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The visits are coming thick and fast for BP Koirala in solitary at Sundarijal Prison. A day after his wife was allowed to visit, a police team arrives to interrogate him on tape. BP's lawyer, Ganesh Raj Sharma, is not allowed to speak privately to him. BP is appalled by the illegality of the exercise, concludes that absolute power corrupts absolutely and despairs for the Nepali people. He thinks years of authoritarianism have reduced Nepalis to "a mass of characterless men". He adds: "The regeneration of this fallen people may be an impossible task, after some time they may just disintegrate, and disappear from history."

Saturday, 16 April, 1977
[Contains entry from 20 April.]

Sunday, 17 April 1977
Sundarijal

At long last my name is occurring in Nepali papers. The ploy of the govt to imprison me hasn't succeeded thanks to the publicity in the Indian press re my detention and JP's active championship of my case. The criticism of the Indian press and Indian leaders in the mass media of Nepal is amazingly very mild this time. Otherwise the usual practice used to be to let loose floodgates of hostile propaganda against India, accompanied with stage managed public demonstration against Indians all over Nepal. They are not doing anything of this kind this time. It appears they have developed a healthy respect for Indian opinion. This change in the attitude can be attributed to 3 things: 1. The present Indian govt have elements which are deeply interested in the democratic cause in Nepal and have personal association with me. 2. The attitude of the Chinese in view of the new Indian govt policy vis-a-vis Nepal does not seem to the Nepalese govt very encouraging. 3. The king himself is not sure what he wants to do with us. Whatever it may be, a healthy respect for India is quite obvious in the critical comment in the Nepali press.

Monday, 18 April
[Scrawled on margin, in Nepali: 1. Mulki Ain, 2. Nepal ko Sambidhan, 3. Nepal Ain Sangraha, 4. Mudrak Khanda 2032, 5. Nepal Ain Sangraha Bhag 1, Bhag 3 (2003)]

Sundarijal

At about 1PM Ass. Achanaladhish came and said the police team headed by DSP Swar had come to record my statement, ie my answers to the questions that the DSP would put to me, and that according to my wish Ganeshraj Sharma had also come as my legal adviser. I said all right. My dining room was converted into some kind of an office with the chairs around the table. DSP took the chair at the head of the table. 1st of all I said that I want to consult my legal adviser Ganeshraj in private, they refused. Ganeshrajji said that private consultation between the prisoner + his legal adviser was a legal privilege-which they again overruled. Ganeshrajji argued that privacy of consultation was preliminery to a fair trial, this too was rejected by the team that had come to record my statement. Thereafter Ganeshrajji inquired of me as to whether I was informed of the purpose of the interrogation or whether I was a prisoner held by the order of the police. I said I had received only one order and that had been issued under Security Act by Ass. Anchaladhish. I wanted to show the detention order served on me on the next day of our arrival here, Ass. Anchaladhish said that I couldn't do it. He said that Ganeshrajji could advise me only on today's business, ie interrogation + that too before actual interrogation starts. I said how can I ask him for legal advice on the matter of interrogation before actual interrogation starts? They wouldn't budge an inch + Ganeshrajji had to go out of the room as long as the interrogation lasted. They had assured me that as to the interrogation, I could consult my legal adviser, but they didn't permit me to meet him after the interrogation. They gave me the impression of a bunch of thugs, and at night I really shuddered with apprehension that I was in the hands of a set of thugs. The interrogation lasted for more than five hours. They left after 7:30 PM. I told them as they were dispersing that they were behaving like a jali phataha. I have a feeling now that they can go to any extent to achieve their purpose-any, absolutely any limit, and they are criminals. I used to think that dictatorship corrupts men, that was my intellectual apprehension. I am now experiencing personally in the raw the truth of my intellectual conviction. At least those who assume dictatorship become gradually degraded morally + and in every way. The young chap, a govt pleader, who was included in the team of interrogation shows signs of degradation unmistakably. The corruption of youth by dictatorship. He appeared every inch a brat-and his big hefty body covered many an inch. I am in for a tough time-an ordeal. God help me!

Monday, 19 April

Sundarijal

I am very disturbed today remembering yesterday's interrogation. Feeling helplessness in the face of such grave illegality, chicanery and deception has gripped me with apprehension. People outside didn't know what they are doing with us. I hope I will get over this feeling soon. When I got up in the morning I felt very weak. With difficulty I prepared my bed tea. Yesterday at dinner time they brought a mosquito net for me. I had no energy to tie it on the bed posts. At night I had two attacks of cramp in my right leg, necessitating a massage for ? an hour with mustard oil which disturbed my sleep. I am expecting a doctor today, because I had asked the major to send for a doctor yesterday in the evening. In the evening Dr Basnet came + has prescribed some medicine. He had seen my x-ray photos of chest-a small patch on the right side confirming the pathological finds of pneumococci. He feels that my present weakness is due to heavy doses of Roscillin for which some energy nutritional should have been prescribed simultaneously. Dr Basnet feels that I should have taken Erythrocin rather than Roscillin. Anyway, he wants me to take 5 days course of Erythrocin and some vitamin + tonic. His visit is very reassuring. He added that he would report suggesting a checkup by throat and eye specialists. He has also prescribed valium 5 which is to calm my nerves. He says that I shouldn't worry. After he was gone I became very much reassured and the nervous tension which I was subjected to the whole day disappeared. I went to bed early. I used the mosquito net tonight. This time Dr Basnet didn't detect ESB. After Basnet was gone I gratefully remembered mother, who seemed to be hovering around protecting me, I wanted to see her.

I have been thinking of yesterday's interrogation which has shaken me by the realisation that even high officials in Nepal resort to illegal practices, chicanery and other methods not sanctioned either by law or ethics. I was disturbed by the thought that the evil of personal dictatorial rule has introduced corruption as a normal way of running the govt. It may have affected the general character of the people also. The most serious crime that dictatorship commits is that it emasculates the entire nation and corrupts the morality of the people. Thus I am coming to realise by my personal experience as a prisoner. The Nepalese seem to have lost their character through having to live under a 100 years of Rana autocracy + thereafter under Shah totalitarianism. The Nepalese have been reduced to a mass of characterless men. The regeneration of this fallen people may be an impossible task, and after some time they would just disintegrate + and disappear from history. I am disturbed most for this reason than for my personal fate which is in the hands of a set of thugs.



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