to the Web, You can also download it from my homepage:

        <http://bass.gmu.edu/~sbhattar>

It is under MISC.

Again, let me stress that I am not fully aware of the legalities regardig the installation of these files so you are on your own!!

Sush

**************************************************************** Date: Mon, 15 May 1995 12:44:21 -0400 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Hotels in Kathmandu

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

In article <1349709790.90577370@RedwoodFN.org>,
   Oliver_Seeler@RedwoodFN.org (Oliver Seeler) wrote:
>CTHAPA writes:
>
>We are going to Nepal in December. Most of our stay in Nepal, we plan to
>stay with my family in Pokhra. While in Kathmandu, we would like to stay
>in a fairly comfortable place there. I have not been to Nepal since 1980.
> I am looking for recommendations for good hotels in Kathmandu.
>

I don't know so many hotels in Kathmandu, but in the Thamel there are so many concentrated on the Thamel area, that I think you'll have no trouble in finding there one suitable for you. Thamel is the "touristic" area of Kathmandu, and is near the more intersting parts of the town, though
"touristic area" in Nepal means something much different from other places
(Europe, for instance). Very little of big hotels and restaurants...

I keep good memory of the last place I went ("Sherpa guesthouse"), but I am sure there are others. Last November (high season), I was paying 8 USD a night for a double room with attached bath with hot shower, no air conditioned.

The same goes for Phokara: plenty of places. But there I really liked the hotel where we stayed. It's the "Twin Peaks hotel". Perhaps the only con is its location: it's on the "dam side", a little far (something like 20-30 m walking) from the center. But after all, that means more quietness. I am not sure of the price, but I think it was something like 6 USD a night for the same stuff.

Enjoy your staying! I hope you become a Nepal complete fan like me.

 J. Mario Pires - Centro de Fusao Nuclear =
 Instituto Superior Tecnico - Univ. Tecnica de Lisboa =

******************************************************************************* Date: Mon, 15 May 1995 12:45:39 -0400 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: --( thank you note )--

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

***[ thank you note ]***

mother I still hear your sweet lullaby while you rocked me to sleep
    those tales 'bout the three heroic pigs
    still lingers in my mind
                                 I still remember all of my hard days and phases of uncertainty
        when I laid there lost and confused
          betrayed by life itself
                 You were there
                with arms wide open
                smile that could lit up the heavens
                heart that could bear it all
                         you took me on to you
                        fear dared lurk in me
                        and like a leaf, I hung on to thee

Night after night you buried me in your prayers
           when misfortune had me running
           you showered me with all the blessings
                      while hopes began yielding
                      you confronted with all my miseries
                         when I could stand no more
                         you bore all my strength
                                 and
                                 when my tender heart yearned for love
                                 you poured me all
         

Now as the world celebrates `MOTHER'S DAY' I will bear my heart to the mountains to the vast oceans and my soul to the mother earth cherishing those sweetest years and thanking all in thee
             the vision in thee
             the heaven in thee
             and
             the mother in thee

::: kunga

************************************************************************** Date: Mon, 15 May 1995 13:26:53 -0400 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Trade Potential 15 Billion in South Asia with SAPTA From: ramani@saathi.ncst.ernet.in (S.Ramani)

