मौन धारण

शहीदका नाममा मौन धारण गर्न
छातिमा हात राखेर शिर झुकाउँदा
सोच्छु–
जहाँ
क्रान्तिको डरले घरमै बस्नेहरू,
व्यक्तिगत इबीमा फस्नेहरू,
स्वार्थको राजनीतिमा पस्नेहरू,
मरेर जाँदा “शहीद” मानिन्छ,
त्यहाँ शहीदको सम्मान कसरी पो हुन्छ ?

सोच्छु–
क्रान्ति र आन्दोलनका नाममा उदाएका भुइँमान्छेहरू
जब
सत्तामोहमा परेर,
अपराधको बाटो पक्रेर,
स्वाभिमानलाई बिर्सेर,
क्रान्तिको मर्म लत्याएर,
जनलाई घात गरेर
देश बेच्न पनि पछि पर्दैनन्,

धुरुधुरु रुँदा हुन् ती महात्माहरू
जसले
आमाबाबुको काख छाडेर
जीवनसाथीलाई एक्लो पारेर
छोराछोरीलाई सुनौलो सपना बाँढेर
मित्रजनलाई विश्वास गरेर घात नगरी
क्रान्ति सफल पार्न
देशका लागि प्राणको आहुती दिए !

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मान !

 न्याय नपाई कोही रोइरहँदा

               न्यायालयको मान रह्यो सायद !

अपराधीहरू खुल्लमखुल्ला हिँडिरहँदा

               न्यायालयको मान बढ्यो सायद !

न्यायकै किनबेच चलिरहँदा

               न्यायालयको इज्जतले आकाश छोयो सायद !

र त,

     न्याय पाउँ भन्नेहरू 

                   न्यायालायमै रोइरहेछ्न् !

     अपराधी समाऊ भन्नेहरू

                     डरले काँपिरहेछ्न् !

      न्यायको किनबेच नगर भन्नेहरू

                     कठघरामा उभ्याइरहेछ्न् !

© सन्दीप्त

How Many New Years are Celebrated in Your Country?

The 2018th year of Gregorian Calendar has begun today. As most of the world was preparing to celebrate New Year, I was busy counting the number of New Years celebrated in Nepal. I remember 7 of them.

Bikram Samvat New Year: Bikram Samvat is the official Solar Calendar of Nepal. Baishakh 1st (Mid-April) is the first day of the Bikram Calendar. This day is also known as Mesh Sankranti, the first day the sun reaches the Mesh Rashi or the Aries constellation.

Nepal Samvat: It is the official Lunar Calendar of Nepal, at least in papers because the adoption has taken a long time. There is an interesting legend behind the calendar. In the year 941 B.S., a merchant named Sankhadhar Sakhwa obtained gold from the Bagmati River and helped the citizens of Nepal pay the debts of the king. Marking this freedom, the king issued a new calendar the Nepal Samvat. 

The first day of the Nepal Samvat is Kartik Shukla Pratipada, the first day of waxing phase in the month of the Kartik (October-November). This day is also the fourth day of Tihar. Newas, the indigenous people of the Kathmandu Valley celebrate the Nepal Samvat New Year (Nhu: Daya) with much pomp and show in the day. In the evening, they do Mha: Pooja, in which each individual worships their Self or the Soul.

Tamu Lhosar: Tamu Lhosar is celebrated as the New Year of the Gurungs, the indigenous people mainly in the Gandaki region. Tamu Lhosar falls on 15th of Poush (December 29-30) every year. 

More info: http://www.weallnepali.com/nepali-festivals/tamu-losar

Gregorian New Year: This New Year is celebrated in majority of countries and in Nepal as well. It falls on Poush 17-18 of the Bikram Calendar. It’s been used along with the Bikram Calendar for long but is the only one New Year in which the Government does not issue a public holiday.

Maghi: This day is also known as Maghe or Makar Sankranti, the day in which the Sun reaches the Capricorn. Maghi is the New Year of the Tharus, the indigenous people of the Terai region.

