In defense of "loose" women

In defense of "loose" women

The latest crisis on college campuses

It is the time-honored duty of the adolescent to alarm adults (parents, in particular) by having wild and often idiotic fun--e.g., streaking naked across campus, playing drinking games, throwing things out windows, hooking up with an acquaintance or a friend who, in a flush of late-night hormones, suddenly looks kind of hot. I went to college in the early days of the "hookup" culture, as it is now called, and my recollection, through the haze of years, was that the whole point of hookups was that they were pleasurable--a little embarrassing, sometimes, but mostly, well, fun. Either I was self-deluded, or things have gotten a lot worse. According to Laura Sessions Stepp, author of Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love, and Lose at Both, sex on campuses for young women today is a series of joyless encounters engaged in without either short-term pleasure or long-term reward. This pointless hedonism, in Stepp's view, turns young women into jaded depressives unable to trust or love anyone, secretly wishing Mr. Right would show up on their doorstep with flowers and a fraternity pin.

Unhooked purports to be a sweeping look at "hookup" culture on college campuses and several high schools, but, in fact, it is largely limited to a study of Duke University and George Washington University. ("Hooking up," if you've never heard the phrase, is an intentionally vague term that signifies sexual contact, ranging from a kiss to sex.) Stepp, a Washington Post reporter, interviewed "dozens" of young women about their sex lives. The resulting book is the story of nine girls followed over the course of a year. It is heavy on anecdote and generalization and short on information, since, as Stepp herself points out, there is a dearth of reliable evidence about the subject. What she discovered on college campuses troubled her: "Relationships have been replaced by the casual sexual encounters known as hookups. Love, while desired by some, is being put on hold or seen as impossible," she observes. "Some girls can handle this; others … are exhausted physically, emotionally and spiritually by it." Like a good mother, Unhooked strives to be less polemical than concerned. But just below its surface lurk the usual naked (and prurient) fears about girls and sex: Girls who put out are going to get hurt. Instead, Stepp argues, they should admit "the bar scene is a guy thing" and stay home to "bake cookies, brownies, muffins"--after all, guys, she confides, will do "anything" for homemade treats. (Who wants chlamydia when he can have cake?)

Certainly, the scene Stepp evokes can seem grim. She watches as packs of girls go out to bars and snap cell-phone pics to remind them who they went home with, then get so drunk they pass out. A lot of the hooking up is motivated not by debauchery but by status: One high-school girl told Stepp that it was "all about getting/hooking up with the hottest, most well-known guys, and girls will spend a lot of time strategizing and manipulating their way into getting those guys." Sorority life is also a factor. In one case, a sorority event leads to consensual sex the young woman in question doesn't remember; in another, to what the woman calls "gray rape." In a shift from victim-oriented 1980s campus culture, these women see themselves as equal or at least responsible partners in the sticky sexual situations their liberated outlook gets them into.

Unhooked is suffused with the vague anxiety that is symptomatic of the teens-in-crisis genre, offset only by a handful of concrete ideas about the damage done by hookup culture: specifically, that young women involved in it are more likely to contract sexual diseases (doctors note rising rates of STDs among young women); that they often feel "awkward" and "hurt" as well as "strong, desirable, and sexy," leading to depression and poor grades; that loveless sex fails to teach women the lessons of intimacy they need for marriage. Some of Stepp's analysis is supported by students' testimonies, but, as with all anecdotal journalism, one detects self-selection and data contamination at work. One problem is that Stepp cites no longitudinal work on the subject--these girls are still in college--which means a lot of predictive doom and gloom with little to buttress it. When girls and psychologists defend hooking up--or argue that she's overemphasizing its downsides--she responds with rhetorical insinuations. After one girl who enjoyed noncommitted sex enthuses, "If sex was that good with Nicholas, imagine what it will be like with my husband," Stepp responds, "But how would she find that husband?" In the 1950s, parents got concerned when girls "went steady" instead of playing the field, but Stepp is convinced this "new" habit of playing the field will warp girls' hearts and make it impossible for them to settle down when the time comes. "It's as if young women are practicing sprints while planning to run a marathon," she worries.

