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Deepak Subedi

Koirala, who accepts himself as a socialist, exposes fear inherited in human beings as open and naked version in his stories. Under the theory of “Philosophy of Fearism”, the basic idea of human life is “fear” and that “fear” leads the life. This is the central philosophy of Koirala’s stories.

Bishweshar Prasad Koirala, the apex personality of Nepalese politics as well as story writing in Nepalese literature, was born on September 9, 1914 to his father Krishna Prasad and mother Divya in Banaras, a religious city of India. He passed his childhood with his father in India although his permanent residence was in Morang (a district in eastern Nepal) since his father’s exile with all properties. He had started his college life in Kashi Hindu University, completed BA from Banaras Hindu University and completed BL from Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).

In 1942, regarding Koirala’s political career, he became secretary of Congress Socialist Party, Bihar section. Koirala, who started doing politics being part of Anti-British Quit India Movement while living in India, became home minister of Nepal after Anti-Rana Armed People’s Movement in 1951. He became the first elected prime minister of Nepal from June 30, 1959 to December 15, 1960 after winning in parliamentary election from Biratnagar that was held under multiparty system.

Koirala was impressed and inspired by many veteran writers such as Prem chand, Tagore, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Chekhov, Gorky, and so on. His political activities has great importance in political history of Nepal. Koirala, who had become president of Nepali Congress Party, was also an active participant of “Socialist International”.

Koirala’s literary writing began walking by the inspiration of Shanti Prasad Dwivedi when he would live in Banaras. Some consider his Hindi story writing had begun from “Haridatta” in 1929 and some point out his story writing stepped ahead from “Wahan (he/she)” that had been published in “Hansh (Swan)” newspaper in 1931.

He started writing Stories in Nepali being inspired by Surya Bikram Gyawali in Darjeeling while practicing advocacy after completing BL. “Chandravadan” story that published in “Sharada (Literary Magazine month of Mangsir)” Nov/Dec issue in 1935 was the first story of Koirala in Nepalese language which was the beginning point of psychological story writing in Nepali story writing, too. “Doshi Chasma” (fault eyeglass) (1949) and “Shwet Bhairawi” (White goddess) (1982) have been published as collection of stories. All his stories have been collectively published in Bisheswar Prasad Koirala ka Katha (Stories of Bisheswar Prasad Koirala)  (1993) edited by Hari Prasad Sharma.

Bisheswar Prasad Koirala, who has been successful with the use of innovation fiction experiment, innovation establishment and knowledge-identification as the essential conditions for modernity, is a FEARIST storyteller. The tale of mental intervention in human’s intercourse comes under FEARIST stories.

Koirala, who accepts himself as a socialist, exposes fear inherited in human beings as opened and naked version in his stories. Under the theory of “Philosophy of Fearism”, the basic idea of human life is “fear” and that “fear” leads the life. He aims to open a wide variety of fears of human life through his story. He has analyzed the fear by allying with human’s consciousness in fascinating and artistic manner. In his stories, he has presented horrific facts in how much fear is powerful, while inaugurating the intense fear of unconsciousness. That’s why, nearly all characters of his stories have become prey of fear frustration because of strong presence of inspiring fear within them.

Any storyteller creates the character to present the fears of human life and they have ability to catch micro organs of fear entering into the depth of characters’ fear. Life is a lot of deaths in the course of survival of a terrible life, even if life is not like life itself. That’s why, it is not easy attempt to find the meaningfulness of fearful life, for making sense of reality about fear in human life. Similarly, Koirala, in the course of searching the essence of fear, sometime he gives birth to Krishna Ray (character of story), sometime Keshav Raj (character of story), sometime a soldier, and sometime reins general people in his writings.

Koirala is able to find out what ideas come in the minds of people being completely feared that people refuse the presence of fear in practical life. He has shown the inter-struggle among feared minds through his stories. He believes that all decisions of human beings becomes possible due to activeness of fear. In this way, creating characters according to human activities, he analyzes subtle fear of characters. To know the true nature of his characters, we must assume fearful mind as the source. He has discovered secrets of fearful minded person’s work by premising Fearistic Analysis.

Consciousness and fear play vital role while creating contents of Koirala’s stories. His stories can be felt realistic due to presence of discrimination, scare of human beings, meaninglessness, defeated fear of destiny, and the actions of characters driven by fear. Koirala is very intense in search of the effects of horrible situation to character’s mind.

