BP’s Jail Diary Released

Shilash Thapa Tamang
Kathmandu, 17 September

A Nepali version of BP Koirala’s Jail Dairy was launched on Saturday in a literary event organized by Shikha Books Publication at Nepal Pragya Pratisthan, Kamaladai, Kathmandu. The book, originally written in English, is the compilation of diary entries by Koirala which he wrote he remained in detention in Sundarijal Jail from 1962-1968. The book has been edited by Shankar Tiwari.

Nepali Congress General Secretary Gagan Kumar Thapa attended the event as the Chief Guest while CPN UML leader Pradip Gyayali, Prof. Krishna Khanal, Maoist leader Ram Karki and Nepali congress leaders Min Bahadur Bishwakarma and Pratima Gautam attended the event as guest speakers.

Speaking on the book, Editor Sankar Tiwari shared his experiences with book’s journey. He said the book had been preserved at Nehru Museum Library which he could attain with the constant motivation of late Pradip Giri. Congress leader Pratima Gautam said the book is expected to connect the readers with BP.  “The dairy tells how BP lived an organized life while he remained in jail. The diary is truly a motivation for all of us.”

Likewise, Nepali Congress leader Min Bishwakarma shared his experiences of reading BP to the audience. “I never met BP but I have been reading BP for last 28 years. I believed reading BP will always be fruitful,” he added.

Maoist leader Ram Karki said BP Koirala’s dairy is a proof of the ordinariness of the live BP lived. He further said, “Like everyone elase, he had emotions and resentments. BP seems to disagree with Krishna Prasad Bhattrai and Ganesh Man Singh on various issues. He has also quoted Lenin in his dairy which shows his inclination towards socialism,” leader Karki said.

Speaking in the event, Prof. Krishna Khanal critically approached the book. He claimed, “We have to first visit and then revisit BP Koirala but Nepali Congress has not yet adequately visited him. BP should not be read with political eyes but with the lens of a human being.” He also said that many have failed to understand the real BP because of political prejudices. “BP Koirala was not a super human as Congress cadres understand, but a true humanist and revolutionist,” Prof. Khanal added.

CPN UML leader Pradip Gyawali appreciated the book saying that it reflected BP Koirala’s political, religious, aesthetic and anthropological ideas. He also shared his desire to know more about BP Koirala’s views on revolution, violence and ethics.

Speaking as the Chief Guest, Congress General Secretary Gagan Kumar Thapa hailed the book as a tool to understand BP in depth. “The diary not only shows what BP read on daily basis, but also reveals what a variety of books he read and appreciated them critically,” Secretary Thapa said. He also cited the need to study BP Koirala objectively in context and warned the readers against the possible misinterpretation of BP’s ideas through partial reading of his text. Mr. Thapa also cited many incidences from the diary where BP Koirala appears concerned from one topic to a distinctly different one. He said, “BP talks about Prakash Koirala, his son and shifts his writing to UN the next day. This shows how he linked himself with everyday issues to global importance.”

The book is a combination of two diaries, and has been published by Shikha Books. Earlier, it had published BP’s first diary in its Nepali translation.

All these translations from original English into Nepali have been done by Mahesh Paudyal.