In January, when load-shedding in Nepal increased from six to eight to twelve, and then to fourteen hours a day, and Kathmandu was for all intents reduced to darkness, the Kantipur television channel decided to make a point by titling its 7 PM news programme the Laltin (‘lantern’) Bulletin. The news reader reads her script in semi-darkness, with a kerosene storm lantern by her side. The station was seeking to inject some urgency among the opinion-making class regarding the reality of a country rich in hydropower facing such devastating power cuts during the winter, as the rivers run low. We have suffered it before, the station managers seemed to be saying. We knew it was coming, we saw it coming, we did nothing about it, and we continue to do nothing about it.
Romila Thapar addresses invitees at the
Southasian relaunch of Himal Southasian,
IIC, New Delhi, January 2013.
Flickr / girl.from.melbourne
An early monsoon
On June 16 2013, the India Meteorological Department confirmed the early arrival of monsoon rains across the whole of India. Full coverage was not expected until the middle of July, making farmers hopeful for a bumper crop.
From our archive:
C K Lal discusses the fixation of Southasia's political leaders with 'monumental waterworks.' (September 2007)
Somnath Mukherji explores the sights, sounds, smells and feelings that monsoon evokes. (June 2007)
Venu Madhav Govindu notes the 'fundamental importance' of a good monsoon for both city and rural dwellers. (August 2003)