Nepali Times
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31 March, 1977

Yesterday I got five newspapers, the Gorkhapatra and the Rising Nepal. But they are not dated serially. The officers here are so unimaginative that they have given five random sets of papers to GM and since the segregation between us is so total that they can't correct it readily-perhaps they will have to get permission of the higher authority for the exchange of papers thus inadvertently distributed between the two detainees. The most important news so far as we are concerned is the formation of a new govt in Delhi shared by Morarji Desai-some of the members of the new govt are our friends like Madhu Dandawate, G Fernandes, Raj Narayan and not so young friends like Jagjivanram and Biju Patnaik. They are all our friends, including Shanti Bhusan. Atalbihari Bajpai is also known to us, but I don't know what attitude he will adopt in his relations with Nepal-he, as a foreign minister, is very much new in this present job. Even Gorkhapatra has admitted that the one person who has come out as the unchallenged leader of India is JP, who is however ill and can't be active. He should live for 3 years more to bring about cohesion in the new party that has won the election-then India will be safe for democracy which will be stable with 2 major political parties-Janata and the Congress. I don't hear of Chandra Shekhar, although his friend Mohan Dharia is included in the cabinet. The news from India is encouraging. Shailaja should have been there.

Yesterday towards the afternoon there was a big squall followed by a smart shower. The whole night there was intermittent rain. I am lonely and in such weather one needs desperately the company of those whom one loves. I am homesick. Had disturbed sleep also.

I was informed by the caption that since GM had marked down lines in the newspaper supplied to him it could not be delivered to me. I knew such trouble would arise, because GM is totally impervious to the atmosphere of segregation and as is his practice he marks some pertinent passages or items of news relevant to us for reference in future. There is a strict instruction that no communication of any kind should pass between us-and in order to effect this policy two sets of people are employed for us-separate cooks, separate men to serve food, etc. I was looking forward to getting those papers. Today only Gorkhapatra was supplied to me and the captain said that Rising Nepal hadn't arrived. All this is very annoying-Rising Nepal contains international news, however meagre-but something to lose your imagination on about how things are developing outside. Gorkhapatra has published a report of a govt student conference which was inaugurated by Tulasi Giri, Vishwabandhu and others. Giri's speech is interesting as he takes pains to explain to the students that the recent changes in the [Indian] govt wouldn't affect Nepal's politics. He explicitly said that those who are happy at the formation of the new govt are India-inspired people who were in power in 1960, and they were more dangerous to national independence. Even Mrs Gandhi's government was not friendly to Nepal, and by implication, what further unfriendly action could the present Indian govt do? It appears reading between the lines of his speech there is a jubilation among democrats at the turn of events in India and some consternation among the supporters of the Panchayat because he has said [in Nepali] "Hami maddhe kasai kasai ma dar dekhiyeko chha chhimeki deshma bhayeko ghatanako asar parchha ki bhanera." ["Some of us seem to be afraid of the changes in a neighbouring country that may affect us"].

He has tried to assuage their anxiety. He has also referred to JP about whom he said that he too had conceived of democratic partylessness and partyless election. Apart from all this he has even talked of kranti + sankranti like I used to explain to the hill people about my conception of total social change. After a long time Vishwabandhu has also spoken from the same platform and Rajeshwor Devkota too. These people are lightweights. Giri's speech is important. There is also a report of the king's inaugural speech at a reception conference at Madurai in today's paper. There is subtle, perhaps not so subtle, attempt to curry favour with India's Hindu sentiment in his speech. Otherwise the speech is most pedestrian-although there is an attempt at erudition and lofty thought in some parts of the speech which is mercifully very short. The king is stopping in New Delhi for two days. He will most certainly meet the new govt leaders of India and try to assess them. His father had a very poor opinion of their capabilities. He will further know the mood of the new govt. I am a little apprehensive at this point. The fact that the king decides to stay in New Delhi without official invitation is a . climb down for him who never let an opportunity pass by to cock a snook at India. I hope the Indian leaders will tell him that democracy will save little Nepal, and her independence and this they must say with firmness. The king is naturally a little bewildered by the turn of events in India.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)