In The News (50)
भारतले आफुहरुलाई फसाएको मधेशी मोर्चाका नेताको आरोप
प्रधानमन्त्री चयनका लागि भएको चुनावमा संयुक्त लोकतान्त्रिक मधेशी मोर्चाले भाग लिएपछि त्यसको असर मधेशको आन्दोलनमा देखिएको छ । मधेशी दलका नेताका अनुसार निर्वाचनमा भाग लिएपछि आन्दोलन कमजोर भएको छ । ....... भारतले विजयकुमार गच्छदारको पार्टीसहित मधेशी दलका ५८, डा.बाबुराम भट्टराईका १०, राप्रपा नेपाल र राप्रपाले कोइरालकै पक्षमा मतदान गर्ने निष्कर्ष निकालेको थियो । ...... मधेशी दलमाथि पूरै भरोसा गरेर बसेको भारतीय दूतावासमा एउटा खबर गयो –मधेशवादी दल एमाले र काँग्रेसमध्ये कसैलाई मत नदिने निष्कर्षमा पुगे । त्यसपछि असोज २३ गते नेपालका लागि भारतीय राजदूत रञ्जित रे ले मधेशी मोर्चाका चारै जना नेतालाई दूतावासमा बोलाएका थिए । भेटमा राजदूत रे ले भनेको भनाई उद्धृत गर्दे एक नेताले भने, ‘यतिका दिनदेखि तपाईहरुको आन्दोलनलाई सहयोग गरिरहेको छु । आज भारतलाई तपाईहरुको आवश्यकता पर्यो । तपाईहरु तटष्थ बस्ने कुरा गर्नुहुन्छ । यो गलत हो । ओली जित्नु भनेको भारतको हार हो । त्यसैले कुनै पनि हालतमा कोइरालाजीलाई जिताउनुपर्छ । यसमा तपाईहरुको सहयोग चाहिन्छ । यदि कोइराला जिताउनमा सहयोग गर्नु भएन भने हामीले पनि नाकाबन्दी खोल्दिन्छौँ ।’ ..... रन्जित रे सँगको भेटमा संघीय समाजवादी फोरमको तर्फबाट वरिष्ठ नेता अशोक राई उपस्थित थिए भने तपलोपाका महन्थ ठाकुर, सद्भावना पार्टीका सहअध्यक्ष लक्ष्मण लाल कर्ण र तराई मधेश सद्भावना पार्टीका अध्यक्ष महेन्द्र राय यादवको उपस्थिति थियो । राजदूतको यस्तो भनाई आएपछि मधेशी मोर्चाका नेताहरु तर्सेका थिए । ४० जनाको ज्यान जाने गरी आन्दोलन हुँदा नटेरेकासरकारलाई नाकाबन्दीबाट आत्तिएको विफिङ मोर्चाका नेताहरुले गरेको भेटमा सहभागी भए नेताले बताए । रन्जित रे सँग भेटेपछि उनीहरुले साँझ सात बजे मोर्चाको बैठक बोलाएको थियो । ...... उक्त बैठकमा उपेन्द्र यादवको उपस्थिति भएन र केही ठुलो निर्णय भएन ।
उपेन्द्र यादवले ‘तटस्थ बस्नुपर्छ । कसैलाई मतदान गर्नु हुँदैन । मतदान गरेपछि मधेश आन्दोलनमा असर पर्छ भन्दै पार्टीमा वरिष्ठ नेता अशोक राईलाई खबर गरेका थिए ।’अशोक राईले पनि त्यसैगरि अडान दोहोर्याए । मोर्चाका एक नेताअनुसार सो बैठकमा कुन दलले कता मत हाल्ने कुराको अड्कल पनि गरेका थिए । त्यसबेलासम्म सञ्चारमाध्यममा खबर पनि आइसकेको थियो कि ओलीले चुनाव जित्दैछन् । तर, त्यतिबेलासम्म पनि गच्छदारले कोइरालाको पक्षमा मतदान गर्ला भन्ने अनुमान पनि गरेको थिएन् । ...... भोली पल्ट विहानै १० बजे पुनः बैठक बस्यो । त्यो दिनको बैठकमा उपेन्द्र यादवको पनि सहभागिता थियो ।
बैठकमा निकै छलफल भयो । उपेन्द्र यादव त्यो दिन पनि मान्ने पक्षमा थिएन ।बैठक बहिष्कार गर्ने कुरामा जोड दिएका थिए । तर दूतावासबाट फोन आएपछि उपेन्द्र यादव पनि कोइरालाको पक्षमा मतदान गर्न तयार भए । .......... त्यसपछि उनले एउटा अर्को अडान लिए । उनले बैठकमा भने, ‘विज्ञप्तिमा हामीले सुशिल कोइरालालाई नै मतदान गर्ने कुरा उल्लेख नगरौँ ।’ ....... विज्ञप्तिमा न ओलीको नाम उल्लेख गरे न कोइरालाको । सिधै ‘मधेशी, थारु, मुस्लिम, दलित, आदिवासी, जनजाति विरुद्ध रहेको उग्रबामपन्थी तथा लोकतन्त्र विरोधी फासिष्ट चरित्र बोकेको अपवित्र गठबन्धनलाई परास्त गर्न त्यसका विरुद्ध’ मतदान गर्ने भन्ने थियो । यसैका आधारमा भोलीपल्ट कोइरालालाई मतदान गरे । ..... अहिले मधेशी मोर्चाले भारतीय दूतावाससँग पनि रिसाएको छ । ‘दूतावासले हामीलाई कतैको राखेनन् । कोइराला जित्छन् भनेर जवर्जस्ती भोट हाल्न लगाए । कोइरालाले जितेनन् उल्टै हाम्रो आन्दोलन कमजोर भयो । आन्दोलनकारीहरु निराश भए । ....... मधेश आन्दोलन ५७ दिनदेखि जारी रहेको अवस्थामा मधेशी मोर्चामा आवद्ध दलका नेताहरुले प्रधानमन्त्रीमा काँग्रेसका सभापति सुशिल कोइरालालाई मतदान गरेका थिए । यसले आन्दोलनमा होमिएका नेता–कार्यकर्ताको मनोविज्ञानमा नकरात्मक असर परेको बताइएको छ । हुन त मोर्चाको उक्त कदमको आलोचना भएपछि मोर्चाले मंगलवार पत्रकार सम्मेलन गरेर त्यसको खण्डन गरेको छ । तर, पनि त्यो खण्डनले मधेशी दलका नेता कार्यकर्ताको चिक्त नबुझेको तराई–मधेश लोकतान्त्रिक पार्टीका एक केन्द्रीय सदस्यले बताए । मधेशी मोर्चामा सबैभन्दा बढी आलोचना सद्भावना पार्टीको भएको छ । उनीहरुसविधानसभा तथा व्यवस्थापिकाबाट राजिनामा दिएर मधेशमा आन्दोलनमा गएका थिए । मोर्चाका नेताहरुले आफ्ना सभासद्लाई जवर्जस्ती प्रधानमन्त्रीमा भोट हाल्न लगाएको सदभावनाको आरोप छ । असोज २६ गते बसेका मधेशी मोर्चाको बैठक पनि बहिष्कार गरको थियो सदभावनाले । त्यसले गर्दा उनको पार्टीमा झन् असन्तुष्टि बढ्दै गएको छ । यो सवै खेलमा भारतीय भूमिका रहेको मधेशी मोर्चाका नेताहरुको निष्कर्ष छ । अहिले मोर्चा र भारतवीच सम्बन्ध समेत राम्रो देखिएको छैन । मोर्चाका नेताहरु भारतसँग पनि असन्तुष्ट छन् । मोर्चामा आवए पार्टीका एक नेताका अनुसार
