The Nepal Digest - Sept 28, 1998 (12 Ashwin 2055 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Sat Sept 28, 1998: Ashwin 12 2055BS: Year7 Volume78 Issue5

Today's Topics (partial list):

 ******************************************************************************
 * TND (The Nepal Digest) Editorial Board *
 * -------------------------------------- *
 * *
 * The Nepal Digest: General Information tnd@nepal.org *
 * Chief Editor: Rajpal JP Singh a10rjs1@mp.cs.niu.edu *
 * (Open Position) *
 * Editorial Columnist: Pramod K. Mishra pkm@acpub.duke.edu *
 * Sports Correspondent: Avinaya Rana avinayar@touro.edu *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Australia Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Dr. Krishna B. Hamal HamalK@dist.gov.au *
 * Co-ordinating Director - Canada Chapter (TND Foundation) *
 * Anil Shrestha SHRESTHA@CROP.UOGUELPH.CA *
 * SCN Correspondent: Open Position *
 * *
 * TND Archives: http://library.wustl.edu/~listmgr/tnd/ *
 * TND Foundation: http://www.nepal.org tnd@nepal.org *
 * WebSlingers: Pradeep Bista,Naresh Kattel,Robin Rajbhandari *
 * Rabi Tripathi, Prakash Bista tnd@nepal.org *
 * *
 * +++++ 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: September 27, 1998 From: Kiran Thapa (718-533-2081) To: TND Foundation <tnd@nepal.org> Subject: Plea from the death bed - Anita Thapa

Dear Readers,

     On behalf of Ms. Anita Thapa, I would like to thank you for listening to this sad request. Anita Thapa is dying with terminal cancer. She has 2 little kids in Nepal that she wishes to see before taking her last gasp of air. Please help.

     Ms. Anita Thapa is from Rato Pul, Kathmandu - Nepal. She came to New York in March 1998 to make something out of her life for her little two kids whose father (her beloved husband) died in a violent vehicle accident. She was left alone to fend for her two little babies.

     She has been hostpitalized for the last five months in Elmhust hospital in New York with uterus cancer in terminal stage. Doctors have been candid and told her that she has no more than few weeks to live. Her liver and kidney failed working 3 weeks ago.

     Her last wish is to be with here two little kids, aged 5 and 7 and to passaway holding their hands and hugging them. We (with the help from Santosh Singh Hamal and myself - Kiran Thapa) have been able to raise
$2000 so far. Our goal is to raise $5000 for her airplane fair. Her fair is a bit more than the usual because she has to pay for 3 passenger seats to accomodate her stretcher and possible other medical equipments. The hospital won't release her until "ADEQUETE" travel arrangement is made.

    You can call me at 718-533-2081 (preferable) or send email to Rajpal ji at a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu for more information. Please send your contribution and/or donational from your organization to the following addres:

         Kiran Thapa
         92-29 Lamont Ave
         Apt #4J
         Elmhurst, NY 11373

Sincerely, Kiran Thapa (On behalf of Anita thapa) 718-533-2081 New York

****************************************************************** Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 14:03:51 -0400 (EDT) From: Ganesh Panta <gpanta@asrr.arsusda.gov> To: Fair to kathmandu <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Air fair to KTM

Hi,

I need a ticket to go to Kathmandu from Washington, DC area for following dates. Please give me the quote:-

>From To Date

Washington, DC Kathmandu November 28, 1998 Kathmandu Washington, DC January 9, 1999

Thanks,

Ganesh Panta

****************************************************** Date: Fri, 25 Sep 98 22:45:50 EST From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <Paramendra_Bhagat@smtpgtwy.berea.edu> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Replies

Replies to Bhattarai, Bhandari, Karki, Tiwari, Dalrymple, Singh, Regmi, Dirlam, Bhandari, Kattel, Mishra, Pradhan, Agrawal, and Shreshtha. My response in brackets ().

Madhusudan Bhattarai (August 19, 1998) < mbhatta@CLEMSON.EDU>

    Recently, there has been much written and argued in TND about issues like,
    Madishe-Pahadi, INDIA and NEPAL merging, and economic pact, and few weeks
    earlier also about the religion issues of Hindu and Christianity, some of
    the few in the list.... these "issues" and hypothetical crises and problems
    raised by the so called ABROAD EDUCATED NEPALI INTELLECTUALS. ...most of
    these raised issues are far away from the present realities, problems,
    opportunities, and constraints back in Nepal.

(On the contrary I think the racism in the country makes Nepal a sick person who is not able to work to his fullest capacity and produce all he can. It is a genuine issue. It is a deeply ingrained disease in the collective subconscious of the country. Look at how provocative this topic has been. Most people have been offended by the mere idea that this issue has been brought up. The solution is not lesser but greater discussion. Let's talk it out. Maybe I am being too one-dimensional in discussing the issue. Maybe you are being too close-minded. It is better to have heated and supposedly gone-out-of-hand, as some have claimed, discussions on TND than have Nepal turned into a Sri Lanka as Hridayesh Tripathy threatened to do when his rented apartment was stoned by a gone-out-of-hand group of Kathmandu youth when he came to Kathmandu as a freshly elected Member of Parliament, MP, on a Nepal Sadbhavana Party ticket in 1991 at the tender age of 31. Let's jaw, not war.)

