A short conversation with Kisunji

After meeting with B P Koirala and Kisunji (Krishna Prasad Bhattarai) to affirm the support of Nepal Mahila Sangh towards Nepali Congress’s activities, Kisunji asked me if I would drop him to a location en route my home.

“I don’t mind dropping you Kisunji, but my only worry is the spy I have on my back”, I responded.

At the time, I had a suspicion the government had assigned a spy for my surveillance. A person, who had rented a room near our Yetkha home, had moved to Kilagal right opposite to our house, thus piquing my suspicion. When I started seeing him at other locations I used to visit, I had further reason to believe that I was being spied upon.

Kisunji and everyone present in the meeting were immediately alert after I mentioned of the spy, and agreed that I should leave the premises alone.

Widespread protests against the Ranas (Biratnagar Jute Mill Strike)

Nepali Congress, then known as Nepali National Congress had begun its protests against the Ranas in a bid to usher democracy in Nepal. Firstly, in 1947, labourers of the jute mill in Biratnagar launched a strike – demanding proper working conditions and a raise in wages.

B P Koirala, Ganesh Man Singh and other leaders reached Biratnagar to lead the protests, although I later learnt Singh returned to Jogbani considering his “wanted status”.

In the second phase of the labour strike at Biratnagar Jute Mills, B P Koirala, Girija Prasad Koirala, Man Mohan Adhikari, Tarini Prasad Koirala, Yuvaraj Adhikari and Gehendra Hari Sharma were arrested. They were subsequently chained and marched to Kathmandu – making an example of the dissenters.

Widespread protests against the Ranas (Protests intensify in Kathmandu):

The arrests of the leaders had a wider political ramification – protests intensified in Kathmandu, at the administrative centre of the Rana government. Earlier Rana leaders were able to blame India for the political instability along the Terai belt, but when protesters began knocking their doors, it became impossible for them to deny the power of the demonstrations.

From Kathmandu to Janakpur, and Birgunj to Biratnagar, protesters poured in the streets chanting political slogans against the government. In Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur, activists, including students demanding reform poured onto the streets. Women leaders of Nepal Women’s Association such as Sahana Pradhan, Sadhana Pradhan, and me were at the forefront of the protests.

A famed incident of the 1947 movement is Pushpalal, brother of martyr Gangalal launching himself in front of General Nara Shumsher, demanding to be shot.

Nara Shumher had overseen the execution of the four martyrs. Puspha Lal, although initially was a member of Rastriya Congress, during Congress’s split, he moved away and formed his own party in 1949 – Communist Party of Nepal. Pushpa Lal today is known as the father of communism in Nepal.