Tag Archives: Nepali Society

A Maoist Agricultural Center In Nepal

By Neil Horning

On the way to Chorkate, Gorkha, about a 3 hour bus ride from the district headquarters, a conspicuous facility covered with red flags is noticeable by the roadside.

Nammuna Agricultural Center is run by the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) as an agricultural cooperative, intended to teach agricultural skills and collective farming to locals and serve as a model for similar facilities nation wide. Dr. Baburam Bhattarai’s childhood village overlooks the center.

The cooperative raises buffalo and pigs, farms fish and grows rice and vegetables. According to members, Sarmila Bagle and Hari Khanal, 20-30 Maoist cadres work in the center, with locals (paid 100-400 Rupees or about $1.50 to $6.00 a day) comprising an additional half of the workforce. Gender balance rests at 50%. Cooking is done on a rotational basis involving both men and women, and decisions are made through semi-regular meetings of the members.
Agricultural cooperatives are the first step in a Maoist development strategy known as collectivization, in where the manpower from individual plots is pooled to increase efficiency of production. In China, first land titles were distributed to peasants as part of a land reform process. Next, peasants with individual plots were encouraged to voluntarily join agricultural cooperatives which were later combined into massive communes. The initial stages of this plan met with measured success, while the later stages during the great leap forward have been blamed for massive famines and are the subject of much controversy. Continue reading A Maoist Agricultural Center In Nepal

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Nepal: A Country Cursed by a Widow?

By Krishna Giri

I don’t think any Nepali will raise their eyebrows when they hear- “SATI LE SARAPEKO DESH”. Right from the unification, Nepali have witnessed ongoing severity in terms of governance. Power snatching by any means has become style in Nepal. I don’t want to go back to 17th century to dig the past. Rather I will go back to the recent past. 20 governments in 20 years; that’s pretty impressive, and with all due respect, Maoist supremo has presently announced that another unity government is coming in weeks. Will Maoists allow MK to stay as a buffoon PM for next few weeks or they want MK to continue with his bizarre funny political career until the festive season? This remains a mystery as the ball is in Maoist court. Not just MK but UML is an amusing party. They don’t have any leaders to lead the party; at least, none who can win peoples hearts and votes. Enough assessments have been done about CA performance for various including former DPM to current PM and I should waste no time. The UML Party – neither capitalist nor communist. Simply, lost in ideology and leadership, particularity, after the rise of Maoists. Continue reading Nepal: A Country Cursed by a Widow?

Nepal-India Relations: Open Secret Diplomacy

By Bishnu Pathak, PhD

Setting:

The United Maoist-led Government resigned as of May 4, 2009 and its resignation has been accepted. Almost three weeks back, the senior UML leader, Madhav Kumar Nepal, who failed to win people’s trust in two constituencies he challenged in the last Constituent Assembly (CA) election, was unanimously elected as the second Prime Minister of republican Nepal on May 23, 2009. The largest party with 238 members out of 601, the united Maoists, boycotted the election, protesting against the move of the president. The ceremonial president reinstated the CoAS to let him continue in his office despite the executive decision. India has now become the butt of controversy among all players – political parties, media, civil society, etc. -both in and outside the land. This article attempts to address India’s role in Nepal, its next-door neighbor in the central Himalayas.

Problem 1: Treaty of Segowlee (Sagauli Treaty)

Nepal received a draft on December 2, 1815, but only signed it 93 days later (March 4, 1816). It is marked by territorial concessions. An excerpt of the treaty has been given below:

• Peace and friendship shall be perpetual between the East India Company and the Rajah of Nipal (art. 1)

• Nipal renounces all claim to the lands which were the subject of discussion between the two States before the war and acknowledges the right of the Company to sovereignty of those lands (art. 2).

• Nipal cedes the following territories to the Company (art 3) such as

• The whole of the low lands between the Rivers Kali and Rapti (art 3.1).

• The whole of the low lands (except Butwal) lying between the Rapti and the Gunduck (art 3.2).

• The whole of the low lands between the Gunduck and Coosah (art 3.3).

• All the low lands between the Rivers Mitchee and the Teestah (art 3.4).

• All the territories within the hills eastward of the River Mitchee including the lands of Nagree and the Pass of Nagarcote leading from Morung into the hills, together with the territory lying between that Pass and Nagree. The aforesaid territory shall be evacuated by the Gurkah troops within forty days from this date (art 3.5).

• The Chiefs and Barahdars whose interest shall suffer by the alienation of the lands, the British Government agrees to
settle pensions to the aggregate amount of two lakhs of rupees per annum on such Chiefs (art 4).