Prakash Bhandari (August 19, 1998) <PRAKASH@hbl.mos.com.np

    I think that the Indo-Nepal stuff has crossed its frontier. So I suggest to
    start new topic of discussion like "Human Rights","equal rights to women",
    "pollution and environmental degradation" and so on.

(Discussions on Racism in Nepal do not prevent us from bringing up other issues. All the topics can be discussed simultaneously. Now that there is some acknowledgment of the existence of the racism directed against the Teraiwasis - compared to the outright denial when we first started the discussions a couple months back - we can shift the debate to finding solutions. I hope to put out the proposed manifesto of the Nepal Samajwadi Janata Dal, co-authored by myself and Mr. Hridayesh Tripathy back in 1993- the document was not passed at any convention ..the Dal never got a chance to hold a national convention and it later merged back with the Nepal Sadbhavana Party - for the benefit of TND readers after I finish putting out my remaining posting on the topic Racism :
>From the Nepalese to the Global Context. The manifesto should instigate some
multidimensional discussions for it discusses way more than the racism issue. )

Madhav Karki (August 19, 1998) <mkarki@idrc.ca>

    The crux of the issue is how can you discuss to eliminate a country (Nepal)
    in a forum (TND) whose very existence is based on this entity i.e Nepal. I
    for one feel that Mr. P. Bhagat's outbursts which I think are based on his
    isolated personal experience during his school days should not be the basis
    to debate whether Nepal should join India or vise versa....as far as I know,

    no Indian citizen has proposed to unite Nepal under India. I feel that the
    question does not arise as India does not want to annex Nepal. ... What do
    you call the likes of Gajendra and Hridesh who did nothing for their
    community while they were in power but are planning to burn the constitution
    when they are out of it. They made millions through corrupt meansby
    occupying ministrial positions in a country which they are now planning to
    destroy.

(To take a stand against the Racism directed against the Teraiwasis in Nepal is not to talk the elimination of the very existence of Nepal. Are you telling me it is that racism that gives Nepal its identity? And I would like to inform Mr. Karki that I base only a small part of the discussions on my personal past, because most Teraiwasis have gone through worse than I have. I as a student of Political Science look at Racism the way a student of medical science looks at cancer or AIDS. Need a student of medical science have a personal history of one of those diseses before he or she may study it, discuss it and hope to contribute towards possible cures? You are shifting targets. I never proposed that India should annex Nepal. A South Asian economic union would be an economic undertaking. Nepal's political sovereignity would remain intact. As for accusing Hridayesh Tripathy of corruption when he made his way in to the Cabinet, I know him from when he has the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee - coincidently when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Chairperson of the same in the Indian parliament ! In post-democracy Nepal Tripathy has done more work against governmentnal, institutional corruption - I nicknamed him VP Singh of Bofors fame.... also he is a Brahmin like Singh is a 'Raja'! - than any other politician from absolutely any political party. Why only post-democracy Nepal. We could go all the way back. Which politician during the 30 years of Panchayat Raj took any significant step in that direction? Who in the 10 years before that? As for the Rana regime, they treated the national treasury not as such but as the Rana family treasury. A section of the media did try to run a smear campaign against him on the issue, but it turned out to be baseless.)

    We should be discussing the issues which make or break Nepal's image abroad.
    For example, the democracy in Nepal is collapsing, environmental
    deterioration has accelerated and poverty and impoverishment is everywhere.
    Let's put these topics and spend our time and mind on these more
    intellectually rewarding topics.

(Let Nepal's "image" abroad or wherever not be different from the reality back home.)

Ashutosh Tiwari (August 16, 1998) < tiwari@fas.harvard.edu>

    No, not at all. Let free press be ABSOLUTELY free press. Let TND
    be as free as it can. No exceptions. No excuses.

(Go, Ashu. Go, Ashu.)

Hutch Dalrymple (August 17, 1998) <hutch@wlink.com.np>

    Wake up! Nepal... It's almost too late, as it stands (or falls)!
    India, sending all it's people to live in Nepal, is in the process of
    'absorbing' Nepal... Soon, you will hardly notice the difference between
    Kathmandu and Dehli...

(This is precisely what the Racism against the Teraiwasis is : to think the Teraiwasis are Indians and not citizens of Nepal.)

Bipulendu Narayan Singh (August 14, 1998)<singhb@wabash.edu>

    When I say Nepal is a Hindu country ... I mean it as a term that is strongly
    linked with the land - as a concept that signifies a way of life in pursuit
    of truth.

    If my knowledge of history serves me right was not the term hindu first
    coined by other civiliasations to refer to people that lived across the
    Sindhu river. So how can any body living in Nepal not be a hindu ? They
    might follow different paths ( Budhism, Christianity, Islam, materialists,
    Tantriks, Saivites, Hare Krishna's), but how can they say that they are not
    inhabitants of this land. In my opinion thus, all Nepalese (and indians for
    that matter) are Hindu's first and then only something else. How can they
    say that loyalty to the land (which goes back thousands of years) is greater
    than their loyalty to a faith they picked up only a few centuries ago. (
    which many of them did not really pick on individual will but were coerced
    (through money and power) by people who think that only their religion has
    monopoly over the truth)

(This is a Hindu supremacist way of defining my faith. I am as much of a Hindu as you are and a proud one on that, though Buddhism is my favorite religion. You do not speak for me. The non-Hindu religion s on the sub-continent - Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and others - are not subsets of the Hindu faith. They deserve equal respect in daily conduct and equal political rights as the mainstream Hindu religion. Your line of thinking is fascist. I am glad you do not define my faith, you only propagate your own personal, narrow definition of the faith to which you also are a subscriber. Besides pride in my faith does not prevent me from attacking the caste system which is deeper than any racism anywhere I know of. Is it a coincidence that high-caste Hindus like yourself are more prone to being Hindu supremacists than Vaisyas and other "backwards" like myself?)

