You can now support Nepal Now.
Hi everyone. This is Marty Logan. Apologies for the long delay between episodes. I finally made it home for the holidays after four years being delayed by Covid and took advantage with a longer than usual break. So, welcome back to Nepal Now, if you’re a return listener; greetings to those of you who are here for the first time. What I’m trying to do with this podcast is highlight some alternatives to the usual routes and ideas about so-called development in Nepal. If you have any suggestions for future episodes please write to me at email@example.com.
We’ve all made asses of ourselves at one time or another. Unfortunately for me, it seems that those are some of my most enduring memories. But today’s guest actually made a career out of it — not of messing up but of being The Ass, the author of a satirical column that ran on the back page of the Nepali Times newspaper for more than two decades.
As full-time publisher and editor of the weekly paper he says that writing the column went way beyond horsing around. In fact, more than once during our chat he describes satire as serious business — it’s a way to hint at what is really going on in the halls of power without playing by the regular rules of journalism, but if you cross a line and hit too hard — or too low — you could find yourself in a heap of — well, you know what.
The Ass says that after decades of poking fun at Nepal’s leaders he started to repeat himself — which isn’t surprising as the politicians themselves have been revolving in and out of the top posts for just as long. At some point he also realized that the reality of party politics was actually more ridiculous than anything he could dream up. So, The Ass is out to pasture and today says he is sleeping like a foal once again.
We also discuss the birth and evolution of Nepali Times, which started off as a cash cow — apologies for the mixed animal metaphors in this episode — but soon became known as a media that reported on life in Nepal beyond the Kathmandu bubble, particularly during the Maoist insurgency, from 1996 to 2006.
A quick note: early in the episode The Ass talks about the panchayat, which was the party-less system of government that reigned in Nepal before democracy was restored in 1990.
The Ass' column, Backside
Nepal Now social links
Thanks as always to Nikunja Nepal for advice and inspiration.
Music: amaretto needs ice ... by urmymuse (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/urmymuse/57996 Ft: Apoxode
Stay in touch on: