Monthly Archives: January 2009

Darjeeling Today: Talks of the State of Gorkhaland

Nepali Indians-Gorkhas-Want Their Own State Under the Union of India

By Swaroop Chetry

A routine day in Darjeeling begins with cabbies waiting for tourist to clamber on to their seats and rush to Tiger Hill to see the majestic Kanchanjunga change colour as the Sun rises from the far horizon, but nothing of this is quite happening now, the tourist numbers are thin and the people who are otherwise dependent on tourism are suddenly at loss, when I ask one of the taxi driver, he lamented things will all change for good once the State of Gorkhaland is created. This is the mood in the Darjeeling, people here seem to understand that this may be long drawn struggle and are ready to sacrifice and sustain. As the day progressed, the market starts to buzz with people buying essential commodities as nothing remains certain as when the next shutdown is imposed, evenings in Chuarasta is seemingly dull, interestingly there seems little of Government machinery functional, offices are either shut or the employ do not return to work voluntarily, only the traffic points are manned by unarmed police personnel obscure by the fact that many vehicle plying on the street bear Gorkhaland- registration. Continue reading

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Hail the Republic: How Indians Wrote the Constitution

Republic Day is both a day of celebration and introspection for India

Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal
[This article originally appeared on the Op-Ed page of the Kathmandu Post today. See it here as it appeared on the paper.]

On the 26th day of every January a grand ceremony is held on Rajpath (formerly King’s Way), a wide road that begins from the Indian presidential palace located at Raisina Hills, New Delhi and descends on to run along flat land with spacious gardens on both sides that are filled by thousands of spectators. India puts its military might and cultural diversity on full display through a colorful parade while the President awards medals of bravery to deserving citizens. The day, a national holiday in India, has its own name: The Republic Day. Continue reading

The Last Briefing by Ian Martin

Ian Martin, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Nepal speaks at the Meeting of the Security Council on 16 January 2009

The request of Nepal for United Nations assistance in support of its peace process

Mr President,

This is the tenth and last time I am briefing the Council on the assistance of the United Nations in support of Nepal’s peace process, and in particular the work of UNMIN. Although neither the peace process nor the Government’s desire for the support of UNMIN has come to a conclusion, it is an appropriate moment not only to consider developments since the last briefing in November, but also to reflect on the achievements and remaining challenges in sustaining peace in Nepal. Continue reading

Burning Effigies [in the Name of Lord Shiva]

Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal
[This article originally appeared on the Op-Ed page of the Kathmandu Post today. See it here as it appeared on the paper.]

Indian Hindu Rightwing Fundamentalists Demonstrate In Agra, India Against Nepal Government Decision To Apointment Nepali Priest in Pashupatinath Temmple

The other day I came across a Reuters video on an AOL web site that showed some angry men on the street burning effigies of the government of Nepal, shouting slogans against the Nepali Maoists and demanding the restoration of the Indian priest at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu. The visuals were not from Gaushala or Chahabil or any other places in the Nepali capital.

They were from Agra, India. The people in the video were not immigrant Nepalis who are in their millions in India but the members and leaders of a radical Indian Hindu outfit called Bajrang Dal. I don’t recall when I first heard about Bajrang Dal but whenever I come across this name, the images of angry men with swords in their hands willing to kill people from other faiths come to my mind. I am always proud of the fact that we don’t have such a squad like Bajrang Dal that frequently promotes religious disharmony in society in the name of defending Hindutva in Nepal. It was widely reported by Indian media last October that members of this group were involved in raping a Christian nun in Orissa. That is why the Agra video frightened and shocked me. Continue reading

Is Nepal Going to Fail?

It is really hard to believe that Nepal has a democratic government.

By Krishna Giri

Instead of mocking Nepali leaders, this time my thoughts were going towards the country and countrymen. Bulldozed by the political and leadership changes; besieged by living and security conditions; aggravated by the false hope for water and electricity, people are going through exceptional intellectual stress than ever before. The successive government’s governance is being so underprivileged that people are abandoned by every successor. Peace, Rule of law and social harmony amongst diverse societies are fouled by various power centres. I thank God that this country is still surviving and let it remain the same forever. The Prime Minister is talking about waging another civil war. Defence Minister and Chief of Army staff announced series of ambiguous statements. A Madheshi leader is talking about end of Nepal. Janajatis are already declaring their own autonomous regions. Indian Ambassador, once close friend to all parties, is holding secret meetings with former Monarch. Various ethnic groups are recruiting armed combatants to wage war against the state. Few religions elements are already plotting bombs across the country. A Supreme Court judge gets lecture about rule of law and power of people. And now a Pashupati Priest becomes another victim of dirty political onslaught. Continue reading

Resham! Nepathya Shares Sorrow and Joy with Sydney

Nepal’s Premium Rock/Folk band performs in Australia

“Let me share with you all a real life story,” said Amrit Gurung amidst his debut performance in Sydney on Saturday. “I was talking to a second generation Nepali immigrant residing in Europe. When I asked him if he liked visiting Nepal, he simply answered ‘no’. When asked why, he said – I want to go but I cannot communicate with anyone, even my grand parents. I really feel very frustrated, so I do not want to go” went on Amrit, the frontman of the band Nepathya. Continue reading

Jai Shambho: Row Over Appointment of Pashupatinath Priests

It’s been a week since the row over the appointment of the priests in Pashupatinath erupted. The Maoist led government, with the direct orders from the Prime Minister, has appointed Nepali priests replacing the Indians in the largest temple of Nepal. Some people have protested the move for different reasons and they have their own vested interests. There is no need to created hue and cry over the appointment. In fact, the removal of the Indian priests and appointment of Nepali citizens was a long due. The Indian priests were literally looting the temple with the help and encouragement from former royals. There was no accountability in the temple. We were kept dark about the donations and offerings made to the temple. All that had to be changed for the betterment of the temple. Continue reading