November 13, 2007

नेपाल सम्बतको बारे

नेपाल सम्बतको पहिलो दिन गोवर्धन पुजाको दिन पारेर शुभकामना साटासाट गर्ने चलन छ । यो सम्वत सम्पूर्ण भारत महाद्वीपको इतिहासमा देशको नाममा समर्पित एकमात्र सम्बत हो । यसै दिन नेपालमा गोवर्धन पुजा नगरी शरीर पुजा गर्ने समुदाय पनि छन र किंवदन्तिहरुले यो दुइ चिरा याने कि गोवर्धन पुजा गर्ने रे शरीर पुजा गर्नेलाइ अलौकिक कृष्णसित जोडेका छन । भगवान कृष्णले गोवर्धन पर्वत उठाएर दुष्टदेवराज इन्द्रको क्रोधबाट बचाएपछि जनताहरु खूशी भएर कोहि गोवर्धन पर्वतको पुजा गर्न तिर लागे कोहि आफैलाइ पुजा गर्न तिर लागे रे । किंवदन्ति न हो, तेत्रो उद्दार गरिदिएका कृष्णलाइ किन पुजा नगरेका होलान भनेर प्रश्न सोध्न सकिन्न अथवा सोधेपनि उत्तर छैन ।

नेपाल सम्बत कसरी प्रारम्भ भयो भन्ने बिषयमा पनि किंवदन्ती नै छ जुन अपत्यारीलो छ । तर यसै किंवदन्तीलाइ आधार मानेर नेपाल सम्बतको अवमुल्यन गर्न मिल्दैन । हाल नेपालमा नेपाल सम्बतलाइ प्रयोगमा ल्याउने मुद्दा पनि उठी रहेको छ । तर मेरो विचारमा यसमा केहि ब्यवहारीक कठिनाइ छ । यसै सेरोफेरोमा लेखेको यो टुक्रो दौँतरी माझ बहसको लागि प्रस्तूत गर्छु, हुन्छ ?

One of the most innovative work of our great ancestors and their leader Mr. Shankhadhar Sakhwa is in highlight of media these days. Yes, they did an extraordinary and unique job - creation of an era devoted to nation and people - unlike many other eras of their time devoted to a powerful king (or political/religious leader). We are certainly familiar with the hear-say story that tells about Mr. Shakhadhar Sakhwa, who turned to be a very very rich man overnight. But, my gut feeling says, only the consequences in the story might be true not the whole story.

It is to be noted that we still have deep-rooted feudal structure of medieval times in our society at this 21st century. We can just imagine how rigid and faithful was our society toward the feudal core values a millenium before. The level of public awareness and a quest for equality among all must be at very poor level. Yet they displayed a unique unity among public, and established a new era devoted to our country which had displaced another era devoted to one of the great ancestor (King Manadev) of then ruling King Raghavdev. This single fact could pose a huge research issue to unravel the hidden truth behind the whole episode of transitioning nepalese society into a new era.

The influence of King and his creations have impact on our society for several generations. For example, we still live under the huge influence of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the great ancestor of current king. We don't feel comfortable in digging out his war-atrocities during his invasion and pre-emptive attacks against other countries around. I have seen no article from intellectual capacity in appraisal of dismantling PN Shah's statue last year when public were venting their anger against current King Gyanendra. We don't feel comfortable discrediting PN Shah for expanding national boarder because we are living in the country he founded. The same sort of deep faith must be there within public and then ruling King Raghavdev toward their ancestor King Manadev, who formed a strong country expanding to larger area than PN Shah did. Abandoning Manadev's era is possible only through a massive revoloution just like we had one recently in Nepal that weakened feudal control in our society and degraded public faith toward the feudal centers. Therefore, it is quite logical to make a bold guess that the transition of era in Nepal a millenium ago represents a huge revolution against social unjustice and imbalance.

Shankhadhar Sakhwa must be a leader to create a stable society in which economic condition of public was given the most importance. It is our great unfortunate to find no documentation of the details, probably due to the feudal conspiracy intending to discredit the deed of justice. In Nepal's history, there are several examples of such attempts.

