Arts and Entertainment

72 ko Bismaya: ‘A significant book about significant times’

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 9, 2018-

Journalist Basanta Basnet’s debut book, 72 ko Bismaya, was launched amid a function held in the Capital on Saturday. As the title suggests, the book revolves around the fateful events of that year, namely the earthquake, the drafting of the constitution, and the widespread unrest that took place in the Tarai as well as the insidious Indian blockade. The book was launched jointly by former President Ram Baran Yadav, former Prime Minister Babu Ram Bhattarai, former speaker of the parliament Subash Chandra Nembang, chairperson of Rastriya Janata Party Mahanth Thakur and incumbent spokesperson of the National Human Rights Commission Mohna Ansari.

Speaking at the event, Ansari said that the book is based on factual events of the third Madhes movement while also suggested that some of accounts are somehow tailored according to the author’s personal beliefs and social background. “There’s no doubt that the book will be taken as an important document to understand contemporary politics in Nepal. This is a book that will be read with equal enthusiasm by people from Mechi to Mahakali and by all those who seek to know about the monumental happenings of that year,” Ansari said.

Rastriya Janata Party’s Thakur lauded the book’s “free-flowing prose style,” while also adding that Basnet has managed to analyse the events in an impartial way. “Even though Nepal is known as a republic, the incidents and the state’s unfair treatment of the protesters make one wonder if the country really is an “authoritarian democracy,” Thakur said, referring to the role of state apparatus during the movement.

Ex Speaker of the Parliament Nembang pointed out some shortcomings that he thought could’ve been better presented but at the same time praised the work for attempting to take “a comprehensive view of the Madhesh movement by recounting the trajectory of events that brought the movement from where it started to where it is now.”

Likewise, former PM Baburam Bhattarai laconically said, “72 ko Bismaya is a significant book about significant times.” He later expounded on the statement saying, “Before I picked the book up, I was suspicious about how the author has balanced the issues at hand, but upon reaching the final page, I felt thankful to the author for writing so objectively about such controversial events.”

Former President Ram Baran Yadav said the book is readable for anyone who wants to know about Nepal’s recent political history. “The author has interviewed a wide range of individuals and as a result what we get is a comprehensive and a well-researched book about the ups and downs the country has gone through in recent times,” Yadav noted.

Concluding the event, author Basnet explained that the book contains his thoughts and analyses of social upheavals which he got a chance to witness intimately while working as a journalist. “Just as an earthquake creates faultlines underground, such socio-political movements as the Madhes Movement make us aware about the political faultlines existing underneath the society,” Basnet said.

72 ko Bismaya is Basnet’s debut book. The author is also the Assistant Editor of Nepal magazine and has previously worked with various publications reporting on politics, specifically that of the Madhes region. The book is published by Fineprint.

Published: 09-09-2018 09:01

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