Rising star of Nepali politics no more

Pokhara, February 27

The death of Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari in a helicopter crash has cast a pall of gloom in his hometown Pokhara.

He had played a significant role in Pokhara’s tourism development, construction of rural roads and  conservation of lakes such as Phewa, Begnas and Rupa. He also played significant role in the field of sanitation, drinking water, sports and clubs in Pokhara. Lately, he was busy with monitoring and inspection of Melamchi Drinking Water Project, Karnali Corridor, Bagamati Corridor, Kali Gandaki Corridor, Nepal-China entry points, Nijgadh International Airport, Pokhara Regional International Aiport and other projects.

Adhikari had joined politics in 1981 and made his way to the top post of All Nepal National Free Student Union. Adhikari, who had made a mark by his leadership qualities from early childhood, was involved with Red Cross and children’s clubs.

Born on 4 May 1969 at Jamunabot in Bharatpokhari, Kaski, Adhikari was a leader who displayed strong conviction that the country’s prosperity would not be possible until youths reached leadership positions.

Adhikari never hesitated to stand up against anyone for justice. Following the murder of popular singer Prabin Gurung, Adhikari had collected signatures of 523,000 students and submitted the same to the palace seeking action against the then prince.

It was Adhikari, who was behind implementation of 33 per cent concession to students in the public sector, including transportation.

He had started schooling from the local Brahmajyoti Primary School. He passed his School Leaving Certificate exam from Shanti Udaya Secondary School.

His father is a retired secondary level teacher.

Though he had enrolled in the Forestry programme following his SLC at the behest of his parents, he dropped out given his lack of interest in the technical field and got admitted to Prithvi Narayan Campus in 1985. Two years later, he became PN Campus Committee chairman and FSU member the next year. The same year, he also became ANNFSU Kaski chairman.

In 1990, he became Gandaki Zone chairperson and central member of the party’s student union.

Two years later, he also became PN Campus FSU president and four years later he made it to Tribhuvan University Central Campus FSU president. He also landed the top post of the ANNFSU in 1999.

Adhikari has done master’s degree in Management from Tribhuvan University. He also spent time in jail for democracy and intellectual freedom.

Adhikari, who published many articles related to politics and development in newspapers, has published two books so far.

His parents are living in a house in Pokhara. He is survived by his wife Bidhya Bhattarai and two sons. Bhattarai teaches at Padmakanya Campus.