16 April 2017, Anirban R Banerjee
Whether the Nepalese want the palace back, is a matter to be resolved among themselves. What India requires to do, is to step u1p its efforts to assist the people of the Himalayan kingdom to realise their shattered dreams
It’s time for India to redefine its Nepal policy, correct the mistake of the previous Congress-led UPA (backed by the Left) plan and free the engagement from the clutches of the Left-Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) lobby and Neheruvian bureaucracy.
Nepal’s Chief of Army Staff Rajendra Chhetri recently described the current situation in Nepal as “very volatile, difficult and challenging”, and asked the institution to remain prepared to face “any eventuality”. The present crisis started with the Maoist insurgency and the signing of 12-point agreement mediated by India on November 22, 2005.
Karan Singh, who had visited Nepal in April 2006 as a special emissary of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in an interview to the Kathmandu daily, Naya Patrika, said that he was able to convince the last king of Nepal, Gyanendra, to hand over power to a transitional Government, something Gyanendra did gracefully to bring stability to his country. Karan Singh also revealed that the stated Indian position of the two-pillar Nepal policy of constitutional monarchy and Hindu state of Nepal was set aside, against the Indian public opinion.
He admitted, that there may have been another Government channel, with a greater influence on Nepal’s politics that made the change of policy happen. This is an abrupt change in one of the most significant pillars of Indian strategic foreign policy.
In April 2006, Gyanendra abdicated his power for preserving the unity of his country. The new constituent assembly was elected in April 2008, and it abolished the monarchy in May 2008.The monarchy’s removal and Nepal’s transition to a republic was not due to mandate from the people of Nepal but rather because of hidden political manoeuvring by the Left in India and the radical forces in Nepal. The Left of Nepal has been a brother-in-arm of the communists in India. The year 2006, provided an ideal opportunity to the Left in India and Nepal to work in tandem and deal a blow to the Hindu character of Nepal.
Karan Singh’s revelations in 2006 and subsequent events in the last decade have proven the point that post the abolition of monarchy, Leftist forces and foreign powers without the mandate from the people of Nepal imposed ‘secularism’ and ‘federalism’. The parties that assumed power in 2006, the foreign powers backing them and the civil society of Nepal appeared to be swayed by the argument that if Nepal had to become a republic, its Hindu identity must be done away with.
The idea of secularism is not undisputed but a version was forced upon Nepal. International NGOs and UN organs openly advocated the right to conversion as secularism’s integral part.
The JNU-Left in India and Nepal are against the Hindu Nationalism in both countries. According to Jonathan Gregson’s book, Massacre at the Palace: The Doomed Royal Dynasty of Nepal, Sonia Gandhi and Queen Aishwarya ran into conflict during the Saarc meet in mid 1980s over who should take precedence. This incident, along with Sonia Gandhi having being denied permission to enter the Pashupatinath temple on the ground that she was born a Catholic and Sonia Gandhi’s general unfavourable disposition towards the Hindu nationalists of India and Nepal, enabled all the anti-Hindu establishment forces in Nepal to seek support from the Left in India to abolish the Hindu state and the monarchy.
The UPA Government continues to face accusation that it aligned with forces in Nepal that were the biggest threat to India’s internal security and stability of Nepal. Ten years down the line, the former king is more popular than many of Nepal’s politicians. All the false propaganda against stands exposed. He stood by his people at the time of crisis and showed statesmanship. He is admired across the world.
The frmer Nepal king, Gyanendra Shah, has rightly pointed out the rise of discord in the country. The designs to divide the country under a revolutionary guise and Nepal’s secular federal democratic republic status is still questioned by the majority of people; and rightly so. Time has come to review the past 10 years of political downslide and bring its perpetrators into account. The year 2006 saw the assimilation of the maoist into the democratic system of Nepal, renouncing violence which is very commendable, now all the Leftist forces that took over in 2006 must respect the wishes of the people and pave the way for unity in Nepal.
The former king has said if Hindu religion disappears, then Nepal’s culture will be in peril; and once culture disappears, civilisation will be lifeless. With Nepal’s culture and civilisation gone, its very existance would be in jeopardy.
The constitution should not come at the cost of national unity. Its forceful secularism, republic and federalism is main cause of crisis in Nepal. In 2014 the BJP declared that the UPA Government’s neighbourhood policy was wrong. It’s time the Modi Government reinstate its commitment to the earlier Indian policy of constitutional monarchy and Hindu kingdom.
King Gyanendra gave up power and handed over power to the political parties in 2006: Since then anti-Government protests have led to the death of 50 people. Who should the people think, is more of a democrat — Gyanendra or the people who ruled Nepal for the past decade? This was the question posed by the ordinary people of Nepal. India must stand by the people of Nepal and work with all sides for a constitution that is a true reflection of the wishes of people of Nepal. Nepal’s economy is in doldrums, all for a constitution that people don’t feel belong to them.
Nepal and India must focus on restoring the Hindu kingdom. Democratic Hindu monarchical system is the best way to end the crisis in Nepal, and those who love Nepal should work towards that. Any further suppression of the desire of Nepalese people will lead to more social unrest.
(The writer is the author of Leadership Excellence Principles My Father Followed. He specialises in human resource)