October 18, 2008
Mr Arun Chaudhary
Nepal India Chamber of Commerce and Industry
I have come to learn that you weren’t too happy with what transpired between me and TN Thakur at Hotel Yak & Yeti last month. I too don’t approve of the incident. I am able to see your perspective and, therefore, I don’t blame you for your being unhappy with the incident. However, there are a few things that you need to know in this respect and due to that very reason I am sending you this email. I hope you will find time to read it and send me your input. Having known Binodjee since BS 2031 when I was a lecturer in Saraswati Campus, I am close to him and he does understand me very well. I hope to be close with you too and wish that you will understand my perspective, too.
On that particular day Mr. Thakur didn’t allow me to complete my comment from the floor, when he was chairing the session. I had a very important point to make. He kept on interfering. However, I didn’t take that too negatively (I, of course, wasn’t too happy either) as it was his privilege in the capacity of a person chairing the session. Besides, I had succeeded in making my point notwithstanding his attempt to disallow me to do so.
During the tea break - the scene that you witnessed - he approached me (I didn’t approach him, as I wasn’t too eager to meet a person who doesn’t want to hear another’s perspective) and started saying something in Hindi (I don’t recall what he said). You must know that Indians have the habit of using words like “Tum, “karo”, etc. which I am unable to tolerate. I expect people to use terms like Aap, kijiya, etc. and I am used to reciprocating accordingly. I didn’t take offense but replied to him in English hoping that he will stop calling me “tum”. Then he said “I am telling you.” I am sure that you know about in what condition and to what people the word “TELL” is used. Therefore, at that point (by then I had become really upset) I asked him not to “tell” me things, I advised him to say a thing if he had something to say or suggest if he had a suggestion to make. Then he did correct himself. That was the heated argument you witnessed.
My problem is that I am unable to stand such behavior for too long. On the contrary, most of the Nepali bureaucrats, businessmen and politicians were fawning on him as if he was a VVIP. I happen to know that he is merely a bureaucrat of joint secretary rank. And he has become used to treating Nepali people as doormat, which I am unable to stand. If one was to talk about protocol, I myself have a status of assistant minister, being a member of regulatory commission for water supply which is an autonomous and independent institution. But I don’t go around pulling my rank and talk to people in denigrating manner as he is used to do.
Moreover, I have serious disagreements with him. In many of his visits to Nepal, he went about saying that Nepal can earn INR 10,000 crore if Nepal was to export power from 10,000 MW built with Indian investment. My analysis shows that Nepal will earn only INR 200 crore. I have written several articles refuting this. At the close of that heated exchange also he compounded the problem by saying that Nepal will benefit due to investment of huge amount for the implementation of such big projects. That is also untrue. I have made a detailed analysis from which my conclusion is that only 3.56% of the total investment will percolate into Nepali economy. I left him, pointing this out (I have written articles with this analysis too).
With best regards,
Ratna Sansar Shrestha