Book Speaks Itself
(Kitab Afain Bolchha)
Kitab Afain Bolchha written and edited by Gopal Koirala ‘Tyagi’ was released amidst a function in Nepal Tourism Board Hall. It was launched jointly by Former Prime Minister Kirtinidhi Bista, Former Minister Rajeswor Devkota, Former Minister Modanath Prashit, Former Ambassador of Nepal to Russia Hiranyalal Shrestha, Politician and Women Activist Ms. Shanta Shrestha and Historian Chetendra Jung Himali on 2 February 2012.
The programme was organized by the Border Concern Civic Committee, Kathmandu. This scribe was asked to make a short review of the book during the book release programme.
As the name of the book, it has spoken itself as it is written sovereignty, boundary, water resources and energy; just under the title of the book, as we unfold the front cover page. So we may know that this book is mainly concerned on the border issues, some discussion on the water and energy resources of the country.
The book contains 676 pages and it deals on various subject matters on its various segments. 191 pages i.e. 28 percent of the total pages have been allocated for the collection of pictures of border pillars, monuments and markers including missing and disappeared pillars. Similarly, 19 percent of the pages have been spared for the collection of articles from various potential writers on the boundary issues of Nepal with India. Like wise, 142 pages or 21 percent of the book pages have been allotted for the collection of published news and views on border encroachment, problem of water resources, use of the Koshi River water by India. In the same way, 143 pages have been spent for the collection of articles published in various daily, weekly, monthly newspapers and magazines and journals by author himself; as it is entitled ‘Pen Speaks.’ And 5 percent of the book pages have been allotted for the collection of correspondences to government of India water concerned offices, letter to the ministry of water resources from Koshi Project Office Biratnagar, while Koirala was working as Special Land Acquisition Officer.
Going through all these materials, it could be said that this book is an anthology of collection of published articles, news and views, interviews and comments form 1983 to 2004. It is commendable that the author has covered 143 pages by his own articles, published in various time period. It seems that this book will be very useful for the researchers to site on what date what incidents took place on the boundary issues.
On the whole, the book is concerned mainly o the border encroachment, missing Junge Masonry Pillars, No-man’s Land, Nepali citizens converted into alien due to dislocation of the border pillars and obscurity of No-man’s Land. The author has written clearly that protection of boundary is our responsibility. Integrity of the nation depends upon sensitive elements like border demarcation.
In the same way, the author has kept always keen interest about the control by India on the management and regulations of Koshi Barrage, which lies close to Bhantabari border area but totally in the Nepalese frontier. He has written so many pages addressing to the political leader that they have to do something else to solve the border problems with our southern neighbour. He has included some treaties of Nepal with India as well in the book.
He has tabulated a figure mentioning that there are 4,087 border pillars located in 18 districts of Nepal. Among them 2,513 is intact and 684 pillars need general maintenance. But 499 pillars have been washed away by the rivers, 189 pillars are in dilapidated condition. Besides, 202 are not in good conditions. This data gives a picture of the condition of boundary pillars between Nepal and India.
It is very much precious that Gopal Koirala Tyagi has collected and published the real pictures of 1,946 boundary pillars having various shape, size and dimension from Junge Masonry Pillar to small conical shaped pillars, located in various district border. Among the photographs, 310 are blank, but it is marked the Nepali National Flag instead of the picture. He might have done tremendous efforts to collect all these real photographs. His attempts are highly appreciable.
Every coin has its two faces. Above mentioned points are the positive element. The book has also the other side of the coin. It could be said that he has not included his fresh or virgin articles in this book. If he had added new write-up, it could have much more up-dated. The other thing is that the author has affixed the national flag of Nepal, in which the pictures of the pillar are not available. In fact, he had to fix the national flags of both Nepal and India jointly in those unavailable pictures of boundary pillars. Because boundary pillars are common to both nations and these are the property of Nepal and India.
Next missing object is that he has not given the number of boundary pillars of remaining 8 districts of Nepal that also adjoins border with India. If he had collected data of these remaining districts, it would have been completed the tabulation.
Most interestingly, the author has not collected the facts and figures regarding border business of Nepal with China. It should have collected some materials concerning Nepal-China border demarcation; though the delineation, demarcation, periodic supervision and maintenance of boundary pillars have been doing time to time. In summary, this book will be useful for the researchers, and also general readers to acquire information and to know the border issues of Nepal with its southern neighbour.