Monthly Archives: October 2011


We have come through the pressure of examinations, evaluations, admissions, and the immediate Dashain festival. The time ahead, with the post-festival zeal in all of us, has the potential to mark a productive continuation of our scholarly pursuits.  The  KUFIT team wish that our little effort in bringing out interdisciplinary discourses will meet with greater enthusiasm for contribution from the University’s intellectual community. 
The articles in KUFIT have come from the authors who have always been very eager to contribute and are accessible to the team. This platform, nevertheless, is open for all faculties of KU. So, as always, we invite our readers to send us writings on diverse areas of interest. We also expect your active participation in the interdisciplinary discourse that we aim to enhance.
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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Editorial


Hypocrisy for Survival: Redefining Terrorism in SHALIMAR THE CLOWN

– Khagendra Acharya

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Published in 2005, Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie is made up of two narratives: one a love story in a beautiful setting, the other an assassination of the American ambassador in brutal manner. The first story depicts Kashmir as a paradise with, multi-cultural, multi-faith tolerance and harmony. Boonyi Kaul, who is the beloved in the story, is a dancer and the daughter of a Hindu pandit. Shalimar the clown, who is the lover in the story, is a performer and tightrope walker whose father is the Muslim headman. The space they live is Kashmir and there is no antagonism. Enjoying the condition of co-existence, the lovers get married and also receive the approval of society.
Boonyi-Shalimar love story is a node through which another story opens onto a wider domain of importance –an act of ‘terrorism’. The second story, which culminates into an assassination of the ambassador, starts with the coming of Maximilian Ophuls, an American Ambassador to Kashmir. Getting access to Max as his driver, he finds a comfortable space to accomplish his intention i.e. to slaughter the ambassador very brutally. In this sense, the murder story entails alternative definition of terrorism, which in turn provides significant domain for analysis due to two important reasons. Firstly, it supplies the content that is against the spirit of his earlier novel Satanic Verses (1988) and in tune with pro-Islam statements that he made later; and secondly, his statements post to the publication of Shalimar the Clown again reiterate the statements in the Satanic Verses. Taking into the entire history of Salman Rushdie’s definition and redefinition of the term terrorism, I would argue that Rushdie’s redefinition of terrorism in Shalimar the Clown is hypocrisy for survival.
No doubt, whether the novel is studied by foregrounding its setting or the storyline, we find the prime concern of critics to be territoriality. Taking into account a major aspect in Rushdie’s life i.e. the (hi)story behind Fatwa imposition by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 over him. In Satanic Verses, Rushdie has presented what Khomeini called “a calculated move aimed at rooting out religion and religiousness, and above all, Islam and its clergy”. As the novel was labeled an ‘apostasy’, he was condemned to death by Khomeini. Consequently, a $2.5 million bounty was put on his head, forcing Rushdie to go into hiding. In his attempt to escape from the decree, Rushdie announced and published apologies as a strategy for survival. In one of his announcement to apologize, Rushdie expressed regret as the publication hurt sincere followers of Islam.
Any of his apologies, however, were of no use; he had no any option to go hiding. One planned attack on Rushdie failed when the would-be bomber, Mustafa Mahmoud, blew himself up along with two floors of a central London hotel. Similarly, Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator of the book, was stabbed to death in July 1991, and many others were made targets of attack. Italian language translator, Ettore Capriolo and William Nygaard, the publisher in Norway, were among others who survived an attempted assassination. It was good that Rushdie could survive unharmed to hear Iranian government’s statement about the lifting of fatwa in September 1998. But, some fundamentalist Muslim groups declared that a fatwa cannot be lifted.
The corollary of Fatwa and Rushdie’s apology to lift it in 1989/90 reappears in 2005 and reveals an interesting fact behind the publication of Shalimar the Clown. Khomeini’s  fatwa against Rushdie was reaffirmed by Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in early 2005 in his message that read the day will come when they will punish the apostate Rushdie for his scandalous acts and insults against the Koran and the Prophet. With it followed the publication of Shalimar the Clown. The novel, like his essay “In Good Faith” does not attack Islam in the spirit of Satanic Verses: there is neither the criticism of recent Muslim political figures such as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei nor the questioning to the authority of the very root of Islam: Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad. The only compelling instance in the novel that describes ‘fundamentally Islam’ a characteristic is ‘jihadi training camps’. But here too, he is not straightforward as before.
Another instance in which Shalimar assassinates Max (viewed by many of the westerners as terrorist attack) is shown to be the case of personal revenge. The intention here is clear: by explicitly castigating western historical specificity about terrorism, he implicitly makes plea again to lift Fatwa. But the novel fails to function as such. In 2007, Fatwa was again reaffirmed. Leading Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khatami declared that the revolutionary fatwa issued by Imam Khomeini remains valid and cannot be modified. What followed Khatamis statement was Rushdies reaction in an interview with Pamela Connolly. Rresponding to her question, why he adhered to Islam and spoke in favor of the religion, he answered that it was deranged thinking.
Rushdie’s answer is clearly non-pro-Islam. His response shows that he lives in between the guilt for the past (criticizing Islam) and faith in the statements manifested in Satanic Verses. Shalimar the clown dramatizes the guilt in the form of resistance to western discourse of terrorism as a consequence of Islamic fundamentalism. His faith, which is blasphemous for Islam, remains palimpsest here. By foregrounding his guilt, he attempts to appear true to Islam among the Muslim and thus make an apology to lift Fatwa. But once he knows that there is no such possibility, his anti-Islam mind resurfaces and does not hesitate to claim that he adhered Islam as strategy to escape ‘the pressure’. Hence, his redefinition of terrorism in the novel at the backdrop of the whole story from Khomeini’s Fatwa to his response to why he adhered to Islam cannot be dissociated. The close nexus compels any reader to conclude that Rushdie’s anti-western definition of terrorism in Shalimar the Clown is another hypocritical effort to survive from the Fatwa reaffirmed over him.     