Lomash Regmi (August 15, 1998) <lomash@hotmail.com>

    The first thing we should do is get rid of all those power and wealth hungry
    shahs and ranas and their chamchas (bhrasta panches) who have been bagging
    the majority of our country's wealth for the past one hundred and fifty
    years. We should start with the maharaja himself, the richest man in the
    whole Nepal who doesn't have slightest interest in our well being.

    It is of little use to discuss about who is pahade and who is madhise when
    the real villeins in the whole game are watching people quarrel and fight
    among each other from their new buildings and with their fat bank accounts.
    Has anybody wondered why the likes of Mr. marich man singh and Mr. surya
    bahadur thapa wore the same pradhanmantri's pagari before and after at least
    five hundred people died in the jana andolan? A lot of people made it out of
    the country with a huge chunk of nepal's treasures and nobody said or did
    anything. Everybody knew Dhirendra was a murti chor, but he made it out of
    nepal with all his swiss bank account intact. Now his sons are terrorizing
    nepali girls just like their father did some 20 years ago. And there is
    nobody to even try to stop them. How long will this continue? Not for long
    if I had my way.

    (I)t is not the pahade, eking a living out of a strip of land in darchula,
    (even if he is bahun or chettri and has all the 7 characteristics of an
    indophobic pahade as suggested by someone) that is our problem. As I said
    earlier, our problem is the political elites in
    rajdhani whose sole purpose in life is to rob as much money from us as
    possible. We need to get rid of them, and fast, as they don't deserve to be
    there.

(Thanks for drawing attention on the corruption issue which is even more institutionalized in the governmental machinery than racism. And I would agree with your claim that it is the power elite in Kathmandu rather than "the pahade, eking a living out of a strip of land in darchula" that has to be targeted in the struggle towards a better future for the peoples of Nepal.)
  Hilary Dirlam ( August 16, 1998) <hdirlam@madison.main.nc.us>

    Why not publish one article per issue on the India/Nepal debate? This would
    take up less space yet continue the discussion which many are finding so
    interesting.... Or maybe it would die out, as people could not jump on the
    bandwagon so quickly (part of the fun, i suspect.)

(Hillary, let the discussions follow their natural course!)

Prakash Bhandari (August 19, 1998) <Prakash.Bhandari@cexp.com>
 
    Some economic books would argue that even if one country produces everything
    more efficiently, trade is still good because (in this case) Nepali
    consumers are better off buying cheap and better quality Indian goods. This
    might be true. But the arguments here has been that Indo-Nepal economic
    union will bring development to the remote villages in Nepal. This will not
    happen.

(A South Asian economic union is not about prying open Nepali markets for the Indian multi-nationals. The idea of larger markets that makes better economic sense - imagine the 50 states of the US being 50 separate economies.all of them will end up worse off - is productive also for Nepal. A market economy can only work if the government is to realize that all capital is global. So it needs to focus on the physical infrastructure and the human capital. There should be generous investments in the education and health of the people to match the integration of the national economy into a larger South Asian entity. The people sure cannot be left behind. As for "development not coming to the remote villages of Nepal," look at how the Chinese are modernizing the physical infrastructure of their economy : by tapping direct foreign investments. Once you put your "house in order" that is a prerequisite for a possible South Asian economic union, as Ram Subedi from Middlebury College in one of the earlier postings pointed out, it becomes easier to attract that direct foreign investment that you need to "take development to the remote villages in Nepal.")

Giri Raj Kattel (August 25, 1998) < giri.kattel@stonebow.otago.ac.nz>

    What a surprise that I did pinpoint to you as an antinationalist and you had
    a lot to tell against Nepal again. Neither I do have time to discuss on
    such unhealthy and unconstructive issues nor I ever raise the issues on
    racism in Nepal. I hate RACISM in every corner of the world. If you are a
    victim of racism, I am pleased to join in anti-racism campaign anywhere in
    the world. But if you raise the issue like "Nepal should be under India" it
    hurts me.

(I have taken two clear stands. One is against the Racism against the Teraiwasis in Nepal, the other being moving towards a possible South Asian economic union. Neither, in my view, is an anti-nationalist stand, and I think many readers of TND would agree. I never said "Nepal should be under India." I am sorry if I gave the impression of saying that or making such an impression.)

Pramod K. Mishra (August 17, 1998) <mailto:pkm@acpub.duke.edu>

    Have you seen how much energy Nepali nationalism has generated in the recent
    issues of TND and SCN?

(This shows the issue in pertinent, more pertinent than any other.)

