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Spice of Life

By P. Kharel
Bizarre claim
Of late, leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) are seen claiming of the “model” Nepal’s peace process has offered to the rest of the world. It would not be surprised if the British and Nordic countries, in particular, were to feel highly amused by such bizarre boast. After all, they are the ones who spent trillions of rupees during the 2005-6 movement and in efforts to impose on Nepalese people issues that were not even raised during the “people’s movement II”.
In other words, foreign agencies purchased their way through pawns fed and funded ripe and plump. Moreover, no one is going to consult Nepal for peace making endeavours in South Asia or elsewhere. Undue claim only make a laughing stock of itself in the comity of nations.
Conversion campaign
Recently, five persons were arrested in Bardia district on charge of engaging in proselytisation. But what about hill areas of Mid-West and Far West regions, especially where ex-Maoist leaders, now unified with UML in the NCP (NCP) incarnation, rule the roost? Reports are that, in the hill districts where Maoists have a stronghold, conversion rate is the most brisk.
According to more than dozen different sources, enforced religious conversion in mid-western and far-western districts is the highest and “going stronger by the day”. Why the government casts a blind eye at the goings-on can only be guessed. Because of complicity of the powerful, the voices against the malpractice are unlikely to be heard, let alone concrete action being taken.
Senior Maoist leaders were since long known to have played proxies for foreign agencies bent on pushing forth their agendas here. But this fortnight’s “Asia-Pacific Summit”, whose head is a woman calling herself “the daughter of Jesus”, blew the lid off all their pretenses.
Formerly Maoist supremo and now one of the twin presidents of NCP, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, and Madhav Kumar Nepal, also of NCP, both seem to be deeply involved in the controversial Universal Peace Foundation whose objective is religious conversion of particularly members of vulnerable groups in developing nations. The South Korea-based foundation was launched by the late Moon who was jailed for a year and a half in the United States for tax fraud and was blacklisted in Japan and some European countries, including Britain. His widow heads her sect of Christians.
Amen.
Meanwhile, rivals of the two former prime ministers are scenting potential space for strengthening their positions within their party, assessing that Dahal and Nepal will suffer negative effects from the manner in which the public reacted to their dubious association with a basically religious grouping. And Dahal, Nepal and Prime Minister KP Oli are supposed to be comrades in arm, whose public philosophy emphasises religion as opiate of society! Any discrepancy between their professed political ideology and mixing up in religious functions of controversial type exposes their double dealing.
Vanishing state property
Names of some prominent public figures’ are paraded every now and then as figuring in the list of those not having returned books borrowed from Tribhuvan University’s central library. So what? Get them to pay the estimated fines first before making a sadistic sound of it all. If one were to make a similar study of leaders and other prominent personalities, there are thousands who have gone scot free without paying their dues to their offices and other institutions. Former prime ministers, parliamentarians and “senior” party leaders are known to not returning motor vehicles belonging to the state. Some of them plundered the ministerial quarters they unwillingly have had to vacate.
One can be fairly certain that many of the big shots who figure in the library list of names yet to return books would willingly pay the required fines if they do not posses the related books any longer. Instead of making a spectacle of the list at regular intervals, why not initiate measures that fetch better results? Indeed, it is surprising that those figuring in the list do not volunteer to contact the concerned officials and either return the books or offer to pay the fines the library levies.
But then if things were to move that way, we would not be such weather-beaten folks in creating setbacks against society in general.
Ban the ban
ChhaRara Municipality in Karnali has announced a ban on sale, distribution and purchase of alcohol. Those flouting the notice are being made to pay fines. Neighboring towns are also said to be toying with the idea of introducing the rule in their areas.
Although this scribe is a teetotaler, he has no inhibition in concluding that such blanket ban does not go well people’s personal lives. Which democracy has such laws, pray? Whenever Nepalese leaders cite features of and practices in successful democracies, the reference they give is of Western industrialised nations. Well, the mechanism adopted in Nepal is on ad hoc basis, reeking of a fellows fallen for dogmatism. Or is this the scope and definition of the never-explained “loktantra” Nepalese have been saddled with?
Without comment
Prof. Ganga BahadurThapa, in Tarun weekly: “Nepal [today] is an orphan without any leader.”

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