October 29, 2011

MAHENDRA, GIRIJA AND PRACHANDA: THE THREE NEPALESE VILLAINS THAT HARMED THE COUNTRY MOST

[However, several leaders projected as heroes converted themselves into villains. The tallest among these new converts was Girija Prasad Koirala. The more he survived physically the greater he accumulated negative wealth and stood tallest among villains. Despite his history of long struggle against tyrannical Panchayat system, his personal courage, determination and ability to reaching out even the diehard opponents; he was a garbage truck. Also, there were corruptions previously in public life, however, Girija Prasad Koirala institutionalized it and introduced corrupt practices as a general rule rather than exceptions. He could be addressed as the “Father of Corruption in Modern Nepal.”  His nepotism and cronyism of nonparallel nature, scale and intensity would be remembered for a longtime to come. He is primarily responsible for creating a sandy base, which made Nepal now vulnerable, unstable, anarchic and ungovernable.] 

By Divash Sharma
Since 1950, after overthrowing the Rana regime, Nepalese people have been dreaming a dream of peaceful, prosperous, civilized and technologically advanced Nepal.
During 1950s, the chances of Nepal taking speed in all these areas were really high. However, a villain threw cold water on all aspirations of the people. He was an autocratic King, infamously known as Mahendra Shah. He snatched all powers in a coup d’├ętat in 1960 and introduced one party system called Panchayat. Civil rights, human rights, freedom of associations, plural political exercises, all were banned and he ruled Nepal with iron fist.  The one party system he introduced lasted until 1990, killing several hundred people - imprisoning and suppressing thousands. Although, the totalitarian system he introduced was defeated, his sons entered into a power sharing arrangement and continued hanging on somewhere till 2006. Mahendra was one of the key villains in modern Nepal who drove Nepal backwards. 
He was a tyrant. However, he took some important steps in areas of physical infrastructure development that included Birjung-Kathmandu, Kodari-Kathmandu and East-West highways. He was instrumental in expanding education foundation - establishing several hundred schools, some colleges and a university as well. He also legally abolished untouchability and eliminated the caste based penal code. In economic front, he initiated public sector enterprises to support industrialization and cater facilities in areas of greater need. In the international front, he aligned Nepal with non-aligned movement, stood for equidistance between power blocks and powerful neighbors including America and Soviet Union and between India and China. However, his contributions were too little in comparison to his crimes committed against Nepali people, particularly suppressing them politically and intellectually. Hence, Mahendra as a tyrant, will be listed as one of the major villains of Nepal, whereas he will also be credited as an initiator of some development endeavors.
  
The infamous Panchayat system was overthrown as the result of three decades long heroic struggle of the people. Several historic political initiatives contributed to the downfall of the tyrannical system. It would be worth mentioning here the armed struggle launched by Nepali Congress during 1960s, Jhapa rebellion of 1970s and its continuation by the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist) during 1980s, the militant student and workers’ movements and several popular uprisings including the uprising of 1979 that forced the regime to declare referendum and the people’s movement of 1989-90 succeeded in overthrowing the Panchayat system, are a few of the important ones. Although, the people’s movement defeated Panchayat, it ended in a compromise that retained the monarchy in a bit different form. The movements and elections afterwards: the change of 1990 gave birth to new heroes and new villains also. Not a single hero survived politically to lead the change positively and constructively. 
However, several leaders projected as heroes converted themselves into villains. The tallest among these new converts was Girija Prasad Koirala. The more he survived physically the greater he accumulated negative wealth and stood tallest among villains. Despite his history of long struggle against tyrannical Panchayat system, his personal courage, determination and ability to reaching out even the diehard opponents; he was a garbage truck. Also, there were corruptions previously in public life, however Girija Prasad Koirala institutionalized it and introduced corrupt practices as a general rule rather than exceptions. He could be addressed as the “Father of Corruption in Modern Nepal.”  His nepotism and cronyism of nonparallel nature, scale and intensity would be remembered for a longtime to come. He is primarily responsible for creating a sandy base, which made Nepal now vulnerable, unstable, anarchic and ungovernable. 

Prachanda (1954 -)

When Girija Prasad Koirala departed initially politically and afterward physically, his political successor appeared. He was none other than Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prachanda, the fierce, the 'charismatic chairman' of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), (UPCN (M) himself. People had high hopes as he had led the decade-long Maoist Peoples' War - putting forward the agenda that there would be a new Nepal: a prosperous, civilized, egalitarian, developed and shinning Nepal. More than 16,000 people were killed by either side during the civil war and the hopes and aspirations after such a big sacrifice were naturally high. When, the UCPN (M) took over government leadership, there was some short of euphoria. Jubilation was the flavor of the time. Gradually, frustrations shadowed hopes, anger brushed off cool expectations, turmoil replaced serenity and a different Pushpa Kamal came out of thick cloud. 
The former 'Maoist gorilla' or if otherwise you liked to soften it, - the 'Maoist rebel' - Pushpa Kamal appeared second time, had some characteristics of Mahendra as he sounded highly intolerant to opposing voices, and he had some traits of Girija Prasad  in that he turned to be a master money maker also. Moreover, he was highly unstable and super ambitious. He wanted everything revolving around him – politics, party, parliament and government. He primarily lacked statesmanship, transparency and commitment to any cause other than his personal agenda of nepotism and cronyism. He contributed to create a mess so as to swim on it and to ensure his endeavors rewarding himself. By utilizing his party apparatus, he accumulated wealth and made himself a new financial Czar, however, he himself killed his charisma, respect, reputation and personality. Moreover, as a turncoat he betrayed the cause - building a shinning Nepal and degenerated himself to a petty power broker. A leader of majestic height died politically and made Nepal suffer immensely. Nepal has suffered a lot due to negative roles played by these three notorious villains.

