In The News (63)

11 Inspiring Things SRK Said In His Edinburgh Speech That Will Touch Everyone
वीरगंजमा देखियो थारु मधेशी एकताको अदभुत दृष्य (फोटो फिचर)
राष्ट्रपतिका लागि एमाले विभाजित, नेतैपिच्छे खतरानाक स्वार्थ
पार्टीको नवौँ महाधिवेशनका वेला ओलीले खनाललाई राष्ट्रपति बनाउने वचन दिएका कारण उनी पनि राष्ट्रपतिको लाइनमा रहेको एमाले स्रोतले बतायो । यद्यपि उनले एमालेका केही सांसदसँगको अनौपचारिक कुराकानीमा आफू एकचोटि फेरि मुलुकको कार्यकारी हुने चाहना भएकाले राष्ट्रपतिमा इच्छा नभएको बताउने गरेका छन् ।
प्रहरीद्वारा मधेशी नेताउपर आक्रमण
Sushma meets Nepal dy PM, calls neighbour ‘dearest friend’
Swaraj emphasised that Nepal was India’s ‘dearest and nearest neighbour’ and pointed out that at any point, five or six border crossings were open. And if there was obstruction, it was because of protests by a ‘section of the Nepali population’. .... She also flagged the fact that over 200 Indian trucks had been stranded in Nepal, and 300 Nepali Oil Corporation tankers were stranded in Raxaul on the Indian side. “If you create security and harmony in Tarai, it will enable uninterrupted commerce.” .... Thapa then asked about the possibility of movement at points where there is no protest. Swaraj reiterated this was happening and India would continue to facilitate this ‘within existing capability and border infrastructure constraints’. This is significant for over half the petroleum products flow through Birgunj-Raxaul, where on most days, over 50,000 protestors block the border.
आइन्दा पत्र पठाउँदा भाषामा सुधार गर्न सरकारलाई यादवको सुझाव
नरेन्द्र मोदीले तराईको समस्यालाई समाधान नगरी नेपाल भारतको सम्बन्ध राम्रो हुन नसक्ने जवाफ दिए
मोदीले अरु राजनीतिक समस्यालाई समाधान नगरी सम्बन्धको सबै आयाम फराकिलो हुन नसक्ने जवाफ दिएको .... सम्भववत तिहारपछि हुने प्रधानमन्त्री केपी शर्मा ओलीको भ्रमण
भारतले सोध्यो, संविधान कहिले संशोधन हुन्छ ?
Nepal's failed development
Nepal is one of the best examples of failed development aid - so why do the donors keep pumping more money in?
Nepal has been receiving foreign aid for over 60 years; generally running at fairly stable levels, currently worth over $1bn a year, contributing about a quarter of the government budget. ..... A decade of Maoist insurgency from 1996 to 2006 killed 17,000 people and hindered economic activity. Yet during the conflict GDP growth fluctuated within a similar range to before and after.

Infrastructure was destroyed, but there wasn't much in the first place and - thanks to public corruption - much of it has been rebuilt twice-over.

The quality of village schools and health posts was as wretched before the war began as it is now, almost a decade since it ended. Nepal suffered conflict, but many Asian countries that have developed more successfully have suffered worse. ........ By pumping in money without achievements to match, the donors partly contribute to making extractive politics sustainable. They should recognise that

when a scheme doesn't deliver the promised results, the money has still paid for something: such as the empowerment of the corrupt

... ...... For the most part, of course, the country's rulers are to blame - and they have conducted themselves in a similar manner for decades. There is hardly a politician in the country who can plausibly claim to have seriously pursued "economic viability" (the latest slogan) in the course of his long career. .....

the government is run as an extractive enterprise

, in which the various parties and factions are built on pyramids of graft, commissions, and the sale of offices. Useful public institutions such as the education ministry, the university, the electricity board, the national airline, or the airport, have been hollowed out and left semi-functional ...... In the private sector, the party bosses give political backing to cartels, syndicates and "mafias" which, for example, manipulate prices and operate monopolies in the drinking-water, food, transport and energy markets. They profit from the fact that the health and education sectors are dysfunctional. ....... Despite the donors' talk of Nepal being "fragile",

there is in fact notability stability at the heart of the state, both in the way it works and the individuals who run it. Most have careers at the top spanning decades, and many are the children or relatives of other powerful people.

