Nationalism, unity, freedom, national sovereignty and integrity are of paramount importance for any citizen of a country. In the absence of these vital elements, a nation can disintegrate at any time, leaving all its citizens in the lurch. If we look at many war-torn nations, we find that these countries have lacked such vital components, so necessary to keep a nation strong and united in the face of rising crises caused by internal and external forces.
Political leaders can always make significant contributions in consolidating nationalism, unity, sovereignty and freedom through their fortitude and far-sighted policies. Nepal too has had such leaders who once worked fearlessly to put their lives at stake for the cause of nation. The founding leader of Nepali Congress, the late BP Koirala, a leader held in high esteem across all political parties, had once shown his readiness to sacrifice his life for the freedom, unity and independence of the people and Nepal. Koirala and many other leaders of Nepali Congress, were compelled to live in exile in India and elsewhere, decided to return to Nepal on December 30, 1976 (16 Poush, 2033 BS) with the message of national reconciliation despite facing threats to their life from the then autocratic rulers.
The late Koirala, through his National Reconciliation Policy, had emphasised that maintaining of national unity based on reconciliation among all national forces that included the banned political parties and the then autocratic King was highly essential to protect people's freedom and national independence. After having spent many years in Nepal's jail and then in exile after his democratically elected government was dismissed in a royal coup in 1960, he had realised that it was only through reconciliation with the then King and other political parties that nationalism, freedom of citizens, unity among national forces and sovereignty of the country could have been protected. He had understood the vagaries of the geopolitics better than any other leaders of his time. In one of his remarkable statements, he had said that when it came to preserving Nepal's national interests, his and the King's neck had conjoined at the same place. Sadly, the then ruler abjectly failed to realise the true meaning of Koirala's significant message.
However, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has clearly understood the meaning behind the message of the first elected PM of Nepal. Celebrating National Reconciliation Day the other day, PM Deuba stated the late BP's policy still had its relevance in present-day Nepal. He underscored the need for all national forces to have reconciliation, dialogue, consensus and collaboration for safeguarding nationality, freedom, democracy and patriotism. Indeed, reconciliation, collaboration and consensus over key national issues are the need of the hour, as internal and external power centres often pose challenges to our nation. The current five-party coalition government, which came to the helm following consensus and collaboration among these parties, is a glaring example of how forging unity among major national forces can tide over any national crisis. Our leaders must understand that there is no better resolution than making reconciliation over any issue facing the nation. The message from the late leader holds greater importance in present time as the country has witnessed new internal dynamisms and geopolitical tussles.