      New Delhi, May 3 (PTI) The total trade among the seven member-states of the south asian association for regional cooperation (SAARC) can increase five fold from the present three billion dollars to over 15 billion dollars by the turn of the century if SAPTA comes into force in the region.
      "South asia is poised to become an important economic force with the preferential trading arrangement and could change the economic scenario of the most ancient marketplace of the world," a report by the center for global trade development (CGTD) says.
      The U.S.-based CGTD estimates that SAPTA will give access to a consumer base of over 425 million people in the middle-class bracket and permit the more rapid development of the most economical sectors of each industry.
     The just released report estimates the total GDP in real terms at 894.1 billion usd and terms SAARC region, housing almost one-fourth of the world population, as "the largest geo-economic bloc of the world with combined growth average rate of over 7 per cent by the year 2000."
      SAPTA should "make the unified area a more powerful unit, ensure continual expansion, increase economic stability, raise standards of living and develop harmonious relations between all parties," it says.
      The members of SAARC, founded more than nine years ago to promote harmony in south Asia, share a common history, culture, heritage, ethnicity, languages, values, tradition and even life-styles.
      CGTD says Pakistan has been the unique force which has not shown any enthusiasm so far in becoming part of the common market SAPTA and "is still to define a clear road to modernism and friendlier relations with its immediate neighbours."
      Pakistan will have to change its priorities and change its aggressive stand to a more moderate and business-friendly image "as it will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the proposed common market as it does have a large under-developed potential of growth," it says.
      For this, Pakistan has to fight with its biggest enemy
-- not India but internal issues like surmounting ethnic conflicts, economic disparities, reorganise its institutions, and massive allocations to education and basic infrastructure
"to avoid an inevitable socio-economic chaos."
      The CGTD suggests that enmity and suspicion between Pakistan and India must be ended as this is one of the biggest obstacles to the great economic growth of this area.
      "Pakistan compares itself with India and treats it as an enemy nation but in economic terms Pakistan's economic system is less than 15 per cent of India's size and India doesn't seem to be having any intentions to annex any territory of other nations,'' the CGTD report says.

**************************************************************** From: ponta@sas.upenn.edu (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: essay To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu (tnd) Date: Mon, 15 May 1995 15:21:24 -0400 (EDT)

The following essay was published in The Kathmandu Post of 31 July 1994

Reactions to PDA

by Pratyoush Onta

Many lists of "Dos and Don'ts" while travelling in south Asia advise our foreign guests to abstain from public display of affection (PDA). Even as some south Asian 'natives' (who are themselves itinerant folks) have taken up PDA in a grand style - Kathmandu's streets and restaurants provide ample evidence of this - it continues to bother a majority of the 'native audience'. In a preliminary effort to present a historical mini-ethnography on this theme, I provide here three samples of south Asian reactions to PDA.

The first example comes from Taranath Sharma. In his much celebrated travel account of Great Britain, Belaittera Baralinda - a book published almost 25 years ago and described by many as a path-breaking work in the genre of travel writing in Nepali - Sharma describes seeing PDA in more than one place. Early on in his book while describing a wrestling arena, he writes, "Rather than the wrestling, I found it more attractive to watch the three or four pairs of youth kissing away in the side corners, oblivious of the world around them. Here apparently it is not considered awkward if men and women take an embraced public walk or kiss wherever they want." Such a benign reaction, I guess, does not come as a surprise from someone who later describes his participation in dancing, kissing and flirting the year 1966 good-bye in the following manner (my free translation):
        I kept holding Jojee's hand and said, "Happy New Year!"
        "No, why are you in such a hurry?"....
        [After an announcement from the stage declaring that the new year
        had begun is made...]
        Then only Jojee held both of my hands tightly with both of hers.
        "Happy New Year Jojee!" I said to her ears.
        She put her arms around my shoulders and embraced me. She then
        brought her beautiful and perfumed face in front of my face,
        smiled and said,"I wish from the bottom of my heart that the
        new year will bring extreme happiness in your life!" She then
        kissed me, in both sides of my face.
        But that was not the end of her exchange of greetings. She
        brought her cheeks in front of my lips. Just as I had
        finished my greetings to her, the shy
        Jojet came to touch my lips with her red cheeks and speak some words of
        greetings.

Sharma adds that the other women in the party also exchanged kiss-greetings with him but not with everyone else present there (with whom they only shook their hands). "I felt special" says Sharma before heading off for more drinks, dances and flirtations!

