The Nepal Digest - Nov 8, 1998 (22 Kartik 2055 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Sunday Nov 8, 1998: Kartik 22 2055BS: Year7 Volume80 Issue3

 "TND Family extends its heartfelt condolences to Hon. Fmr PM Surya Bdr. Thapa
  and to the bereaved family on untimely demise of his beloved wife Mrs. Sushma
  Thapa. Our prayers are with the departed soul and her family".

Today's Topics (partial list):

       Nepali News
       Limit to the contribution
       NYT on gurkhas (fwd)
       The mystery behind Mirza's Assassination

 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information *
 * Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh *
 * (Open Position) *
 * Editorial Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra *
 * Sports Correspondent: Avinaya Rana *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Dr. Krishna B. Hamal *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Canada Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * SCN Correspondent: Open Position *
 * *
 * TND Archives: *
 * TND Foundation: *
 * WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
 * Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista *
 * *
 * +++++ Food For Thought +++++ *
 * *
 * "Heros are the ones who give a bit of themselves to the community" *
 * "Democracy perishes among the silent crowd" -Sirdar_Khalifa *
 * *
************************************************************** Date: Nov 7, 1998 To: The Nepal Digest <> Subject: Nepali News Source: The Kathmandu Post

Opposition wants PAC to probe RNAC By a Post Reporter
   KATHMANDU, Nov 6 - Weeks after Royal Nepal Airlines began cancelling its international flights, losing millions in the process, a national political party finally deemed it fit to criticise the government for corruption in the corporation, demanding a meeting of the Pubic Accounts Committee to investigate irregularities in RNAC. Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), the second largest opposition block in the House of Representatives, today issued a strong-worded statement accusing the government and the Public Accounts Committee of remaining a mute spectator to the looting of the national flag carrier.

Signed by the partys vice-president, Prakash Chandra Lohani, a statement issued by the RPP here today demands an immediate convening of a meeting of the parliaments powerful Public Accounts Committee. Lohani, a former minister, is himself a PAC member. During the previous tenure of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, RNAC fell into a major controversy when the corporation appointed Dinesh Dhamija as its general sales agent for the European sector. The manoeuverings that followed Dhamijas appointment brought the PAC into the picture which conducted its own investigations on the alleged corruption, resulting in the "Dhamija scandal," a major embarrassment for Koirala for years.

If the developments in the national flag carrier are any indication, the present quest of the corporation to secure an aircraft for its international operations too promises to develop into a controversy as big as the Dhamija scandal. Already, US 783,000 dollars is feared to have been swindled from RNAC by an obscure leasing company in the USA. The RNAC board, a body full of political appointees of the present coalition, paid the sum to Chase Air International in hopes of acquiring a Boeing 757 on a six-month wet lease. The board failed to obtain the aircraft owners mandate from Chase, which is only a broker. The transaction has raised eyebrows here among many who accuse the RNAC board of pocketing at least US 300,000 dollars of the paid amount as commissions.

Having failed to receive the aircraft on time, RNAC initiated legal proceedings against the Texas-based firm, obtaining an order from a New York district court to freeze its bank accounts in the state of New York. The firms account in a New York bank, where the money paid by RNAC was deposited, only had US 300,000 dollars when the court freezed the account, less than half the sum paid. Knowledgeable sources allege, some of the missing sum may have gone as commissions to those here responsible for the deal.

****************************************************************** From: Date: Sat, 7 Nov 1998 04:15:57 EST To: Subject: Limit to the contribution

Dear Editor, like Mohand Chand in the last digest I like also to suggest to make the remarks and contribution shorter and to limit them. I do not like to read long monologs or stories. Instead I like to have short letters and informationen. If I need more information about one subject and could get it from several places. The digest should be a forum and not a place for long postings on any subject.

Torsten Frank Berlin

****************************************************************** Date: Thu, 05 Nov 1998 07:51:42 +0500 To: editor contributions <> From: "F.A.H. \('Hutch'\) Dalrymple" <> Subject: item, question, contribution (More Inconsistencies in Nepali
  Culture) and upcoming

Got the Novemeber 4th issue of TND, finally...


'I'm sorry! I Don't Understand! No Comprende! Please Explain! (Vol.II) Bugina! More inconsistencies in Nepali culture...

1) The Buddhists, who are into meditation, retreat, solitude and quiet contemplation allow their dogs to bark all night long, disturbing their neighbors... Help me out with this one...? Is their a Buddhist concept/word for courtesy, thoughtfulness...?

2) Thy hand that wipes thy 'arse,' feeds thy face... I'm sorry, this hardly makes any sense to me...? Do the Hindus have a concept/word for cleanliness, sanitation...?

3) People walking on the street in Kathmandu are in no hurry. But, as soon as you put these same people on wheels, they're in a monstrous hurry... I'm sorry, bugina!

4) 80% of the people in Kathmandu walk around without shoes or socks in this 'shithole,' as an American tourist described it. Then these people are required to take off whatever and their very dirty feet walk on your floor... Help me out with this one...?

