Tag Archives: Speakers’ Corner

Rukhmuni Ranta Park: Revised Impression of Speakers’ Corner at Hyde Park

Hyde Park Speakers' Corner discussions

The man in the middle had brought a list that he said police had prepared and contained many ethnic groups/nationalities including Nepali of the world. He argued that those on the upper part (white Europeans) received favorable treatment from police than those that are at the lower part of the list. James (not seen) believed the man was wrong. About 10 minutes later I saw the man on left chatting with James and, at one point, he tried to include me into their conversation about international banking asking what I felt about it.

So the Speakers’ Corner hasn’t been deserted after all. After I posted an entry on the place portraying it as an empty place James (call him Sir James or James Chambuwan 😉 ) suggested me to go there on a Sunday afternoon. That’s what I did and, lo and behold, there was another James, slightly taller than the one who suggested me to go there, I must admit, talking animatedly about various crises in the world but mainly focusing his lecture to European affairs. A few middle-aged men surrounded him as he continuously spoke, leaving little chance for others to interrupt, moving both hands and his whole body furiously and occasionally jumping a few inches from the ground (or may be just raising is both ankles) to make a particularly important point. Some of his listeners were trying their best to interrupt him, correct him and to counter and add their own views to what he was saying.

James the Speaker of the Imperial College, London (a student of Chemistry who plans to go into finance and politics- finance more likely than politics, he admitted- in future and thinks it’s good to be grounded in pure science while making career in one of the aforementioned areas) was one of about seven speakers who were Continue reading

A shop near the Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park with SC on background. Empty tables await speakers and listeners.

An Empty Speakers’ Corner of Hyde Park

Protesters in front of the UK Supreme Court building at Parliament Square, London.

Protesters in front of the UK Supreme Court building at Parliament Square, London.

Protest: For an average Nepali citizen like me understanding the UK’s health care system is challenging. It is ‘complex’. Especially so if I attempt to compare it with our health care system in Nepal which is incredibly simple: Got money? Get treatment. No money? Die (unless your letter to a national daily newspaper begging for donation to transplant kidney touches hearts of some generous readers). One of the problems with our ‘simple and clear’ system is that our government doesn’t have enough money. That’s just a guess. Governments here give money to hospitals so that they can provide free treatment to qualified people. Now, if I understand correctly, national health service is facing cuts. People are not liking it. That’s why they are protesting. I saw one small group of protesters last week at the Parliament Square in London. Peaceful protesters. No shouting and sloganeering. No one was making any speeches.

Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London.

Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, London.

The Venue: Not even at the Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park where I had gone a week earlier to see if someone was talking about some random issues. There were none. The place was empty. That was disappointing.

Tana Sarma describes animating activities that he saw at the Speakers’ Corner in his book Belayattira Baralinda in such a way that the description had remained with me for long when I first read the book during my high school days. A friend who spent 10 years in York and earned a PhD from the University of York before moving to Sweden recently reminded me of the same book just before I left Nepal. I re-read parts of it just before I arrived here. This time I didn’t find the book as interesting as I had found it last time. I was surprised to see that the book was actually written (and detailed events) in the 60s and that it was now one of the many travel books written by Nepalis on Belayat. But I didn’t change my decision to visit Hyde Park and the SC. May be I wanted to write an update to Tana’s version. Continue reading