Good or bad, right or wrong, for better or for worse, King Mahendra bequeathed a legacy that has shaped the course of political events in Nepal for four long decades.
The struggle for supremacy between King Mahendra and Nepal’s first democratically elected Prime Minister B P Koirala precipitated the royal coup of Poush 1, 2017 B.S. (December 1960).
Tightening his absolute grip on power, the King dissolved parliament, banished
political parties and imprisoned many democratic leaders ushering in the Panchayat era generally acknowledged as one of repression, corruption and stagnation marked with unbridled hollow nationalism. It took three decades of struggle and an unprecedented coming together of the Nepali Congress and Communist forces in 1990 to undo King Mahendra’s political legacy. Never the less, nearly three decades after his death King Mahendra is one of those personalities whose shadow still hangs over democratic Nepal.