Received: from mp.cs.niu.edu (mp.cs.niu.edu [22.214.171.124]) by library.wustl.edu (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id NAA07283; Sun, 25 May 1997 13:55:01 -0500 (CDT) Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu id AA06623 (5.67b/IDA-1.5 for nepal-dist); Sun, 25 May 1997 11:44:49 -0500 Received: by mp.cs.niu.edu id AA06619 (5.67b/IDA-1.5 for nepal-list); Sun, 25 May 1997 11:44:48 -0500 Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 11:44:48 -0500 Message-Id: <199705251644.AA06619@mp.cs.niu.edu> Reply-To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: The Editor <email@example.com> Sender: "Rajpal J. Singh" <A10RJS1@cs.niu.edu> Subject: The Nepal Digest - May 25, 1997 (12 Jestha 2054 BkSm) To: <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Content-Type: text Status: O X-Status: X-Keywords: X-UID: 233
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The Nepal Digest Sunday May 25, 97: Jestha 12 2054BS: Year6 Volume62 Issue 4
Study Nepali at Cornell University this Summer
Women and Children/Social-Cultural
Nepali Congress's Begging Bowl (Maagi khane bhando)
Buddha Jayanti Greetings
NEPALI-AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE: EK CHINTAN
Farewell to a friend, Gopal Yonzon
* TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
* -------------------------------------- *
* The Nepal Digest: General Information firstname.lastname@example.org *
* Chief Editor: RJP Singh (Open Position) email@example.com *
* Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra firstname.lastname@example.org *
* SCN Correspondent: Rajesh Shrestha (Open Position) email@example.com *
* TND Archives: http://library.wustl.edu/~listmgr/tnd/ *
* TND Foundation: http://www.nepal.org firstname.lastname@example.org *
* WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari,Prakash Bista*
* email@example.com *
* +++++ 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: May 21, 1997 To: The Nepal Digest <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Nepali News
Source: The Kathmandu Post
Looking at Nepal with western eyes
Nepal for some Nepalis living abroad is a strange country. Nepal itself
is not strange, but
they, out of nowhere, make this country strange. By strange I mean exotic,
bizzare,intellectually backward and things like these.
Recently one of my friends had gone to the United States. She was attending a
dinner organized by a Nepali family there. A gentleman came to know that she
teaches at Kirtipur. He spread a dry smile on his Nepali face and said, "I
hope there must be some
people who can speak and write good English at the university there!" The
friend was utterly upset and somehow suppressing her anger, retorted in a
didactic tone, "At least
don't look down at your own countrymen."
When she told us about this ignorant analysis, I was extremely angered. We
told her to write an article. She said she would but she didnt. So I
decided to write.
When you go to study abroad, you meet many (not all) Nepalis who have weird,
alien ideas about this country. When you complete your studies, some ask, "Why
are you returning? What is there in the dusty, stinky Kathmandu etc.?" In
reply, you dare not
show your love for the country. If you do, either they smile on your
imprudence or they shrug their western shoulders.
One Nepali was visiting us recently. He complained that our literature
syllabus at TU was way behind and things had become very up-to-date in
Gender studies, feminism, interdisciplinary studies, critical theories,
media studies and so on were in their syllabi. Literature is no more about
Shakespeare, Milton, and romantic poems.
One of my professors gave him our current syllabus and asked him to add the
things we lacked. He went through the course of study and was taken aback
because he found everything he thought were complaining. And he certainly had
complained in America
also about our backwardness. I wanted to shrug my Nepali shoulder at his lack of
information about his own country.
Does living in an advanced country mean that everything is primitive and
uncultivated in a poor country? When these types of Nepalis come here for a
short summer visit, they
imagine that they are travelling back in time. Materialistically they are, but
they do not
know that in a poor country like ours there are intelligent and creative
people with innovative ideas and information.
These Nepalis are not bad people, they only delink themselves from the
contemporaneousness of this country. When they come, I see them buying copies
of Madhuparka, poems of Laxmi Prasad Devkota, books on Kumari etc. out of
nostalgia. They even promise to do something creative for this country, more
out of pity than out of love. Once they land on western soil, the desire lives
on for a couple of weeks And
after a few months even the desire is thrown into the Pacific or Atlantic
oblivion. There are two different things. One is that you are a good Nepali
even if you possess the
desire to care for this country and do nothing because of your busy life there.
The other thing is that you neither have the desire nor a good opinion of this
country. So may I say: The moral goes to the western front that all is not
poor in a poor country.
Source: Explore Nepal
Koirala's new agenda:Changing power equation
Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala hinted in Biratnagar that he
would intensify efforts to
change power equation from next week on.
Koirala is currently engaged in the whirlwind campaign tour of east and
central Nepal. He described the
polling in the first phase as a case of rigging and state terror. The leader
accused the government of
having supervised rigging of local election. "This is unfair."
Such a government that can neither guarantee security for voters nor hold fair
election should be changed
by working out a new power equation, he said.
Analysts feel Mr. Koirala's might back RPP leader Surya Bahadur Thapa to
replace Chand. The idea
had surfaced two months ago but it could not get proper attention because of
compulsion campaigning for local poll.
Because of the high handedness of Chand government in West Nepal election, Mr.
Koirala is now more convinced about the change of government.
He warned the government against repeating the same style in east and central
Nepal. Known for his strong stand against communists, Koirala recently said
"there is no difference between Maoists and the CPN UML. During the night they are Maoists while they are the CPN-UML partymen during the day." Both, Koirala observed, are driven and financed by the same source. "I know the tricks to control them,", he claimed.
Source: The Kathmandu Post
Nepali youths leading harrowing life in Malaysia
By a Post Reporter
TEHRTHUM, May 19 - Many Nepali youths, who have gone to Malaysia after they
were tempted by agents
running the foreign employment company illegally, are now passing their days
in an extremely pathetic condition.
These people, some of whom are from Tehrathum district, have not only lost
their property at home in the process
of going to the foreign country to earn money on the one hand but they have
also endangered their life after reaching Malaysia on the other.
This was informed by Mani Shankar Limbu of Sungnam VDC in Tehrathum district,
who is fortunate to be back home after leading a harrowing life in Malaysia.
Limbu said many Nepali youths are still going to Malaysia after being misled
and enticed by the agents despite the
fact they have heard about the pathetic condition of many Nepali youths who
had gone to Malaysia and other countries in the past.
Foreign employment-seekers of Nepal must be aware of the wretched life being
led by many of their countrymen in
foreign countries. For example, Ram Sharan Baniya of Kathmandu who had gone to
Korea lost his right hand; So
did Suresh Rai of Dharan; Dipendra Kumar of Kathmandu lost the thumb of his
right hand; Lal Gopal Gurung of
Pokhara lost his left hand; Prabina Gurung of Pokhara lost her both hands.
Many others who have gone to different
other countries have been either killed, maimed or jailed. In spite of such
reports being made public, many Nepalis
are still being lured to foreign countries by the heartless agents to
experience the pangs of the harrowing life in
Malaysia which is the inevitable fate awaiting them if they ever happen to be
lured into that country in search of
employment opportunity, according to Limbu.
Mani Shankar Limbu told The Kathmandu Post that he had gone to Malaysia
together with other friends when they
were assured by Ram Bahadur Tiling (Limbu) of his own village after they were
assured that they could earn a good
income ranging from 20-25 thousand rupees a month.
On this condition of providing a job to earn 20-25 thousand rupees per month,
Ram Bahadur took him and some
others including Yog Bahadur Sodemba of Tehrathum Basantpur, Gopal Baniya and
Chhatra Bahadur Tenyu of
Solma VDC-4,Devi Bahadur Khapung of Myanglung VDC, Harka Bahadur and Yam
Bahadur of Oyakjung VDC,
Krishna Kumar Magar of Sankhuwasabha, Kuntang and Bhakta Bahadur Tamang of
Dhankuta Hattikharka VDC, he informed.
