The Nepal Digest - Oct 17, 1994 (14 Kartik 2051 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Monday 17 Oct 94: Kartik 14 2051 BkSm Volume 32 Issue 2

   Bija Dashami ko Subhakamana
   Happy Vijaya Dashami

                     - TND

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********************************************************************** Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 22:49 EST From: ATULADHAR@vax.clarku.edu To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

PART II: Contribution of Female Authors to Newari Literature
==============================================================

[In the last part, I summarised an article written by Dr. Chunda Bajracharya on the contribution of women to Newari literature. This is based on her doctoral work on the topic. The preceding part traced contributions from the dawn of recorded history to 1955. The following section covers the modern period from 1955 till today. Amulya]

Source: "Asmita", /vol. 7, No. 23, 1994 issue.

"Macha shima ma: yata" or "to the mother whose child has died" is one of the most well known poems of Narayan devi Shrestha. While describing the normals passages of life, she inserts modernist ideas. She also experiment with writing poems in prose style and with hopes.

Indira Nepali was the first Newar woman to compose a poem in prose style in 1949. Her composition, "Ji Yaka: cha" or "I, Alone" is modern in its style but her theme remained traditional. Narayana Devei took off where Indira Nepali left off with modernist themes such as, "Ji Magya" or " I ain't afraid" , urging women to be defiant and rebellious.

The lead in modernist ideas and modernist prose was taken up Pratisara Sayami in her composition, "Ji chaku naalish bhwon" or "I am a piece of petition paper" in 1986. In Pratisara's poems one can read contemporary themes of dissatisfaction at traditional roles defined for women, the belief that public opinion is apowerful force for social change.

A lot of women took up the track laid down by Moti Laxmi, Narayan devi and Pratisara. Many however fell and disappeared like the snow in the desert after they got married. Many could not get established because they had noone to publish theirworks . These involve: Pramila Bajracharya, Satyaprabha Mathema, Purnamaya, Kmal Miaya, kamal Mathema, Purna Maya, Ram Pyari, Ruchi Pradahan, Shrada devei, Prem Kumari, Bishnu Maya, madhu Malati, Man Maya, Maya devei, Mena Shova, Rama Devei, Lakmhim devei, Lalmaya, Liladevei, Sabina Shrestha, Hira Myaa, Dharmashova Tuladhar, timila Ranjit, Managaldevi, and the list goes on.

Besides poems, other women contributed to the development of prose and novels,. Moti Laxmi was the first, she first wrote in Nepali about women's themes because in those Rana days, circa 1940s, Newari was frownd and suppressed. These short stories were:" Rodan" or "Weeping" and "Punarbibah" or
"Re-Marriage" were published in "Sharada" in 1937. She wrote her first Newari short story called, "Lawn" or "The Path" in 1944 and "Chyaka" or "Pock-Marked" in 1960, Shre wrote a total of 7 short stories which have now come out in a collection of "Moti bakhan pucha" or "A collection of short stories of Moti".

The themes covered by Moti Laxmi inher short stories deal with the Newar society and the inhuman ways males treat women and the anguish of failed lovers. she urges women to stay farm from men with inhuman behvioural patters, that the most important ingredient in marriage is equality in love (not caste, wealth, or prestige-radical for her days!). Love is not "appropriated" but achieved by sacrifice. She strongly supports woemn's education and the abolishment of any age bar for women (in those days, women were taken from school as they approached puberty because it was feared they wuld get pregant and ruin the family name.) She uses psychoanalytic tools in hr novels.

Tansen was the second significant settlement of Newars outside the valley. The traditions of Newari women here was the opposite of the Newari women in Kathmandu valley. In Kathmandu, women got out at the break of dawn wheares, in Tansen they were confined to the house after the break of the dawn, so no evil, lascivious eyes of lecherous men leer on lovely lasses. In such a social background, two literary creations by Newari women were published in 1963. They were "Masyangpa" by Prakash Kumari Pradhan and "Axchyata" by Pushpa Lata
*****Shrestha. They were also the first books formally published by Newari women. Prakash Kumari dedicated her collection of short stories to the the natural landscape of Palpa and Masyang-Pa was Maschyang-Hill. Both of these authors celebrated their natural landscapes, advocated women's education and talked about social issues of the day.

Prakash Kumari was a social critic who went ahead of her times. Not only did she condenm polugamy, huge age difference (a 70 year old baje accepting for kanya-dan a prepurbertial virgin so the parents can go the heaven based on Hindu propaganda, those suckers would be in child molestation courts in US today!) but she saw problems arising from the very institution of marriage it self.She condemns exploitation of women throught the medium of marriage. She condemns a society that does not allow an unmarried woman can live peacefully in he r own house. She singles out the mothers and fathers for guilt because it is they who beginthe process of discrimination of young children on the basis of sex from child hood and condemns an female child to a lifetime of problems and sorrows. These thoughts are expressed in her story"Machama dactor" "A baby girl who wants to be doctor" who ends up committing suicide because she is prevented from what she wants to be.