More info: http://www.weallnepali.com/nepali-festivals/maghe-sankranti

Sonam Lhosar: This is the New Year of the Tamangs, the indigenous people of the Central Nepal Himalaya. This Lhosar coincides with the Chinese New Year.

Gyalbo Lhosar: This is the New Year of the Sherpas, the indigenous people of the Eastern Nepal Himalaya known for mountain climbing.

More info: http://www.weallnepali.com/nepali-festivals/gyalpo-lhosar

Who did it?

On Mangsir 18, 2074 (December 4, 2017), three days prior to the second phase of general election, an explosion at Chapali, Kathmandu injured 11 people. One of them was the candidate former Minister of Health Gagan Thapa. He was shown to put on bandages around his forehead but some hours later, he was seen at Reporters’ Club and he spoke for more than an our without showing a trace of injury.

I don’t know if the injury was faked. The mainstream media never said it was faked but there were others who said Gagan Thapa was somehow involved in the explosion and that it was one thing that would fetch him “sympathy” votes. He did win the election. Another rumour that surfaced was that there was involvement of the Left Alliance behind the attack. What we got to hear after the elections was that anti-election group led by Biplov did it.

We all know Gagan Thapa won but what happened to the 10 other people who were hospitalized? They were not in news after the election.

Were those who did the explosion caught and punished? We don’t know. This is really strange. A former Minister is bombed amidst his cadres before the election and ten people are injured. Gagan Thapa should have been burning with rage and should have demanded the arrest of the bombers within twenty-four hours. But no one has been arrested till date.

Who did it–Gagan Thapa, Left Alliance or Biplov Group or somebody else? Where is our police force, intelligence and investigative journalism?

***

On Bhadra 7, 2072 (August 24, 2017), an incident in Tikapur Kailali shook the nation. Seven police officers, one of who was a Tharu, were brutally killed, and a two years old baby was shot. After the incident, hundreds of Tharus were tortured for being involved in the carnage.

Who did it?

The government blamed the Tharus. Resham Chaudhary was accused of being the mastermind behind the killing of the police. But there were rumors that the attackers were highly trained and that they could be a gang or R&AW agents from India. The Tharus blame the police for burning their huts.

For more than two years, Resham Chaudhary is in India. Before he fled, he was a popular media personality. I used to like his Gaijatra albums that were released during the period of censorship. (The king was in power then and the only way to express dissatisfaction was through the comic satires during the festival of Gaijatra.) When he was accused, I could not believe that he could plot for such a heart-wrenching incident. But he fled. He might have his reasons but running away is never a way to say that he is good.

This Mangsir, he came in news again. He was nominated for the elections held in Mangsir 21 (December 7) through his relative. (He is still in India.) Nobody opposed it and he won the election with an overwhelming amount of votes.

The police says Resham Chaudhary a Most Wanted criminal. The fact that Election Commission allowed him to be a candidate says otherwise. Who resgistered his  nomination and why? 

Now that he has won, the Election Commission wants him to come and fetch the certificate of victory. The police says they will catch him. This is not to the first time an accused has won an election. But they have walked among the policemen without a trouble. 

I have a lot of questions: What stops Resham Chaudhary from coming Nepal and claiming victory? Police? If so, will the police arrest him? Will the police let him go after political pressure? Will the victims of the Tikapur incident ever get justice? 

And the biggest of all: Who really is the mastermind behind the incident?

***

References: 

http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2017-12-04/nc-leader-thapa-injured-in-ied-explosion.html

http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2015-08-25/8-killed-in-tikapur-clash.html

https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/tikapur-carnage-conspirator-resham-lal-chaudhary-elected-kailali-1/

http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2017-12-19/govt-urged-to-handover-certificate-of-victory-to-resham-chaudhary.html

https://thehimalayantimes.com/nepal/tikapur-victims-demand-justice-govt/

When Quora Users Gathered in Kathmandu

On July 22, 2017, Quora users of Nepal met for the first time at Taragaon Museum. John Shrestha (Yaatri) and Swapna Bizness had organized the programme on a very short prior notice via Quora and Facebook.