Compare Sharma's reaction to the one felt by writer Govida Giri Prerana while he was in London in the fall of 1992. In a poem entitled "In a Foreign Land" which is included in his book of poetry, Swapna Katha Jari Cha (1993) - The Dream Story is On - he writes (my translation of the relevant portion):
        Winds of kisses and hugs
        Eternally blowing
        In the roads, footpaths, bus and railway stations.
        In which unashamed dreamland
        Have I arrived?
        ....
        Even in this huge crowd
        Many local people are alone
        ....
        I am also alone in this crowd
        But I am different from them
        Different is the color of my skin
        Different is the color of my hair
        Different is the size of my body.
        Unashamed lips are busy kissing
        Where should I turn my eyes?
        ....
        I don't know for how long I will have to bear this difference.
        Unable to tolerate it
        I have started to look for freedom from difference.
         For poet Prerana, kissing and hugging - PDA - becomes a marker of intolerable difference between himself and his English hosts, the inhabitants of an 'unashamed dreamland.' While PDA for Sharma is a marker of cultural difference that he himself can potentially overcome, as he did in the short span of a new year's party, for Prerana, it is a form of torture from which he seeks release. If what he writes in another poem written five days earlier (also in London and entitled "A Foreigner's Destiny") is any indication, the immediate release comes in the form of long-distance nostalgia of, among other things, the sleepless night he had spent in his wife's embrace (of course in the privacy of their bedroom!) just before leaving for the UK. In such a situation, looking for freedom translates into, as Prerana says in this second poem, counting the days left to be spent in an alien land!

The reactions of these two Nepali men are relatively mild when compared to what an indignant Indian man had to say in the pages of Femina - that popular women's magazine published from India - after being a 'victim' of PDA. Writing in the May 23, 1994 issue, a certain Mr. C. V. Ramanan says that while recently visiting Bombay with his family, a 'peculiar sight' greeted them. He writes, "A reasonably young couple, perhaps in their thirties, were busy hugging, petting, cuddling and necking in the taxi just ahead of us...[and] they kissed one another full on the lips P a long, deep smooch which seemed to go on forever!" Ramanan adds, "We were amused, entertained, surprised, stunned, amazed and shocked P all at the same time. The little ones, too, had a full, uncensored view of the goings-on...."
         Ramanan then asks, "Ok. You are in love. But is it necessary to make a public display of your passion? What if we all had had an accident? It could well have been their last smooch, the final red hot session!" Raising more questions he says "And what about the moral dimension? In a
... civilised and cultured society, should we be permitted to indulge in such brazen acts? If the answer is 'why not?', then why can't we too do a whole lot of other things?.... Why can't we shop around in the nude? Why can't we make love during board meetings?.... Kissing in public may be ok in the west, but should we blindly ape them? From movies to sex to shedding our inhibitions and clothes?"
         Just like for Prerana, PDA embodies cultural difference for Ramanan. But unlike Prerana's dilemma in an alien land where he saw people who were
'obviously' different from him PDAing, Ramanan saw, from what we can infer, a young Indian couple engaged in PDA in his own country. He therefore cannot reduce this PDA to bodily differences. Nor can he seek the release that Prerana sought P a return to his homeland either as an act of nostalgia or the counting of the days up to the date of departure P from this 'torture.'

Although initially seemingly worried about the possibilites of injury that could result from a traffic accident induced by the PDA-tamasha, Ramanan quickly uses PDA to make an argument about the clash of cultures: west vs east, permissiveness vs inhibition, nudity vs decency, and castigates the two young folks (and using them as examples, the entire young generation of Indians) as just blindly aping the west. Worried about the moral fallout of this aping, particularly on his own children (who asked him
"What are that uncle and aunty doing?"), he asks, "why aren't we inspired by their [i.e., western] manners, their etiquette, their poise, self control and dignity?" In his black and white world, permissiveness and nudity are 'western bads,' whereas poise, self control and dignity are
'western goods.' Obviously he is not confused about which basket of goods we - the young 'easterners'- should be consuming! We might also infer from Ramanan's statement ("Kissing in public may be ok in the west") that were we to successfully obtain the western manners, etiquette and the rest of the 'good' qualities, we could engage in PDA with impunity!