Prakash Kumari covers a broad screen of social class from womenwho have sustain a livelihood by selling daily fuelwood at Rs 2 a headload ($0.04) to the social and intellectual and political travails of more well wowmen in the middle and upper class. She points out how trapped women are no matter how rich, docile, or intelligent they are from the bonds of society.

Puspa lata displays more homely themes with vivid imagery and concentrates on themes of financial stress, love marriages and other events in her life.

Subarna Keshari Tuladhar is another woman who has continued to write continoulsy from her college days in Trichandra College. Her themes are slighly different from above, She describes the relationship between sons an step mothers. According to her, men construct the need to remarry after the death of their wife as to take care of the children but it is really to fulfill their animal sexual desires which does notspare any office secretary, servants, or other dependent women. She privileges men's sexual behaviour as the greatest threat to women in Newar society.

Another woman who has contributed consistently is Mangal Tara Sthapit. In her composition like the "Hyu pa ja: le" or "In the light of change" she deals with the daily tensions and hostility between in-laws, the relationshiop of women in the family,. She wonders why there is so much hostility among womenwhen all are women. She believes gender consciousness and solidarity would contribute to family bliss.

Similary Lochantara published, "Palanshu" in 1981 and dealth with the themesof women's suprresion in \Newar society and the need to beeducated for emancipation.

A turning point in social themes is apparent in the composition of Shashi kala Manandhar in 1982, "Na:mi". In stead of begging for equity for women and freedom from social oppression, she celebrates women standing out in their own right and demonstrates how men are unnerved by such women. In "Lehen pu" or
"Direction less" published in 1992, she microanalyses contemporary human beings very closely as directionless, listless, just floating about with no confidence to tackle problems, but still forced to live. She has used insightful psychoanalytic tools and social critic and a willingess to face the ugly reality of contemporary life.

Other notable short story and novelists in Newari are: Sarawoti Tualdhar, Manadevei Tandukar, Pramila Manadhar, Chinimaiya Tualdahar, Tej shova Shakya, Menuak devei Tualdhar, Bimal Bajrachary, Rashmi Kanasarkr, Renu Shrestha, Rina Bainaya, Sindhu Sthapit, Rabati Rajbhandary, Anagarika Mahanandi, Anagarika Suhila,, Bidya \Upasika, and the list goes on.

In conclustion, it can be said that Newari women have been contibuting consistently to newari literature from the Malla times but they have been hindered by the lack of any institutional support, State publishers such as the Sajaha and the janak Sikya specifically discriminate against Newari writers and the women of course have no chance. the Nepal Bhasa or Newari language Academy has recetnly been established but they do not have ny financail muscle to make a dent. Most Newari women have publsihed one or more books mostly on their expense, needless tosaymore wouod have bben publsihed if there were more financial support. This article does not deal with Newari female contributions in plays, literary critique or essays.

[Translated, summarised, excerpted by Amulya Tuladhar, Clark University, nepal}

************************************************************* Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 12:46:47 EST From: lpdhakal@UFCC.UFL.EDU To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Request for Correction.

Dear editor,

I would like to request for the correction in the ND issued at Sept. 25 1994 in which my letter in response to Mr. P.K. Mishra's article on
"Women in Hinduism" was edited without my name on it. This letter was send by me by the courtsey of Mr. Tilak B. Shrestha.

For some reason, the letter appeared with the Buddha's article sent by Mr. Tilak. I request all the ND readers to consider mentioned letter as mine and not of Mr. Tilak B. Shrestha.

Thank you.

Sincerely, LP Dhakal

%%%%%Editor's Note: Please accept my apology for confusion and thanks for %%%%%
%%%%% the clearification. %%%%%
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************************************************************************ Date: 01 Oct 94 00:59:45 EDT From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha) Subject: News9/26-29 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

HEADLINE: FOREIGN RELATIONS;
 Nepal asks for sealed border with India for elections

SOURCE: Press Trust of India news agency, New Delhi, in English 0802 gmt 26 Sep 94

 BODY:
   Text of report

   Kathmandu, 26th September: The Nepalese election commission has asked the government to seal the 850-kilometre-long Indo- Nepal border during the forthcoming elections in November to check cross-border crimes emanating from the Indian soil.

   The request was made as a part of security arrangements for holding the snap polls without violence, restriction and rigging, it is learnt from the commission.