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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Criticism


Media houses and training institutions

– Nirmala Mani Adhikary
In view of the acute shortage of adequately trained personnel in mass media, the question of building up human resources must be a priority of media houses. The growth of mass media studies in universities is linked with the development of the media. The development of the mass media and of advanced communications technologies has been to increase the number of media education institutions all over the world. In Nepal also, after the restoration of democracy in 1990, the number of media education institutions has increased. Apart from training institutes, Universities also have started Communication studies.
Mass media studies are fairly recent phenomena, started only at the turn of the twentieth century. In most countries of Africa and Asia mass media studies have been introduced in the last few decades. In teaching and research, the field is still in its early stages of development and the same is the case with Nepal.
Mass media can create the necessary climate of modernization, which includes vital ingredients like innovativeness, achievement motivation and educational and occupational aspirations. There is a positive relation between economic development and mass media, which acts as reflector of the development process in society.
In the process of modernization people consume more goods, which also includes media products. They use more prints, film, and broadcast media. Modern societies, then, are media dependent societies. Their populations make use of the media for achieving their desired goals. Thus the advancement in the field of mass media is necessary for the over all advancement of any country and Nepal is no exception.   
While universities appear to be increasingly involved in communication education they cannot in all cases provide all the practical training that professionals need. Thus various specialized training centers and mass media organization also play an important role. Especially, media houses can provide specific courses of practical, technical and occupational instruction suitably adapted to the circumstances and demands of their work.
While talking about journalism and other mass media professions we should take into account the importance of information and informatics in all branches and sectors of national life, the sensitivity of all societies about news produced and diffused, the rapid development of technology, and increasing demand of specialization. The quality of any system is largely governed by the caliber of those who operate it. The lack of trained manpower is the basic reason for deficiencies observed in the field of mass media in Nepal. It may therefore be considered that higher-level education and training in mass communication profession is of paramount importance. The efforts of only universities and training institutes are not sufficient in this regard. This should also lead to even more extensive and genuine cooperation between media educational institutions and media houses and cooperation between them is equally important. Mass media should no longer be regarded merely as an incidental service and its development left to chance.

[In the print version, the article was published as: Adhikary, Nirmala Mani. (2002, November 1). Media houses and training institutions. The Kathmandu Post, p. 5.]