Participants of the 1st Quora Meetup

Until I reached Taragaon Museum that day and met Mahesh and John, I was dubious there was any programme. During the introduction session that day, John said how he conceived the idea for a Meetup in Nepal.

One day, he stumbled upon an answer in Quora which described a Meetup in a city of India. John was baffled. “Can we organize such a programme in Nepal?” He thought and found out how he could gather people.

“We had not expected more than eight participants,” he said. “But the overwhelming number of people interested in the event stumped me.” The number of interested people had reached over 200 within the few hours. It was unexpected because the number of active Quora users was very few. Probably, the phrase “first ever” had attracted people.

“I had thought of calling some people to a public park like Ratna Park but for 200 people, it would not work. The 1st Quora Meetup had to be exciting.” 

He sought for sponsors, found Swapna Bizness. He looked for an interesting place and found Taragaon Museum. It is an art museum ran by Taragaon Hotel (Hyatt Regency). Despite that many interested people, only 39 gathered. John was relieved.

That day, all of them were strangers to me but strangely, everyone seemed familiar. We immediately bonded. That was the first time I had such an experience.

I was waiting for another Meetup to occur soon and the date had been decided but was cancelled because Quora announced the first ever official Quora World Meetup. 

So, on November 11, 2017, the first Quora World Meetup was held in King’s College, Kathmandu. The original location was the Taragaon Museum but unfortunately it had been booked.

It took me no time to find King’s College. I could see it in front of my eyes, but the road I took never ended. I was walking along the left bank of Dhobi Khola. I had to return back, cross the bridge at Bijulibazaar and take the road on the right bank. I nearly missed the introduction session.

The second session was the Question/Answer session that was in spirit of Quora. Some of the questions were:

1. Who was the most influential teacher in your school?

2. What incident in life has affected you the most?

3. Do you think we dream what we desire? (The discussion for this went for almost an hour. There were many different perspectives and knowledge. I learnt for the first time that dream interpretations were subjective.)

After a short break, the programme recommenced. During the break, I saw that Quorans have mutual respect for each other and yeah, Sulav Karki, who answers a lot of questions about Nepal is largely popular. 

The final session included debates on two subjects:

1. Should Kathmandu still remain the capital of Nepal?

2. Should Diversity Visa (DV) be stopped for Nepal?

Two groups were divided. We had a fewer number of people in our group but luck favoured us on both occasions as we won the toss and got to choose. We chose to support Kathmandu being the capital in the former and DV should be stopped.

Discussion before the debate

In the first debate, when Sulav presented the points for Kathmandu remaining the capital of Nepal, Sushovan remarked, “Ten wickets in the power play.” Meaning, we had won the debate because they could not be negated by the opposition. And they really could not.

Sulav presenting the points we discussed for the first debate. Noticed the smiles?

The second debate was more balanced. Several interesting points came up. It also took us to another question: Which is more important–an individual or his nationality? 

At the end, there were no personal grudges, no fights, no accusations. The debate session ended as it should have. The Quora users of Nepal surprised me once again.

Participants of the 1st Official Quora World Meetup in Kathmandu.

नेता कसरी बन्ने ?

अलि पुरानो फोटो नेताहरूको । स्रोत: nayasamachar.com

नेपालमा अहिले चुनावी चहलपहल निकै नै छ । नेताहरू घरदैलोमा व्यस्त छन् तर घरमै बस्नेले चाहिँ सायदै तिनका मुख देखे होलान् । खैर, “तिनीहरू नेता कसरी पो नेता बने हौ ? अनि हामी चाईँ कसरी बन्ने ?” भन्ने प्रश्न कसैलाई उठेको भए ती प्रश्नको जवाफ खोज्ने प्रयास यो प्रबन्ध हो ।
चरण १: यी प्रश्न आफूले आफैँलाई सोधेर नेता हुने गुण छ कि छैन पत्ता लगाउनुस् :

के तपाईं:

१. धुर्त हुनुहुन्छ ?