   Earlier, home minister Sher Bahadur Deopa told a local reporter in Janakpur, eastern Nepal that the government was actively considering to seal the border with India in view of the 13th November polls.
-------------------------------------------------------------------- SOURCE: Xinhua

HEADLINE: nepali pm to contest mid-term polls

DATELINE: kathmandu, september 28; ITEM NO: 0928082

 BODY:
   prime minister of the caretaker government girija prasad koirala has been nominated to contest the upcoming mid-term polls. he will be the only candidate of the former ruling nepali congress (nc) to contest the elections. after a week of high level hectic parleys and repeated postponements of the scheduled dates for announcing the names of the party candidates, the nc parliamentary board finally published the list of the official candidates for the november 13 elections to the 205-seat lower house on tuesday evening, official english daily
"the rising nepal" reported today. however, only koirala appeared in the list of nc candidates while party president krishna prasad bhattarai and general secretary mahendra narayan nidhi have decided not to contest the forthcoming elections. the three leaders, during the july 27 meeting of the nc central working committee (cwc), had voluntarily opted out of the fresh polls for the sake of the party unity. but another cwc meeting held later agreed to let the three leaders to decide whether they would take part in the election or not. according to the published list of 204 nc candidates, 91 of 114 members who were in the dissolved lower house are included and only one of the 36 former nc dissident mps has been excluded.
---------------------------------------------------------------- SOURCE: UPI

HEADLINE: Nepal, Bhutan agree to postpone refugee talks

DATELINE: KATMANDU, Sept. 28

 BODY:
   The Himalayan kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan have agreed to postpone talks aimed at repatriating nearly 100,000 Bhutanese refugees living in camps in
 Nepal until after Nepalese mid- term elections, the Nepalese foreign ministry said Wednesday. The fifth round of ministerial-level talks was scheduled to be held in Katmandu this month. The Nepalese polls are scheduled for mid- November. Nepal has been insisting at the talks that all the refugees must be repatriated to their homes in southern Bhutan, from where they were forcibly evicted. But the talks have not made much headway because Bhutan insists that most of the displaced people in the camps are illegal migrants from Nepal who Bhutan sent back home. However, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has accepted their refugee status, and is assisting them at the camps while their fate is being decided.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

SOURCE: AFP

HEADLINE: Panicked Nepalis rush to buy anti-plague medicine

DATELINE: KATHMANDU, Sept 29

 BODY:
   Panicked Nepalis crowded into pharmacies Thursday to buy up dwindling stocks of the antibiotic tetracycline, a cure for the pneumonic plague which has claimed 50 lives in neighbouring India, witnesses said Thursday.

   Most drug-store owners greeted them by saying their supplies of the drug had already run out.

   One doctor said it was not necessary to stockpile the antibiotic, and warned that people taking it while not infected could endanger their immune systems.

   "People have been scared by the deaths in India, where the antibiotics medicine is out of stock, so people in Nepal want to buy the medicine and keep it for the future in case the deadly disease strikes," he said.

   The Nepal Medical Association (NMA) has appealed to the government to warn of the possibility of the plague spreading to Nepal, and to urge people to take precautionary measures.

   In a public notice issued over Radio Nepal on Thursday morning, the NMA said that the airborne disease may be carried by Nepalis returning here from plague-affected Indian cities including Surat, Calcutta and New Delhi.

   Health ministry spokeswoman Kokila Baidya admitted the government was unprepared, and measures such as putting arrivals from India under quarantine were not possible.

   "Nor can we stop buses, cars and planes coming into the country," she said.

    Nepal has air links with Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta.

   All district hospitals had been instructed to closely monitor all of respiratory tract complaints, and in doubtful cases, "tetracycline is to be administered immediately," Baidya said.

    Nepal's own production of tetracycline meets only 30 percent of domestic demand but this could be boosted to meet even greatly-increased demand, a local pharmaceutical industrialist said.
------------------------------------------------------------------

SOURCE: UPI

HEADLINE: Nepal issues plague health alert

DATELINE: KATMANDU, Sept. 29

 BODY:
    Nepal has issued a general health alert after pneumonic plague spread from the central Indian state of Gujarat to New Delhi and Calcutta in the north, Indian Health Ministry Spokesperson Dr. Kokila Vaidya said Wednesday. The ministry has notified hospitals and health posts to keep a ready stock of tetracycline to treat patients in case traces of the disease are found, Vaidya said. Health authorities have been advised to test any suspect and immediately inform the center. The government launched an intenstive media blitz Wednesday warning people of the dangers of the disease. The government is also considering screening travelers at entry points from India, she said. India and Nepal have an open 500-mile border.

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

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 17:10:37 EST From: tilak@UFCC.UFL.EDU To: Nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Women in Hinduism

Dear Editor,

     It is in response to Mr. Mishra article 'Women in Hinduism'
(TND - AUG 29,1994). I do come from University of 'Objectivity' and 'Rationalism', not 'Fanaticism' as Mr. Mishra claims. I also like to know who is writing eulogy about Hinduism or asking credential of Mr. Mishra as a hindu ? I am not aware of them. I believe, to see such non existing phenomena is called hallucination. Let me assure Mr. Mishra that new ideas do not shock us, however paucity of and misleading ideas do. Perhaps Mr. Mishra would agree with me that as a hindu he has complete freedom of thoughts spiritual or temporal. Mr. Mishra should realize that no body is arguing about hindu society or hindu practice being perfect. On the contrary many concerned hindus, ancient or modern, have come with positive criticisms and insights towards amelioration of the problems. However coming with nonsensical arguments and interpretations creates only embarrassment. It seems Mr. Mishra considers himself as the critic of Hindu orthodoxy in the rank of Buddha, Charvak, Kabir, Dayanand etc. To me all of them are illustrious stalwarts of Hinduism. I would leave up to the readers of this digest to judge whether to put Mr. Mishra in the same rank.

