Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Re: My article on federalism

August 22, 2009
Dr Tilak Shrestha
Tilak ju

I have indeed been following email correspondence on the subject very closely and I am aware of the names you have been called and I have ventured to write these articles full well knowing (and notwithstanding!) what names I might be called.

I am a fiercely chauvinistic Newar and in my student life I never studied Nepali as long as there was an opportunity to study Nepal Bhasha. I am very proud of being a Newar, for its language, culture, architecture, etc. The Khas people don’t even have their own script and they aren’t that rich in culture (they are borrowing most of our cultural practices now and that makes me very proud) but we have our own scripts (unfortunately, I have yet to learn these). However, my struggle in life has forced me to learn Nepali language on my own such that these days I am mostly requested to correct things written in Nepali by my Khas colleagues!

Having prefaced what I wanted to say with the above paragraph, I will now try to respond to you. If people were to look around they will realize that Newars, for example, in India have lost their identity (language, culture, etc.). In other words, the chances of us preserving our identity is very high in Nepal but not outside. But if the abstract things in the aspirations of federalism are to be implemented, it is highly likely that it will lead to disintegration of Nepal. It may sound paradoxical, but I see the need to ensure that Nepal doesn’t disintegrate in order to preserve our Newa identity. If people from other communities were to read these lines it is certain that they will call me selfish, self-centered and self-serving. I am prepared to accept being called as such because I know enough to understand that my Newa identity has very little chance of survival if Nepal doesn’t survive.

I don’t need to repeat here what I have written in my articles and, in my considered opinion, fragmentation of Nepal into various provinces in the name of federalism will lead to its disintegration. I get goose pimples when I think that Yugoslavia has vanished from the map of the world for this very reason. Unfortunately, things weren’t limited to this. It has rather spun off into ethnic cleansing with a lot of people dead. Multi-ethnic couples have been torn apart. I even dread to wonder what will happen to people with non Newa spouse in Nepal if Nepal is to emulate unfortunate ways of Yugoslavia.

As a student of economics I also don’t support the idea from the perspective of economic viability; one Nepal is too small to be further fragmented and more importantly each small province will not be sustainable on its own. Besides, the concept of right to self determination will be like a boon that Bhasmashur got.

All of the above may not matter to those who are settled abroad. But for the likes of us who prefer to slug it out here (notwithstanding our US degrees that will ensure luxurious life style there), the only way to ensure survival of Newa identity lies in survival of Nepal. Therefore, I beseech those who want fragmentation of Nepal into various provinces, whether in ethnic lines or otherwise, to read my articles once more and come up with way outs to the risks I have mentioned. If we could find viable measures for the purpose, I am willing and prepared to be a champion of federalism.

With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha

From: [] On Behalf Of Tilak Shrestha
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 10:52
Subject: [NESOCA Mail #2909] Re: My article on federalism

Ratna Ju


I also thought along the same line. I merely mentioned that we have to do some serious thinking on the consequences of ethnic division of Nepal. I was branded anti_Newar, Bahunbadi, Raja badi, Chalachitrakar badi etc. However, recently my status has been upgraded from anti-Newar to agent of anti-Newar. Not too bad. Hoping your article would provoke objective analysis of the ground realities, and resultant policies.


Tilak Shrestha, Ph.D.

Date: Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 10:19 AM
Subject: Fw: My article on federalism

Dear Colleague
Nagarik has published the attached article in its today's edition. I am forwarding it to you in case you have yet to read it.Please do feel free to forward it those who you think should read this article or would like to read it.


With best regards,


Ratna Sansar Shrestha, FCA

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