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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Miscellaneous


महाकाव्य सम्बन्धी पूर्वीय परिभाषा

रामचन्द्र पौडेल
कविता विधामा सान्यत: स्वीकारिने पाँच उत्तरोत्तर विस्तारित श्रेणीहरूमध्येका वृहत् तथा वृहत्तर, बृहत्तम दुबै रूपको संज्ञा होमहाकाव्य। प्राकृत परम्परामा पाँच सन्धिभन्दा केही कम (चार) सन्धि लिने काव्य पनि अझै देखा पर्छ भने संस्कृतपरम्परामा सकलकथा का सामान्य महाकाव्य आर्ष महाकाव्य पनि छन् । आनन्दवद्र्धनले प्रबन्धकाव्यमा कथावस्तुको सृदृढ योजना र रसप्रतिपादन हुनुपर्छ भनेका छन् । कथावस्तुअन्तर्गत नाटककाव्य सन्धि र सन्ध्यङ्गको प्रयोग यसमा पनि अनुकूल अलङ्कारहरूको प्रयोग हुनुपर्छ भन्ने उनको विचार पाइन्छ । वास्तवमा एउटा कथात्मक गठन र  गुम्फन हुन्छ। यसरी कथात्मक ढाँचामा जीवन र जगत्को विशद् पक्षको काव्यात्मक प्रस्तुति हुन्छ। प्रवन्धकाव्यलाई दुई रूपमा विभाजन गर्न सकिन्छ (१) महकाव्य (२) खण्डकाव्य। यहाँ खण्डकाव्यभन्दा महाकाव्यसम्बन्धी सन्दर्भ अपेक्षित भएकाले त्यसमै केन्द्रित हुनु उपयुक्त हुन्छ।
महाकाव्यसम्बन्धी पूर्वीय मान्यताहरूको विषयमा खोजमेल गर्ने हो भने यस सम्बन्धमा सर्वप्रथम कलम चलाउने पूर्वीय आचार्य भामह (छैटौं शताब्दी), रुद्रट (सातौँ शताब्दी), दण्डी (आठौँ शताब्दी), हेमचन्द्र (बाह्रौँ शताब्दी) र विश्वनाथ (चौधौ शताब्दी) ले महाकाव्यको स्वरूप रपरिभाषा एवं सम्बन्धबारे चर्चा गरेको देखिन्छ, यसमा भामह र दण्डीको विचार उल्लेख्य छ । जसलाई संक्षेपमा यहाँ प्रस्तुत गरिन्छ। अचार्य भामहले महाकाव्यमा जीवनका विविध रूप र कार्यहरूका वर्णन भएको लामो कथानक हुनुपर्छ भनेका छन् । महान्कार्यको प्रस्तुति गर्ने महान् चरित्र भएको व्यक्ति यसका नायक हुनुपर्छ । यसमा नाटकका पञ्चसन्धिहरू आवश्यक हुन्छन् र सर्गहरू आबद्धभएको हुनुपर्छ । महाकाव्यको भाषाशैली शिष्ट, विशिष्ट पदविन्यास र अलङ्कारयोजनाले आबद्ध हुनुपर्छ र यो सुखान्त हुनुपर्छ भनेका छन् । नायकको अभ्युदय र विजयको वर्णन पनि हुन आवश्यक छ । दूतसन्देश, यात्रावर्णन, युद्धआदेशको वर्णन हुनुपर्छ भन्ने भामहको कथन छ । नायकको लागि महान् व्यक्तिको चरित्र र महान् कार्यको प्रस्तुति हुनु आवश्यक छ । (भामह, काव्यालङ्कार, : १९२१)
भामहपछि आचार्य रुद्रटले पनि काव्यालङ्कार (रुद्रालङ्कार) नामक ग्रन्थमा महाकाव्य सम्बन्धी आफ्ना चिन्तन अघि सारेको देखिन्छ। उनले महाकाव्यका सन्दर्भमा यस्ता धारणा व्यक्त गरेका छन्महाकाव्यमा उत्पाद्यअनुत्पाद्य दुवै लामा पद्यबद्ध हुनुपर्छ र यसमा प्रसङ्गअनुसार अवान्तर कथा अर्थात् पुराण र कथा, आख्यायिका वा तत्व हुनु पर्दछ । कथा सर्गबद्ध नाटकीयतत्व युक्त हुनु पर्दछ यसमा जीवनको समग्रताको चित्रण कुनै घटनाप्रधान युद्ध वा साहसिक कार्य आदिको आश्रयले अलङ्कृत