• Nipal renounces for himself, his heirs, and successors, all claim lying to the west of the River Kali and engages
never to have any concern with those countries or the inhabitants thereof (art 5).

• Nipal shall not disturb the territories of Rajah of Sikkim; but agrees, if any differences shall arise between them shall
be referred to the arbitration of the British Government (art 6).

• Nipal hereby engages never to take or retain in his service any British subject, nor the subject of any European and
American State, without the consent of the British Government (art 7).

•To secure/improve the relations of amity and peace hereby established between the two States, it is agreed that
accredited Ministers from each shall reside at the Court of the other (art 8).

• This nine article treaty shall be ratified by the Rajah of Nipal within fifteen days from this date, and the ratification
shall be delivered to Lt. Colonel Bradshaw and deliver to the Rajah the ratification of the Governor-General within
twenty days, or sooner (art 9).

Observation: Buddhi Narayan Shrestha states, “The result of the treaty was that Nepal lost almost-one third of its territory on the east, south, and west.” Nepal lost its unified and expended land Tista in the east, Kangara in the west, and nearly the confluence of Ganga and Jamuna in the
south1. Sugauli has been called an unequal treaty, where Nepal only lost but the British Empire gained a huge territorial advantage, despite the equality, mutual friendliness, and understanding language within the treaty. The treaty was signed unwillingly by Nepal. Budhi Narayan writes:

“The British East India Company prepared the draft of the treaty with the signature of Lieutenant Colonel Paris Bradshaw on December 2, 1815. It was sent to Nepal with a 15-day ultimatum for counter-signature and asked to return it to them. Nepal did not like the terms and conditions of the treaty, so it did not sign within that period. The British then spread rumor that they were launching attack on the capital, Kathmandu, and
even carried out troop movement to show Nepal that it was serious. When Nepal thought that the attack on the capital was inevitable, it was forced to accept the treaty. As it was a treaty imposed on Nepal, the King and high ranking officials did not want to sign it. But as Nepal was under duress to accept its terms, Chandrashekhar Upadhyaya, who had accompanied Pandit Gajaraj Mishra to the British camp at Sugauli, put
his signature on March 4, 1816 and gave it to them. As Nepal had signed the treaty under coercion after 93 days against the 15-day ultimatum, the treaty came into effect from that day2.”

The British Governor General had a fear that Nepal might not implement the treaty fully, as the king of Nepal had not signed or followed article 9. The treaty had cumulative effects, particularly on sovereignty, due to the final decision over any conflict arising between Sikkim and Nepal resting with the British. The treaty did not last forever as per article 3, as Nepal restored its sovereignty over the plains between the Koshi to Rapti within nine months of the signing3.

By the Sugauli treaty, Nepal lost 120,394 sq. km. and was confined to 147,181 sq. km. The present clamor for greater Nepal is the concept of gaining the 45 percent more land – what had been lost by the Sugauli treaty. Wikipedia states that greater Nepal is a concept referring to the state of Nepal extending beyond present boundaries to include territories ceded to the British East India Company under the Sugauli Treaty that ended the Anglo-Nepalese War in 1814 – 16. Some
Madhes-Terai land was restored to Nepal in 1816 under a revision of the treaty and more territory was returned in 1865 to thank Nepal for helping to suppress the Indian rebellion of 18574. The idea of a modern Nepal or ‘greater Nepal’ covering the same territories is raised by some Nepali nationalist groups5.” In Prachanda’s last speech to Constituent Assembly (CA) in the capacity of Prime Minister he said Nepal has remained a semi-colonized state ever since the country signed
the Sugauli Treaty with British India and that Nepal has “failed in the historic necessity to redefine and develop bilateral relations as per the [recent] change.”6

1 http://www.geocities.com/sugaulitreaty/nepal?20091.
2 http://www.geocities.com/sugaulitreaty/nepal
3 http://www.geocities.com/sugaulitreaty/nepal
4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Sugauli
5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Nepal#cite_note-Telegraph_Nepal-0
6 Kathmandu Post. May 23, 2009. Relations with India Need Redefining. Kathmandu: Kantipur Publication

Ex-Prince Paras on Nepali Royal Massacre

Eight years after the royal massacre, ex-Crown Prince Paras Bikram Shah talks to the New Paper of Singapore. Why?

UWB Note: The exclusive interview has been translated and reproduced by many Nepali media including top selling and most influential newspaeprs in Nepal. That is one of the most read items in newspapers in Nepal today and yesterday.

