Nepal: Shaped by an Indian monk and Gorky's Mother
KATHMANDU: The man who is poised to succeed Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda as the new prime minister of Nepal is as different from the revolutionary as chalk is from cheese.
Soft-spoken and with iron self-control, the 56-year-old Nepal comes from an old Brahmin family who migrated to Marpakuthi, a village near Bihar’s Bairgania from Nepal’s Dhading district almost 200 years ago, where they were honoured by the then local king for their scholarly knowledge of Sanskrit and gifted with land.
Later, Nepal’s father went back to Rautahat district in Nepal’s Terai plains and he was born in its main town Gaur. Nepal went to Sitamarhi to do his ISC from Goenka College but illness forced him to return to Nepal after just a year. A commerce graduate, he was attracted to the communist movement in the 60s and left his job at a bank to join politics full time.
"I was inspired by Rahul Sankrityayan," he told TNN, referring to the 19th century Indian scholar who became a Buddhist monk, went to Russia and Tibet, and was jailed by the British. The other influence was Russian author and philosopher Maxim Gorky, whose "Mother" especially left a deep impression on the young Nepal.
Nepal headed the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) for 15 years. But he resigned last year after his party fared miserably in the constituent assembly election and he himself was defeated by two little-known Maoist challengers in both Kathmandu and his home seat Rautahat.
Married to a fellow communist, Gayatri Acharya, Nepal has a daughter and son. While his daughter Suman is an MBBS from New Delhi’s AIIMS, his son Sourabh is studying electronics engineering in Warangal.