Apr 24, 2010

Khariko Ghero : A review

Went to watch "Khariko Ghero" in Gurukul. It is the Nepali adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” written almost six decades ago! The play is divided into five scenes and presents two intertwined stories. The first story is about a maid Ganga who steals the baby prince at the times of upheaval in the kingdom and saves it from the rebels to raise it as her own son despite of myriads of difficulties she faces.

The second story is about Akkal Bahadur, a drunkard who is appointed as a judge in a comical series of events. He makes decisions that are rather unconventional and in strict sense against the set of laws. His judgments are biased in favor of the poor.

The two stories coincide when Ganga and the queen have a dispute over the custody of Manohar, the baby prince. And the case is brought to Akkal Bahadur.

Having watched quite a lot of plays in Gurukul, I was pleasantly surprised with the much more passionate and lively performances by the actors  and even more delighted with the setting of stage and the effects. The scenes of Ganga crossing the river, duck chase were very amusing. Audience were delighted with the ingenuity of the acting and the effects. The music by Night Band was also very pleasing.

The poor aspects of the play included the weak story and and added to the weakness was the poor adaptation. The storyline was a bit difficult to follow since the revolt aspect is vaguely introduced , so are the characters. Next thing, I disapproved of the play was the frequent and unnecessary use of the somewhat vulgar terms and references. The references were quite unnecessary.Only purpose they served was to draw somewhat embarrassed chuckles from the audience which I believe is not very desirable from a play. The poetic justice preached is not desirable but well, that's a personal thing I believe.

Anyway the play is very enjoyable. The performances are amazing and the ingenuity of the effects was especially delighting! Don't miss if you like plays!

Apr 17, 2010

“असल सार्वजानिक नीतिलेदिर्घकालिन प्रभाव र सम्पुर्ण व्यक्तिहरुलाई ध्यानमा राख्नुपर्छ नकि अल्पकालीन प्रभाव र सीमित व्यक्तिहरु।”

सिद्धान्त तीन: 
“असल सार्वजानिक नीतिले दिर्घकालिन  प्रभाव र सम्पुर्ण  व्यक्तिहरुलाई ध्यानमा राख्नुपर्छ  नकि अल्पकालीन प्रभाव र सीमित व्यक्तिहरु।”

हुनत् बेलायती अर्थशास्त्री जोन मेनार्ड  किन्सले कुनै समयमा घोषणा  गरेको, “दिर्घकालमा  त, हामी सबै मर्छौ ” भन्ने कुरा सही होला तर यसको अर्थ यो होइन कि भोलिको समयमा थुप्रै मानिसहरुलाई असर पर्ने गरि वर्तमानमा केही मानिसको खुसीका लागि नीति अबलम्बन गर्नु ठीक  हो।

त्यस्ता थुप्रै नीतिहरु सोच्न सक्छु । जब लिन्डन जोन्सनले १९६०  को दशकमा  “महान समाज” को अवधरना  निकाले त्यसबेला उक्त अवधरना को सोच के थियो भने केही व्यक्तिहरु कल्याण्कारी  चेक बाट लाभान्वित हुनेछन । अहिले हामीलाई थाहा छ , दिर्घकालमा, उक्त कार्यक्रमले अल्छिपनलाई बढावा दिने, परिवारहरु विखन्डन  गर्ने, अन्तरपुस्तीय निर्भरता र सृजना गर्ने र कर तिर्ने व्यक्तिहरुको कमाइको ठुलो लो अंश खोस्ने काम गर्नुका साथै साँस्कृतिक  रोगहरु सृजना गर्‍यो  जसलाई निवारण  गर्न केही पुस्ता नै लाग्न सक्छ ।

त्यसैगरि सरकारी घाटा र सरकारको आकार विस्तार गर्ने नीतिले गर्दा शुरुवातमा केहीलाई फाइदा भएपनि पछि  आएर राष्ट्रको अर्थतन्त्र र नैतिकताको बन्धनलाई दशकौ सम्म   असर  पुर्‍याइरहेको छ ।

यो सिद्धान्त हाम्रो सोचहरुलाई गहन बनाउनका लागि एउटा  अनुरोध हो। यसले भन्छ हामी हाम्रो फैसलामा खोक्रो हुनुहुदैन। यदि कुनै एउटा चोरले एकपछि अर्को बैंकबाट  सामर्थ्यले भ्याएसम्मको नगद चोर्छ  र सबै पैसा गएर एउटा पसलमा गर्छ  र तपाई पसलेहरुसग सर्भे गरेर उक्त चोरले अर्थतन्त्रलाई बढवा  दिइराखेको छ  भन्ने निष्कर्षमा पुग्नुहुन्छ  भने तपाईको फैसलालाई गहन भन्न मिल्दैन।

हामीले सधै याद राख्नुपर्छ  कि विगतका नीतिकर्ताहरुले वास्ता नगरे हुन्छ  भनेको  भोलि नै आजको हाम्रो वर्तमान हो। यदि हामी उत्तरदायी वयस्क बन्न चाहन्छ छौ भने हामीले शिशुको जस्तो व्यवहार गर्नु हुदैन जो केबल आफ्नो  र अहिलेको इच्छामा मात्र केन्द्रित  हुन्छ ।

