40 years ago: Russia, Communism & Nepal :: By DR Prasai
I had an opportunity to visit Soviet Russia 40 years ago. Then the world was divided in two halves into Communism and Capitalism. The tussle had instilled terror among the world population. Russia led the fight for Communism while America spearheaded the parliamentarians. The influence of these two nations permeated in all the nations in Asia, and Nepal was not a pariah. Towards north extreme Communism was led by Mao Ze Dong while in the south, Capitalism was at its height led by Jawarahal Nehru. Nepal was in a state of being pressed between the conflict of Communism and Capitalism. Nepal adopted the non-aligned foreign policy with an effort to produce a new relation and prestige in the world community. Then the political parties were banned, with an attempt to escape from possible foreign intervention. Internally, in spite of the ban, the organizations supportive of Communism and parliamentary system were starting to develop. King Mahendra was contributing to all round development of Nepal by leading an effort at enhancing understanding with the powerful nations.
After the death of King Mahendra in 1972, his successor King Birendra adopted the path chosen by his predecessor. I was also provided the opportunity to participate in the World Peace Conference, which represented 135 nations held in Soviet Russia in November 1973. We had a delegation of ten led by the former Prime Minister Martika Prasad Koirala, with former minister Dr. Nageshwor Prasad Singh, former minister Keshav Chandra Gautam including Hemanta B.C, Surendraman Joshi participating.
I also got the opportunity to speak at the Conference. “United Nations should be powerful if the world peace is to be retained,” I had said during my speech. The Soviet Russia’s communists did not like that speech. I did not know that, “United Nations should be powerful,” was in contradiction to the policy adopted by the Soviet Russia. I found my return ticket to Nepal-five days earlier than scheduled-I am still amazed! I still have a copy of that newspaper, reporting my speech. I was frustrated with the behaviour of Soviet Russia. It seemed for them that I was lobbying for the Americans. However, I was not an American supporter.
I was a victim of the conflict raging between Communism and Capitalism. I returned in disgrace to Nepal from Russia. But I was not sad because it was a fact.
However, the Soviet Russia was so much prejudiced. They used to say to me, “Once an Indian student wrote on a blackboard at a University the ‘Swastika’ sign which is a sign of Nazis, to show to his friends and the Russians detest this. If Russians find anyone with Swastika sign, they kill them. He forgot to wipe what he had written on the blackboard. The poor Indian student was captured within 24 hours and expelled from Russia. I was treated the same way by the Russians. I had visited Russia where the rule was of Brejhnev. After witnessing the communists’ injustice crossing limits in Russia, I though that that nation was suffering from the curse of evils. I believed that a huge change was forthcoming in Russia. After 15 years it happened when the rule was of Gorbachhov.
Stalin had killed all those opposing communist leaders during his rule. After Khruschev came to power, all the books and materials relating to Stalin were destroyed. Stalin’s corpse was dragged around Moscow city with the label of being a murderer of Russians. After we saw the mummy of Lenin, we wanted to see the grave of Stalin, but we found nothing. Stalin is known to be the creator of Russia, but we did not find any of his statues, not a sign linked to Stalin. For the sake of a post, friends are shot dead. It seems that anger works between communists.
At the same time then another incident happened. A greetings programme was scheduled for us at the biggest University in Moscow where Nepali youths also studied. I was asked to speak. There must have been around 200-250 students attending the programme. Feeling that I had received a big opportunity and driven by a motive to influence all the students, I spoke strongly on Nepal’s reformed nationalism for 15 minutes defining the development in offing with active participation between the king and people in Nepal and I said that Nepal aspired to be free of the conflict between Communism and Capitalism. Stating that Nepal was trying to retain its prestige in the world I said that the support of those studying in Russia was expected. What I had spoken was very right.
After 25 years I met with medical Dr. Dirgha Singh Bam at a clinic. I found out that he had very much liked my speech in Moscow. “I have not been able to forget your speech, it was very good.” But many Nepali students had been furious with my speech; they were ready to kill me and had even visited my room in the hotel where I was staying. I had not known this. It was fortunate that I had drunk the Russian Vodka a little too much and had not wanted to go outside to meet anyone. I made them return forcibly. Next day, I found out everything, they wanted to take up a brawl and finish me. Ironically, I was saved because I was drunk.
On that day, a huge party had been organized in Moscow. All of us were enjoying it. I had an opportunity to meet with a Miss World who had come from Canada. I had never seen such a bonny, beautiful woman with such a body structure before. I shook hands and said, “I am from the country of Everest-Nepal.” It is amazing that I have never seen such a beautiful woman all my life. We were provided a Muslim girl named Nina as interpreter. She was very friendly with me. I found out that many of my friends started gossiping about our friendship, but there was nothing between us other than as a brother and sister relationship. She put me a ‘Tika” on my forehead with garland, as it was Bhai-Tika. I presented her a watch and a Schaeffer pen. She was highly impressed by the culture of the Hindus. Dissatisfied with the Russian ruling structure, she used to say, “All the people in Russia are angry with the ruling structure. No one is satisfied. My mother cannot carry out her religious rituals. She worships the Muslim religion only inside her house and cries. If the rulers find out they will kill my mother. That is the case here. There will be a great change in Russia soon.”
After Brejhnev, during another reign, the Soviet Union was divided into 15 pieces, showing that a regime will not survive after crossing the limits of suppression and tyranny. This shows clearly how a human transforms into a devil after coming to power. When the statue of Lenin, the advocate of communist ideology, fell, my heart cried for many days. It was the game plan of American C.I.A that destroyed Soviet Russia, disintegrated Yugoslavia and incited civil war in Afghanistan. The same American C.I.A and Indian Intelligence Agency- RAW are trying to end the existence and identity of Nepal. So Nepal’s situation has come to a dangerous turn. After the 2006 people’s uprising, the irresponsible leaders of Maoist, Congress, UML, Madhesi parties are being mobilized by the Indians and American intelligence organizations. It has become the duty for all of us to save the Nepal from this dangerous situation.