......... The donors are also wrong to believe (as they often do) that the government "doesn't understand" what it is doing, or "needs educating". When it comes to serving their own interests, and those of their core constituents, the country's leaders are successful. Unfortunately for most Nepalis, providing "development" for the wider public is often in conflict with those interests. ...... as the rival political parties alternately feuded and collaborated to divide the spoils ..... rampant mismanagement, and

a splurge at the end of every year timed to escape scrutiny

, around a quarter of the funds reserved for capital investment remain unspent annually. ......... The donors know this, but they measure their success, and their managers move on in their careers, by growing their budgets and disbursing their funds. Like the government, they also struggle to spend the money they have. As the end of every year comes around there are frantic meetings in the donor offices, over how they can dispose of their unspent budget before next year's (increased) budget is due. (Apparently, the same thing also happens back home in headquarters) ...... the donors are dependent on their recipients. If they started calling time on corrupt or underperforming projects it would be even harder for them to work. Hence there are very few examples of the donors taking a strong, public stand on anti-corruption measures. The public perception is of a great deal corruption not only in government, but in the development industry itself. ...... the donors claim credit for gains that probably do not come primarily through their work.

The main reason for recent progress in poverty alleviation is clearly remittances from migrant labourers, which have risen rapidly to be worth around 25 per cent of GDP.

Nepali workers go abroad because the domestic economy is ruined, and the money they send home is spent on private health and education, because the donor-supported public sector is useless. ......... The migrants' achievements owe little to the development industry, and the development industry has little to say about them. There are few projects aimed at supporting them. .....

Nepal's problem is not a want of aid or technical advice. It is political.

And if the donors are to be part of the solution, they must be brave enough to publicly demand meaningful action against

the entrenched public corruption, the cartels, "syndicates" and "mafias"

which are keeping the country poor. ........

By pumping in money without achievements to match, the donors partly contribute to making extractive politics sustainable.

They should recognise that when a scheme doesn't deliver the promised results, the money has still paid for something: such as the empowerment of the corrupt, deeper inequality, and loss of public faith.
हार्ने बेला रामप्रित पासवान, जित्ने बेला विद्या भण्डारी ?!
हुन त मधेश आन्दोलनलाई यसअघिको सरकार र नयाँ सरकारले टेरपुच्छर लगाएका छैनन् । अझ मधेशवादी दलका नेताहरु आफुखुसी सुशील कोइरालालाई मत हाल्न गएपछि आन्दोलन बेवारिसे भएको छ । अब कांग्रेस, एमाले, फोरम लोकतान्त्रिक र एमाओवादीसँगै धेरै दलबीच भागबण्डामा कुनै दलितको नाम चर्चामा समेत आएको छैन । ..... उनीहरुको व्यवहारले भन्छ, दलितलगायत पिछडिएका समुदायलाई अधिकार दिनै पर्दैन, भाषण गरिदिए पुग्छ ! ..... पहिलो संविधानसभा चुनावपछि राष्ट्रपति चुनावताका नेकपा एमालेले पार्टीप्रति बफादार रामप्रित पासवानलाई ‘बलिको बोको’ बनाएको उदाहरण उल्लेखनीय छ । हार्ने पक्का भएको बेला रामप्रितलाई उम्मेदबार बनाएर एमालेले आफू ‘दलितप्रति उदार’ भएको तथ्य देखाउन खोज्यो । तर अहिले जित्ने निश्चित भएको बेला विद्या भण्डारीको नाम अगाडि ल्याइएको छ । रामप्रितको नाम समेत उच्चारण गरिएको छैन । उनलाई त मूलधारको राजनीतिबाट पाखा लगाइएको छ । ......

