Culture is Dying Why Teach it to our Kids?
A view on the Nepal Massacre article:
DIPENDRA THE KILLER?
NEPAL MASSACRE: Family
Feud or Conspiracy?
Culture is Dying
Why Teach it to our Kids?
am proud to be a Canadian born Asian!
It took me many years of personal cultural rejection before I
was able to say and mean it. Today
I can say it with out any problems, but if had you asked me 5
or 10 years ago I would have told you I was ashamed of my
Youth today are bombarded with the newest American fashions,
Hollywood stars and the latest music trends, so as a result learning
about their culture is something that many fail to see as a priority
in life. The sad truth
is growing up in this western world has allowed large numbers of
youth to reject, and sometimes even hate their culture.
Any parent noticing this obsession with the western world and
rejection of their own culture will begin to panic, but don’t!
Remember, it is important to begin to teach your children
about the dynamics of their culture at a very young age.
Attend cultural festivities, read them books on your culture,
use your mother tongue and allow them to participate in anything
that will broaden their understanding of their heritage.
grew up rejecting my mother tongue; I also extended this
stubbornness to cultural festivities, fashion, and traditions.
However, the irony of it is, that although it was the western
world that pushed me away from my own culture, it was this same
world that eventually pushed me towards it.
While idly watching celebrities and the latest fashions I
began to notice that the newest emerging trends were descending from
my very own culture. I
began to see super stars like Madonna take on Asian fashion.
I saw celebrities wearing bangles, bindi’s and sari’s.
And soon enough I even began to see my non-Asian friends with
henna hands, bindi foreheads and colourful bangles.
It was with this trend towards the exotic Asian culture that
I began to become interested in what my culture had to offer.
It was at this exact time that a lot of Asian youth began to
embrace their culture because the western world was welcoming it.
Yet remarkably, when the Asian cultural trend died down, our
passion for our own culture did not!
youth realize later on in life that maintaining and experiencing the
richness of what their culture has to offer is a feeling that can
not be achieved by following the latest trends, of the western world.
Partaking in long-lived traditions and cultural festivities
fills a void in every individual, a part that many look for when
they are searching for their true self.
Not only are you discovering yourself in your heritage, you
are discovering your parents, your grandparents, and your ancestors.
Knowing that I can now carry on the traditions and
expectations of my culture creates in me a sense of pride, a feeling
only my ancestors can give me.
If you have children who are rejecting their culture don’t
lose hope, eventually they will understand the importance of it.
Never give up teaching them; one day they will look back and
thank you! TOP
view on the Nepal Massacre article:
DIPENDRA THE KILLER?
The official report says: Dipendra
The two-member commission led by
the Chief Justice Keshab Prasad Upadhaya and the House Speaker
Taranath Ranabhat presented the findings to King Gyanendra last
The House Speaker, Ranabhat
presented a summary of the findings live on television and radio at
a press conference at the parliament secretariat. Rifles, magazines,
cartridges and clothes were on display. Most details confirm early
media reports about a drugged and drunk prince going berserk with
automatic weapons, mowing down family members.
The highlights of the report:
Dipendra was intoxicated even before the family dinner and
was carried up to his room where he smoked a joint with hashish and
an unidentified black substance. He made several calls to Devyani
Rana in a slurred voice.
Dipendra’s orderly and governess found him on the floor,
trying to take his shirt off, he went to the bathroom and vomited.
Dipendra donned combat fatigues and, armed with a 9mm MP-5K,
an M-16 and a 12-bore French shotgun went down to the billiard room.
Two 9mm Glock pistols were also found at the site, one was used.
He fired at the ceiling and the wall, then at his father,
He left the billiard room, changed guns and returned to spray
his father with his submachine gun, killing and wounding family
members tending to King Birendra.
He returned to spray the survivors once more, killing his
He then backed out into the garden while a woman in a red
sari (Queen Aishwarya) and Prince Nirajan followed him.
There were gunshots from the garden. Queen Aishwarya’s body
was found on a landing, and Nirajan’s on the lawn, brain tissue,
bits of bone and blood covered the area.
Dipendra was found near the bridge, still alive and wheezing.
Two weapons were found near his body.
Most members of the royal family were declared dead on
arrival at the Chhauni hospital at about 2115 on Friday night. Sruti
died at 2155, Dhirendra and Dipendra two days later.
The 200-page report was the outcome
of the commission’s extensive interviews with royal survivors in
hospital and other eyewitnesses, examination of hospital records,
lab analyses, and ballistic and forensic evidence. There were more
than 60 specialists who helped in the seven-day investigation
headquartered in the heavily guarded parliament secretariat.
To be sure, the report is shocking
and the public disbelieves it and there are reasons to do that,
perhaps. If Dipendra was “intoxicated and had to be carried upto
his room, where he smoked a joint with hashish and an unidentified
black substance”, he would have passed out immediately as is
confirmed when his “orderly and governess found him on the floor”.
In such a state, for him to have
“donned combat fatigues”, arming himself “with a 9mm MP-5K, an
M-16 and a 12-bore French shotgun” and going “down to the
billiard room” would not have been possible.
