Nepali Times
"The king will soon open a dialogue with us."

Another series of entries in BP Koirala's prison diary gives us a hauntingly relevant analysis of Nepal's present political predicament and we see a striking similarity to the current polarisation between the parties and the monarchy. BP's analysis is applicable today as it was in 1977: "If a compromise is achieved both (the king and the parties) will be the partners in a difficult undertaking of leading the nation to progress." BP is writing in English, and the next few entries are blank, as he falls sick with bronchitis.

23 February, 1977

Our present line incorporates also a conviction that the king is compelled by critical development of the relationship between India and Nepal and also by the stagnation in the economic development of the country and by an awareness that this has not produced expected desired results to respond to our gesture. If this analysis of ours is proven correct-so far no indication-then the king will soon open a dialogue with us. What should be our stand, what line of argument and strategy should we adopt in our dialogue with the king? Of course over time is quite clear: restore parliamentary democracy, ie restore ante-1960 status quo. That this will be for the king some kind of ultimatum, at least a.demand which by virtue of our own strength we are not in a position to make. Moreover if the talk is intended to achieve a compromise then we too will have to take into consideration the position and difficulties of the king. The spirit of compromise means that both sides should take into consideration, when advancing their respective proposals and suggestions, the difficulties dignity of the parties concerned. If a compromise is achieved both the parties will be the partners in a difficult undertaking of leading the nation to progress. In this context we must, therefore, be guided by two considerations which are difficult to reconcile and would tax the ingenuity and diplomatic capabilities of the parties to the maximum:
1. The objective ideal of total restoration of democratic functioning should not be diluted, but at the same time shouldn't be rigid to the point of breaking the prospect of compromise. A very tall demand. GM wants me to start thinking out ideas for eventual dialogue with the king which he sees coming very soon. I think the first prerequisite is mutual trust. I will appeal to the king to be frank and fully trusting and trustworthy. We have established our bonafide by returning unconditionally and thus placing ourselves at his disposal and mercy.
2. Full democracy should be the mutual objective.
3. First process is to grant total and unconditional amnesty and restoration of property, etc.
4. Immediately or after a gap of three months restoration of fundamental rights.
5. Six months thereafter permission to parties to function and at the same time or again three months after that declaration of a date-say one year later-for elections to the national panchayat at by adult franchise and at the same time prospective granting of authority to the elected national panchayat to make appropriate amendments to the constitution and this arrangement the king will not have to appear to have conceded substantially or yielded considerably, at the same time we will have been assured of restoration of full democratic process within a specified period.

24 February, 1977
Washed a bucketful of clothes. Feeling very tired. Didn't do anything.

25 February, 1977

Ill with bronchitis, so.

26 February, 1977
Not well.

27 February, 1977

Not well. Have asked for medicines which I used to take in India on Dr Vaish's (BHU) [Banaras Hindu University] advice. The doctor said in the evening that a doctor would come to see me tomorrow.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)