By Ram Khatry
12 December 2018
He fought against him for ten years and their soldiers killed each other on the battlefield in their thousands and yet Prachanda shows all the telltale signs of a silent royal admirer. Well, why else would he be interested in former King Gyanendra Shah’s private party pictures?
Would you bother commenting on Prince Harry’s photo on Facebook if you did not admire him or if you were not in his royal awe?
The ex-guerrilla leader’s recent rhetoric against Nepal’s last Shah king portrays him somewhat like a dumped high school lover boy who trolls his ex-sweetheart’s Facebook page day and night looking for clues of who she goes out with, what dress she has on tonight, what time she left home that evening or what she is up to this weekend! He may even be suffering from some voyeuristic interest in the former royal’s private life – you think you know a man!
Speaking in Kaski district on November 11, mind you, amid a solemn function organised to unveil a peace monument signifying the end of his violent underground life and the beginning of now-successful peace process, the former Nepal prime minister was alluding to some Facebook photos that showed the former king having fun at a cosy family gathering.
One picture in particular showed Mr Shah all smiles and dancing. And the comrade hated it, oblivious of the fact that the constitution he helped draft allows both ex-king and ex-guerrilla to be happy and enjoy the dance floor!
“How come the former king who should have been locked away for his autocracy was having a good time right in the heart of Kathmandu city where we currently rule?” – Prachanda appeared to think. He made his audience giggle by asking, “What is this dance for?” He obviously wasn’t impressed with the ex-royal’s steps.
Mr Shah has not so far answered “why he danced”. May be he would not at all because he is already packing for his trip to Pokhara.
Speaking to Kantipur Television, internationally renowned human rights activist Krishna Pahadi summed it up perfectly well, “Gyanendra Shah is now an ordinary Nepalese citizen. It does not look good on a big political leader to pass comments on where an ordinary citizen dances or sings. Secondly, a system is not like a rented apartment that you can change if you do not fancy it anymore. Nepal has had an election to the Constituent Assembly, there has been an election following the promulgation of the constitution. Chairman of the ruling party, you should be careful while commenting on ordinary citizens. And Gyanendra Shah is an ordinary citizen.”