बाबुरामको दिल्ली तीर्थाटनका सन्देश

मैले केहि समय देखि यो ब्लगमा लेख्न पाइरहेको थिइन तर अब रेगुलर लेख्ने बिचार गरेको छु। मेरा लेखहरु यो ब्लगमा र अन्य अनलाइन साइटहरुमा पढ्न सक्नुहुनेछ। अन्यत्र छापिएका मेरा लेखहरुलाई म यो ब्लगमा लिंक सहित पोस्ट गर्नेछु।

हालै नेपाली अनलाइन साईट पहिलोपोस्ट.कम मा मेरो एक लेख छापिएको थियो। त्यो लेख तपाइँ यो लिंक बाट पहिलोपोस्ट्मै पढ्न सक्नुहुनेछ। यो लेख नेपालीमा छ।

नेपालीमा पढ्न नचाहनेहरूका लागि यो लेख अंग्रेजीमा यहा प्रस्तुत गरेको छु। पहिलोपोस्ट्मा छापिएको लेख को हु-बहु ट्रान्स्लेसन ता होइन तर यो लेख करिब करिब पहिलोपोस्टमा छापिएको लेखको अंग्रेजी भर्सन भन्न सकिन्छ।

An Outsider’s view

Issue of nationalism or pilgrimage – Maoist leader’s India visit

By looking at Baburam Bhattarai’s (herein after Baburam) face book and twitter posts, it is not difficult to fathom his state of mind. He is tired of listening to commentators. He is tired of gossips in media circle about his India’s travel. Quite clearly, he does not like if anyone preaches and pontificates on nationalism. And, to me, it is very surprising but quite understandable. You only have to step on his shoes for a moment to read his mind.

His recent comments have stirred the social media. In face book post, he clubs those people who are raising the issue of nationalism as the ones who jump to embassy’s parties for free ka daru (free alcohol). He is absolutely bang on target in dodging real issues. It is a classic tool adopted and used by politicians of all beliefs. They only have to point to another issue so that they can reduce the gravity of the questions and get a satisfaction of throwing a doosara (One of the variations of spin ball in cricket). By using such paintara (tricks), Baburam seems to be in a good mood to evade the question rather than trying to engage in a debate of what constitutes nationalism or patriotism for us.

Despite being close neighbours and having multiple social and cultural similarities, Nepal –India relation generates heated arguments when it comes to issue of “allowing our neighbour to play a role” in our domestic affairs. There used to be a time when CPN-UML was the torchbearer of this debate. In 2052 BS, when the Maoists decided to start their “People’s Revolution”, it was said that they had no options as the then Deuba Government even refused to glance their 40 points demand sheet where many issues were relating to India’s policy towards Nepal. After the start of the “People’s War”, Maoists’ enemy No. 1 was always the “expansionist” India. That was that time and we (or rather Maoist Party) have moved much ahead!

After Maoists joined the peaceful democracy, people slowly came to know that the inside story was something different. Though in propaganda, India was their enemy but in practice, Maoist already had a “gentleman’s agreement” with agencies of Indian government and in return, safe accommodation was ensured for the guests. After Maoists came to join the mainstream democracy, so many skeletons have started falling from cupboard that they are not in a position to form a consistent and guiding view on how Nepal should shape its foreign policy vis-à-vis India. By looking at the unfolding events, Maoist’s lack of clarity on foreign policy and nationalism is going to linger for quite some time unless they start doing early self-introspection.

This ambiguous display on nationalism is the product of Maoist’s pitiable situation back home. Firstly, the more “free and fair election” than that of 2008 pushed Maoists at the periphery of national politics. The choice that people made in a democracy cut short the luxury of the party which had just started enjoying the “fruits of people’s democracy”. Secondly, the current Constituent Assembly is hell-bent to promulgate a Constitution under consensus, if possible and if that be impossible, “under a due process” set in place by the consensus of all parties. Since Maoists are only the toddlers in democracy, they have not yet fully understood how democracy actually works. The party, whose democratic commitment is still questionable, does not stop to dream that they have the “birth right” to rule Nepal, to run government, to declare enemy, or alter the enemy and if public pressure mounts at any point of time, then, finally to promulgate a Constitution based on their whims and fancies. They naturally believe this is all kosher.

What Maoists have managed to understand, however, is that the very first requirement of democracy i.e. people’s votes are not on their side. In such a situation, they do not have any other alternatives than to seek a “divine intervention”. This desire of being intervened by a “prabhu” (word used by Pushpa Kamal once to refer “India”) has brought Baburam on a pilgrimage to India. Ordinarily, this should not be the issue of great fuss as in the past too, right from start of revolution; Maoists were getting blessed in India’s capital.