5) Additionally, part of the reason Nepal is 'so poor' ($) is it's so inefficient and unproductive... Part of the reason has to do with wasting so much time (which is money). Part of that has to do with spending time taking your shoes off and then putting them on again... Help me out with this one...?

6) On narrow, busy, trafficed streets, children walk abreast, sometimes four, and five wide, thus causing a traffic hazard, when every driver/rider must figure out how to get around them (without killing them)... These children, whose lifes are yet to be lived, seem not to care whether they live or die, nor if they cause a traffic jam. Couldn't they be taught to walk single file...? I'm sorry, walking in the street this way, makes no sense to me... Maybe you can explain...?

Finally, please, readers feel free to contribute to these (inconsistencies) wherever you live. Nepal is not the only country with cultural inconsistencies, America has many! Thus, let's get this thing going and have everyone contribute, from whatever country they live in... And maybe it will end up being a book... And we can contribute whatever revenue (if any) to Mr. Singh's Foundation.

F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple Kathmandu, Ne-is-my-pal

P.S. To MarCofer (this is how you should have your name)... Maybe you'd want to put these on your There's a 'Vol.I.'

*************************************************************** Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1998 00:54:57 -0500 (EST) Forwarded by: Ashutosh Tiwari <> Subject: NYT on gurkhas (fwd)

10/30/98 The New York Times Page 4, Column 3 c. 1998 New York Times Company

Hong Kong Journal For Fearfully Rich, a New Fad: A Fierce Gurkha By MARK LANDLER

HONG KONG, Oct. 29 -- When tycoons step out of their Rolls-Royces here these days, they are often quickly surrounded by a phalanx of compact but fierce-looking bodyguards. These are Gurkhas, and while they come from the uplands of Nepal, they are deeply embedded in Hong Kong's history.

For half a century, Gurkhas served in the British Army here, gaining fame for their skill as soldiers. But when Britain handed Hong Kong over to China last year, the Gurkhas suddenly found themselves relieved of duty -- colonial relics as superannuated as the Governor's ostrich-plumed hat.

Now, after two spectacular kidnappings of local tycoons, the Gurkhas have reinvented themselves as the protectors of choice for Hong Kong's frightened rich. Fearing a wave of copycat abductions, business people are hiring Gurkhas by the dozens to protect themselves and their families.

''We're in a situation where highly trained men with military backgrounds are taking children to and from school every day,'' said Stephen G. Vickers, a former commander of the Criminal Intelligence Bureau of the Hong Kong Police. He has handled 28 kidnappings in nearly two decades on the force.

Like so much else in Hong Kong, personal security has turned into a status-driven business, with a well-defined hierarchy of products and services. In the world of surveillance cameras, bulletproof limousines, and big guys with padded jackets, having your own Gurkha is the ultimate status symbol.

''It's part of the Hong Kong thing about showing off your wealth,'' said Nigel A. Collett, a retired British Army officer who commanded a Gurkha garrison in Brunei and now runs a company that places Gurkhas as bodyguards.

Mr. Collett is quick to add that the demand for Gurkhas has grown in the last two years for serious reasons: with a more porous border between Hong Kong and the rest of China, gangsters who operate on both sides of the fence have become increasingly brazen in their targeting of wealthy people here.

The vulnerability of the tycoons has been dramatized by the case of Cheung Tze-keung, 44, a Hong Kong man who is being tried in the nearby Chinese city of Guangzhou on charges of abducting members of two powerful Hong Kong families and extorting more than $200 million in ransom.

Mr. Cheung goes by the nickname Big Spender, and his testimony at the trial over the last two weeks has only burnished his extravagant reputation. After kidnapping Victor Li, the eldest son of the tycoon Li Ka-shing, Mr. Cheung said he negotiated a $133 million ransom with the father -- camping out at the Li family home as the elder Mr. Li cobbled together the cash.

In the case of his other kidnapping victim, the billionaire property developer Walter Kwok, the negotiation took longer because Mr. Kwok's brothers haggled over the terms of the ransom, getting it down to $77 million.

Mr. Cheung and 35 members of his gang were eventually arrested by the police in Guangdong Province. Because the families did not report the crimes to the Hong Kong Police, the mainland Chinese asserted jurisdiction over the case. Testimony in the trial ended Wednesday, and a verdict could come within a week. Mr. Cheung faces the death penalty.

Although Mr. Li and Mr. Kwok were released unharmed, the kidnappings have spooked other wealthy Hong Kong business people. Neither man was traveling with a bodyguard at the time he was kidnapped, and Mr. Cheung boasted that he was able to track their movements with uncanny precision.

''This could put ideas in bad people's minds,'' said Paul Yung, a former bodyguard for Hong Kong's last colonial Governor, Christopher Patten. Mr. Yung now handles security for a prominent local financier, Dickson Poon.

''It is so easy,'' he added. ''There is so much money to be made. It's worth taking a risk.''

Security experts said wealthy Hong Kongers practice bad habits that make them easy prey -- frequenting the same clubs, restaurants and racetracks.
''Hong Kong is really a goldfish bowl,'' Mr. Vickers said. ''Everybody knows everybody else's business, and they all go to the same places.''

This is where the Gurkhas come in. Known for their loyalty and discretion, they are unlikely to gossip about habits or whereabouts of their employers. Although many Gurkhas speak English, almost none speak Cantonese. And Mr. Yung said they were less susceptible to bribery than Chinese bodyguards.

Indeed, the Nepalese guards who protect Mr. Poon declined to discuss their lives or work, even in the most general terms.

Gurkhas are not a perfect deterrent to the security threat. Mr. Yung noted that their background and military training were better suited to jungle warfare than urban terrorism. Gurkhas trace their roots as British soldiers to the British-Nepalese war of 1812, when they impressed Britain by holding off a British invasion. The Gurkhas later served alongside British troops in India and Malaysia.

Gurkhas also do not come cheap. A seasoned bodyguard with military training earns nearly $40,000 a year. This may not seem like much, except that fretful tycoons typically hire three guards for each member of the family. For a family of four, that adds up to $480,000 -- not counting the armor-plated BMW.

Not every rich Hong Kong family employs Gurkhas . While Victor Li and his father now use them, the Kwok family has hired Chinese bodyguards, who are supervised by a retired Hong Kong police commander.

Still, for many of Hong Kong's elite, Gurkhas are the gold standard. Mr. Poon, a flamboyant merchant best known in the United States for trying to buy Barney's department store, employs a contingent of a dozen Gurkhas -- a security detail that befits a head of state more than a retailer.

At a recent society wedding here, Mr. Collett recalled, so many tycoons arrived with their distinctive sturdy guards that a local newspaper joked that the Gurkhas outnumbered the guests.

''They were all showing off their Gurkhas ,'' he said, shaking his head.
''A Hong Kong person could probably do the job just as well.''

Photos: Victor Li, who was kidnapped and ransomed, gave an interview, top
(Next Magazine), under the watchful eyes of his Gurkha guards (John Giannini for The New York Times). Gurkhas wore their traditional dress for a ceremony on their leaving Hong Kong in 1996.

****************************************************************** Date: Thu, 05 Nov 98 10:32:16 EST Forwarded by: "Paramendra Bhagat" <> To: Subject: Racism : From the Nepalese to the Global Context(VIII)

    -a general concern that little is being done in Canada to record and track bias crimes and there is little understanding of the nature of bias crimes.
    -We do not know how they [police and Attorneys General] are recording these
[hate motivated] crimes.
    -there are no standards for what constitutes a racially motivated crime. Nor is there a coding system on officers reporting sheets to indicate a hate component, racist, xenophobic, etc., to reported crimes. The issue of who defines a crime as a "bias crime" was also raised
    -It is up to the individual police officer who goes to the scene of the crime to know what a hate crime is, what the signs are and what the legislation is. Then you have that whole problem that a particular person has the authority to determine [whether a crime is classified as a hate crime]. What is happening right now is that racism, I [mean] extreme form[s] of hatred [are] being given focus, organized, and channelled in a particular way. It was argued that, even if statistics on bias crimes are not being collected, it is the right of the victim of racial violence to have it noted in police records. People within the ethno-cultural groups and new immigrants have to realize that they are entitled to say that their attack constitutes a hate crime, and to volunteer that information when they are encountering police officers.
    -Bias crimes need to be reported if you believe it is racially motivated. Even if they do not prosecute it that way, you have the history behind you and the next time something like that happens you have even more to base your case on.

    -the Court Challenges Program is probably one of the most imaginative programs developed by the federal government. ..............The original objective was to provide funds to the Canadian Council of Social Development and this Council had two panels: a language panel and an equality panel. These two panels selected important cases to create precedent and, upon selection, provide financial help to initiate a challenge. ........Many of the important cases you have read about were funded through the Court Challenges Program.............The unfortunate thing is that it worked too well and it was abolished in order to
"save money."
    -The Federal government passed legislation to institute a Race Relations Foundation as part of the settlement to Canadians of Japanese origin for internment during the Second World War. However, the Foundation has not as yet been created. Discussion centred around the political pressure which needed to be brought to have the issue resolved.
    -a consensus ....that there needs to be research on racism.
    -the research needs to be focused.
    -unimpressed by the research which has been conducted in the past. .
    -much of the research has been unnecessary, divisive and tends to sit unused on library shelves.
    -until we fully understand the problems of access to justice, it is quite difficult to make recommendations to government.

