Tag Archives: obituary

GP Koirala: An Incomplete Democrat

By Siddhartha Thapa

The demise of GPK will undoubtedly lead to a political realignment in Nepali politics. Girija Prasad Koirala was without a doubt the most influential politician in Nepal. What was truly unique about Koirala’s political strategy was his ability to fuse his belief in democracy and his Koirala legacy to further his political goals. Koirala operated as a democratic monopoly – he succeeded in portraying himself as the sole democratic crusader at the detriment of his own party and to those within and outside the party too. The most cogent portrayal of Koirala can be attributed to former Prime Minister Thapa’s observation. In 2004, I had asked Thapa why he persistently sought to ally with Koirala at the expense of UML and NC-D, and Thapa’s reply was telling of Koirala’s political capability – “no one in Nepali politics has the ability to embark on a political adventure”.

Koirala’s political resurrection came into being when King Gyanendra formally took over in 2005. His premiership much through the 90’s had been marred with corruption, nepotism and political interference in the bureaucracy and Nepal Police. A testament to Koirala’s unpopularity could be seen during the funeral of King Birendra – protestors not only chanted slogans against the prime minister but stoned the bulletproof Mercedes which Koirala was riding in – his aide de camp had to place a helmet on Koirala’s scalp to save the prime minister from incurring any injury. In a way, Koirala in his death emerged as this democratic messiah but whether or not his policies will be carried forward by his own party will determine his legacy.

B.P vs G.P Continue reading GP Koirala: An Incomplete Democrat

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)