Nepali Times
Radical recovery

INSIDE STORY: Casino owner Rakesh Wadhwa, who made a dramatic recovery after being diagnosed with lupus, reading an excerpt from his novel The Deal Maker, to be launched in Kathmandu next month.

Rakesh Wadhwa has a drastic solution to save Nepal, a bit like the radical step he took this year to save his own life. He wants to free the economy from the prescriptions and restrictions of government and let it take care of itself.

In April, at age 53, he was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease, lupus. He found that the prescribed drugs had serious side-effects, so he subjected himself to a one-month fasting therapy that helped him lose 22 kilos and rid him of the disease.

"The therapy allowed my body to use all its energy for the healing process, allowing it to detoxify itself," says Wadhwa. His wife Shalini, who publishes the boss and VOW magazines, also underwent the therapy and brought her diabetes under control.

"There is nothing like a virtual death sentence to concentrate your mind," says Wadhwa. "If you were fasting for a
month just to lose weight, then it probably wouldn't work."

Wadhwa also claims the healing process at the True North Health Centre in California allowed him to regain his mental equilibrium and focus his mind on his novel, The Deal Maker, co-written with South African Leon Louw. It is being published by Rupa and will be launched in Kathmandu on 12 November. The novel tells the story of an Indian socialist dystopia of the future, and a visionary young prime minister with principles. The underlying message is one of freedom, and the triumph of the human spirit. "My life's purpose is achieved with this book," says Wadhwa, who admits he is a proud follower of Ayn Rand.

Wadhwa, who runs several casinos in Nepal, has always been a libertarian. So it is not surprising that he wants freedom to underly economic matters in Nepal. He wants all trade barriers lifted and the economy opened up for foreign direct investment, removing the government's interference in business.

After having worked in and run businesses in Nepal, Wadhwa finds it is a pity that a country that straddles two Asian giants with the highest growth rates in the world should be so economically stagnant. With Nepal's lower labour costs, it could be a magnet for foreign investors if it took steps to facilitate free trade, slashed tariffs and used its natural assets.

"Opening up completely to FDI would attract investors who still find India restrictive," he says. "You could change this policy in 24 hours, and start seeing results soon after."

Investment would create jobs, raise economic growth and lift the country out of the doldrums. Corruption could be a concern, but graft can be controlled by minimising government interference, Wadhwa adds.

"Nepal has to be more attractive to investors than neighbouring countries, otherwise why should they come here," he asks. "We have to go further ahead than India, you have to be even more liberal than India."

We ask Wadhwa to tell us in one sentence what he believes in. "I don't need a sentence," he replies, "it's one word: freedom."

Pre-order The Deal Maker at

healthpromoting .com True North Health Centre's health programmes

More rah-rah for Rara, ASHUTOSH TIWARI

1. betting man
I don't think we need wisdom from some guy who made his easy money from the Casino monopolies. He is most likely taking all the profits back to India. His big talk about liberalizing Nepal's economy further to gain economic advantage on India is all to simplistic. Nepali citizen's are the major gamblers and laws forbidding their entry is not practiced. BAN the casinos.

2. shyam
Thank you, Rakesh, for the book and for the work you've done in Nepal. Casinos like yours have provided jobs to countless Nepalese men and women. In foreign lands, too, Nepalese work at jobs in casinos. 

3. Sargam
Huh, Here is a guy who can teach the  Nepalese the beggar-thy-neighbor policy.

As of now, he must be an expert in how to plunder instead of how to ponder.
The world as a whole has become a vast Casino where all sorts of traders and bankers loot and plunder people as it pleases them.

We don't need such an advice for the time being. We need stability and people ready to work hard to improve country's flagging economy.

4. ram
Thanks for providing thousands of jobs to Nepalese and allowing Nepalese to gamble away billions of rupees into your bank account. Nepalese work in foreign casinos and bring back hard currency remitances back home.

5. krishna
If adults over the age of 18 choose to spend all their time gambling in casinos with their own money, that is their choice. The consequences are theirs to bear. Blaming the casinos is like blaming KFC for selling fried chicken that raises the number of heart patients. Who is anyone to judge the private worth of an individual citizen's choices? Casinos, like cigarette and alcohol factories, exist and provide jobs and taxes all over the world. You may not like what they produce and sell, but they do exist and serve a purpose. Do not shove your dislike into everyone's throat.    

6. yada yada yada
So what's new? 

People have been harping on both, for and against this and all I get from this article is another person who's adding to the drone.

7. Sargam
They all have a sparkle and wit to them, our Hindu deities!

Why not because they are having a gorgeous time in the den of sins i.e.Casino!!

Oh, Vishnu is missing!!!

You guys remind me of a 'Ren� la taupe' an ad video wreaking havoc in the world over with its insipid song and swirling around, for, he is bored to death doing nothing.

Nepal being classed as the 146th most corrupt nation there are guys who have plenty of money to spend in Casinos. China has promised to make all neighboring countries like Laos, Nepal etc... the casino resort places for Chinese dignitaries to enjoy life where they can gamble to forget their stress and come back fresh to restart the usual harassing life at home.

You guys are on the right path to glory. Keep going.

We're nobody to make you swallow the bitter drug into your throat if that's your yearning.

Just enjoy 'Ren� la taupe' on You tube.!?!

8. Rajaram
Rakesh Wadhwa must join the UCPN(Maoist) party and become its economic adviser  in order to to maintain balance and equlibrium in the system in the coming days. Baburam should be closer to him  even in his casino ,not Jamarkattel.

9. Ritesh Banerjee

Mr. Wadhwa has recently released a novel, called 'the deal maker'. Releasing a libertarian novel at a time like this clearly shows his intrepid dedication to libertarian ideas. The novel is the first of its kind in South Asia, and is modeled on "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. It�s a wonderful read. And gives an immense perceptive into the possibilities of liberty.

In fact the model described for India in the book might well be employed for nepal. Nepal as an emerging nation state, would want its economy to develope, and the deal maker provides a great perspective into how this might be possible. In fact as seen through Mr. wadhwa's eyes libertarian ideas are really benefit the common man and are not the privilege of an elite but rather the heritage of anyone who strives in a field.

10. Sneha Balakrishnan

Nepal is going through a crisis of state, or shall we say a synthesis towards nationhood. And at this time what it needs more than anything, is the rule of law. It needs freedom, of press, freedom to trade, so that it can develope as an economy and be a harmonious society.

All those that slander Rakesh Wadhwa should probably read some of the articles he has written in support of individual freedom in nepal.

Mr. Wadhwa is an intellectual who has been nominated the most number of times for the prestigious Bastiat Award for free market journalism. He has recently released his second book, which is his first novel. The slanderous things people are saying about him are a far cry from his true beliefs. He has faced trouble before in nepal, including a death threat, but instead of fleeing from that country, he stayed loyal and continued to provide people with jobs and to encourage the nepalese economy.


(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)