    -The Justice System
    -an example of my first day in court as a minority person. I was properly gowned for a trial and the judge asked me, "Who is with you?" That question was with the expectation that I was just carrying the briefcase of a senior man. I replied, "I am here by myself." He was staring at me and I thought he was thinking, "He even knows how to speak English". When I was arguing the case, I thought he was thinking, "Oh, he even knows a little bit of law".
    -whether you are the mainstream Canadian or otherwise, you can see and feel this.
    -The quality of justice they are going to articulate in a given case must be responsive, not only to formal issues, but to community needs.
    -A person asked whether sensitizing judges to the cultural differences of a diverse population is an ominous task if every judge has to be equipped with an encyclopedia of knowledge on how to treat all the different cultural groups.
    -the problem is not just with the judges. It is the system. It starts out when and why people are arrested, and then it goes through how they are treated in lock up and how they are represented in court. It was argued that there needs to be equal representation throughout the justice system as part of the solution to the problem.
    -if you have a more representative bench, or police [force], you are more likely to come into contact with people who are aware of cultural differences.

    -the development of effective community strategies to counteract organized hate groups.

    -There were lots of groups that certainly did not get along together, but because... the task was so great... we did co-cooperate for a certain period of time. It only fell apart when the threat went away. Contrasting the internal organization between hate groups and multicultural and anti-racist groups, one person said that: They [hate groups] have the networking [within] military organizations. They have [an] organized system; they have their chain of command; they have everything worked out in a very orderly fashion. It can operate with the brains removed because [they have a] system. We need a system that can operate by itself if you remove the people at the top so that from the bottom up it works by itself. In addition, minorities appear to lack political clout.
    -Minorities have been behaving like humble supplicants; We go cap in hand and we ask for help. We have not identified ourselves as a political force. If we do so, then the mainstream will take notice and we can call for action just like the Status of Women does. We are now one third of this population, yet nobody knows it. How do we become a political force... I think we need to work in a proactive sense, promoting multiculturalism as better for all Canadians, that is, I would suggest, proactive multiculturalism. This raised the issue of the need for co-ordination of groups, strategies and resources. A national effort to co-ordinate the fight against racism was discussed as follows: The one that really strikes me is the need for some kind of national effort... there seems to be a growing sense that there is a need for national co-ordination.
    -the need was recognized for a computer network.
    -to be able to keep track of what was clearly racially motivated crime so that we can start having pressure from across the country in each province.
    -a computerized system throughout the country where information can be disseminated.
    -whenever there is a problem we need immediate responses and support from across the country.
    -hate groups are using sophisticated technology and are more advanced in terms of communication and overall organization across Canada and the United States
    -monitoring groups need to develop similar expertise
    -Communication to local groups is essential... Most of these groups all have their computers and faxes in place. So that means we need to compile a list of fax numbers. I am beginning to utilize volunteers to update the media list, personnel, phone and fax numbers. A directory of all the organizations at the federal, provincial and municipal levels that deal with issues of fighting against racism.
    -the need for information and networking.
    -a group has been established to monitor litigation.
    -Unless you have somebody who constantly reads Supreme Court Bulletins you would not know what was being appealed.
    -a collection of research - credible documentation of what could constitute a hate motivated crime.
    -youth training for leadership. In this view:
    -We need to be as slick and polished as they are [racists].
    -if you look at David Duke, he is quite eloquent. He could probably charm the fur off a polar bear.
    -Some of the competition between groups is [based on the role of] funders... There are only so many dollars for these activities and then people have to compete for the money. They do that to divide groups.
    -all cultures are equal, but not special.
    -if we do not have a political department dealing with multiculturalism, we are back to square one where we had to depend on the white mainstream to decide our future.

    -the desecration of synagogues and graveyards, widespread racist graffiti, direct and brutal physical attacks and the continuation of racist, anti-semitic and homophonic hate telephone lines.
    -In the first two years since German reunification over 2,000 reported incidents of racism and anti-semitism were reported. Approximately 75% of the incidents took place in the former west Germany where the standard of living and education were much higher than the former east Germany. Nazis in Germany
    -Nazis are not sure that Eastern Europeans are Aryan enough to be classified as such

Merchants of Hate A New Generation of Leaders

    -It has been assumed that hate groups are an urban working class problem affecting men who lack self-esteem. This perception has largely resulted from the mainstream media which has tended to focus on images of racist skinheads but not on the new generation of hate group leaders and the sophisticated methods they use to merchandise racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia.
    -the most sophisticated computerized hate telephone line in Canada
    -enjoyed all the privileges of an upper-middle class home in the suburbs, including post secondary education.
    -the Canadian chapter of the extremely violent Church of the Creator.
    -had helped found both Resistance Records, a CD production and marketing company, and Resistance, a slick glossy racist rock magazine.
    -Words to one CD state that: "I've got your number you pathetic queers, Pray to your gods for your end is near". Another CD plays on the resentment towards elected officials:

This means war, you federal whore I'll make you wish you never lived Your morals are weak, your standards, they reek You always take but you never give I'll hunt you, I'll stalk you, kill you one-by-one The tide will turn the other way The tide will turn the other way Hunter becomes the hunted, sentences will be passed When it comes - Judgement Day