So PDA can induce participation (Sharma) or augment feelings of difference
(Prerana). It can also cause repulsion for and pontification about selective civilizational values (Ramanan). In presenting these three examples I do not claim to have exhausted all south Asian reactions to PDA. A more complete account would have to examine, in particular, the variety of responses that south asian women are likely to have to PDA.

In the meantime, have fun. If you choose to kiss in public or engage in any other form of PDA, just make sure that guardians of civilizational values like Ramanan are not around. They could spoil your smooch!

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

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Sat, 13 May 1995 19:48:19 EDT To: The Nepal digest Editor <nepal-request@cs.niu.edu> From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <pkm@acpub.duke.edu> Subject: Top Ten Questions about Top Ten Questions

10. Why did the anonymous TND Letterman/woman touch only the innocous problem of lower case "a" in "ashu" and letter "z" in "Ghimirez" and attack the character of Amulya Tuladhar, Pratyoush Onta, and this petty Top Ten List maker?

9. Does s/he have confusion only about his or her gender or does s/he stand neck-deep in the Brahmanic ideology without wearing the sacred thread or knowing Sanskrit?

8. Where did s/he learn the definition of "originality" and "academese"? In the missionary schools in Nepal and India or from the instructors of Freshman composition on a US campus?

7. Did s/he go to one of those schools where it is cool to disguise one's envy by demeaning a more productive classmate's or colleague's intelligence by saying "He or she works hard and long."

6. Does s/he belong to the class of urban kids who are, for one reason or another, so cynical that they laugh at such terms as "ideals,"
"progress," or "upliftment" and want to shut up because ideas about such things lead nowhere?

5. Why is s\he bent on making these frequent contributors of TND some heroes from other planet? Has s\he taken course on hero worship? Otherwise, Why doesn't s\he focus on ideas rather than personalities and personal habits?
  4. Why does the TND Editor allow this facetious and anomymous mudslinging in the name of Top Ten List? Does the Board also have some hidden agenda behind t his project?

3. Why don't many other TND members contribute their thoughts on TND? Do they think they are too dumb to meet the TND standard? Or, they think they are too scholarly and elitist to descend to TND's banality?

2. Or, do they think somebody would arrest them if they spoke their mind in plain, interesting language, as it used to happen in Nepal?

1. Did the anonymous TND Top Ten List puncture the ego of the so-called TND Veterans?

*********************************************************************** Date: Sat, 13 May 1995 20:26:14 EDT To: a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu From: Ashutosh Tiwari <tiwari@husc.harvard.edu> Subject: Humor for all those who are giving exams
         Subject: Toilet Policy :-))))) Date: 9 May 1995 15:31:28 -0500 Organization: Arkansas State University Related to: Humor

                          **** MEMO **** TO ALL EMPLOYEES

04/28/1995

TOILET POLICY

In the past employees were permitted to make trips to the toilet under informal guidelines.

Effective immediately, a toilet policy will be established to provide a more consistent method of accounting for each employee's toilet time, thereby ensuring equal toilet time for all employees.

Under the policy a "TOILET TRIP BANK" will be established for each employee. On the first day of each month, employees will be given twenty toilet trip credits. These credits may be accumulated!

Within two weeks, the entrance doors to all toilets are to be equipped with personnel Identification Electronic Stations (PIES) and computer linked with voice print recognition devices.

Before the end of the month each employee must provide two (2) copies of his/her voice prints, one normal and one under stress, to the personnel department. The voice print recognition stations will be operational but not restrictive for the rest of the month. When installed, employees should acquaint themselves with the stations during this commissioning period.

If and employee's toilet trip bank balance reaches zero, the doors to the toilet will not unlock for that employee until the first of the next month.

In addition, all toilet bowls are being equipped with timed paper roll retractors.

