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The Maoist Map: A Criticism

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Khaptad is a better name than Seti-Mahakali. One word names are the only choice. Khasan, that is Karnali. Chitwan is part of Madhesh like was the case in the original Maoist map. There was no Kochila. 40% of the people in the Terai are of hill origin. To try to get Chitwan and Jhapa out of Madhesh just because they are majority hill origin, that does not contribute to national unity. I am looking at a total of 10 provinces. 

Swami Atmananda Giri: Geeta Temple

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Photo Album

Full Audio: 1 Hour, 10 Minutes

(written for Vishwa Sandesh)

Swami Atmananda Giri In Town
By Paramendra Bhagat (www.paramendra.com)

On the evening of October 17 I found myself at the offices of Girija Gautam at 72-28 Broadway Third Floor. It is the best office of all I have been to in the area and a big reason why is the large window through which you can see pretty much all of Jackson Heights. You should check it out when you get a chance.

He took me to the Geeta Temple on Corona Avenue. I had been to the temple once before to step inside, and several times to play Ingress: the location is a portal in the game. He also switched his electric account for the office, gas to follow shortly: I am a network marketer with ACN. If he were to only grab half the people he had show up for his daughter’s grand high school graduation party a few months back, he would hit the top position in the business and be looking at making 100K a month at least, I said to him. But he said time…

Durga Pooja In Gorigama

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English: Devotees of the Festival Chhath Parva in Janakpur, Nepal (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (written for Vishwa Sandesh)

Durga Pooja In Gorigama
By Paramendra Bhagat (www.paramendra.com)

Gorigama is a neighboring village to my homevillage Gonarpura in Nepal. Gonarpura is not that far from Janakpur. What I most remember about Gorigama is the DurgaPooja there. Chhath was the top festival in the culture I grew up in. Jitiya dashe Dashain, Dashain solhe sukrati, Sukrati chhabe Chhaith. 10 days after the festival of Jitiya we start celebrating Dashain, 16 days after Dashain is over, we celebrate Diwali. Sukrati is another name for Diwali. Six days after Diwali is Chhath. So goes the saying.

In the culture of the hill Nepalis Dashain is the top festival, Chhath is not even celebrated, although Chhath is also a Hindu thing. But maybe it is a Mithila thing, because even Muslims in Bihar are known to celebrate Chhath. In my culture we don’t do tika in Dashain. That is a hill thing. But many…

Buddha Was Born In Lumbini

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The Asokan pillar at Lumbini, where Gautama Buddha was born (current Nepal). (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (written for Vishwa Sandesh)

Buddha Was Born In Lumbini
By Paramendra Bhagat
www.paramendra.com

Buddha was born in Lumbini. At the time no country called Nepal existed. The country that we know as Nepal today did not exist for another 2,000 years after Buddha was born. So it can be argued Buddha was not born in Nepal. It can also be argued Gandhi was born in Britain, because at the time India that we know today was British territory.

King Janak back in the days ruled over a vast country that was larger than today’s Nepal: it spanned what would today be Eastern Terai in Nepal and much of Bihar. It was called Mithila. The cultural entity still exists. My father is Nepali, my mother was born and grew up Indian. But both are Maithils. To my two families the Nepal-India political border feels highly arbitrary. At some level we want Mithila back!

I am no Buddha, not even close, I am m…

The Word Madisey

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English: Abhishek Pratap Shah is a Nepalese politician, belonging to the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (published in Vishwa Sandesh)

The Word Madisey
By Paramendra Bhagat
www.paramendra.com

The word madisey is like the word nigger. It is hate speech. There is no nice way to say it. There is no tone of voice that is right. You can call someone a Teraiwasi. You can call someone a Madhesi. There is a Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, there is no Madisey Janadhikar Forum. Someone from Mithila is a Maithil. I take great pride in my heritage. But hate speech is inexcusable. You can call me Indian, I am half Indian. But hate speech is a whole different paradigm.

Suman Timilsina was national president of the Non Resident Nepali Association when he said the m-word, in a public speech too. I took great exception to it. My blog post taking offense is still in the archives online. Timilsina is nowhere to be seen anywhere in the public space. He does not belong.

I was at the W…

The For Profit Sector

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Mother Teresa of Calcutta (26.8.1919-5.9.1997); at a pro-life meeting in 1986 in Bonn, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (published in Vishwa Sandesh)

The For Profit Sector
By Paramendra Bhagat (www.paramendra.com)

More than 80% of the people in America work for private companies. That is how they put food on the table. Another 15% or so work for the government. This economy requires 5% of the people to stay unemployed if it is to have a robust labor market. As in, a 100% employment rate is highly undesirable. That is why governments deem it worth it to issue out unemployment benefits: keeps the labor market fluid. The non profit sector steps in for those who don’t receive unemployment benefits or welfare checks. And then there are the uncared for untouched by the private, public and non profit sectors. Those seek Mother Teresa. Sadly, that still leaves a segment of the population that is truly uncared for, especially so in the global context.

In poor countries the private sector…