Nepal Sambat was constantly popular in Nepal for more than 800 years despite having the political conditions changed a lot. It started to face a heavy domination only a century ago due to some vested interest of then rulers of Rana regime. The Rana regime were controlling Nepal as their private business company, and all government staffs were treated as their company workers. They could hire and fire or change duties of civil servants anytime they wanted even without presenting any logic or reason. Not only the Rana regime is ill-famous for its HUKUMI style of ruling but also the civil servants were hugely underpaid. But for civil servants, they had an opportunity to cheer up once in every 3 years, because the lunar calendar of Nepal Sambat has 13 months a year of cycle once in every 3 years, which helped them to have an extra month salary in 3 years. The rana regime wanted to cut-off the extra salary for their private benefit, and hence they imposed Vikram Sambat, which is still in effect in Nepal.

The movement to revive Nepal Sambat started once again about 3 decades ago. The movement is getting stronger as we are getting able to understand the importance of the Sambat and its contribution to Nepal. However, there are some people skeptic toward the Nepal Sambat for a few reasons. The first is their unwillingness to face a change in era from Vikram Sambat. It is strange to see that those people hate Rana regime, but love to keep the system these unpopular Rana had imposed forcefully for their vested interests without doing any benefit to public.

The second reason is the lunar-cycle based date system of Nepal Sambat, which does not have a 24 hour daily cycle. Its non-uniform daily cycle is certainly more advanced and scientific than a forced 24-hour uniform daily cycle. The lunar-cycle based dates of Nepal Sambat has almost a real-time synchronization with orbital positions of Sun, Earth and Moon. However, it is a complex system to understand for ordinary people and is definitely impractical to adopt marking daily calendar. I think, this problem has no solution except adopting a near-solar cycle based system that has a forced 24-hour daily cycle with some adjustments. The best one is to adopt Gregorian daily calendar that is used all over the world. It would turn out to be unique and practical and would work excellent exactly the same as it works in Japan. Japan has adopted Japanese year and gregorian month and days for official use. For example, my birthday is NS 1094 Chaulathwo Saptami, which turns to be 2029 Chaitra 27 and 1973 April 9. Converting dates among these three calendars is complex mathematical problem, and simply out of capacity for ordinary people. The japanese calendar converts this date to S48-04-09 (where SYY=YYYY-1925; The first alphabet "S" changes as they have a new king. They are using HYY currently), which is simple once the Gregorian date is known. We can also write our date in the same format such as N094-04-09 (where NYYY=YYYY-879; we can have N standing for Nepal Era for a thousand year). This format can be used in all practical purposes without any conflict.

The third reason of hesitation is the feeling that this is a Newar era. This feeling is seen among non-newar community, who are less aware of historical facts that such feeling was intentionally imposed by Chandra Shumshel to defame the popularity of Nepal Sambat. He actually banned to use Nepal sambat in all purposes, even in voluntary uses and therefore Nepal Sambat survived secretly within the raj jyotish groups, baidyas, joshis, rajopadhyayas and some history scholars. It was very difficult for ordinary people to know about Nepal Sambat who are not involved in the movement of reviving Nepal Sambat.

The other widespread confusion is the association of Newar Festival Mha Pujaa and the Nepal Sambat. The first day of Nepal Sambat begins on the day of Mha Puja, but these two events are separate. Mha Puja has cultural value and Nepal Sambat has political value. We must appreciate these two matters separately in the light of their own merits but the good combination is they both are on the same day. I particularly consider Mha Puja as the event of making people conscious to their own health and food habits. Hours long elaboration can be done in this issue alone. Mha Puja is certaily a Newar festival but not limited to only Newars. Notice that the Mha Puja does not integrate with any of the issues of paying loans of public or providing economic freedom or becoming rich after getting huge amount of golds which are the part of the hear-say story. Therefore it is totally silly to opine that Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat is linked to each other.

Because Nepal's most revolutions got started in capital and got succeeded after it clutched up the entire nation, the Nepal Sambat reviving movement is also following the same route. It is our responsibility to understand the norms and values of Nepal Sambat, participate in arguing for and against its merits and demerits, help in research and educating our younger generation in our capacity such that we would not lose one of our decent achievement in our history and the pioneering work of our ancestors toward having a justice society.

(More information and historic events may be seen at

कामरेड ! प्रकास ठकुरी जी खै त ?