     Since the present debate is about 'Women in Hinduism', I find it difficulty to see relevancy of issues like Hinduism in Indonesia, or death of Sanskrit language, or convertion of Indonesians to the Islam by the power of the word (Mr. Mishra's word). By the way, Hinduism is still alive in Indonesia, and Sanskrit is still alive in Nepal or India, though small in number. If you would, Sanskrit evolved into Pali, Nepali, Hindi etc. That is, it did not died as Mr. Mishra would have you. Ramayana and Mahabharata are still main cultural pillars of Indonesians, though they are muslim by religion. If you would like to know the power of word of Islam, I would suggest to read directly the Quran objectively. Since, Mr. Mishra is the self appointed, unpaid 'charan' of Islam; perhaps he would care to write an article on 'Women in Islam', with a chapter each on polygamy, inheritance law, law of witness, as per the religion. And yes, the sword was used.

     Mr. Mishra questions the use of term 'Birami' or illness for the menstruation. Perhaps it is an euphemism. However I have not heard this term before, nor this term is used in every home. Again women do not work during their period. Use of the term
'Birami' or women working during their period could be Mr. Mishra's family or subsect specific tradition. I do not know. I wrote in my previous letter 'The first menstruation marks the coming of her age, that now on she is no longer a girl but a maiden fully capable of bearing children'. This is a simple physical fact. Out of this statement Mr. Mishra deliberately misconstrues 'a young female child has no other value and function than ... only bearing children'. When did I use the terms like '...no other value ... only... ' ? I strongly request Mr. Mishra not to misquote me. I did write that the tradition of
'Goofa Basnu' is designed to lessen the trauma of natural physical change in the young girl's life, as opposed to Mr. Mishra's assertion that it is designed to intimidate them. It is true that girls are not formally taught about anatomy or sexuality in the traditional Hindu society. But then, in which traditional society these topics are taught ? Mr. Mishra writes that the education given to the girls 'amounts to only convincing a young woman that she is a vessel, a medium, a seedpot or a flowerbed'. That is an unadultered nonsense.

     For the information of Mr. Mishra, I would like to mention that the rite of Bratabandha or Upanayan is the ceremony in which a young person leaves parental home and goes to Gurukula for studies. The attire worn at the time is how the person goes to the Guru's home in those ancient time. It is not designed to make the boy unattractive, as Mr. Mishra asserts. The begging bowls were carried actually to beg for living. Compare that with student assistantship today. Here I would refrain from using the term 'ignorance' to avoid provoking Mr. Mishra. In the ancient times Upanayan ceremony is conducted for both boys and girls, and both went to Gurukula as students. Boys are known as Brahmachari, where as girls are known as Brahmavadinis and Sadyodvahas. The former were lifelong students of theology and philosophy; the later would study till they get married. All the girl students were taught the Vedic hymns. Matter of fact there were many women who contributed to Rig Veda, Vedic Samhitas, and composed many Vedic hymns. Who knows ? May be the Gayatri was composed by a women, to Mr. Mishra's chagrin ? There were many women philosopher who wrote commentaries and participated in philosophic discourses. The women teachers of vedic literature are known as Upadhyayas, as opposite to the wife or Upadhyayanis of the male teacher or Upadhyaya. This tradition of women's education were not only limited in vedic times, there were many Buddhist and Jain nuns who contributed in there respective literatures. Only later the position of women degenerated to the low status. Persons like Sankaracharya of Kanchi represents such degeneration. However he does not speak for all Hindus, nor for Hinduism. Let me tell what Hinduism stands for by illustrating Mr. Mishra quotation of Gita 'Soul is immortal'. Is immortality of soul only for males or for both genders ? If it is for both genders then why Mr. Mishra accuses Hinduism for practicing double standard ? It is beyond me.

     It is amazing to note that Mr. Mishra has not stopped harping on the quotation 'Women's character and men's destiny are unpredictable'. He informs us that it is from Manusmriti as if he is able to prove some thing profound. To begin with, 'smriti' is not correctly translated to 'code', though it may be so in a very loose sense. But the issue is whether the quotation is a normative ? Is there any obligation for Hindus to follow the injunction ? Can the quotation be construed as a religious directive ? I hope Mr. Mishra is wise enough to answer them in negatives. By the way, Manusmriti is neither written by one individual nor in one time. Who knows, how many poets put their ideas or prejudices in it. And perhaps he also would note that the author of the quotation declares his or her ignorance -
"unpredictable". Again, Mr. Mishra gives the case of sparing honourable Mr. Tanka P. Acharya's life as an example of Rana regime following Manusmriti. Is it really so ? Let me quote the pertinent section from Manusmriti - (9.319) "Thus a brahman should be revered in every way, even if they engage in all kinds of undesirable actions, for this is the supreme deity". As a matter of fact Mr. Acharya was defiled (mudinu) by Ranas. Does that sound like following Manusmriti ? By the way, King Mahendra executed the brahman, who attempted on his life. It is true that brahmans as a social elith class is able to perpetuate the taboo of killing brahmans, among others. But this is where Mr. Mishra and truth parts. According to Mr. Mishra Hinduism is Manusmriti, and Manusmriti is casteism and sexism. However the truth is that there is a degraded form of brahmanism, which led strong casteism and sexism into Manusmriti. Perhaps our disagreement with Mr. Mishra is more of degree than substance. However in my opinion we should not throw the baby with bath water, as Mr. Mishra in his infinite wishdom does.

