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Showing posts from March, 2013

THE A, B, C CONUNDRUM

Nepalese history books tell stories of the nine Rana prime ministers ruling Nepal in unison for 104 years and the family is often depicted and reviled as one monolithic juggernaut that assaulted and consumed the sovereignty of benign kings and their happy, loyal subjects. Nothing could be further from the truth on both counts. Out of the nine one was assassinated, two were unceremoniously removed from the post by their own siblings, one resigned due to internal and external exigencies and the last one was forced to give it all up. But who were those that did not get to wear the "Teen Chand" prime ministerial crown?

I often look at the fading pictures of the family to trace the hierarchy at the times they were taken. The Soviets were famous for cleverly air-brushing out the disgraced party members from chesty pictures of proletarian solidarity. The Ranas just removed them from the frames. The tussle between the Jung clan and the Shumsher clan is common knowledge. The Shumshe…