Article/ working letter
B.P. Koirala’s National Reconciliation and the present context


 B.P. Koirala’s National Reconciliation and the present context    

                                                   PRADIP PRASAD KOIRALA

The Day Dec 30, 1976 was the day of National Reconciliation. B. P. koirala returned to the country 38 years before ending  his exile in India and also  ending his violent struggle against the autocratic panchyat regime. Why B.P. Koirala took that decision ? Opinions differed. His communist opponents commented it was the surrender to the King’s regime. Radical political element within  panchyat  demanded  Koirala should be punished and hanged for seven charges of sedition. There was uproar amongst the politicians both within and outside panchyat structure.  Even Revered suprimo Ganesh Man ji who  returned to the country with Koirala, termed that step as a suicide. Nepali  Press closer to  the Soviet union criticized  National Reconciliation  as  the design of Imperialist and labeled  BP as their stooge.

 BP, before returning to  Nepal ,  analyzed  the state of Nepal and challenges  for its security  and sovereignty  from inside and outside  of the country. He  analyzed the instable situation looming over all the countries situated in the south of Himalayas like India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmaretc. He also annalysed  the instability prevalent in southeast Asia, Europe and east asia. BP said  Nepali congress should therefore redefine its  dual political relationship with the King. He said  Monarchy has the  vested interest to protect Nepali Nationalism, therefore Nepali congress  should co-operate with the king in his effort towards  safeguarding Nepal and its security from foreign  intervention .He also said that the movement against the Undemocratic panchyati regime of the king should therefore be continued    within a  limit,  in the interest of delicate state of Nepali Nationalism. BP was the nationalist who analyzed politics of modern Nepal   within the parameter of interdependence between Nationalism and Democracy. He commented King Mahendra’s coup against his government  in Dec 1960,was not only against the democratic system but also the step against the  Nepali Nationalism.  He analyzed that step of the king splitted the nationalistic forces into  many many parts and weakened the state of Nepali Nationalism aggregrating  to the extent that threatened National security  and foreign intervention. The democtratic forces were  then abused as anti- nationalist forces and forces serving foreign countries from inside sorrounded the king.BP  then said protecting   Nationalism and protecting country from outside threat and interference should therefore be the first prirority of Nepali congress.  In his negotiation with the  King, BP tried to convince the  King  that the restoration of democracy  is very essential condition in safeguarding  Nationalism and saving the country from foreign Intervention. The liberalization process began . The multi party democracy with constitutional monarchy was restored in 1990. Although Nepali congress launched movement with the co-operation of communist forces with which BP did differed in his lifetime,the restoration  of democracy was  greatly influenced   by  his  policy of National Reconciliation and the process of liberalization initiated  by it. Even after the  restoration of democracy , political instability continued and  violent  movement against the democratic system was launched by Maoists. Seven years before seven parliamentary political parties and Maoists agreed to a  Comprehensive peace accord with 12 point understanding. This understanding is owned  by  main political element of the country. Nepal is now at the last leg of peace accord that is making of a constitution  by elected constituent assembly 2  . But the making of constitution has been in shambles since political parties are seriously polarized   in procedural matter.

 Although the constitution making  process  through cocenscious  of all the major party  has not been materialized, the  major political parties have agreed that  Nepal should adopt a national reoconciliation in major issues of Governace. Co-operation, coexistence and  goodwill among the political parties has been accepted as the the philosophy of the  National Reconciliation. Such a cocensus is expected both in constitution making and all the major issues of Governance.

    National Reconciliation has therefore been a dependable and sustainable philosophy of governace. But in practice, it lacked  necessary clarity and there is also a need for  theorising this philosophy.  Globally, Nationalism and national unity is basic element of the policy of small nation of southasia, south east asia,  Middle east and Africa. The policy of National reconciliation is tested policy  for addressing national security and foreign intervention in these countries.

BP for the first time   adopted this policy in Nepal, since then the political  situation and the actors therein  have been changed. King ,  one of the major actor initially in this process is nonexisting in national  politics and communist has been a major partners of reconciliation process.   But whoever be tha actor of the process, the interdependent relation between Nationalism and Democracy is the still basis of national politics and  National Reconciliation is the only way to achieve it. Nepali congress in this day of  historical importance should  take up the task of  theorising National Raconciliation in the changed context with the active cooperation of all political parties, civil societies and the Nepali people at large.