Newahs Worldwide Unite
CELEBRATING THE WORLD NEWAH DAY
Decade of the Newah People
(Published also in Halin Newa: 2019)
Incidentally, it would perhaps worthwhile and not be out of place to recapitulate/recollect what we had in The World Newah Day 2018 Nepal Declaration as enumerated below:
The World Newah Day Organization Nepal Declaration 2018
- Promotion, conservation and revival of the Newah culture, heritage, language, literature and complete identity, strengthening of the unity amongst the Newahs, along with raising voice for restoring rights of the community worldwide according to the international standards.
- Displacing the Newah settlements and their residents in the name of development and modernisation thereby conspiring to destroy directly or indirectly the glorious heritage by the evil designs and engineering such divisive anti-social act through the government, responsible bodies is gravely condemned to brought to the notice of international communiities.
- Recognizing Khas language only as the Nepali language for the purpose of official functioning in the article 7c of the Constitution of Nepal being discriminatory, a strong initiative should be taken for recognition of all the languages spoken in Nepal should be accorded the status of the Nepali language and rights of their use in official functioning should be allowed without any discrimination.
- This Convention raises the voice to make the right to education in their own mother language for the children of the tribal and indegenous people make public beforehand the plans about the works to be done by the government for the development and conservation of all the tribal and languages and take prior consent from those affected.
- Actions to pressurise on the basis of the Newah identity and historical imortance as well, for nomenclature of Pradesh No. 3 as Nepal Pradesh.
- For the promotion, conservation and revival of the Newah art, culture, heritage, civilization, language, literature the World Newah Fund would be started.
- In the larger interest of the rights and welfare of the Newah, a voice would be raised continuously for making arrangements for the self-governance.
- Considering the great hstorical background of the Nepal Bhasha, its internationalization would continuously be done by taking active and forceful initiative.
- On the basis of the conclusive deliberations done during the Convention, it has been decided for taking up short, medium and long term policy, strategy and action plans for the multi dimentional development of the Newah community as a whole.
Translated by the author from Nepal Bhasa version and included in his book Sikkim ~ Our Newfound Home in the Black Hill : The Newars Here and There commemorating the World Newah Day 2018 Nepal.
The World Newah Day is well thought and much needed step in right direction to pursue due goal towards the Decade of the Newah People though much delayed to be here, I presume. Better late than never as the maxim goes.
Personally or individually we the Newah have excelled in many fields that many of us ourselves do not know what we have achieved. Be in the mainland or neighbouring India or elsewhere wherever they have reached in search of better opportunities/avenues over a century ago. They have served the country adopted and settled down with the same love, dedication and loyalty at par with exceptional brilliance reached heights to achieve for themselves that would also be for the society, state and the country they have adopted. Very much like the Newars in Sikkim, who were among the first to reach here in search of new pastures and to amalgamate well with the people and society duly owing allegiance to the country and constitution they adopted and serving the government whosoever in power to win over the confidence and earning honorifications like Taksari, Rai Saheb and Sikkim Ratna/Sewa Ratna. Deep in their heart and soul, of course, would be their undying love for the motherland/mainland for whatever they inherited as cultural, social, ritual legacy. Having reached this far, they felt the need for passing on to the new generations by forming various social organizations like we see Nepa: Pasa Pucha: Amerikaye, Newah Organization of America, Pasa Puchah Guthi, United Kingdom, Guthi Australia, Wnojapan Chapter, Newar Samaj Hong Kong and so on in almost every nook and corner of the globe. To cite an example for those who would like to know specifically - what could be the best illustration than our little Himalayan state of Sikkim has to offer. Time and space stop me from elaborating it further, though!
And what could be a more opportune moment to pen this offering dedicated to my fellow Newahs the world over than this pious day of Mahashivaratri. I have a valid reason to put forward these thoughts not only for the long awaited alternative water-supply line got connected today blessed by Lord Shiva, the eternal source of the Holy Ganges the lifeline of millions of people. It was our forefathers who on reaching this place invited to bring in the development, had found in the dream of the sacred stone buried in earth. Knowing well the importance of religion and faith in binding well the community for the wellbeing of the humanity and overall benefit of the society thereof, they had established Sri Sri Sri Dhaneshwar Mahadev Shivalaya in the heart of the place called Rhenock, hitherto known as the Black Hill. The area was not only a thick forest infested with ferocious animals and poisonous insects but they also had to face hostile people here. Such was the opposition to the newly arrived visionary young man that Chandrabir Newah had to face a warring section of the population here. His grit and determination won their heart over to have a friendly relationship with the influential Rhenock Kazi family for the betterment of the society and state in not a very long time to come. Soon the place saw terracing of land for paddy cultivation introduced as they followed back in mainland Kathmandu valley. Revenue system later introduced by him helped the government to raise much needed corpus for the State to run the Government. Earlier cultivation of food-grains like, maize, millet and buckwheat were grown in the hilly terrain by digging hole with a stick and sowing seed, as the myth goes.
