Singha Durbar : Nepal’s historic Singha Durbar, built during the reign of Chandrashamsher, caught fire on 25 July 2030 and was completely destroyed. The artistic building with the central secretariat of Nepal was both Nepali San and Chinari. The fire destroyed huge physical assets as well as important documents related to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It is 10 o’clock at night. I was told that the fire was caused by an electrical short. I picked up the car and walked from Baluwatar. When I reached the then dance hall, the Rashtriya Panchayat Bhawan, and watched the scene of the fire, my eyes did not stop. The fire had spread to Putalisadak, Thapathali, Baneshwor, Ghattekulo and Bhadrakali. Although I could not do anything, it was my responsibility and duty to be present and encourage the then Royal Nepalese Army, which was working to control the fire. Early in the morning, King Birendra arrived with Queen Aishwarya. Due to the bravery and courage of the Nepal Army, it was possible to prevent the destruction of the front of Singha Durbar.
I was also very worried about how the fire suddenly started in a place where there was no adverse weather and no other risk. That was a disaster, irreversible. Some have even accused the foreign ministry of conspiring to set fire to important documents. Arkathari also said that such a conspiracy was hatched to oust Kirtinidhi Bista from the post of Prime Minister. I don’t believe in such things at all. I don’t see any truth.
Sitting there all night and returning to Baluwatar in the morning, my condition was like that of a soldier returning home after losing everything in battle. When I reached Baluwatar, I met King Birendra and submitted my resignation letter stating the basis of morality. However, King Virendra returned the letter of resignation to me and said, “You did not set fire to Singha Durbar. Why should you resign? Keep the resignation letter in your own pocket. Help me. Just. Don’t talk about resigning.”
My soul did not believe that. I said very humbly to the king, “I am the prime minister. The national property in my charge has turned to ashes. I did not want to sit in this position for even a minute.” There was a dispute with the king. I stubbornly resigned. Shortly after my resignation, the then Indian Ambassador to Nepal, LP Singh, came to Baluwatar and asked me, “Why did you resign on the basis of so many incidents? It was not necessary to resign.” I did not think it appropriate to return the answer. I just asked, “Why did Lal Bahadur Shastri resign from the post of Prime Minister when there was a normal railway accident? Can you answer me?” He was speechless.
Some describe my resignation as an unprecedented historical event. It was just a step towards being careful and responsible towards one’s duty. That’s how I understood the incident. I don’t think it’s appropriate to think that we should enjoy and stay after reaching the post. After taking responsibility, it should also be fulfilled. It was necessary to do so in order to establish a belief.
I resign by raising the third question of morality in such a way that it means that a belief and tradition should be established. It has been my belief from the beginning that public office is not for personal use. I had assumed the responsibility of the government only with the feeling of doing something for the country. I had no lust for power.
It is not a matter of haste to say that I have resigned on moral grounds. But, history proves, who did how much corruption and dishonesty? What happened to whom? In whose time was the task of destroying the nation’s treasury done? It is a matter of public concern to know this. The Nepali people, of course, are accountable. The same Singha Durbar, which was in a state of disrepair in the country, was also destroyed by fire. Democracies have certain values, beliefs and practices.
Who build Singha Durbar ?
Where is Singha Durbar?