Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time to fight back: enough is enough!

February 25, 2010

Joint Press Release in Support of a Referendum on the Monarchy and Hinduism/Restoration of the Constitution of 1990

Organizations Represented: 13

The Global Hindus and Nepali nationalists endorse the demand of referendum raised by RPP-N to decide on Federalism and Secularism. Acting in concert with other patriotic and nationalistic institutions, we are committed to the causes of Dharma, Nationalism and service to the Nepali people. In that context, we are closely monitoring the rapidly unfolding events in Nepal along with the changing political awareness of the Nepali people themselves. Presently, the conduct of national affairs has been hijacked by a cabal of corrupt political leaders and parties who purport to act in the name of the people's freedom, democracy, republicanism, and secularism.

The Nepali people and global Hindus living both within and outside Nepal, have rejected the divisive politics and agendas carried out by the Seven Party Alliance under the 12-Point Peace Agreement, which was itself brokered and signed in a foreign capital. The immoral, decadent and divisive actions of a few people are destroying the Nepali people's sense of unity and national harmony.

Millions of Nepalese have suffered silently under the breakdown of social harmony, under the lack of security, under the failure of basic government services, and through the gratuitous destruction of national unity, all of which have been permitted to take place in the name of creating a "New Nepal."

The present crop of failed political parties and leaders have calibrated their agendas along secular, republican and/or revolutionary communist lines, and the divisive forces set loose by such myopic policies have spread like a disease which corrupts and enervates the very soul of the nation. Nepal’s destiny has been put up for auction by international and external forces that have conspired to destroy the Nepali people's unity, identity, harmony, goodwill and dharma.

We stand up today to defend our ancient civilization, heritage, culture and way of life. Nepal is truly a Holy Land and a uniquely irreplaceable paradise that is being slowly killed by corrupt, incompetent and vicious men who love neither the nation, Hindutva nor the Nepali people. Their actions over the past few years have conclusively demonstrated that their selfish and degenerate policies have been a costly failure for the nation and Sanatan Dharma.

Nepal must promulgate a system of governance that incorporates accountability, transparency, social justice, rule of law, equal opportunity, national unity and, last but not the least, "Dharma" as the guiding lights for our nation and people.

In order to achieve this, the struggle must begin from each and every Nepali home: from the villages to the towns and cities, from the hills to the plains, for the establishment of a just and fair country. There can be no room for hatred, corruption, criminality and disharmony.

The political leaders and parties who have brought about this present state of anarchy, chaos, hatred and disunity must be publicly brought to account for their destructive actions against the nation and the people of Nepal.

We reiterate our call for free and fair public referendums on the monarchy, Hinduism, and the Constitution of 1990, demands which have been brought to public notice by this week’s protest program. In tandem with our stance that all matters of long-term public importance must be delegated into the hands of the sovereign Nepali people themselves, we would like to clarify once more that there is no reasonable alternative to a referendum on the monarchy and on Nepal’s status as a Hindu nation.

We fully support the challenge posed by the RPP-N President, Mr. Kamal Thapa, that the present government of Nepal should launch an investigation as to the cause of the Late King Birendra’s assassination. Instead of explicitly or implicitly blaming the “The Emperor of Hindus”, King Gyanendra, the government and the opposition must form an independent team of inquiry to discern the objective truth. Otherwise, in default of any rational evidence to the contrary, the parties and persons responsible for propagating such vicious slanders and accusations against the King and his family owe His Majesty and the people of Nepal a sincere apology for the gratuitous pain and anguish which their lies have brought to Nepal.

The Nepali Nationalists and Global Hindus living within and outside Nepal once again wish to congratulate the Nepali people for their courage to withstand the injustices of both the government and the opposition. We urge the Nepalese government to refrain from using excessive force against the peaceful protestors. Only a prompt call for a referendum on the Constitution of 1990 can defer the civil unrest which is likely to erupt in Nepal when the 601-person Constituent Assembly fails to produce a new and improved constitution by the stipulated deadline. The constitution of 1990 will reactivate itself if the CA fails to promulgate a new constitution. The people of Nepal must once again be made the sovereign masters of Nepal through the referendum.

Jai Dharma!

Issued Jointly By:

United Nationalist Nepalese (USA)
Narain Kataria, Indian American Intellectuals Forum (USA)
The Hindu (India)
The Hindu Sangarsh (UK)
Gorkha Dal (USA)
Foundation of Nepalese in America (USA)
Coalition of Nepali Nationalist Organizations (USA)
Omkar Dhyan Ashram (India)
Hindu Vidya Peeth-Nepal (HVP)
Shanti Sewa Ashram-Nepal (SSA)
Youth Society for Peace-Nepal (YSP)
Society for Value Education-Nepal (SVE)
Yogi Aadeshnaath (Canada)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Letter to the Editor published by News Front, 22 Feb 2010

Your front page story in the last issue (#143) underlines a number of issues.

Foremost, if the NA feels that Richard Bennett, OHCHR Chief, committed "an act of deceit and improper conduct", has the NA lodged a complaint to the UN Resident Coordinator here, OHCHR Headquarters or the UN Secretary-General? This could easily be done through the appropriate government channels. UN staff, and especially Heads of Missions, are held to a strict code of conduct and any conduct unbecoming by any of its staff is viewed seriously by the UN.