    The spectrum of opinions and ideas that have been voiced recently about
    Nepali nationalism on TND haven't come out out of nowhere--they represent
    the spectrum of views and stands on the ground in Nepal, from the illitirate
    farmer in the villages of the hills and the plains to the educated elites in
    Kathmandu. And these are the opinions, and not the unread academic books,
    that would shape the course of events in Nepal.

(Ditto. Every person is a vote each. Uninformed opinions have as much impact in the political process as informed ones.)

    I do not presume an easy ... that's why, the conversation needs to be
    continued.

    TND's commitment to complete freedom of expression and the chance of having
    to engage in one-on-one conversation may discourage such a move--after all,
    TND is not a peer reviewed organ nor is it financially remunerative--but
    it'd be a precious contribution to Nepal.

(Yeah, let the discussions take their natural course.)

Subarna Pradhan (September 2, 1998) <mailto:spradhan@pol.net>

    If last issue of TND gives a message then it is an overwhelming message that
    we have had enough with these unneccesary bickering about those nonsensical
    threads of discussions or matters that should be discussed some where else.

(I do not know where "somewhere else" is. TND is the only forum of its kind I know of.)

'Hutch' Dalrymple" (January 7, 1990) <mailto:hutch@wlink.com.np>

    Finally, I'm about (with Rajpal Singh and other's at TND permission and
    blessing) produce a printed/published copy of each issue of TND for local
    distribution in Kathmandu, Nepal.

(Congratulations, and thank you for giving TND an audience in Kathmandu. I wish more people in Kathmandu participated in these discussion on this forum.)

Pawan Agrawal (September 3, 1998) <mailto:pawan@cisco.com>

    I like to second the Mr. Pawan Raj Shakya's opinion. Let's put our energy in
    something more constructive.

(Having free-wheeling discussion on racism - and any other topic - is very constructive.)

Lokesh S. Shrestha (September 8, 1998) <mailto:shrestha@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>

    Paramendra Bhagat has been ..flooding the TND with his opinions and his
    evaluations of others' beliefs (on racism). And each time I see one of his
    postings I would say to myself "hey kale'le' pheri lekhecha..." I used the
    word "Kale'" to announce my disapproval, my contempt. Usually, such "racist"
    views creep into my mind without my noticing, and generally, I don't want to
    think myself as being "racist" (I use the word "racist" to categorize those
    who use the basic differences in people, such as color, to vilify other
    people, and I think all racism develop from such usage). And, I thought,
    what is wrong with me? Am I really "racist"? Why did I use the word "kale'"
    when I could have used many others to declare my contempt. May be it's in
    me? May be it's in us, all of us? Is it really permissible to go around
    hurting other people's feelings, ruining their confidence being a "racist"
    and to ascribe my "racist" opinions to my animal instincts? NO. No political
    rhetoric or law is going to mitigate this problem, as long as we, as humans,
    don't feel that it is wrong to hurt other people, knowingly or not. People
    have to understand this. And, education, only education can help this
    understading to be realized. Education, not as in textual learning of math
    and sciences, but education as in the development of the qualities that are
    humane. And I think, going to Budhanilkantha, which gave me a valuable
    opportunity to interact with students from all over the country, did make me
    sensitive to issues such as racism, apparently the school didn't do a good
    job on that, as evidenced by the postings on Paramendra dai's guestbook,
    however much we would like to think that the school did.

(I am glad some of the readers of TND have moved from being Holocaust Deniers to being people who acknowledge the existence of Racism in Nepal. Now, we might move on to suggest solutions. What's next? What can we do about it? Is there a way out? Is it a matter of waiting for "goodwill" on behalf of those who perpetrate racism or are there political solutions in store?)

************************************************************* Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 15:45:43 -0400 From: mpandey <mdpandey@bellsouth.net> To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: HAPPY VIJAYA DASHAMI !

  TO ALL FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD

  VIJAYA DASAMI KO SUKHAD UPALAKCHYA MA HARDIK MANGGALAMAYA SHUVA KAMANA TAKRAUCHHU.

 THE PANDEY'S FAMILY WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

**************************************************************** From: "Anil Shrestha" <SHRESTHA@plant.uoguelph.ca> Organization: Plant Agriculture, Univ. of Guelph To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 18:26:20 EST Subject: Greetings

Best wishes to all TND readers for a very happy Vijaya Dashami and Diwali !!!

TND Canada chapter.

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

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Sat, 26 Sep 98 18:33:27 EST From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <Paramendra_Bhagat@smtpgtwy.berea.edu> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Moving beyond the Racism Issue

Moving beyond the Racism Issue

The following is the gist of the manifesto co-authored by myself and Mr. Hridayesh Tripathy for the Nepal Samajwadi Janata Dal in Baisakh 2053 (April 1996). This did not make it to any national convention because the Dal, not long after, merged with the Nepal Sadbhavana Party and never really held a convention. And, besides, it is not my claim that everyone in the Dal was gung- ho about this manifesto either. That was not the way it was. Mr. Tripathy himself had reservations about certain segments of the document, primarily the long list of sex-discriminatory laws the manifesto talked about repealing. He was being pragmatic. Unless there is a women's vote bank that makes the national parliament go in that direction, that will have to wait, he thought, as John F. Kennedy said, "I would rather win than be right."

