A leader worthy of our respect till this day and age
B.P. Koirala was one of those leaders whose name still garners respect and recognition from everybody that is interested in politics in today’s time. In our country where there seems to be a shortage of capable leaders, B.P. Koirala stands tall towering among all the present and past day leaders. Today 22 July or Shrawan 6 is the remembrance day of Koirala. So let’s know about the man who has influenced our country so much and gathered such respect.
Table of Contents
Full Name of B.P. Koirala
Despite being well recognized all over the country among every generation since his death many people may still not know his full name, which is Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala he was born as the second son of philanthropist and social worker Krishna Prasad Koirala who was exiled to Varanasi for the offense of disrespecting the Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher.
Due to this reason, Koirala had a hard childhood along with his 5 brothers and 4 sisters. Despite all the hardship he grew up in a politically active and aware environment because the fervor of the Indian Independence Movement was catching on.
A Revolutionary at Heart:
Despite all the hardships of exile, Koirala grew up to be a revolutionary probably due to the fervor of the Indian Independence Movement. According to his autobiography, he and his elder brother Matrika Prasad Koirala joined Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement on a whim which was appreciated and approved by his father.
Later on, he joined the fight against the British Raj along with the veterans like Ram Manohar Lohia, Jaya Prakash Narayan, and Dr. Rajendra Prasad and was jailed for 3 years when he contracted cancer in his throat.
Fight Against Rana Regime:
After the departure of the British Raj from India, the time was ripe for revolution in Nepal as well since Nepal was in the despotic and tyrannical rule under the Rana for 100 years now and people were crying for a change. Koirala along with other revolutionaries like Matrika Prasad Koirala, G.P Yakthumba, Girija Prasad Koirala, Bishwa Bandhu Thapa, Subarna Shumsher, Mahabir Shumsher, Thirbam Malla, Ganeshman Singh, and many others led the armed revolution by capturing towns and districts defeating government forces.
These activities weakened the despotic Rana regime and encouraged the unarmed civilians to protest as well. Then under the pressure and with the mediation of Mr. Nehru, there was a tripartite agreement known as Delhi Accord signed between Ranas, Congress, and King Tribhuwan. This led to the dawn of democracy in Nepal after a long struggle.
Dawn of Democracy:
King Tribhuvan returned from India to receive a hero’s welcome and he announced in his first public address about the overthrow of the Rana regime and establishment of democracy in Nepal which was to be cemented by the election of the constituent assembly in two years’ time. The revolution started by Matrika, B.P., Ganeshman, Subarna and many others who suffered hardship and even death penalty for it had succeeded.
First Elected Prime Minister of Nepal
The first 10 years of the democracy was marked with failures, revolutionaries like Matrika, Pushpa Lal, Dilli Raman had left the party. The agendas of elected constituent assembly was abandoned. Even the Congress party was split. The threat of renewed struggle forces King Mahendra to implement a new constitution and announce a general election. Nepali Congress led by B.P. Koirala swept the election results winning the 2/3rd majority with ease. With these results in hand B.P. Koirala was appointed as the first elected Prime Minister of Nepal. Finally!!!
Coup d’état and Imprisonment:
The façade of democracy did not remain for long. King Mahendra showed his dislike for democratic movement and autocratic tendencies in as less than 18 months when he dissolved the parliament, suspended the constitution and imposed direct rule by dismissing the cabinet with his praetorian guard. Koirala and other leaders like Ganeshman, and Krishna Prasad Bhattarai were almost imprisoned for a decade.
Leading failed Revolutions:
After almost a decade of imprisonment due to failing health Koirala was released and sent to exile in India. From there with the help of sympathizers, he began collecting funds and weapons for the next revolution. But these endeavors ended in failure with the death of several revolutionaries and their capture as well. Koirala kept on trying for almost a decade to bring back the democratic system in Nepal.
Return, National Reconciliation and Referendum:
Due to his revolutionary activities while in exile he and his supporters were sentenced to death in absentia. Despite that he and his few supporters like Ganeshman, and Shailaja Acharya returned to Nepal with the policy of National Reconciliation with the intention of reconciling with the new king (Mahendra had died a few years back), Panchayati cohorts many of whom were former congress cadres but the king had other plans.
He and his supporters were immediately arrested and sent to jail. There was even the rumor of them getting executed( Thank God!! That did not happen). However, after 2 years due to the pressure from the demonstration of students, King Birendra announced a referendum which gave options of “Multiparty Democracy” or “Improved Panchayati System“. Owing to the resources of the state and the capability to rig elections Panchayati system won, Koirala ever the big-hearted man accepted the defeat with grace.
A Celebrated Writer:
B.P. Koirala was not only a politician and a statesman but also a celebrated writer as well. He has been credited with the introduction of psychological aspects in Nepalese literature. His works were first published in Hansa a Hindi language magazine edited by India’s Tolstoy Prem Chand. A socialist by faith in politics he considered himself an anarchist. He has written many political essays as well.
Death as a People’s Hero:
Koirala was suffering from cancer for a very long time period. Even with the treatment in the best hospitals in the West, he was not cured fully. On today’s date 40 years ago Koirala breathed for the last time in Kathmandu. Despite the warning from the Panchayati administration, almost 500000 people joined their beloved leader for one last time chanting the slogan “Bir Bisheshwor Zindabad”( Hail to Brave Bisheshwor).
Conclusion: B.P. in Memory:
After 40 years of his death, he is still celebrated and remembered with respect as if he was alive till yesterday. This article is dedicated in the memorial of Prime Minister and Leader Mr. Bisheshwor Prasad Koirala.