Human being has a desire to organize and confirm life as well as to look at it, but it is frightening to do as much as possible. Managing life and giving determined direction, due to the same fear of doing increases human being’s stress. Due to the fear, a person living in a small way does a lot of work to please the people living in a high position. When a small employee has a minor weakness for a person of high position, there is fear with small employee if later would get angry. Due to this, a small employee is forced to live in a fearful situation.

… Army General came up with horse. Keshav Raj was trembling by fear. Making comfortable situation to himself, he cried out with fear, “My lord, the fault of the glass…I’m sorry.”

Army General asked by stopping horse, “What sorry?” Keshav Raj got nervous. How much anger as if he is not ready to forgive. He started seeing dark around himself. Trembling feet couldn’t work.  He sat suddenly by holding his hair with both hands. …Keshav Raj looked like a fifty year old man as if hands should be put on waist while walking. He felt the need of stick to walk …. In this way, in the story “Doshi Chasma (fault glass)”, Keshav Raj couldn’t be able to bow to Army General, and effect that his mind has been thrilling that is a reflection of fear of the people who are still in the care tradition. (This story is taken from Fault Glass of Koirala)

The fear being far away from actual stuffs and problem is the artificial. Orthodox, blind beliefs make people afraid, and this is not real. Doubt and illusion gets birth. It is illusion to see the rope as snake. It is a doubt that watching rope whether it is a snake or real.

The fear of doubt is by product of human mind. It is not awaken in all situation. The incident occurred in the opposition of any person, even by fear of doubts, the general incident works, as incident of stick hitting happened to Krishna Ray in the story “Shatru (enemy)”. Because, he expressed his fears as a reaction to the incident before clarity of the event. It is the nature of human beings, which can be taken as proof of the fact that the tiger of mind consumes than other tigers instead.

Koirala, in his stories, has presented in realistic way that the scenario of how an innocent person considers others as his enemy after thrilled when he is in asleep. Similarly, he has made contents while plotting his stories that how fear appears in human beings’ mind.

Fear covers infinity like the horizon. Consciousness, knowledge and sky of fear are like the horizon that can’t be touched by a traveler’s step or feet. There are three layers in living beings as consciousness, knowledge and fear. The stories of Koirala have presented the vision that consciousness and wisdom are close to fear, it is forced to live with fear where there is a chance of explosion in an opportunity. The power comes from the fear of a person who works in his life. In Koirala’s stories, what an inspiring and unwanted form of this fear can be found.

The central essence of his stories is the fear in human beings’ intimidation and consequences created by that fear. The person who has sunk in fear can’t save his self-respect if he doesn’t get success as high as his fear that he has. Feared person can never walk with head high and he can’t get pleasure in his dream, too. Thus, it is the success of storyteller Bisheswar Prasad Koirala that he could inaugurate the true fear by presenting in brief, by analyzing in fascinating way, and by giving message to discourage fear so that self-respect could be saved, success could be achieved and a joyful life could be lead. 

(Article is written by Deepak Subedi and translated by Surya Prakash Pangdhak Limbu. Deepak Subedi is General Secretary of “The Fearism Study Centre”, Nepal. This article was published in Nagrik Daily News 22 June, 2018 in Nepal. “Philosophy of Fearism” is propounded by Nepalese author Desh Subba. Bisheswar Prasad Koirala was renowned author of Nepalese literature and he was political leader. He was the first elected prime minister of Nepal 1959. This is the first critical  article of “Philosophy of Fearism” in the world.)

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  • I appreciate reading this translated piece of work from Subedis' original article, congratulations. I always learn across the cultural and language divides, how philosophy of fearism is translated and utilized by various speakers and thinkers. Even though I only read English, I have never assumed that just because I read an English translation of Desh Subba's philosophy of fearism, or Subedi's work translated into English by S. P. P. Limbu, that I know exactly what is being talked about and what philosophy of fearism is. That makes internationalist work like this a great joy and challenge. 

    For clarity, I want to say that although Subedi links, from a literary criticism perspective, the fiction writing of the late B.P. Koirala, this does not mean that "philosophy of fearism" was around in that time of Koirala's life and work. What is happening in Subedi's work, Subba's and others using philosophy of fearism, is merely an application of a perspective of interpreting literary works. I'm glad for that inclusion of philosophy of fearism (from Nepal as origin) to the world's literature and everything else. 

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