It will be interesting to see if the new God installed in Lutyens’ Delhi after May, 2014 has promised any intervention in due course. As the largest democracy in the world, I expect that Prabhu must have delivered little sermons on how humble one needs to be in a democracy. If that were to be the outcome of this trip, then, I would rate Baburam’s pilgrimage to India a very successful one.

Let’s wait and watch for few days how dialogues between the parties move ahead. That would give us a clear indication of what “Kosheli” (gifts) Baburam has brought from Lutyens’ Delhi.

By Rajib Dahal. (You can contact me at twitter: @rajibdahal, or via email to rajib.dahal at gmail.com)

पहिलोपोस्टमा नेपालीमा छापिएको लेखको पिडिएफ कपि चाही यहा छ बाबुरामको दिल्ली तीर्थाटनका सन्देश __ Pahilopost


The farcical Saga of Kantipur

(If any errors are there, I will do additional editing tomorrow and link to old posts tomorrow.). Happy Reading

This is the final editing to this Article with Updates in recent days. The development to date is Kantipur has apologized about this incident. Kantipur claims that it conducted its investigation and found Mr. Luitel ‘guilty’ of plagiarism. In its apology, Kantipur has said that it has removed Mr. Luitel from the responsibility of ‘Hello Sukrabar’, the famous youth supplement of Kantipur Daily. This is not clear if Mr. Luitel has been assigned back end job or has been completely terminated from the service of Kantipur Publications but that matters least here. Mr. Luitel’s letter as a Reader has also been published in Kantipur where Mr. Luitel has documented his reasons of not being able to quote the sources and has also apologized to the readers.

The Link of that Kantipur News on apology can be found here: http://epaper.ekantipur.com/showtext.aspx?boxid=145032109&parentid=20026&issuedate=1022012

It’s a very good step taken by Kantipur and the rise of social networking, hopefully contributes more in the future to caution Journalism Sector.

Some related blogs and facebook page on the matter can be accessed from friend bloggers and facebookers below:





The above facebook page was the first unacceptable reaction of Kantipur which was condemned by entire right thinking people including me below in my Original Post.

The Original Post is below with minor edits:

The question of standard of Nepalese Journalism has once again been exposed. You can ask me, “Was there any standard at all in the first place?”. I thought it had. It had, I thought, especially after an Editor of Kantipur, supposedly the largest selling Nepalese National Daily, promises on the public forum that he will come with some sorts of clarifications on the issues of plagiarism by Kantipur (Yes, plagiarism by Nepalese National Daily Kantipur and not merely by an individual Reporter). However, the Paper fails to respect the views of the Editor and in effect, shows the middle finger to the readers and Critics of the papers who tried to correct a self declared intellectual and spoiled brat on small values of Journalism and values of feedback of his readers.

Though I said the promise was made by the Editor on Public Forum, it was in reply to two followers in his twitter account and he can state that he made a private promise if he wants to. Since the promises were not directly made to me, he can well question my ability to question him. However, we see the editor of a national daily in many ways: a public figure and a responsible institution to the people and readers of this country as much as he would have liked our political leaders to be responsible. Otherwise, if editors are to lose the confidence of the readers and the people, the nib of their pen would not last longer and they lose all their ‘barking ability’ when situations demand.

Going to the root of the matter and to present the facts in a succinct way, let us revisit the few events that have unfolded recently and in a recent past.

The Friday Supplement of Kantipur Paper seems to be fairly popular among the Nepalese Youth and it seems to contain contemporary topics on social, political, technological, lifestyle and sports etc. matter in a light hearted matter. The Supplement named as ‘Hello Sukrabar’, being focused for the youth seems to be managed by fairly young and immature groups with questionable education and journalistic credentials. However, since the paper was directed at large to the youngsters, it could not have been under intense journalistic priority of editors, nor even the readers complained much on the content and language where everybody acted to be in the modern phase of ‘high and bye’ generation.

However, occasional discomfort of readers with the tone, language and content of the ‘Hello Sukrabar’ was heard here and there in the past. At this stage, if the Editor of the paper had applied his mind, he would have definitely checked the multiplying arrogance of sharp but brash group who worked for Hello Sukrabar. But, rather than putting the system in the place, even some of the relatively senior journalists came to the rescue and defense of that rash gang at Kantipur and perpetuated a persecution of readers’ views not on any rational argument but trying to show all the readers who are critical of the writings as dumb. This has definitely tarnished the image of Kantipur among the young readers who thought that Kantipur represents a temple of truth and fair views. Otherwise, if it indulges in such a corrupt practices, whole edifice and ethics of Nepalese Journalism will crumble soon.