    -That elected officials are traitors and that an elite group of white men must violently overthrow the government is a common theme of the extreme right.
    -the idea of a "racial holy war" in which Jews, people of colour, "race mixers", liberals and government leaders will be executed, or deported.
    -"We [the Church of Jesus Christ in Israel] are laying down the groundwork for a revolution which will return power to the white race......wip[ing] out Zionism and every kike who supports it throughout the free world......All immigration from non-white nations must be stopped. Mud people must be repatriated to the land of their ancestry."
    -Europeans were created by God, but that African, Asian and others are "mud people" or, in the case of Jews, descended from Satan.
    -To advertise, communicate and recruit, these groups use sophisticated telephone message systems, audio and video tape recordings, computer bulletin boards, the Internet, shortwave radio, satellite television, books, magazines, comics and newsletters.
    -The existence of sophisticated networks of hate and the recruitment of young men and women clearly demonstrates the need to re-think anti-racist strategy. Traditional educational programs and cross-cultural training are not designed to combat sophisticated brands of racism and anti-Semitism, new technologies for merchandising hate propaganda, or the new methods of recruiting young, white men and women.
    -Educational programs must be supported by effective hate crime legislation and the active engagement of law enforcement agencies. One of the main priories is to establish hate crime units in cooperation with communities targeted by hate and organizations that monitor and track hate group activity. Since hate groups operate across provincial and international borders, national monitoring and statistical data collection is a priority. International agreements against the distribution of hate must also be developed to prevent hate mongers from using Canada as a safe haven to spread hatred to other countries. For too long Canadians have assumed that hatred is a US problem and that hatred is simply imported to Canada by foreigners to the South.
    -Since racists also transmit hate across provincial borders, the proposed devolution of federal powers must not weaken the resolve to deal with the flow of hate propaganda and recruiters between provinces.
    -It has often been claimed that hate groups do not create racism, but are simply a reflection of a racist culture and that individual or systemic racism is the top priority. ...............while it is true that hate groups would not be tolerated if it were not for systemic racism in Canadian society, hate groups exacerbate pre-existing racism.
    -Not only do hate groups exploit inter-group conflict and misunderstanding, they expand societal tolerance for hatred, discrimination and prejudice. In fact, one of the dangers of hate groups is that they normalize extreme hatred and violence by justifying it as protection for the "white race" against
"cultural invasion." Ethnic cleansing is, in their eyes, a religious duty.
    -Attempting to ignore hate groups in the hope that they will disappear because of a lack of attention may, in fact, compound the problem since ignoring racism provides license to practise it.
    -Ignoring hate is a denial of justice and adds to the sense of alienation and frustration with law enforcement agencies and other institutions which contributes to the further erosion of Canadian society.
    -groups that monitor and track hate groups need to be supported - they are the front line against hate.
    -the growing problem of the recruitment of young people into hate groups, and the associated problems of hate propaganda and street violence.

    -membership in far right groups is not correlated with low levels of formal education.
    -62% of the members of the far right he interviewed had attended university, college or technical school training.
    -detailed educational information on 383 individuals in the Christian patriot movement in Idaho and found that they had attained generally higher levels of education than the average resident of Idaho - a state where the average educational level is higher than in other American states.
    -Lightning Rod mails unsolicited CDs to college and universities across Canada in the hope receiving of free air time. A recent cover jacket for a Lightning Rod CD states "This recording is dedicated to the proposition that even today, in this darkest of hours, North American Whites possess sufficient resolve to arise and smash the international Zionist tyrants... Stand and Fight!"

****************************************************************** Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1998 09:56:07 -0800 (PST) From: Tom Slocum <> To:

Notice of recent book publication: "In His Majesty's Civil Service and other tales of contemporary Bhutan." Fiction short stories based on actual people, events, situations in Bhutan. A primary theme is the interaction of the Nepali Hindu culture (which makes up about a third of the population) and the Drukpa Buddhist culture. Doesn't dwell heavily on the mass deportation events of 1990, 1991, but rather on the day-to-day interaction of the two cultures (which actually do get along fairly well together, at least in the cities). Copies of the book can be ordered from bookstores - )ISBN 0-944957-98-6) or from the publisher: Rivercross Publishing, 6214 Wynfield Court, Orlando, FL 32819 USA. Author is Thomas Slocum.


*********************************************************************************************** Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998 08:42:20 +0545 (NPT) To: Ashutosh Tiwari <> From: (Pratyoush Onta) To:

 Source: The Kathmandu Post, 6 Nov 1998

The Politics of Knowledge

Making Literary Debates Sensible

Pratyoush Onta

It is hard to remember a time when worries about the health of the Nepali literature was not being expressed in public. Over the last decade, many known personalities from within the world of Nepali literature have said that the health of their beloved subject is not good. Such repetition has produced a social truth and now everyone seems to believe that the health of the Nepali literature is worrisome.

About a year ago, I asked several individuals how one goes about measuring the health of Nepali literature in its entirety. None of the individuals I spoke to gave me a satisfactory answer. I then ganged up with senior writer Khagendra Sangraula, who was also thinking about this issue then and we decided to work together on an article that would tackle the subject
(eventually published in Himal, Phagun-Chait 2054 B.S.). To delimit the terrains of the argument, we decided to confine ourselves to those aspects of Nepali literature that we are most familiar with: I would concentrate on the number and variety of literary publications and on the genre of essays. Sangraula would concentrate on the genre of short stories and on the work of literary critics. We decided to only look at the respective scenarios since the Jana Andolan of 2046 B.S.

