July 23, 2012


[The former Panchas including Surya Bahadur Thapa, Pashupati Shumsher Rana and Prakash Chandra Lohani have much finer and better images now. Kamal Thapa has emerged as the most active and influential leader of the radical right. Gyanendra Shah also has a far better image than what he used to have six years ago.] 

By Divash Sharma 
Party leaders keep fighting for Prime Minister's chair in Singh Durbar while
these students  cross the river this way to their school and back home
In a span of short time of six years only, the popular perception about Nepal's several personalities has gotten changed tremendously. The heroes have now turned into somewhat different; if not outright villains. Those actors perceived as in negative roles earlier have now become able to transform themselves as more acceptable personalities. In substance, the positions and roles have changed and so have the actors also. Many champions of 'republicanism' and democracy are now considered as corrupt and power hungry agents of alien actors. The societal attitudes about them have changed so radically and dramatically !

Let’s see some of the changed images of a few personalities. Let’s start with UPCN (M) as it is the “flavour of the month”. Pushpa Kamal Dahal the highly revered “Messiah of Revolution” is perceived now as a petty power broker. The public opinion about him has turned at least 160 degrees, if not 190 towards dark. Once considered an ideal is now seen as one of the most unreliable, unpredictable and luxury- laden foxes in town. This is a sea-change  of people’s perception today.

The second in line is his deputy, Baburam Bhattarai. People were so positive about him that they blindly supported him. He was considered as the best qualified person to bring Nepal into the path of progress from ruins. People believed him as an intellectual par excellence. There was some short of euphoria when he got the top job in the country -  the chair of the prime minister. However, within a year of that very rosy day, Nepal slid into further anarchy and he is now seen no more than a ‘power-glued parasite’.

Let’s see some other pictures in some other fronts. The media now has been seen as provider of entertainments rather than that of information. However, people used to consider Kishore Nepal, one of Nepal's finest journalists, as generally as information collector, processor, analyzer and deliverer also. Really, he was a good journalist for many and for some he was a journalist of majestic height. Now, after joining Nagarik Daily, he has converted himself into Babu Ram Bhattrai’s laundryman. Strange!

Similarly, Dr. Sundar Mani Dixit, the brilliant physician with great virtues has converted himself into an honorary guard of  Babu Ram Bhattrai  and Pushpa Kamal’s joint venture. Nir Shah, C. K. Lal, Yuv Raj Lama, etc. are some other examples.

There are many who have already tarnished their images due to their supresser’s role  during 1990s. They continued to remain with the same bad images or a bit darker images. Nearly all the main leaders of Nepali Congress Party and CPN (UML) Party belong to this category. Two possible exceptions could be Congress' Sushil Koirala and CPN (UML)'s Amrit Bohara.

The former Panchas including Surya Bahadur Thapa, Pashupati Shumsher Rana and Prakash Chandra Lohani have much finer and better images now. Kamal Thapa has emerged as the most active and influential leader of the radical right. Gyanendra Shah also has a far better image than what he used to have six years ago

People like to hear more from some of the intellectuals also. The list includes the names of Rishi Raj Baral, Krishna Bhattachan, Bhimarjun Acharya, Mumaram Khanal and Surendra K. C. Likewise retired Nepal Army Chief Rukmangad Katawal is another person, whom people like to listen. Recently, he emerged as one among a few influential opinion makers. His political activism, though untested, is interesting to watch.

There are some personalities still with positive images or a few new personalities with positive images have emerged. The names in this category include that of Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal, Chitra Bahadur K. C., Ram Baran Yadav, Gokarna Bista, Chitra Lekha Yadav, Pampha Bhusal, etc.

Chitra Bahadur K. C., Surendra K. C. and Kamal Thapa oppose federalism either in form or in the essence but they have certain degree of integrity in their conduct. Surya Bahadur Thapa, Pashupati Sumsher Rana and Prakash Chandra Lohani represent the old school of thought. Rukmangud Katawal is a new comer in the business or in other words in politics and opinion making. Gyanendra Shah represents the past at present. Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal, Ram Baran Yadav, Chitra Lekha Yadav and Gakarna Bista are not the birds of same feather. The same applies to Bhimarjun Acharya, Krishna Bhattachan and Rishi Raj Baral also.

However, their net worth is growing or has been continuing as positive or has turned to positive in perceptions of the people. Therefore, this phenomenon is cross-political and cross-ideological. May be this is somewhat temporary, but is certainly a new reality. On the other side, the rulers of today including Pushpa Kamal and Babu Ram Bhattarai are competing with the rulers of yesterday - in area of decreasing popularity. This is another reality. This is a strange phenomenon. Nepal is now in upheavals, so are the personalities also.


