Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Koirala in the eyes of his town folk

People with sombre faces were taking turns to offer floral tributes at a portrait of their beloved leader Girija Prasad Koirala at his Biratnagar-based house on Sunday. Outside the house, groups of people were milling around talking about Koirala, who used to visit his hometown to meet friends, families and party activists every now and then.
“His demise has caused an irreparable loss to the country,” said Tetarlal Rajbanshi, who came from Bardanga VDC to pay his last respect to Koirala. Rajbanshi said he had an opportunity to meet Koirala during his visit to Biratnagar. “I used to meet him in this house every time he arrived. I don’t know if I’ll come here again since he is no more,” said Rajbanshi.
Phanindra Gadtaula of Itahara VDC had also come at Koirala’s residence to pay his respect. He said he heard about Koirala’s death on a radio. “I was working in a field when I heard the news. Out of shock, I could not speak or work,” he said.
Gadtaula, who avidly follows national politics, said Koirala’s death has saddened many people. Now, everyone should think about the country’s future in the absence of an important political figure, he added. 
“How will the parties and their leaders move ahead after Koirala’s death? Will they deliver the new constitution on time? These are my concerns now,” he said.
Many people, who did not keep tab of politics, however, seemed to know Koirala and his role in the national politics. “I heard that he was the only leader who could hold all the political parties together,” said Manish Rishidev, a rickshaw puller. “A leader of such element should have lived longer for the betterment of the country.”
Baldev Marik, who works as a cleaner at Koshi Zonal Hospital, said he always saw Koirala as a bystander whenever he visited his Biratnagar house. “I had no business meeting him, but whenever I saw him I felt really proud, for he was our leader. He was courageous both in words and deeds.”
(From 23 March the Kathmandu post)

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