To decide whether or not the health of Nepali literature had deteriorated, we posed ourselves three very simple questions: has the number of literary journals and books published decreased? Has there been a deterioration in the genre of essays? Has there been a deterioration in the genre of short stories. We provided evidence from a wide variety of publications and listed the work of writers belonging to different generations, sex, political orientation, and reputation and concluded that the answer to each of the above three questions was a "No".

For the case of publications, we provided a long list, a prelimiary version of which I had submitted in my article published in this space on 5 December 1997. When one looks at a wide variety of journals and books put out by governmental organizations and private publishers, there is no room to suggest that publication activity has slowed down compared to ten years ago. For the case of essays, what becomes evident is that its sub-genres such as memoirs, historical writings, travel-accounts, diary writing, autobiographies, biographies, social science-induced essays, essays focussed on specific themes such as women or gender - have grown both in quantity and quality. For the case of short stories, we looked at representative sample that shows that this narrative genre has kept pace with events and realities of post-Jana Andolan Nepal.

If this is the case in our evaluation, we asked why hasn't a single literary critic pointed out as much? What should in fact be the role of such critics when major worries are being expressed about the health of Nepali literature? It then seemed to us that instead of trying to bridge the gap between literary producers and the average reader through their critical interventions, our critics are bent on showing their punditry on themes of literary aesthetics and textual analysis. Interested more in making analysis an insular activity to score points against fellow critics, our literary critics seemed afraid and incapable of discussing the social life of Nepali literature in post-Jana Andolan Nepal. Hence they had not spoken out about this subject.

When most channels of open expression were closed or restricted during the Panchayat era, literature formed a strong medium for both the expression and the consumption of many thoughts and ideas. In a relatively more democratic ambiance, that central role literature has been dethroned and literary products have to compete with many other forms of printed media for attention. The readers' interest too have become very diverse, due in part to more competitive professional needs and also to an unprecedented boom in print media of diverse subjects. In other words, literature can no longer make an a priori claim on the readers' time and attention as it used to in an earlier era. But this is not the same thing as saying that the health of the Nepali literature is poor. From a production point of view, despite the competitive atmosphere, the health of Nepali literature - evaluated on the basis of the process outlined above - is not worrisome.

Going by the evidence since the publication of our article, we can say that the lament has hardly ceased. More people, it seems, have joined the bandwagon and Sangruala and my effort to introduce a criteria in the evaluation process that leads to a conclusion has not made much of a difference. For instance, in a review of the literature issue of Himal in which our article appeared, writer Govinda Giri Prerana (we had cited his earlier published conclusion that the health of Nepali essays was worrisome) says that he had stated as much because in relation to some other genres, he felt that Nepali essays were not doing too good. In other words, his conclusion was based not on an evaluation process that he could elaborate in public but on how he "felt"! This complete negligence of a public evaluation process leading to a conclusion is central to why this lament seems to be gaining strength everyday.

It is entirely possible that the evaluation made public by Sangraula and me is faulty for having asked the wrong questions, for having deployed the wrong evidence, and for having interpreted the evidence in a wrong manner. But a sensible debate on the subject requires a commitment by other participants who can show, in publicly available writing, that the process of evaluation used is faulty for specified reasons. How anybody "feels" can hardly be the basis for a sensible debate. Literary critics could benefit by paying attention to standards of evaluation employed by social science disciplines. Without such an effort, halla (noise) and not informed debate might actually ruin the health of Nepali literature!

********************************************************************* From: (PRAKASH BHANDARI) To:, Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998 11:22:44 Subject: REQUEST FOR HELP

Hello TND Readers,

I am requesting all of you on behalf of Mr Bhola Bhattarai that his brother Keshav Bhattarai has been missing from July 25,1998(Shrawan 3,2055) from Pokhara. According to Mr. Bhola Bhattarai, his brother had set out from Pokhara to his house at Gauradaha Jhapa. He is 22 years old. If anyone of you know him or find him, please inform in the following address:

Thank you for your help. With Best Regards, PRAKASH BHANDARI

**************************************************************** Date: Fri, 06 Nov 1998 10:21:51 +0500 To: editor contributions <> From: "F.A.H. \('Hutch'\) Dalrymple" <> Subject: kabita

THE LAND OF DECAY (for governments everywhere...)

Decay is everywhere... The physical, The mental, The emotional, in The land of decay!

The 'buildings' are old, And falling down! The people 'knew,' And all around, The 'due,' barely off
'There' faces 'two!'

They laugh! Like seals trained, Reigned by fate, The Great, To accept their 'mate.'

And thus it gets worse, The array, The lack of 'hay,' People starving; Bloated minds, The politics of
'Pick-Up Sticks!' Knock 'won' over and Get your kicks!

