It is with great interest that I read Anoop Pandey's article on Bob Marley ('Raja of rasta and reggae', #232). I am a professor of mathematics here in California as well as a reggae DJ and a historian on the side for the last 12 years. I am afraid that Bob Marley has never been to Nepal or India. I am good friends with Roger Steffens (Marley's archivist and historian). Him and I have had countless hours of discussion on Bob Marley's life. We have concluded that he has never been to Nepal. Bob's music touched us in the 1970s and I was very pleased to see that his music is just as strong today in Nepal. I was there only a month ago and left many rarities of Bob Marley CDs with some of my friends and some bars around Lajimpat and Thamel. Also, there has been quite a discussion on sadhus vs rastas but there is yet to be any link between them other than the few similarities in lifestyle.
. Thank you for that excellent curtain-raiser on the Bob Marley 60th anniversary. Bob Marley was not just a musical prophet, he was also a messiah for the Third World and decades ahead of his time. What he did for African pride and for the self-esteem of the 'two-thirds world' through his music is incalculable. Perhaps the reason for his popularity in Nepal is that the Nepali people feel downtrodden and want to sing his redemption song?