About the book:
For more than five decades, Rishikesh Shaha has been one of Nepal's leading political and cultural figures. He has his country in many different capacities as Minister of Foreign Affairs, as minister of Finance, Panning and Economic Affairs and as Nepal's first delegate to the United Nations.
He has also been a tireless advocate for human rights in his native country, where he had been imprisoned several times for what the Nepalese government claimed was treason, but for what Mr. Shaha saw as the expression of his civil rights of freedom of speech and assembly.
In these capacities, Mr. Shaha has been a witness to some of the world's most momentous events including the Suez Crisis, the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the rise of China as a world power.
Also, he has been recognized by the U.S. based Human Rights Watch has an outstanding advocate for human rights.
In this retrospective of some of the most critical events in recent history, he relates his first-hand accounts of episodes that have shaped our lives. H e reflects on a world that, in our times, has changed drastically in scope and meaning. He brings his wisdom to bear on some of the world's most significant occurrences. In doing so, he helps us to understand our own world and out place in it.
About the Author:
Rishikesh Shaha was one of the most prominent originators of the democracy movement in Nepal, beginning in 1948, and in 1948-49 he was a founding member of the Nepal Democratic Congress Party.
He has held several important government positions including Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Affairs. He served as the leader of the opposition in Nepal's first Advisory Assembly in 1952. He was an elected member of Nepal's National Legislature (Rastriya Panchayat) from 1967-71. He was also his country's first permanent representative to the United Nations and its first residential ambassador to the United States. He was instrumental in drafting Nepal's very first constitution.
Mr. Shaha has been an outstanding human rights leader, actively campaigning for the restoration of basic civil rights in his country when these were suspended in 1960. Several times, from 1951 to 1989, he was arrested, charged with treason and imprisoned by the Nepali government for what it claimed was treason, but for what Mr. Shaha and his supporters saw as the peaceful expression of their rights of freedom of speech and assembly. It was during this period that he was adopted as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. His attempts to form opposition parties and his work with underground political movements led to his founding, along with several like-minded colleagues, of the Human Rights Organization of Nepal (HURON) in 1988.
He has been the president of the Nepal Section of Amnesty International, and in 1989 was honored by the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch for his outstanding human rights work in Nepal.
Mr. Shaha has studied and taught in India and in the U.S. He was a visiting professor in the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Besides, he was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. and a Regents' Professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
He is the author of many publications about Nepal including: Nepal and the World; Heroes and Builders of Nepal; Nepali Politics Retrospect and Prospect; Essays in the Practice of Government in Nepal; Modern Nepal; A Political History (1769-1955); Politics in Nepal (1980-1990): Referendum, Stalemate and Triumph of People Power; Three Decades and Two Kings: Eclipse of Nepal's Partyless Monarchic Rule in Nepal.
Mr. Shaha lives in Kathmandu where he continues to be active in the country's political and cultural life.
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