वर्णन, प्रकृतिचित्रण, विभित्र नगर, देश, भुवन, स्वर्ग, नदीको वर्णनविधान हुनु पर्दछ। महाकाकाव्यका नायक द्विजकुलोत्पत्र, सर्वगुणसम्पत्र, महान वीर, विजिगीषु, शक्तिमान्, नीतिज्ञ र कुशल राजा हुनु पर्छ । यसमा प्रतिनायक र त्यसको कुलको पनि वर्णन हुन्छ। कथानक कल्पित वा अकल्पित जुनसुकै भए पनि महान् हुन्छ। यस कथानकभित्र अवान्तर कथाहरू पनि समाविष्ट हुन सक्छन् । यसले युगजीवनका विविध पक्षको चित्रण गर्दछ। नायक सर्वगुण सम्पन्‍न, द्विज कुलोत्पन्न, शक्तिमान,नीतिज्ञ र कुशल राजा हुनुपर्छ। महाकाव्यमा प्रतिनायक र त्यसका कुलको पनि वर्णन हुन्छ। अन्तमा नायकको विजय देखाइन्छ, प्रतिनायकको हैन। महाकाव्यमा कुनै महत् उद्देश्य,चतुर्वर्ग फलप्राप्तिका साथमा सबै रस पनि हुनु पर्छ र रसात्मकता, एकोद्देश्यता अभित्र रूपम प्राप्ति भएको हुनु पर्दछ । महाकाव्यमा अलौकिक र अतिप्राकृतिक तत्व पनि हुन्छन् तर मानिसबाट गरिएको असम्भव अस्वाभाविक घटना हुनु हुँदैन (रुद्रट, २०३२ : ५७)। रुद्रटले नायक र कथा तथा उपकथाका सम्बन्धमा नयाँ कुरा उल्लेख गरेको देखिन्छ।
रुद्रटपछि आचार्य दण्डीको विवेचनामा विस्तृतता पाइन्छ। दण्डीले महाकाव्यमा कथावस्तु, नायक, रस, चतुर्वर्गमा एउटाको  प्राप्‍ति प्राकृतिक वर्णन, अलङ्कारको प्रयोग, छन्द योजना र सर्गबद्धता हुनुपर्छ भनेका छन्। कथावस्तुको आधारको रूपमा ऐतिहासिक सदाश्रित हुनुपर्छ भन्ने दण्डीको भनाइ छ। गठनको सन्दर्भमा नाटकीय सन्धिले युक्त भएको श्रृङ्खलाबद्ध कथावस्तुको पक्षमा उनले आफ्नो  विचार व्यक्त गरेका छन्। महाकाव्यको प्रारम्भ मङ्गलाचरणअन्तर्गत आशीर्वादात्मक, नमस्कारात्मक र वस्तुनिर्देशात्मक हुनुपर्छ भन्ने दण्डीको कथन पाइन्छ।  सर्गबद्धताको क्रममा सर्ग ज्यादै ठूलो हुनु हुँदैन भन्ने पनि उनको विचार छ। उदात्त गुणले युक्त नायकको कल्पना पनि दण्डीले गरेका छन्। महाकाव्यमा रसको लागि उनले विप्रलम्भ श्रृङ्गारलाई महत्व दिएका छन्। महाकाव्यको उद्देश्यमा धर्म, अर्थ, काम र मोक्षमध्ये एउटाको प्रतिपादन हुनुपर्छ भन्ने दण्डीको कथन छ। त्यस्तै महाकाव्यमा छन्दप्रयोग र सर्गान्तमा छन्दपरिवर्तनको आवश्यकतामा दण्डीले जोड दिएका छन्। उनको कथनानुसार  प्रकृतिवर्णनअन्तर्गत विभिन्न ऋतु, पर्वत, नगर, समुद्र, बगैँचा, जलविहार, उत्सव, सूर्योदय आदिको वर्णन छ।(दण्डी, काव्यदर्श, : १६२१)
नवौं शताब्दीका ध्वन्यालोक ग्रन्थ प्रस्तुत गर्ने आनन्दवर्धन र दसौं शताब्दीमा त्यसै ग्रन्थको टीका लेख्ने अभिनव गुप्तले पद्यकाव्यका प्रभेद देखाएका छन्। तीमध्ये नवौं प्रभेद सकलकथामा ललित महाकाव्यका र दसौं प्रभेद सर्गबन्धमा आर्ष महाकाव्यका लक्षको निर्देश सूत्रात्मक रूपमा गरेको छनक मिल्छ।  