If the toilet is occupied for more than three (3) minutes, an alarm sounds, the roll of paper will retract into the dispenser, the toilet will flush and the toilet door will open.

If the toilet remains occupied, your picture will be taken.

The picture will be posted on the noticeboard. Anyone whose picture appears any more than three (3) times will have cause for instant dismissal.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please discuss with your personnel officer.

************************************************************************ Date: Sat, 13 May 1995 20:27:59 EDT Subject: Top Ten: "Stolen" from an obscure, printed source.

Editor, No names please.

                                                                
               Top Ten ways you can make government officials
                      and employees feel appreciated

10. If it is really hot when the mail is being delivered, turn the hose on the mail carriers to help them cool off.

09. Call 911 and scream that you need help. When emergency personnel arrive, surprise them with a party.

08. Whenever you see police officers, run up to them and give them great big bear hugs.

07.Instead of a cold and impersonal check, send flowers and candy to the IRS with your tax forms.

06. If you see a crime being committed, round up some physically capable people and deal with the perpetrator yourselves. It will save police a lot of work and hassles.

05. When calling a politician about something, dial 1-800-COLLECT instead of "0" and save the government up to 44%

04. Always keep in mind that trials can be boring for judges and bailiffs and that they would be livened up considerably by a few well placed cushions.

03. If you find the lifeguard on the beach attractive, be as bold as necessary to let him or her know. Everybody wants to feel desirable.

02. Whenever you see law enforcement officials on stake out, insist that they let you treat them by buying them a drink.

01. Above all, remember that elected officials are people with feelings just like everyone else. Send them sympathy cards when they come under indictment.

********************************************************************** Date: 15 May 95 19:01:19 EDT From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha) Subject: News5/10-13 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

May 10 Trade Deficit Soars as Carpet Exports Fall Reuters report

    Nepal's merchandise trade deficit rose 50.2 percent in the nine months to April 15 against the same period in 1993/94 as foreign buyers upset over child labour cut carpet purchases, Nepal's central bank said.

   The trade deficit widened to 32.3 billion rupees ($ 646 million) during the first nine months of the 1994/95 financial year (July 16-July 15) from 21.55 billion rupees ($ 431 million), the Nepal Rastra Bank said in a periodic review of the economy.

   Merchandise exports fell 7.4 percent to 13.66 billion rupees ($ 273.3 million) from 14.75 billion ($ 295 million).

   Merchandise imports rose 26.6 percent to 45.96 billion ($ 919.3 million) from 36.3 billion ($ 726 million), it said.

   "The major reason for sluggish growth in exports to third countries
(other than India) has been the decline in exports of woollen carpets," the bank said.

   Hand-knotted woollen carpets, Nepal's biggest export item, suffered a setback after European buyers protested against the use of child labour by slashing purchases.

   The widening of the trade deficit pushed the balance of payments for the five-month period ending December 15 into deficit, it said.

   The balance of payments account, including capital inflows and trade in services, had a deficit of 431.5 million rupees ($ 8.6 million) in the five months, against a surplus of 3.2 billion rupees
($ 65 million) in the same five months of 1993/94.

   The central bank said a marked rise in government revenue together with restraint in spending contributed to fiscal consolidation which in turn led to improved monetary stability.

   "These developments have had a positive impact in arresting the rate of inflation," it said.

   The consumer price index in mid-April gave annual inflation rate of 7.4 percent, down from 8.8 percent one year earlier.

   Foreign exchange reserves grew, touching a record 42.65 billion rupees ($ 853 million) by mid-April.

   "This reserve is sufficient to cover 8.4 months of merchandise imports as based on current import trends," the bank said.

Government Condemns Cow Slaughter Excerpts from Reuters and UPI reports

   The UML-led government issued a statement Wednesday saying it opposes the slaughter of cows and appealed for calm to try to defuse a controversy caused by a Buddhist minister.

   Health Minister Padma Ratna Tuladhar angered Hindu groups when he said the country's Moslems should be allowed to eat beef, domestic media reports said.