How do we change, A thousand years, Now impotent, The people, Ever evident in the dissolving, Reconstituting, Of...

F.A.H. ('Hutch') Dalrymple Kathmandu, Ne-is-my-pal Where there's a 'nip' in the 'hair'

****************************************************************** Forwarded by: "Paramendra Bhagat" <> To: Subject: The mystery behind Mirza's Assassination Date: Fri, 06 Nov 1998 11:17:04 PST

India Today October 26, 1998

S P SHUKLA Criminal's Bedfellows

The Special Task Force establishes evidence of the slain don's links with politicians.

By Subhash Misra

There is a spectre haunting Uttar Pradesh politics today. The spectre of Shri Prakash Shukla. Three weeks ago, there was euphoria in political and police circles after the state Special Task Force (STF) -- set up in April to capture or liquidate dreaded criminals -- gunned down the gangster. The euphoria has now given way to apprehension. After painstaking investigation, the STF has come up with startling evidence of Shukla's political connections: at least eight ministers of the Kalyan Singh Cabinet, over a dozen MLAs, former MLAs, MPs and former MPs and several IPS and IAS officers, some even holding sensitive posts, had colluded with Shukla, helping him to execute his operations or even evade the police dragnet.

According to a report submitted to Chief Minister Kalyan Singh by an STF officer -- a copy of which is in the possession of India Today -- Shukla was often given shelter at the official residences of some ministers of Kalyan's Government who reside in high-security areas of the state capital like Kalidas Marg, Mall Avenue and Mantri and Vidhayak Awas colonies. The STF also has in its possession tape-recorded evidence of the calls made by Shukla and his gang members from these premises. "A few of the ministers," says a member of the STF speaking on the condition of anonymity, "were themselves acting as members of Shukla's gang." Not only did they keep their official residences, telephones and cars at Shukla's disposal, they also interfered with the administration
"to insulate him from any police attack". And worse, many even extracted "protection money" from Shukla for the various favours granted.

                A ruthless, unchallenged don whose writ
                extended beyond Uttar Pradesh to large
                parts of Bihar and the underworld in Delhi,
                Shukla was often sought out by local
                politicians to settle political scores. A few
                days before he was killed by the STF
                outside an apartment complex in
                Ghaziabad on the outskirts of Delhi, Shukla
                is reported to have told a senior Uttar
                Pradesh police officer on the phone, "Mera
                sapna hai ki is pure desh mein apna
                ekchhatra bol bala ho (my ambition is to
                become the Number One don in this

                In crime-infested Uttar Pradesh, there are
                hundreds who, like Shukla, started out as
                small-time criminals. But few could boast of
                a rise that was as meteoric as his. Shukla
                was said to have been no more than 25
                (police records do not list his age) when he
                met his gruesome end but had carved a
                niche for himself, thanks both to the brazen
                manner of his operations and the political
                patronage that he enjoyed. For long,
                politicians and the bureaucracy helped him
                dodge the dragnet that the police had
                prepared for him. His gang is said to have
                been the best-equipped in the state and
                though he operated mainly from Lucknow,
                Shukla had built up a formidable network of
                contacts across the country. Informers in
                the Government, police as well as friends in
                high political circles ensured that he was
                able to operate with ease even in the
                well-policed areas of Lucknow.

                "He had the support of at least 40
                government officials including IAS and IPS
                officers and lower-rank policemen," says a
                senior police official from the state. That
                perhaps explains why the STF took more
                than five months to track down and finally
                eliminate Shukla. By the time that
                happened, the team had spent Rs 1 crore,
                covered nearly 1,00,000 km, flying between
                Patna, Delhi and Lucknow or scouting in
                Tata Sumos through the three states. Often
                they got close but Shukla always managed
                to give them the slip. On one occasion, the
                police intercepted the official car of state
                Culture Minister Jitendra Kumar Jaiswal on
                a tip-off that Shukla was in it. "Some
                persons managed to jump out of the car
                and when we searched the car, only the
                minister was there," says a police officer,
                adding that the identity of those who
                escaped is still a mystery.

In another incident, the police raided the official residence of Public Enterprises Minister Jai Narain Tewari after receiving information that Shukla had been given shelter there but by the time they reached, he is said to have made his getaway. The STF report notes that "Tewari gave shelter to Shri Prakash Shukla. Shukla has also telephoned him at his Darul Shafa flat." More recently, during investigation into the Kunal Rastogi kidnapping case -- in which Shukla is said to have taken a ransom of Rs 5 crore -- the car used in the abduction was tracked to a service station in the state capital. Police officials later learnt that the booking at the service station had been made from the residence of Amarmani Tripathi, the former youth welfare minister who was given the more lucrative portfolio of animal husbandry last week. Referring to this connection, the report says, "Shukla was in permanent contact with Tripathi who had used his influence to secure a drug contract in favour of the brothers of Shri Prakash Shukla."

