Monday, October 20, 2014

Pushkar Shah's "Sansaar laaii saadhe paach fanko"

पुष्कर शाहको "संसारलाई साढे पाँच फन्को" प्रबल सम्भावना बोकेको तर अनुचित प्रस्तुतीकरणले गर्दा स्तरहीन बन्न पुगेको पुस्तक लाग्यो मलाई । विश्वका १५० देशमा घुमेर बटुलेको अनुभवजन्य पुस्तक त सांस्कृतिक, भौगोलिक, मानवीय सबै पक्षको दह्रो विवरणले भरिएको हुनुपर्ने हो । तर यो पुस्तक त विभिन्न देशमा गएर बेस्सरी जाँड धोकेको, तरुनीहरूसँग झन्डैझन्डै सुतेको, उनीहरूका नग्न शरीर देखियो भनेर दंग परेको एउटो उरन्ठेउलो युवकको डायरीमा मात्र पो सीमित रह्यो । पुष्कार पक्कै तेस्ता मान्छे हैनन् होला । उनी त विश्वमा शान्ति फैलाउने अभियानमा लागेका प्रबुद्ध व्यक्ति हुन् तर यो पुस्तक पढ्दा त उनको प्रबुद्धतामा शंका पो उठ्छ । कुनै पनि देश उनी कसरी पुगे, त्यहाँ पुगेर कुन कुन मुख्य ठाउँमा घुमे, त्यहाँका निवासीलाई केकस्तो सन्देश दिए शान्तिको भन्ने प्रश्न राखेर किताब पढ्न बसेको त तामसिक कृत्यमा मात्र जोड दिएको देखेर दिक्क लाग्यो । म नियात्राको "फ्यान" हुँ त्यसैएल यो पुस्तक पढ्न मलाई हुटहुटी थियो ।   पुस्तकमा छोटा छोटा अध्याय र केही सरस वर्णनले पठनलाई सजिलो बनाएपनि बारम्बार उस्तैखाले प्रसंग दोहोरिरहँदा पछिपछि त झर्को लागेर "स्किप" गर्न मन लाग्छ (जबकि संसारको विशेषता नै वैविध्य हो ) । सगरमाथा आरोहणको भाग तुलनात्मक राम्रै लाग्यो । तर ठाडा र भद्दा शब्द प्रयोग पुस्तकभरि नै गरिएकाले सुसंस्कृत रुचि भएका पाठकलाई बिच्काउँछ । मानवीयतामाथिको आस्थालाई दह्रो बनाउने पुष्करको यात्रावर्णन कलाविहीनताको दलदलमा नराम्ररी फँसेकोमा मलाई दु:ख लाग्यो । 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bijaya Kumar's "Khusi"

विजय कुमारको पुस्तक "खुसी" मलाई राम्रै लाग्यो । आफ्नो जीवनभोगाइलाई लेखकले इमान्दारीपूर्वक पस्केका छन् जस्तो लाग्यो । कुनै पुस्तक मन पर्नुमा पाठकको आफ्नो पूर्वाग्रहले काम गर्छ भन्ने मेरो मान्यता छ । मैले विजय कुमारको व्यक्तित्वमा आफ्नो व्यक्तित्वका केही झल्का पाएँ, जस्तै लजालु बानी, मान्छेसँग घुलमिल गर्न नरुचाउने, बच्चा मन नपराउने तर आफ्नो पाएपछि वात्सल्यको तीव्र अनुभव गर्ने, जागिर खाने कुरामा फुक्काफाल धारणा राख्ने, कुरा सिधा राख्ने लगायतका कुरा । उनको मनमौजी बानी, अध्यात्मतिरको रुचिलाई पनि मैले आनन्दपूर्वक पढेँ । रक्सी पिउने बानी र यसबाट पाएको छुटकाराको इमान्दार प्रसंग तारिफयोग्य लाग्यो । सम्पादक/प्रकाशकसँगको कुराकानी अब्बल छ । तर "सेक्स" सम्बन्धी पूरै अध्याय नै बकवास लाग्यो किनकि यसमा उनले आफ्नो अनुभवजन्य कुराभन्दा अर्काको भनाइ दोहोर्याए । उनले अन्य व्यक्तिका भनाइमा अन्य प्रसंगमा पनि धेरै भर परेको चित्त बुझेन । पुस्तकमा तथ्यगत त्रुटि भएको कुरा त धेरैले औंल्याए तर भाषा सम्पादनमा समेत बिजोक छ । नेपाली र अंग्रेजी शब्दमा गल्ती भरमार छन् । कल्पनासँगको "प्लेटोनिक" सम्बन्धलाई "प्लुटोनिक", अमेरिकी मित्रको "yacht" लाई "याच" जस्ता गल्ती अग्रेजी शब्दमा भने नेपालीमा एकरूपता नअपनाई एउटै शब्दलाई अनेक हिज्जेमा लेख्ने कामले पठन खल्लो बनायो ।