     Mr. Mishra in his profundity informs us that social and religious issues are intertwined. But who says they are not ? However Mr. Mishra has difficulty in distinguishing these separate issues, and in this confusion he winds barking up the wrong tree. As I wrote some time before that the clear definition of the issue is important, not only to understand it, but also to look for the solution. Mr. Mishra gives a number of historical events from Europe and Nepal. But what is the point ? For example, he asks about the advent of democracy in Nepal (1990),
'Is it because of visiting Pashupati temple or by revolution in streets of Kathmandu ?' Mr. Mishra, you tell us. What do you think ? In my opinion, the democracy is a political issue and solved by political means of revolution. Where religious practice of temple darshana plays only a minor part, if at all. Again, Mr. Mishra deliberately misinterprets "need of understanding the historical forces", as "to defend and apologize any social evils". Mr Mishra, who is defending the social evils ? The question here is, what are the specific evils and what could be the specific practical solutions ? Perhaps Mr. Mishra should be clear in both counts before alleging nonsensical accusations, only then it would be considered a positive contribution. For example, Mr. Mishra writes 'What is considered rape in the USA is considered a legitimate sexual activity in (Nepal)'. Is that so ? Again Mr. Mishra writes 'Her own parents send the daughter (who wishes to have divorce) again and again back to her husband's house finally to die either in a kitchen accident or in some other way'. Is that really so ?

     I wrote before that, a. a perfect equality and harmony between men and women may not be found in real world; and b. what constitutes right relationship between men and women differs in different societies and times. Is it too difficult a concept to understand ? I hope, Mr. Mishra would realize that this statement simply stresses the need of understanding historical or cultural background. I hope, Mr. Mishra does not misinterprets the statement as obfuscation of the problem and defence of the evil.

     I am glad that Mr. Mishra is going to write an article on
'Sense and nonsense'. Perhaps Mr. Mishra might like to add a few lines on - a. identification of specific problems, b. specific practical solutions, c. relevancy of issues, d. correct interpretations of statements and events, d. how not to generalize from a few cases or practices of a few people. I look forward to benefit from the scholarship of Mr. Mishra. Before this etymological hairsplitting, perhaps Mr. Mishra would care to show his remarks to his friends and ask if it makes sense (or nonsense). I am sure they are all quite knowledgeable.

     Finally, Mr. Mishra brings the issue whether there is one or many Nepal. Mr. Mishra titles his article as 'Women in Hinduism', but he gives a lecture on abuses of economic and political power in terms of ethnicity, casteism, gender, region, language, etc. and also adds a line on foreign aid. What a huge 'red herring'. Though it is not relevant to the present debate, allow me to add the following. To Mr. Mishra, there are many Nepal's made of exploiters and exploited. To me, there is only one Nepal with its own share of problems, tensions and abuses of power. To Mr. Mishra, men and women are two irreconcilable classes, where men constantly exploits and rape women. Perhaps Mr. Mishra is coming with improvement on Marxist theory of economic determinism and class struggle, with gender determinism. Perhaps he is soon to come with slogans like 'nothing to loose, but husband'. I do not know. It seems to me 'Women's character, men's destiniy, and Mr. Mishra's scholarship - unpredictable'. To me, men and women are essential components of a family, where some time they would quarrel but normally love and cooperate.

     Thanks and regards. Sincerely yours - Tilak B. Shrestha.

********************************************************************* Date: 01 Oct 94 12:34:56 EDT From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha) Subject: An interview with the PM To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

SOURCE: The Independent, September 21

This is a transcript of an interview of PM Girija Prasad Koirala taken at his official residence in Baluwatar by Achyut Wagle of The Independent on September 16.

Q: What is your self-assessment of the last three years of your government's performance?

A: When I took over as prime minister, I had three priorities on my agenda - maintaining law and order in the country, which was pretty bad, consolidating democratic institutions and accelerating the developmental process. The law and order situation has, to my mind, improved markedly. My philosophy on democratic consolidation is - until we can bring development to the common man, democracy cannot be consolidated. That is why my second priority was development. But, against our will and efforts, we were marching down a new trail. For myself, working in a parliamentary monarchy was a new experience; there are many hurdles to be faced on our journey to prosperity. The opposition, from the very beginning, raised their voices on non-issues and my Nepali Congress (NC) friends, in their ignorance and misunderstanding, did not cooperate with me. Now you have the situation before you.