पत्रकार विरेन्द्र शाहको हत्याको घाउ सुक्न नपाउदै अर्का पत्रकार प्रकास ठकुरीको स्थिती अज्ञात रहेको समाचारले प्रमुखता पायो । हुनत विरेन्द्र शाह भन्दा अगाडी अपहरणमा परेका पत्रकार ठकुरी राजावादी भएको कारण प्रकासमा नआएका होलान । तर के वैचारिक भिन्नताको आधारमा कसैको अपहरण र हत्या गर्न पाइन्छ।

यो कस्तो लोकतान्त्रीक गणतन्त्रको परिकल्पना हो जहा लोकको वैयक्तिक स्वतन्त्रताको कुनै अस्तित्व रहदैन । जहा राजावादी माउवादी काग्रेस कम्युनिष्टको नाममा विरोधीको हत्या गरिन्छ । हामीले खोजेको राज्य के यही होत । माउवादीका साथीहरु तपाइहरुको हातमा वन्दुक को शासन भएपछि जनताको कुनै भुमिका छैन भनि ठान्नु हुन्छ भने त्यो ठुलो भुल गर्दै हुनु हुन्छ । शान्ती संझौता मा हस्ताक्षर गरिसकेपछी नागरिक समाजको रक्षा गर्ने दायित्व तपाइ हरुको पनि उतिकै छ । के तपाइ हरुको विरोधी भएको कारण सफाया नै गर्नु जरुरी छ ।

हुनत विरेन्द्र शाहको अपहरणमा पनि तपाइहरुको हात थिएन । तर समय मानिस भन्दा वलियो हुन्छ । कालेा करतुत लुकाएर कहा लुकिन्छ र तपाइको पार्टर्ीीे ठुलै हात रहेको भन्ने जनताले देखि हाले । त्यस्तै प्रकासको अपरहण पनि तपाइहरुको कथनमा हात नहुन सक्छ । तर तपाइ हरु पन्छिन पाउनु हुन्न । कि तपाइको पार्टर्ीीे तल्लो तहको कार्यकर्ता पार्टर्ीीे नेतत्व वाट अलग भई तपाइको पकडमा नभएको हुन सक्छ अन्यथा प्रक्ासको अपहरणमा पनि तपाइहरुको हात रहेको प्रष्ट छ । तसैले छिटो उनको स्थिती र्सार्वजनिक गनु अनुरोध छ ।