Apr 13, 2010

Sujeev Shakya’s Unleashing Nepal:Past, Present and Future of the Economy: A review

If one observes the contemporary political economic scenario of Nepal, especially the last  2 decades covering the eventful period of Jana Aandolan I , civil war, royal coup, Jana Aandolan II, comprehensive peace agreement and constitution assembly, they could confidently say Nepalese are fond of hoping for the best and dashing for it and are very familiar with having their hopes thwarted and coping with the worst. If the person digs further into Nepalese history, they can see it has been the same way since the beginning. Despite of  being a free nation for centuries unlike its neighbors who suffered the shackles of colonialism and having the potential to be a nother Asian tiger , Nepal has been  marred by abject poverty and  lagging incomprehensibly behind in case of economic development. The primary reason? Economy of the country has never been an issue; neither to the rulers not to the citizens.The claim can also be justified by the fact that though we have numerous treatise on political, sociological and historical development of Nepal, Shakya's Unleashing Nepal:Past, Present and Future of the Economy is among the few books if any that looks at the country from a predominantly economic point of view.

Understanding a nation's economy is a tough job and when it comes to understanding and explaining a tumultuous and messy economy like ours that is intricately entangled with politics, the job gets even tougher. In this regard, Mr. Shakya has done a marvelous job of tracing back the economic history of Nepal since the country's unification explaining how Nepal's poverty was caused to highlighting the nitty gritty of current scenario.The lucid and logical explanations of the hurdles that prevented and prevent our growth makes the reader wonder if the policy makers would only consider a little bit of this knowledge , we would be save a great deal of anymore foolishness and thereby impoverishment. In this regard, I believe Shakya's book can be termed  the missing manual. It's a missing manual to all the policymakers of the country  on how to and how not to deal with the economy and to the general citizens on what demands to make if they want prosperity as a priority.

Shakya has divided his book into three parts, i.e. Past, Present and Future. Each part starts with a short introduction giving readers a glimpse of what's coming but without being too obvious. The past has been well researched. Shakya comparison of the contemporaries Prithvi Narayan Shah with Adam Smith and King Mahendra with Jawaharlal Nehru is particularly interesting. The present has been well explained. Shakya is quite familiar with the various aspects of Nepalese economy and has eloquently highlighted all these aspects. His being a economic columnist Nepali times might help in explaining his familiarity with Nepalese economy. The Future section where Shakya tries to explain the potential Nepal holds in various sectors is , however, a bit too fanciful and superficial. Shakya paints such a rosy picture of our economy without actually giving any hints on how to achieve them practically.Readers get into their minds a dreamy Nepal where every sector of the economy is prospering but are left with a bittersweet taste and without any clues on how to achieve that dreamy situation. Shakya being a well known business executive and a popular economic columnist , could have done better than just telling about the possibilities Nepal holds which any well aware general Nepalese citizen could easily explain.One would surely expect some practical policy steps to realize the situation which the book doesn't offer. Bad aspect of this fact is that, reader after completing the book would only be frustrated and clueless rather than hopeful which is I believe is one of the objectives of the book. And given the current political economic scenario of the country, rosy pictures or dreams aren't of much help.

Another point I disagree with the author is his "capitalist welfare state" model. Capitalist Welfare State in itself a very vague model and the lack of clear distinction between capitalism and welfare can be used (as is the case ) by our politicians to revamp the socialist ideas. I believe its the entanglement of liberal policies and welfare state model that created the confusion and thereby decline of the economy after the first Jana Aandolan.

Despite these minor flaws, I found the book very interesting and a must for anyone aspiring to understand the Nepalese economy and the policies that took our economy down the drain and what to do about it. Reading this book can be the first step one can take to unleash Nepal, once and for all.

Apr 11, 2010

दोस्रो सिद्धान्त : “जुन कुरा तपाईको हो, त्यसको तपाई हेरचाह गर्नुहुन्छ। जुन कुरा कसैको होइन् वा सबैको हो, त्यसको बेस्याहार हुन्छ।”

 "असल सार्वजनिक नीतिका सात सिद्धान्त " मध्येको पहिलो सिद्धान्त मनपराइदिनु भएकोमा धेरै धन्यवाद । दोस्रो सिद्धान्त को अनुवाद आज पोस्ट गरेको छु । पढेर प्रतिक्रिया दिनु होला :

दोस्रो सिद्धान्त :
“जुन कुरा तपाईको हो, त्यसको तपाई हेरचाह गर्नुहुन्छ।  
जुन कुरा कसैको होइन् वा सबैको हो, त्यसको बेस्याहार हुन्छ।”

यस सिद्धान्तले मूख्यत :  निजी सम्पत्तिको जादु माथि प्रकाश पार्दछ। यसले संसारभरका समाजवादी अर्थतन्त्रको असफलताका बारेमा व्याख्या गर्दछ।

