Back in Nepal the era of Rana domination came to an end in 1950, when King Tribhuvan, having first escaped to India, was reinstated. The end of the British Raj had left the Ranas without supporters and the Independence of India had inspired a similar hunger for self-rule and democracy in Nepal. It was at this time that the then-Prince Gyanendra Shah (later to assume the throne after the 2001 Royal Massacre) was briefly proclaimed king by the Rana regime, despite the fact that he was only 3 years old, in a bid to oust his grandfather King Tribhuvan. In 1958-59, the first ever general election in Nepal resulted in a landslide victory for the Nepali Congress (a sister party to the ruling Indian Congress) and BP Koirala became the first prime minister of an elected government.

The British army’s gesture of support for the democratic process was to send soldiers from the Gurkha Signals with 'wireless' radio sets into the main towns in the east and western hills, in order to relay information of what was going on in Kathmandu to people who had no access modern communications.

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Era 3: Last Days of the Raj


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