Continued Push For Political Asylum

March 8, 2012: Next Immigration Court Date

Questions Prepared By My Lawyer For Immigration Court Date Tomorrow

Immigration Court Date: June 6, 2011: Prepared Statement 

April 22 Immigration Court Date

December 18 Court Date

Rudra 7.16.12

My Push For Political Asylum
Paramendra Bhagat

My lawyer first made a case in 2008. And I have showed up for court date after court date over the years. Volunteering for Barack Obama is what landed me into trouble – I was inside for six months, they had me disappear the precise day Barack beat Hillary, I guess they were attempting poetry, and I was let out a few days after Barack beat McCain – and the guy is now on his way to reelection. See, they knew me for who I was.

Barackface: The First Time I Heard The Obama Name

I was not living in the city at the time, I was about nine months away from moving in. I was in town for a few days, staying with someone in Chinatown.

I remember exactly where I was. I was at Grand Central near the newspaper store. I overheard two women excitedly talk about the guy. I am not much of a TV guy, so I had not watched any of the ongoing speeches at the Democratic Convention. These two white women looked comfortable about how he looked, but they were more excited about what he had said. Whoever this guy was, he was some sort of an arrival. I sensed that before I learned his name, before I saw his face. I immediately walked over to a newspaper stand. There he was pointing his finger into the crowd like in a famous JFK picture. I dropped the rest of my plans for the day and headed straight home. I looked up his speech online and I watched it. I did what I do when I come across a really good music video. I watched it again and again and again. The speech was nothing short of mesmerizing.

For the next few days I went all over town taking pictures of anything and everything. The person I was staying with worked at Goldman Sachs. A high school classmate was at Citi. I did go to the many of the tourist spots, but for me it was not about that. The entire city was one big tourist spot for me.

I would take hundreds of pictures, come back home, download, go back out, take hundreds more pictures. The MTA ran a major loss on my weekly metro pass for those few days. The following evening I got told that a few police officers showed up at the door, they were let in, they walked to the roof, then walked back down and went away.

Soon after Tom Ridge issued an alert. A few days later Bill Clinton went ahead and had a heart attack. John Kerry is the first presidential candidate in history not to have received a bounce from his convention.

I was Barack Obama’s first full time volunteer in New York City. The day of the Democratic primary in February 2008, the top Hillary event was at the Tonic in Times Square, the top Barack event was at the Tonic in Little India.

Brooklyn And Santogold/Santigold

Barack almost took Brooklyn during the February 2008 primary. Things were looking so bad before the primary day, Congressman Weiner urged Hillary to make an appearance in Brooklyn, and she did.

I moved to New York City summer of 2005 and placed myself in the smack center of the borough.

It is not love for the country I grew up in. I don’t have one. It’s not Nepal (there was too much prejudice against people like me in that country while I was growing up), it’s not India (I have never lived there) – although I take plenty pride in my heritage, it is not America. I don’t have a country. The Internet is my country, the closest thing to a country that I have. But Nepal happens to be the country I know better than any other with India and America close seconds. And I intend to play as big a role as possible in its economic growth over decades. Nepal is my political laboratory. And digital tools are enough, just like they were enough for my work towards Nepal democracy. Nepal is not a country I am trying to avoid. But is not safe for me to be there. That continues to be the case.

Barackface: A MLK Style Death Awaits Me In Nepal

There is a concrete mathematical theory called the butterfly effect. A butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon forest could be the reason a cyclone hit Bangladesh. What happened in Nepal in April 2006, January-February 2007, and February 2008 were political cyclones. I was the butterfly flapping my wings in New York City. What I did I could not have done from Kathmandu.

In April 2006, over a period of 19 days, about eight million people out of the country's 27 million came out into the streets to shut the country down completely to force a dictator out. The Maoists wanted to take credit but they had been pushing for an armed uprising all along. The seven democratic parties kept pushing for a mass meeting here, a mass meeting there, a daylong shutdown here, and a daylong shutdown there. I am the father of the concept of continuous movement in the Nepalese context. I pushed the concept from the very beginning. If there is a tortoise sitting on the fence, chances are it did not randomly get there.

All the political actors and parties that took credit for April 2006 were fundamentally opposed to the Madhesi movement of January-February 2007 that was a more intense movement than April 2006. February 2008 was the second chapter of the Madhesi movement and the third chapter to the April 2006 revolution itself. I was the one constant to all three.

When Upendra Yadav, now leader of the largest Madhesi party and fourth largest party overall after the April 10, 2008 elections to the constituent assembly in Nepal, landed in Los Angeles in July 2007 for the annual conference of Nepalis in America, his first words were "Where is Paramendra Bhagat?" They took him to the hotel. He again asked, "Where is Paramendra Bhagat?" They had to fly him over to NYC to meet me.

What has changed in Nepal? Not much so far in terms of political volatility. The country still does not have a constitution. The law and order situation is weak. The hardliner Maoists recently broke away from the mother party vowing a revolution. Many armed Madhesi groups are still at large.

Nepal Runs Out Constitution Clock, Slips into Crisis (May 27, 2012)

Nepal dissolved its four-year-old Constituent Assembly at midnight Sunday and set new elections after political parties failed to agree on the model of federalism the country should adopt in a new constitution.

India anxious about Nepal's constitutional nail-biter

Nepal: Constituent Assembly Dissolved After Epic Failure

BBC News: Nepal Maoists: Faction breaks away from governing party

A hardline faction within Nepal's governing Maoist party has said it is breaking away to form a separate party.

The leader of the new grouping said the split was happening because the party's leadership had "annihilated the achievements" of the 10-year civil war which ended in 2006.

Split in Nepal Maoist party will revive relations with CPI (Maoist)

Split in Nepal Maoists spells trouble for India