Monday, September 29, 2014

The flying posture

मानिसले दुवै हातलाई उचालेर फैलाउने मुद्राले मलाई घोत्लिन बाध्य गरायो । पंछीले पखेटा फिँजाएर उडेको क्रियालाई मानिसले अनुकरण गरेको हुनसक्छ यो । पंछीको उडान स्वतन्त्रताको प्रतीक हो र मानिसको स्वभाव नै स्वतन्त्रता रुचाउने हुन्छ । धेरैजसो प्रख्यात मानिसले कुन जीव बन्न पाए हुन्थ्यो भन्ने प्रश्नको उत्तर "चरा" भनेर दिन्छन् । अनि हात फैलाउने मुद्रा त जिसस क्राइस्टको प्रसिद्ध मुद्रा भैहाल्यो । यसको आध्यात्मिक महत्त्व छुट्टै छ । क्रिस्तानी धर्ममा रहस्यमयी सन्तहरूले आफ्नो हत्केलामा क्राइस्टको दु:खलाई आत्मसात गर्दै कीलाको घाउ (स्टिगमाटा) अनुभव गर्छन् भनी परमहंस योगानन्दको आत्मकथामा उल्लेख गरिएको छ । भारतीय रहस्ययोगमा समेत सिद्ध योगीहरूले संसारलाई दुवै हात फैलाएको पुरुषका रूपमा देख्छन् भनी गोपीनाथ कविराजको कुनै पुस्तकमा पढेको थिएँ । अनि अाधुनिक युगमा हात फैलाउने मुद्रा त "टाइटानिक" फिल्मले प्रसिद्ध बनायो । जहाजको टुप्पोमा गएर नायकनायिका दुवैले सूर्यास्त हेर्दै हात फैलाएर प्रेममा लीन भएको त्यो दृश्य अत्यधिक अनुकरण गरियो फिल्महरूमै पनि, वास्तविक जिन्दगीमा पनि ।

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rahul Pandita's "Hello Bastar"

Investigative journalist Rahul Pandita's book "Hello Bastar" provides the account of Maoist conflict in certain areas of India like Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal and Bihar. Rahul traveled to the hinterlands of these states and interviewed Maoist leaders and guerrillas over a long period of time so his account feels authentic.
Maoist conflict started with Naxalbari uprising and it extended to other places in India. The persistent inequality, caste-based discrimination and the deprivation of Adivasis' rights to land resources have proved fertile grounds for Maoist activities.
Indian government's approach is negative in the sense that rather than fulfilling people's basic needs, it tries to suppress Maoist rebellion with brute power. This state oppression has involved even the innocent people and has inspired them to join the Maoist fold.
While Maoist tactics of physically eliminating class enemy cannot be justified, the cause they raise has to be addressed by the state. Maoists are also at fault as they accept gifts from big corporations and work against people's interests. But Maoist dream of a communist regime is a pipe dream at best.
Rahul maintains objectivity in the book although at times he seems to fall in charm of Maoists.He provides the portraits of certain Maoist leaders among whom Anuradha Ghandy stands the best. She sacrificed her life for the uplift of poor Dalits, Muslims and the proletariat, unlike our own Maoist leaders who enjoyed privileges in India while common cadres were tortured and killed here. Since Nepal too went through Maoist conflict, Nepali readers can relate with it.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Neelanjan Mukhopadhyaya's Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times

नीलान्जन मुखोपाध्यायले लेखेको नरेन्द्र मोदीको जीवनी Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times ठीकै मात्र लाग्यो । मोदीलाई खासै मन नपराउने तर खुलेर गाली गर्न पनि नसक्ने रहेछ नीलान्जन । सन्तुलित भएर लेख्न खोजेको रहेछ तर कता कता के नमिलेजस्तो । मोदीका जीवनकथा भन्दा पनि उनको राजनीतिक  उहापोहलाई देखाउन खोजेको रहेछ । मलाई त मोदी कर्मनिष्ठ र देशभक्त लागे यो जीवनी पढिसकेपछि । यिनले भारतका लागि केही गर्छन् ।

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone

Adults create war. The young are sacrificed in it. Forced into war into an early stage of life is a traumatic experience for anyone. Ismael Beah in his memoir A Long Way Gone graphically records his wartime experience in Sierra Leone and the difficulty in social rehabilitation later. The loss of innocence and its regain provides a good read although the writing was not par excellence.