That metaphor of practice for a grueling competition says a lot about both the phenomenon Stepp is describing and her blinkered perspective. What her own reporting suggests, but she doesn't seem to see, is that if there is a problem, it isn't that young women are separating love and sex. It's that they are blurring sex and work: The hookup culture is part of a wider ethos of status-seeking achievement. As one girl puts it: "Dating is a drain on energy and intellect, and we are overwhelmed, overprogrammed and overcommitted just trying to get into grad school." So they throw themselves into erotic liaisons with the same competitive zeal they bring to résumé-building: "If you mention you think a guy is hot, your friend may be, 'Oh, he is hot. I'm gonna go get with him,' " Anna, a high-school student, reveals. The combination of postfeminist liberation and pressure from parents to "do it all"--as one kid puts it--has led girls to confuse the need to be independent (which they associate with success) with the need to be invulnerable. Thus, they frame their seemingly explorative sex lives in rigid, instrumental terms, believing that vulnerability of any sort signals a confusing dependence. The result? Shying away from relationships that can hurt them--which includes even fleeting obsessions that can knock them off balance.

If this is true, the last thing young women need is more assignments from those who view relationships as yet another arena in which they better "win." In that sense, Unhooked is part of the very problem it's trying to offset. While noting that a fear of "failing" makes college girls insist that they've got matters under control when they don't, Stepp offers up the same prescriptive diagnoses that get in the way of young women asking themselves what they--as individuals--might really want: "I hope to encourage girls to think hard about whether they're 'getting it right,' " Stepp says. At the same time, young men get away without such cautionary lessons: Stepp follows a long pattern of leaving them out of the picture. From at least the 1920s (when everyone thought flappers were destroying manners) on through the 1980s (when teen pregnancy rates had everyone alarmed), girls have been hearing that their sex lives are the symbol of generational decadence.

The truth is that even the sex-as-work ethic has an upside--one Stepp fails to see. For the first time in ages, young women are actually concentrating, in some fashion, more on their work and on their female friendships than on love and sex, and many do feel empowered by this. One of the studies Stepp cites found that young women feel less pressured to engage in sex than their male peers do. If some have a tough time figuring out what romantic or sexual pleasure is, they are nonetheless hardheaded about their status as pioneers in a new sexual landscape. "If there's one thing that I know about adults, it's that they pounce on adolescent sexuality with zeal," says Alicia, a student at Duke, aptly pinpointing the adult impulse to scold. Stepp couldn't resist the impulse herself. Buying into alarmism about women, Unhooked makes sex into a bigger, scarier, and more dangerous thing than it already is. The fact is, love is a messy arena, and in it most of us make both wise and foolish choices. C'est la vie, if not l'amour.


Divorced for money

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(The writer is one of the most talented and prolific journalists working actively in the issues pertaining to gender, development and the overall media.)

Fools rush in green card matrimony

Fools rush in green card matrimony

Garima Bastola

I hear the marriage market in Nepal is very much in demand for an America return or a green card holder.

I have never understood the crazy for an America return bridegroom. Is this a new name for the DV lottery or a ticket to the United States (US)? There are many factors involved in this:

First, the political crisis in Nepal is one of the factors involved. Second, people are in need of employment and opportunities. However, it has not only become a necessity to sustain, but a fad everyone is following.

Many girls have a dream, which includes a prince charming, who will rescue them one day. Perhaps, this is a dream that they are waiting for. I have seen how people jump into relationship and matrimony without much of their knowledge. Sometime, children are compelled to make decisions due to family pressure. Additionally, we also notice a mutual consent between parents and children for a US return bridegroom or a green card holder.

It is interesting how these beautiful and qualified girls wait on the man to select them. The man carefully evaluates if the girl has all the credentials necessary to sustain in the United States. He makes his decision and chooses the best bride out of the entire lot. The entire knowing, fixing and congratulating process have become instant.

I am sure many couples involved in this process; are not even aware of each other’s personalities and qualities. Within a week, a person makes life’s most important decision, looking at nothing but a green card.

I have observed how this procedure of selection has made the marriage market so cheap and easy in our society. It looks like a rat’s race for a ticket abroad. I would like to put forward few questions, that kept me awaken many nights. Is it not important to know in detail about the person’s background before one marries? Knowing ones likes, dislikes and materialist belongings, answers all the questions.

People do not get into the complication of inquiring about past affairs because past is past right. If the person does not want to let go of his past, however, is he ready to marry a Nepali girl due to family pressure? This implies to girls as well.

In addition, it would be wise enough to inquire about the medical history of the person one is going to marry. Perhaps, it is not acceptable in our society. However, in my opinion, these are questions two individuals involved have the right to ask each other. I assume that everyone knows the importance of life and marriage.