An extract from my article “Being with the World Newah Organization” written as far back as 21 September 2011 with suggestions that might help us to understand how far we have come, perhaps:
“Without entangling or involving in other petty matters, people entrusted with the responsibility of running the show leading the organization like SNG, NOA or WNO should realize the greater role they are to play within their own sphere as they are more needed to clear us out of mess already knee deep.
“Similarly, the commendable role as the founder member of NOA doing well into its 9th year we have capable Daya Ratna Shakya in the Chair of the global body and his role to steer ahead WNO is equally significant and more needed – sooner the better – as we have greater expectation from WNO. I, however, personally feel and suggest under the presumption that money would flow in if we could prove the worth by our initial deeds:
– WNO need to share with us all the developments on the first teleconferencing of 18th April, 2010 and thereafter, uptodate without any further delay – minutes in brief
– WNO agenda in brief for immediate and near future and if also for the coming days ahead
– WNO e-newsletter, an official organ – since most of us may not be in a position to keep a track of emails, correspondences, conferences, events and comments to follow the developments thereof and to provide them official version every month/fortnight – this helps in binding us together
– Official letterhead for the WNO (the present one with a globe may not suffice the goal set in)
– A logo-shubhanker- to identify with the WNO
– A motto-beejmantra- to be committed to WNO
– Brief introduction of the WNO chair, co-chair, co-ordinators, contacts and experts – a careful select would be of help as too many cooks usually spoil the brooth
– Comments occasionally is okay but within limits as they sometimes turn counterproductive with some people overdo putting across their own viewpoint
– Rather suggestion as probable solution to a problem in hand be welcomed
– Since WNO has a clean slate to start from scratch, a careful listing starting with the objectives.
“Objectives also to cover and to cater to the Newah worldwide like us in Sikkim and India with a different nationality.
“Lastly, no politics within but through a committee of experts if needed but only to tackle external threat to the Newah people, identity and interest.
“I also wish to share here that it is important to motivate ourselves first before motivating others. Motivated ourselves enough, we should motivate each other to keep ahead inspired to perform the task dedicated for the greater Newar cause.Anybody who cares could take a cue to benefit out of this, not only the Newars for that matter.” (Source: http://www.worldnewah.org/content/64.html )
Thinking local, acting global was never possible with Sikkim Newah Guthi (SNG) associating with the WNO ever since its initial days though it had included besides this author - Keshab Chandra Pradhan, present Chairman of the Central Advisory Committee and much respected senior most wellwisher of the SNG/Newars in Sikkim and Kalpana Pradhan actively associated and once its Vice-President as well. Many there though could not understand the general lackadaisical attitude but what could best be surmised as put forward by this author - the Newars in Sikkim have a different nationality of being an Indian citizen but somewhere deep within the heart their love for the motherland nay mainland is imbedded with many having family relationship with brides from there like this author. Not only we have received every help and co-operation from fellow Newahs whenever needed and our people having been honoured in Nepal, the same way those from across the Mechi long associated with the Newah activities here in Sikkim have also been felicitated often on mutual reciprocal basis. It was untimely demise of D. N. Pradhan of Darjeeling the then President of Akhil Bharatiya Newar Sangathan was, otherwise, trying his best associating with the WNO in its formative days through this author while in the USA in 2010. Presently, a (disgruntled?) faction from Newars of Sikkim has been roped in to be included in India Chapter by the same agency, perhaps. It reminds of the oft repeated lines from my late Buba as advice, deep rooted in my heart and soul. “Politics and Personal motives once enters a social body door wide open, Unity escapes out of narrow crevices in the room, it does not require a window even!” Secondly, “Never be a party to the divisive forces of such a social body whatever be the reasons thereof!!” It need be reiterated here that the Sikkim Newar Guthi was possible after twelve years through a clarion call made with some of my friends way back in May 1982 but their role goes unacknowledged and none are in the list of SNG Founder Members. It would not be any surprise if some active people associated with the WNO since long are similarly amiss such a list following the criteria set forward recently.
This year the WNO Convention would also be electing a new Governing body to repose and hand over the onerous task of handling all the issues involving the best in the larger interest of the Newah people, cause and concern and above all the Newah civilization worldwide that is deeply rooted in the Kathmandu Valley where they assemble for yet another occasion. May the best thoughts be churned out of deliberations and prevail at wise decision arrived unanimously with the good wishes and blessings of all those who would not be so fortunate enough to present themselves personally but sincere in their heart to wish the organizers and the Convention a grand success. All trust the strong hearts of those dedicated souls to shoulder the great responsibility undeterred by whatever comes on their way towards achieving the best to reach the goal though distant they might appear. All the Best! Subhay.
Disclaimer: This is author’s personal account of memories updated to cherish and treasure often on a detour here and there en route to share the joy of the journey called life. Here in this article in which a sincere attempt has been made to sketch out the evolution of efforts how the World Newah Organization was conceptulaized and formed. Some names of person, place or event have been mentioned here to relate and connect to the subject matter without any intention malafide or otherwise. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 'The Newars Worldwide – Connecting the Dot : Sikkim' and 'Sikkim ~ Our Newfound Home in the Black Hill : The Newars Here and There' by him are available at www.rachnabooks.com.