२. अरूलाई औँलामा नचाउन सक्नुहुन्छ ?

३. स्वार्थी हुनुहुन्छ ?

४. अर्काको मन दुखाएर हाँस्न सक्नुहुन्छ ?

५. आफन्त, नातागोता, साथीसँगी, गुरु वा जोसुकैलाई कोखामा छुरा हानेर अघि बढ्न सक्नुहुन्छ ?

६. जनताले जे भने पनि कानमा तेल हालेर सुतेजस्तो गर्न सक्नुहुन्छ ?

उपर्युक्त गुणहरू तपाईंसँग छ भने मात्रै तपाईं राजनीतिक नेता बन्न सक्नुहुन्छ । नत्र त तपाईंको यात्रा सुरु नै हुँदैन । भइहाल्यो भने पनि कतै कुनामा बसेर रुनुपर्छ ।

चरण २: प्रवेश

चरण १ मा पास नभए पनि चरण २ मा आउन सक्नुहुन्छ तर दिगो उपलब्धिका लागि चरण १ मा भएका कुराहरू आफूमा जतिसक्दो चाँडो लागू गर्नुहोला । फाइदा तपाईंलाई नै हो । अब जान्नुस् यो चरणमा के गर्ने:

१. तपाईं आफ्नै पार्टी खोल्न चाहनुहुन्छ ? यसका लागि विचार र (वा) कार्यशैली मिल्ने (यसमा अरूलाई थर्काउने कार्यशैली पनि हुन सक्छ) एकदम धेरै मानिसहरू भेला पार्नुपर्ने हुन्छ । अरूलाई कन्भिन्स गर्न पनि धेरै समय र उर्जा खर्चिनुपर्छ । समय अलि बढी नै लाग्न सक्छ यदि तपाईं चरण १ मा भएका गुणहरूलाई नजरअन्दाज गर्दै हुनुहुन्छ भने ।

२. यदि तपाईंलाई छिटो माथी जानु छ भने चाहिँ स्थापित पार्टीमा लाग्नुस् । धेरैजसो मानिसहरू ठूला पार्टीको सदस्य बन्छन् तर साना पार्टी पनि शानदार पो हुन्छन् त ।

एउटा उदाहरण दिउँ है त । मेरो कलेजमा थुप्रै पार्टीका भ्रातृ संगठन (भन्नलाई स्वतन्त्र विद्यार्थी युनियन) छन् । नेपाली कांग्रेसको नेविसंघ र नेकपा एमालेको अनेरास्ववियुमा लाग्नेहरूको संख्या धेरै छ । खिचातानी पनि यिनमै धेरै छ ।

साना पार्टीका भ्रातृ संगठन धेरै छन्, कार्यकर्ता थोरै । कम्पिटिसन शून्य बराबर । सदस्य बन्नेवित्तिकै माथिल्लो पद हातमा । अनि पावर पनि ठूला संगठन जति नै । हेर्नुस् त काइदा !

कुन ठाउँबाट राजनीति सुरु गर्नुहुन्छ भन्ने कुराले पनि फरक पार्दछ तपाईंको जिन्दगीमा । एक चोटि फेरि मेरो कलेजतिर आँखा डुलाऔँ । तपाईँ प्रायः देख्नुहुनेछ, नेताहरू :

  • नयाँ विद्यार्थीलाई भर्ना गर्न मद्दत गर्दै हुन्छन् ।
  • पुराना विद्यार्थीका समस्या समाधान गर्दै हुन्छन् ।
  • विभिन्न कार्यक्रम गरिरहेका हुन्छन् ।

यिनीहरू पब्लिक रिलेसन (Public Relation) बनाइरहेका छन् जुन भविष्यका लागि लाभदायक हुन्छन् । मेरो एक जना साथी छ जसलाई म जुनसुकै बेला फोन गरेर जुनसुकै काम लगाउन सक्छु । भोलि ऊ कुनै चुनावमा उठ्यो भने म भन्दिन्छु नि “यसले काम गर्न सक्छ” । उसले यसरी भोटर कमाउँदै छ ।