The problem in Kantipur is not rash mind making mistake as nothing better can be accepted expected from them but when the seniors, instead of reprimanding the juniors, spring to their defense with a confrontational question to the readers like “what moral right you have to tell us when you have not seen the printing press”. This was the best Kantipur Joke ever we could have heard in the year 2011 and we thought it was over.

But, now, we realise Kantipur had saved the better one for the year 2012.

The issue was raised about the originality of Articles claimed to be written by Mr. Ashish Luitel, a self-declared intellectual by his conduct in public forum. The number of Articles, till date, that are under the lens of originality are more than half a dozen and the so called writer has been questioned whether he copied them from New York Times. The Articles are related to the technology Sector.

The young journalist, if he can be called a one, who is most probably still flying high due to his ambidextrous ability of copying from other Papers and translating them in Nepalese Language, has admitted in his Twitter Account that he has made a mistake but ‘unintentionally’. Now, it is time for aspiring journalists to know if plagiarizing more than 6 or 7 Articles can be called ‘unintentional’ what in earth would be intentional then?

Of course, the young journalist has not stated what mistakes he has done but has shown a turn around by saying that he appreciates the thoughts of valuable readers. It is very fresh in our mind that it’s not long ago that he treated readers not even with a respect that scum would generally entitled to. How come so much turn around? How did he take such turn around now? It is simply because he has been caught red handed and people have shown with comparison that almost 7 Articles Mr. Ashish Luitel wrote were actually plagiarized from New York Times Articles without any credit to original source. When the young celebrity Journalist was getting all accolades from the plagiarized articles, editor did not waste his time pondering about the unexceptional talent of a kid. oOr in my opinion, Mr. Editor was fully aware of the source of the articles but considered as if he was doing some sort of favor to Nepalese People by letting them to read in Nepali which otherwise illiterate Nepalese would have never been able to read from New York Times.

The murky nature of this matter raises several fundamental issues like what is the role of a paper in first place? Should not it promote new talents focusing on originality? And What should be the roles of editors? Are not they supposed to be the person who are responsible for choosing and deciding what will be printed in a Paper? Or the quality of Nepalese journalism is so low and editors are simply incapable, incompetent and are there only for namesake?

Well, giving a benefit of doubt to whole journalism filed, should we refine our question and ask Is Mr. Sudheer Sharma, Editor of Kantipur a simply incompetent man in helm of affairs in Kantipur who could not even detect 7 plagiarized articles being published in the paper? Even more incompetent to issue a genuine apology when the matter of plagiarism was brought to his attention? Or, is Nepalese journalism is stooping so low and making way for king of plagiarism to give a stardom in the short span of time?

The readers’ concerns should have been handled properly by the paper and after the Editor promised to clarify. However, the childish approach of Journalism was brought in focus when Kantipur issued a one line in its February 3, 2012 Hello Sukrabar that the source of Article published under ‘Wiki Tech’ should have been New York Times etc. and was omitted because of technical reason. This smacks of dishonesty.  in public and despises the readers. The one line which have been hidden somewhere in the bottom of one of those pages in very tiny letters fails to tell us:

A. How many Articles were published where Credit of New York Times was omitted? (We, the readers have found till now 7 Articles. But, the King of Plagiarism can accurately tell to his editor how many such articles were plagiarized.)

B. With what heading and on which dates such articles were published? Or how come the source of such articles were missing over the period of time?

C. Under Wiki Tech, only one authors plagiarized the articles and published them or Do Kantipur have band of plagiarizers? to write Articles under different ‘talented’ journalists?

D, Especially, how they realized that the source is missing? And more importantly, what does source New York Times etc. means? Whom does the copyright of these Articles belong? Is it under Copyright transfer agreement with New York Times such articles were translated? These questions assume significance here as on readers’ views, the articles were plainly copied from a Single paper and translated to Nepali thereby violating the copyright of original article. Or Did Editor tried to say when he mentions ‘including New York Times’ that there are other articles which have been copied may be from Guardian, Times etc. etc. in the same fashion as were done with article from NYT?

These all above questions remain unanswered and we may never get answer to these issues so long as arrogant bunch rule the affairs of Kantipur. There is a need of regime change in Kantipur as well.

Let me think for a moment Mr. Editor was in a good faith when he promised that he will clarify the issue. May be he came under intense pressure from management, and junior and immature employees in the organization and surrendered before their pressure. Whatever he did under whatever circumstances, when the prig like Mr. Ashish Luitel remain as a face of Kantipur, and any street urchin with questionable education and qualification keep on becoming journalist, there will not be a day that far when another farce like these will not be repeated.

The pusillanimity that has been exhibited by Editor Mr. Sudheer Sharma is another wasted opportunity for mainstream media to show a brave face among the public. However, this farcical saga called Kantipur and its established practice of ‘Quick Guide to be at the top with the help of…………(U know what)’ hopefully will not last long and we can only hope we need not have to voice again on ‘unmeritorious topics.’ which have inglorious conclusion!

