I regard it as my fortune reading books and periodicals under the open sky with the warmth of the mighty sun during Kathmandu winter. With this habitual action one day, While leisurely enjoying and basking at lovely November sun with Dr. Hemang Mani Dixit’s ‘Reflections Down the Ages’, I immensely appreciated the writer’s approach of bhai=bhaism (brotherly feeling) with India, friendship with the French, camaraderie with Chinese, connection with Japanese, liaison with Israelis and rendezvous with Russians.
Just few days later, I happened to receive a book with a cover attracting my immediate attention. It had been sent by Krishna Prasad Sigdel–my very near one having double-relaion and inimitable charms– the very morning, that too during such an uneasy period of time of the pandemic ! Such a kind and gracious character as he is. Immediately I took the book with me to my sunny balcony thinking that there must be a good reason for him to send me this gift in the form of a book written by a person whom I did not know till then. With great curiosity, I started to open the pages. The very dedication of the book to one’s Ama (mother) mentioning ‘a humble gift in return for always looking out for us…’. So touching words till the deep inside that I could not keep myself away from starting to read it instantly with quite a profound seriousness. I had the sheer confidence that Dr. Dixit would not mind on my act of doing so !
Oh my goodness, after reading a few pages I developed a feeling that had I not gone through the book immediately, which Krishna bhai had taken so much care to present me, then I would have greatly regretted for my failing to do so ! What a book with such a compelling title, ‘Cabals and Cartels’ by Rajib Upadhya, the able son of a known scholar laser ate Devendra Raj Upadhya,( late) who happened to be our long time acquaintence.
This is a book with many splendored touches—school-days fraternity regardless of age and periods, shuddering, shattering experiences of grim dynasty annihilation (managed, orchestrated and directed by known international killing agencies as evidenced by circumstances to me), gripping suspense, chilling encounters, humane interactions, storytelling with its own consummate style, fearless portraits of Nepalese cabals, some with abrasive and authoritarian manners, some alcoholic dudes, some perfidious ones and liars, damning exposures and disclosure of wilful and real time criminals, defaulters as cartel kings, and also of multinational agencies with old colonial ordering hangovers and about varied subject matters. As regards economic matters and erudite scholarly knowledge of the subject through the pages.
Now coming to the basic point the virus of cabal politics and cartel economy with Marwari dhandawalas (businessmen) rolling the roost with Nepali ‘entrepreneurs’ as their pet partners had emerged since the Panchayat era itself, which, however, swelled like a pandemic immediately after the restoration of the multiparty democratic system as dreadfully apprehended by an astute political statesman two days after Panchayat was declared ‘winner’ in the National Referendum. Actually, this tale about new ’emerging democrats’ turning into political dons was told by B.P. Koirala with uncanny pre-vision to Tanka Prasad Acharya while visiting him, witnessed personally by vanguard journalist and political analyst Mani Raj Upadhya and later on recorded by Arvind Rimal in his book ‘Dillibazar ko Laptan ko Hotel’ with courtesy of Mani daju (Mani Raj Upadhya). After a scary reading of whodunit when coming to Chapter 4 entitled ‘Double Jeopardy’, one suddenly feels the absence of dur (fear) focusing on the extraordinary event of an epochal significance glaringly missing.
After all, the 2007 Democratic Revolution, despite being dubbed as a consequence of the ‘1950 Coup’ and much-hated ‘Delhi Compromise’ in the book, was and remains for eternity as a great day of shattering the iron chains binding the Nepali Nation with seven locks, as remarkably observed by pre-eminent Russian anthropologist Ivan Minayev of Tsarist Russia! It should not have been dealt with so misery, in so casual way by the pen of a serious student of Nepalese history! May I hope, the photo clip included in this story kindly tool the bell of his memory and recall what his own father Devendra Raj Upadhya together with another democracy activist D.N. Pradhan had acted so courageously to post this document of Rana torture against democracy fighters inside Kathmandu prison to the famous Indian weekly ‘Blitz’. The world was taken aback and Rana rulers were shaken to the core and thus the photo helped ushering Democracy in Nepal earlier than expected.
