It was the hottest June day in five years, Delhi boiling at 45 degrees Celsius. I was waiting for someone at the international airport. There I met him. He had gone there to receive one of his relatives from Kathmandu who was supposed to stop overnight in Delhi before flying to Moscow the next morning (He had a 16-hour long transit). That didn’t materialise. The traveller wasn’t allowed to go out of the airport. We drove back to the city centre together.
“I have been living in Delhi for the last four years,” he said. “India is the best place for a Nepali like me who doesn’t mind working hard for a living.”
There’s no official data but there are estimated five million Nepalis living and working in India. Vast majority of those who work do so in unorganised sectors: security guards, cooks/waiters and other lowly positions in private and government institutions. There’s no reason to complain for the poorest country in the region that has miserably failed to create jobs for its citizens.
Sujan Lamichhane came to Delhi to work as a peon in a private office three years after finishing his school. He worked as a waiter in a restaurant in Kathmandu for some years before coming here. The man from Gorkha district admitted himself in a college in Delhi while he continued with the job as peon. Continue reading An Encounter with a Baburam Bhattarai Supporter in Delhi→
Kul Bahadur Magar, his wife Deng and their children.
Marriages, history shows us, are often tactical arrangements between rulers to expand empires, strengthen political alliances, establish peace between warring nations, avoid wars or create harmony in a conflict-ridden society. The Romans did it, the Mughals followed suit, and Nepal’s rulers were no different, in the seventh century marrying off Princess Bhrikuti to powerful emperor Songtsan Gampo of Tibet. Similarly, in the eighth century, King Jayadev II of Nepal brought home Rajyamati, daughter of Harshavardan, the king of Kamrup, Assam.
In contrast, when Kul Bahadur Magar, a Nepali coalmine worker in an area of Meghalaya that borders Kamrup, married Deng, a local ethnic Khasi woman, he did not have lofty goals of alliance building or peace-making. “Who thinks like that?” asked 45-year-old Magar. “I liked her, she liked me. We were both young and one day we married.” That was 13 years ago. Since then, the couple has been living peacefully in a shack with their four children, near the coalmine where Magar works. But their peace has now been shattered. The simmering mistrust between Nepali-speakers and the local Khasi community erupted into full-scale conflict during the course of May. Several Gorkhas (Nepali-speaking Indians) and migrants from Nepal were killed, the tragedies highlighting the constant vulnerability of both categories of Nepali-speaking residents of the Northeast. (Khasi Nepali Ethnic Conflict in Meghalaya, India)
Two years ago an ethnic conflict arose in a small town called Barsora in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, a north-eastern Indian state. The Khasis who are majority in the state that has other indigenous communities like Garos and Jaintias, started evicting Nepali migrant labourers who toiled in the coal mines there. A group of leading Nepali migrants from Ladrampai, the commercial hub of neighbouring Jaintai Hills district, went there to hold talks with the locals. Locals had four complaints against migrants: 1. You steal our jobs. 2. You consume alcohol and crate nuisance at public places. 3. You are involved in terrorist activities. 4. You marry our women and help destroy our culture. Continue reading Meghalaya, India: Marriage is Not a Private Affair→
JUN 05- During the course of my week-long stay in Shillong (and other parts of Meghalaya and Assam) I interacted with many Gorkhas and Nepalis both in their homes and offices. Some of them came to see me at the guest house in Jhalupara where I was staying. Jhalupara neighbourhood resembles most Nepali towns where Narayan Gopal blares at the music kiosk and youths playing Counter Strike video game scream Nepali expletives. A person I was meeting at the guest house called me beforehand to ask an unexpected question: “Do you think you are being followed by the Meghalayan intelligence?” Continue reading Meghalaya Diary: the Gorkhas, Migrant Nepalis and India→
MEGHALAYA, INDIA- “Ethnicity-based enmity,” said a Nepali-speaking Assamese coal mine labourer in Meghalaya, “is the most frightening and unpredictable thing I have ever experienced.” “The man you were friend with in the morning”, Bhumi Raj Limbu continued, “becomes your killer in the evening.”