Condemn the Plagiarism!!

Reforms Necessary in Nepalese VAT Law

Reforms Necessary in Nepalese VAT Law

Value Added Tax (‘VAT’) was first introduced in France in 1954 and today, it has been implemented worldwide with tremendous success. In Nepal, after intense debate and deliberation, it was implemented first in 1997. However, it is felt that its positive impacts are yet to be fully realised even after almost 14 years of implementation. The main problem that the government is facing each year is lack of compliance by all taxpayers due to various reasons.  In this article, a brief attempt has been made to analyse the radical changes those are required in Nepalese VAT laws with the changes on the ways the business and trades are carried in modern times.

First, to start with the positive impact that VAT laws brings is taxation at every stage of supply chain and credit to taxes paid on inputs and on input services. Therefore, the foremost good factor that VAT laws bring is the removal of cascading effects. The term cascading effects refer to ‘tax on tax’. Therefore, VAT shuts door for multiple taxation, thereby removing cascading effects in supply chain as every buyer and seller will be entitled to avail input tax credits and adjust its credit with its output tax liability. In principle, we have understood VAT laws to be so.

However, in practice, not necessarily the implementation of VAT laws always removes cascading effects. Therefore, we need to have an effective and good VAT law that alone brings the intended consequences to the tax payers. In practice, what has been observed is the concept called ‘exemption of taxes’ on ‘exempted goods and services’ which act as a barrier to smooth supply chain. Mainly, the essential goods and services, for example rice, pulses, flour, fresh fish, kerosene, salt, health services, contraceptives, medicine etc. are exempted from payment of VAT on a simple rationale that these commodities and services are essential for human survival and imposition of taxes will increase the price of these products thereby making it inaccessible and expensive for poor citizen of our poor country. Morally and ethically too, this sounds a great welfare measure taken by the state. But, in practice and in a world which is full of profit making enterprises, this rationale does not work so greatly as think it to be. We can understand the tax exemption behind the agricultural products like wheat, paddy, flour etc. and agricultural tools, shovels, etc. But, Nepalese VAT law even exempts taxes on air travel, gold and silver, mobile phone set etc. which is beyond anyone’s understanding and these types of exemptions have only accentuated the obstacles to smooth supply chain.

While the output goods and services are exempted from the payment of taxes for those goods mentioned in Schedule – I of VAT on its output side, it may not be so in case of input goods/services. Therefore, a vendor who purchases raw materials and services, and manufactures an exempted product, say medicine, cannot utilise its input taxes that it has paid on inputs. Its input tax credit will go to become a sunk cost. In this situation, the only options available to the manufacturer/seller would be to add up the cost of taxes paid in inputs in its final outputs and pass that cost to the customer if manufacturer/seller has to keep its business running. Therefore, while declaring certain goods/services as exempted goods/services, the government is not doing any yeoman’s service to its citizens except those few essential goods.

Keeping goods and services exempt will also have another round of disadvantages – that is to the vendor which buys these exempted products and services, utilizes these input goods and services for manufacture and sells its outputs which are taxable in nature. In this case, this vendor will not have any input tax credit and has to collect the tax amount from the public/customers, which will only increases the price of these products.

Internationally, it has always been a moral dilemma among legislators/governments to frame effective VAT laws containing provisions that leave entire supply chain unaffected. Since revenue and fiscal laws stand on the different footing than other laws, they are enacted as per the economic and fiscal needs of the nation unlike other general laws which may be enacted to curb one or the other evils. Government will also make use of tax laws to control the flow of goods and services as per demand of the country on the prevailing economic condition. Therefore, though it may be desirable not to have ‘exempted products/services’ at all, but practicality, does not allow this to happen. This is fully understandable. Having said so and being fully aware of the government’s constraints, the challenges posed by exempted goods and services in supply chain is not that difficult to address if genuine efforts are made and willingness are shown by the government.

Arguably, the easy and effective ways to curb the threat posed by exempt products/services are to make them taxable by declaring the rate of tax at Zero Percentage for these products/services. This is internationally known as ‘Zero – rated goods/services’. Our Nepalese VAT law has already enumerated this concept but only few categories of items and transactions find place in Zero-rated list.

Currently, the exports are Zero – rated which is in consonance with international tax principle that only the products/services be exported and not the taxes so that our products become competitive in international markets. Other Zero rated transactions in the list are the supplies made to industries located at Special Economic Zone (SEZ), battery used in solar power generation and manufactured by domestic manufacturers etc. The need of the hour is to reduce the number of items/services and transactions currently mentioned at Annexure – I of VAT and move them to Annexure – II so that exempt products would be converted to taxable one, i.e. to convert them to ‘Zero-rated’ goods/services.