प्रधानमन्त्रीमा एमालेका अध्यक्ष केपी शर्मालाई हराउने र नेपाली काँग्रेसका सभापति सुशिल कोइरालालाई जिताउन भारतले पूरै शक्ति लगाएको थियो ।
Wounded by the West
Despite being set in the mid-1980's, it seems the best kind of post-9/11 novel....... a teenage Indian girl, an orphan called Sai, living with her Cambridge-educated Anglophile grandfather, a retired judge, in the town of Kalimpong on the Indian side of the Himalayas. Sai is romantically involved with her math tutor, Gyan, the descendant of a Nepali Gurkha mercenary, but he eventually recoils from her obvious privilege and falls in with a group of ethnic Nepalese insurgents. In a parallel narrative, we are shown the life of Biju, the son of Sai's grandfather's cook, who belongs to the "shadow class" of illegal immigrants in New York and spends much of his time dodging the authorities, moving from one ill-paid job to another. ....... a shared historical legacy and a common experience of impotence and humiliation ....... centuries of subjection by the economic and cultural power of the West. ......Mutt and the maths tutor
the beginnings of an apparently leveled field in a late-20th-century global economy serve merely to scratch those wounds rather than heal them...... Almost all of Desai's characters have been stunted by their encounters with the West. As a student, isolated in racist England, the future judge feels "barely human at all" and leaps "when touched on the arm as if from an unbearable intimacy." Yet on his return to India, he finds himself despising his apparently backward Indian wife. ........ The judge is one of those "ridiculous Indians," as the novel puts it, "who couldn't rid themselves of what they had broken their souls to learn" and
whose Anglophilia can only turn into self-hatred.These Indians are also an unwanted anachronism in postcolonial India, where long-suppressed peoples have begun to awaken to their dereliction, to express their anger and despair. For some of Desai's characters, including one of the judge's neighbors in Kalimpong, this comes as a distinct shock: "Just when Lola had thought it would continue, a hundred years like the one past — Trollope, BBC, a burst of hilarity at Christmas — all of a sudden, all that they had claimed innocent, fun, funny, not really to matter, was proven wrong." ........ a "new England," a "completely cosmopolitan society" where "chicken tikka masala has replaced fish and chips as the No. 1 takeout dinner." As further evidence, she mentions her own daughter, a newsreader for BBC radio, who "doesn't have a chip on her shoulder." ....... what Salman Rushdie has called "hybridity, impurity, intermingling, the transformation that comes of new and unexpected combinations of human beings, cultures, ideas, politics, movies, songs." ....... such multiculturalism, confined to the Western metropolis and academe, doesn't begin to address the causes of extremism and violence in the modern world. Nor, it suggests, can economic globalization become a route to prosperity for the downtrodden. "Profit," Desai observes at one point, "could only be harvested in the gap between nations, working one against the other."....... Not surprisingly,
half-educated, uprooted men like Gyan gravitate to the first available political cause in their search for a better way.He joins what sounds like an ethnic nationalist movement largely as an opportunity to vent his rage and frustration. "Old hatreds are endlessly retrievable," Desai reminds us, and they are "purer . . . because the grief of the past was gone. Just the fury remained, distilled, liberating.".......... a moral intelligence at once fierce and tender ...... a crowd of Indians scrambling to reach the visa counter at the United States Embassy: "Biggest pusher, first place; how self-contented and smiling he was; he dusted himself off, presenting himself with the exquisite manners of a cat. I'm civilized, sir, ready for the U.S., I'm civilized, mam. Biju noticed that his eyes, so alive to the foreigners, looked back at his own countrymen and women, immediately glazed over, and went dead." ........
