NOV 29 - UNREALISTIC PLANS
While the government’s plan to award the Kathmandu Metro Railway Project to Nepal Metro evokes initial enthusiasm as a Nepali citizen and especially as a resident of the Kathmandu Valley, the subject raises many doubts and questions (“Govt mulls awarding project to Nepal Metro,” Nov 25, Money Page II). There are reports now and then of the hazards of an earthquake in Kathmandu, anytime in the near future due to its seismic position and composition. Compounding this is the fact that geologists claim that most of central Kathmandu may collapse due to excessive extraction and pumping of ground water. The narrow width of roads can also make it very difficult, if not impossible, to dig canals to build tracks for metro trains. The noise level and impact of running trains underground may further damage age-old buildings of older Kathmandu. Most importantly, there will not be sufficient traffic on the line for the next twenty to thirty years as one metro alone can carry more than 10,000 passengers an hour. And where will the $3.3 billion come from? If there is such money, it would be better spent on hydropower to produce much required electricity. The government should think seriously before spending even a paisa on such fantasies.
I am opposed to the views of Gen Cowan (“Colonial dogma,” Nov 26, Page 6). Lord Roberts was right in choosing certain ethnic tribes, essentially Gurungs and Magars for the Gurkha Regiment. Lt. Frederick Young formed the very first Sirmoor Battalian (which later became the 2nd King Edward VII Own Gurkha Rifles), staffed mostly by Gurungs and Magars long before the signing of the Treaty of Sugauli in 1816, because he witnessed the phenomenal fighting spirit of these highlanders at the fort of Kalanga. Not to accept this historical fact is to consign Anglo-Nepal history to oblivion. True, the inclusive characteristic of the PLA led to the success of the Maoist insurgency, but the truth is that it was under the command of Nanda Kishore Pun, Ram Bahadur Thapa and Barsha Man Pun—all Magars.
A couple of girlfriends and I keep track of Aunt’s columns every week but we often disagree with her (“Strange tidings,” Agony Aunt, Nov 29, Page 8). This week too—contrary to the ending of Jab Tak Hai Jaan—she advises a guy facing a slightly hesitant girl to dump her rather than go for it. We honestly think this is the wrong advice given the fact that he loves her—which is the first line in his letter. As anyone in love knows, you try and try to make it work whereas Aunt tells him to back off and do the “right thing.” Has Aunt never even been in love?
S. Rai and friends
Just one CHILD
An interesting development of recent times, another parallel between the United States and China, is the rise in the number of families choosing to have just one child (“China to ease one-child policy,” Nov 29, Page 5). This has been the outcome of women empowerment on one hand, but also the growing open-mindedness to single children and the increasing rejection of the stale stereotyping of such children. We now have wonderful role models of single children turning out as warm, loving human beings who excel in the world—such as Barack Obama, who has a half-sibling nine years his junior, and Chelsea Clinton, who recently traveled to Africa for development work. As a
psychologist by profession, I too take part in research and advocacy work to debunk myths about only children. In Nepal, you have women in rural areas often struggling to raise six children at a time. I think your newspaper could play a role in reducing the prevailing stigma against only children in Nepal and generating more informed debate on the topic.
Posted on: 2012-11-30 09:22