"चार महिनाअघि बेपत्ता पारिएका कञ्चनपुरका पत्रकार प्रकाश ठकुरीको स्थिति अझै अज्ञात छ । परिवारले वाईसीएल कार्यकर्ताले मोटरसाइकलमा राखेर लगेको बताएका छन् । माओवादीले भने उक्त आरोप अस्वीकार गर्दै आएको छ । उनलाई अपहरण गरेपछि दुई नाबालक छोरा, श्रीमती र वृद्धा आमा बिचल्लीमा परेका छन् । कमाउनेे पति बेपत्ता भएपछि डेरा भाडासमेत तिर्न नसक्दा श्रीमती जानकी दुई छोरालाई लिएर हल्दुखाल गाउँस्थित माइतीको शरण लिन पुगेकी छिन् । प्रकाशलाई असार २१ गते बिहान महेन्द्रनगर भासीस्थित डेराबाट अपहरण गरिएको थियो । अपहरण लगत्तै खोजी गरिदिन अनुरोध गर्दै विभन्न अधिकारवादी संघसंस्था र प्रहरी प्रशासनको कार्यालय धाउँदा पनि कतैबाट ठोस कदम नचालिएको श्रीमती जानकी बताउँछिन् । उनी दिनहुँजसो पतिको खवरको आशामा स्थानीय सञ्चार माध्यमहरूमा धाउने गर्छिन् । 'दुई मोटरसाइकल डेरा नजिकै आइपुग्यो,' उनले अपहरणको त्यतिखेरको अवस्था सुनाइन्, 'एक मोटरसाइकलमा दुई जना अगाडि हिडे, दोस्रो मोटरसाइकलमा उहाँलाई बीचमा राखेर बागफटा तिर लगे ।' उनले दुवै मोटरसाइकल गइ सकेपछि माओवादी कार्यकर्ता पोमलाल शर्मा चढेको मोटरसाइकल बजारतिर लागेको बताइन् । 'मैले पोमलाललाई सोधंे, उनले केही कुरा बुझ्नका लागि वाईसीएलले लगेका हुन आत्तिनुपर्दैन भनेका थिए,' जानकीले भनिन्, 'मैले यो कुरा सबैलाई बताउँदै आएकी छु ।' प्रकाशलाई अपहरण गरेलगत्तै उनले पुनरावेदन अदालत परिसरमा रहेको मानव अधिकार परियोजना पुगेर घटना बारे जानकारी गराइन् । त्यहाँ दिएको निवेदनमाथि कुनै सुनुवाइ नगरिएको उनी बताउँछिन् । 'जसको अघिपछि नारा जुलुस गरिदिने बोलिदिने कोही हुँदैन, उसले यस्तै बिजोग व्यहोर्नुपर्दोरहेछ,' जानकीले आँसु खसाल्दै भनिन् । प्रहरी प्रशासनबाटसमेत न्याय नपाएको गुनासो जानकीको छ । उनले घटनामा संलग्न माओवादी कार्यकर्ता पोमलाललाइ पक्राउ गरेर पनि अनुसन्धान नगरी मुक्त गरेको आरोप लगाइन् । पोमलालले प्रहरी हिरासतमा प्रकाशको अपहरणमा वाईसीएलको संलग्नता स्वीकार गर्दै अपहरण गर्नेहरुको नाम समेत बताएका थिए । उनले जानकारी दिंदा प्रहरी कार्यालयमा स्थानिय सञ्चारकर्मीहरुको समेत उपस्थिति थियो । माओवादीपक्षले भने सुरु देखि नै प्रकाश अपहरणमा आफ्नो पार्टी र कार्यकर्ताको कुनै संलग्नता नरहेको दावी गर्दै आएको छ । घटनाको केही दिनमै माओवादीका जिल्ला सह इन्चार्ज टेकेन्द्र भट्टले पत्रकार सम्मेलन गरी घटनामा पार्टी कार्यकर्ताको संलग्नता अस्वीकार गरेका थिए । श्रीमती जानकीले भने अपहरणकारी वाइसीएलका कार्यकर्ता नै रहेको दाबी गरिन् । घटनाको चार दिनपछि नेसनल रिपब्लिकन आर्मीको नाममा केही सञ्चार माध्यमलाई विज्ञप्ति पठाएर प्रकाश अपहरणको जिम्मा लिंदै नियन्त्रणमा रहेका बखत भाग्न खोज्दा हत्या गरिएको दाबी गरिएको थियो । सुदूरपश्चिम क्षेत्रमा यसअघि कहिल्यै नाम नसुनिएको त्यो समूहको अहिले पनि कुनै गतिविधि सार्वजनिक भएको छैन । विज्ञप्तिमा प्रकाश राजावादी भएकाले कारबाही गरिएको दावब छ । आर्मीले विज्ञिप्तमार्फत जिम्मा लिएपछि प्रहरीले माओवादी कार्यकर्ता पोमलाललाई आवश्यक परेका बखत उपस्थित हुने कागज गरेर रिहा गर्‍यो । 'विज्ञप्तिसँगै प्रकाश जिउँदै रहेको हल्ला आएपछि थप अनुसन्धान गर्दै जाने सोच अनुसार पोमलाललाई स्थानीय एक जिम्मेवार व्यक्तिको जिम्ममा रिहा गरिको हो,' कञ्चपुरका एसी छविलाल बन्जाडेले भने- 'अनुसन्धानमा आवश्यक परेका बखत जुनसुकै बेला पनि उनलाईर् पक्राउ गर्न सक्छ ।' कञ्चनपुरका पत्रकारले पनि प्रकाशको अपहरणमा माओवादी कार्यकर्ताकै संलग्नता रहेको ठहर गर्दै उनको अवस्था सार्वजनिक गरियोस् भनी पटक पटक माओवादी र सरकारसँग माग गर्दै आएका छन् । असार ३० गते नै प्रमुख जिल्ला अधिकारीमार्फत गृहमन्त्रीलाई पत्रकारहरुले ज्ञापनपत्र पठाएका थिए । " -समाचार श्रोत