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    » 06/16/2012, 00.00

    NEPAL

    Nepal's Hindu monarchy and a new revolution against democracy

    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."

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    See also

    21/09/2012 NEPAL
    Nepal, secular parties against King Gyanendra’s "religious" visit
    Under the guise of a religious pilgrimage, the former monarch is to visit the districts of Kanski, Myagdi and Parbat in the western region. Local Maoist authorities announce a boycott. Whole villages festively decorated for the arrival of the king. Consensus, especially among the poorer classes of the Hindu religion disappointed by Maoism.

    04/06/2008 NEPAL
    Pro-monarchy Hindus accept transition to republic
    The leader of the Nepalese branch of the World Hindu Federation acknowledges the change of the constitution sanctioned by the constitutional assembly. Dissent still remains over the declaration of the "secular state": if this is not revoked, public protests are in the offing.

    11/04/2012 NEPAL
    Maoist government gains control of iconic Pashupatinath Hindu temple
    After almost 1000 years, management of one of the holiest Hindu temples goes to the civil authority. Priests and vendors salaried by ministry. The measure is to prevent corruption among the temple authorities.

    07/05/2010 NEPAL
    Hindu extremists attack Maoists, people protest in the capital
    About 30 Maoists are injured in the attack. They have been on a general strike since 1 May to force the prime minister to resign and to get the constitution signed. In Kathmandu, 20,000 people rally to demand an end to demonstrations and the re-opening of schools and stores.

    12/11/2009 NEPAL
    Massive Maoist demonstration against government and police
    Today the demonstrators are tens of thousands, but tomorrow they expect at least 300 thousand. Among them, former Prime Minister Prachanda. There are growing signs of instability.



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