Let us see, are these the factors you consider before getting married. A house in the USA; both of you will be slogging for 20 years to pay off the mortgage. Many a times, one comes across frauds that lie about their education, occupation and their identity. It is very sad when I see many girls and many families who have had rushed in the past for a good life abroad. Unfortunately, it has become disastrous. Because of difference in point of views, many such marriages lead to divorce. It is very important to make ones decision carefully, if men and women are well educated, they can make a difference in any part of this world.

I do not want to be very critical because people get married in different circumstances and, people have different priorities. In addition, if two individuals feel they are compatible, and want to spend the rest of their lives with each other, I believe that is more important.

However, it is necessary to think practically and rationally because love is just not enough to sustain in today’s world. Let us not generalize that all who return from the US are frauds, women-eaters or man-eaters. Not every girl who dreams of a prince charming will suffer.

However, women should be capable to make their dream come true and not wait for prince charming because especially the charming ones are dangerous. With motivation, hard work and determination one can move mountains.

Education is a very important and qualification is what every family should look for. Most important it is very necessary to change people’s perception on marriage. It would be ignorant to overlook most important factors to a happy life ahead.

Creating democratic zones

Creating democratic zones
By Shiva Rijal
We feel euphoric in Nepal now despite difficulties ahead. We celebrate political awakening. Every step is a move towards new Nepal. But this psycho-political transformation in Nepal expects an urgent cultivation of new cultures from us. Struggles made against the old system and values propel our actions ahead. Change we must but we cannot part away with some old forms of art and knowledge. We have to practice and preserve them at any cost.

Various political parties of our times have put forward the agenda of remapping the nation into various geo-cultural provinces. Political scientists and politicians hold different views on the need and nature of such federal structure in new Nepal. As a person devoted to performing culture and currently carrying out research in this area in Bali, I want to put in this article some of my feelings about the future of traditional art forms in Nepal. I hold the view that many of us are already worried about it.

Traditional dance, music and other art forms practised in various geo-cultural spaces and languages also need to be redefined and managed according to the new socio-aesthetic and political culture. They cannot remain indisputably the wholesale metaphors of the nation. Gone are the days when we said this nation is the flower garden where people of four castes and thirty-six features blossom forth. Each art form practised in each community holds some distinct colours and voices. Therefore, it belongs to its practitioners and audiences first, and then to the nation and this world. That is why; so much depends on the numbers of the practitioners of traditional individual art forms. Each practitioner of art of this order is a creator, protector and harbinger of experiments for the new generation. Therefore, the larger the number of the practitioners and audience, the greater the flow of the traditional art and knowledge.

But how can we do it? One possible approach towards it would be to train our children. But our children go to school six days a week. They have homework to do. We love them to learn English language, western culture and be familiar with the world and human civilizations of different times and places. And by the time our children complete school education it is time for them to move to different places in search of their dreams. And we love our children to explore their dreams in this universe.

The next approach would be to change the curricula in school and universities. But a classroom either in a school or college is not a homogeneous entity. Students come from different cultural and social backgrounds. Since parents are mobile, children too travel across the communities, zones and the nation. How many art teachers can a school or college afford to keep in? Let us ask.

Another approach would be to locate the practitioners of traditional art forms. Their numbers are decreasing but they are still available in various local communities no matter how less privileged they are. Their house-yard can be the place where our children can go and learn in their free times. But many parents do not want their children to go to some people's courtyards. Caste is a debilitating plant that still invisibly grows up in many house-yards and minds in Nepal. Nepal has many boundaries to break.

Despite all, there are hopes. We can create multiple yards or zones of learning art and craft of this nature at local level. Each community should feel the importance and urgency of creating some secular and democratic zones of learning and teaching traditional art and knowledge to its members. It has a responsibility of breaking some old boundaries within through mutual understanding among its members. Democratic zones where our children, youths and senior art practitioners can meet on a regular basis can play transformational roles in the domain of performing culture in new Nepal. The most important thing is to increase the frequency of meetings between and among the practitioners--both learners and teachers. This benefits the entire community; its traditional knowledge and art and human civilization flourish. We can do it by creating democratic zones only. New Nepal cannot emerge without such little democratic zones sprouting in every community.

Members of each community these days are mobile. By the same token, the practitioners of the traditional arts are getting more mobile. Some communities are famous for one or the other kinds of art practices. The practitioners are always in demand. They create zones of audience where they go and perform. They are aware about the policies of the nation state towards its local arts and cultures. They can also be the decision makers.

