Nepali Times Asian Paints
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BP Koirala, into his third month in jail, writes in this serialised jail diary that Ganesh Man Singh has suddenly lost his optimism and feels that democracy and peoples' sovereignty in Nepal are doomed. For his part, BP is in a slightly better frame of mind after a visit from a doctor. He is happy about the defeat of Indira Gandhi in India, and is determined more than ever to work to "lift Nepal out of the political, economic and diplomatic morass".

22 March, 1977

Dr Bhattarai came in the afternoon with a cardiogram machine-he monitored the occasional missing of my heart beat. He examined me very carefully, and said that this symptom may not be an indication of serious heart trouble. There are many extra causes that point to this symptom; and in my case tension and anxiety may be the cause. He also said people have however [managed] to live with this type of [affliction] for a very long time. I am greatly relieved. I did have this symptom for some time, which has only been aggravated by my present condition here. Dr Bhattarai said that I could take normal exercise and forget about this trouble altogether. A dental doctor also came for GM who got his teeth filling. I also needed this service, but since it was getting late I told them that I would send for him later.

It has been a good day from other point of view also. The election results of India's General Election for the Parliament so far-according to the Gorkhapatra of today-have gone in favour of the Janata Party which has a large [number] of my friends and supporters of our cause. Its spiritual leader is JP [Jayaprakash Narayan]. Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay have been defeated. These results have demonstrated the strength of democratic ideal that has prevailed over moves to be supplanted with authoritarian ideals centering around Indira Gandhi who wanted to be equated with India itself. Her defeat is a very happy news for those who pine for democracy. Moreover, her politics was wholly diverted to the promotion of her son's status, ultimately to have him succeed her. Her whole edifice based on chicanery and falsehood has tumbled. I am happy for this reason also. I don't know whether the Janata Party will obtain enough seats in the parliament to be able to form the government, even if it does succeed with the support of other splinter groups, whether it can hold all of them together since it is a hurriedly composed party of divurgent elements-some kind of a League of Nations than a party. My anticipation is that Jagjivan Ram will again go back to the Congress Party to head it-his quarrel being wholly with Indira Gandhi her removal from the scene could induce him to rejoin his old party which is in need of a man of some stature to head it. My friend Barma has won, but he doesn't have sufficient support in the party to enable him to assume its leadership, although he is currently the president of the party.

Today the security guards put up a very powerful searchlight at the gate and frenzied commotion has been going on outside in the last few days. What are they doing? My hunch is that a courtroom is being constructed where our trial will take place. GM doesn't accept this, and feels that this establishment being a military one, is enlarging and improving the grounds for routine work. But why this feverish construction work which can be done routinely?

23 March

GM was in a less optimistic mood today-I will not say that he was in a mood of frustration. His optimism has been constant, even when I sometimes felt that the king could decide not to respond to our gesture and thereby nullify the objective of our return (ie, national unity) proving our decision to be wrong. He used to brush aside my doubts and was convinced that there was no way out for the king, in his own interest. GM always.advised me that I should start thinking of the time when we talk with the king rather than worry my mind with doubts.

On the last occasion when we were prisoners under King Mahendra, GM once said he was not hopeful because the situation favoured the king, but now the situation didn't favour him and he is in a tight-corner. Hence GM is hopeful this time. He is even categorical that we shouldn't be put on trial and that the publicity given to our projected trial is free propaganda and allows the king to make up his mind and also propitiates hardliners in the palace, etc. Today, however, he was less optimistic. He said that Nepal's fate was not propitious, it would take both its sovereignty and the people's objective of democracy. When I told him that if the king saw light and an understanding was reached between him and us, then we could save both, but the obduracy of the king could bring about the gloomy prospect envisaged by GM. He said the situation had gone far beyond repair and nothing could save Nepal. I said we should make our last effort to save it. It may be a matter of touch and go, but we have no other choice but to make the effort. As far as I am concerned, knowing fully well that the situation is really desperate, I am making an effort-a national total effort-to raise the country out from the political, economic and diplomatic morass that 17 years of the king\'s dictatorial rule has led her into. At my age, I have no other choice. That is why I am keen on meeting the king even just once to convince him that national efforts can't be mobilised by the total centralisation of political authority solely in his own hand. If I could succeed in this then I will have personal satisfaction, and the sacrifices of so many men will be relevant and won't go in vain.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)