He said Num Bahadur Sambahang who had gone to Malaysia with him was lost in
the forest in Malaysia border
and is believed killed. The remaining ten people are languishing in the jails
of Malaysia with dreams shattered and subjected to inhuman torture.
Limbu said when they were being taken to Malaysia, their agent had
lied to the employees at the Tribhuvan Airport that they were going to
Thailand on a tour. On reaching Thailand,
the agent handed them over to a Bengali national who also again handed them
over to one named Yussouf living in
Thai-Malaysian border. Yussouf, on his turn, handed them over to four
Malaysian people who made them walk
through the forest of Malaysia up to a place named Alakhya where they were
arrested by the Malaysian police.
Limbu told The Kathmandu Post that 42 Nepali youths including 10 people who
had gone with him and 32 others
suffering in the prisons of Malaysia with no hope of ever being rescued from
the hell. Reiterating that he was cheated by none other than his own friend
from his own native village, he appealed through
The Kathmandu Post to rescue those who were still living in the prisons of
Malaysia and requested all the people
not to be led astray by any agent from now onwards.
WHEN PREMIER RAJIV GANDHI was assassinated in 1991, his Italian-born widow
Sonia vowed never to join
the murky world of Indian politics. She has had a change of heart. Last month,
Sonia became an official member of the
Congress party, which the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has led for 42 of India's 49
years since independence. Sonia gave no
reason for her sudden decision, which was announced on May 8, but it energized
many Congress supporters. They
urged Sonia, 50, to take up her family's political mantle and help restore the
unity and credibility of the scandal-tainted
Congress. If, as is expected, Sonia becomes party president, Congress's
fortunes could change dramatically.
JUST A JOB
IN HIS 49 YEARS, Ang Rita has climbed Mount Everest 10 times, earning the
nickname "snow leopard." Now the
Nepalese sherpa is poised to ascend the 8,848-meter peak from a treacherous
"north route," which no human has ever attempted successfully. Just last week, five climbers were killed in a blizzard on one of the north routes. But Ang Rita, who is leading 22 Russians, is undaunted. He has long said that he climbs not for glamour or sport but simply for a living.
Source: The Kathmandu Post
Marriage not made in heaven
Bharatpur, May 20 (RSS):
A newly married couple here has broken their wedlock just six days after the
wedding on the grounds of
deception and failure to consummate the marriage.
Ganga Devi Devkota of Ward No. 4 Bharatpur municipality who was married to
Kapil Adhikari of Ward
No. 3 Shantichok in Ratnanagar municipality learnt to her dismay that her
husband was not interested in making love.
When asked why, the husband told the wife that during an operation to remove
kidney stones doctors
erroneously cut a vein connected to the sexual organ thereby rendering him
sexually incapable. But the
doctors assured him that the severed vein could be re-connected, he said.
Following this disclosure, college graduate ganga devi decided it was not
possible for her to share her life
such a husband, and went to the chitwan district court on the fifth day after
the wedding sought a divorce.
The bench of judge Mohan Raman Bhattarai nullified the marriage the next day.
The groom returned everything the wife brought in dowry and also paid her rs.
350,000/- as compensation
demanded by the bride for deceiving her into marriage by hiding the facts.
Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 12:00:46 -0400
From: Anne Michele Patterson <email@example.com>
Subject: Study Nepali at Cornell University this Summer
Please advertise the following on the Nepali web
page. If you have any questions please call me at
South Asia Program
Fellowships are still available for U.S. Citizens to
study Intensive Nepali Language at Cornell
University this summer. The session is a 10 credit
course starting June 9 through August 10.
Students must be accepted or currently enrolled in
a Graduate Degree Program for any discipline. For
more information, please contact the South Asia
Program, Cornell University 607-255-8493 or
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 18:48:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Correction on Forest Change Article...
To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>
please inform the readers of the "Forest Change Article" in the last issue
of TND to please disregard paragraphs discussing statistical confidence
limits of forest estimates. an earlier version of the article got in
From: Ruth Gyure <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Article for submission: Women and Children/Social-Cultural
Date: May 16, 1997
Author: Ruth Gyure
New York, USA
ADOPTION IN NEPAL: A NIGHTMARE FOR THE NEPALI CITIZEN AND THE
The travel brochures describe it as Shangri-La, and truthfully, this
little Himalayan country is a magical place to visit. The breathtaking
peaks of the Himalayas, brilliant green rice terraces, colorful temples
and shrines, and friendly people of many ethnic groups- all make Nepal a
popular tourist destination.
But deep into the hallways and sparsely furnished offices of the
government complex Singh Durbar, is one of the country's little-known
secrets. Here, in the offices of the Home Ministry, foreigners and
Nepalis alike are put through a torturous and degrading process when they
come to get permission to adopt an unwanted child. It does not matter
- In Nepal there is only one State run orphanage, pitifully inadequate to
deal with the thousands of parentless children in this poverty-ridden
- There are no (zero) social services provided by the Nepali government to care for street children or children whose parents have abandoned, mistreated, or neglected them.2
- Unwanted children in Nepal are at great risk of being sold into sex-trafficking or domestic slavery.3,4
- The vast majority of people coming to Nepal to adopt have been rigorously screened in their host countries and would provide excellent homes and wonderful opportunities for unwanted children in Nepal. Regardless of these facts, a foreigner arriving at the Home Ministry of Nepal for the legitimate purpose of adopting a child is immediately treated with contempt and disrespect. From the first visit to the Ministry, the prospective adoptive parent is intimidated, bullied, and deliberately misled. The final weeks of an adoption at the Home Ministry can be excruciating-with the petitioner (often a woman with a baby or child in tow) sent from office to office on one wild goose chase after another. It is standard procedure to be made to wait for hours at a time, to be given faulty or misleading information, to be told officials are not available (when you have seen them enter their office) and for low-level officials to misplace or ignore the valuable contents of adoption files. Further, officials may leave for days or weeks at a time and there is no mechanism at the Home Ministry for assigning responsibilities and authorities to others in their absence.=20
A Nepalese citizen who wishes to adopt a child must comply with the
following restrictions as listed in Nepal's Civil Code, the Muluki Ain.
The Muluki Ain was first codified in 1854. It was promulgated anew after
the adoption of the 1962 Constitution, has been amended many times since
then. The following list reflects the Sixth Amended version. I have
simplified the legal wording, but believe the meaning for each remains
1) In order to adopt a boy, selection shall be made according to a
hierarchy of preference: children of full brothers, children of
half-brothers, descendants of the same grandfather, children of
daughters, descendants of the same great-grandfather, children of
sisters, children of relatives in same clan. If such relatives are
available, no child belonging to another clan can be adopted.
2) No man or woman with a son can adopt a child. No woman with a living
husband can adopt a child.
3) If a man eligible to adopt a son does so, and later bears a son of his
own-the adoption is still valid and the adopted son can inherit property
on par with his brother.
4) If a person comes across a child under 5 years of age in the streets
and looks after it, and wants to adopt it, he may do so notwithstanding
the possible existence of a relative who can be adopted. =20
4a) Even if such a relative is available for adoption, any child under
16 and whose father is deceased or cannot be traced
may be adopted with consent of the mother or guardian or orphanage
in which it resides.
5) Any person with a daughter but no son can institute her as a dolaji
before she is married (Her husband cannot lay claim to the property of
6) If such a dolaji dies childless, her estate shall go to the nearest
relative of the person who instituted her as dolaji. If the dolaji leaves
behind the proper documents and has only a daughter, the daughter may
inherit the estate. If no such document exists, the daughter gets no more
than 10% of the estate.
