Indian author's book Prachanda's
gift to UN chief
Oct 31 (IANS) As UN chief Ban Ki-Moon arrives in Kathmandu
on a whirlwind two-day visit Friday, Nepal's first Maoist
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" has
lined up an unusual gift besides hosting a sumptuous banquet
in his honour.
UN secretary general and his entourage will be gifted copies
of "Prachanda: the unknown revolutionary", the first
biography in English offering intimate glimpses into the virtually
unknown personal life of the formerly underground guerrilla,
penned by Indian journalist Anirban Roy.
received a call Thursday from Roy who said the Prime Minister's
Office had rung him up saying they wanted to buy copies of
the book to present to the visiting delegation," said
Madhav Lal Maharjan, CEO of Mandala Book Point, the publishers
of Roy's book.
offices and commercial establishments were closed due to the
Diwali holidays. So, I rushed to the Kantipath showroom to
open it for an hour."
was delighted with the news.
was delighted," he said. "When the book goes into
the hands of such distinguished people, we feel it is serving
an excellent purpose."
biography, the first book in English to focus on the private
life of Prachanda and provide an insight into his family life
as well as the personal reasons that made him a rebel, would
act as a bridge for the international audience, Maharjan feels.
Nepalis have an idea about Prachanda and some have also met
him," Maharjan told IANS. "But the world outside
has little idea about him or the Maoist movement. Roy's book
will help allay their concerns."
was a happy coincidence that the biography was published in
September, a month after Prachanda won the prime ministerial
election and was sworn in.
we had planned the book six months before the (constituent
assembly) election (in April) when no one knew which party
was going to win," Maharjan said. "However, it was
delayed due to technical reasons."
a journalist working for the Hindustan Times daily, had said
he was moved to write the book after he came to Nepal to cover
the pro-democracy movement against King Gyanendra's regime
in 2006 and found there was little authentic information regarding
the enigmatic leader, who had lived underground for 25 years.
I first saw him...I found it hard to believe that a person
as sober as Prachanda could be the supreme commander of the
Maoist People's Liberation Army that led a series of intrepid
armed attacks against the security forces across Nepal for
more than a decade," Roy wrote in his foreword.
After meeting him several times at public programmes in Kathmandu,
Prachanda's image of an exterminator slowly vanished... It
soon dawned on me that the ferocity lay in Prachanda's ideas
and his rebellious instincts, not in his personality or physique."
Maoist government is excited about Ban's visit as it will
enhance its image as a legitimate one distanced from the violence
of past. The gift is probably intended to reinforce that image
in the eyes of the world.