यी दुबै विद्वान्हरूले महकाकव्यका प्रयोगगत रूढीबाट अभिप्रेरित थप लक्षणहरू भने बताएनन्। यसो भए पनि तिनले ध्वनिवादको स्थापना गर्ने क्रममा प्रबन्धकल्पना सम्बन्धी मान्यताको चर्चा गर्दा प्रबन्धात्मक रसाभिव्यक्तिका निम्ति सुन्दर मूलकथाको निर्माण, त्यस कथाको रसानुकूलता, त्यसमा रहनुपर्ने सन्ध्यङ्ग (पञ्चसन्धि) को सङ्गठन, त्यसका खासखास स्थलमा आवश्यकता अनुसार गरिनुपर्ने विशेष रसहरूको उद्दीपन र प्रकाशन अनि प्रधान रसको खोज तथा रसानुकूल अलङ्कारविधानको अपेक्षा (ध्वन्यालोकतृतीय उद्योत, कारिका १०१४) जस्ता जुन विशिष्टताहरूको उल्लेख गरेका छन्। तिनले महाकाव्यात्मक प्रवन्धकल्पनालाई नै औँल्याएको  बोध हुन आउँछ। यहाँनेर आनन्दवर्धनले प्रतिपादन गरेको ध्वनिवादी चिन्तनका प्रतिक्रियास्वरूप आचार्य कुन्तक (दसौं शताब्दी) ले स्थापित गरेको वक्रोक्तिवाद अन्तर्गत निरूपित प्रवन्धवक्रतासम्बन्धी मान्यताले पनि प्रबन्ध काव्य (महाकाव्य) लाई नै काव्यको सर्वश्रेष्ठ प्राप्ति (‘‘प्रबन्धेषु कविन्द्राणां कीर्तिकन्देषु किं पुन: वक्रोक्तिजीवितं ४, 26: ४३) ठह¥याएको कुरो पनि स्मरणीय नै छ
महाकाव्य चिन्तनको क्षेत्रमा कलम चलाउने आचार्यमा हेमचन्द्र देखा पर्दछन्। उनले काव्यानुशासन नामक ग्रन्थमा महाकाव्यलाई परिभाषित गरेको देखिन्छपद्यबद्ध रूपमा प्रायः संस्कृत, प्राकृत, अपभ्रंश, अग्राम्य भाषामा विभिन्न कथानकलाई लिएर शब्द वैचित्, अर्थ वैचित्, रसयुक्त, छन्दोबद्ध एवम् लोक रञ्‍जक गुण बोकेको काव्य नै महाकाव्य हो (हेमचन्द्र, सन् १९३४: ३९५) भनेका  छन्।
संस्कृत महाकाव्यचिन्तनका परम्परामा देखा परेका अन्तिम महान् विद्वान आचार्यविश्व नाथ हुन्। उनले आफ्नो साहित्यदर्पण भन्ने ग्रन्थमा काव्यका भेदोपभेदको लक्षण निर्देश गर्दा महाकाव्यका पद्यप्रबन्धको एक प्रकारका रूपमा रहेको महाकाव्यका लक्षणपूर्वक उल्लेख गरेका छन्। यिनी खासगरी आपूmभन्दा पूर्ववर्ति आचार्य दण्डीबाट प्रभावित भएर महाकाव्यको चर्चा गर्छन्। उनले प्रस्तुत गरेको महकाव्य सम्बन्धी परिभाषा यस प्रकार छ
महाकाव्य सर्गबद्ध हुन्छ यसमा देव सत्वंशीय क्षेत्रीय वा धीरोदात्त प्रकृतिको कुनै कुलीन राजा वा एकै कुलका धार्मिक धेरै राजा पनि नायक हुन सक्छन्। यसमा श्रृङ्गार, वीरशान्त मध्ये कुनै एक रसलाई मुख्यरसका रूपमा व्यक्त गरी अरु सबै रसलार्ई अङ्गीरसको रूपमा प्रस्तुत गर्नुपर्दछ। यसमा सबै नाट्यसन्धिको प्रयोग हुनुपर्छ। यसको कथावस्तु इतिहासमूलक र अन्य सज्जनाश्रित हुनुपर्छ भने त्यसमध्ये कुनै एकलाई फलकाव्यको थालनी नमस्कारात्मक, आशीर्वादात्मक, वस्तुनिर्देशात्मक हुनुपर्छ। यसमा खलपात्रको निन्दा र सत्पात्रको प्रशंसा गरिनुपर्छ। यसमा आठभन्दा बढी सर्ग होऊन् ती न छोटा वा नाना छन्दको प्रयोग गरिएपछि अन्त्यमा छन्द परिवर्तन गरियोस। सर्गान्तमा भावी कथाको सङ्केत पनि दिइयोस् । यसमा सूर्य, चन्द्र, रात्री, प्रदेश, अन्धकार, दिन, प्रातकाल, मध्याह्न, सिकार, युद्ध, पर्वत, ऋतु, वन, समुद्र, सम्भोग वा विप्रलम्भ श्रृङ्गार, मुनि, स्वर्ग, पुर, यज्ञ, यात्रा, विवाह, कुमारजन्म आदि उचित विषयको मनोहर वर्णन गर्नुपर्छ । ग्रन्थ वा महाकाव्यको नाम कवि, नायक, प्रतिनायको नाम वा कथात्मक घटनामा आधारित हुनुपर्छ भने अवान्तरमा  सर्गको शीर्षक विषय अनुसार राख्नु पर्छ (विश्वनाथ, साहित्यदर्पण, ,३१५३२८: ५४९५५१) ।
