My Experience with Kings: Girija Prasad Koirala

Excerpted from Koirala’s address to a mass gathering organised by the Nepali Congress branch of Saptari on Dec. 27, 2002, collected in the book Simple Convictions

I am telling you something about the incumbent King [Gyanendra]. I am also sharing with you the nature of the four kings that I have experienced. I have been struggling with four generations of kings and have witnessed the vicissitudes over four generations. How does the person who has accumulated the experience of four generations perceive the King following the royal move on Oct. 4?

With the royal proclamation, the incumbent has robbed the people’s fundamental rights achieved through the historic Popular Movement of 1990. He has proclaimed to have acquired sovereignty and state authority, claiming he possesses divine power. He says he is the source of authority. We have called this King’s move regressive and we are agitating against it. From this mass gathering in Rajbiraj, I would like to tell the King – if you don’t correct the royal proclamation and immediately return the people’s rights to people; the result will be very grave, Your Majesty.

My experience with the attitudes of each king – the late kings Tribhuvan, Mahendra, Birendra and incumbent His Majesty – is different. Continue reading My Experience with Kings: Girija Prasad Koirala

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A death in Nepal in the age of Twitter and Facebook (RIP #GPK)

Nepal’s top leader dies. Nepalis all over the world react hysterically on the Web.

This blog entry is a supplement to a news report that I wrote in today’s Kantipur titled: निधनको खवरले भरियो फेसबुक[Facebook filled with the news of the death (of GPK)]

By Dinesh Wagle

a death in nepal in the age of twitter and facebook
click here to enlarge ठूलो पारेर पढ्ने भए यहाँ क्लिके हुन्छ

When Girija Prasad Koirala was born in 1925 Nepal was a closed society under autocratic oligarchy and secluded from rest of the world. There were no Twitterers and Facebookers in Nepal.

After 86 years, Nepal is now a Federal Democratic Republic with a vibrant and open society that is so much connected to the world that the news of deteriorating health and death of Koirala spread all over the world in an instant via the Internet on Saturday (20 March).

Messages like “Rest in Peace, Girija Prasad Koirala” or its shorter form “RIP GPK” and similar messages in Nepali spread like wildfire all over the web via numerous tweets and Facebook statuses. Some of those messages might have appeared slightly before the iconic leader’s death and certainly a couple of hours ahead of the official announcement by the Nepali Congress party in Kathmandu. That, in a way, reflected the aam janata (common man’s) concern and interest in Koirala’s health and life in general. Koirala died at 12:11 Nepal Standard Time Saturday. Here’s a sample of conversations that took place on Facebook walls (Sanjivan Gautam is a Nepali scholar who is now in Germany): Continue reading A death in Nepal in the age of Twitter and Facebook (RIP #GPK)