ओली महोदयहरुले मधेश आन्दोलनलाई कमजोर पार्न दलितप्रतिको ‘देखावटी चिन्ता’ छाडे हुन्छ ।

..... रामप्रितमात्रै होइनन्, पार्टीभित्र चल्तापुर्जाका नेताका रुपमा रहेका छविलाल विश्वकर्मा, जितु गौतम र गणेश बिके देउल्यालको नाम पनि चर्चामा छैन । मधेशका दलितबारे त्यत्रो चिन्ता र चासो देखाउने एमाले नेताका नजरमा ती दलित नेताहरु अझै ‘अछूत’ नै रहेका छन् । ..... ब्राह्मण नेताहरुले नेतृत्व गरेको कांग्रेस, एमाले र एमाओवादीलगायत मूलधारका पार्टीले मधेशी, जनजाति, थारुसँगै पिछडिएका समुदायका प्रतिनिधिलाई अघि सारेर ती समुदायमाथि जारी विभेदलाई नै संस्थागत गर्दै आइरहेको अवस्था छ । चाहे पहिलो मधेश आन्दोलनताका कांग्रेसका महामन्त्री रामवरण यादव होउन् या निवर्तमान सभामुख सुवास नेम्बाङ वा पूर्व सभासद शान्ता चौधरी वा पूर्व मन्त्री लालबाबु पण्डित वा सप्तरीका सत्यनारायण मण्डल नै किन नहोउन्, यिनीहरु सबैले आफ्नै समुदायलाई होच्याउन कुनै कसर बाँकी राखेनन् । र, आफ्नै समुदायको मानमर्दन गरेर, उनीहरुलाई अधिकारविहीन बनाउन सघाएर व्यक्तिगत रुपमा कोही राष्ट्रपति भए त कोही सभामुख र मन्त्री ।...... मधेशका दलितहरुबारे त्यत्रो चिन्ता र चासो देखाउने एमाले नेताहरुका नजरमा ती दलित नेताहरु अझै ‘अछूत’ नै रहेका छन् ।
राम-रावण युद्ध र रामायणको समाजशास्त्र
…समग्रमा यो महाकाव्य एउटा वर्ग विभाजित पितृसत्तात्मक सामन्ती समाजका मूल्यहरूको प्रतीक हो ।’ .... ‘आजजस्तै प्राचीनकालमा पनि आमजनतामध्ये अत्यधिक सङ्ख्यामा रहेका स्त्री र शुद्रहरुका लागि वेदको अध्ययन तथा मन्त्र उच्चारण वर्जित थियो । तर गुप्त शासनकालबाट उनीहरुले यस्ता महाकाव्य र पुराणका कथा एवं शिक्षा सुन्ने अनुमति पाएका थिए । ‘रामायण’ले आममानिसलाई दिने शिक्षा हो : छोराले बुबाको, पत्नीले पतिको, अनुजले अग्रजको, चेलाले गुरुको र प्रजाले राजाको अवश्य पनि आज्ञा पालना गर्नुपर्छ अनि प्रत्येक व्यक्ति धर्मशास्त्रमा निर्धारित धर्मको आज्ञाकारी हुनुपर्छ । धर्मको माग थियो, कुनै वर्ण वा सामाजिक वर्गका सदस्यले सामाजिक सङ्गठनद्वारा आफ्नो लागि निर्धारित कर्तव्य अवश्य पालना गर्नुपर्छ ।’ ...... प्राचीन भारतको सामाजिक इतिहासका अध्येता सुवीरा जायसवालका अनुसार भारतवर्षमा अत्यन्त लोकप्रिय बौद्ध धर्मको उभार आइरहेको बेला अयोध्यावासी कवि वाल्मीकिले सामन्ती शासनकालका ब्राम्हणवादी मूल्य–मान्यताको प्रचार–प्रसारका लागि इ.पू. तेस्रो शताब्दीदेखि इ.पू. दोस्रो शताब्दीका बीचमा ‘रामायण’ रचेका थिए । ‘रामायण’को रचनाकालको सामाजिक परिवेशमा चलेका धार्मिक–सांस्कृतिक–राजनीतिक द्वन्द्वको चिरफार गरे हेरियो भने वाल्मीकिद्वारा लिखित ‘रामायण’को समाजशास्त्रलाई बुझ्न सकिन्छ ।

हिन्दू–धर्मका कारण जारी हिंसाचार, कर्मकाण्ड र वर्ण–व्यवस्थाको विरोधमा इ.पू. छैठौँ शताब्दीमा गौतम बुद्धको नेतृत्वमा सञ्चालित आन्दोलन तेज, सघन र विस्तार भइरहेको बेला ‘रामायण’ र ‘महाभारत’जस्ता महाकाव्य रचना गरिएको थियो ।