Since this is the time of euphoria, agendas and slogans for new Nepal occupy our minds. It is indeed a time to act, to dance. But let us not forget a fact. Democracy alone can teach and help us preserve, practise and flourish our traditional art forms and bolster our knowledge. Let us understand the essence of the dance of democracy very deeply. Such is the message of performance culture.

Burial space shortage at Pashupati


KATHMANDU, Nov 25 - His worries begin soon after a dead body is brought for burial. Ram Bahadur Tamang, a grave-digger with the Crematorium Management Service Committee (CMSC), Pashupati Aryaghat, finds it difficult to locate a spot to dig a new grave in Bhairab Danda that lies across the Bagmati River. Finding an empty space and burying the dead is crucial for his livelihood.

"It takes over half-an-hour to find a spot for a new grave these days. We have to dig at several places as we find human remains in most of the places we dig," said Tamang who has been involved in the work for the last 20 years.

The dead of the Rai, Limbu, Giri, Puri, and Sanyasi communities, as well as bodies of very young children are buried in Bhairab Danda, also known as Shleshmantak jungle. Officials at CMSC say the burial site, occupying some 30 ropanis of land, will have problem to accommodate dead bodies even this year.

Bhairab Danda is the only burial ground for these communities in the capital. Over the years, more and more graves have been squeezed in. Worse, there is no provision of marking system to trace the graves. "The area is almost totally filled with graves now. There is barely any open space to accommodate new burials," complained Tamang.

Bishnu Prasad Nepal, a CMSC official, said that growing population in Kathmandu valley has further aggravated the problem. "A few years back, we were burying one body a day," said Nepal who oversees the burial service. "Now we are burying four to five dead a day."

CMSC officials say they have repeatedly apprised the concerned authorities about the problem. "As no one responded to the problem, we are forced to reuse old graves," Nepal said.

The growing use of coffins has further complicated the problem, officials said. Bodies buried in coffins need at least 10 years to decompose, while those buried without coffins decay in two to three years. Officials worry that using coffins would further aggravate the shortage of burial space.

The shortage of burial space was first felt some five years ago. To address the looming lack of burial sites, Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) had even launched a drive to demolish concretized graves whose over ground structures were occupying extra space. PADT had to abort the effort after protests from the kin of those buried.

"As we have limited space, we are not in a position to provide new burial sites," said Shyam Shekhar Jha, director of PADT. "It is better late than never. The government should coordinate with the concerned authorities and find a long term solution to the problem."

‘The terai movement is not against Pahadis’

Upendra Yadav, once a devout leftist who entered politics in 1975 joining the Progressive Students' Union through Puspa Lal Shrestha, is now the president of Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF), the group claiming to be leading the current movement in terai. He went through the revolution of 1979 and joined CPN (Marxist) formed by Madan Bhandari. And latter on, in the 1991 polls when CPN (M) and CPN (L) merged into CPN-UML, the party had nominated him as a candidate from Sunsari, Area no 4. In 1999, he resigned from CPN-UML and formed MPRF. His party had once collaborated with CPN (Maoist) during its "people's war," but now, he says, he has no faith in communism -- neither in Marxism nor in Maoism. Yadav, who spoke with Puran P Bista and Kamal Sigdel of The Kathmandu Post, says the current tarai flare-up is the demand of Madhesis for federalism and proportional representation.

Q: Terai is turning increasingly violent after your party and other groups declared what you call rebellion against the recently formed interim government. What actually are your demands?

Upendra Yadav: This is an outburst of centuries-long suppression and deep-seated discrimination tolerated by Madhesis. There is a whole history behind this rebellion. As you know, for the last 238 years, it has been always dominated and ruled over by non-Madhesis. First, they captured the land and the natural resources and then the governance, which paved the way for a systematic discrimination against Madhesis by excluding them from decision-making and by reducing them as secondary citizens in their own country. Since the Gorkha regime and Rana oligarchy through Panchayat to the present day democracy, the same situation has continued. In fact, there is an internal colonialism. When people are deprived of their rights to use their resources and to exercise their decision-making power, and instead are ruled over, then this brings a situation of internal colonialism. And this has created multiple problems.
The crux of these problems is nothing but the long-festering unitary, centripetal governance, and our inability to institutionalize democracy. So, there is discrimination from the state itself. And of other groups who are also discriminated against, Madhesis are particularly targeted. They have been exploited as mere vote bank. As a result, Madhesis remained backward. Tharu, for instance in western Nepal, became kamaiyas; and other Madhesis in the eastern terai moved into India. The rest of the people remained stateless and unemployed. There are still
four million people living without citizenship certificates. Indeed, there is an identity crisis.

But these problems were not addressed whenever there was major political transformation; from 1950, 1960 and 1990 and even now in 2006, Madhesis' concerns are being neglected. Why should not there be a revolution? So, since centripetal governance cannot solve any problems, our demand is federal republic like that of the United States, Switzerland or Australia. It is not federal system alone that we need, we need autonomy as well. All federal states must be granted autonomy.
Q: There is a process of state restructuring towards federalism. Are you not satisfied with the developments?

Yadav: Let me make it clear that it is not stated clearly (in the Interim Constitution). The interim constitution has failed to direct the state towards the path of federal republic. Overtly, all sound like favoring federal republic but when they come into practice, they retreat. Though an interim constitution cannot be complete and clarify everything by itself, it, at least, should show a clear direction towards "federal republic".
This is the age of participatory democracy, but the state has failed so far to ensure that. See the structure of all the state bodies, the traditional mentality is still visible. This rebellion, therefore, is our compulsion. So, the two demands we have raised are federal autonomy and participatory democracy.
Q: Jai Krishna Goit of Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM) is speaking of something like chasing Pahadis out of terai. Is this the type of autonomy you are talking about?

Yadav: Chasing Pahadis from terai by JTMM is its utter insanity. What we say is that a federal state should be formed and that will be of both Pahadis and Madhesis. This revolution is against the state-sponsored discrimination, not against any community. So, this is also a revolution of Pahadis. If Madesh becomes an autonomous federal republic, Pahadis will not be chased away. This is only a rumor to thwart our movement.

The other point we disagree about is the process to reach constituent assembly (CA). We want CA, but "for what?" is the question. You can see, in several countries, CA has failed. At some other places state has failed to even hold CA elections. For instance, in Russia, the CA collapsed right after five days. In Sikkim and Pakistan, it faced the similar fate. So, what sort of constitution are we going to create in the future should be clear before the holding of CA polls. There should be a national consensus on basic principles. India's CA became successful while the other half, Pakistan, which separated from the same state, at the same time, failed. Why? Because India had "Nehru declaration" before the CA polls were held, and that was the document of basic principles.
Q: But forming a federal state would require an economic base whereupon it should sustain its operation. Besides, there are so many things to be considered before federal autonomy is granted to a state. Don't you think such demands beforehand will breed more conflicts?

Yadav: No, that will not generate any conflict. You see, wherever the stakeholders of CA formed a document of basic principles on consensus, the CA became a success. As for Nepal, CA polls are not possible because there is no infrastructure developed for the same. Besides a document on basic principles, the Maoist weapons are still not managed. And it is even not sure whether it will be managed or not; I still doubt it. And the problems of terai and other groups have not been addressed. How is it possible? Constitution is not the document of a single party. It is not written by those who have the majority. CA is not like parliament. It is made out of national consensus. It should include all castes, religions, regions and minority groups.
The next wrong that should be amended by the interim constitution is the division of 205 election constituencies, which are grossly unscientific. It was made with an intention of ensuring very low representation from Madhes. Whereas the fact is that Madhes accommodates about half of the total population and yet, it could never have more than 20 percent representation. So, we demand, this must be scraped.
The next thing that we disagree with is the mixed electoral system. It is totally wrong. There should be proportional electoral system. And the constitution made through such electoral system can only be inclusive so as to be able to accommodate all the voices. The current system cannot do that because the election system itself is wrong. Addressing all these demands beforehand will consolidate loktantra and federalism, instead of breeding conflicts.

Q: Though it is an obsolete question, given the recent developments it may not sound irrelevant if you could just spell out your party's position regarding constitutional monarchy. Where do you stand in this regard?
Yadav: We want republic. We even question the parties, why cannot the interim parliament, so-called sovereign, make a unanimous decision and scrap the institution of monarchy right away? It should be abolished before the CA polls.

Q: But it has been recently reported in different media that in one of the recently held meetings of RSS in Gorakhpur, India, you and Renu Yadav vowed in public from the stage that you will fight to keep Nepal a Hindu state and constitutional monarchy.
Yadav: Both these allegations hold no substance. Neither there was Renu Yadav, nor was there any RSS-organized meeting. That was one international seminar organized by Border Awareness Forum (Seema Jagaran Manch), an organization of the people living on both sides of the Nepal-India border.