7) A dolaji over the age of 45 with no children of her own may bequeath
her estate to her husband.
8) An adopted son or a dolaji girl may inherit the property of the person
who adopted him or instituted her as dolaji.
9) If a legal document is executed giving a son inheritance of his
biological father's estate, such a document is still binding even if the
son is later adopted by someone else.
9a) A man or woman who has a daughter may not adopt a girl under ten
years of age. A woman with a living husband may not adopt a girl
under 10 years of age.
9b) The age difference between a person who adopts a daughter and the
daughter must be at least 25 years.
9c) An adopted daughter shall enjoy the same rights as a daughter. And
she is not entitled to make any claims upon her biological father.
9d) If a person eligible to adopt a daughter does so, and later bears a
daughter of his own-the adoption is still valid and=20
the adopted daughter shall enjoy the same rights as a biological
10) If a parent is found who willfully abandoned a child, they must
bequeath their property to the adoptive father of the child. If a man
impregnates another man's wife, and the resulting child is adopted, the
man's property and the mother's dowry must be bequeathed to the adoptive
11) Once a child is legally adopted, the adoption remains valid unless
some offence is committed.
12) No person with one son shall allow that son to be adopted, and no one
is permitted to adopt such a son. =20
*12a) If a foreigner desires to adopt either a boy or a girl who is eligible for adoption, His Majesty's Government may grant permission to do so based upon the recommendation of the foreigner's Embassy, with consideration of his character and financial status, and subject to such conditions as HMG may deem appropriate. 13) If a child is adopted, no complaint will be heard if not filed within three years of the adoption becoming known.
*The interpretation of the full meaning of 12A is left to the Home
Minister, who draws up guidelines that apply to foreign adoptions
specifically. These guidelines are distributed to foreign Embassies in
Kathmandu. As a foreigner, one would be subjected to the following set of
rules. As they are written, I must ask the reader to decide if they were
meant to TAKE THE PLACE OF or rather to SUPPLEMENT the other restrictions
that are already stated in items 1-11:
TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND PROCEDURES MADE FOR THE ARRANGEMENTS OF ADOPTION
OF NEPALESE CHILDREN BY THE FOREIGN CITIZEN
[His Majesty's Government has prescribed the following terms and
conditions and procedures by exercising the power conferred by "Section
12A of the Chapter "Adoption" of Muluki Ain (Act of the Realm).]
1. The following foreign citizens may adopt: Couples who are older than
30 and who have had no children of their own since five years from date
of marriage; an unmarried, divorced, or legally separated woman over 40
2. If the foreign citizen has a child: they may only adopt a son if their
child is a girl, and they may only adopt a girl if their child is a=20
3. A foreign citizen who has a son and a daughter may not adopt. The
foreign citizen who has a son may not adopt a boy. The foreign citizen
who has a daughter may not adopt a girl.
4. No foreign citizen may adopt unless the age difference between him or
her and the adoptive child is at least 25 years. If the foreign citizen
has a child, then the age difference between this child and the adoptive
child must be at least 3 years.
5. A child is eligible for adoption if they are an orphan, or if they
have been willingly provided for adoption by their parent(s).
6. A child can be classified as an orphan only if they have stayed in a
recognized orphanage for at least 35 days. The person presenting the
child as an orphan must present an identity card and sign a document. An
official document must be filed if child comes from the government
hospital. If child is found in the streets, the CDO must sign a document.
Various other procedures are delineated for the proper designation of the
child as "orphan."
7. Only parents who already have two or more sons and two or more
daughters may give a child up for adoption. In addition, the persons
giving a child up for adoption must perform permanent family planning.
8. In order to give up a child for adoption, a parent must present
photograph and birth certificate of child, citizenship papers of the
parents, reason for giving up child, and recommendation of the VDC.
9. Either the CDO, or the Nepal Children's Organization shall also make a
recommendation based upon an investigation. Such a recommendation is
forwarded from the CDO's office to the Home Ministry. If child is in an
orphanage, the orphanage must file the recommendation with CDO, then it
is forwarded to Home Ministry. A recommendation can be directly forwarded
to Home Ministry from Bal-Mandir.
10. A foreign citizen wishing to adopt must submit the following: A
letter from a doctor stating that one of the couple is unable for
reproduction due to health or physical reason; marriage certificate;
family details; details relating to health; details relating to
character, details about financial position, details about passport and
visa, consent letter from Embassy; divorce or separation decree if
applicable; all documents must be certified.
11. His Majesty's Government has the right to make an inquiry if foreign
citizen requests to adopt a child over 10. If child objects, adoption
will be denied.
12. Two orphans of the same family shall be sent to the same family if at
13. A foreigner who adopts a Nepalese child must submit details about the
education, care and health of such children along with a photograph to
the Home Ministry or to Bal-Mandir each year until child reaches age of
14. A monitoring team shall visit the concerned country at least two
times for field study about the familial, social and educational status
of children who have gone to that country for adoption, until the
children reach the age of consent. The monitoring team will submit a
field study report to the Home Ministry. The monitoring team shall be
made up of representatives the concerned organization of HMG, of the Home
Ministry, of the Royal Nepalese Embassy located in the concerned country,
and of representatives of the legal and journalism sector as well as NGO
involved in the field of child welfare. The monitoring team must visit
the concerned country and write a report before the terms of the adoption
are finalized. The Royal Nepalese Embassy in the concerned country must
also submit a report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs each year until
the child reaches the age of consent. The Adoption sub-committee of
Bal-Mandir shall make the arrangements for the monitoring team.
Please notice that many items in both the law and the regulations refer
to a child's age. In Nepal, a birth certificate is usually not made, so
for most children, the exact age cannot be known. And of course it would
be impossible to know the exact age of an abandoned child. Also note how
closely linked adoption law is to inheritance law. In the Muluki Ain,
most items seem to be written for the purpose of clarifying inheritance
rights, not to ensure that needy children will be placed in eligible
homes. There is also very noticeable inconsistency in the language when
referring to boy/girl/child or man/woman/person.5 It might be mentioned
also that The Children's Act 2048: A Bill to Provide for Safeguarding the
Interests of Children, was signed by the king on May 20, 1992. Section 5
prohibits discrimination between sons and daughters, and Nepal's
Constitution also forbids such discrimination.
It is this writer's view that the current "Terms and Conditions" from the
Home Ministry in Nepal arise from a misunderstanding of the intent of 12A
of the original Muluki Ain Adoption Law. It is my feeling that this
clause was intended to EXEMPT foreigners from the other restrictions
(1-11), which clearly have validity and meaning only within the context of a Hindu government/society. In fact, when this clause was added to the Muluki Ain, forms to be used by the foreigner intending to adopt were also included in the body of the legal code. In these forms, there is no question asked about the sex of the petitioners' existing children, nor does it ask the sex of the child offered for adoption! I cannot believe this was an accident. I believe that no one ever intended to subject foreigners to restrictions based upon the sex of the child. Rather, somewhere along the way, many items in the original Muluki Ain were erroneously carried over into the written "Terms and Conditions," leading to the situation that exists today.
Even if a foreigner is lucky enough to meet all the criteria set forth in
the "Terms and Conditions," the sad fact is that the officials at the
Home Ministry can choose to create additional barriers to the adoption,
regardless of their validity or basis in law. For example, the following
were two recent reasons given for the denial of foreign adoptions:
1) A woman attempted to adopt an abandoned girl. She was told that the
law specifies that only abandoned BOYS can be adopted.