यस प्रकार विश्वनाथको महाकाव्यमान्यता सबभन्दा पछिल्लो रूपमा देखा पर्दछ। यिनी चौधौँ शताब्दिका काव्यशास्त्रीय विद्वान् मानिन्छन् । यतिखेर संस्कृतमा वक्रमार्गी महाकाव्यको युग समाप्त भएको थियो। यिनले आर्ष महाकाव्यलाई त्यति हेरेनन् र वैचित्यमार्गी काव्यका आधारमा यिनले महाकाव्य सिद्धान्तको निर्माण गरे। यिनको परिभाषा १४ श्‍लोकमा फैलिएको विस्तृत रूपको देखापर्छ  संस्कृत महाकाव्यमा ह्रासका कारणहरू (प्रतिभा, पाण्डित्य र कलात्मकताको कमी) पनि त्यहाँ साङ्केतित छन्। भामह र दण्डीजस्तै महाकाव्यलाई यान्त्रिकताको खुराक यिनले पनि दिएनन् भन्‍न सकिन्‍न
विश्‍वनाथपछि संस्कृत साहित्य परम्पराका अन्तिम आचार्यका रूपमा जगन्‍नाथ देखा पर्छन्। तर, महाकाव्यका सम्बन्धमा उनको ठोस चिन्तन देखिँदैन। उनले रसगङ्गाधरमा काव्यका लक्षण, भेद एवं रसका विषयमा चर्चा गरे पनि महाकाव्यका सम्बन्धमा उनको ठोस परिभाषा पाउन सकिन्न । उनले दिएको  काव्य परिभाषा यस्तोछ रमणीयार्थप्रतिपादक शब्द काव्य: अर्थात् रमणीय  अर्थ  प्रदान गर्ने शब्द नै काव्य हो (जगन्‍ना, सन् १९५५: १) ।
यस प्रकार पूर्वीय सबै विद्वान र विश्‍वनाथका मान्यताहरूलाई हेर्दा के प्रष्ट हुन्छ भने यिनले त्यति आधारभूत मान्यता दिएनन्। अङ्गीरस र एक वर्गको विशेष प्राप्ति भनाइ मात्रै यिनको आधारभूत चेत रह्यो।  समग्रमा भत्रुपर्दा भामह कम रूढीग्रस्त, कम समसामयिकताबाट प्रभावित विस्तृत आबाज छन् भने त्यसपछिका उल्लेख्य आबाज रूद्रट हुन्। दण्डी तथा विश्वनाथ थोरै मात्रमा उल्लेख्य हुन पुगेको तथ्य स्मरणीय छ। महाकाव्यका सम्बन्धमा महत्वपूर्ण व्याख्या र विश्लेषण गर्ने समालोचकहरूमा भामह, दण्डी, रुद्रट, हेमचन्द्र र विश्वनाथ देखिन्छन् । उनीहरूका अवधारणालाई समेटेर महाकाव्यको परिभाषा यसरी दिन सकिन्छ
महाकाव्य सर्गबद्ध, छन्दोबद्ध र पञ्‍चसन्धियुक्त त्यस्तो अलङ्कृत भाषिक संरचना हो जसमा ख्यात वा कल्पित विषयवस्तुको उपयोग गरी कुनै महान् सत्पात्रको चरित्रचित्रण र चतुर्वर्गको अभिव्यक्तिमा रसभावनिरन्तरता कायम राखी नायकाभ्युदय वा जीवनको सुखन्तताको अभिव्यक्ति गरिन्छ। (महादेव अवस्थी, आधुनिक नेपाली महाकाव्य र खण्डकाव्यको विमर्श, २०६४:२२)
यसरी महाकाव्यसम्बन्धी पूर्वीय परिभाषा विभिन्‍न विद्वानहरूले दिएका छन्। महाकाव्यको सत पक्षको प्रशंसा र असत पक्षको निन्दामा जोड दिए पनि त्यसले समाजलाई मर्यादाको पथमा लैजान महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका खेल्नुपर्छ भन्‍ने सन्देश दिन सफल भएको छ। 