[Posted below, as it was received to us as,   is a  letter to some  missionaries  by a scholar of Nepali origin down here in USA of some serious issue - religious conversion in Nepal.  The 'Christian propaganda designed for conversion' is what used to be worrisome few years back and now it seems, is in full sway in the Himalayan country. - Editor]

By Tilak Shrerstha PhD
Background: On July 14, 2012 we were invited to watch a documentary on Nepal made by an American family who speaks Nepali and lived in Nepal for a few years. To our surprise, the documentary “Preeti ko Malik – Preeti’s Master” we watched was  a Christian propaganda designed for conversion. The movie begins with a father selling his daughter ‘Preeti’ of about 10 years of age to a cruel master. Nepalese are depicted as poor, cultureless, valueless and Dharmaless people. The poor girl has to work hard, wear burlap clothes and beaten often by the master. She finds a friend – a lady primary school teacher. The teacher is a Christian missionary and teaches students of 7 or 8 years of age - not humanities, science or history but Christian doctrines that ‘Jesus is the only salvation.’ She converts Preeti to Christianity. The cruel master once beats Preeti so bad that she dies. As Jesus she was dead in her mud hut for 3 days. The teacher buries her. The cruel master repents and converts to Christianity. Then there was invasion of heathen Japanese army in Nepal. The ‘never happened event’ is lamely explained that it happened in Philippines. Japanese soldiers order the master to bow to the Japanese King’s photo. He refuses on the ground that he bows only to Jesus. Japanese soldiers execute the master and make him a Christian martyr.

Dear missionaries
Jon Cloud Jee <JonCloudABC@yahoo.com>
Brian Snider Jee <BKSnider@GMail.com>
Thanks for inviting to watch your Christian propaganda documentary “Preeti’s master.” It depicts Nepalese people as poor, cultureless, valueless and Dharmaless people; and Christianity as the only salvation. Such one way propaganda is not acceptable. There has to be a dialogue – both ways.
Yes, presently we are poor. It is just a matter of historical cycle. But we are not cultureless people. For example, we do not invite guests and insult them. Our civilization goes back to the pre-historical time of Shiva. Even King Janak and Princess Sita of Ramayana were almost a thousand years before Adam and Eve (4006 BC). By the way, that is where Cain got his wife. In the ‘Deluge’ even the Himalayan range was 3 feet under the water. For whole year we had to stand on hill tops to survive, and all others perished. We still call that the ‘year of cold butt.’ And that is why all the good people today are descendants of the Himalayan people.
I recognize you both are missionaries of Baptist - Christian religion. However, you may notice that we practice Dharma not religion. We have many Dharmas in Nepal like Bauddha, Shaiva, Vaishnav etc, which are collectively known as Hinduism. Dharma is not religion. Dharma is about seeking truth ‘Satya’ and spiritual practices ‘Yoga.’ A religion is about social innovation for tribal survival through militarization of society. Thus religion and Dharma acts in different planes. For example, you cannot be a Christian and a Muslim, but can be a Christian and a Buddhist same time.
Here are three articles to explain the basics of Dharma: ‘Dharma and religion’, ‘Karma – theory and practice’, and ‘Gnan yoga - Way of knowledge.’ You are welcome to learn, ask questions or write criticisms. 
In the same token here are a few questions on Christianity.
  1. Truth is – good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell. On the contrary, Christianity states ‘all Christians go to heaven, no matter how evil and all others go to hell, no matter how virtuous.’
  2. John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
  3. Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
  4. John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. But he who does not believe is condemned already.
Accordingly, all your non-Christian ancestors are in hell. Is it true? Do you agree?
Let me tell you, they were virtuous and are in heaven.

B. Truth is – a person may practice ‘good heart’ inside and ‘good deed’ out side to go to heaven. Any beliefs, true or not, are irrelevant. Compare it with the Christian doctrine that a mere belief ‘Jesus is Christ’ will open heaven for you. If you do not believe it then go to hell. Do you agree? Can it be true?

C. Truth is – sins are not transferable. A person has to face the consequences of the person’s deeds, good for good, and bad for bad. Like school grades or head aches they cannot be wished away to others. On the contrary, Christian doctrines state the original sin of Adam\Eve is transmitted to all humanity and thus babies are born in sin. Jesus pays other’s sin, even for the crimes which are not even committed yet. Do you agree? Can it be true?

D. The doctrine comes from the Jewish superstition and practice that you can transfer your sins to the ‘escape goat.’ Jews sacrifice a poor sheep to God, and believe that God’s justice is about punishing the sheep instead the real criminal. Do you agree? Can it be true? Same concept is blown that God himself sacrifices his own son Jesus to pay for our sin. Here is a question. God sacrificed Jesus? To whom?

E. Jesus was a nice guy, a great spiritual master, a Buddhist scholar who lived most of his life in India and died in Shrinagar, Kashmir, India. Even today there is a temple where he is buried and people claiming to be his descendants.

F. Jesus’s teachings are mostly based upon Bauddha and Shaiva traditions. His sublime teachings like ‘love even your enemies’ is most admirable. But Jesus’s teachings are not the central message of Christianity. For example, what happens to Jewish people who actually met Jesus and practiced his preaching ‘love all?’ According to Christianity, they all will go to hell merely because they do not believe ‘Jesus is Christ.’ Do you agree? Can it be true?

I am a science student, not a theologian. However, tons of material is available on the authenticity of Christianity or lack of it. I am giving a few below. Please help yourself. If you have any questions please feel free to contact.
Tilak Shrestha, Ph.D.
cell: 256-970-9112
Huntsville, Alabama

A. Jesus’s life in India and his teachings.

C. What Nepalese need to know about Christianity.
D. Objective study of Bible and Christianity.