Friday, October 28, 2005

The Demonstration That Wasn't










Cops on the west edge of Ratna Park looking for something to do.


Live from Ratna Park

A big pain in the ass, that's all it was.

Around 2pm everyone gathered for yet another bought-and-paid-for demonstration. This time, it was the 7-parties teaming up with Kantipur. No big difference in the two, so it wasn't much of a shocker when they both decided to join forces.

Blogdai's once favorite newspaper, The Kathmandu Post has been going berserk lately spouting off against the shutting of Kantipur FM like it was comparable to Rwandan genocide. Only Kunda Dixit-- like him or not-- managed to keep his head and report things in a somewhat balanced manner in his Nepali Times. Memo to Kathmandu Post: Objectivity breeds credibility. You currently have neither.

Anyway, back to our big gathering: 85 arrested, no violence. The police arrived early and had the entire Ratna Park area blanketed ahead of time. Most of the demonstrators either failed to show up or scattered early. Couldn't count more than 500 people around the area, although there must have been a few more. Over all, by Kathmandu standards, a poor effort.

Blogdai surveyed a few Kathmanduites in and around the demonstration for their opinions and reactions:

" Why do they waste our time like this?" "How can we run a business when there is a strike all the time?"

"I don't like the King, the politicians or the police. You want to see a big fight? Put all the demonstrators in a big field with the local shop owners and then you will have a war!"

"The King must make a democracy now and politicians must shut up!"

"We don't pay attention to this; it is all for the rich (men) ."

The alliance started their morning by sending little groups of students to disrupt things all over town. There were early disruptions in Baneshwor, Lalitpur and Saat Guumti.

Analysis: A supposedly democratic alliance that supposedly represents the people is using fear and intimidation to heap attention upon themselves. The economy was disrupted and people were frightened. No wonder these guys are talking to the Maoists; they use the same tactics.

The people of Nepal are suffering, to be sure. But it is not for the reasons we hear out of the western media drumbeat. Nepalis feel suffering tangibly and most immediately from two sources: The Maoists and the protesters. Ideological pontificating about royal repression, press freedom, and lack of democracy falls on deaf ears to the average nepali--rural or urban--who is just trying to survive.

-=blogdai

Extra: To our Readers in Nepal: The very excellent newslookmag.com is, as you all know, currently blocked in Nepal. Blogdai has been in contact with Founder, Chief Editor and all-around journalist extrordinaire Dharma Adhikari who tells me that newslookmag.com will soon be back; bigger and better than ever. He will offer professional coverage on world events as well as his unmatched coverage of Nepal issues. He's the best in the business so it will be worth the wait. Until then, blogdai will continue to relay his messages to all of our readers here, so keep watching! Jai Nepal

4 Comments:

At 6:30 PM, October 31, 2005, Anonymous PoliticalKanchha said...

Could people please refrain from leaving comments as ANONYMOUS.

Use, "suntalikumari", "pappusingh" or whatever. But for heaven's sake, pick a name.

 
At 6:50 PM, October 31, 2005, Anonymous PoliticalKanchha said...

Blogdai,

Only a true friend will tell you what you don’t want to hear.

You are my eyes in Nepal. I don’t trust the reporting provided by MSM. You are witty and have an excellent command of the language. More importantly, you don’t think with your heart and offer dispassionate reporting.

But I must say that lately your writings have started to sound like rants. Instead of more moderate Nepalis coming to your blog and reading about the real Nepal, you’re scaring them away.

I could provide many instances of this. For lack of time I’ll just pick one from this week’s thread:

“No wonder [the politicians] are talking to the Maoists; they use the same tactics [i.e. fear]”

Dai, you are in a serious need of an editor. You should have someone go over your posts before you publish them. (Not for grammatical reasons – I haven’t found any grammatical mistakes in your writings – but for reasons pointed above)

If you would like me to do this for you, please send in your posts to politicalkanchha@yahoo.com. I don’t check this account that often. It seems that you normally publish your weekly accounts at certain dates, so we should have no problem setting this up.

As things stand, you are only writing for the believers when we should be converting more people. There are a lot of moderates out there who are being brainwashed by the Dixits and Kantipurwallas. We have to show them the other side of the story. They need unbiased and unemotional reporting – not stories that melt your heart and demand policies that do not work.

We have to restore sanity in this country, blogdai.

Keep up the fight!

PoliticalKanchha

 
At 11:36 PM, October 31, 2005, Blogger blogdai said...

appreciate the pep-talk PK,

It's an old marketing axiom that states that a person just won't get your point until you restate it at least 6 times.

Since we've not cleared the air of "democracy at all costs" expatriots yet, I'll continue to press my case.

The bandh blogdai witnessed a few days ago left the same impression on kathmandu citizens as past bandhs called by the Maoist. The comparison was unavoidable and the suffering to the average citizen indistinguishable.

Loved your piece in the NEpali Times. Your hot-button seems to be the Dixits so tread lightly or Kunda won't publish your next opinion, ha!

-=blogdai

 
At 5:23 AM, November 24, 2005, Anonymous atyida said...

So the Dixits and Kantipur are trying to brainwash people...and the Gorkhapatra, Rising Nepal, and blogdai are writing clearly and dispassionately? I admit I'm drawing my own conjectures here - perhaps you think the GP and RN are emotional too. But please, just for my personal edification - because I really would like to know - how are the above-first-mentioned publishers/papers trying to brainwash people? As far as I can tell by looking over the last few issues of the Nepali Times, they publish a variety of opinions, from writers/columners from all over the political spectrum.

 

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