COMMENTS:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Adarsha Tuladhar <adarsha.tuladhar@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 1:09 AM
Subject: Re: MAHENDRA, GIRIJA AND PRACHANDA: THE THREE NEPALESE VILLAINS THAT HARMED THE COUNTRY MOST

Mr Divash Sharma seems to be  an amateur analyst of Nepalese politics because he writes columns proclaiming others as villains who have harmed the country most.

King Mahendra had started very well and had been instrumental to developing our ties with China and USSR which had deterred the clout of India and the USA.  Only towards the end he somewhat deviated from his earlier stance and started behaving little wayward.  But credit goes to him that he had kept the palace out of politics and himself was not engaged in looting the country.

The biggest villain of all who has destroyed our country is King Gyanendra who was foolish enough not to leave the throne in the hope that his subjects will come out to the streets to protest his ouster.

No doubt Girija is a big villain because he had 'spoiled' the entire political order by dissolving the house when his party had the majority in the house.  The politics has never been the same.  He also inducted his daughter and gave shelter to corrupt ministers like Tarini Dutt Chataut but he, at least, brought the armed rebellion to a peaceful conclusion.

Prachanda can never be termed a villain because he has liberated the downtrodden in Nepal with one stroke of his pen.  Gureilla leaders never make good administrators and he has been no exception.

So, before analyzing anything which includes politics also, Mr. Sharma should better be an objective observer.

Adarsha Tuladhar
Team Leader/M & E Specialist
Programme for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN)
TMS/IIDS - National Research Institute
Tel.: 4439187 & 4439182 (work), mobile:  98418-88262

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kalyan Bhattarai <kdbhattarai2009@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 1:51 AM
Subject: MAHENDRA, GIRIJA AND PRACHANDA: THE THREE NEPALESE VILLAINS THAT HARMED THE COUNTRY MOST 

I fully agree with the opinion Mr Divash Sharma has expressed above and think there needs an addition of the fourth villain in the list. I believe Mahendra Saha institutionalized corruption and the one time ordinary king became one of the richest kings - all due to corruption.

The Fourth Villain, I would name is, Mr. Biswa Nath Upadhya who, as the chief justice not only brought politics in judiciary but made mockery of justice as well. When then Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikary  dissolved the parliament, which was a prerogative or executive power of any prime minister, this villain reinstated it. The similar case was misinterpreted different way making fun of the law and constitution. It not only gave birth to 'Pajero Culture in Politics' (tax free imported luxury car culture) but made the country play ground of corrupt, power lust, crook politicians also.

Nepal has suffered a lot due to roles played by these four notorious villains.


Kalyan Dev Bhattarai
Kathmandu, Nepal.
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kamal Krishna Joshi <kkkjoshi@hotmail.com>
Date: Sun, Jan 4, 2015 at 8:55 AM
Subject: RE: MAHENDRA, GIRIJA AND PRACHANDA: THE THREE NEPALESE VILLAINS THAT HARMED THE COUNTRY MOST
To: himalayan voice <himalayanvoice@gmail.com>

Very soon we will hardly have any senior politician not termed as a villain of the Nepali people.

What about former Prime Ministers Madhav Nepal, Jhal Nath Khanal and now 'Prime Minister in Waiting' the current UML Chairman Khadga Parasad Oli who got many opportunities since 1990, institutionalized factionalism in the party and now continue to contribute to the decay of our national values ? I cannot even think of one single contribution that these three guys made when in power except making the party one of the richest in Asia ! Today, this party runs finance companies and banks, colleges and hospitals. What about another former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai who was an ideologue and scholar but contributed to the killing of 16,000 innocent Nepalese? Krishna Sitaula is another villain who made millions out of the second-hand armored personnel carriers in Sudan. Look at Ram Sharan Mahat, who has become Finance Minister for nearly a dozen times yet continues to be a mute onlooker as FDI is targeted, political party cadres demand shares from hydro projects.

Foreign agents like Mahanta Thakur, Amresh Kumar Singh, Anil Jha, Rajendra Mahato, Bijay Gachhedar too are great villains who continue to serve foreign interests rather than being sensitive to Nepal's own national interests. And again what about Subash Nemwang who has successfully managed to finish off the Constituent Assembly not once but twice in a row by not even calling the full house to discuss the Constitution? How and who influenced him to declare the country 'secular' remains one of history's tragic mysteries.

President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav is yet another great villain who wishes to make Shital Niwas his permanent abode; he has done nothing to raise Nepal's international profile.

The greatest hero is definitely King Prithvi Narayan Shah the Great, who unified Nepal from 22 and 24 different principalities. If it were not him, we would have not even  been Nepalese today. Alas! these villains want their own self-glorification but do not celebrate King Prithvi's birth anniversary.


Prof. Kamal Krishna Joshi
Kalimati, Kathmandu,
Nepal.