By introducing the concept of ‘Zero – rated’ for maximum number of goods and services, the goods and services would get taxable life – making inputs utilised for producing these zero rated goods creditable. Though there may not still be output tax liability, the vendor would be able to use the credits that it has accumulated while producing/distributing ‘Zero – Rated Goods’. Therefore, the expansion of this concept in VAT laws will make a good impact on the business community and ultimately, the impact will be felt by the consumers. A small effort from government side can make a big difference!

Another possible remedy that can be injected to streamline the credit mechanism would be rather than making these products exempt, a small VAT should be imposed on them. In Nepal, currently, there are only two VAT rates – 0% and 13%. In this context, a middle path can be found making majority of currently exempt products taxable, say at the rate of 1%-3%. Though imposition of tax may make these products little more expensive and may not go well with ‘people – centric!’ political class but we must understand that imposition of tax at small rate will not be so burdensome on us- the public and on the other, and helps not to snap the supply chain.

From the point of collection of revenue too, mostly these products are relatively inelastic and therefore, will not have any impacts on their demand. There would be more positives to the economy in the long run with these measures which may not at first glance, look so populist. This second prescription is recommended only when government is unable to declare exempt goods as ‘Zero – rated’ having constraints due to other economic factors. Whatever government does, however, should be for giving impetus to economic development and should propel our economy to forward direction.

© Rajib Dahal. The Author is an Advocate and can be reached by posting your comments in this blog.

Nepal: (Un)Necessary – ‘doctrine of necessity’

My this article below is published in Telegraph Nepal today. You can read it from here:


THE term ‘doctrine of necessity’ has found an unwarranted place in Nepalese legal development despite not having any acceptable legacy behind it. The doctrine itself has a very dubious purpose to serve and the outcome of application of this doctrine would be debated for a long time. The doctrine, in its simple understanding, is a validating tool for those illegal, extra-legal, and invalid administrative state actions and these actions get validity from one’s understanding of necessity, mostly based on his/their momentary understanding of what was the necessity of that time. Therefore, there would be divergence in views even among the legal luminaries. One’s view of what was necessary at a time can always be contested by other set of legal luminaries.

Therefore, in this article, my effort has been to make a jurisprudential fathoming of legacy that ‘doctrine of necessity’ inherits and to examine whether we have acted judiciously to patronize this doctrine in Nepalese legal development.

The doctrine helps to bestow legality on any extra-legal actions if such actions are found to be to restore legal orders and if, at the give point of time, the state machineries would have no alternative viable recourse available. Therefore, most often, the courts have given breath to this principle when constitutional validities of states are to be upheld even when such state actions sans constitutionally permitted limits.

The credit for giving birth to this principle goes initially to the medieval jurist Henry de Bracton (c.1210-1268), and later, justification of the doctrine has been advanced by another great authority, William Blackstone. The legal maxim that has been credited to Bracton goes like this: “……………that which is otherwise not lawful is made lawful by necessity…………………”

The constitutional lawyers should be troubled in Nepal as the doctrine seems to be gaining unshakable ground to justify diverse extra-legal state actions. In a judgement delivered in April 2010, the Supreme Court of Nepal, in a matter relating to parliamentary hearings for appointment in constitutional bodies, had opined that all the articles of Interim Constitution of Nepal can be amended as per the doctrine of necessity except those relating to democratic republic, human rights and an independent judiciary. The reasoning though may sound to be a political victory for the supremacy of parliament; it comes with the imminent danger of having serious implications in the future.

Once again, the discourse on this doctrine has gained momentum since the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Nepal has invoked this principle in another verdict while upholding the extension of tenure of Constituent Assembly (CA). The court cited and applied the doctrine to uphold the Ninth Amendment of the Interim Constitution of Nepal. The court verdict has, therefore, upheld the extension of the tenure of the CA by three more months on May 28, 2011. The Supreme Court reasoned that the objective of CA was to draft and to promulgate a new constitution and to conclude the peace process and that has not been achieved yet. Therefore, the doctrine has to be applied to uphold the actions taken by CA when the twin tasks are yet to be performed, reasoned the Apex Court.

A brief overview to world history shows that the Chief Justice Mohammad Munir of Pakistan had invoked the doctrine to validate the actions of Governor General Ghulam Mohammad who had dismissed the Constituent Assembly and appointed a Council of Ministers in 1954. While putting breath in the doctrine in modern times, Justice Munir in Pakistan in 1954 relied on Bracton’s maxim ‘that which is otherwise not lawful is made lawful by necessity’, and on the Roman law maxim urged by Jennings, ‘the well-being of the people is the supreme law’.

