Nepali Times
The National Anathema


It is when soldiers padlock the gates of the Supreme Court and threaten to expand their agitation until all their demands are met that we know we are heading Ass-first into the new loktantra.

Last week alone, the streets of the capital were simultaneously closed off by agitating teachers, agitated students, ex-servicemen from the Nepal Army, ex-Gurkhas of the British Army, the Condom Parade on World AIDS Day, the handicap rally on World Handicapped Day, a protest march by Maoist victims, and a counter march by Maoist victimisers. Tyres are in such great demand that there is now a dealership in Kalanki.

The sole intention of all these demonstrations of street power was to create awareness by bringing vehicular traffic to a standstill at the centre of political authority in the country which is a 500m radius around Singha Darbar. So, the Ass's free advice to all of you is to call 103 before heading out anywhere in the unforeseeable future. Or just take a walk.

The reason people spill out into the streets to be heard is because we have such a pathetic parliament building. The former nautch ghar of the Sri Tin Maharaj that looks like a cross between a Mormon church and a Tsar-era railway station is not befitting of the New Nepal. Imagine, there will be 450 MPs crammed like gundruk inside. And smelling like it too. Imagine the aroma of pheromones when one-third of the House raises the Red Salute, thus exposing their honourable sweaty armpits to all and sundry. We know that CCTVs have been installed so the Speaker can spy on interim MPs who are eclipsed by the fourth pillars of democracy inside the August House, but is that a way to run a National Legislature? We suggest moving parliament to BICC, or why not have it outdoors in the sun in the National Stadium?

Ever since Comrade Dahal was thinking aloud last week about how Deb Gurung would make an excellent Speaker, the man has been rehearsing for the post by cracking the Whip. Deb sir should also take a crash course in monitoring security cameras because that is what he'll have to be doing most of the time to figure out which backbencher is hitting whom over the head with a microphone behind the pillar.

The national hue and cry over the proposed national anthem has got more column inches than any other subject in recent weeks, even more than Ian Martin's commutes to New York. Byacool Maila is probably ruing the day he submitted his lyrics because he's had to bear more public scrutiny than a candidate for the US presidency. Someone has dug up a preface he wrote for a book in which he sings undeserved praises for G Shah's poetic abilities, thus raising serious doubts about his loktantrik credentials. Looks like the Mailas get along like a house on fire, and that includes the enigmatic Maila Baje (

Otherwise the only thing we can really say about the poem is that it is pretty bland and glorifies the blood spilt in past wars. And some of the words are so awkward, one wonders how they will ever be set to music, even by Ambar Gurung. Speaking of whom why not just turn 'Naulakha tara udaye' (Maybe replace nau lakh with tin karod) into the anthem of not just a New Nepal, but a Greater Nepal?

The Ass hears James Moriarty was a hit when he spoke in Nepali with a twang in Pokhara last week. The ambassador seems to have put in a lot of work on his spoken Nepali, and even mastered such Sanskrit mantras as "shanti punarsthapana" and "balik matadhikar". Alas, the Ass's Pokhara informant couldn't figure out whether the ambassador was reading from Nepali or Romanised text. Either way, a well-deserved A-minus to the ambassador in his orals. Now for the written exam.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)