Also, the priority list presented in this document was not what the Dal leaders agreed to either. What is the issue of fifth importance in this document was number one for Mr. Gajendra Narayan Singh of the Sadbhavana fame, and many of the Dal leaders carried that mentality, having been Sadbhavana people for so long. Mr. Tripathy, as Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, had become prominent on the national scene with his work in exposing institutional corruption. So what is number three in this document was the number one issue for him then.

I found the priority list in the minds of the Sadbhavana and the Dal leaders to be defeatist. Even if equality for the Teraiwasis and the Janajatis is all you want, you should work to get your party in power. We are not dreaming of a civil rights movement here, I explained. We are talking electoral politics. And if the national economy is not your number one issue, forget about becoming a national party that has branches in most, if not all, of the 75 districts.

I was the figure within the Dal who was more eager than anyone else that the Dal merge back with the Sadbhavana. On the issue of the Teraiwasis and the Janajatis these two parties had literally identical stands. The Sadbhavana had barely managed to garner the 5% of votes required to become a national party. Should the two parties end up competing for the same vote bank, both might just end up finishing each other off, I thought, especially in light of the reluctance of some of the Dal leaders to move on boldly to creating new vote banks. But the merger did not take place until much later by when I was already in the US. Good news, nevertheless.

I was also feeling uncomfortable with the presence of the word Samajwadi in the Dal's name. I am no socialist, never was (they had nicknamed me the
"capitalist" in the Dal). I believe the larger framework of democracy and free markets wherein there is a major emphasis on providing the people with education and health care and social security benefits regardless of their weak socio- economic backgrounds is the way out also for the vast majority of the poor in Nepal. Socialists end up wanting to distribute wealth they have not created in the first place. A free marketeer who believes in investing lavishly in human capital is what we need.

I offer this so as to move on beyond the hitherto Racism-directed-against-the- Teraiwasis discussion I have been holding on this forum for the past so many months. Below you will find suggested some possible political solutions to the Racism issue itself. Time to move beyond the sociology of Racism, I guess.

I would especially appreciate it if the major contributors to this forum pitched in some of their time to discussing the details of this document.

(1) Lead the Nepalese economy towards rapid economic growth :

    (a) A major emphasis on the nonagricultural sector, especially the service
        sector, primarily tourism.
    (b) Diversification.
    (c) Rapid industrialization.
    (d) Emphasis on Science and Technology, in education and in Research and
        Development, and in welcoming foreign direct investment in various
        sectors of the economy.
    (e) Harnessing the vast hydropotential.
    (f) A major emphasis on the agricultural sector for the short run.
    (g) Strengthening the financial infrastructure of the economy.
    (h) Macroeconomic stability. Fiscal responsibility. Inflation kept in
        check.
    (i) A fundamental overhauling of the tax system.
    (j) Inviting foreign direct investment for nationwide physical
        infrastructure, namely in the transportation and communication sectors.
        Participating in the global information revolution.
    (k) Overcoming the landlockedness of the economy by taking steps towards a
        South Asian economic union and a waterway from the border of Nepal to
        the Bay of Bengal.

(2) Reach out to those living below the poverty line with the fruits of the
    economic growth thus attained.

    (a) Direct investment in human capital.
    (b) Lifelong education for all from revenues generated from the largely
        market-oriented economic growth.
    (c) Affordable health care for all.
    (d) Social security nets for those who might occasionally lag behind and for
        the disadvantaged and the downtrodden.
    (e) Minimum wage.

(3) Rid the governmental structure of corruption.
 
    (a) Pass a law such that every elected politician and every bureaucrat in
        the government machinery, at whatever level, has to disclose his or her
        total assets and annual income for public record.
    (b) Pass a law such that all political parties have to keep their party
        accounts and their sources of funding public.
    (c) Free and fair elections.
    (d) Voting rights for all above the age of 16!

(4) Wage political and legal struggles for women's rights.

    The following laws discriminate against women and need to be repealed to be
    replaced by those that do not smack of what apparently is blatant sex
    discrimination :

