September 18, 2009
Mr Rabindra Mishra
Speaking through Action &
BBC Radio (Nepal)
I too read your article with interest and almost instantaneously knew that a sharp rejoinder as such will soon be forthcoming. But I am both surprised and shocked that you have thrown in towel so quickly and in such a manner. What Dipakjee is saying has its own merit in the backdrop of what was meted out to KingG by the "loktantriksters" - to borrow a term from him. But I firmly do believe that you too have a valid point in terms of what is the best use of one's property - acquired by means fair and/or foul - not just in the case of KingG but all and sundry too.
I am familiar with what you were doing while in London philanthropically and I do subscribe to your idea and feel that all human beings should ponder over what you have said and endeavor to follow it. We have a saying in Nepal (I am sure that you are aware of it) that if your offspring is a "saput" - qualified, capable and well behaved son or daughter - the parents don't need to leave any wealth behind as s/he will make her/his million on her/his own. Conversely, no matter how much of wealth is left behind by the parents to a "kaput" s/he will finish it off in no time, in worse manner, for bad purposes. Therefore, after investing time and resources in bringing up a saput out of one's offspring what is left of one's property should be dedicated to the nation's cause - good ones.
I myself have been planning in this very line since last 5/6 years. I am planning to invest my property in setting up a fine educational institution (I don't have a lot but I reckon there is enough to at least construct a building for the purpose) bearing my name. At the risk of sounding immodest, I do want my name there so that other people too will follow the same path even if out of envy/jealousy (at least). BTW, as I have discussed the idea with my family in a very sketchy manner, I will make a public announcement about it in the near future after having a full fledged family discussion and I have only mentioned it here contextually (by way of a vague plan to put to practice what one preaches). Another facet of this is a question if I am depriving my children from their right. No problem as such exists as I and my better half didn’t share in our respective parental properties and what I have garnered so far is through sheer hard work (entitling me to claim to be a self made man).
Actually I would like people to invest in philanthropic activities such that I am planning to recommend to GoN to institute inheritance tax on those who don't like your idea. What I have in mind is: a stiff inheritance tax to be levied and such revenue stream to be used for the up-liftment of disadvantaged and downtrodden (not a single paisa to be spent on administration/overhead of the program). While people investing their property on philanthropic activities on their own will be exempted from this tax.
With best regards,
Ratna Sansar Shrestha
From: Rabindra Mishra [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2009 10:39
To: Dipak Gyawali
Cc: madhukar; Arup Rajouria; Ajaya Dixit; Ratna Sansar Shrestha; Prabal Sumshere Rana; Yubaraj Ghimire
Subject: Re: What others should do...
Dear Dipak Jee,
Thank you very much for your email. Usually, I get feedback from lots of readers but responses from academics like yourself provide a different perspective and insight, which are absolutely crucial to enhance my knowledge and understanding.
After reading your email, I realised the lack of wisdom in me and how one-sided my arguments were. I fully appreciate your points.
Thank you so much once again.
2009/9/16 Dipak Gyawali <email@example.com>
I read your Purba Raja Lai Khula Patra at the following link.
For obvious reasons you can understand, I would not be replying to you in the public forum, but I am copying this to a couple of friends including those whose name I saw in the reply section.
Frankly, I was quite disappointed with your analysis, although I am sure you will get a lot of syabasis from failed loktantrickbaadis as a great means to cover up their own failures. You sound like Badri Khatiwada with whom I have had a similar argument on this count.
Leaving aside the speculation of how many billions he has or does not have (how come the entire state machinery has been at it for such a long while but does not seem to come out with anything? Especially after the challenge he left when leaving Narayanhiti), what a common citizen, especially on who has been "commonized" should or should not do with his personal wealth is, as it is, a very personal choice. What belongs to his brothers has long been declared nationalized by our august parliament, which does not want to ask where the maoists got their money to buy hospitals or Sujata or Aarjoo to run their NGO fiefdoms (including Ponzi schemes), nor where the many PONGOs (party-organized NGOs) receive and spend theirs. They, and their Mughlani handlers also don't want to ask how a sitting prime minister boasted in Kantipur TV for all to see that he counterfeited Indian currency, bought petrol with it and deposited it in a bank, and also smuggled uranium to Israel; but they want us to believe that Paras counterfeits Indian currency with a long dead and assassinated MP's son!! (The state of my faith in the Mughlani media is colured by their reporting everyone from Vajpaye to Mayawati claiming that Nepal opens flood gates and floods UP and Bihar!)
Now, if you were KingG and demonized to the extent that you were, including by the BBC, why would you bother taking this advice from a BBC guy and go around opening schools? And how would you guarantee that his very first school would not be burned down as a "reactionary plot to indoctinate children into pratigaman"? Incidentally, your "advice" to him after Nepalganj was given around the very time KMTNC offices were being bombed!! Why would he want to add schools to that target list??
Bagmati clean up? Was the idea of this very challenging multi-generational task not begun at KMTNC? I was a trustee and took a lead in that. Why would KingG want to do Bagmati cleanup now of all the times when the very institutional instrument he built for that and other environmental purposes was robbed from under him and stripped clean of the trust funds so carefully built up in all those years? Before hunting for his supposed billions, it might be easier for you to start finding out where the measly crores that were in KMTNC's trust fund have gone. (I understand it has now come down to a few lakhs under the able stewardship of SPAM).
If your loktantriksters were acting in good faith, they would have made sure that if the royal family was to be sequestered from being involved with everyday politics -- something that many democrats and even "royalists" had supported -- they would be encouraged to get into social work. However, even after KingG had handed over power to the SPAM and long before the ganatantra idea was floated after certain ambitions of presidentship were stoked, KMTNC was "registration passed" to the new crown prince Niranjan Koirala who lasted all of 19 days, and left for Delhi complaining that "khai, paisa ta kehi rahena chha tyahan: baru merai badhi hola Dilli ma!" So your loktantricksters had no intention of allowing any space, even exisiting ones, to the royalty, ex or otherwise, for social engagement. Do you honestly believe they would allow that, especially now?? If you think they would, how about asking that they give him back his KMTNC and ask him to do all that you say he should do though this practically perfect institutional vehicle?
So I am afraid your open letter to KingG not only rings rather hollow with too much loktantrick populism but also fails to convince someone like me, who, if I met KingG would end up telling him: "forget Rabindra Mishra's advice -- ask him to give that to those who have looted the country either at gun point or rent-seeking points. Heaven knows, they need it if they want to be popular and get votes. You don't."
Sorry for this frank remark: couldn't help it after reading your piece.