पुरानो शोभियत साम्राज्यमा, सरकारले केन्द्रिय  योजना र राष्ट्रिय स्वामित्वको विषिस्ठताको   खुब गुणगान  गाउथ्यो । उनीहरु निजी सम्पत्तिलाई निराकरण  वा कम्तीमा न्युनिकरण  गर्न चाहन्थे किनकी उनीहरुको सोचाइमा निजी स्वामित्व भनेको स्वार्थी र अनुत्पादक हुन्छ। उनीहरुको तर्क थियो , सरकारी स्वामित्वमा भएप स्रोतहरु सबैको फाइदको लागि सदुपयोग हुन्छन्।

जुन खाद्यान्न पहिले किसानको खाद्यान्न थियो, त्यो अब “जनताको खाद्यान्न” बन्न गयो र मानिसहरु भोकै पर्न थाले। जुन कारखाना कुनैबेला उद्यमीको कारखाना थियो , त्यो अब “जनताको कारखाना” बन्न गयो र त्यसबा६ यति गुणस्तर्हीन  सामान बन्न थाल्यो कि ती सामानका लागि सीमाभन्दा पारी कुनै बजार नै थिएन।

हामीलाई अहिले थाहा छ, पूरानो शोभियत साम्राज्यले एकपछी अर्को आर्थिक र परिवृत्तीय गल्ती गँयो। एकपछी अर्को खराब सपना लिएर आयो। यो प्रत्येक समाजवादी प्रयोगको पाठ  हो। हुनत्ः समाजवादीहरु अम्लेट  बनाउन केही अन्डाहरु  त फुटाउनै पर्छ नि भन्न खुब रुचाउछन् तर सत्य के हो भने उनीहरु जहिले पनि अन्डा मात्र फुटाउछन् , अम्लेट  कहिल्यै बनाउदैनन।

तपाई आफू सम्पत्तिको ख्याल राख्नमा राम्रो छु जस्तो लाग्छ भने , गएर अरु कसैको ३रमा एक महिनाको लागि बसिहेर्नुस वा उनीहरुको कार चलाएर हेर्नुस्। म वचन दिन्छु न त उनीहरुको घर  न त गाडीनै तपाईको जस्तो देखिन्छ।

यदि तपाईलाई समाजका अप्रचुर स्रोतहरु लिएर रद्दीमा परिणत  गर्नुछ भने , तपाईले मात्र, ती स्रोत सृजना गर्ने वा कमाउने व्यक्तिको हातबाट  खोसेर कुनै केन्दि्रय अख्तियारलाई व्यवस्थापन गर्न दिए पुग्छ। तपाईले एकै झ६कामा सबै कुरा तहसनहस गर्न सक्नुहुन्छ। दुःखको कुरा त के छ भने , सबै तहका सरकारले सधैजसो त्यस्ता ऐन कानून बनाइराखेका हुन्छन् जसले निजी सम्पत्तिको अधिकार हनन् गरेर सम्पत्तिको राष्ट्रियकरण गर्न तर्फ उन्मूख हुन्छन्। 

Decline of a comedian and the rise of comedians!

Recently, Bihar's unexpected economic growth has been making most of the economic headlines within and outside India. Bihar which was once one of the poorest regions of India, with corrupt politicians in government and hoodlums and gundas ruling the streets, saw a record high economic growth rate of 11% this year and finally, is back on it's way to prosperity. I say "back" because as it is known that Bihar used to be richer than most of the Indian states in 1960s. It was a favorite destination of Nepalese wishing to have better health treatments and higher education (well, it was always popular among us for higher studies..for the effortless and affordable fake certificates as least) ,it was the dirty politics that took it down the drain. And it reached its nadir during the 1970s when the politicians in love with socialist ideals came into power.

Removing English as a subject form the educational curriculum, promoting violence between various ethnicity, promoting corruption and impunity were some of the prestigious achievements of the then government.The following governments worked even better towards removing the distinctions between those in governments and the hoodlums in the streets. Lalu Prasad Yadav, the famous comedian cum politician and the trademark of Bihar managed to give Bihar a negative growth of 5 percent during his career.

Fortunately, Nitish Kumar who came into power after Lalu, didn't think so highly of comedy in the politics and got down to reforming Bihar seriously. Doing Business Report by World Bank suggests that , he is working more seriously than his counterparts in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. And now, Bihar proudly finds itself embarked into the path of prosperity and civilization.

Sadly, Nepal has hundreds of comedian instead of one like Bihar, which means the comedy show by the government is likely to run for a longer time. Similarly, the audience here tends to find the show more amusing given the fatalistic attitude embedded in the culture, historical context of economic and political isolation, instilled socialist ideals, pompous intellectuals etc. Given the recent context of the show going even more hilarious and the audience clapping with amusement, there is very little that can be done except hoping that someday our comedians realize that no matter how hilarious the show, audience will get tired of it. With their hungry stomachs and their aspirations for free air will either change the whole theater or break themselves free of the chains  of the theater and soar in open air.

Sadly,no Nitish Kumar is in sight yet!