    (a) Immediately after descending from the womb, a son shares equal rights
        with the father to the property owned by the family. To be able to do
        the same the daughter has to meditate upto the age of 35, unmarried!
        Even after that, should she decide to get married, her property thus
        acquired automatically goes to her brothers. If the brothers choose to
        partition the family property before their sister reaches that dangerous
        age of 35, she gets no share.
    (b) A married woman cannot claim for partition until she is 35 and has been
        part of the marriage for a minimum of 15 years. But first prove you are
        not being provided with food and lodging!
    (c) Even if you somehow manage to acquire property after the hurdles race
        fundamentally hostile to you, you have no right to manage it. A male
        head of the family may, at any time he wishes to and without consulting
        the wife, unwed daughter above the dangerous age of 35 if there is, or
        daughter-in-law, dispose the entire movable and upto half of the
        immovable property. A woman or unmarried daughter, on the other hand,
        needs the permission - the holy permission - of her son or father,
        before she may dispose more than half of her immovable property acquired
        through partition.
    (d) When the male head of the family dies, the grandson is favored over the
        daughter for the inheritance of family property.
    (e) Let your dear father alone, you may not inherit your dear mother's
        earnings either, if she happens to have any, that is. The father or
        your brothers are most probably still alive!
    (f) The daughter or daughter-in-law may not inherit the tenancy rights of
        her father's or father-in-law's land. What happens when there is no
        male in the family to inherit the tenancy rights? The legal sytem of
        this country has no answer.
    (g) Men may adopt children on whim. Women also may adopt children, but not
        if the husband is alive or there or there is a son from a co-wife.
    (h) The woman is covered from head to foot under the law on adultery. If it
        is proven the woman had slept with another man or if she even confesses
        to that effect in court, as many women are forced to do, the marriage
        legally terminates. Men? They are made up of some very different
        protein. Under certain conditions - if the first wife is barren, has an
        incurable communicable disease, or otherwise has physical "defects" - he
        can even have a second wife : permanent adultery under the same roof!
        If the first husband is sterile, impotent, disabled or suffering from an
        incurable disease, the woman cannot get a second husband for herself.
        If she is foolish enough to dare to do that, she gets imprisoned. The
        husband can choose to prosecute both the wife and the lover. Both can
        be punished. If the husband dies before or after conviction, the
        charges are dropped off the lover. He is released. He is a man. The
        wife does not get this favor done to her. She happens to be a woman.
    (i) Should a male Nepalese get himself a wife from another country, she is
        readily awarded with Nepal's citizenship. If a female Nepalese marries
        a male foreigner, he dare not ask for a citizenship card.
    (j) A married woman may not go for foreign travel without the written
        consent of her guardian. A married man, on the other hand, does not
        need such permission from his "guardian" or wife.
    (k) A Nepalese man's child is a citizen of Nepal, but a Nepalese woman's
        child fathered by a male from another country, has to live in Nepal for
        15 years before he or she can claim to be a citizen of Nepal.

(5) Participate in and lead the struggle waged by the madhesi and the janajati
    communities to attain equality and dignity.

    (a) Recognize Hindi to be the link language of the Terai.
    (b) Tri-lingual language policy upto Class 10, in both private and public
        schools. One, the child's first language. Two, Nepali. Three, English.

        Those, for whom Nepali is their first language, will choose some other
        language spoken in the country for their second langauge. All three
        taught from the beginning years to Class 10, Science and Mathematics
        taught in English from Class Four to Ten. The rest of the subjects
        taught in Nepali. Identical languagge policy for both private and
        public schools. The languages besides Nepali might have to adopt the
        Devnagari script for this purpose although the original script of each
        language needs to be preserved for cultural reasons. And it might be
        wise to adopt the Roman numerals.
    (c) The constitution calls Nepal a "Hindu, Constitutional Monarchical
        Kingdom." Erase out the comma in the phrase
    (d) Everyone who was residing in Nepal on a permanent basis when the current
        constitution was promulagated in 1990 ought to be taken for citizens and
        be issues citizenship certificates without delay.
    (e) Adopt a federal form of government.
    (f) Greater autonomy to the local governments.
    (g) Parliamentary constituencies should be demarcated bades on territories
        of equal or near equal population.
    (h) Reservation for jobs in the state sector for the "backward" communities
        and women.

(6) Engineer the Dalit community's entrance into the nation's mainstream with
    active Dalit political leadership.

From: "Paramendra Bhagat" <Paramendra_Bhagat@smtpgtwy.berea.edu> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: G77 and WTO

                                        
                                 DECCAN HERALD
                          Sunday, September 27, 1998
                                        
                              Jaswant exposes WTO's double standards
                                                    DH News Service
                                                  NEW YORK, Sept 26
                                        
    There has been an erosion of the public good concept from almost all the
                   agreements of the World Trade Organisation
    (WTO) and special and differential treatment to developing countries was
                  minimal, India told the 'Group of 77` (G-77)
                                   countries.
                                        
 Addressing the G-77 ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations
                      (UN) General Assembly session here,
 Mr Jaswant Singh, the prime minister's special representative, said developing
                       countries should insist that that international monetory and financial systems cannot be let to spontaneous market
                                 forces alone.
                                         Developed countries had reserved the right to maintain a back- loaded phase-out
                      period of 10 years for quantitative
 restrictions (QR) against textiles imports from developing countries. But they
                       did not brook developing countries
      maintaining QRs even for balance of payment and development reasons.
                                        
     Disguised protectionism was in full force and did greater damage than
                traditional tariffs. Sophisticated anti-dumping
   and countervailing duty actions, unilateral standards and quality related
                    prescriptions, environmental and social
  conditionalities were being used to deny developing countries the benefit of
                      their comparative advantage and the
                  competitive advantage of their enterprises.
                                        
 Mr Singh said the G-77 should point out that if the developed countries wished
                    to see sustained growth in world trade,
    the necessary flexibility should be permitted to developing countries in
                accepting obligations in areas of their relative
  weakness and they should be give liberalised, predictable and preferrential
                     market access in areas of their export
                                   strength.
                                         This approach must inform the policies relating to the implementation of various
                           WTO agreements, review and
    deliberations on the built-in agenda and new issues such as investment,
                  competition policy and environment that were
                         emerging in the WTO framework.
                                        
