This has got to be my favorite picture of BP Koirala. The body language here is so telling. You can tell these two are very comfortable with each other. There is mutual respect. Both understand democracy and socialism deeply. In that, both are intellectuals. But both also understand statecraft, which is an applied science. Both are Pandits. Both are Hindu, both are South Asian, sons of the Ganga.
BP Koirala is a what if story. What if the coup had not happened?
Mahendra's coup was the coup of a small minded person. There is a story. BP Koirala was Prime Minister. The PM and the king were on cordial terms, or so it seemed on the outside to BP. Maybe he was just naive about it. Mahendra noticed that BP was reading a novel by Albert Camus. Not to be left behind, Mahendra also ordered a copy bought for him, which he read but did not much understand, or so the story goes. There was an inferiority complex Mahendra had when he compared himself to BP. Add to that Mahendra's access to soldiers with guns, and you end up with BP Koirala in Sundarijal.
If BP had been allowed his years in power, he, like Nehru, might have given deep roots to democracy in the country, but, just like Nehru, might also have kept the country at the "Hindu rate of growth."
BP Koirala was such an accomplished writer, one wonders if he did not have a hidden desire to seek the solace that Sundarijal brought him. He did some major writing there.
BP Koirala (2)