Q: What was the real reason for the misunderstandings? Have you now come to perfect understanding?

A:The causes if misunderstandings were not concrete ones. They were merely problems of adjustment. I was confident the problem could have been solved steadily in the course of time, but friends preferred hasty, ill-considered decisions and actions. However, all problems have now been solved, there are non left to be solved, and not a single iota of difference among us.

Q: If the problems could be solved in this miraculous way, why did you recommmend the dissolution of the House of Representatives (HOR) despite the NC having a majority in the House?

A: I recommended dissolution when the differences climaxed. But we have now been able to bridge the differences. The ticking of the clock drove us to dissolution. The whole party has vowed to face the elections unitedly. During the elections, it is natural that our party cadres will be engaging in healthy competition for recognition to get electoral tickets, but once the candidates are announced, problems may vanish automatically.

Q: As soon as you took over the prime ministership, NC supremo Ganesh Man Singh kept criticizing your modus operandi. He has now announced that he no longer belongs to the NC. Doesn't this come at a crucial hour to the NC as a party?

A: I don't want to say anything about Ganesh Manji. He is the biggest of the bigs. In a system where anyone can expound one's views, he is no exception but I feel, as one of the founder members of the NC, he should help the party in this election. I hope he will ultimately do so.

Q: Nepotism allegations have been made against you and, as a matter of fact, little difference from the panchayat system was perceived in your administration. Also, your cabinet colleagues are allegedly indulging in rampant bribery. Why couldn't you control these bad tendencies?

A: I don't agree that anyone I have favoured has taken an important post. As far as taking some people into confidence is concerned, I have to do so to run the country. Should affairs miscarry, I have to face criticism as head of government. Therefore, I needed to appoint some people, in whom I have confidence, in some important positions. About the administration, there was a psychological gap between the administrators and politicians. They were intimated that we, who had criticised it so long, may take some drastic action and that we were only experienced in criticising the bureaucracy, which was functioning properly. Bribery should, of course, be eliminated, but it is very difficult to take action against anyone until there is substantial proof.

Q: During your premiership, Nepali foreign policy has been Indocentric. Do you think that may be why your government was not successful?

A: We have to take the geopolitical situation of the country into consideration in shaping foreign policy. In the middle of two giant neighbours, India and China, we should maintain good relations with both. I have neither a pro-India nor a pro-China attitude. I always consider Nepali interests and work accordingly. I won't countenance any interference in Nepali interests, sovereignty, independence or territorial integrity.

Q: Despite your oft-claimed all-time best relations with India, New Delhi has ot yet shown interest in resolving the Bhutanese refugee problem. Isn't that a major failure?

A: Keeping our good relations with Bhutan in mind, we should try to solve the problem bilaterally. If that doesn't work we will invite India to the discussions. If it still isn't solved, we may internationalise the issue. There may be no other alternative.

Q: The Nepali Congress saved itself from a formal break-up via the July 27 decision, in which three senior leaders - you, President Bhattarai and General Secretary Nidhi - 'voluntarily' decided not to contest the forthcoming polls. Now you have made up your mind to contest it. Won't it affect party unity?

A: When the decision was taken, we had to decide in favour of unity. Now the atmosphere in the party has changed and our party workers are demanding our candidacy for the sake of unity.

Q: It was said to be a voluntary decision and you also asked for a chance for a second line of leaders. Why have you changed your mind?

A: At that time we had to defuse the tension in the party and it was decided so. That purpose has been served, so I have now decided to contest. Besides, if I don't fight the elections myself, what is the need for a fresh mandate? I feel all three leaders should contest the elections fairly. A second line of leadership should gradually evolve. All necessary leadership qualities may not be found in any one person. I am also convinced the three top leaders should not deny the party their active leadership.

Q: How many constituencies will you be contesting? The talk of the town is that your daughter is also contesting.

A: I will fight from my own two constituencies, as earlier. My daughter will not contest. There are so many dedicated party workers on the one hand and, on the other, she is not a political person.

Q: What will be the Nepali Congress's election strategy be? In the last elections, it made many promises which it didn't keep. Can't the government raise the living standards of the lower socio-economic classes?

A: It is not true that my government could not do anything at all. Drinking water, electricity, agricultural and educational facilities have been extended. One has to go to the villages to see the work done on development. We go to the public with our heads held high. I don't like to be high-sounding, but confirm that the NC will bag a comfortable majority to form a government, we have so much public credibility.

Q: One overriding concern of the opposition parties is that the elections may not be free and fair. Your people being in power, will mobilise the bureaucracy and state resources to win the elections.

A: This suspicion does not have any ground to stand on. I am a man of strong democratic faith. I have also invited independent observers, even from outside the country, to evaluate the fairness of the polls. There is not much time left, so it is unfair to make premature assessments.

