NEPAL'S MONARCHY HAS NO FUTURE
by Chiranjibi Paudyal
American Reporter Nepal Correspondent
KATHMANDU, May 1, 2006 -- The active monarchy is gone forever.
It's not a great loss. The monarchy in Nepal has always been involved in conspiracies, and rarely in improving the the welfare of the people. Their luxurious lifestyle reminds us of the autocratic rulers of the 14th Century even now.
The Nepalese monarchy has never tried to be "of" the people, except perhaps during the time of late King Birendra from 1990 to 2001, a period that paralleled the restoration of democracy and ended with his murder in the royal palace.
The present king is fiercely criticised from every sector. The Maoists and the young openly call him a him a "murderer, smuggler and exploiter."
"We do not accept monarchy," said Lekhnath Neupane, president of the Maoist-affiliated student union. "If the government does not hold the election of the constituent assembly without conditions, our guns will be pointed to the Singhdurbar's central secretariat (i.e., against the parties who are in power.)"
The fear of monarchy is that it has always raised its head and tried to bite like a snake when there was an opportunity to use force with the army, said a government official on condition of anonymity.
"The future of active monarchy is gone forever, and if he improves his image - just being inactive in politics and without interfering in the politics - then there can be a compromise only for a ceremonial monarchy," said an influential diplomat based in Kathmandu.
"I do not see any future of Nepalese monarchy," he said.
However, all prospects for any form of monarchy are gone if we see correctly the mood of the people and of political leaders. All the professional organisations, including journalists, lawyers, doctors, engineers, government employees, civil society representatives, human rights activists and the general public, are against the king and they say in one voice: "We do not accept monarchy."
The rule of King Gyanendra has completely failed, the U.S. State Dept. said just before the movement of the seven parties began on April 6.
His bad image, ruthless rule, and failure on all fronts, the ineffective cronies and regressive forces in his cabinet, and all the conspiracies being hatched in the palace, along with devil-may-care activities of the royal family members, had one result: the monarchy crumbled.
"Any efforts to raise his head through unseen means will be a catastrophe," said a senior leader of the seven parties' alliance.
Once a revered institution, the King and the monarcy is now hated everywhere, and even the prime minister has been warned not to take his oath of office in front of the King.
The maxim that every egoistic dictator's empire turns to dust because of his own ambition has been proved again in Nepal.
AR Correspondent Chiranjibi Paudyal has contributed to our pages since 1999, when he visited the United States under the sponsorship of the U.S, Information Agency, and was the first reporter to warn of King Gyanendra's plan to dissolve Parliament in 2002. He is currently in London and can be reached at email@example.com