In countries like Nigeria and in Fiji, this doctrine were invoked and applied whenever the state had acted against the constitution. There were striking similarities in all these states at the time when the doctrine was invoked – dysfunctional parliamentary democracy. Therefore, this will inevitably leads us to the question – whether doctrine of necessity is a necessary doctrine when there is a breakdown of parliamentary democracy.

In the instant case, another immediate question that needs to ponder is how long the doctrine of necessity can save the functioning of CA or any such extra – legal actions of state actors in the future. Dealing with the issue vis – a – vis functioning of CA, what if, the CA fails to perform its functioning of promulgation of new constitution but based on this doctrine; it keeps on extending its term for another dozen times. By adopting this doctrine by highest judiciary of the country, we have placed ourselves in a very precarious situation where CA may not function as per the mandate given by people and the constitution but whatever it does going outside the Constitution would be held constitutional. Then, what incentives CA members would have even to be serious for constitution making when their terms and tenures are guaranteed by ‘doctrine of necessity’. There would be some argument to say that the doctrine of necessity alone cannot extend the tenure of CA for more than six months. However, the so called sovereign CA has all the incentives to amend the provisions in Interim Constitution and remove such barriers where if the mighty CA wishes, it can extend its term by innumerable times.

At this juncture, the first and foremost issue among the legal experts should be the implications of borrowing such principle into Nepalese Legal System which can have serious ramifications on fundamental points concerning the rule of law and constitution, the retrospective exercise of legislative powers by the law makers, and the yardstick and benchmark to adjudge the legality of actions in the future.

What we have to understand is the constitution is not only a legal document but also a political, social, economical testament and vision of a nation. Constitution embodies the hope and aspiration of the people of many generations and expected to be so in the time period yet to come. Therefore, CA, which has received the mandate from the people, will be exercising its power in various capacities and its functioning are not merely discharge of legal and constitutional functions. In this scenario, in my humble opinion, the court should have rescued itself to adjudge on the matter of extension of CA tenure, as the issue will have different dimensions including political and courts are not to interfere on such political powers. It is not only the implications of the outcome is political but the role of CA is itself is different from parliament under democratic set up. As the ‘doctrine of necessity’ comes with enormous peril of being misused and susceptible to tampering in future, it would be difficult for courts to stay away from the controversy inasmuch as the present verdict could be taken as stamping on the power of CA to extend its term, sometimes based on its own sweet will and fancy.

However, if we have to take a positive from the verdicts rendered, a silver lining can be that the court has upheld the supremacy of the parliament/CA and this supremacy could have been upheld even without resorting to ‘doctrine of necessity’. When there is enormous pessimism on people for not having stable functioning parliamentary democracy with able executive, it can only be hoped that the verdict, though may be founded on uncanny reasoning would be taken as a positive steps towards stable supreme parliament. If people are able to take this positive, another positive hope that comes to our mind naturally would be, hopefully, we will soon see our New Constitution.

© Rajib Dahal. The Author is an Advocate. He can be reached at rajib.dahal@gmail.com

Book Review – an elegy for democracy – forget Kathmandu

I have recently finished reading this book called Forget Kathmandu by Manjushree Thapa, a much praised Nepalese Author who can write books in English Language.

The book was published many years back, most be the first edition should have been out by 2004-05 but later, the author seems to have updated the books with recent updates. I could lay my hand on updated edition of 2006 which has tried to cover the political misadventures happening in Nepal at that time.

This book, I had started reading almost 6-7 months back but had to stop in between as it could not meet my expectation then. The expectation was because of reviews and other aspects of author that I had read in magazines, webs and in NewsPaper. It could not meet the excitement of expectation then and I just stopped. Later, I thought  I should give a chance and finished reading by sticking my principle that once I start reading, I should finish it however, unintelligible, boring or idiotic the book could turn out to be.

So, how was the book? Before that, what was the book all about?

The book was about Nepal based on the Author’s travel to remote west during one of those ceasefires between Maoist insurgents and Government of Nepal. But the time line of the story starts immediately after the royal massacre of 2001 and goes to flashback to make the readers conversant about Nepal’s feudal history, about how Shah Dyanasty was established and how Shah Kings were in the past. The history whatever has been reported on the book is based on whatever author could hear and read from childhood textbooks. There is not much research on that. She conviniently takes the liberty of bashing Shah Dynasty throughout making unreasonable linakges between how irratically some of the Shah Kings acted in the past… when I say past almost 150-180 years ago.

The author wisely claims that it is not that ‘History’ that we generally understand and mean by ‘History’, and therefore, takes a complete liberty of attacking everything about Nepalese Moanrchy from past to present. The book conviniently makes general remarks about geographical unity of Nepal but culturally disintegrated nation. The same statement here and there that every left, right, royalist, businessman anyone makes when they have to give speech in public.