   "The government is totally against cow slaughter in Nepal and any activity designed to cause a setback to this august tradition is not desirable for anyone," the government said in a statement issued late on Tuesday.

   Under the Himalayan country's five-year-old constitution, the cow, Nepal's national animal, is protected by under the law. Cow slaughter is a civil offence that carries a 12-year prison sentence.

   Hindu religious groups, who said Tuladhar's remarks amounted to favouring cow slaughter, have been asking Nepal's communist rulers to sack the minister.

   "It is the responsibilty of all to put a stop to the disputes on the basis of their faith in religious tolerance existing in the country and reverting (to) the sacrosanct status of the cow," the government statement said.

   "The government also urges one and all not to fuel religious intolerance," it said.

   The National Hindu Youth Union called for a general strike on May 16 to protest against Tladhar's remarks but human rights organisations appealed for calm.

   "No one should play politics with the issue and the matter should not be pursued further," said Rishikesh Shaha, who heads the Human Rights Organisation of Nepal.

May 12 One German mountaineer dead, another missing in Manaslu Reuters report

   A German mountaineer is missing and another was killed in separate climbing accidents on Mount Manaslu, the world's eighth-highest peak, Nepal's tourism ministry said on Friday.

   It said Michael Zunk, 35, lost his footing at around 7,700 metres
(25,250 feet) and disappeared on Sunday evening, three hours after reaching the summit.

   Zunk was part of a three-member German team that scaled Manaslu's 8,163-metre (26,781-foot) summit without using bottled oxygen, the ministry said.

   It said Zunk's fellow climber, Joerg Starke, 31, plunged to his death from an altitude of 7,300 metres (23,950 feet) on Saturday while climbing the mountain. His body was recovered.

 May 13 Australian Climber falls to death in Makalu Excerpts from Reuters report

   The leader of a seven-member Australian expedition to Mount Makalu, the world's fifth highest peak, fell to his death while descending, eyewitnesses said on Saturday.

   They said David Hume, 31, a systems analyst from Sydney, plunged to his death from a height of 300 metres (985 feet) on May 8, hours after he scaled the 8,463-metre (27,765-foot) summit via the standard northwest route.

   Deepak Shreshtha, a photo-journalist, who visited the expedition team's base camp, told Reuters that a sherpa accompanying the team said Hume had died after falling.

   Hume was married but had no children. Last October, he reached one of the 8,000-metre (26,250-foot) summits of the Himalayan Mt. Shishpanga in Tibet, north of Nepal.

********************************************************************** Date: Mon, 15 May 1995 20:00 EST From: ATULADHAR@vax.clarku.edu Subject: 90% HIndus in Nepal???? To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

From: BLACK::rshresth "RaJesh B. Shrestha" 15-MAY-1995 13:46:36.73 To: black::rshresth CC: Subj: Re: Cowslaughter in Nepal: happens all the time...

In a previous article, rshresth@black.clarku.edu (RaJesh B. Shrestha) wrote:
->I agree with Amulya's main thesis that non-Hindus should not be required to
->and therefore hard to argue over. At this moment in time, we have to face it.
->Hindus in Nepal, a declared Hindu kingdom, with about 90% of inhabiting Hindus
                                                ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Most of Rajesh's neo-democratic argument legitimating the militant reaction of Hindu militants against Padma Ratna's opinion on beef eating is based on this fact that Nepal is "90%" Hindus so if referendum was done this momemt the majority would vote for it, so this is right, he says...

I would like to point out that this myth of "90%" Hindus is classic example of institutional "truth" generated by a Hindu hegemonic order. Minority groups all over the country have always objected to the way the HIndu government dewscribes them as "Hindu". The way it works as Foucault showed in his essays on the nexus between Knowledge and Power is that the Central Bureau of Statistics has categoris called Hindu, Christian and Muslim so other religious possibilitis are excluded at the drawing table: no Buddhish, no Bon animism, no Jainism, no athiesim, no Mahayana or Hinayan Buddhism, no Cathlocisim or Protestaniasm etc.