Left behind (Conflict-hit children)

This appeared in Republica daily on 23 June 2014.

http://myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=77590

The process of formation of transitional justice mechanisms has finally started. The bill to form Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission of Enquiry into Enforced Disappearances has already been passed by the parliament. But the human rights community and conflict victims have rejected the bill and moved the Supreme Court for its alleged “amnesty provisions” even for serious breaches of human rights. That in itself is a problem, but importantly the apathy of the bill towards the children affected by the conflict is even more troublesome. Nowhere in the bills have the concerns of children been addressed. 

Children bore the brunt of the conflict. Many were injured after being caught in the crossfire. They suffered in the post-conflict period as well because they couldn’t recognize live explosives, to fatal consequences. Around 700 children are reported to have become casualties of landmines and other explosive devices since 2006. 
Normal growth of children was stunted by the loss of care and protection as their parents died or were displaced. Separated from their parents, children across the country have been living in child protection home. This bereavement has caused psychosocial problems. Moreover, there are reports of sexual abuses and disappearance of children during the conflict.

Data of conflict victim children have been made public by various agencies. But it is a pity that the government has no such data. According to the 2005 report of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), more than 500 children have lost their lives, approximately 40,000 were displaced, hundreds wounded, and more than 8,000 rendered orphan or separated from their families during the conflict. 


Central Child Welfare Board’s 2009 report says 19,980 children were affected by the conflict, with almost 50 percent of them displaced; 20 percent had lost either mother or father; 8 percent had lost both the parents and 671 were disabled. Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN) estimates a similar number of children as affected by the conflict. Save the Children, meanwhile, claims to have supported 24,368 conflict-hit children since 2006. These data show that the conflict had a profoundly negative impact on children.

Maoist combatants formerly residing in cantonments but disqualified as minors by the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) present a further problem. The Maoist practice of recruiting children placed many children in harm’s way. Maoist leaders kept telling the world that they hadn’t recruited any children but nearly 3,000 minors in the cantonments belied their claims. Since these children were informally released without any form of rehabilitation and reintegration package, their vulnerability has increased manifold. 

Left to themselves, these “disqualified” combatants have been facing hurdles in smooth reintegration into the society. The stolen lives of these children have left them with feelings of resentment and frustration. There is every chance of their negative energy being used by criminal elements in the society. Sierra Leone and Liberia serve as examples. There, former child soldiers were involved in substance abuse, violence and thefts. Ismael Beah’s memoir A Long Way Gone graphically records the plights of child soldiers having difficulty in reintegration. Only social rehabilitation, rather than pecuniary compensation, can guarantee their future. 

The government has made big promises for the rehabilitation and protection of children affected by the conflict. In clause 7.5.1 of Comprehensive Peace Agreement both the parties have committed to special protection of the rights of women and children. National Plan of Action for Children, Nepal 2012 published by Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare has pledged to make arrangements for clear codes of conduct related to children affected by armed conflict, and ensure their rehabilitation within families, communities or institutions. 

Nepal is also a party to Convention on the Rights of Child and its optional protocols which clearly obliges the government to protect children. However, the government has not done anything to translate these obligations into actions. Nepal Peace Trust Fund was established to address conflict-era issues and billions spent in different peace projects, but not a single rupee for the benefit of children. 

To redress these problems, the government should immediately implement its long-term plans and policies for children. Incorporating children’s concerns in the TRC could be the first step. Appropriate mechanisms for involving children in the TRC should be developed. Children who played the roles of victims and perpetrators have been subjected to traumatic events. Thus, it is imperative that a child-friendly environment be ensured through involvement of child specialists in order to avoid re-traumatization. 

Children must be an integral part of TRC process. Important information about the experiences of children should be obtained from adults, child protection agencies and others working with children.TRC should build upon and promote existing structures established by child protection agencies and other re-integration and resettlement support agencies concerning the reunification, reintegration and reconciliation of children through a community-based approach.