This is what is happening in Meghalaya today. Existing mistrusts and contempt between Nepalis and Khasis have widened as the latter recently killed and assaulted several Nepali migrant workers and Gorkhas (Nepali-speaking Indians).
At the heart of this conflict lies a beautiful village called Lampi (or Langpih), claimed by both Assam and Meghalaya. Both states are strongly backed by villagers sharply divided along ethnic lines. The Gorkhas want the present Assamese authority in the village unchallenged, while the Khasis feel the area belongs to Meghalaya. Continue reading Khasi Nepali Ethnic Conflict in Meghalaya, India→
It is pathetic to see poor Nepalese cancer patients and their caretakers stationed at footpaths, dinning at hand cart and unable to attend natures call on time due to unavailable spots.
By Dr. Suryabahadur Singh
The Tata Cancer Hospital Mumbai (Tata Memorial Center) is one of the reputed medical centres for the treatment and research of Cancer in the world that serves people from all over the world. The hospital has produced a large chunk of trained oncologists, radiologists, and other Para-medical staffs. These medico specialists were trained from all major under developed and developing Asian countries including Nepal.
In the background of this, we will analyze the plight of Nepali Cancer patients in Mumbai. The plethora of problems starts with Nepalese patients those who cannot afford the costly treatment by categorizing them as foreign national patients at the hospital. The majority of sufferers are middle class and poor families, who hail from far flung areas with no support from the locally residing Nepalese in Mumbai or own resources. Continue reading Message from Mumbai: plight of Nepali cancer patients→
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 Is Nepal Going to Fail?→
Efforts to form the first ever Maoist-led government in Nepal are going on. The new government will have many challenges going forward and they will have to work actively and aggressively. It is challenging but not impossible.
Here are my suggestions for the new Nepal Government.
1. Integration to Global Economy Free Trade Agreement with China, Japan and US to make the economy multi-lateral. This can be in-line with FTA with India. This should be accompanied with aggressive infrastructure building to get maximum benefit from these bilateral treaties and SAFTA.
2. Suitable Investment Climate Industrial Protection Act and Liberal Labor Regime to increase investor confidence. Indian Business houses in particular needs to be protected which are the most affected ones, as in todays world Indian Corporates are among the best governed and most aggressive ones. Entry of Companies like IBM, Accenture, GM, GE, Toyota, Infosys, Reliance, Bharti, ICICI etc can completely change the way companies function in Nepal. They will bring quality technology and huge volume of business, thus creating huge employment and great technological know-how. Continue reading New Nepal, New Thoughts→
Maoists are winning the election. There are various reasons for that. The most prominent reason is people’s need for a change. They want something different. They have tried congress and they have tried UML.
By Tilak KCin Bremen, Germany
I am usually a political pessimist. I never thought that Maoist would come to dialogues in the first place. When they did, I came up with another excuse. They would never agree to participate in election. They agreed for that too. I was left with no choice but to come up with another excuse. I never thought they would get this much of the political response. They have done it. And for the final time I have come in terms with reality. Nepalese political scenario is changing. And Maoists have done it. They have done what non before them had managed to do. They have fought a decade long war, came to dialogues, came into democratic election and actually lead the election. Continue reading Let’s Give Maoist A Chance!→
Nepalis have very good reputation here in the UAE. If we can have the balance of hard work and talent, no other nationals can beat Nepali workers in the labor market
By Sudip Adhikari
I have been working in United Arab Emirates for the past seven years. Before coming here in this rapidly developing country (many of my friends and) I used to think that the gulf countries didn’t have anything other than oil. That impression has changed. I have learned something new while working in the Middle East (or West Asia) and seeing the way my host country is doing phenomenal progress in economy. UAE has become an example in Asia that if the governments have the strong will power anything is possible to bring in a new era in a country. Let us not forget that, to achieve such progress, this country is getting hard work support from thousands of Nepali nationals. Continue reading Nepal in UAE: Experience of a Nepali Worker→