Nepali Times
Babylon babble



If not for the demise of Girija Prasad Koirala last Saturday, the media would in all likelihood still be babbling about Babylon. The previous morning, police conducted a raid at the aforementioned disco in Sundhara, discovered 356 students hard at play, arrested them, and held them for six hours at the Mahendra Police Club before releasing them. The media had a field day, for they had been invited to the party.

Our minds are on loftier matters perhaps, and the media has been filling pages left, right and centre with coverage of Asia's 'tallest politician'. But come the weekend, parents will return to that age-old worry: what is my child up to?
The Babylon raid raised a few other worries: what were the Nepal Police and the media up to?

A raid is merited if police suspect illegal activities. So even if dancing is verily a human right, thus legal, opening a nightclub at 8 in the morning is not in Nepal. Whether you think that is right or not is beside the point; Nepali law states nightclubs shall only operate between 6pm and 12 midnight. To compound this, clearly there was underage drinking going on within Babylon's premises.

But why was it that the kids Ė as opposed to the proprietors and staff of Babylon Ė found themselves herded together like cattle, exposed to the media, and detained for the rest of the day?

It may be against school regulations, and far from ideal preparation for the future, to bunk classes for a bunker disco. But as far as I know, it ain't a crime. Are we really expected to believe that the police arrested the kids to test for drugs, and managed to process 356 samples in six hours? The results, they say, were negative. While waiting (with parents waiting outside), the good coppers 'interrogated' and 'counselled' their charges, presumably as part of their 'social responsibility'.

What was the real meaning of this raid, coming as it does on the heels of other crackdowns in dance bars across the capital? Is it part of the special security plan, or simply a particularly egregious example of moral policing from a police force that has demonstrated amply that it is totally amoral?

If the former, well, it beggars belief. I don't even want to start on a to-do list for New Nepal's finest, and everyone knows the police are in on what goes on in Kathmandu's entertainment venues. Why bust Babylon now?

If there were any doubts about the self-aggrandising and moral nature of the raid, the invite to the media dispelled them. Instead of simply closing down the disco, shooing away the kids, and informing schools and parents about the mischief their charges were getting up to, Nepal Police went for saturation coverage. Hordes of reporters were on hand to record the raid, and hounded the guilty parties (excuse me) inside and outside Babylon. Most, understandably, tried to shield themselves from the cameras, but as Narendra Shrestha from The Kathmandu Post noted, the reporters were relentless. "Ey gadha, show your face!" shouted one, and smirks were in evidence on the faces of both policemen and so-called journalists.

What will the kids actually learn from this traumatic experience? Judging by most of the comments on websites, there is a great deal of indignation, some of it misdirected ("bunk party pani jana napaune k") but most spot-on Ė doesn't the Nepal Police have anything better to do?

The absurdity of the raid and the manner in which it was conducted was perhaps best put by a blogger writing about the experience. She prefaces her comment with "I know it was wrong to bunk school but Ö" What if, she wonders, a stampede had ensued within the narrow confines of the disco? Why were the media there, harassing them as though they were "fish caught in a net"? Why did the raid take place now, when bunk parties have been going on for years?

This is of course not to imply that petty crime doesn't deserve attention. But it's blindingly obvious the state is trying to deflect attention away from its failures by seizing on an easy target. Why this was not so obvious to the hacks who came to feast upon the shame of Nepal's future is beyond me. Perhaps they'll find an answer in the
dregs of their Royal Stag the next time they find themselves in a dance bar.

1. Princess

I agree that this isn't the first time this sorta party has been going on and it's definately a shame that people in authority have not done nothing to stop it. The owner and the Nepal Police should seriously be ashamed of themselves, the former for organizing such parties to mislead the young generations and the latter for keeping their eyes closed for this long despite of knowing it all along.

But Mr.Thapa, the Nepal Police decided to nab them this time around, probably waking up from the deepest ever slumber, but atleast it was brought into limelight. If this is not beneficial to anyone, it definately is for the parents and the schools. Atleast they are now able to keep track of what their children are actually up to on daily basis. It definately is an eye opener for the parents and the school authorities to keep note on these young teens. I for one am only too glad that the 'Babylon Disco' was raided. Better late than never.