2) A woman attempted to adopt a baby girl conceived when a young
unmarried woman was raped. She was told the law states that the last
remaining BOY child cannot be adopted. This means, they added, that the
last remaining GIRL also cannot be adopted. =20
I would like to suggest that the Nepali adoption laws are so confused and
poorly written, that EVERY adoption that has been approved since
foreigners were first allowed to adopt has been in violation of at least
one of the "Terms and Conditions" or items in the Muluki Ain. That means
that in reality, adoptions are approved only on an idiosyncratic,
case-by-case basis, and are dependant upon the good will (or ill will)
of the officials in charge. This is a system that is highly encouraging
of corruption and abuse. Children will find homes only if the right
person is paid off. This would explain the deplorable treatment that
prospective adoptive parents are subjected to at the Home Ministry of
I urge Nepali citizens and foreigners who care about children to call
upon the Home Minister of Nepal to: =20
a) Immediately revise the Terms and Conditions and Procedures Made for
the Arrangements of Adoption of Nepalese Children by the Foreign Citizen
to make them more in alignment with the original intent of clause 12A of
the Muluki Ain. =20
b) Take a leadership role in bringing about reform in the Muluki Ain
Adoption Law, so that children who need homes can be matched with loving
parents, regardless of their sex or ethnic background.
I would like to conclude by saying that it is not my belief that the only
way to help Nepal's needy children is to open the floodgates to foreign
adoption. I wholeheartedly support the efforts of the hundreds of NGO's
and support organizations which fund orphanages, hospitals, schools,
training and development programs, etc. in Nepal. However, I feel that
adoption should also remain a legal and legitimate alternative for some
children, and for those individuals who qualify to adopt. Adoption
should always be a highly rigorous process, with only the most
trustworthy and qualified applicants accepted. However, once a foreign
Embassy recognizes the legitimacy of an applicant's preparatory
paperwork- to deny such an adoption in Nepal for the kinds of reasons
cited above is a national disgrace. It's time to consider the welfare of
children first and foremost. It's time for adoption reform in Nepal.
1 <smaller>Out of every 100 children in Nepal, 53 are boys and 47 are
girls, and only 7 live in the cities while 93 reside in the villages. 40
out of 100 children are surviving under the line of absolute poverty and
50 become the victims of malnutrition. Among 100 live births, 8 die
within a few months of birth and 11 die before age 5. In education, out
of every 100 children, only 40 complete primary education while the rest
drop out for various socio-economic reasons. The remaining 60 are forced
to get engaged in various forms of labor for livelihood and family
subsistency. The widespread inequality, conservatism, sociocultural
oppression and mass ignorance in the society have forced many of our
children into bondage, prostitution, and servitude. According to one
estimate, among Nepali girls trafficked and sold into the brothels of
various cities in India, 40,000 are under the age of 16. An estimated
number of street children in Nepal are 5000.
From: "State of the Rights of the Child in Nepal 1996" (Child Workers
in Nepal Concerned Center, Report)
2 <smaller>Every year, about 700-1000 new children land on the streets of
Nepal due to several socio-cultural, economic, and psychological
problems. It has already been 6 years since the restoration of democracy
in the country. During this period, "The Constitution of Nepal 1991," the
"Children's Act 1992," "Regulations for Children 1996" and "National Plans of Action for Child Development in the 1990's" were adopted and enforced. And, the government of Nepal has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Despite these things-the progress in the areas of child rights and child development has been very poor." From: "State of the Rights of the Child in Nepal 1996" (Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Center, Report)
3 <smaller>It is estimated that 4000 to 5000 Nepali children, mostly
girls, are trafficked into India and sold for prostitution or bonded
labor each year. Nepal was among the early group of State parties to
have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 14
September 1990. But its implementation part is not only discouraging, but
also ineffective. HMG/Nepal lacks vision, structure, and proper
mechanism/procedures to properly implement the basic essence of CRC in
the context of Nepali existence. Appreciating some initiatives taken by
HMG/Nepal, the UN Committee on the Rights of Children has expressed its
deep concern on the prevailing situation of the country that not only
denies but also violates the fundamental rights of children. From:=20
"State of the Rights of the Child in Nepal 1996" (Child Workers in Nepal Concerned Center, Report)
4 <smaller>Despite the abundance of legislation aimed at preventing
trafficking and other forms of slavery, neither India nor Nepal has
adequately enforced existing laws, investigated reports of official
complicity in the trafficking industry or persecuted officials found
profiting from the trade. The apparent apathy on the part of
governments, the highly organized nature of trafficking networks which
include influential government officials, and the temptation of easy
money makes police corruption virtually inevitable. From: "Rape for
Profit" ( Human Rights Watch/Asia, June 1995)
5 <smaller>The social status of the girl child is low in Nepal, although
the disparity between girls and boys varies between ethnic groups. There
is a saying among the Brahmin and Chhetri: "Let it be late, but let it be
a son." The birth of a male child is an occasion of great joy in the
family, whereas the birth of a girl is not always welcome. The reasons
for this preference are complex and, to some degree, exist the world
over. Sons are needed in the family for the continuation of the
patrilineal name, and all religious rituals after death are carried out
by male children. But it has been said that Nepal has one of the highest
indices of son preference. From "Red Light Traffic, the Trade in Nepali
Girls," Produced by ABC Nepal, A Nepali Women's NGO Working Against
Girl Trafficking and AIDS, 1996.
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 07:41:55 CDT
Subject: Nepali Congress's Begging Bowl (Maagi khane bhando)
Every time an election comes around we hear Girija P. Koirala harping
how "only" NC as the leader of the historic people's movement, can save
democracy in Nepal. To me, nothing could be further from the truth.
After almost a decade of "multi-party democracy" the word
signifies only the democracy for the vile politicians to do what they
build palaces that competes with the Narayanhiti, buy Pajeros, and get
bought by the likes of Khetan (Well, UML got bought by him, but you get
point). Who is guilty of this crime against the Nepali people? Are we
ourseleves guilty of being too trusting, too naive, and too lazy to try
Girija saying NC needs another chance to save democracy is absolute
our intellect. Personally, I consider him the biggest villian in
Nepal's history. Nepalis had entrusted Girija with an unparalled
opportunity in 1991 when he became the prime minister after the first
general election. What did he accomplish in his tenure? Sold Tanakpur to
suspended Commission of Abuse of Authority (CIIA), reduced the majority
of Nepali Congress to minority and demoralized the whole Nepali populace.
As first democratic government of a country, he had responsibility of
setting precedence to lots of things. However, what precedence did he
set? Precedence of bribery, reinforced the Nepali mindset that every one is a
thief, didn't let democratic institutions develop, and squandered the trust of
Nepali Congress is a spent force with no moral authority. We can liken
NC with a whore who calls herself a virgin (because she didn't love the
guys--well everyone have their logic). Where is the vision that is
supposed to bring out our people from abject poverty? Can democracy be
safeguarded by goons Arjun Narshing KC or the smugglers like
Khum Bahadur Khadga?
I don't have the slightest trust that Nepali people need Nepali congress
at this point. Not Nepali Congress of the present form. I wouldn't be
surprised if more and more people join the Maoists: not that they
believe the Maoists but because Maoists are
saying something new. Who else could they turn to? UML (what is the
RPP? Intellectuals? Does Nepal have those?
So, my dear friends, Nepal is in grave situation. On one hand we have
thieves, swindlers, powermongers, and panches. And on the other hand, we have
Maoist Prachanda who says they are not resorting to violence and same night
goes and murders people. We need to be aware of these Girizas, Bam Devs,
Gajendra Narayans, Prachandas, and Pashupati Shumshers. These people always
say how they will save the Nepali nation. We need to save the Nepali nation
ourselves. Lets' do our part. And we don't have too much time.
