Biswas Baral has been associated with Republica national daily as a journalist since 2011. He oversees the op-ed pages of Republica and writes and reports on Nepal's foreign affairs. He is a regular contributor to The Wire (India).
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Sher Bahadur Deuba is back to his noble best. When he first became prime minister in 1995 Deuba had cobbled together, for the realization of his old dream of decentralized development of the country, the biggest cabinet in Nepal’s democratic history: there were 48 enlightened souls in all.
I struggle to come up the name of another person who even remotely resembles Dr Govinda KC. He has repeatedly put his life on the line for the betterment of his society. But haven’t there been others before him who too wagered their lives for similar causes? Yes there have been some. Yet these people failed to get half the attention that has been lavished on Dr KC. I think this is mainly because of two reasons: one, there are very few people with Dr KC’s impeccable moral and professional credentials and two, Dr KC has been waging his hunger strike in an age of rapid development of Nepali media.
After the 2011 retirement of Guo Jingjing, the ever-graceful Chinese diver, I have been cheering for Katie Ledecty, the new American pool sensation. After winning four Gold medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Ledecty is now setting the Swimming World Championship in Hungary on fire. But even as she has been breaking records, Ledecty has been unable to take the attention of her countrymen away from Michael Phelps.
Back in school I used to love those light abridged classics, short and sweet, just the way I fancied them in my early teens. It was then that I discovered HG Wells and his time-travel machine and I wanted to immediately take it for a ride, racing back to the time of Prithvi Narayan Shah and founding of modern Nepal, about which I had read so much in our course books.
Amazing, the jujitsu our brain is capable of. When I heard that seven surrounding countries had imposed a ‘blockade’ on Qatar, my first thought was not about the 400,000 Nepali migrant workers toiling there night and day, but about PSG, the Paris-based football club whose ups and downs in Europe I have closely followed over the years. The young Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who is just 37, owns the club via a Qatari investment vehicle.
How do you gauge public enthusiasm for local election? In an electoral democracy, one of the best measures is voter turnout. And if that is the basis, the first phase of local election on May 14, with 71 percent voter turnout, was a resounding success. In the first phase, held in 34 districts spread across three federal provinces, nearly 50,000 local-level representatives were elected, nearly 50 percent of them women.
Janisha Bhattarai had the distinction of being the first person, male or female, to file candidacy from Kathmandu for the May 14 local election. She is contesting to become deputy mayor of the city. She, incidentally, is also the daughter of Rasendra Bhattarai, who in 2003 made headlines with his claim that, having left the country with only $5 in his pocket, he had managed to build a $1-billion international empire.
A quick rehash, then, of a few things I have written in this space before. I have written more than once about my sieve-like brain and it perpetual struggles to retain anything meaningful, even while it’s chockfull of the useless stuff I keep trying to forget.
Many Nepali cricket fans watch the game for one reason: to see India get walloped.
Cheering at India’s loss (the more humiliating, the better) is a way for us to get back at the often-overbearing southern neighbor, which repeatedly offends our rather delicate Nepali sensibilities. In the event of an Indian loss, we tune into Aaj Tak, just for the sheer pleasure of watching the hyperventilating anchors rip their national team apart.
I don’t know Gagan Thapa well. What I know better is that I want him to continue as my health minister. How many ministers have there been in the post-1990 democratic Nepal who have done something worthwhile for the common folks and not directed all their focus on enriching themselves and their mother parties? Gokarna Bista. Lalbabu Pandit. Janardan Sharma. Narayan Kaji Shrestha. There aren’t many.