Operation Shukla was perhaps the biggest offensive that the state police had undertaken in recent years. Bugging devices were employed to track down the don's telephone conversations. With the help of the Department of Telecommunications and private cellular companies, they were able to intercept and record the conversations -- on fixed, cordless and cellular phones -- with politicians, bureaucrats and underworld links. But somehow Shukla always managed to stay one step ahead.

As the force discovered, Shukla was able to afford for himself safe sanctuaries in the residences of ministers. Among those who offered him shelter was Madan Singh, Congress MLC, at No. 504 in the Old Councillor's Building in Lucknow. Police also have evidence to show that
"Shukla spoke to (ministers) Tewari and Prabha Diwedi and used their official telephones for conversations". He frequently used the telephone belonging to the Dairy Development Minister Sunder Singh Baghel who was sacked last week.

There was nowhere that Shukla's long hand did not reach, not even the state's prisons. The report states that Minister of State for Jails Shiv Pratap Shukla had from time to time helped the gangster by shifting honest and upright officers from jails where his gang members were lodged. Sometimes even criminals were shuffled between jails. The don's brother, Om Prakash, for instance, was arbitrarily shifted to the Farrukhabad Jail from Gorakhpur even though jail officials had made no such recommendation, prompting the STF to note that "strict vigilance" should be kept on the minister.

Also under the STF's scrutiny is Health Minister Ramapati Shastri, who faces charges of removing several medical officers at the behest of the Shukla gang in Gorakhpur and Azamgarh districts to facilitate awarding of medical supplies contracts to Shukla's brothers.

Shukla's expertise in contract killings is also believed to have brought many politicians to him. Among them, the STF believes, is Prabha Diwedi. The widow of slain BJP leader Brahm Dutt Diwedi and her nephews are said to have met Shukla more than once to discuss avenging Brahm Dutt's murder. According to records available with the STF, Shukla had even visited her Mall Avenue bungalow.

A fall-out of the new-found friendship with Diwedi was the targeting of BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj by the Shukla gang. Maharaj was an arch rival of the minister's late husband and police believe it was for this reason that Maharaj started crying foul that Shukla had been given a contract of Rs 5 crore by "some BJP leaders" to kill Kalyan Singh. And it was this revelation from the MP that saw the police stepping up operations which finally led to Shukla's killing.

At one stage, continues the report, a senior Congress leader from Pratapgarh was also "seriously" considering eliminating his arch rival, Minister for Programme Implementation Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya by hiring Shukla. There is evidence that Shukla used the telephone at the Congressman's official residence. But once the Congress leader heard from his sources in the police that he was under suveillance by the STF, he developed cold feet and reportedly stopped entertaining Shukla.

Shukla's tentacles reached across the state's boundaries. In Bihar, a senior politician hired the services of Shukla to eliminate one of his rivals. Minister Brij Bihari was in a private ward of a hospital and eight commandos were posted outside his room to ensure his security. But Shukla hoodwinked the security, burst into the ward and sprayed bullets from his AK-47, killing Bihari on the spot. He then made a getaway which was as swift as his arrival. Shukla had also liquidated Ajit Sarkar, MLA from Motihari, in a similar fashion.

So close had his involvement with politicians become that soon Shukla began to entertain dreams of becoming one himself, even contesting elections. Police believe that he targeted Minister for Science and Technology Hari Shankar Tewari precisely for this reason. Tewari won elections from the Chillupur Assembly constituency which has the highest percentage of Brahmin voters in the state and Shukla earnestly believed that if he could eliminate Tewari, the constituency would be his. Ajit Singh, a BJP MLC from Lucknow, was among the others on Shukla's hit-list. since he considered Singh, a railway contractor, his business rival.

Shukla's rise up the crime ladder and the way he managed to avoid the long arm of the law are only symptomatic of the politician-criminal nexus that has long plagued the state. Uneducated young men with no hopes of earning an honest livelihood take the short cut to success through crime. Once there, they link up with politicians, enjoy their patronage and even begin to take to politics themselves. Some have even gone on to become MLAs or ministers. Admits Ajay Raj Sharma, additional director-general of police: "Those wanted by the law have begun to lay down the law. We won't be surprised if one day we see some of these men surrounded by Black Cats."

Strangely, while the STF report attempts to provide evidence to back the dubious Shukla-politician link, Kalyan Singh is yet to initiate action on the report. "In fact in August," says a disappointed STF member,
"when the chief minister called us and scolded us for not being able to liquidate Shukla, we put up a file on his table containing names of his ministers and other politicians who were colluding directly or indirectly with the notorious gangster. The chief minister just took a look at it and returned it to us."

To date, no written orders have been issued by the Government to further investigate the matter. As a police official points out, the STF has started transcribing the recorded conversations between Shukla's gang members and the various politicians so that it can prepare a conclusive case against those named in the report. Some of the ministers and others may be interrogated soon to gather more information on the nexus, according to the official. Beyond that, however, he sees no hope.

The politicians may be in a spot but they also know that chief ministers leading minority governments baulk at taking action that most administrators would consider normal.

Paramendra Bhagat

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