From: "Damber Gurung" <dgrng@CLEMSON.EDU>
Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 08:49:47 +0000
Subject: Book Reviwed?
I am interested to see any review of BENDING BAMBOO CHANGING WINDS by
Eva Kipp. Please contact me directly. Thank you.
Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 22:27:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Deforestation
To: Jeff Huestis <Jeff-Huestis@library.wustl.edu>
Thanks fore reading my article on forest change. I am glad you are
concerned with different angles on the problem and are willing to consider
my approach as one.
Re: your plea that the effects of deforestation are local and that
aggregate studies actually hide these effects. True... at a certain level.
But things are a lot more subtle and nuanced than that you must admit from
your experience in nepal and maybe further readings on the topic.
For one, you note that much of the evidence of progressive deforestaton is
anecdotal. Carry this further, much of this is generated by
anthropologists and social scientists who are seeking a rationale to
justify their intervention in Nepal: a crisis of the day. Deforestation
and population explosion in the days of energy crisis of the OPEC scare
and Garett Hardin's population induced tragedy of commons has served as an
entry for "scholarly" intervention in Nepal's environmental change
studies. As such, how much of the representation of deforestation is a
social construction of such scholars and how much is real? The question is
not whether their description of deforestation is untrue, although it can
certainly faulted for precison an d accuracy of scale; the question is how
much of forest change is *unsaid*; for instance, how much reforestation is
being unreported, how much human adaption is going on that cals into
questin the wisdom of external intervention by scholars, donors, and
This is where my research question is located. Is there an objective rule
that can give us some sense of the total picutre, both of deforestion an
dreforestation; or locally induced crisis and locally induced self-help;
how much external aid is successful and how much is necessary? A start is
a objective measure of the country's situation to map these variations.
I guess you get the drift...
On Sun, 18 May 1997, Jeff Huestis wrote:
> (To Amulya Tuladhar <email@example.com>)
> I just read (most of) your note to TND about deforestation (ff lack of
> But let's assume your data, and its analysis, is correct. The problem
> here is that deforestation is a local phenomenon. Trees are cut down (or
> in the case of Nepal, stripped of their foliage for goat fodder) one at a
> time. And the effects are local. My understanding is that much of what
> we know about progressive deforestation is anecdotal--coming from
> interviews with old women who hfve to walk farther for goat fodder and
> firewood than they did when they were girls. Clearly, this is not a
> problem in areas that are still lightly populated. Your satellite data
> hides disastrous human consequences in populated areas by aggregating it
> together with wilderness.
> Deforestation cannot be studied in isolation--you need to take into
> account population growth and movement, and the institutional and cultural
> protection (or lack of same) that exists for whatever forest remains.
> Jeff Huestis
> Washington University
> St. Louis, MO
> Peace Corps/Nepal, 1972-73
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 09:32:28 -0400 (EDT)
From: Nima <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>
Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - May 16, 1997 (3 Jestha 2054 BkSm)
For the next issue of Nepal Digest!!
Hey all! After taking philosophy, I was compelled to write this paper
becasue I realize that there are alot of things which we humans believe,
which might I add do not actually exist in reality!!! For instance I think
that the idea of a soul is a 'mere myth' and perhaps after reading what I
have to say, some of you will agree with me!! But even if you
do not agree with me, then I would like to hear your reasoning or say
regarding this matter.
THE IDEA OF SOUL IS A MERE MYTH
What does one mean when one says, 'I have a soul'? What is this
soul? Is it like saying-'I have a brain' or that ' I have a heart'? Well
atleast we do know where the brain or the heart is located exactly in the
human body; but the question which I seem to constantly ask myself
is-where is the soul located?
Over thousands of years and even to this day many humans believe that we each have a soul, a soul which is part of us, a soul which is within us, a soul which lives even after we die. But this premise makes no sense because 'death' as described in the Dictionary means "end of life" and therefore even if we say we each have a soul for arguments sake, then does it make sense to say that the soul survives even after the most essential parts of our body like the heart, the brain, even the cells which make up our body die? But you might argue that the soul does not look like any of our body parts, be they external or internal. Then it raises the question as to what is soul really made up off if you argue that it is not even close to any of our body parts? So even if I accept the argument that it is not like any other human parts, then it is only fair on my part to ask you what soul is really composed off. Even if you tell me it is ivisible then the question that springs first to my mind is that if soul is ivisible then how do I know that is is there in the first place? Does it make any sense in saying that the soul is invisible, cause then it would make me wonder how then in the first place did you know it exists when we cannot see it or feel it for that matter. But then again you can reason out with me by bringing out the point that even though oxygen is invisible in the atmosphere we are still aware of its presence. Simple scientific flame tests which supports burning of flame proves that indeed oxygen is present in the atmosphere. So then where does sould exist and are there any test that can be done to prove that it does infact exist? Till now on one has been able to prove that soul does exist, and wouldn't you say that this is another reason to believe that the idea of soul is a mere myth?
Let us compare ourselves with animals, say a dog. We do have many things in common like eyes, legs, heart, blood, skin, hair, tongue etc. Even though dogs have some other body parts which we humans may not and vice versa, it is likey that everyone would agree that we are similar in some basic necessary physical parts and likewise so are monkeys, cats, wolves, etc. Isin't it the absurd to say that even though we are so much alike, yet different mainly because we have a soul and they don't? The three main basic elements for survival are food, air and water, without which life would be impossible and we know that to be true with animals too. If we are so much alike in such important aspects of basic necessities of survival then wouldn't it be plausible to think that since animals don't have souls, neither do we humans? You might argue with me here and say that we cannot compare ourselves with animas. Well, the reason for me comparing ourselves with animals is to try and show the absurdity of thinking that humans have souls and animals don't. Then to you I will ask - how and where is the proof upon which you have based your statement? Then you might respond by saying that the proof is right out there. The very fact that we humans are different from animas is because we have a soul and that they don't and hence we are different from them.
That is well accounted for, but then that would take us to another dimension of our argument where I will grant for arguments sake that we as humans are differnt from the animasl because we have have a soul and they don't. But there is this point as to where I am a bit confused you might say. We all do agree that each single part of our human body seves a function right? For example, we know and therefore agree that our eyes aid us in our sight, our nose in smell, legs helps us to walk, run, jump, hands helps us to do certain tasks, hair which keeps us warm and so on and so forth. Then through extensive studies done in science we know that there are our internal parts like the heart which helps in blood circulation, blood which inturn transfers materials from one part of the body to another, and such small and for many trivial things as neurons which helps to relay messages from one part fo the body to another, but above all brain being the most important for brain is like the central processing unit of our human body which controls our movement, our memory, emotion, intellect and sensations. So if we can do the basic necessary things that are required of us by the help of a brain then the big question here that I would like to ask you is what the purpose of the soul is that you claim us humans to have? If the brain does everything, as we know for fact, then what is the purpose of the soul? What exactly does the soul do? Can we therefore not safely say that the soul has no purpose? If it serves no purpose then dosen't that question its existence???
But again you do have something to argue with me here don't you? You might say that the soul does serve a purpose and its purpose is that even after we die the soul still survives and hence even though we may die physically, we do not die spiritually. But now let us take a moment here to think about this. You say that the soul is a part of us, then shouldn't it die when we die? We said earlier that death was the end of life, which means that everything that makes up our human body dosen't function because the basic element which is the cell ceases to function, in other words meaning it is dead. Therfore the brain being made up of many of these cells is also dead therefore if the brain is dead then there are no functions connected with the brain such as memory, emotion, intellect and sensation. So how can you know and then say that soul survives when our sensation no longer survives nor our memory? How can one sense in other words that the soul still survives or how do we know for certain that it is there even after we die when memory isin't there to aid us to remember nor are our senses available for us to sense?? Does the soul simply just leave our body and if so where does it go? Can someone argue with me and seriously tell me that they have answers to these questions?