2. Kevin Rudd
This was just a publicity stunt by the Police to divert attention from their inefficiancy. They cannot capture Indian Hit saqads coming to Nepal so they have to show that they are doing something....... apart for from catching flies.

3. jange
When murder, loot and extortion is praised and rewarded what else can the police do to justify their salaries?

They should learn from the Maoists- kill enough people, become a minister. Go dancing, end up in custody.

4. Bibek
Most of the time, solutions in Nepal has been dangerous than the problems.

5. Nirmal
That was a bloody bullshow of moral conservatism found in Nepal. The dhindes as always leading the banner and the rest applauding the show. How I hate this bloody herd of moral police altogether! Was that necessary even as you mentioned that it was functioning our of legal time-table? A newspaper even published their photos without their permission to explain the rest of the world how bad those youngsters were , what a harrasment !

6. Anuj

Nirmal, i agree with you. That was sure a harrassment on the part of police and journalist. But who is going to speak against or question the very nature of their approach to Babylon raid. In additionm, journalists present there have crossed the limit of professional ethics and police, as always, have proved them even more "dumb heads" and incapable.

7. Chamarey
Sometime back in London, Metropolitan police stopped bothering about the dope-heads. Their argument was that police time will be wasted if they go after these fairly docile marijuana smokers.
Rumour has it, that there is an incompetent and allegedly corrupt SP in charge of Hanuman Dhoka Police Station. Hence all this silliness...! 

8. akash Sherung
The raid at the Babylon disco was a pathetic effort by the 'Jana Sewa Police Chauki to to divert attention from Axe Dance Bar raid  by central police authority -in which the Jana Sewa police officials also blamed for turning a blind eye to full nude dance shows at this dance bar.  If any one is to be arrested and interrogated and photographed as criminals in public it should the police  officers of Jana Sewa police post and the higher officials who receive kick backs from them for protecting illegal business entrepreneurs.  It is an open secret that the such kick pack police official receives is channlized right up to the chief of police and the home minister. 

blame by the 'Jana Sewa' police Chauki for turning a blind eye to the

9. AK

NEPAL POLICE........Shame on you......!!!

What you people have done is correct, but your timing and intention was very bad...........Just to cover up your feeble and cowardish face after failing to nab the Killers of Jamim people landed on cheap popularity plots like this....................................

Doesn't Nepal Police know about most of the illegal activities going around in the town????? They definitely know,but Nepal Police is highly bribed, they have monthly or weekly hafta from these night clubs and discos................Nepal Police is the most corrupted organization in Nepal...................Shame on you Nepal Police....

And equally, this was a good Eye Opener for STUDENTS,too who were there from 8 in the morning...............although, a bit traumatizing for these minors...........i hope, they have learned a good lesson,too

10. Gorkhe

Nepal is finishing with Beer, Alcohal, Masu (non veg), Sex, rape, corruption, becoming more murder, extortionist, opportunist, lacking basic education,  Thanks to all leaders who needs them more and value them more.

The reason is simple ! We are loosing value of Hinduism & heading towards Secularism.

Many youngsters may not be aware of Hiduism - it is neither a cast nor belong to any community or an identity of Pundit with a long hair tail on their head but it is a kind of scientific way of living or art of living necessary for human life. A system where every human from any part of the world can breath and live happily.




11. Zin
This news made the front page in almost all our national newspapers...the media seriously lacks professionalism...the whole system is just too personal and politicised.

12. hange

Gorkhe, your so-called reasoning is dreadful.  Are you saying that one must be Hindu to have morals?  What, are Buddhits amoral? We don't need Hinduism to use common sense.  We don't need to be a Hindu-state to know that rape & corruption are bad.  You have it wrong buddy: 

We don't need Hinduism for King.

We do not need a Hindu-state to "keep Nepal": what we need is common sense, better policing, earnest leaders, a constitution, and, perhaps, better grammar (at least that's my impression after reading your post).

13. Harkey

Media ... LOL ..!!!!!!

Guess they don't even know what professionalism is !!!

Bunch of Morons!!!!

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)