CK Lal and Seminars

Finding surprisingly faster internet connection yesterday morning at the cafe I frequent, I decided to check Nepali news sites after a long time. I don't have much know how of the politics in Nepal since coming to Africa. Nepalnews and Kantipuronline both take ages to load due to all the unnecessary graphics and banner ads. So the only news I get on Nepal is if Beeb has something on its South Asia section - the latest being the Bhaktapur's Kumari Saga, and a report on the disappeared people during the 10-year-war. It had also been at least a couple of weeks since I last checked Nepali Times - one newspaper (e-version of course) that I try to go through every week, mostly for the columns (CK Lal, Daniel Lak etc.). In fact, I have started to find even these columns repetitive and not much interesting lately. Anyway, yesterday morning I managed to open all these online Nepali news sites surprisingly quickly, so obviously browsed through (and loaded for offline reading) most of the columns/longer articles, avoiding day-to-day political pieces (don't know myself as to why!?!).

So, among the five "Guest columns" from, one caught my eyes, along with CK Lal's State of the State column from Nepali Times. The former, about the recent controversies surrounding Gyanendra's birthday celebrations in Nepal, written by Preeti Koirala, argues that the eight-party governing coalition was simply frightened to let Gyanendra celebrate his birthday in the way a King's birthday used to be celebrated before.

Of course given the general political mood in the country, it is not surprising that the parties would like to show themselves as far from the palace as possible. This time however, even the diplomatic community took the same line as the eight-party coalition by not attending the birthday bash. So in some way the parties will feel vindicated in their decision.

Coming back to the column, the "facts" about the Terai unrest, YCL's activities and numerous other problems in Nepal cannot be denied, however, the author's "analysis" of the situation is quite strange to say the least, especially about the "role of diplomatic community in the domestics of Nepal" as she puts it.

By covertly helping the Maoist movement since 1996 and providing shelter to the top Maoist leadership, India had hoped that a puppet regime could someway be created that would easily dance to its tune. The U.S., UK, Switzerland and some Scandinavian countries had desired to fish in troubled waters of Nepal and destabilize the country further into ethnic or religious contours which would then enable the United Nations to establish a huge presence in the country including troops presence in the name of “peace-keeping.” This could then be enlarged to orchestrate disturbances deep inside Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Creating hurdles in the path of China’s rapid economic and military influence is absolutely essential for these countries and the easiest way to do so is through Tibet which has borders with Nepal’s northern districts.

Its true that India, US and UK have had considerable influence in the Nepali politics over the years, but to accuse Switzerland and "some Scandinavian countries" of trying to destabilise Nepal, in order to stir trouble in Tibet and "create hurdles in the path of China's economic and military influence" seems extremely far-fetched to me, and to be frank, simply laughable.

Since everyone seems to have realized that the present government either cannot hold free and fair elections or the post-election phase will be more traumatic than what this country has ever witnessed in the past; there is an urgent need to widen the narrow viewpoint of the government towards the rightist forces. [emphasis mine]

I am simply confused from the above statement. So won't even try to decipher it will be much appreciated 🙂

Lets leave the business of monarchy and come to the season of "symposia, seminars, workshops, discussion meetings, and congresses" as CK Lal puts it in his latest State of the State column in Nepali Times. After quite sometime, I could just read this piece by CK Lal and nod my head in agreement (and find some humour even), and not wonder what he is trying to convey from his argument and analysis of a political or economic point, and his never-ending gripe on some issue or the other (not that there is no hint of his gripe on the "largely pointless" seminars and workshops in this current column - but I just found it much more light-hearted than his usual stuffs).

Two short paragraphs below should give some flavour of the column.

Politically correct expats have three time-tested ways to shine at seminars. Praising Nepal and Nepalis is a foolproof method of getting the audience’s approval. Recounting tangential anecdotes about living in a remote Cambodian village is a clever way of sidestepping controversy. Celebratory talks with platitudinous references to the supposedly positive contributions of foreign aid—especially from natives of the countries in question—are becoming the norm.

Every participant knows these talkathons are largely pointless, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, but we always accept the invitation: it makes us feel wanted. The satisfaction of making an easy ‘contribution’ to the betterment of society is a bonus.

Well, that's my reading of the Nepali press, and news from/about Nepal for July. I am sure I have missed an awful lot, but hopefully nothing major 🙂

3 thoughts on “CK Lal and Seminars

  1. Paribartan

    To tell you frankly, I stopped reading C.K. Lal and his regular columns after his buffonery as regards his experience in Japan. In one of the columns after his visit to Japan, what he catered to was based more on hearsays than on facts. He recounted how hapless Nepalis paid almost a million to enter to Japan and he recounted his meetings with some Nepalis who came to Japan through the help of human traffickers. But, he never substantiated those people nor ever disclosed who the human traffikcers operating in Japan. Similarly, while talking about racist attitude of Japanese also, he went overboard and cited an inappropriate example to demonstarte racism of Japanese society. Yeah, I also bemused by his take on expat Nepalis working in Japanese, whom he did not hesitate to deride as living for hand to mouth. I think C.K. Lal lost sizeable section of expats after his those write-ups.

  2. Shaiva

    Parivartan, from reading CK Lal's columns, I don't think that CK Lal cares too much about what expat Nepalese think about him. He appears to detest overseas Nepalese and NRNs. So if you don't read him it may be so because CK Lal doesn't want people like you to read him.

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