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A brief-case for posterity

india Updated: Nov 22, 2010 11:10 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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It’s been a year since I landed in Kathmandu. But am yet to visit the national museum—a 19th century building tonce known as Chauni Silkhana meaning the stone house of weapons.

An incident inside parliament last week reminded me of its existence and informed everyone else in Nepal about a new addition to its list of historical treasures.

A black leather briefcase that was the focus of what has been dubbed the “the greatest ever drama” inside Nepal parliament.

Late on Friday night as finance minister Surendra Pandey was about to present the budget, opposition Maoist lawmakers manhandled him and snatched and the briefcase carrying budget documents.

In the ensuing scuffle Pandey and cabinet colleague energy minister Prakash Sharan Mahat sustained injuries. The ‘damaged briefcase’ was later returned to Pandey who made a prompt announcement.

To ensure future generations don’t forget this ‘dark episode’ in Nepal’s parliamentary history — the briefcase would be kept on permanent display at the national museum.

Once there it will share space with another leather item that’s a huge draw with visitors — a canon that was used in the 1791 Nepal-Tibet War.

It’s been four years since signing of the comprehensive peace agreement that ended the 10-year-long civil war. But Nepal is yet to get its new constitution and there’s been no effective government for past four months.

If things remain the way they are—the national museum could soon have more artifacts on display.