Now, if that is so, who is responsible? Of Course, Brahmins and Kshatriya, and those who were educated and became closer to ruling class. Now, the book starts bashing to higher castes. So, target is educated higher caste people who were in control of power and argument starts that they did nothing for the nation.

Now, the turn of how Maoist movement erupted in Nepal. As everyone says and the book mentions that after people of lower casters and dalits  and woman are oppressed for years, they get the Maoist movement a forum to voice against state and Maoist have tried to channelise the sentiments.

Then, the author revolves around evryday’s incidents about how many people were killed in cross fire between Maoists and Security Forces. Of Course, she knows the reality between these so called cross fires and keeps on going about how many people die from cholera, dysentery etc. everyday in far remote western Districts where the insurgency has already made the living a normal life very very difficult.

In the end, author takes a trip to few of the western Districts of Nepal along with a malcom so called Human Right Activisit and talk with people. Majority of People talk about state forces’ atrocities but on the same breath also mention the dislikes to Maoists. They do not like Maoists because insurgents force them either to join the party or mostly force villagers to feed party cadres. While walking in these districts, She meets young people without any future if you join party or not as Nepal hardly gives any real oppourtunity unless you belong to an educated elite class having good political connection and the book ends its story. In the updated version which I got, there are few extra pages on Maoist and Political Parties’ meeting and agreement to topple monarchy in Nepal through peaceful movement sometimes during 2006. This is all or everything about the book.

So, how was it? To be very genuine and honest, I was disappointed. I found author just wanted to flow with the sentiments based on whatever was already in public and in the general knowledge of almost everyone. There is no new research and at ease the generalisations have been made.

You are democrats or not, leftist or rightist, I feel that one sided bashing of elites, higher castes and royalists leave a sour feeling. Not that they do not deserve to be criticised, but the book fails to constructively align its thoughts on how to bring the country back and particularly which era to blame for Nepal’s calamity. Being born in a remote country side and brought up there, I have seen many of such social problems and discriminations in Nepal and many young people like us are witness to Maoist problems. Therefore, getting lecture and ‘gyan’ on these things from manjushree did not bring anything new in terms of knoledge and value addition. Though looking at her family and educational background, her ability to talk on these issues could also be well questioned. However, I would not go to that extent to criticise this book.

Well, for the foreigners, may be, for them who have very less idea about Nepal, the book can be a starting point. Or may be for them, who would like to know negatives about our country, it can be a solace but after going through some reviews and having expected a something different than usual sloganeering on the issues, the book turns out to be a forgetteable one.

If you can lay hand on it, You may read it. Otherwise, you can concentrate on good books. In my shelves, I have another 2-3 books of Manjushree and I, at least once, expect to read and comment on them – good, or bad, whatever the creations turn out to be!

Till Next post, enjoy reading my blog.

Girija Prasad Koirala – What he was not or….?

I know this Article is little out of date and People may have lost interest in GPK by now, but I still feel that anything on GPK would be a good read to ponder – what that man was and was he really like that?

I should have written this long time back. This article is about Girija Babu, about death of Nepal’s former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala. He died in the month of March, when I was travelling and was not in Hyderabad. I thought that I will write about him soon once I get back to my online computer system. However, time not permitting and because of sheer laziness, I am writing this article today. This article is purely on ‘GIRIJABABU’ that is a man called Girija Prasad Koirala.

He was not a God! A simple human being having lots of vices though his democratic credentials were impeccable is what they say. He always remained in limelight mainly because his dictatorial leadership, not so transparent party policy, nepotism and corruption on which he indulged in. He spent many years in Media after restoration of democracy in Nepal for many bad reasons. If there was no People’s Movement in 2062-63 BS in Nepal, he would die as another leader. But that movement made him a true leader of People when others were giving up against royal takeover, and acquisition of democracy. He stuck with his democratic plans and made King to bow for that. Thereafter, his image was turned to a picture larger than size/life, whatever you may call it.

The man, who was despised by many, and a man, who always was on people’s mouth when they used to say, “Girija! Kina marna nasakeko hola! (Girija, why can’t he die?), was changed till the time he died. The transformation was in the last five years and whatever he did in the last five years before his death, will be remembered by all.

