Kamal Thapa, leader of the pro-monarchist Rastrya Parjatra Party-Nepal, told AsiaNews, “Political parties don't have right to declared Nepal as secular. Eighty per cent of Nepalese are Hindu;” for this reason, “there should be a referendum before taking such a decision.”
“In order to fight secularism, we have been trying to forge a global alliance,” he added. “If Nepal is declared a secular nation, we will lose our identity at the world level.”
Mashuriddhin Ansari, who heads the Muslim Civil Society, disagrees. “Through their actions, Hindu fundamentalists are trying to push the country towards religious chaos and violence. People of different religions will lose their religious freedom and conflict will prevail among various communities.” In his view, the state already became secular in 2006 with the fall of the monarchy, and “No one should try to go back on it”.
Nepal’s Hindu monarchy was abolished in 2007 after ten years of civil war. King Gyanendra was forced to step down after he dissolved parliament in 2005 and imposed military control.
Religious minorities welcomed the change of regime. Hindus, who want to see the king restored to his throne, reacted in a wave of protests, including attacks against mosques and churches.
At present, a coalition government is in power in Nepal, but it is under constant pressures from Maoists, who walked out of parliament last year. The latter want the current government to resign and refuse to sign the new constitution.