Minority papers during the Census periods are full of enumerators, mostly recruited from the Hindu religious group deliberatedly, who go to a village and ask, "Are you a Christian or Moslem, down goes a check= Hindu". I had this horrific experience during 1991 census when enumerators came to our Campus, suppossedly a bastion of some intelligence, and the way he asked the question was "are there any Moslems around here and boom everybody residual was a Hindu. I told this guy that you cannot fill in your questions just like that and looked at what he filled in for me "Hindu". How dare you that I asked and corrected mine to be a Buddhist. I also checked the census listing of other faculty and staff at our Campus that wer Buddhish, Moslem and Christian and sure enought with the exception of Moslems all were listed as "hindo"

Just imagine if this is a representative of what happens in a community of well read guys, what happens in the villages. News reports say that enumerators do not even go to the far hills, they want tosave on the lowly per diem they get, so they stay near the local headman hous, a Brahmin or Chetrri, in all likelihood, near a roadhead in the valley and ask the local headman what the religious denominations of so and so wards are and so we get 90% Hindus.

It was very difficult to protest against this naming violence which legitimized doing many things in the name of the socialy and politically constructed "overwhelming majority". Scholars who have studied Sanskritization and nepalization have shown how non-Hindu social groups have been "persuaded" to be Hindos by promising economic and political mobility by taking Hindu practices so we have Thakali and Gurungs subscribing to false Hindu genealogies of Hindu gotras in return for concesions for trade or military recruits while those that resisted like the Tamangs were prevented from being recruited in the British army and condemned to porterhood.

It is in the exposure to the West since 1950s that Nepal has had to pretend to be modern by opening up Nepali society to a contesting civilization Modernization and Rationality and Development and Progress that the obscurantist social mores of Hinduism got questioned. It is in this light that during 1990 Census, more ethnic groups were listed in the survey questions although the enumerators did their own sabotaging to render invisible or small hon -Hindoo groups. In order to challenge this overwhelming discourse that Nepal is overwhelming Hindu and hunky dory amity-ville we do hear contesting protests such as the newar community demanding that Nepal Sambat recognized as the Nepali calendar instead of Vikram Sambat that Rai and Limboos boycott Dasain as a culturally foreign "their " festival and reject the demonization of Mongolian Kirantis in the Mahabharat, why the ethnic communites are demanding their collective lands in the form of federalism and Kipat and insist that they are non-Hindos.

So I submit that (90% Hindus) is not a comfortable fact but a controversial contested political weapon to legitimize further oppression by democratic rule of the majority....

******************************************************************************* Date: Mon, 15 May 1995 15:25:30 -1000 From: Ratna Shrestha <ratna@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu> To: Nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: PM, Ahsu and Ratna

In connection to PM's address and Ashu's comment on it (TND May 12), I found my article (edited version) published in Kathmandu Post On July 31, 1994 worthwhile to repost on TND.

                        Can Carpet industry Survive?

