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"The king has no alternative but compromise"


There is a strange sense of d?j? vu as we read these pages from BP's diary where he tries to analyse his predicament and the options before King Birendra in 1977. Some of the issues of parliamentary democracy and monarchy could be mistaken for the debate 25 years later following King Gyanendra's October Fourth move to take over executive power. The only difference is that BP was fighting for freedom and justice, whereas the clamour for democracy by his political successors today carry a hollow tone.

21 February, 1977
Sundarijal

Today's Rising Nepal carried the news of confirmation by the Supreme Court of death sentences passed by one man tribunal. What is intriguing is that BK Mishra was also involved in the statement of Capt Yagya Bahadur Thapa. This news says that Captain has made the statement before the trial court that by a joint direction of Girija, GM and BK, he was made the leader of the group that went to capture Okhaldhunga and set up a parallel govt there. I can understand GM and GP but why BK? What is the purpose of the govt in getting this statement from Capt Thapa? BK has recently been given amnesty and had only less than 2 months ago come to Kathmandu to test the validity of the amnesty. He has been pardoned-does amnesty granted to him extend to this case also in which he has been involved? GM thinks that he has been implicated in this case just to affront India. He thought when BK was amnestized that it was a part of the appeasement policy towards India. I am a little worried by the news. At least it complicates the situation in which the chances of a dialogue between the king and us would appear less clear if anything, GM remains firm in his conviction that the king has no alternative to a compromise with us. He is equally firm that his relation with India is deteriorating, and there is no chance of the differences with India being composed. Why I am not so cock sure?

I am in tolerably good mood. The black moods that I used to be subjected to I am free from-although my health is not that good. I get headaches, which is a new symptom with me. I never suffered from headache, lack of sound sleep. I now know what headache means.But now I get constant headache and buzzing noise in my head. I think I have lost some weight also. I hope it is nothing serious. The tensions involved in the initial period of adjustment to the life of a total segregated incarceration may be the main factor for the loss of weight.

I didn't write anything today. Brooded over an article on the importance of party politics in Nepal which I propose to write. Jotted down some points for the article. Since a few days I am in a mood of writing, but lack of any books, particularly reference books and congenial and helpful company like that of Shailaja who can assist me in any work is impeding my enthusiasm. I am conscious of the poor quality of my writing. This is because there are no reference books. I need general books also. They titillate my imagination and prove provocative-a kind of useful dialogue is started. I need an intelligent assistant also, it also provokes my thinking ability. My political writing particularly is some kind of statement of my conviction or defence of my stand. It is again in the nature of a dialogue. I also very much need Shailaja today in this mood of mind when I am itching for writing. She understands me and has her own mind too.

22 February, 1977
Sometimes I am assailed with doubts as to the correctness of our present line in pursuance of which we returned to Nepal without any assurance from the opposite side of a positive response to our line. I remember Sushila's advice not to return to Nepal in such uncertain, in her mind, negative attitudes on the part of the king. She never thought that the king would respond to our gesture in the same spirit of nationalism in which we have made it. With Mahendra, according to her, such a gesture would have perhaps produced some good results, but with the present king nobody could be sure of anything. In such a situation, the decision of ours to return to Nepal were fraught with extensive danger. Moreover, according to her reasoning, the king would feel greatly relieved to have us at his disposal and would be happy to promptly throw us behind bars and be done with a problem. The fight for democracy would suffer once we were removed from the position from where we could actively guide the movement. She was fully convinced that our imprisonment would be the end of the struggle for democracy in Nepal. She has very sound instinct. I don't know if her instinct in the present case of ours is also sound. Of course, I did not accept her argument. As a matter of fact I didn't even consider it seriously. Today I remember her admonition and doubts assail me. In two previous occasions also I didn't accept her advice-1. When I became Home Minister in spite of her advice to me against it, 2. At the time of my being PM she again advised me not to go in for that office. Her idea of the role that fitted me was of a Gandhi, who exercised influence without being in the seat of power. According to her, this denial on my part would enhance my standing with the people and educate my colleagues and political workers on the idea that there was a better way of serving people than through the occupation of seats of power. The unseemly rush for power would be curbed by my grand gesture, etc etc. I don't know if it would have been better so far as I am concerned if I had acted on Sushila's advice, whether my effectiveness as a political leader would have been greater or whether it would have been reduced to nullity. I am, however, inclined to think that on those two occasions in the past her advice was not sound if only from a purely success point of view. The two important offices that I occupied did add up to my personality and political prestige. The present direction of ours is irrevocable. Do dear Sushila, even you should wish now that I have taken a correct decision.



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