Paras

By Clement Mesenas and S Murali
Original source of the story: The New Paper

‘THE Nepali people need to know the truth,’ said Prince Paras, eight years after seeing 10 members of his royal family gunned down ruthlessly. The persistent, painful nightmares stopped after four years.

What haven’t stopped, however, are the ugly rumours of his involvement in the incident on 1 Jun2001.

But enough is enough, says Crown Prince Paras.

He now wants to clear his name.

Reacting to recent reports that the current Nepali government might reopen the investigation into the massacre, he decided to speak to senior Singapore media men.

Three Reasons for the Massacre

FORBIDDEN love is the oft-heard reason behind Nepal’s palace massacre when Dipendra Bikram Shah, then crown prince, ran amok.

But there’s more to this Shakespearean tragedy than meets the eye, said the last crown prince of the Himalayan kingdom, a cousin of the killer prince.

Opening up for the first time since the 2001 bloodbath that took place before his eyes, Prince Paras Bikram Shah, 37, said there was a web of deep-seated reasons that sparked the killing. Continue reading Ex-Prince Paras on Nepali Royal Massacre

Intellectual Poverty

By Darshan Karki, after attending the David Seddon lecture last week

There is a distinct pattern to the workshops, public discussion and lecture series that take place in Kathmandu. Firstly there is the speaker or pundit or whatever name they are called by. They are supposed to have mastered the issue in question. In most situations the experts live up to their name. And in a rare case scenario the ‘expert’ clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding to the extent that they ‘boldly’ or ‘shamelessly’ allow someone else in the audience to take control of the discussion. Then there is an audience which is diverse and has come to attend the discussions for various reasons. Some come there with the sole purpose of listening to the speakers with no strings attached. They are there to learn whatever they can. Another kind are cynics. It doesn’t matter if their knowledge of the issue is nil: they are there to criticize and will not leave unless they have done so. The third type of attendees are the flamboyant ones. They are there to show off what they know. If the speaker utters a single word which they know of, their response will not stop until they’ve finished narrating the entire history of that term. The weapons they use will be jargons and sentences quoted verbatim from a book or else theories that the person in question knows by heart.
All this happens regardless of the fact that good speakers often start discussions by stating that they are not going overload their speech with technical terms for the benefit of the multitude. If talk programmes did not have a start and finish time then they would most likely be ruined by these smart alecs who are all keen to prove that they are the smartest ones in the room. College years spent in attending discussion of all sorts led me into believing that these types and scenarios covered all there was to see in the nature of such public lectures. But just when I had thought I had seen it all I went to see the recent 30th lecture series in Yala Maya Kendra. Continue reading Intellectual Poverty

A Life Ordinary: Story of a Nepali Chowkidar in Delhi

By 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 in the paper. Extended version of this story was published in Nepali in today’s Kantipur Koseli. See it here as it appeared in Koseli. Plus, here is my take on India’s Valentines culture in today’s Op-Ed of Kantipur.]

Bishnu Prasad Nepal does not work in one of those Indian call centres in Gurgaon that serve American customers, but every evening as the clock hits eight he gets ready for his duty for the next 12 hours. It’s been years since he drew the conclusion that he was born to guard a residential complex in south Delhi with two weapons: a cane and a whistle. As he patrols tapping his cane and blowing his whistle at midnight Bishnu occasionally thinks about the dream that he sees during the daytime. “I wish to make a small home,” said Bishnu who was on duty in a recent chilly night. “That’s it.” Continue reading A Life Ordinary: Story of a Nepali Chowkidar in Delhi

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 Burning Effigies [in the Name of Lord Shiva]

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 Resham! Nepathya Shares Sorrow and Joy with Sydney

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 Jai Shambho: Row Over Appointment of Pashupatinath Priests

A Nepali Docs Tragic Death in the US

By Deepak Adhikari and Jerome L. Sherman
in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette This story originally appeared in the PG

In this mountainous country bordered by India and China, doctors are considered to be godlike.

That makes the fall of Dr. Shiva Lal Acharya, who left a farming village to attend Nepal’s most prestigious medical school and then moved to Chicago for a residency program, even more shocking for his friends and family.

On Dec. 13, Dr. Acharya died after hanging himself in the Allegheny County Jail. He had been in custody since September, when he was charged with hitting and killing a motorcyclist on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and then running from the scene of the crash.

“I rued his wrong decision-making,” said Dr. Ranjan Sapkota, a friend and classmate of Dr. Acharya who lives in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital. “As a doctor, he should have guarded the dead body.” Continue reading A Nepali Docs Tragic Death in the US