  On the technology side, he added, it should be ensured that a more stringent
                     intellectual property righs protection
 regime did not result in putting patented technologies beyond the reach of the
                    developing countries or constrain their
   capacity building. Nor should they be used monopolistically against public
                                    inerest.
                                         High technologies critical for their development and competitiveness should not
                      be denied to developing counries on political grounds. India, he said should seek to reflect in the TRIPS agreement,
                         the conservation and community interest aspects of bio- genetic resources related provisions of the convention
                               on bio-diversity.
                                         This would inter-alia ensure that unauthorised appropriation of the bio-genetic
                       resources of developing countries
  without sharing their awards does not take place and that material transfer
                     agreements or transfer of information
              agreements were required of developed country users.
                                         In the course of referring to foreign trade, Mr Singh also noted that trillions
                 of dollars crossing the international borders
  every day were accountable to no one even though they bring with them great
                   volatility of exchange and interest rates
                          and affect the real economy.
                                        
''It is therefore obvious that some global, objective and balanced mechanism for
                          monitoring surveillance, and disciplining of financial and currency markets is an urgent need. It is in this
                       light that we should come up with
 proposals for reform of the international monetory and financial architecture
                   including MFIs, of the regulatory policies
  of creditor and borrowing countries and corporates as well as of faulty and
                   biased credit rating agencies,`` he said.
                                         Mr Singh also noted that effective mechanisms for emergency response, prevention
                     of crisis and of its contagion effect,
   were inadequacies in the present monetary system and point to the need for
                      establishing a stable exchange rate
                          mechanism on a fresh basis.
                                        
   TRADE SHOW: The deputy chairman of the Planning Commission said India was
                        hosting a India, G- 77 and China trade fair and business summit in New Delhi in November this year and hoped that
                        it would give impetus to trade,
         investment and technology flows among countries in the south.
                                        
**************************************************************** Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 10:14:15 -0400 (EDT) Forward: Ashutosh Tiwari <tiwari@fas.harvard.edu> To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Review - 1 (fwd)

Making Children Read by Joy Stephens

        One commonly repeated myth says intelligence is all in the genes. We can't change it. Another myth says we go to school to learn facts, that the purpose of book is to provide factual information. None are entirely true. Learning is much more than learning facts. It is about discovery, working things out for ourselves, developing our powers of logic and analysis, and creative thinking.

        There are many things parents can do to encourage the development of their child's intelligence. A child's brain is like an empty circuit.
>From birth the wiring begins. The more connections it makes, the better
the brain works. Each touch, taste, look, smell, sound, action, adds connections. But it is not possible for one person to experience everything in this world. That is why books are so important. As a child grows older, the reading of books adds new depths to their experience and intelligence. Surveys have shown that children who read a lot of books at home perform well at school. The books do not have to be textbooks. In fact, it is better for them to be story books, because a child will enjoy them more. If a child at a young age learns to enjoy books, (s)he will become a good reader. Good readers will want to read more and more books, and their intelligence and understanding will expand through this.

        Below are some tips to develop your child's reading skills at home.

        0-2 years: At this age the most important thing you can do is talk to your child. The more you talk the better will be your child's language ability, which later plays a part in reading skills.

        2-5 years: Nepal has a tradition of oral story telling. At this age your child will love to hear simple non-frightening stories, especially told by you, sitting on your lap, perhaps stories about your memories as a young child. Even though your child can't read yet (s)he will enjoy books and needs books, especially simple story books with lots of pictures. This should be a shared activity between parent and child. Choose a picture book with large print, sit your child on your lap, and flip through the pages. Repetition is very important at this age. Your child will enjoy hearing the same story over and over again. After you have read the story, let the child tell the story to you, helped by the pictures.

        Your child is acquiring pre-reading skills. (S)he learns that letters are symbols for sounds, that groups of letters make a word, that a word has meaning, an object perhaps that (s)he can go and fetch e.g. cup.
(S)he learns there is a front and a back to a book, and upside-down, and a right-way-up, that you start at the front and go through the pages in sequence to the end, that Nepali and English is written from left to right, and from top to bottom. After reading the same book several times, your child may learn the story by heart. (S)he will enjoy repeating the words with you. Help him/her by pointing to the printed words as you say them, and asking him/her to repeat them. This helps the connection in the brain between the sound of a word and its written shape. In this way (s)he will quickly learn to read simple words e.g. cat, dog, tree, toy, Mum, Dad, that are repeated in a story. Be careful, however, not to spoil the enjoyment of the story!

        5-7 years: This is the age when most children learn to read, or if they have already learned, when they improve their fluency and vocabulary. Educators say a child should read at least one book a day at this age. The more books a child reads, the more their imagination flowers, and the greater their understanding and use of their intelligence. Reading is still a shared activity at this age: make time to hear your child read aloud.

        If you don't have many books in your home, consider joining a library, or setting up a book-share system with your friends. Encourage your child to read signs on the street, on labels on bottles and packaged goods etc. Books for this age should still have oversize print, and plenty of pictures. The pictures are visual clues that help the child to read the words and understand the story. Make sure your child understands what (s)he is reading. From time to time ask a question about the story, or ask your child to predict what might happen next. In this way not only are their reading skills imporved, but also their power of logic, analysis, and creative thinking.

        7-11 years: It is important that children establish a habit of reading and associate books with enjoyment. If you have followed the suggestions above, you will find that your child already loves books and reading. The problem is to find enough books to satisfy their appetites.

        If early in life books are associated with pleasure, children will become good readers and discover the treasure of knowledge in books. The impact of this discovery is almost immeasurable. Children who have been stimulated by books from an early age perform well at school. They are more likely to have a creative approach to learning, something that is not currently emphasized in the education system of Nepal and which can hamper the achievements of otherwise very intelligent students.