आफ्नो समुदायमा राजनीति गरेर अघि बढ्न चाहनेलाई चुनौतीको पहाड नै आउँछ । चरण १ मा भएका गुण नभए पहाड फोर्न गाह्रो हुन्छ ।

चरण ३: कुटनीति / चालबाजी

महाभारतमा शकुनिको भूमिका सम्झनुस् त । कसरी धृतराष्ट्र र उनका छोरालाई भड्काउँछन् । उनको धुर्त्याइँले पाण्डवहरू जुवामा मात्र हारेनन्, कुरुक्षेत्रको युद्ध पनि भयो ।

कुटनीतिक चालबाजी एउटा कला हो । राजनीती गर्नेहरूले आफूले भनेको ठीक, अरूले भनेको बेठीक भन्ने पारेर जनतालाई आफ्नो पक्षमा पार्छन् । अझ कतिपय अवस्थामा अस्थिरता ल्याइदिन्छ्न् ।

गेम अफ थ्रोन्समा लिटलफिङ्गर भन्छ:

अस्थिरता सिँढी हो ।

यसका उदाहरणले मेरो मुटु चिरिन्छ । हाम्रा नेताहरूले पनि अस्थिरतालाई भर्र्याङ् बनाएका छन् । जब स्थिरता आउँछ, उनीहरू माथि हुन्छन् । पुष्पकमल दहाल (प्रचण्ड) ज्वलन्त उदाहरण हुन् जसको बारेमा मैले चर्चा गरिरहनै पर्दैन । 

कोखामा छुरा घोप्ने काम पनि चालबाजीको विशेषता हो । एकजना मेरो छिमेकीलाई चुनावमा “टिकट” दिने वाचा गरियो । पक्का आउँछ भन्दै बधाई दिने पनि भेटिए ।

मनोनयनमा भने उनको नातेदारको नाम आयो । ती नातेदारले विरोध गरेनन् । मनोनयनमा हेराफेरी गर्न सक्नेलाई ती नातेदारले हातमा लिएछन् । यसरी आफन्तलाई पनि धोका दिन सके तपाईंको राजनीतिक यात्रा उकालो लाग्नेछ । शुभकामना !

चरण ५: अरूले जेसुकै भने पनि “बाल” नदिने 

अरूले तपाईंको गल्ती औँलाइदिए भने तिनको औँला काटिदिनुस् । यो त तपाईंले सुनेको प्रमाण पो हो क्यारे ! यसो गर्नुस्, सुन्दै नसुन्नुस् । हुन त यो गुण तपाईँमा पहिले नै छ । जति गाली गरे पनि, जति सरापे पनि, एउटा कानबाट छिरेको कुरो अर्को कानबाट निकालिदिनुस् । यसो गरेपछी न अरूको पिर, न प्रेसरको चिन्ता !

***

द्रष्टव्य:

१. यी चरणहरूलाई नजरअन्दाज गर्न त तपाईं राजनीतिक परिवारमा जन्मिनुपर्छ । बा प्रभावशाली थिए भने त उनले बसाएको जगमा चुनावैपिच्छे जीत दर्ता भइहाल्छ ।

२. माथि उल्लिखित चरण र गुणहरूमध्ये पब्लिक रिलेसन र सानो पार्टीबाट उक्लिने उपायबाहेक अरू सबै व्यङ्ग्य हुन् । सिधा भन्ठानेर त्यसै गर्नुभो भने मलाई अवगाल नआओस् !

अझै सजिलो बनाइदिन्छु । यी काम नगर्नुस् :

  • चोरबाटो नलिनुस्
  • नकारात्मक चालबाजी नगर्नुस्
  • कोखामा छुरा नहान्नुस्, जेल पर्नुहोला !
  • रचनात्मक प्रतिक्रियालाई आत्मसात् गर्नुस्

३. नेतामा हुनैपर्ने दुई कुरा हुन् : ज्ञान र बोल्ने क्षमता । यी दुईलाई प्राथमिकता दिनुस् ।

शुभकामना !