Secondly, the Government of Nepal is hosting the UN here. It has to realize that it has a say in the conduct of UN staff within Nepal. It is not enough to merely express displeasure at something a UN staff says or does if the government does not have the mettle to follow up on its allegations with action. Otherwise, it becomes mere gossip-mongering or fodder for cocktail-party chats. Memories of UNMIN and its last chief are fresh.

Thirdly, you report that the PM's Office is "apparently not in favour of retaining the OHCHR in Nepal beyond June, its current tenure". OHCHR's performance in Nepal, as well as its incumbent chief's, will not change in the next four months. If the PM and his advisers are still equivocal on the issue of OHCHR extension, it fully reflects the indecisiveness and confusion of this government. Again, will OHCHR extension now be another version of the UNMIN extension saga?

The UN is here to help Nepal. That it does. Only a few of its agencies, especially the more political ones, appear to have a mixed record; and this record is unfortunately derogating the reputation of the UN as a whole. The government dares not call a spade a spade when it comes to the alleged performance of these agencies. But then the government's own performance is extremely "mixed", so maybe it's simply a situation of the pot not having the nerve to call the kettle black.


Birat Simha

Friday, February 12, 2010

Maha Shivaratri - 2010

12 February saw half a million devotees throng Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri when Lord Shiva is worshipped all over and especially at the holiest Shiva shrine in the world - Pashupatinath. All four windows of the inner sanctum were opened. Long ques wound their way through the occasional family of pilfering monkeys. Holy men from all over, in saffron and ashes, could be seen, high on prayers and "ganja", the hallucinatory weed considered a "prasad" of Lord Shiva. The President of our "secular Republic" came and payed his homage. He was followed by former King Gyanendra who was met with cries of "Raja aau, desh bachau" (Come back, King, and save the country) and practically mobbed between his car and the temple gate. For the first time, people could pay Rs.1,000 (approx. US$14) and not have to stand in the long lines of non-payers. Some folks stayed in line for about 4 hours, others less than an hour, but everyone of them came back feeling blessed. The army of volunteers kept most things moving smoothly. A light drizzle through most of the day was another auspicious sign, as prayers for Shiva always commence with bathing the shrine with water.

A few comments on the above scenario. If Nepal is officially a secular state, how can the President's visit to the shrine be termed as "a continuation of the tradition of the head of state" offering "puja" to Pashupatinath on this holiest of holy Hindu occasion? Secular Republicans, you cannot have it both ways. The President, as a Hindu, can go pray in his personal capacity but not claim any continuation of a tradition which his Party, among others, squashed under their heathen boots. The true tradition lies with the Hindu King, who may not be King just now. But his statement to the media, while being mobbed by well-wishers as he returned from the temple, says it all. He felicitated all Hindus on this auspicious day and wished them peace and prosperity. And this he did as a common citizen of Nepal, mind you.

Now this Rs.1,000 fast-line to worship. In my opinion, the rich do NOT have the right to easier access to God. Period. Many temples in India use this means to raise funds for the temples. Pashupatinath has enough funds from the Pashupatinath Trust. Here we are, speaking of the fabled "New Nepal" where equality is supposed to be a cornerstone. And with Rs.1,000, a measly amount for the rich and totally unaffordable for the poor, we are allowed quick service at the holy altar of God. Shameful!

The "ganja" smoking may be considered a "prasad" of Lord Shiva. But the 500 or so young youth buying ganja and tobacco mixed cigarettes and getting high were not using it with that in mind. Drug addiction is a major problem among Nepali youth. Allowing the sale of "ganja" openly, under the averted eyes of the police, is not "cool" by any means. As one policeman put it, "The 'sadhus' may smoke it, but no one else". Difficult to enforce that subtle distinction. Best not to have had drugs on sale. Lord Shiva could handle it; our youth cannot.

So another Shivaratri has come and gone in what was once the Hindu Kingdom of Nepal...

Friday, February 5, 2010

High Level Political Mechanism - who's fooling who?

The Kathmandu Post editorial on 3rd February philosophised that "the HLPM should be viewed by PM Madhav Kumar Nepal and his colleagues as a venue where they can dissolve their differences with the Maoists amicably".

Well, pardon me, as if the Maoists have not been appeased enough! How "amicable" must the PM, and NC and UML, be with the Maoists? They have been bending over backwards since November 2005. Any more bending over will only have rather painful results.

The multi-party system and the Constituent Assembly are the legitimate venues to "dissolve differences" and arrive at consensus, not a supra-constitutional body such as the HLPM which is merely an instrument of a power-crazed old man and a power-hungry demagogue.

The HLPM is a mechanism composed of the leaders of the three major parties, to which the PM himself has been condescendingly invited. Kudos to the PM, for a change, that he has not joined any of this illegal junta's meetings. The sooner Messrs. Koirala, Dahal and Khanal realize that they are subverting democracy and fooling nobody, the better. Or else, to use the over-used cliche', they will indeed be the Three Idiots.

I had thought of writing my usual letter to the editor regarding this editorial. But the letters get so drastically edited that they lose their meaning. So I'll just stick to this blog.