Q: Isn't it a fact that the government media have not been fair, as befits a democratic nation's media?

A: The government media are not popular anywhere, but I agree that they may not have been as fair as desired. Most of the personnel there have a sycophantic culture developed in the panchayat period. This same phenomenon continues. Consequently work has already started to privatise them.

Q: You seldom appear in the private media. Access to you is also very difficult, complains the private press. What is the reason?

A: I don't want ot give long lectures to the media while doing nothing, but think there is little difficulty in meeting me. I am so straightforward the media may sometimes have complaints about it.

Q: Is the government thinking of changing the election date?

A: Yes, I think by one or two days. The proposed date is a Hindu festival, so devotees may have problems casting votes. The date needs to be extended by a few days.

Q: How is your health now?

A: Quite good. That is why I am able to work.

*********************************************************************** Date: Sun, 2 Oct 1994 14:48:01 -0700 From: nra947819@rccvax.ait.ac.th To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: requst for TND & tracing cousin

Dear Rajpal jee,

I was happy being with TND but since 4 month I am getting not a single TND on my email. Why so.. If I am out from your mailing list I do request you please consider me again . My eye and finger will be on computer waiting for TND with hot and spicy news about November Election at Nepal.

By the way I would like to take this oppertunity to trace my Bhanjee ANITA JOSHI , who is studying Computer Science at some where Washington or Newyork . So any body who know her please pass on this information.

Thank you.

Purnachandra lall Rajbhandari. Mail # 376 G.P.O Box :2754 Asian Institute of Technology Bangkok, Thailand email: NRA947819@rccvax.ait.ac.th

%%%%%Editor's Note: Welcome back! It is members' responsibility to %%%%%
%%%%% to make sure their subscription is current. If %%%%%
%%%%% TND mail to a user bounces back, they will be %%%%%
%%%%% taken off automatically. We have 750+ members %%%%%
%%%%% and only one person (me) to take care of things.%%%%%
%%%%% Members continual support is very appreciated. %%%%%
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***************************************************************** Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 18:06:14 -0800 To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu From: bhushan@Tanner.COM (Bhushan Mudbhary) Subject: Women

In support and further continuation of Anita R's comments:

The story of Kanchi.

She wakes up to another morning. A mixture of darkness, fatigue, hunger, numbness, and heartache. Darkness - within and without. The early morning air void of any promise of a coming dawn. A twenty-five year long unfortunate drama of lost opportunities. Fatigue - life promises more of the same, her mind an incapable ally in a fight that was lost at the outset. More of the same, more of the same. Hunger - for something new, for some food, for a place, for a being, for answers, for a touch. Numbness - a promise? and Heartache - for the husband that shouldn't deserve it, for the child that does.

Such is the story of Kanchi...too many suffer. Too many women suffer. Too many womer suffer needlessly. Too many women suffer needlessly because somewhere, somehow, someone explains it away. Problem explained problem solved, or at least put off till another day. So speak up, be heard as the good Anita harkens y'all to. Be a man, be a woman, above all be a human and shout out aloud " Screw you all for teaching me the wrong things, inspite of your efforts, I am different, I am human and I care. And I know some wrongs from some rights. I am capable of morality without YOUR gods, and I will not live the way you have lived, I will not kill the way you have killed!" Go ahead, make the change, shock someone.

And as for Kanchi,she will continue to live her miserable life, not because she wants to but because no one can change it for her. Maybe you can, if you try.

Bhushan Mudbhary

*********************************************************************** From: <gk0369@graceland.edu>
>From : Kushal Gurung

Dear Sir,

         I am a freshman at Graceland College, Lamoni (80 miles south of the capital city of Iowa). It's been only a month since I came here and I was feeling somewhat "lost" until I learned something about the Internet. As I began to explore into the Internet, I came to know a person(of course, a Nepali), and through him, I got information about Nepal Digest. I became more and more excited. I was longing to get in touch with the current news on Nepal the very first day I came to the States.

        Therefore, I would like to request you to include me in your mailing list so that I, too, could know what's happening and going on in Nepal (which would certainly make me feel at home).

        Thank you.

Kushal Gurung gk0369@graceland.edu

*********************************************************** Subject: News and Digest... To: nepal@cs.niu.edu (The Nepal Digest) Date: Tue, 4 Oct 1994 07:45:32 -0400 (EDT) From: "J. R. Joshi" <joshi@fletcher.ces.ncsu.edu>

Dear Editor,

     I am one of many of your readers who look forward to receiving a fresh issue of The Nepal Digest every week. My primary interest is to receive current and unbiased news about Nepal and Nepalese in general. But, like many of your readers, I am getting increasingly disgusted and restless about the inclusion of the pointless, never-ending, poorly-edited, self-promoting, and oft- repeating philosophical exchanges of the selected few in each and every issue of the Digest.

