Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2007

Share Your New Year Thoughts With Kantipur:

It’s time to welcome yet another New Year: 2007. How many New Years do we Nepalis welcome in a year in Nepal, by the way? Three? Our own Bikram Sambat will have a new year in Baishak: 2064. Then there is Nepal Sambad (that renews itself every year at the time of Tihar festival). I have seen many people who have to remember their birth dates in both calendars (BS and AD). For instance, mine is date of birth is 2035.11.17 BS and 1979.03.01 AD.

We in urban areas celebrate both BS and AD new years with equal enthusiasm and joy. While doing so, we hardly give thoughts on the religious and other backgrounds of these two calendars. The world is using AD calendar while officially Nepal is practicing BS dates. Sometime I find myself doing hard math about the dates and I have to use software that converts dates form one to other.

Tomorrow is Christmas and this evening affluent part of Kathmandu is celebrating the festival by partying, drinking and discoing. These kinds of celebrations are making their presence in our lifestyles as part of just another western pop culture. For many of us, not all though, partying in Christmas Eve or in New Year Eve is just like wearing jeans, drinking colas and watching Hollywood flicks.

Anyway, how do you feel about this: Celebrating more than one New Year in a year. Kantipur daily is doing a story on this topic and seeks your views to be printed. Please drop your views (click on # right) in the next two days here (in English or in Nepali) so that the paper can quote you. Full name and address will be appreciated.– Wagle

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Indian Fundamentalists Demand Nepal be Declared a Hindu State

The Hindu fundamentalists of India have demanded that Nepal be declare a Hindu State and its constitutional monarchy restored. Speaking at the Vishwa Hindu Mahasammelan (VHM) in Gorakhapur, India on Saturday (Dec 23), the Dharmacharyas (religious leaders) called for declaration of Nepal as Hindu state and restoration of monarchy there, according to the reports by The Hindustan Times. Here is more from HT by Rajesh Kumar Singh:

Criticising the declaration of Nepal as a secular country by seven-party interim government, Adityanath said that it should again be declared as a Hindu country and monarchy should be restored there. He called upon the saints to take an initiative for the liberation of Nepal from the clutches of Maoists. He said that the [Indian] government should impose a total ban on cow slaughter.

Hindutva remained at the top of the agenda as the participants discussed various issues related to the Hindu community. Over 500 delegates from Nepal participated in today’s meeting. They expressed concern over Maoists strengthening their hold over Nepal politics. Terming the new government as anti Hindu, they said Nepal was and would remain a Hindu country.

National president of VHM General Bharat Keshar Singh, chief of Nepal Shiv Sena Arun Subedi, former minister of Nepal Bhola Nath Jha, Swami Prapannacharya and former MP Padm Bahadur Kota also spoke on the occasion. They were unanimous in saying that anti-Hindu activities had escalated in Nepal since Maoists had tightened their grip on power. ISI and Christian missionaries have also spread their tentacles, they pointed out and added that the Hindu majority in Nepal was looking towards India for assistance.

Adityanath said Hindu organisations in India would organise yatras, congregations and joint feasts with Hindus in Nepal for restoration of the Himalayan kingdom as a Hindu country.

Prachanda, Baburam call on Prime Minister

News we are following: Dec 24- In a bid to plug growing fissures between the government and the Maoists, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala held discussions with Maoist Chairman Prachanda and Maoist-second-in-command Dr Baburam Bhattarai Sunday morning (Dec 24) at the formers’ residence in Baluwatar, reports eKantipur.

According to sources, the trio discussed the interim constitution, appointment of the ambassadors, arms management, among other issue, during the meet. Both Maoist leaders urged the PM to begin the process of arms management at the earliest possible to expedite the issuance of the interim statute, sources said. During the meet, Prachanda clarified to the PM that the CPN-M was forced to call the day-long valley strike after the government went against the spirit of the SPA-Maoist agreement to appoint ambassadors and officials at the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The PM, meanwhile, urged the Maoist not to harbor any further suspicions “since all important decisions henceforth would be issued only after an agreement and consultations with the seven parties and the Maoists.” The PM on Friday had said that the government had consulted with CPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda while nominating ambassadors and members of the NHRC, asserting that he wouldn’t be withdrawing the names. He also said that he had told Prachanda that he would keep some seats on the NHRC and the ambassadorship for France for the Maoists.