KRISHNA PRASAD BHATTARAI The GoodThe BadAnd The Bubbly

He lived a lonely life towards the fag-end of life -- personal and political. On his own terms. At his death he was not lonely in what he believed in. Thousands ventured out to pay their last homage. On his own terms, again. As the veteran democrat o

March 13, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 04 No.- 18 Mar.11-2011 (Falgun 27,2067)<BR>

“My life is guided and its duration is decided not by me but God Almighty himself. Only all the lacunas and deficiencies are mine.” -- Krishna Prasad Bhattarai


True to what Krishna Prasad Bhattarai said in his 87th birthday souvenir cup and the book “Mero Ma” he defied medical science. Lived long enough than he had expected.  But he could not defy the Almighty and complete a century that he had wished.


He led the country’s largest democratic party for nearly twenty difficult years. And twice led the government in no less difficult times. Despite organisational ‘lacunas and deficiencies’.


At the most critical period of the party and the country, however, he was not in a position to lead the party and the country to what he thought was the right direction.


Probably that was what his Almighty had decided.


The party he founded changed its course and the country embarked on a republican journey.


Bhattarai refused to join the bandwagon, choosing to walk alone.


He distanced himself from the “unethical politics” and the “deviating” party. He found few buyers of what he did. Taking a principled stand. Against all odds. Against the current. Against the “tide” of the times.


Times have changed. So has what the people thought of him. As the high hopes and the big dreams over the republican began to take a beating, the entire nation stood up and took notice of what he stood for.


In his death early this month the nation mourned the loss of “a great leader”.


He has been hailed as a leader who did all the right things. A leader who did not do a single wrong.

But as Bhattarai did himself admit he was not free from mistakes. “Only all the lacunas and deficiencies are mine”.


Destiny saw the man taking many good decisions and making some fatally bad moves.


Bhattarai rose to an unprecedented high when he opted to stay behind the royal regime’s bars. Refusing to join his illustrious senior jail compatriots of eight years into a foreign exile for an armed resurrection against the king’s direct rule.


He was proved right eight years later. B.P.Koirala and Ganesh Man Singh returned from for national unity and reconciliation.


The move proved a turning point in the gradual liberalisation of the restricted politics and eventual demise of the king’s direct rule.


Perhaps the politics could have taken a positively different course much earlier had Bhattarai been successful in prevailing upon B.P. and Ganesh Man.


But the fate had other things in store for Nepal.


Twenty-five years after a very high during the difficult times in the royal regime, Bhattarai stooped to an inexplicable low in the easy times in the democratic set up.


Struggling to overcome the shock defeat instead what should have been a cake-walk victory in the first general elections he failed to read a nasty design that not only did him in, but the party and eventually the national politics as well.

Hailed as the best statute at the time it soon became an ‘unwanted’ document, thanks to the machinations of which Bhattarai went on to become a party.


President of a traditionally democratic party, Bhattarai accompanied the communist opposition leader to knock the doors of a king whose powers he had effectively clipped. To seek the nullification of the dissolution of the parliament which the prime minister of his party’s majority government had recommended in accordance with the universally accepted parliamentary norms and practices.


But he was soon back at his best in swallowing all humiliations and abuses from own party men to prevent a vertical split of  the Nepali Congress at the behest of the rival and the incumbent prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala.


Few leaders are endowed with such courage and guts to stand up to the adversity. Destiny had endowed it in Bhattarai. Few years later, he showed it again the second time when Koirala, as the party president, orchestrated a humiliating ouster of the prime minister Bhattarai.


Bhattarai stood up to Koirala again and fought against the tides. Post the movement against the illegal take over of power by misadventurous king Gyanendra.


He never backed the royal takeover nor did he condone the unpardonable move of the over ambitious king, but he did not compromise his conscience. And stood firmly behind what he and the party he had helped found believed in all these years. ‘A republic is not the way to go about’.


Isolated at the time, he had a sea of humanity behind him as he departed four years later.


Probably he was destined to be right. Hailed as the best statute at the time it soon became an ‘unwanted’ document, thanks to the machinations of which Bhattarai went on to become a party.


President of a traditionally democratic party, Bhattarai accompanied the communist opposition leader to knock the doors of a king whose powers he had effectively clipped. To seek the nullification of the dissolution of the parliament which the prime minister of his party’s majority government had recommended in accordance with the universally accepted parliamentary norms and practices.


But he was soon back at his best in swallowing all humiliations and abuses from own party men to prevent a vertical split of  the Nepali Congress at the behest of the rival and the incumbent prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala.


Few leaders are endowed with such courage and guts to stand up to the adversity. Destiny had endowed it in Bhattarai. Few years later, he showed it again the second time when Koirala, as the party president, orchestrated a humiliating ouster of the prime minister Bhattarai.


Bhattarai stood up to Koirala again and fought against the tides. Post the movement against the illegal take over of power by misadventurous king Gyanendra.


He never backed the royal takeover nor did he condone the unpardonable move of the over ambitious king, but he did not compromise his conscience. And stood firmly behind what he and the party he had helped found believed in all these years. ‘A republic is not the way to go about’.


Isolated at the time, he had a sea of humanity behind him as he departed four years later.


Probably he was destined to be right.

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