Nepali Times

Read your great editorial ('Idol worship', #368). Now that Prashant Tamang has become the Indian idol and Swami Ramdev a Nepali idol, we must campaign for the removal of the artificial border between Nepal and India. How about that? Let me quote a line from your great editorial: ' ...the motherland itself is being torn apart by centrifugal identity politics.' You are right, but your publication itself is contributing to the divide. Are you ignorant or are you misleading your readers as usual?

Sushila Tamang,

. I don't understand all the media fuss over Ramdev. Anyone doing breathing and physical exercises, teaching in high schools, can reap the same benefits. Of course, normally people stop exercising after leaving school, and develop health problems. As usual, we need to bring, at great expense, someone from the south to tell us to stay fit.

Ramesh Khatry,

. Prashant Tamang may be the pride of the entire country but some people seem to see him only as a way to make a quick buck. There was a sham of a party with Prashant at the Yak and Yeti casino, including snacks, dinner and drinks for
Rs 2,000. But there were no drinks, no snacks and you'd have to cleave your way through the crowd to get a piece of food. At a time when the nation is rejoicing over how a constable from Darjeeling has drawn together the Nepali people in a way no politician has been able to, opportunists only want to make a fast buck.

Nalini Shah,

. CK Lal writes against our happiness in Prashant Tamang's win ('Our identity crisis,' State of the State, #368). Has he ever written about why Nepalis in the tarai revel so much when India wins in cricket or why Indians are so ecstatic when an American or British with an Indian sounding name excels in his/her respective country? Yes, Mr Lal, when Nepalis are questioning even the basics of their own history, a sense of communalism helps in this identity crisis.

Sandeep Dhungana,

. Artha Beed is right ('Indian idle,' #368). The money collected to text message Prashant could have been used to buy relief items for our own Nepali brothers and sisters suffering from the insurgency and floods. It was good to see a fellow of Nepali origin winning the Indian Idol and it did help, momentarily, to bring Nepali people of different places and nationalities as one. However, it is disappointing to see how the media and the people of Nepal neglect Nepali talent. Wake up, we have a lot more to do then just bask in Prashant's glory if we want our country to survive.

Vicki Pakhrin,

. I couldn't understand the rationale behind supporting Prashant Tamang on the grounds of nationalism and identity. The fact is he was in the 'Indian' Idol and he is an Indian citizen and he sang Indian songs. Just because he speaks Nepali, how can one look at him as Nepal's ambassador? He represents Nepal's identity crisis rather than our identity and honestly, he was not the most deserving of all the candidates.

Astha Bhatta,


Being arrested for taking a photo of the American embassy ('Arrested in Kathmandu,' #368) is not news to me, I am an foreign artist living in Nepal and I faced the exact same treatment for taking pictures of Phora Darbar at Kantipath, not even the embassy. But I didn't let them treat me the way they treated the author. There are so many stories of people being harrrased like this. I find it ridiculous.

Joe Deneth,

. The American 'security procedure' is just its dumb puppy act. The makers of security policies are puppies so dumb that they cannot distinguish a family friend from a robber. It's pointless to take any offence against the security men doing their jobs but it's high time American policy makers realise that they are turning friends into foes by similar dumb acts.

Suputra Nepal,

. The Nepali people have always been friends of the US of A. This sentiment must be respected by the US government officials and they should stop harassing Nepalis. It was absolutely absurd to put someone through such mental torture for just clicking one harmless picture, and to treat her like a criminal. Maybe it is time for all of us to go the street outside the embassy and take pictures, let's see how many they can catch.

Name withheld,

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)