But you might be this person who loves to debate and still argue with me on the existence of the soul and its existence even after our death. Then to you I will ask again- what is the purpose of the soul when I am no longer who I am in the sense I am this soul without a body, this soul which has no emotions, no memory, no intellect, to sum up no brain!! Can you say that I am still me even after I am dead because my soul is still alive but without any form, without a body, without a physical structure, those physical structure which alone makes me so different from other humans?? Don't we all agree that our brain and our physical appearance makes us different from each other? Then how do we know for certain that the soul out there somewhere is mine? Will you then argue with me that every soul is different because it looks different? Well, if you do, then tell me where is the proof for you to believe that? Have you seen your soul and if so what does it look like??
Proof is essential for us to believe in anything. We as humans always require proof, proof in some way or the other before we can agree definitely on something. If someone tells me that my friend just died, I will have to first see her dead body and the postmorton report to believe that she actually did die. Similarly if someone tells me that they have a soul, then I would have to be able to see it or feel it or say even sense it or it would have to be proved in some way or the other for me to actually believe in its existence! Therefore all the reasons stated by me above have led me to believe that we infact don't have a soul and that the idea of the existence of a soul is a mere myth!!
If you have any comments please feel free to email me at
Date: May 24, 1997
To: The Nepla Digest <email@example.com>
Source: The Net
Wanted : A bridegroom
A young, liberated, well-educated woman is looking for a suitable bridegroom.
Applications are solicited from genuinely interested men who are under thirty-five and
meet the following criteria. Telephonic enquiries will not be entertained. Only shortlisted
candidates will be invited for interview. The criteria are as follows:
1. He must have enough dough for:
* a honeymoon in Disneyland
* Gucci make-up kits
* personal account for Peanuts and Bluebells shoppings
* chauffeur driven Pajero
* house full of personal help
* weekend getaway cottage at Nagarkot
* occasional stops at the casino
* vacations at exotic places
* fully stocked walk-in closet
2. He must be accommodating so that he:
* does not mind doing dishes
* babysits children, changes diapers
* never blows his stack
* does not mind late-night outings with friends
* listens to curtain lectures but seldom speaks back
* does not scream blue murder when wife returns late
* sets no limit on the shopping budget
* escorts wife to workshops, seminars, etc
* does not object to skimpy dresses
* does not have a roving eye
* lets wife do all the thinking for him
* does not mind being a punching bag
* sincerely loves to entertain his in-laws
* does not play chess, paplu and other engaging games
* is not a mamas boy
* loves wifes dog more than himself
* never says, "Ive headache tonight"
* never says, "No"
3. Must be good looking with well-built physique so that:
* he is a head turner
* he, like Rambo, can outslug a gang of thugs
* the children will do well to take after him
* he makes a good addition to the drawing-room showcase
* he makes wife the cynosure at social gatherings
* posters of Tom Cruise can be replaced with his blow-ups.
From: Bhikkhv Seevali <BS4@soas.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 16:08:26 GMT
Subject: Buddha Jayanti Greetings
To all Netters,
> It is the full moon of May when the Buddha was born in the Lumbini
> park, Nepal. It is also the day when he attainded the Enlightenment
> (Buddhahood) in Buddhagaya under the Bodhi Tree at the age of 35. And
> it is also the auspisious occation when his passing away took place
> in the Kusinara at the age of 80. As Buddhists we believe that all
> these events took place on the full moon day of May, Baishakha month.
> It is an auspisious day for Buddhist world who all try and do engage
> in religious and spiritual activities to commemorate the day. Here I
> would like to extend my good wishs to all of our netters.
> "Buddha Jayanti ko upalakshya ma sabailai mangala kamana"
> "Swanya Punhiya Lasataye Sakasitan Bhin Jwima Dhaka Manam Tunse
> Mangala Prarthana yaye"
> Good wishes on this auspicious occation to all of you and wish all
> the health, happiness, peace and success in your life. May the
> blessings of Triple Gem, (Buddha, Dharma and Samgha), be with you.
Lumbini Nepalese Buddha Dharma Society (UK)
Buddha Era 2541
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 12:54:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Fictional satire by Ashu
[Ashu=92s note: What follows is a piece of fictional satire which,
contrary to the info I had given earlier, was REJECTED by The Kathmandu
Post. My apologies to readers on the Net for that unintended misinformation
earlier. To their credit, the editors at the Post personally assured
me that they liked this piece and fully meant to run it as "a post
platform item". But "ke garne", they had to reluctantly decide otherwise
at the last minute due to, well, "certain complications".
Talking about rejection, my letter-to-HIMAL-magazine -- on: that they
should not have printed the real names of alleged bigots--also
appears to have been rejected. The editor tried to personally convince
me that I, as a reader, had misunderstood the whole point of that
HIMAL piece called "virtual vitriol". As other HIMAL readers may
remember, that piece had subsequently led to an exchange of mail between
Anil Tuladhar of Canada and HIMAL, one demanding an apology from HIMAL, and
the other citing rights to access and use the materials found in the
Oh, well. Here=92s that REJECTED satire on reporters.]
Journalist, cover thyself
a fictional satire
by ashu =3D20
Nepali journalists typecast public and private figures. In doing so, they
cite the lofty ideals of freedom of speech and the public's right to know.
But what happens when the tables are turned -- allowing a mere 'consumer of
journalism' like me to indulge in some friendly needling of our Fourth
Estate? These categories come up.
Mr. LECHER: As elsewhere, lechers abound in journalism too.
Often, Mr. Lecher playfully interviews a starlet or a fashion-model of
Nepali glamour-dom, prints her 'revealing' (what is she 'revealing' anyway?
I've often wondered!) photos, and then goes on to bemoan -- in writing --=
how such pictures actually defile "our traditionally pure Nepali culture".
Still, why do editors let Mr. Lecher get away with his
self-serving reports? Simple. Most are undersexed voyeurs themselves who,
despite all the jazz about treating women with respect, desperately hope that
the snaps would bring in hordes of drooling subscribers.
Mr. FAUX-SOPHISTICATED: As the title implies, this guy's a
phony. He's never been out of the country, yet he prides himself on his
second-hand knowledge about the peep-shows that take place on New York's
42nd Street. He also writes adolescently (in a breathless
look-how-many-naked-pictures-I-saw squeal) about "Sex and the Single Girl",
and urges all of us to buy glossies like ELLE and COSMOPOLITAN, which he
apparently gets to gaze at for free, for providing obvious publicity to the
distributors in Thamel. But scan his byline in one of Kathmandu's
post-Panchayat English dailies, and it seems that he wants you think that no
other than Helen Gurley Brown or Erica Jong had suckled him in his
Still, Mr. FS wants to be taken seriously when he writes
about tantalizing subjects such as sex, glamour and sleaze in Nepal.=20
Eventually, however, even readers who swear by Anais Nin or Xaviera
Hollander have to go ho-hum. That's because, ultimately, Mr. FS's exposes
himself for what he really is: Not a Himalayan Nobakov out to seduce a
sultry LAlita, but a pathetic loser with a hand trembling inside his fly.