Dipendra is said to have “fired
at the ceiling and the wall and then at his father, King Birendra”.
His leaving the room, changing guns, killing and wounding and then
going out to the garden and shooting – all this sounds like a
fable to fit the official conclusion.
The matter of fact is either
Dipendra was neither intoxicated nor did he take hashish and the
black substance, and was just pretending to be to cover up what he
was planning to do.
Or he really was down and out, and
it was somebody else, who carried out the royal massacre, and then
shot him to put the blame on him.
The truth may never be known and
nobody can blame the Nepalis and the world for not believing the
official report with all its exhibits. TOP
NEPAL MASSACRE: Family
Feud or Conspiracy?
the only Hindu monarchy in the world, has been mostly unknown
to the world, except as heaven for the “hippies” in the
last decade, and as the launching pad for expeditions to the
world’s highest mountain, the Everest, for decades.
carnage in “the top of the world” has shattered the
“peace” in the Himalayan Kingdom that “traverses the
high Himalayas, idyllic mountain valleys and crowded lowlands
that meld seamlessly with India’s Gangetic plains”, as
John Stackhouse has referred to Nepal.
was the worst mass murder of Royals since the Bolsheviks, on
the order of Vladimir Lenin, in 1918, executed the Romanovs.
Nepal Times sums up the tragedy thus, “Friday night, faith
died. Belief succumbed to the cruelty of history. Impregnable
walls could not stop the flight of an age towards eternity.
The king is dead, may his soul rest in peace. Long live the
king, the symbol of Nepali unity and cultural identity. It is
with this mixture of grief and hope that we are coming to
terms with a tragedy too painful and complex to comprehend.”
is said that in 1768, when King Prithvi Narayan Shah, founder
of the Shah dynasty, ascended the throne, a prediction was
made that his line would end after 11 generations. Some years
back, another prediction said to have been made was that King
Birendra Shah would not live beyond 55 years. He was 55 years
Prince Dipendra, 29-year old, is rumoured to have “secretly
married” Devyani Rana, the 22-year old daughter of a former
Nepali Foreign Minister and a member of the powerful Rana
dynasty, which had ruled Nepal by seizing power in the mid-19th
century until 1951, when the Shah dynasty returned to power.
to one report, at the dinner table, Dipendra, who appeared to
have been drinking, is said to have asked his parents to
accept Devyani Rana and declare their “engagement”. The
King and Queen did not accept this. Having been rebuffed,
Dipendra opened fire with an automatic rifle killing at least
10 people before he shot himself in the head with a pistol. He
all but wiped out a dynasty and fulfilled the 233-year old
in coma at the hospital, he was proclaimed King. Later he died.
King Dipendra, the 12th generation Shah ruler,
“became perhaps the only monarch in the world who passed his
entire reign in a coma”.
his coronation platform, in 1971, King Birendra called for
Nepal to be declared a Zone of Peace. It is a paradox of
history that he himself was destined to fall prey to an act of
Birendra will go down in history as the sovereign who made his
subjects sovereign, and transformed them into citizens of his
own accord. He was, in that sense, the very personification of
history. Not many rulers of the world can lay claim to have
guided the journey of a nation from autocracy to democracy
with relatively few setbacks along the way. If there was a
price to pay, he ultimately paid it with his own life and the
lives of his immediate family members.
massacre and the events that followed it have destabilised the
palace, which was perceived to be a solid and monolithic
structure for more than 250 years. This last week has pushed
the nation into an unprecedented dilemma and crisis. The
Nepali nation is bewildered and alarmed.
Gyanendra ascended the throne after it was officially
announced that King Dipendra “left for his heavenly abode”.
This is the second time for him. In 1950, the last Rana
Prime Minister, Mohan Sumshere, crowned him king. People
refused to recognise the infant-king, as the then King
Tribhuvan and Crown Prince Mahendra were both alive and well,
though in a self-imposed exile in India after China occupied
Tibet. This time it is different. After the decimation of King
Birendra’s family, King Gyanendra is the legal heir to the
throne sanctioned by the customs and traditions of Nepal.
Paras Shah, his son and future heir, is the least popular
royal, having been involved in three hit and run accidents,
and in an accident last year that killed a popular singer.
There are rumours that King Gyanendra (indirectly as he was
out of town) and Prince Paras were involved in the massacre.
Binod Bhattarai writes in the Nepal Times, “There are
slight discrepancies in the exact sequence of events: where
precisely were the members of the royal family during the
first and second bursts of automatic weapon fire, where were
the wounds on the bodies, where were the ADCs, where exactly
was Queen Aishwarya, did Paras leave the room? But on the
question of who was involved, what emerges from extensive
interviews is confirmation of a family quarrel gone horribly
wrong”. What exactly transpired will never be known and
any reports that follow an inquiry will always be considered
a cover up.