        Through intelligent reading and questioning, they will have developed much greater powers of logic and analysis. These are essential for a developing country such as Nepal, where many problems cannot be solved in traditional ways, and new, creative solutions are being sought. Thus investment in the reading skills of children will bring benefits to the whole country in the future as these children grow up to become problem-solvers and decision makers.

(J. Stephens is the author of Window on Annapurna)

________________________

A Strange and Sublime Address by Amit Chaudhuri William Heinemann Limited, 1991
____________________________ A review by Sareena Rai

I was over at a friend's once, for an evening drink and asked her to recommend me a book to read. "What kind of book do you want?" she asked. I replied "something neither American nor European, Japanese nor middle Eastern. I need to still be here". And this was how I entered the dreamscape of a strange and sublime address.
        "He saw the lane. Small houses, unlovely and unremarkable" begins the book that offers not the usual string of verbose adjectives to seduce the reader into thinking that the greatest read should always contain the longest and most lush of vocabulary, but instead the more humble approach of seeing things as they so rightly are often ugly, often unremarkable. This book offers a magnified insight into the world of small worlds, of personalities we are all familiar with: neither 'heros' nor 'heroness', holding benign but absolute presence within a Hindu home in Calcutta; Calcutta where "the roads are always being dug up" where like a work of modern art that neither makes sense nor has utility, exists for some aesthetic reason "where the children and dogs sit doing nothing, where the saris are wonderful". I always try to make a note of saluting the writer who is brave enough to still describe something simply as 'wonderful'.
        As you carefully read each prized page, you witness a young boy named Sandeep's vacation at the house of his maternal aunt. There is no gripping plot to encourage the reader to turn each page under the influence of anticipation. The action is that of the washer woman scrubbing clothes during hot afternoons, Sandeep's two cousins, "the slothful boys" innocently watching flies mating, Chhotomama's old car that heaves and splutters each morning as he goes to work, his aunt asleep on the big bed
"her arms bent as if she were swimming to the edge of a lake".
        There is much humor in this book if one can take an innocent look at an often confusingly ritual ridden, seemingly suppressive Hindu society. If one can see things as a child sees them, there is often absolute truth in the matter. There is no self conscious focus on religion and it's just part and parcel of life in Calcutta, like washing the clothes, sleeping in the afternoon. Writes Chaudhuri: "Mamima's midday-prayer was postponed to a later date. The gods were not fussy about punctuality; after all, they had all eternity at their disposal", as we often forget that they do, and
"Sandeep liked (the god) Ganesh the best, because he seemed so content with his own appearance". Regarding the act of worship itself, what he enjoyed about the act of worship "was the general, dignified uselessness of the whole enterprise", prayer time was when adults were children again. Amit Chaudhuri cannot have consciously noted down all that he saw as a child so that later in life he could write a book on these peculiar activities that make up life. It must be that this writer has a gift for storing memories and turning them into the simplest forms of poetry.
        What really might attract the reader to Chaudhuri is his honesty about the society in which he perhaps grew up. Chaudhuri is not afraid to state the obvious. Each character is given equal attention and has a function in the book, a function which they have in society on the whole. The women are at home, often cooking, talking about relatives and
"murmuring conspiratorially about the colour of a sari". But we do not condemn his descriptions of their lives because of his honesty. The women aren't slotted into conventional roles in the service of his own romanticism, but more to the point that these women do not seem in the least bothered about where they stand in society and instead fulfil duties that have been laid down for centuries; these women are not any more special than men because they are strong and stand alone taking the burdens of society with them, but because this is where they most naturally fit in some societies. In the same way Sandeep's uncle is described as "an archetype of that familiar figure who is not often described in literature and the ordinary breadwinner in his moment of unlikely glory, transformed into the centre of his universe and his home". One cannot argue with that and pride comes with both the woman and the man of the house.
        There is a gap that is filled by Amit Chaudhuri's writing that is not easy to come by nor easy to fulfill. He can look at middle class Bengali society and be in it, at the same time he can take a step back and see it as a world apart from others. In this way (being born in Calcutta and brought up in Bombay himself, not unlike Sandeep in the book) he can state things that a non-native can't without the accusations that fly with it. He also has an insatiable need to tell us just how it is, without the trappings of =EBpolitical correctness=ED or conventional wisdom.
        His descriptions fit into place because of a simple choice of words with a whole history behind them. Just one sentence describing India contain all these things - humor, wit, reality, indifference: "The eye rested on no empty spaces: wherever one gazed, there was a fruit, or a vegetable, or a basket, or a dog, or a god". As if you were a fly on the wall, watching and listening amidst the drone of an overhead ceiling fan, the slumber of Calcutta's monsoon months takes you for an enchanting spin. The invisible 'plot' thus reveals itself before your own eyes in Amit Chaudhuri's own words: "This is what must have happened to Calcutta in the afternoon; the first man had casually walked away; the rest of Calcutta was still staring at that fascinating, non-existent point in the emptiness, waiting for the revelation." (The remaining pages at the back of A Strange and Sublime Address are filled with a handful of Chaudhuri's beautiful short stories.)

S. Rai is the editor of Earshot magazine

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