....... ‘ब्राम्हणीय सामाजिक नीतिशास्त्र तथा धर्मनिष्ठाका आदर्श प्रस्तुत गर्ने खालका दुई ठूलठूला महाकाव्यको रचना लगभग एउटै कालमा हुनु कुनै संयोगको काममात्रै होइन, बरु यो त तत्कालीन सामाजिक सङ्कटविरुद्ध ब्राम्हण बौद्धिकजनद्वारा गरिएको सांस्कृतिक प्रतिकार थियो । ….इस्वी सन्को ठीक अगाडि र पछाडिका शताब्दीको क्रममा वैदिक ब्राम्हण धर्मसामु निकै ठूलठूला खतरा आइपरेका थिए । किनभने त्यसबेलासम्ममा पशुबलि र यज्ञहरुको लोकप्रियता कम भइसकेको थियो । र, बौद्ध एवं अन्य असनातनी धर्मको प्रहारले ब्राम्हणहरूका प्रतिष्ठा तथा सत्ता अनि वर्णगत श्रेणी–विन्यासका जराहरुलाई कमजोर तुल्याइसकेका थिए ।’ ....... त्यही बेला एकातिर ब्राम्हण र क्षेत्रीय गठजोड कमजोर हुनाले उनीहरु सत्ताच्युत् हुँदै गए, वैदिक कर्मकाण्ड र बौद्धिक परम्परा पनि कठोर र अनमनीय हुन थाल्यो भने विदेशी आक्रमणकारीहरुले राजनीतिक सत्तामाथि आसीन भएर बौद्ध धर्म र अन्य स्थानीय देवी–देवताको उपासना गर्न थाले । त्यस्तो अवस्थामा वैदिक पुरोहितहरुलाई प्राप्त हुँदै आएको संरक्षणमा कमी आयो ।....... ब्राम्हणीय समाज–व्यवस्थामा परम्परागत रुपमा तल्लो स्थानमा रहेका र वैदिक धार्मिक परम्पराबाट पूरै उपेक्षित रहेका शुद्र शिल्पी र व्यापारीहरुका राजनीतिक, धार्मिक र सांस्कृतिक सहभागितामा पनि वृद्धि भयो । यस्ता सबै चुनौतीको मुकाबिला गर्नकै लागि ब्राम्हण धाराका चिन्तक र सुधारकहरुले वैदिक कर्मकाण्डलाई महङ्खव दिन छाडेर लोक–प्रचलित देवी–देवताहरूका भक्तिमूलक पूजामाथि जोड दिन थाले र ती देवी–देवतालाई विभिन्न वैदिक देवी–देवताकै रुप वा अवतार बताउन थाले । यसरी जाति, समुदाय र लिङ्गको कुनै भेदभाव नगरिकन ती लोक–प्रचलित देवी–देवतालाई ब्राम्हणीय पूजा–अर्चनाको अधिकार सबैलाई प्राप्त भयो । त्यस्ता लोक प्रचलित देवी–देवता वा कथानायक–नायिका हुन् ः शिव, कृष्ण, लक्ष्मी, सीता, राम आदि । ........ ‘रामायण’मा रामलाई विष्णुको अवतारको रुप पछि मात्रै दिइएको हो र त्यसमा वैष्णव तङ्खवहरुलाई समावेश गर्ने काम पनि पछि मात्रै गरिएको हो । ...... अयोध्यावासी वाल्मीकिले इ.पू. तेस्रो शताब्दीमा पहिलेदेखि चलिआएको पूराकथाका चरित्रहरुको वीरतापूर्ण गाथाको रुपमा ‘रामायण’ सिर्जना गर्ने क्रममा रामलाई केवल मानिसकै रुपमा चित्रण गरेका थिए, विष्णुको अवतारको रुपमा होइन । किनभने त्यसबेलासम्म ब्राम्हणहरुको धर्मशास्त्रमा इन्द्रले नै सर्वाेच्च स्थान पाइरहेका थिए, विष्णुले होइन । जब कालक्रममा इन्द्रको सट्टा विष्णुले सर्वाेच्च स्थान पाउन थाले, जब वाल्मीकिको रामायणले पनि गज्जबको लोकप्रियता पाउन थाल्यो, तब त्यसमा प्रथम र अन्तिम काण्ड जोडजाड गरेर रामलाई वीर नायकबाट देवताको रुपमा चित्रण गर्ने र विष्णुको अंश वा पूर्ण अवतारको रुपमा प्रस्तुत गर्ने होडबाजी नै चल्यो । ......... अनुसन्धानबाट थाहा भएको छ, ‘रामायण’का दोस्रोदेखि छैठौँ काण्डमात्रै वाल्मीकिद्वारा रचना गरिएका काण्ड हुन् भने अरु काण्ड गुप्त शासनकालका पुरोहित कवि र ब्राम्हण बौद्धिकहरुबाट भएको देखिन्छ । तथ्य खोतल्दै जाँदा देखिन्छ, इस्वी सन्को प्रारम्भिक शताब्दीमा गुप्त शासनकालमा रामलाई विष्णु भगवानको रुपमा मान्यता दिएर प्रथम र सप्तम काण्ड जोडिएको हो । ईसा जन्मिनुभन्दा कयौँ शताब्दी अगाडिदेखि नै दशरथका छोरा रामलाई विष्णुको अवतारको रुपमा पूजा गरिएका कुनै प्रमाण भेट्टिएको छैन, यसरी पूजा गर्ने काम मूलतः गुप्त शासनकालबाट थालिएको देखिन्छ । ....... वाल्मीकिद्वारा लेखिएको भनिने ‘रामायण’मा जस्तो रामलाई विष्णुको अवतार होइन, सामान्य राजकुमारको रुपमा चित्रित गरिएको छ । त्यसमा दशरथ अयोध्याका होइन, वाराणसीका राजा हुन्छन्, जसका प्रथम पत्नीका सन्तानका रुपमा राम, लक्ष्मण र सीताको नाम आउँछ भने भरतलाई रामको सौतेलो भाइको रुपमा प्रस्तुत गरिएको छ । दशरथले सौतेली आमाको कुटिलताबाट बचाउन राम र लक्ष्मणलाई हिमालय क्षेत्रको वनमा पठाउन खोज्दा सीताले आफ्ना दाजुहरुसँगै जाने हठ गर्छिन् । उनीहरुको वनबास बाह्र वर्षमै समाप्त सकिन्छ, वाल्मीकिले लेखेजस्तो चौध वर्षमा होइन । वनबास सकिएपछि रामले आफ्नै बहिनी सीतासँग विवाह गर्छन् र उनलाई महारानी बनाउँछन् । रक्तशुद्धीका लागि आफ्नै दिदी–बहिनीसँग बिहे गर्ने जमानाको यो रामकथामा राम र सीताको सम्बन्ध बहिनी र पत्नीको हुन्छ । त्यस कथामा रावणद्वारा सीताको अपहरण र लंकाविरुद्ध रामको सैन्य अभियानको बारेमा कुनै उल्लेख छैन । ...... वनबासको अवधिमा दुई वर्ष बढाउने, वनबासको स्थान हिमालयको सट्टा डेक्कन क्षेत्रलाई बनाउने र रामको जन्मस्थान नै अयोध्या बनाउने काम गरेको देखिन्छ । ..... कृष्णबारे विशेष अध्ययन गरेका प्रसिद्ध विद्वान म्याक्स वेबरको सुझावअनुसार वाल्मीकि अयोध्या वा त्यसको सेरोफेरोमा बस्ने व्यक्ति हुन्, त्यसैले उनले रामको जन्मस्थानलाई वाराणसीको सट्टा अयोध्यामा बदलेको देखिन्छ । उनले एकनिष्ठ विवाह पद्धति थालनी भएको सामन्ती युगका नैतिक धारणाअनुसार सीतालाई एकसाथ रामकी बहिनी र पत्नीको रुपमा स्वीकार्न नसकेरै सीताको नयाँ वंशावली प्रदान गरेका थिए । उनले सीता र रामको नाममा पहिलेदेखि प्रचलित र लोकप्रिय नायक–नायिकाका गाथालाई मनोरम महाकाव्यमा अनेक कथा–उपकथामार्फत् गुँथेका थिए । उनले सीता–रामलाई सामन्ती समाजलाई मिल्नेखालको ‘आज्ञाकारी आदर्श दम्पति’को रुपमा चित्रण गरेका थिए भने उनीपछिका ब्राम्हण बौद्धिक रचनाकर्मीहरुले सीता–रामलाई नै देवत्वकरण गर्ने कामसँगै रामलाई विष्णुका अवतारमा ढालेर आम अनपढ जनताको मानसिकतालाई सामन्ती मूल्य–मान्यता र ब्राम्हणवादी धर्म–नीति–संस्कृतिमा ढाल्ने सांस्कतिक हतियारको रुपमा ‘रामायण’लाई उपयोग गरेका थिए, ‘महाभारत’ र अन्य पुराणलाई जस्तै ।
भारतले स्वाभिमानी राष्ट्रमाथि आक्रमण गर्यो : नेता नेपाल
Looking for answers While there’s a great deal of anger in Kathmandu about fuel crisis, Tarai has suffered most
मधेश आन्दोलन दबाउन सेना परिचालन गर्न एमालेको मांग
नेकपा एमाले भित्र मधेश आन्दोलनलाई दबाउन सेना परिचालन गर्ने बारे गम्भीर छलफल भएको छ । हिजो बसेको एमाले केन्द्रीय सचिवालय र स्थाई कमिटीको बैकठमा अधिकांश नेताहरुे मधेश आन्दोलनलाई तत्काल दबाउनका लागि सेना परिचालन गर्ने बारे छलफल भएको विशेष श्रोतले जानकारी दिएको छ । बैठकमा तत्काल ब्यारेक बाट सेना परिचालन गरी मधेश आन्दोलनलाई दबाउन जोरदार माग गरेको जनाइएको छ । ..... एमाले नेताहरुका अनुसार यदि छिट्टै मधेश आन्दोलनलाई दबाउन सकिएन भने, अवस्था सरकारको नियंत्रण भन्दा बाहिर जाने खतरा रहेको बताएका छन् । .....जारी मधेश आन्दोलनलाई नियंत्रित गर्न नेपाल प्रहरी र शसस्त्र प्रहरी बल असफल भएको निष्कर्ष निकाल्दै सेना परिचालन गर्नु पर्ने उनीहरुको तर्क रहेको छ । ...... कैलाली घटना पछि सेना परिचालन गरेर स्थिति सामान्य भएको ठहर गर्दै अन्य जिल्लामा पनि सेना परिचालन गर्नु पर्ने बताएका छन् ।......उनीहरुको अनुसार मधेशको जुन जुन जिल्लामा सेना परिचालन भयो, सो जिल्लाहरुमा आन्दोलन पुनः उठ्न नसकेको उनीहरुको दाबी छ ।......एमाले नेताहरुले सरकारलाई वीरगञ्ज नाकामा सेना परिचालन गरी सिमानाका सूचारु गर्न दबाव समेत दिएका छन् । ......बैठकमा एमाले महासचिव इश्वर पोखरेलले सेना परिचालन बारे लिखित प्रस्ताव नै पेश गरेको जनाइएको छ ।......महासचिवको प्रस्तावमा झलनाथ खनाल, माधव नेपाल, योगेश भट्टराई प्रदीप ज्ञवाली लगायतका नेताहरुले जोडदार समर्थन गरेका थिए । ....उनीहरुका अनुसार अहिले रक्षा मंत्रालय प्रधानमन्त्री ओलीले नै लिनु भएको हुनाले

