Affront to Newars
The disruption of age-old tradition of Indrajatra owing to an insensitive decision of finance minister Babu Ram Bhattarai is saddening. With one stroke, he has managed to alienate the entire Newar community which has been the Maoists’ support base. This base was gained at the cost of CPN-UML, and if the elections were held today, even Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is likely to be defeated in Kirtipur.
The arrogance of the Finance Minister in refusing to issue an apology and pledge not to make such mistakes in the future, the absence of Maoist victors — Hisila Yami, Hit Man Shakya and Jhakku Prasad Subedi — from Kathmandu, and the departure of the Prime Minister for New York, these things show a failure to understand the gravity of a sensitive issue involving religious tradition, and do not therefore bode well for the Maoists. The Maoists have exposed
themselves as untrustworthy when it comes to maintaining our tradition and culture. Those who have lent their support to the Newar community at this hour of need deserve thanks.
An outright apology from the Finance Ministry and the CPN-Maoist party is what is needed to heal the wounds inflicted on the pride of Newars. Otherwise, things could become more
difficult for the CPN-Maoist in the future.
In the recently announced budget, Rs. 38.98 billion has been set aside for education, which is a 44.5% rise over the expenditure of the last fiscal year. But providing free education or distributing free kerosene alone will not make poor children attend school. Each region has its own set of problems and calls for separate strategies. The budget lacks an effective and sustainable policy to achieve the targets of this ambitious budget. In conclusion, the government’s pledge to end illiteracy in two years is whimsical.
This refers to Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat’s comment on the new budget that it does not have any
programme to encourage private industries. During his tenure as the finance minister, irregularities and corruption had become the norms of the government bureaucracy. If anything, the current government under Prachanda should be applauded for trying to
stabilise the tottering economy as soon as possible.
What did the former government led by Girija Prasad Koirala do for the development of the country? All kinds of crimes, corruption, irregularities and vandalism flourished. Could Dr Mahat explain under which ideology did that government carry out its day-to-day functions?
Paul Rai, Bhaktapur
Extension work at Kalanki intersection started two years ago. At the very start of the project, work details were made available to the people through mass media. The people in turn
welcomed the project with enthusiasm. However, Kalanki intersection is still a hard road to negotiate with street vendors crowding out pedestrians on the extended part of the road. It is a huge mess. People, it seems, have lost their right to walk unhindered.
Anal Khadka, Kalanki