     Frankly, if I am like the majority, I just skip the items these self-promoters like to push down my throat. I wonder if the authors of these articles themselves find time to go over what they write. May I pass along a suggestion for them: If you do like to practice what you seem to preach, please give up your "Green Cards" and follow the footsteps of Gandhi...

      Meanwhile, I am pleasantly delighted to see a separate list circulted by Rajendra P. Shrestha of Dartmouth. He does an excellent job of passing along the news wire on Nepal in a timely manner. I now look forward to receiving his mail more than anything else. Can TND learn any lessons from Rajendra's efforts?

J. R. Joshi Internet: joshi@fletcher.ces.ncsu.edu

%%%%%Editor's Note: Thank you for your interesting and constructive %%%%%
%%%%% comments. Without harping my philosophy :-), I will %%%%%
%%%%% try to briefly touch TND role and resposibility. TND,%%%%%
%%%%% The Nepal Digest is an open forum to discuss issues %%%%%
%%%%% concerning Nepalis and Nepal. Friends of Nepal are %%%%%
%%%%% are encouraged to join, perhaps as an oportunity to %%%%%
%%%%% learn about Nepalis/Nepal or perhaps contribute to %%%%%
%%%%% Nepalis/Nepal cause. %%%%%
%%%%% %%%%%
%%%%% TND does not specialize in news only, sociology only,%%%%%
%%%%% religion only, romance only.... In fact TND does not %%%%%
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%%%%% tries to make TND timely, interesting, insightful, %%%%%
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%%%%% %%%%%
%%%%% Thank you for giving me one more oportunity to remind%%%%%
%%%%% all of us. Please try to keep our KURA_KANI-discussions%%%
%%%%% focused to the issue and let us try to refrain from %%%%%
%%%%% making it a personal issue. I have to agree - its a %%%%%
%%%%% quite a challenge - no doubt, for me :-) %%%%%
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********************************************************************* Date: Tue, 4 Oct 1994 18:01:12 -0400 (EDT) From: Bhanu Neupane u <neup2011@mach1.wlu.ca> Subject: Re:Titar-bitar To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu>

Is this a thing to laugh- "NEPALESE Crown Prince Wears Purple Underwear"

I hope nobody living in north america, who watch TV, love or like
"Family-Matter". Here I want to make an exeption of people of Oklohama, where I have seen gaint billboards and posters of Steve Orkel of "family Matter" all across Edmond and Oklohama City; and have overheard people saying
"let's rush back home for family matters".

Last week, I made an exeption and watched family matter instead. To my surprise, a short reference of the show was the crown prince of Nepal. This creep, Steve exaggerates to his friends that he has met many princes from around the globe. Laura, his sweetheart, on her surprise asks if Steve also knows the prince who wears purple underwear, here perhaps the prince in reference is a notorious bi-sexual singer who is known for his obscene lyrics. However, I was astonished when steve said "OOh! thats the prince of Nepal".

Other viewers might have laughed, but I found it very ofensive. For my little knowledge about north america, here people make joke on others and laugh, while Nepalese are just its opposite. Few of us, however, have found the same mentality our last resort and feel ofended if somebody for some reason criticize North America.

May it be a very short stay, we americanize ourselves very quickly and totally. THis camouflage beats a chameleon which perhaps does not forgets itself to be a chameleon, no matter how bright coloured it may turn. To my knowledge, the bright red chameleon sitting on top of a red stone does not forgets other chameleons who are still crawling on the ground or for some reason fail to make it on the stone. Its my query to some of us, will you remain bright red, if you will return to the ground (here my anology is obvious)?

Lets be Nepali and lets not forget our roots.

Bhanu Neupane

*************************************************************************** Date: Tue, 04 Oct 1994 17:52:39 CST From: kaya1210@uwwvax.uww.edu To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: MESSAGE TO ALL NEPALI.

We would like to wish HAPPY BIJAYA DASAIMI to all and everybody. Let all enjoy and celebrate the festival. SHRESTHA, Dr. NANDA R. AND FAMILY. YONJON, Ms BIVA TARA. AND KAYASTHA, BOBBY. THANKS NEPAL DIGEST.

*********************************************************************** From: "S.M.S.Pradhan" <cmav76@ccsun.strath.ac.uk> Date: Thu, 6 Oct 1994 13:42:06 +0000 To: cmav76@ccsun.strath.ac.uk, Nepal@cs.niu.edu

Samasta Nepali Sathiharulae

        / -\
       / \
      ------------------------
       | _| __| _| | |
       | (_| |_| | \__| |
       | | | | |

                    _
                   | | o\
     ___________________ ____\__
     _| ()| | | | | _| |
    ( / | _|__| | (_|-| |
     -o\ \ | \| | | | |

  
                    /-\
            _______/___\'______
            _| | | _| _|
           (_ | | ( (_|-|
           (_ | | -o\ |

   _________________________________________
    ()| | ()| | _| | | | ___| |
     / | _|__| (_|-| | _|__| O | |
     \ | \| | | | \| | | |
        /
      O/

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