मधेशका मोरगं देखि पर्सा सम्म १२ जिल्लालाई दंगा ग्रस्त क्षेत्र घोषणा गरी सेना परिचालन गर्नु पर्ने बताएका छन् ।

..... यता, एमाले सचिव योगेश भट्टराईलाई यस बारे सोध्दा यस्तो कुनै पनि विषयमा छलफल नभएको बताउनु भयो । उनले भने, यसको बारेमा केही पनि छलफल भएको छैन, एजेण्डा पनि थिएन ।
मधेश र मधेशीको चित्कार - शैलेन्द्र त्रिपाठी
नेपाली जनताले पंचायत कालको एकल जातीय राष्ट्रबाद होइन सबै जात र जातिको स्वाभिमान, सम्मान र पहिचान सहितको बाहिल्यातायुक्तको राष्ट्रबाद खोजिरहेका छन
नितुका दुवै खुट्टामाथि उभिएर मुखमा गोली हानियो : ह्युमन राइट्स वाच
अधिवक्ता दिपेन्द्र झालाई खुला पत्र
Nepal’s Jinxed Constitution Has Robbed the Festive Season of Light and Joy
The constitution was “fast-tracked”. There is no reason why amendments can’t also be. .... It is going to be the grimmest Dashain in the memory of post-1990 generation. Powerful earthquakes earlier this year killed over 9,000 people and perhaps no lamps will be lit this Diwali in the grieving households. Chhath Pooja will be subdued in Madhes, where over 40 protestors were shot dead by the police during the ongoing mass movement for civil rights and social justice. It’s the disruption of the normal Dashain, however, that will remain in the popular lore of the capital city for years to come. ...... During Chhath Pooja, everybody turns into a Shudra to worship the Mother of Life – Chhaith Maiya. It’s a festival of five eternal elements of nature – earth, fire, water, sky and ether – that celebrate the cycle of birth and death with brief interludes of joy, apathy, and grief in-between. ..... The autumn harvest festival of Dashain is dedicated to the Goddess of Power and is celebrated by warrior Kshatriyas with blood sacrifice. For cultural, historic and economic reasons, Dashain has remained the biggest annual festival of Nepal, celebrated with equal gusto by all the four varnas of the Hindu hierarchy. Monarchs represented the entire population of the kingdom; hence, Dashain was declared to be the national festival. Non-Hindus, atheists and agnostics mark it as a cultural fête. .......