Mr. ECON-ILLITERATE: This guy strengthens my biased suspicion that the
Economics Department at the TU only teaches its students ABOUT economics
(i.e. biographies of dead White male economists, debunked development-planning models, and so on) at the expense of clear and logical economic reasoning. And one unintended result of such training is that we get journalists with a business-cum-economics background who do a story on Mr. R.D. Tuttle
(Nepal's casino mogul), and instead of doing an analysis of Nepal's little-analyzed casino industry, end up comparing Tuttle -- inexplicably with Larry Flynt, the American porn-publisher! Then there exist other suited-booted business-reporters who, for reasons known only to themselves, fail to dig into whether the Chaudhary Group of Industries had brazenly dishonored their agreement with the parent company of Singha Beer; and if so, what repercussions of such breach of contract would now have on other Nepalis' efforts to attract international franchises. Still, the worst remain those, who -- never having understood, let alone mastered, the economic arguments against Arun III -- go on writing a la Pashu Rana the former Minister, that the project had been killed by some bikas-birodhi and dollar-khanay environmentalists.=20 Granted, the three categories above can hardly even begin to showcase all the quirkiness of Nepal's fascinating journalists -- from the very best to the very worst. Even then, the stage is set for other 'consumers of journalism' to now write more saucily about our patrakars' -- the very ones who raise all the halla against censorship -- inability to laugh at and make fun of their own occasional silly work.. THE END.
"Leader as a story-teller" a review-essay written by ASHUTOSH TIWARI
Originally published in The Kathmandu Post Review of Books. (April '97)
Book: "Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership"
by Howard Gardner
Harper Collins Publishers, 1997
Available at: Educational Enterprises, Kathmandu; Mandala Book Point,
A decade ago, if one wanted to read about leadership, one
had two options [in Nepal]. The first was to go through dominantly
America-produced how-to books that purported to reveal the tricks and the
magic of leadership. And the second was to read history and
(auto-)biographies of certifiably great leaders, and draw inspiration. Since the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s, however, there's been a trend in the academia and the popular press to treat (public as opposed to militaristic or electoral) leadership as a distinct, if urgent, area of research and teaching. So much so that graduate schools of public administration/public-policy now offer courses on leadership the way business schools offer courses on entrepreneurship.
On the popular level, this trend has produced best-sellers
such as Steven Covey's trilogy: "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective
People"; "Principle-centered Leadership", and, "First Things First". On the
academic level, amidst debates raging in evolutionary biology (as in, we
have evolved to follow the strongest among us to ensure our own survival)
and in political philosophy (as in, those who value communitarianism, a sort
of a half-way ideology between libertarianism and socialism, are better
poised to lead societies), intellectually engaging books on leadership
continue to be published. Ronald Heifetz's "Leadership without Easy
Answers", and Gary Wills's "Certain Trumpets: The Call of Leaders" are two
1994 books that have sparked a widespread interest in the craft and the
content of leadership.
Into this 'happening' domain now enters Howard Gardner, a
Harvard professor who has made his reputation by persuasively arguing -- as
he did in his 1983 book "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple
Intelligences" -- that "intelligences" also include other six skills that
are neither verbal nor analytical.
In "Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership", Gardner
advances a theory that the leader is a competent individual who tells
"credible stories" to "markedly influence the behaviors, thoughts and/or feelings of a significant number of fellow human beings." Gardner attaches importance to "credible stories" because he thinks that external manifestations such as those of power and authority do not mean much. That is because, leadership, as Gardner sees it, always lives on internally -- through its influence on the human mind. As such, those who lead the minds are the leaders in the true sense. This is a provocative theory. It sees leaders as individuals whose genius lies not on their dutiful adherence to mission-statements or their being saintly per se, but on their seizing opportunities to tell stories that they themselves truthfully embody. And to test this theory, Gardner critically reviews the lives and the works of eleven individuals -- from Margaret Mead to Mahatma Gandhi -- and discusses the general characteristics they shared when it came to leading their audience's minds. Their general characteristics, in turn, help Gardner explain what he calls
"an anatomy of leadership".
TELLING CREDIBLE STORIES: "A leader must have a central
story or message" to tell to her audience, and that story needs to address
"the sense of group identity, [and] help the group members . . frame future options". One the one hand, that story could be very sophisticated, and understood only by a few. For example, an economist's publishing a series of ground-breaking papers could be seen as her "telling stories" to claim leadership within her domain of specialty. On the other hand, Nelson Mandela's life-long fights against apartheid themselves tell "stories" that resonate positively with large and heterogeneous groups. Unlike the economist's, however, Mandela's "stories" are relatively "unspecialized", and hence are more likely to cut across domains. That is to say, they can be more easily grasped by what Gardner calls "the unschooled mind" -- the mind "that develops naturally in the early lives of children [and stays that way throughout the adult years] without the need for formal [instructions]".
DIRECT AND INDIRECT LEADERSHIP: According to Gardner,
through their stories, individuals vie to become either direct leaders or
indirect leaders. Direct leaders are those can relate their stories
directly, almost face-to-face, to the most diverse groups possible.
Politicians are this kind of leaders, though their influence is dependent
upon how they themselves embody the contents of their own stories. Thus, a
politician addressing thousands of people on the evils of corruption cannot
claim to be a leader (i.e. change anyone's mind) if he himself is known to
Indirect leadership, however, operates on two levels. For
instance, a creative artist or a brilliant writer, through her creative
works, could bring sea-changes in her field, without her ever making a
speech in public. Gardner sees such an artist or a writer as an indirect
leader -- someone who influences her peers and followers mainly through her
mental creations. Still, opportunities for direct leadership exists within
this larger realm of indirect leadership too. For example, that artist or
the writer could attempt to be a direct leader within her specific domain of
the arts or literature. But as Gardner argues, direct leadership is often
necessarily "tumultuous and risky". Still, as Colin Powell, an American
General, has recently demonstrated, it IS possible for a publicly indirect
leader (e.g. that of the military alone) to cross and transcend domains, and
emerge as a direct leader with "stories" that appear credible to broad
sections of his society.
NEPALI CONTEXT: After reading this crisply-written
(thankfully, Gardner seems incapable of writing vague and long-winding sentences!!) 400-page-long book, the questions in my mind were these: Why should an average Nepali reader care about this book? Does it have any relevance in the Nepali context? And so to answer those questions, let me indulge in some controversy, and apply Gardner's theory to the life of Ganesh Man Singh
--arguablythe most recognized political leader in Nepal. In 1990, as the commander of the Jan Andolan, Ganesh Man was an undisputed colossus, an awe-inspiring individual with a life-story that seemed broad and inclusionary enough to touch and affect the minds of millions of Nepalis. He was a hero who had turned down prime ministership, and he seemed to embody everyone's hopes for a better future. Eight years later, that future seems shaky, and Ganesh Man himself has been sidelined as somebody whose influential days are over. How now to make sense of this by using Gardner's
"story-telling" theory? It's worth arguing that Ganesh Man (as a leader) failed to keep the public (i.e. his audience) on his side by continuously relating to them through credible stories that affirmed their own faith in democracy and their aspirations for it. As such, Ganesh Man's constant public complaints, initially tolerated by the public, were later seen as mere tantrums of a disgruntled politician who himself was unable to get anything done. His calling the people of Kathmandu "sheep" for not electing his wife and son as Members of Parliament was an example of his increasingly exclusionary (as opposed to inclusionary) "story-telling" strategies, and such tactics unfortunately served to further erode his support-base.
Still, if Gardner's theory is correct, and given the present state of political Nepal, all hope is not lost -- both for Ganesh Man and for other leaders. If only they identified the sources of public frustration, wove them into credible "stories", related them to the broadest sections of the society, and, most importantly, embodied what they talk about, then there would be grounds to be optimistic that they would become the inspiring, "story-telling" leaders that Nepal so desperately needs today. THE END.