Poor and lonely in New York, Biju eavesdrops on businessmen eating steak and exulting over the wealth to be gained in the new markets of Asia....... Arriving back in India in the climactic scenes of the novel, Biju is immediately engulfed by
the local eruptions of rage and frustration from which he had been physically remote in New York.For him and the others, Desai suggests, withdrawal or escape are no longer possible. "Never again," Sai concludes, "could she think there was but one narrative and that this narrative belonged only to herself, that she might create her own mean little happiness and live safely within it." ........
people in the West are "scarcely aware of this overwhelming feeling of humiliation that is experienced by most of the world's population," which "neither magical realistic novels that endow poverty and foolishness with charm nor the exoticism of popular travel literature manages to fathom."...... people fated to experience modern life as a continuous affront to their notions of order, dignity and justice
how impossible it is to live a big, ambitious, exuberant life. Everything about it dramatises the fact that although we live in this mixed-up, messy, globalised world, for many people the dominant response is fear of change, based on a deep desire for security. ...... The Inheritance of Loss is set in the Himalayas, "where India blurred into Bhutan and Sikkim ... it had always been a messy map". A young Indian girl, Sai, lives with her grandfather, a retired judge, in a damp and crumbling house. Sai has started a relationship with her Nepalese maths tutor, Gyan. But,
unknown to her, Gyan has become seduced by a group of Nepalese insurgents, some of whom are, as the book opens, marching to Sai's house to steal food, Pond's Cold Cream, Grand Marnier, and her grandfather's old rifles. ....... Even the judge's dog is wrong-footed in the encounter: "Mutt began to do what she always did when she met strangers: she turned a furiously wagging bottom to the intruders and looked around from behind, smiling, conveying both shyness and hope." The judge is so deeply humiliated by having to prepare tea for the intruders that Sai has to pretend not to see what has happened. "Both Sai and the cook had averted their gaze from the judge and his humiliation ... it was an awful thing, the downing of a proud man. He might kill the witness." ........ scenes in which the cook's son, Biju, tries to make a life in the US are paralleled by the judge's experience studying in England in the 1940s. In both situations, we see a young Indian man setting off full of idealism about the cultural and material opportunities of the west, only to find himself ground down by the reality of being a second-class citizen........ we hear about the judge as a young man, alienated by
the coldness of Cambridge society. "Despite his attempts to hide, he merely emphasised something that unsettled others. For entire days nobody spoke to him at all ... elderly ladies ... moved over when he sat next to them in the bus, so he knew that whatever they had, they were secure in their conviction that it wasn't even remotely as bad as what he had."We hear about the young Biju, working in filthy restaurants for exploitative employers, drifting from job to job, and then "Slipping out and back on the street. It was horrible what happened to Indians abroad and nobody knew but other Indians abroad. It was
a dirty little rodent secret."........ Sadly, their love dies when Gyan joins the insurgents and stops coming to see Sai. Sai eventually goes to confront him, but the encounter ends in disappointment. Gyan thinks to himself as she leaves:
"Sai was not miraculous; she was an uninspiring person, a reflection of all the contradictions around her."........ If we were in the world of Salman Rushdie, then Gyan and Sai would achieve a sensual communion that would stand against all the misunderstandings of ethnic and political and class hatreds. But the point of this novel, constantly brought home to us in small and big ways, is
how individuals are always failing to communicate...... Desai flicks from a failed telephone call to a failed marriage, a lost dog to lost parents, and the cumulative experience is of atomisation and thwarted yearning. I think this constant sense of disappointment is the reason why, although I admired this novel, I can't say I loved it. ....... The only emotional connection that endures is that between the cook and his son, and even this is so uncertain, despite a momentarily hopeful ending, that it hardly lightens the book. Otherwise, we are left with Sai, and her sense, which is also the sensation experienced by the reader, of being battered by overlapping stories that drown out her own desire for the reassurance of love: "Never again could she think there was but one narrative and that this narrative belonged only to herself, that she might create her own tiny happiness and live safely within it."