I am appalled of the writers that contradict themselves. While the visit to Mangal Bajar cited as a 'PR event' is endrosed by D Mahat from Baltimore USA in support of Kunda Dixit's write up in 'The Royal Trek' (#266) in a subsequent sentence he writes: 'Why did the king wait for 7.5 months to go to the streets? Why did he not go to the people on 1 February itself?' So what's the problem D Mahat of Baltimore? If the king had gone earlier then it is fine and not a 'PR event'? Is it a question of timing or is it a question of the act?
. Regarding all the letters published in your feedback regarding the royal trek I beg to differ to some misconceptions those letters tell the public. People ask in their letters 'instead of building something constructive with the money spent on arches, why not spend it on development? Why doesn't the king do this? Why not that?' Instead, I ask these people why not tell the political parties not to destroy the sidewalk railings? Why not let the people go to their offices in peace? Why not let the students go to their schools? Questions are all we have. Lets not be biased. Democracy doesn't necessarily need yellow journalism.
. The overwhelming response to Kunda Dixit's article 'The royal trek' makes me want to put something to you:
1 When the political parties block the streets and burn tyres in the middle of the road, Nepali intellengesia stays quiet. Are we so afraid of their hooligamism that we take upon ourselves everything the parties throw at us? If it is the king's turn to walk along the streets of his kingdom, why such a hue and cry?
2 The welcoming crowd during the king's trek might have been school children. Granted. But look at the crowd the political parties manage to pull: career students who have nothing better to do than make their rounds from one campus to another spreading mayhem and arson on behalf of their party bosses.
3 One gets the feeling that the agitating parties are merely barganing for the power. Do they really want to save democracy? I doubt it. Just look at their record while they were in charge.
4 The king is able to rouse nationalistic sentiments among us. We feel patriotic when he is around. Good on him. The parties, on the other hand, seek Indian assistance in everything they do. Why do they invite the Indians to meddle in Nepal's internal affairs? Answer: they want help to get back to power so they can hand our natural resources to them.
. After reading 'The royal trek', I couldn't help thinking that since the country is also his, the king walk around as much as he can. His ancestors took the initiative to build the country while ours hopefully helped. That is the most we can claim. If my father decided to walk, jump, run or just inspect the house his father built, what right do I have to complain? While all the hoopla about the king's walks is going on, no one seems bothered about Indian leaders who came to our country to lecture us. Is India so prosperous, so dignified and so peaceful that these leaders, virtually unknown in their own country, have the time to come here and lecture us? What is even more unfortunate is the undue media coverage that followed. While the Indian leaders were here, they didn't bother to talk about Bhutani refugees, or the encroachment of hundreds of sq km of land near the Nepal-india border, or the mistreatment of Nepalis by Indian security in Nepali territory. No siree, they came here to lecture us on democracy.