(अन्त्यारम्भ महाकाव्यको कृतिपरक अध्ययन शीर्षकको शोधपत्रको अंश)

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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Criticism


Global Warming

– Eak Duwadi

Sometimes I wonder how the indigenous people were so wise that they were aware of today’s problem thousands of years back. For example, whatever they used to consume were biodegradable and they always encouraged others to keep soil, water and air pure by claiming them sacred. Modern life is just the opposite so we have been facing several threats. Pertinent one is Global Warming — an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, especially an unrelenting increase sufficient to cause climatic change. It has become the most debated topic presently. Can we solve it?

There was Ice Age when most parts of the earth were covered with ice. Gradually, it got melted forming many seas engulfing many settlements though there were no greenhouse gases which comprise methane, water vapor, carbon dioxide and ozone. Since the Industrial Revolution, the need for energy to run machines has steadily increased. Some energy, like the energy you need to do your homework, comes from the food you eat. But other energy, like the energy that makes cars run and much of the energy used to light and heat our homes, comes from fuels like coal and oil – fossil fuels. Burning these fuels releases greenhouse gases.
All climate changes occurred naturally. However, during the Industrial Revolution, we began altering our climate and environment through agricultural and industrial practices. The Industrial Revolution was a time when people began using machines to make life easier. It started more than 200 years ago and changed the way humans live. Before the Industrial Revolution, human activity released very few gases into the atmosphere, but now through population growth, fossil fuel burning, and deforestation, we are affecting the mixture of gases in the atmosphere.
Global warming may be a big problem, but there are many little things we can do to make a difference. If we try, most of us can do our part to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we put into the atmosphere. Many greenhouse gases come from things we do every day. As we have learned, these greenhouse gases trap energy in the atmosphere and make the Earth warmer. Driving a motorbike or using electricity is not wrong. We just have to be smart about it. Some people use less energy by carpooling. For example, four people can ride together in one car instead of driving four cars to work.
Thus, educate yourself, save electricity, bike and bus, and walk, talk to your family and friends, plant trees, recycle, when you buy, buy Cool Stuff and use Solar Energy to lessen the effect. 
These instructions were not uncommon in our country. But when Algore, a former vice president of the USA told us at Bali about it, our eyes are opened even though our obsessions to gadgets and vehicles have not stopped. Thus, it is the time to revive the environment friendly approaches not only to protect ourselves but also to be the world leader as Nepal still has the natural scenery which is rare in the developed countries.
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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Miscellaneous


