17 January, 2021

Nepal, The Rising

The editor of Himal penned this piece from prison: 'I want to be back on the streets, to be part of this history-making people's tsunami.' Updates

Nepal, The Rising
Amidst an exhilarating people's movement that has suddenly spread like wildfire against the Gyanendra autocracy since early April, one develops a perspective a week-and-half into detention. Taken in with two dozen activists for defying the first day's curfew order, and kept here at the Duwakot armed police barracks on the edge of the Kathmandu valley, this has been a time to observe—with desperate detachment—the spontaneous combustion spreading across the country. I want to be back on the streets, to be part of this history-making people's tsunami.

The citizens of Nepal first tasted the elixir of freedom after the 1990 people's movement brought down the palace-run Panchayat system. And then came this self-destructive king with a medieval worldview. Though flaunting the name Gyanendra or the fount of knowledge, here was someone bent on proving his contempt for 26 million citizens.

The people kept their counsel for as long as they could, even as the political parties sought with difficulty to raise a movement, caught as they were between the gun held by the king's...


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