***

[प्रस्तुत लेख Quora.com मा How do I become a political leader in Nepal को जवाफको नेपाली रूपान्तरण हो ।]

Communist Alliance: “A Game of Probabilities”

Really?

The question I asked last week while the alliance was declared. I was shocked. I mean, how could a party that is in the government (CPN Maoist Centre) decide to work together with the party that is a staunch opposition of the government (CPN-UML)? But Mr Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) said:

“Politics is a game of probabilities to a huge extent.”

As far as I understand Nepali politics, the probability of Maoist Centre and UML coming together was extremely low. Not long ago, Mr Prachanda had broken an alliance with Mr KP Sharma Oli, almost filed an impeachment and Mr Oli gave a resignation from the PM. Not only did the Maoist Centre break the coalition, they went ahead and supported Mr Deuba.

We got another former PM Dr Baburam Bhattarai in this alliance. He had broken up with the Maoists, because of his bitter experiences with Mr Prachanda but he’s back joining hands with him.

What was going on? I think:

1.Polarization: Polarization has often been termed as negative but we always expected fewer political parties, didn’t we? This election-time polarization is most probably a step into that stability we wanted. However, this is not a complete polarization. Maoists did not leave the government to make this alliance. If this was a complete polarization based on political ideologies, I think we would be alarmed.

2. Selfish interests: The political leaders and parties of Nepal do everything for the “sake of the nation and the people”. Have we progressed though? The “leftists”, while making the alliance, again said that this is an important step in stability. I’m skeptic. Look, this is just an alliance, not unification. The larger probability is that after the elections are conducted and winning a large number of seats, Mr Prachanda, Mr Oli and Dr Bhattarai will play the same old blame-game, break the alliance and we’ll fall into instability again. I believe not many Nepalis will say, “We didn’t see that coming.”

3. Politics between the three major parties: The NC and the UML led government were polar opposites during the blockade we faced. UML (particularly the then PM Mr Oli) blamed it on India completely, went on against even genuine demands of Madhesh. Very few people remember that it was continuity of the stance taken by Late Sushil Koirala while he was the PM. After Mr Koirala’s resignation, NC stated it was not a blockade at all. Mr Deuba rose to power following Mr Koirala’s death. He showed an affection with the Madhesh. It was important in NC’s victory in Province 2. Maoists, showing the behaviour of opportunists, wanted to capitalize on that by making an alliance with NC but it did not bear fruit. Now they make alliance with the party that won the largest number of seats in the local level. I believe it’s the alliance that ensures survival of the Maoists and helps Mr Oli gain a upper hand in politics for at least a couple of years to come.

What could happen?

1.Communists win: While it seems good for us that one of the major political ideology becomes victorious, I’m a bit scared. Why? These Communist parties of Nepal are not the communists that are against democracy and capitalism but they still stick to the term because it lures common people. However, the US, NATO and the EU look upon even the word “Communist” against Democracy. I’m scared that they will try creating instablity if they see “Communists” running the Nepali government.

2. Political Stability at least for some years: The Constitution prohibits impeachment of the PM for the first three years but it does not prohibit breaking of political alliances or coalition and it also does not prevent the PM from resigning. I think this will be again used as a tool for instability. With an alliance of larger parties, it might be more stable but will they stick together for long? I doubt.

Conclusion:

  1. I am dubious that everything will be nice henceforth and there will be a political stability.
  2. I am scared about world-view regarding the “Communist” victory.
  3. I believe this alliance is temporary. If it becomes long-lasting, I would be positively shocked and smile from ear to ear.
  4. And yeah, I didn’t mention it above but this alliance could be a way for the UML to use government resources. Who knows?

[Note: First published as an answer to What’s your view on recent political development in Nepal regarding alliance of leftist party? on Quora]