Nepali Times
Under My Hat
Restoring the august house


With only a little bit more training our honourable peoples' representatives could soon join the Nepali martial arts contingent heading out to the Olympics. An intensive karate clinic was held recently to ready them for battle with the best MPs the world has to offer.

And so, for the first time in the history of this sports-loving nation, a session of parliament was converted for half a day into a dojo. Our MPs showed mastery of the three elements that every great karate expert needs: an instinct for speed, strength and technique. I know talent when I see it. And looking down at the floor of the august house last week, I could tell that the honourable representatives of the Unfed Marxist-Leninists are born martial artists.

During the first round, the UML's resident black belt made a lunge from his seat, carried out two impressive triple flips down the aisle, and emitting a warlike cry, pirouetted in the air to land a perfectly placed knuckle punch on the solar plexus of a rather astonished honourable Nepali Congressman.

That day, the Unfed Marxist-Leninists showed why their forebears of the Great Proletarian October Revolution rocked the world in ten days. Following Lenin's famous advice to "take one step forward and two steps back" the honourable member from the UML then turned around quickly and placed an accurate reverse jump kick on another unsuspecting member of the ruling party, following it up quickly with a finger jab into his (the ruling party member's) eye socket.

If they were actual blows, these karate movements could have been fatal. It is a tribute to the non-violent nature of the Nepali people that punches were pulled, and tremendous restraint was shown by all concerned. True, some honourable nose cartilage got mashed, an elected groin or two needed first aid, some parliamentary earlobes were chipped. But in the spirit of this great sport, participants showed great accountability and transparency.

By noon, the tournament was in full swing with the quarter-finals and semi-finals being waged in various parts of the august house. A particularly interesting bout was going on near the exit where an exasperated marshal was trying to untangle two MPs who, it seems, mistook this venue for the knockout of the World Wrestling Federation-Nepal (WWF/N) Tournament which was actually being held in the Upper House.

While the Nepali Working Peasants' Party cheered, the UML MP had got the Nepali Congressman in a firm half-nelson. The desperate NC MP then stuck his fingers up the nostril of his opponent, briefly easing the vice-like grip. The Honorific Speaker, who was trying to play referee, himself got embroiled in hand-to-hand combat and after that it became a three-way fight, leading to an electrifying finish in which the judges pronounced the Speaker winner.

Another infighting was taking place under the Royal Sceptre between two Nepali Congressmen who had abandoned karate rules and were involved in a Thai-style kickboxing match which was now in its final round. Further up the aisle, two honorary members were practicing throwing the Treasury Benches at each other.

By the time the final bell rang, participants, spectators and media in the gallery agreed that a good time was had by all, and that martial art was an important part of defending democracy in Nepal. If the august house was so much fun, I can't wait for the September house.

From 'The August House', Nepali Times #4, 9-15 August 2000

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)