After all the paper pamphlets penned by Tanka Prasad Acharya, President of the Nepal Praja Parishad and leader of revolutionary martyrs, had contributed to break the iron chains of Ranarchy ! ‘Fathoming an Insurrection’ though penned with best of intention was rather misplaced. This need not ‘fathom’ because even by superficially scratching the blueprint of this gigantic conspiracy against the systematic development and institutionalization of a unique indigenous Nepali historic achievement could be found in some dark corner of RAW archive, a conspiracy hatched with the personal participation of the then BJP Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his ‘socialist’ Defence Minister George Fernandes and later further aided and abated by the subsequent INC government, particularly of then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Facts Laid Bare by Indian Themselves!
All these facts have been laid bare by the Indian media and ‘experts’ themselves whenever they needed or felt like doing so! ‘Hinduite’ BJP Prime Minister involved in a bid to dethrone the Hindu Nepal’s King and destabilize constitutional monarchy in a friendly peaceful neighboring country.
The aura of Rolpa – Rukum was needed to impart the ‘originality’ like that of Petrograd, Yenan, Telengana, or even Bolivian insurrection to cover-up the actual designs! Maoists actually undermined severely militant-like fighting characters and traditions of those living in remote hilly areas. Further, details on the subject can be found in the second edition of my book entitled ‘Nepal Tharkai Dine Tee Unnais Din Haru’ (Those 19 Days that Shook Nepal), Oxford Academy, Anamnagar.
The rest of the matter can only be understood after seriously going through Upadhya’s book–a book that jolts you through bones and nerves, besides providing contrast, soothing and caring touches!
Thus, this is a must-read account of a higher middle class and a well-educated Nepali native young man having an aspiration to join the huge multinational clubs/agencies, and, in fact, having already experienced working with one of the most powerful economic arms of the US -Military, Industrial- Complex –the real but faceless master of the Western economic system, not only “Gone Native” (Ch. 12) but remaining as a steadfast native thought in and through-out.
This may sound surreal or hypothetical! Denial of this may even demand proof! Well, I found one like this in the book: ‘Sixty years into its establishment, whiffs of old-fashioned colonialism still wafted down the corridors at stodgy World Bank headquarters. Apparently, influential quarters chastised (Ken) Ohashi for refusing to play up his position in Kathmandu as some sort of imperial overlord. And institutional politics were turning against him. Ohashi couldn’t care less. But so much for multilateralism.’ (P. 74).
Very tale-telling, indeed!!
Now coming to the end, if and when my grim joke about Nepalese development could jolt many a time to my former Russian editor of ‘Soviet Bhumi” Nepali edition days and later on a personal friend Oleg Benukh at a farewell cocktail dinner party by him, afterward served with warm coffee at Soaltee, Rajib´s book shook me severely a number of times by his rendition. Mine was like a village tale in contrast to his sophisticated story! Nevertheless, Rajib leaves some sort of undescribed optimism though couched with the foreboding chapter ‘Will the Future Ever Arrive?’ However, the conclusion drawn by me was and will remain that even though the establishment of a New World Order with India, Germany, Japan, and South Africa being elected Permanent Members of the UNSC and Palestine and Israel trying to live and cooperate with each other for prosperity of the region, Nepal would still remain a live example of, or a practical laboratory for the display of ‘Disrupted and Derailed Development’ of a (failed) nation-state! The future generations would not trust the books alone, as books can fabricate any word as in Adolf Hitler´s Mein Kampf or even in Mao-Tse Tung version of ‘Cultural Revolution’. Thus they would certainly argue! Therefore, a permanent laboratory depicting the real state of national development is required to be staged! I have mentioned this grim joke in my book ‘1997 Saal Dekhi 2017 Saal–Ek Avalokan’ (From BS 1997 to BS 2017—An Encounter with Nepalese Political History), Second edition, 2063, in contravention of firm request by my Russian friend not to reveal anybody or write about one´s own country!
Well, thanks Rajib for your jolting book, which I immensely liked with malice to none! With Jaya Nepal greetings!
PS. My special thanks to Kapil Lohani for taking the time most needed for giving final touches to the book of memoirs on his illustrious father Govind Prasad Lohani and polishing my ‘villagery’ English into an urbane one.
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