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Obituary on Barbara Adams

By Pushpa Raj Pradhan  It is sad to inform that our senior colleague and columnist for many years in People’s Review weekly, Barbara Adams passed away on Friday evening (22 April) at around 8 pm at the Grande International Hospital where she was undergoing treatment. 24 April was her birthday and she was to celebrate her 86th birthday on that day, unfortunately, two days earlier, she took her last breath.
As per her wish, her last rites were performed as per the Hindu tradition and her body was cremated at the Pashupati Aryaghat on 24 April.
Barbara Adams started her weekly column “Barbara’s Beat” in The Independent Weekly. Later, when MR Josse, founding editor of The Independent left the Weekly, Barbara also dropped her column from the Weekly and continued the same column in The Kathmandu Post. When the editor wished to drop her column from the daily, she continued the very column “Barbara’s Beat” in People’s Review weekly for years.
At the time when the Maoist “people’s war” was taking momentum, she was a strong sympathizer of the Maoists whereas the People’s Review editorial team was against the Maoist “people’s war”. Perhaps, Barbara felt odd to contribute in People’s Review due to her different opinion, she stopped her column in the Weekly. Nevertheless, our friendship continued without any hurdles.
This reporter still remembers, she used to tease me saying, “Tapai Rajako Manche!”. I never took her words seriously, rather, I used to tease her saying, “Tapai Maobadi Neta!” In response, she used to give a loud laugh.
In fact, after introduction of the multiparty democracy, the partisan politics had entered in the media also. The columnists were unable to enjoy their freedom of expression as the media owners were curtailing columnists’ right to expression. Considering such a scenario, we, the editorial team in the People’s Review decided to give freedom for expression to those who were even against our editorial policy. In this connection, we had given full freedom to Barbara to express her views. And until her last column in the Weekly, she enjoyed this right.
Iron Lady:
She was bold in her writing. She never compromised with the government and always strongly criticized the wrong deeds of the government. When Girija Prasad Koirala was the PM and Achut Kharel was the Nepal Police IGP, she was denied a visa to enter Kathmandu and from the Tribhuwan International Airport, and was forcefully sent back to Delhi. She had to spend several months in Delhi. It was because, she criticized the government in a strong manner. Nevertheless, she never compromised with the government.
True lover of Nepal:
Always, she used to say that Nepal is her home and the US was her “Maiti” (parental home). She was proud of saying she was a Nepali. She came to Nepal at the age of 29 to report on the visit of the British Queen in 1961. She loved Nepal and since then she made Nepal her home. Admirer of natural beauty of Nepal, Barbara, except from being a strong political critic, used to also write about nature and environment in a frequent manner. Lately, she, seeking peace in Nepal, had founded Barbara Peace Foundation and also established Barbara Research Journalism Award at the Department of Journalism, TU. Barbara was supporting back-ward and homeless people in remote western Nepal by constructing houses for them.
Although I came to know that she published the compilation of her articles in “Barbara’s Beat”, I had frequently asked her to write a memoire on her past days, perhaps, she didn’t wish to share her “private” affairs with public, thus, she didn’t listen to me!
Finally, commending her remarkable contribution in uplifting People’s Review weekly, I wish to pay sincere tribute to Barbara Adams and pray to the Almighty for eternal peace of the departed soul.

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