06/16/2012, 00.00
NEPAL

Nepal's Hindu monarchy and a new revolution against democracy

by Kalpit Parajuli
Since 28 May, the country has been without a constitution and is likely to remain without a government. Thousands took to the streets on June 9 to denounce the government crisis and the collapse of the republic. The protest in favor of the monarchy is the biggest since the deposition of King Gyanendra in 2006. But the majority of Nepalese still believe in democracy.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Nepali Hindus are ready for a new revolution to regain the throne for King Gyanendra Shah, deposed in 2006 after 11 years of civil war. According to the Hindu leader, the republic is not capable of running the country which for five years has been without a real government and a written constitution.

On June 9, more than 5 thousand people attended the pro-monarchy demonstration in Kathmandu organized by Rastrya Prajatantra Party (RPP - N) a political movement that campaigns for the return of the monarchy. For the first time since 2006, all the fringe political moovements that do not want democracy and the secular state participated in a demonstration against the republic. But according to media, most of Nepalese want democracy.

In his speech, Kamal Thapa, leader of the RPP-N and last Prime Minister of King Gyanendra, accused the political parties born after the fall of the monarchy of having failed. He maintains that the absence of a new constitution would legitimize the restoration of the old regime. "Now - he said - the only valid document is the Constitution of 1990, which provides for a constitutional monarchy based on the Hindu religion." "The republic - he added - failed on 28 May with the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly."

Several analysts point to a growth of Hindu populism especially among the parties that during the civil war fought alongside the monarchy and later were excluded from the formation of the new democratic state. The RPP-N draws strength from the current climate of distrust of political parties. The most to suffer from the political and social crisis is the Maoist party, considered by many to be the main culprit of the current crisis. Yesterday, nine members of the Madhesi People's Right Forum, the second party in the coalition government have resigned, because of incompatibility with the policies of the Maoists. They accuse Bijay Kumar Gachchadar, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Madhesi, of boycotting the requests to the people of the Terai region, to maintain power. The monarchists are hoping for a collapse of the Baburan Bhattarai government, to trigger new protests to reinstate the old regime. The current Prime Minister is accused of abuse of power for the planned elections for the Constituent Assembly on November 22 without consulting the other parties and may fall in coming months.

However, according to media, after seven years of democracy the majority of Nepalese are against the return of the monarchy and hopes for a new election for the Constituent Assembly. To support the secular state is mainly the ethnic and religious minorities, who are in power in the states most distant from the capital, but also richer in resources.

K.B. Rokaya, a Christian leader and activist for human rights warns "that the country can no longer turn back now. Restoration of the monarchy would mean a return to sectarian Hindu repression of minorities, and we will not suffer further discrimination." "Christians and other minorities - he adds - will no longer be discriminated against. The persecution of other religions must stop."

Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Maoist war against President Yadav continues
12/05/2009
Nepal, secular parties against King Gyanendra’s "religious" visit
21/09/2012
Hindus from India and Nepal demonstrate in favour of the restoration of Nepal’s religious monarchy
29/01/2008
Maoist “truce” allows government to adopt budget and avoid insolvency
25/11/2009
‘Maoist Republic’ on its way
14/04/2008