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  Global Views
Nepal: Let Us See Which Way the Wind Blows
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
Prime Minister of Nepal Girija Prasad Koirala

Since the time the Gorkha ruler Prithvi Narayan shah won Kathmandu in 1768 and established Nepal as a unified nation, to 1955, when it became a member country of the United Nations, it has passed through many types of political ups & downs.

But after June 1, 2001, when the then emperor of Nepal, Virendra Veer Vikram Shah, his wife empress Aishwarya along with their eight relatives died a mysterious death in royal palace of Nepal, there seem to be dark clouds of distress on the royal family of Nepal.

Although after the murder of emperor Virendra his brother Gyanendra took over the reigns of Nepal & his son Paras who remained controversial was imposed as a prince there yet the Nepalese were unable to digest them as new royal family.

In the last five years, the political parties of Nepal had made agreement of many types with the King Gyanendra. They all, King Gyanendra & Nepalese political parties have kept mum, in connection with the murder of King Virendra. This all created a sense of dissatisfaction among the Nepali public.

The Nepalese, who considered the king as next to God, now united themselves & became so violent that the throne of Nepal seemed unstable. Now all the Nepal seemed surrounded by the atmosphere of public anger. Now the innocent public of Nepal that always made obeisance to the kingship for centuries was seen crying slogans- Gyanendra, the thief, leave the throne.

Undoubtedly, it is said or not, it is written or not, this opposition of kingship by Nepalese had a root of this anger in that mysterious murder which swallowed the popular royal family in 2001 & that mystery is so entangled that it is still unsolved.

Today, Nepal is thinking of a new type of political organization. The royal form of the Nepalese assembly called as 'king's parliament' has ended. The powers of Nepal king Gyanendra has been greatly curtailed by the Nepali parliament. The veto power of the king has been snatched by the parliament.

According to the new law, now king has no power to reject a bill passed by the parliament. Any bill which has been passed by the parliament will not need the signature of the king. It can be said that the royal family of Nepal which had supreme powers till now, have became powerless now.

But the Prime Minister of Nepal, Girija Prasad Koirala doesn't accept the fact that the kingship in Nepal has been eliminated. Koirala is of the views that if there is no kingship in Nepal there may be a condition of political anarchy in the country.

Koirala & the people with the same views are opposing the elimination of kingship because they fear that if the traditional coordination between kingship & political party's ends, Maoists will become supreme & this situation will be beyond control for political parties & royal family. Whereas the common people in Nepal don't want to see kingship at all.

This small hilly kingdom which was famous for having recognition of the only Hindu State in the world has lost its recognition. Like all other countries of the world, now Nepal will be known as a secular country.

Certainly the reason for this great & constant upheaval in the politics of Nepal is the increasing influence of Maoism. Now about 75% are of this hilly state is under their influence. Maoists are trying their best to have control over tax system & spread Maoist thoughts on the maximum areas of Nepal, at the earliest.

Maoist chief of Pushp Kamal Dahal(right) and Deputy Maoist leader Babu Ram Bhattarai (left) talk after peace talks with the Nepalese government. Photo Courtesy of EPA

Although Maoism has caught strength in Nepal for only a decade yet for this strength, kingship in Nepal can be held responsible. It is agreed that Maoism gets strength where there is exploitation, unemployment, poverty, ignominy & injustice.

It is not wrong to say that royal family of Nepal for the last three decades kept its limits up to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal & all the planning of advancement, growth & development, done for show off to the world was limited up to Kathmandu.

Obviously the remaining parts of Nepal were remained ignored. So the organization that claimed representation of labours, farmers & workmen, by & by got so much political strength in Nepal that communist party that represents this political thought now has third place in the parliament of Nepal.

Not only this, last year when king Gyanendra dissolved parliament & got absolute power, the Maoist organization that was declared as a terrorist organization, is now going to be a partner in the interim government of Nepal.

In this connection, the chief leader of Maoists Pushp Kamal Dahal alias Prachand has come out of his underground life, which he was leading for the last 11 years & under great security, met the Prime Minister Koirala. In 1996, this Maoist movement geared up its revolution against Nepal government. About 13000 people have been killed because of violence of this Maoist organization.

Today even, it going to be a partner in administration, being a part of the parliament & in spite of playing an active & constructive role in the politics of Nepal, it remains busy in the preparation for armed struggle.

Encouraged by finishing it as a Hindu State, now Maoists, who have given Nepal a new recognition as a secular state, want to uproot kingship in Nepal. They want to establish a complete secular democracy in this country. It is not a demand only from the Maoists but several political parties that are a part of the main political thoughts in Nepal want to end the kingship.

Prachand, who is the chief Maoist leader in Nepal, neither accepts the king as a patriot king nor agrees on his being a possessor of some peculiar qualities. He says that former king Virendra was a patriot. Perhaps the cause of his murder is his patriotism.

Anyhow, the Maoists speak hard against king Gyanendra. They are even, in favour of his banishment from the Nepal kingdom. The Maoist leader goes to the extent of saying that king should be tried before the public & he can be given capital punishment. He agrees that only Nepali people can decide it.

As there is no law for capital punishment in Nepal so these words of Prachand seem to be meaningless. Maoists who are going to be partners in the interim government are expected to play an important part in the formation of new constitution.

In all, the political conditions in Nepal look like as the kingship is stumbling & the Maoist organization that considers itself the true representative of public, is getting strength in its hold over the rule in Nepal. Certainly including India & China , Western countries are also looking the fresh upheaval in Nepal. See which way the wind blows.

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Mr. Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes in a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is a member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.






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