Gyanendra, in his first proclamation, set up an inquiry
commission. He announced the formation of a three-member probe
consisting of the Chief Justice, the House Speaker and the
leader of the main opposition party. The inclusion of UML
general secretary, Madhav Kumar Nepal, was unanimously hailed
as a very astute move—the devastated royal palace had taken
the unprecedented step to open up.
Madhav Nepal decided to pull out of the inquiry commission
citing “a procedural lapse” in the formation of the probe.
The party says that in keeping with the constitution, a
committee should have been formed by Singha Darbar, and not by
UML seemed once more to be putting its politics before the
national need to avert deep crisis. “They are haggling over
legal niceties when the important thing is to have a
commission with credibility that the people will accept,”
said a leading leftist from within the party.
UML appears to have been pressured by two members of its
alliance (the Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party, and the
Popular Front), which had decided that the royal crisis was
the right time to activate the long-pending strategy to oust
Prime Minister Koirala. “We didn’t like this being done by
royal decree, the government should have proposed the
committee and we would have assigned a member instead of the
king naming an appointee,” was what a party official told
us. “This was a typical ploy by the king, a conspiracy, to
get us bogged down with a possibly predetermined outcome to
the inquiry,” said another UML parliamentarian.
Madhav Nepal’s withdrawal from the inquiry commission,
ruling party sources say that the panel will continue its work
even if the third member does not join. The respect enjoyed by
the Chief Justice, it is thought, provides the commission with
enough credibility to proceed. The panel is expected to take
at least until the weekend to present its preliminary report,
and sources say that rather than immediately point fingers or
name the perpetrator, the commission is likely to suggest
guidelines for a thorough investigation.
is great sadness at the death of an enlightened monarch in
King Birendra. There are accusations of a conspiracy behind
the killings not only against King Gyanendra and his son
Prince Paras but also against India.
conspiracy theory is to the fore in the Pakistani press.
Islamabad’s The News quoted the former head of the secret
service, Lieut -General Javed Nasir, as saying “India is the
main conspirator behind the Nepalese royal family massacre as
it had warned the family not to get too close to Pakistan and
Urdu-language Nawa-i-Waqt carried a report accusing India’s
premier intelligence service of being behind the killings.
the massacre of King Birendra and the royal family, not only
has Pakistan lost a good friendly ruler in South Asia, but
also the leadership that protected the politics of Nepal from
Indian interference has passed away. Behind this gruesome
massacre, one cannot overlook the role of RAW [India’s
Research and Analysis Wing],” a correspondent said. King
Birendra had sought to stop India and the American CIA putting
pressure on the Kathmandu government to support them in a
regional power struggle with China.
banned Nepalese Communist Party, whose Maoist insurgency has
resulted in over 1500 deaths in the past five years, also
shares the conspiracy theory. A statement published in
Nepal’s Kathmandu Post said the “patriotic and liberal”
king was unhappy about Prime Minister Girija Prasad
Koirala’s plan to mobilize the army to fight the rebels.
Koirala, and the Indian capitalist, hegemonist rulers and
other national and international fundamental reactionists were
not tolerating the late King Birendra’s liberal thoughts,”
the statement said. “This pre-planned massacre will have
long-term effects on the future of Nepal.”
India, the Hindustan Times said ““Official circles here
are alarmed by the turn of events in Nepal. Kathmandu-watchers
feel Gyanendra not only has an anti-India mind-set but is also
believed to have patronised elements having close links with
Pakistan in the none-too-distant past.”
the Hindustan Times also quoted former Indian ambassador to
Nepal Bimal Prasad as saying: “I did not find any indication
of hostility towards India in my interaction with Gyanendra.”
in The Times of India, Dubby Bhagat concurred. “Gyanendra...
is the pragmatist visionary to his brother’s unfettered
idealism... if anyone can rise above intrigue, and weld
together the warring factions of Nepal’s new found democracy,
Prince Gyanendra can.
detractors have labelled him anti-Indian. He is assuredly not.
He will listen to anyone who he sees as having resonance and
cerebral worth. It is for India to provide such a person to
manage the fragile relationship between the two countries.”
countries in its neighbourhood may wonder how tragedy seems to
stalk the ruling families in this region,” The Times of
India said, pointing to similar experiences in India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.”
Times of India described King Birendra as “a lofty figure of
continuity who transcended the murky world of parliamentary
Nepal’s hour of grief, the tragedy should awaken the
politicians - who have fouled the democratic pitch - to their
mandated responsibilities,” the Times argued. “The Maoist
insurgency could only be tackled by raising living standards.
There is no reason for such unmitigated poverty in Nepal with
its rich abundance of natural resources and hard-working
future holds no promise. “The future of Nepal’s politics
as well as the monarchy hangs in the balance,” said former
Judge Bhubaneshwore P Daibagya. “The new King will have to
win the love, confidence and support of the Nepalese people.
But it will be difficult.”
Roka, an independent leftist activist, said, “The
circumstances demand that those who call themselves political
powers or even responsible citizens learn from their past
weaknesses and become serious if the country is to be saved.
If the nation does not survive this crisis, neither will we
and our various selfish ambitions”. TOP
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