        The carpet industry in the Kathmandu valley is in a state of flux. There has been a widespread call for its relocation outside the valley for it has been blamed a prime source of severe water pollution. The relocation of the industry may solve the pollution problem but at the cost of millions of Rupees.
        The industry generates about 50% of export earnings. The relocation, will therefore deprive the economy of millions of Rupees worth foreign currency since production will be shut down during that period. Moreover, it also will result capital drainage in terms of cost incurred in dismantling the factory sheds and equipment and their transfer to a new location.
        In spite of increasing exports, the profit rate is declining due to international competition. As a result, factories are resorting to exploit the environment and the workers to lower the cost of production. This tendency is no solution to the problems, instead, it has raised the issues of child labor and environment. (*** As for the issue of the child labor, The PM is right to some extent as long as they get fair wage under a good working condition. This can be ensured by a minimum wage legislation and other related legal codes!!!. The children of Nepal have been exploited in one way or other. They have been forced to work in agricultural fields to support their household incomes; some of them have even been forced to work in indian Dhawas and the households of rich Nepalese. Unfortunately, no state can gurantee their schooling right away; it takes time and can only be done piecewise as the economy grows.***)
        There are three stages viz: wool washing, dying, and carpet washing which use a significant amount of water. The effluent produced by such washing contributes about 1000 kg Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) per day to the river system of the valley. The problem associated with the domestic waste produced by the workers employed in the industry is more severe. About 100,000 workers who are attracted by the industry produce about 2000 kg BOD per day where as the total municipal sewage produce about 25,000 kg BOD per day. This conforms the magnitude of the problem. Moreover the living condition of the workers is appalling; they live in unhygienic condition and their unsystematic waste disposal contaminates aquifer as well as rivers.
        Given this situation, it is imperative to devise an appropriate policy so that the carpet industry can contribute to the economy with a minimum effect on our health and environment. Either a trade off between the value of environmental damage or the cost of pollution treatment whichever is less and the impact on the economy by the relocation should be duly considered before any policy prescription. In this context, the present decision by the government (***It was NC govt then***) to wipe the industry from the valley is a decision made in haste or perhaps motivated by the vested interest of a handful of people.
        The advent of science and technology and the improved management techniques have provided us many alternative ways that cut the corners in raw material processing, carpet washing, and dying etc. The substitution to less toxic chemicals and other behavioral modification in those processes can greatly ameliorate the problem. For example, the use of 1:2 metal complex dyes is more economical and less polluting than chrome dyes. Similarly, centralized washing not only reduces consumption of water but also makes treatment cheaper. At present, most of the exiting washing plants have settling ponds with very short retention period and lacks adequate treatment to protect the environment; even the Surya plant, the most modern in the country, needs some improvement. The Plants which can exploit the economies of scale and skilled labor can greatly reduce the cost of washing, and yet, decrease pollution by a significant amount. Moreover, the location of the plant in the down stream of the valley can significantly lessen the direct health effects.
        However, if the on-site washing is cheaper than the central washing, the concept of central washing can not materialize. Thus most of the time, these engineering solutions are not complete by themselves; they should be rather supported by economic incentive programs. One such program widely used in the realm of pollution control is "Pollution Tax." The tax takes account of the third party effect-that is environmental damage and makes polluters pay for it. In the case of carpet industry in Nepal, it is very hard to find out the magnitude of pollution caused by a particular factory and hence the appropriate pollution tax. It, however, can be based on the volume of production and the method of washing (for example: on site or central) used by the factory. The incentive for the use of less polluting input of production can be created by revising their custom duty to reflect potential pollution effect they can cause.
        This program forces the factories which are motivated by undue short term profits to vanish or relocate voluntarily to places where the environmental standards are not in place or environmental effects are not that severe; no government coercion is necessary for their eviction. Moreover, it strengthens the smooth functioning of those factories which can take advantages of economies of scale, modern technologies, and skilled manpower. The force eviction cannot discriminate between the competent and noncompetent factories and is disastrous to the economy. Moreover, it is very hard to implement and can cause a lot of political problems.
        Thus the economic-incentive program is beneficial in the sense that it is more economical and less polluting. The program gives encouragement to factory owners to devise more efficient ways of pollution control. The implementation of the program, however, calls for the formulation of effective monitoring system and legal codes.
                                                                 Namaste Ratna K. Shrestha Hawaii
                        
****************************************************************** From: Joseph Franke <jfranke@igc.apc.org> Subject: Community level tourism info needed Date: Fri, 12 May 1995 14:55:28 -0700 (PDT)

We're in the process of developing a guide to small scale tourism projects that are locally owned and exist to raise funds for community development and environmental protection and conservation. Any and all suggestions and information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Joe Franke, Director, FNHP Fax 503-226-4307 ATTN: Dr. Marr Email: jfranke@igc.apc.org

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