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  The Chatter Box : The Series
English Recruting Officer in Himalaya by maflu on 16 March 2005 6:47pm
Hi all!
I like the Himalaya series. There are just a few things I completely dislike and first of all this sequence with this conceited British officer recruiting people in this village. I understand (and approve) the fact that he was hold prisoner by the Maoists. He had nothing to do on a land that is a foreign land for him, trying to take some more ressources out of this land.

Perhaps he was thinking that he was doing THE right thing because these people would have been payed more than in their own country. But that is none of his business! He does not have to decide in lieu of these young people by putting money under their noses.

Also, I doubt he was really interested in the well being of these local people. It was rather a completely selfish procedure. If he really cared about these population, he would first respect them and then try to help them by living in their own culture.

I am quite surprised that Michael Palin interviewed this guy very normally, with not the slightest touch of criticism. In Sahara Michael was rightly ironic IMO with this Norwegian missionary. He could (should) have asked a few embarassing questions here.
Re: English Recruting Officer in Himalaya by Godfather on 18 June 2005 2:15am

Well, the Gurkhas have been involved with the British Army for a long long long time. The guy was just doing his job, in recruiting. Why should he be slammed so much? I agree with you that he seemed to have an odd and old fashioned "Wotto, Chin up, Jolly Hocky Sticks" kind of Army aura about him. Seemed straight out of the 1940's British Army.

Forget "culture" for a moment, and consider what it is to aim to be a member of the Gurkhas for a teenage Nepalese guy. Needs must, and the massive wage they could get for themselves and their family over generations if sucessfully accepted, outweighs any romantic ideas we may have about keeping them in little villages of poverty, so that they stay pretty and "cultural" for us when we travel.

Afterall, if you look deep down i think you'll find that is part of why you want them to "remain in their culture", rather than concern for their well being. If you truly were concerned about their well being, you'd accept that this is the way it is. What alternative do they have? I know many young Nepalese guys and they make a pittance if they remain in the villages.

You may see waving money under their noses,in an immoral way. But why should they be denied money if the chance arrives? Afterall, if you were a young Nepalese man living in poverty would you not try and better your situation?

Re: English Recruting Officer in Himalaya by Ken Dunn on 23 June 2005 10:18pm
Could it be that the prospective recruits were checking out their options as young people tend to do?
Do I join the Maoists or Ghurkas to make a living would be a question in their mind.
If either group used force or coercive means to tempt me to join then I wouldn't join either!

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