a contested constitution that has wrought multiple crises.

...... During Dashain, Nepalese of all persuasions head home to be with their families. New clothes are bought. Ingredients for special dishes are arranged to last for a fortnight. The markets of Kathmandu used to be crowded prior to the festival with shoppers buying gifts before going on a long vacation. Seats in long distance buses used to be booked months in advance and airlines increased their flights to cope with the passenger load.......

This year, everything is subdued. Asan and Indrachok, two of the busiest market streets in Kathmandu valley, are almost empty. Let alone buyers, even window-shoppers are few and far between at the fancy boutiques on Durbar Marg. Footfalls in the chain of Bhatbhateni superstores are negligible. Newly developed shopping malls appear desolate.

..... Many restaurants have put up signs that no food will be served due to scarcity of cooking gas. ...... Kathmandu these days is a city of queues, where taxis wait for days to get a few litres of petrol. There is a mêlée near Balkhu, where cylinders of cooking gas are being made available by turn to consumers. Private vehicles are allowed to ply on the basis of their registration number alternately on odd and even days. ......

Exasperation bordering on despair is the current mood of Kathmandu.

Nobody knows for sure why they have to endure all this......

In the Madhes plains along the 1,751 km-long open Indo-Nepal border, the situation is much worse.

....... Schools and shops have remained closed for almost two months. Businesses have been shut down. There is no transport. Grief and anxiety permeates the air as survivors of police atrocities struggle to cope with their loss. Prohibitory orders and curfew was common till few days ago. The army has been officially withdrawn, but paramilitary forces and riot police continue to patrol highways and streets throughout Madhes.......

All this is happening because of a statute that has deepened the longstanding divide between the Pahadi and Madhesi communities of Nepal like never before.

..... contested provisions of a new constitution that was rushed through parliament by voice vote with the help of party whips and without any discussion on the floor of the house. ...... Unfortunately, the chances of corrections in the constitution appear dim. A radical-right and ultra-left coalition has replaced

the lackluster government of Sushil Koirala that reigned without governing the country.

The newly-elected prime minister, Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, will probably reign and rule but fail to govern all over again......... Bijaya Kumar Gachhedar – a Tharu politico of fluid convictions...... a dodgy coalition – derided as a mix of Male (Stalinists), Masale (Maoists) and Mandale (Monarchists) –

has nothing in common except their shared chauvinism, which portrays India as the main enemy and the Madhesis as Nepal’s fifth column

. ........ Tourism has taken a hit at the beginning of what would have been the busiest season (September-November) for business. Production at industrial units has plummeted and distribution has been stalled due to fuel shortages and the resulting transportation hitches. The road to the resolution of all these issues passes through Madhes. ...... Since the conclusion and ratification of the Sugauli Treaty in 1814-16, the relationship with India has been one of the key elements of domestic politics in Nepal. Courting or cursing New Delhi according to one’s convenience has continued to be the favorite pastime of the power elite in Kathmandu ever since....... With issues so entangled between the PEON in Kathmandu, protestors in Madhes, and the power elite in New Delhi, the harder anyone tries to get out of the quagmire, the deeper they sink.......

the new government lacks the political resolve to backtrack from its belligerent position.

