A day after watching on TV the drama of anti-bill MPs in the Indian parliament disrupting the proceedings by snatching the Women’s Reservation Bill from the house chair and tearing it into pieces on International Women’s Day, I watched a drama, as in a theatre, in an auditorium not very far from Parliament House in Delhi. (More about this here.) In the drama Putaliko Ghar (Doll’s House), director Sunil Pokharel’s Nepali adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s creation, the protagonist finally discovers herself and walks out of the home stunning her man. A piercing message that women are no more men’s dolls, and that they have to live for themselves rather than for their men, comes out from the drama. Continue reading
Nepal has already seen/done some of the things that are happening in India today Some arguments here
Following the latest happenings in Indian politics and society is a kind of déjà vu experience for many Nepali people. The upper house of the Indian parliament last week passed a bill that provides 33 percent reservation for women in the parliament (Lok Sabha) and state assemblies. We already have that in action. The Delhi High Court last year decriminalised gay sex. Our Supreme Court did that at least two years before any court in India acted upon it. And we have at least one openly gay MP in Nepal who appears on the pages of The New York Times and Time. Who in Nepal could believe that an Indian newspaper recently reported the plan of the Delhi Police to hire women in its traffic police department?
Even in fighting, or compromising for that matter, we seem to be ahead of our Indian comrades. They are talking about possible talks between the state and the Maoist rebels. One side is asking for a halt to the violence, the other is demanding an end to the armed operation against them. One side has proposed the names of mediators while the other side has mutely frowned upon that move. The press here is also reporting an alleged rift in the top Maoist leadership. We reported about all these things a long time ago. We have lived through offers of talks, several rounds of talks, their breaking, rifts in the leadership and all. We have been there, done that.
But, seriously, our politics may be in great need of proper management, society seems to have moved progressively ahead perhaps without us being aware about it because of pressing economic and political problems. The credit goes partly to the Maoist movement that aimed at dismantling the feudal structure of society and partly to democracy that opened up Nepali society in 1990. We have waged more fights and gained more in terms of rights and awareness than any other society in the region. Continue reading