Growing with English

          Hem Raj Kafle
I am a learner throughout. I have been a teacher for more than seventeen years. I am self-trained, or trained by time and exposure.  It has never occurred to me that I could have done anything other than teaching and would have been better elsewhere. I do not have a big name, neither do I aspire to assume one, but believe that I have not been too small where I am. 
I have taught in all levels from Nursery to Masters at different places and different odd times of my life. This gives me some confidence to assert that my life as a teacher embodies the lives of many teachers in Nepal. Most of the past years have been filled with a kind of activism for updating myself against many inconveniences, both as a person and a professional, with English at the center stage. English came to my life without a conscious plan, and naturally long before I happened to decide to become a teacher. 
I don’t clearly recall if anyone ever told me (not) to become a teacher. The cliché that one comes to teaching after failing elsewhere does not apply to my life since I did not explore other areas. Moreover, I don’t think a teacher’s responsibilities and achievements are comparable with those of others. In fact, the cliché does not either apply to any real teacher’s life even though they choose teaching after exploring different jobs. It is my first choice and now an instinct. I began to teach as soon as I learned to read and write. I had three brothers more than two classes below me. When I was in grade two, they began to learn the alphabets. So, I would be asked to teach them. Well, this does not sound big, does it? But in a traditional joint family the elders – big or small – naturally teach the younger. 
When I was in grade four, I already was the “first boy.” This meant that in the succeeding years there would be more kids around me during exams from the same class and below. Thus, our house became an unregistered night school all the year round. Sister’s classmates, brothers’ classmates, my classmates, and those “grown-ups” who would like to be literate belatedly, flocked in our veranda. They were brahmins, chhetris, magars, limbus, rais, and dalits. My parents and grandparents were ever appreciative of this learning community. Father acted as the head teacher of a sort. And there was not only study but singing and dancing till late. The “first boy” had the responsibility to teach mathematics, English, and songs. We had more than a dozen village kids to sleep in our house every night. I passed my childhood in such a semi-dormitory house. Having grown up with a multi-ethnic company, I did not learn to be an orthodox ‘bahun.’
When I was in grade seven, some villagers including my father decided to begin a tuition class in the morning. I was to take turns to teach there. Later, they decided to register it as a primary school, and someone with an SLC took it over. The school, begun as a tutorial in a hut, runs today as a lower secondary school in the middle of the village. I was one of the founders! I contributed in two ways: first, by sparing time to teach the kids in the morning, for a long time, and second, by taking part in the fund-raising deusis every Tihar. In fact, four of us – father, sister, elder brother and myself–helped it grow till it found some eager SLC-qualified teachers.
I first entered a formal classroom in 1992, the year I took my Intermediate Second exams and was left free to explore things. Someone temporarily vacated a post in the school from where I had graduated, during his B.Ed. practice teaching. I was invited to share his classes for two months. I taught everything they assigned. I taught Maths, English, social studies, moral science, science etc. etc. This opportunity instilled in me the zeal to choose classrooms. 
I became an English teacher because I studied English in the university. I studied it as my major subject and gradually acquired it for life skills. To me teaching English is not limited to teaching it as a foreign language, but helping human beings to broaden the perception of the world through communication, creativity and discourse.  This submerges the general notion of teaching into my understanding of life as a constant alternation of learning and unlearning. And the following lines from one of my articles in The Kathmandu Post may suffice to sum up my experiences so far:
The fact that teaching is of value as long as human beings live in the earth with their naturally inquisitive minds always underscores the existence of teachers. The fact that you are needed and respected must keep you attached to this pious job and social service. Teaching is not a thankless job, though the rewards are not immediate and obvious. The real reward lies in being useful to the society. A teacher is an adventurer; a person who seeks novel spaces in every adventure as a test of his/her strength to persevere odds of life in the mission of helping minds to thrive. (“On Teaching and Teachers” 1 August 2007)
There is a simple condition for becoming a teacher: that you must be able to teach. It is not the question of having high intelligence, but of being able to use whatever intelligence you have so as to impart at least some portion of your knowledge. Anyone with this ability can come to teaching and become successful in course of time. What matters is your desire to update. Teaching and stagnation do not go together. When they do, teaching fails. To teach is to know: to know is to be able to teach.

It’s already seventeen years since I first stood before a few dozen curious eyes. I am still struggling to emulate myself. I am thirstier everyday – enjoying it for being able to do it.

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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Reflections