....... There is a reason the normally garrulous international community in Kathmandu has maintained a meaningful silence. Nobody knows what to do next........ There is no reason why amendments can’t be passed in a similar manner. The 10-day gap between Dashain and Tihar should be enough to ensure that the householder Vaishyas have enough reason to light lamps of hope during Deepawali. ..... It is a bleak Dashain by all accounts. The possibility of a bright Tihar is still there. Living in Kathmandu makes one believe in the power of prayers.


Election diary: In Patna, cabbie to CM guess the Bihar wave
“Sir, game is over. Mahagathbandhan is winning. I have just come back from Nalanda and there is a Nitish havewa.” ..... I said, provocatively, that was obvious since Nalanda is a Kurmi stronghold, Nitish Kumar’s caste group said to be loyal to him. Khan said he had also gone to Bhagalpur and Munger, which was in the first round of the five-phase election.

“Jeet rahein hain Nitish.”

........ Patna journalists challenged Shah more than Delhi journalists often do, with questions ranging from how BJP top rung had given space to convicts to its relationship with RSS, and the party being in denial about a possible loss. They teased him for taking only ‘bahari’ journalists on his chopper and ignoring the Bihari reporters. .... Nitish combined his restrained and understated conversational style with humour and an attention to policy detail in the speech. He spoke of how the Mahagathbandhan had been more coherent than NDA--they had a CM candidate, their candidates were announced together and a common vision unveiled. He attacked the PM for a ‘hit and run’ approach, for not delivering on promises like 15 lakh cash in each account, and mocked the BJP for sending half the cabinet and parking its national president at Patna’s Maurya Hotel. He spoke of his work in education, gender, power and made a list of commitments for the future: including reservations for women in government jobs, a credit card for students wanting to pursue college education and a self-help allowance for young people....... Strikingly, he did not mention caste even once. Instead the CM made it a battle between Biharis and ‘baharis’, a slogan that drew the most applause.




Bihar elections: BJP reworks poll strategy after two phases
The Dalits and EBCs – often called the silent voters – account for almost 50% of the voters in Bihar, and they can tip the scale in the remaining 162 seats where the stakes are high for both the BJP-led NDA and GA....... In the first two phases, women outnumbered men to record an average 58.5% turnout. Women, who are 47% of the total electorate, are believed to have voted for improved law and order during the Nitish Kumar regime ...... “Our party is convinced that Yadavs are solidly behind GA and so there is no point wasting time on them”


Surveys point to an exciting finish in Bihar elections
The CNN-IBN Axis survey, carried out between September 23 and October 4 in all 243 constituencies, projected 137 seats for the grand alliance and 95 for the BJP and its allies. .....

Sociologist Shiv Visvanathan told Hindustan Times that most surveys “pretend to be scientific” but were usually based on “very poor samples”.

.... “The situation in Bihar is too dynamic. The caste factor is back and operational at all levels. Sometimes, these surveys are like long-range hunches,” he said. In many recent elections, surveys were a weapon for the candidates as electioneering had become more of a “technocratic practice”, he remarked.......

Chief minister Nitish Kumar said: “Surveys are sponsored, so no point losing sleep over them. The BJP, having imported alien issues such as the beef lynching, should be more worried about the outcome.”

रेमिट्यान्स धमाधम भित्रिँदै
६ अर्बको मल वीरगन्जकाे सुख्खा बन्दरगाहमा थन्कियो
एनआरएनएद्वारा १० बुँदे घोषणपत्र जारी
‘सबैले आफ्नो अनुहार देख्ने संविधान बनेको छ,’ उनले भने, ‘अब नेपाल पछाडि पर्न चाहँदैन।’ उनले नाकाबन्दीको प्रसंगमा भने, ‘नाकाबन्दी छ भन्दा छैन, छैन भन्दा सामान दिँदैन।’ ..... उपेन्द्र महतोले उद्यमशिलताका लागि युवाहरूमा सिप हुनपर्ने उल्लेख गर्दै विदेशिने अधिकांश युवामा सिपको कमी भएको बताए। ‘जसले गर्दा शुरुमा अवसर पाउन कठिन हुने गरेको छ’




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