Though after he died, people remembered only his democratic legacy, many people did an oversight for his bad deeds. He was a strong dictator, no doubt within his party, and could almost do anything for power. His involvement in suppressing any opposition, humiliation to political leaders including his own party men like Kishun ji (Krishna Prasad Bhattarai), extreme favour to nepotism, always being surrounded by his own close coterie were his hallmark for many years. His involvement in Bansbari Chhala Jutta Company (a company which produced leather shoes) privatization and bankruptcy of profit making government company after privatization, his involvement in Dhamija Kand, Lauda Air Corruption cases are some of few examples where he should be remembered for not that good reasons. I was reading one article somewhere in Nepali media, I think it was written by Rabindra Mishra, a BBC Nepali Sewa Journalist (I hope he is still there) where Rabindra has tried to summarize the life of Girijababu.  In fact after his death, GPK (Girija Prasad Koirala) has been turned to a savior of democracy and it seems that all political commentators have completely forgotten his misdeeds. GPK was a great democratic hero in his last days but certainly not the greatest as it has been presented by some media. It was funny to see competition among people and media house to coronate him with so many adjectives like true democrats, people’s leaders, great freedom fighters from 2007 BS, etc. It seems that his death has brought so much agony and illusion among people that he has been transformed to a great great hero overnight and that too after his death. I think people’s perception on GPK should have been influenced by people’s short memory, which we generally tend to have and that works most of the time to our great advantage. However, if Koirala has to be missed, remembered, mourned, then all his goods and bad deeds must be considered with balance. His involvement in 2062-63 BS democratic movement alone cannot be the yardstick to measure his heights. We should also consider those notorious hallmarks that he had after he gained power in 1991 and always stuck there and did almost everything to thwart any democratic in house Nepali Congress’s movement to internal democracy in party.

I am aware of the fact that he has been remembered for his initiation of privatization and liberalization of our trade and economy post liberalization and democracy in Nepal after 1990. But, we should be equally mindful of the fact that his mismanagement of democracy and corruption culture brought severe threats to democracy – one of them being ‘Rising and Rising of Maoists’. If we thank him, appreciate him for bringing Maoists in mainstream democracy or democratic movement, or whatever you call or if you believe Maoists have come to the fold of democracy, but you cannot forgive, condone or pardon him lightly for creating that conducive environment for Maoists to breed. If he has cooperated within party for stable government and leadership and had he been not so power hungry, then, leaders could divert their attention to some meaningful actions, rather than protecting their chair from Girija’s arms or making Girija happy just to stick in power. For these things, Koirala should be remembered forever as he was a root of mismanagement or ill-governance in the country, and the fruits of his actions were Rise of thugs, called Maoists. Thankfully, may be stars or moon were on his right side, Koirala did  reach some understanding with Maoists and removed king, which act alone became larger than his life and Koirala could die in little peace, and became a great leader in our History book, probably!!!

(There will be part two of this Article based on some facts, fictions, and my talk with People on the day GPK died. I am sure that will be another interesting read.)

Uncivilised Maoists Forces

Strikes are no Solutions

Maoists should understand this. We, Nepalese people, have seen enough. We saw them, we heard them many times before and we know what their worth is. But, unfortunately, they do not understand their worth. The kinds of sympathy on Nepalese people have turned till now to hatred. Nepalese people have already realized that Maoists are unreliable and in many occasions, unpredictable and undemocratic forces in Nepal.

In April first week, when I was in Kathmandu, my sister was saying that Prachanda can speak anything in one day and next day, he changes his stance and says that I have never spoken that. He blames journalist for misquoting him. When I hear him sometimes in Television and Radio, I get frustrated for not being able to understand him what is his plan, his political parties plan. They, all communists, use only very many difficult words, verbose and a lot of complex words to confuse people.

I was chatting with one blogger from Kathmandu some days back, who is also doing some business. He was telling me that he has closed shop for some days as Maoists are asking for some ‘Chanda’ – donation and contribution whatever we call. Maoists are threatening people if people cannot give or refuse to give money. These extortionary measures are taking Maoists down but in the meantime, Nepalese people are suffering.

Now, what are the options left for Maos? I do not see many. I do not think that bragging a lot will help them in a long run. People have lost their faith on Maos. In fact, Maos have betrayed people. What they did when they were in power? They talked a lot; they confused people, showed many hopes and did nothing. They are basically waste products, and too slow to catch up the time.

They are starting their strike from today is what I hear. But for what? But for whom? Is not it their greediness for attachment to power? People fear from their hooliganism, and they close their shops and shuts down the market. Maos think they won and bring the society back with their each activity. This is what democracy they stand for? The more they do this kind of activity, the more they are being exposed before people. I am sure people have realized by now these people who call themselves as Maoists are not the forces on which we can trust. These are not the people who want development and peace in Nepal. People should break their shackle and come out on streets to chase these goons away. If we still fear from them, these hooligans are going to ransack whatever things are in good shape. Guys, time to move on make them realize that strikes are no solutions in CIVILISED NATIONS AND BEFORE CIVILISED PEOPLE.