Q: Who is the chief of that Forum?
Yadav: I do not know. I cannot remember either. I was invited and I went there. Discussions were held on topics like loktantra in Nepal and issues of Madhes and I had also spoken on these topics. What I had said was there should be a federal system and loktantra in Nepal. As proof, I have recorded cassettes, and the newspapers of the locality have published the news.
But what happened here is yellow journalism. There was one seminar organized by World Hindu Federation where I was not invited and I had not taken part. But what one weekly printed was a fabricated picture which had the picture of one occasion and the news of another. And these two seminars were organized in about a month's difference.
So, what we say is we believe in secularism. This is our stance since the beginning and will remain the same in the future.

Q: There are demands of terai, and there will be Kirats demanding the same, and there are other splinter groups such as led by Jai Krishna Goit and Jwala Singh. Don't you think such protests and rebellion demanding autonomy will lead to the situation like that of 1985/86 Punjab, where Madhesis and Pahadis will be killing each other?
Yadav: This is a revolution against the state and state-sponsored discriminatory policies. This is not against the Pahadis who have shown strong support for our movement. Kirats too have supported us. This support and harmony should be kept intact at any cost. We should not let it turn into a communal violence. This is our challenge and the government should also understand the situation and act accordingly. This is a political issue and should be solved politically. Or else, it will turn into a separatist movement.
There are differences between Jwala and Goit. Nepalis will not agree with what Goit is saying. However, both have shown interest in resolving the problem. I am hopeful they will come. But the only solution is to ensure federal republic and autonomy. If the state fails to go through this solution, we do not know what will happen next.

Q: The parties in the government are prepared to reform the state on the basis of different factors like language and castes among others. So, what is there to be so disgruntled?
Yadav: But their behavior and mentality are monolithic and traditional. Let's reform the current election system, make it proportionate one, and let's guarantee that there will be a federal republic system. Let's amend these things in the interim constitution. If the state is reluctant to amend these things, it is inevitable that the country will take a terrible turn. The voices raised by this movement are not only of terai but of whole Nepalis. You see, the indigenous people are already there preparing for their movement. So, it must be amended. And we also say that it is worthless to hold CA polls without managing the Maoist arms.

Q: In that your party will not let the government hold CA polls unless the Maoist weapons are completely cantoned?
Yadav: That is not the point. Neither it is that we will not let the CA polls be held but what we say is that it is meaningless to hold CA polls without managing the Maoist weapons.

Q: It is heard that you formed this Forum only because you had some differences with the Maoists. Is this true? What is the reality?
Yadav: The main reason is that the demands that we have raised now were also raised by the Maoists once. But when the Maoists reached the agreement with the seven party alliance, they forgot everything because of the power-sharing game for a few seats in the interim parliament. It is ridiculous. Have you ever seen any one being MP without an election? They had said they would fight for federal autonomous states for different castes. In fact, the Maoists raised arms to achieve loktantra and complete socialism via republic. Didn't they?
But before reaching to the formal dialogue with SPA, they forgot everything. In Delhi, they spoke of keeping monarchy and then only the agreement was signed. This means they deceived their own movement.

Q: Have you started informal dialogue with the government?
Yadav: No, there is no dialogue held as yet. But we have been meeting with the leaders of different political parties. All of them have said that the issues we have raised are very genuine. But it is still to be seen how honestly they will come forward for the settlement of this problem.

Q: When will you sit formally for a dialogue with the government?
Yadav: I am not sure. The government has not invited us as yet. When it invites, we will fix a date and sit for talks.

Q: Will Jwala Singh and other groups also come for dialogue? What are they thinking?
Yadav: I have no contact with Jwala Singh now. But if requested, we could bring his group to table. I think they will join the dialogue.

Q: There are different groups who claim to represent terai and Madhesis. Can you lead all the groups that are flaring up protests along the terai belt?

Yadav: I think, I can. I will try my best. I have worked with Goit for more than 20 years or so. I know him very well. With Jwala Singh also, I was close once. So, I think, they will come. But the leaders should open their mind. They should not think as if they are losing something when they are calling us for a dialogue. It should be participatory and inclusive. This is an opportunity for all. What we would like to ensure is that no one wastes time to fight for their rights in the future. We must cure the disease, and not the diseased. The government now cannot suppress the movement using forc

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