LETTERS: Chalk and cheese

Apropos of the letter to editor captioned “Bhutanese refugees” (THT, Dec. 3, Page 6), it is erroneous to put Nepali Diaspora under The Bhutanese Canadian Association. Bhutanese and Nepalese are as different as chalk and cheese or plants and trees and cannot be labeled as the same. It is like putting the Indians under the Pakistani Canadian Association or vice versa. Nepali people who are fiercely protective of their own individual regional identities such as Newars, Brahmins, Madhesis, Tamangs, Chepangs, Rautes, Rais, Limbus, Tharus, will  never agree to be members of Bhutanese Canadian Association. This would be a sacrilege. It is another matter that in distant Canada or Japan the South Asians, who are all regarded as the same by the locals, will morph into one people for security and social acceptance. During my travels around the world, nobody calls me a Nepali, let alone a Newar: I am referred to as an Indian. Even then, I am not sure if I would like to be a member of Bhutanese Canadian Association - I would have no problem being invited to dinners and other gatherings though.

J. Talchabhadell, Bhaktapur


Apropos of the op-ed article “People with disabilities” (THT, Dec. 3, Page 6), our Constitution, endorsed by over 90 percent lawmakers, is the most progressive and inclusive in the world. In our case, the world save our next-door neighbour has acknowledged that it has not seen a more progressive and inclusive constitution. It is, therefore, redundant to keep on invoking or referring to various preambles of UN bodies to attest our pledge, faith and trust in inclusiveness and empowerment of women, marginalized, suppressed, oppressed, exploited, Jana-jatis, LGBTs and, most importantly, physically and mentally challenged citizens. Even before promulgation of our Constitution, we gave three important elevated constitutional positions of president and vice-president to Madhesis and Speaker to a Jana-jati. We went a step further by electing a woman each for the President and the Speaker, the latter also enjoying the distinction of hailing from a Jan-jati stock. Although a male, the Vice president is also a Jan-jati, from the similar clan. It is a different matter that the post of Prime Minster has been continuously occupied by Brahmins. What about the people with disabilities? Shouldn’t they be taking up various posts as enshrined in the Constitution? We have already done justice to Madhesis, Jan-jatis and women. It is time that we did so for the physically and mentally challenged. If someone wants to be Prime Minister irrespective of his or her caste, he or she should voluntarily take out an eye or two, break a hand or leg or become Jack Nicholson’s character in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, or Oscar Pistorius or Steve Wonder or Herman Cain (Cane?) or Bill Cosby or the powerful blind character of Al Pacino in ‘A Scent of a Woman.’

Manohar Shrestha,