From: "Damber Gurung" <dgrng@CLEMSON.EDU>
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 10:39:29 +0000
Subject: NEPALI-AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE: EK CHINTAN
NEPALI-AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE: EK CHINTAN
. Damber K. Gurung, Clemson University, SC
Identity at any level -- individual, family, group (ethnic or
non-ethnic), nation, region, etc.-- is valuable, I believe, because
diversity is an integral part of the existence. In fact, I could not
imagine anything without diversity. It appears, therefore, reasonable
that most of us like to be identified as an individual or belonging to
a family, group, nationality, socio-culture, etc. At each level, each
unit has its own perspective -- the relative importance of facts or
matters from any special point of view and also, the ability to
discern this relative importance.
Concepts of social harmony, unity in diversity or melting pot remain
ideals. I understand, only mutual respect and tolerance can bring
about a reasonable level of harmony and unity at each level. Despite
all the talk about the global village and information age, people in
today's world are diverse in numerous ways, and thus, have very
diverse perspectives. I believe, all perspectives are valuable because
there is no known ultimate truth. Values, therefore, usually appear
subjective. Indeed, it is also critical to understand that
perspectives determine values based on which we weigh pros and cons of
our action or inaction.
The first generation of Nepali immigrants to the U.S.
(Nepali-American) tend to place high value on Nepali perspective, and desire to share their Nepali values especially with their children. This tendency may be resulting from a logic as follows. Needless to say, within a family, values must be reasonably consistent. If children's perspective and values do not match, at least to some extent, with parents', conflicts are likely to arise because when parents' values justify an action, children's values may not and vice versa. Such conflicts can be painful in many ways. With the sacrifice you may have made to be a Nepali-American, you would want your children to have at least a flavor of Nepali perspective. I, therefore, speculate that a goal in most Nepali-American parents' mind is to induce a level of Nepali perspective in their children so that there exists a common sub-set of values. Of course, human values and perspective must be common in all "reasonable" perspectives. Your actions associated with Nepali values at home or in your communities are direct consequences of the goal that you have set for yourself.
Moving forward with this goal, I would not be surprised if you
wondered what a Nepali perspective is. From Mechi to Mahakali and
from Tarai to Himalayas, we Nepali are people with diverse
perspectives that are much more deep rooted than what may be called
Nepali perspective. However, you may find your own family and/or
group values much stronger than Nepali values. Of course, your
immediate values form an integral part of Nepali values.
It appears best and practical to work with the most local (family,
tribal, geographic, etc.) perspective and then move towards higher
levels -- national, regional, global, human. Indeed, it is almost
impossible to bring up children in America so that they attain a
Nepali perspective. Their perspective, values and identity will be at
best Nepali-American - an invaluable perspective indeed.
Author welcomes any suggestion, comment or question. Thank you.
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 08:39:08 +0000
From: Mike Carroll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Temple dogs
I am doing research on Temple dogs, and would appreciate any information
anyone might have, such as where in Nepal to find them. They are black &
white or red & white, very furry with short muzzles, short legs, about
20 - 30 lbs. Please email me if you have any information
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 10:01:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: venomous spiders
might you please post a message to the nepal digest mailing list regarding
what poisonous spiders occur in the dry areas of nepal, particularly the
royal chitwan national park?
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 12:41:31 EDT
To: Rajpal J Singh <email@example.com>
From: Tara N Niraula <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: America Nepal Medical Foundation meeting
Can you please post the following message to TND. ANMF is planning
to have a conference on July 5th in Boston under the auspicious of ANA.
This message is to let friends of ANMF and invite them to participate in
the forthcoming conference. Thanks
It has been over a year now since the Maryland meeting (May 1996) where the concept and goals of the America Nepal Medical Foundation (ANMF) were formally endorsed. Since then, we have made some accomplishments together:
- We have made ANMF known to a larger audience, particularly among Nepal-loving Americans, Canadians and others.
- ANMF has been registered as a non-profit organization in the State of New York.
- Some medical books and journals have been sent to the Teaching Hospital Library in Kathmandu
- A membership database of ANMF is being created.
- Regular contacts with some potential organizations having interest in health related areas in Nepal has been established.
- ANMF Web site is under construction.
I need not mention that a lot more needs to be done. With a view of
ensuring even a more fruitful year, I would like to invite you to
participate in our forthcoming meeting at Brandeis University along with
All conference participants must register with ANA. There will also be a Nepalese cultural program at 8 PM the same evening and all are invited to join. The date and venue of the ANMF meeting will be as follow:
Date: Saturday, July 5th, 1997
Time: Meting starts at 1 PM
Venue: Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts (45 minutes drive f rom Boston)
If you have any questions, please contact:
Dr. Arjun Karki
72 Martin Avenue, # 3
Barrington, RI 02806
530 West 122nd Street, # 5B
New York, NY 10027
Tel/ Fax: (212) 663-6923
I thank you for your cooperation. I am looking forward to welcoming you at
Dr. Arjun Karki
Date: 24 May 1997
To: The Nepal Digest <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Farewell to a friend, Gopal Yonzon
In article <338497F6.1DF9@erols.com> you write:
>Gopal Yonzon's untimely sad demise:
>It is indeed a very sad news that Gopal Yonzon is not with us anymore. It
>seems only like yesterday that I had spoken with him the last time about
>the release of his new cassette album "Nishani 52". It is a big loss to
>Born into a humble Tamang family in Darjeeling, Gopal's ancestors came
>from Temal. Although he was so proud to mention to have his ancestors
>come from Temal, he was happy that his ancestors had left the place in
>search of greener pasteur. He was equally proud to have made it back to
>the land of his forefathers sometime in late 60s as a talented young man
>and a rising star in Nepali music. Then came the era of the Nepali modern
>music dominated by the famous duo Narayan Gopal and Gopal Yonzon.
>Gopal's famous song "Timro jasto mutu mero pani" was composed by him when
>he was still a student at a college in Darjeeling more than three decades
>back. There was no heartthrob growing up then with humming the tune
>of this song. A whole generation grew up with the music of the duo.
>His songs make nostalgic to many. Those who know Gopal will say that he
>is basically a self made man; he worked very hard way up his life. No
>uncles or relatives to support him in his early struggles in Kathmandu.
>I know that Gopal did take time off from his busy schedule of a
>musician's world to visit his ancestoral place whenever he could but was
>always saddened by seeing the continuing plight of the people with
>poverty and illiteracy. Even in such a sorrow state, he saw them embedded
>with the music which was always dear to his heart and had also become a
>way of his expression in his life. And he always wondered picturing
>himself playing his flute somewhere in a "Mhe-lung", goldern hill, from
>where his ancestors had ventured an ardous journey outside this dear
>"himali pakha" a long time back. Hard to believe that he's no more with
>us. Gopal will always live with us in his music. I will leave it to his
>biography and obituary writers about his life, but one thing I should
>mention here is that he had a special talent of a lyricist besides being
>a singer and a musician.
>My heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family. In closing, let me
>mention some of the popular numbers Gopal had composed, both music and
>lyrics. They will always remain as a core of Nepali music. Hum a tune to
>1)Galti hazar hunchha...
>2)Alzechha kyare pachhauri timore
>3)Samhala ghumto haru
>4)Sawan farki pheri ayo, maya laune farkera ayena
>5)Jiwanko hareka modma, timile malai bheta
>6)Chyangba hoi chyangba
>7)Mayalu hazar hunchhan, tara maya eutai hunchha
>8)Nani ta raichow hamrai dawali... (collection)
>10)Ghar ta mero himali pakha besi ho ray, Kun dina ko sanjog le banay
>11) Deshale ragat maage...
>12)Chautari ma basee runa pau, manko kura aasule dhuna pau
> Gauthali ko ke ghar ke gaun, dukhiyako ke thar ke nau!!!
>and so on and on...
>With a heavy heart and tearful eyes, farewell to this great maestro and a
>friend. We are all very proud of you, Gopal, and will always be, you will
>Om mani padme hun (107 times)!!!
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