Divide and rule has been the policy of autocrats since the time of Chanakya. I am not surprised to see the self-declared King Gyanendra offering greener grass to some of the parliamentary parties in a bid to create a rift in their movement, which is moving towards a republic. But his seven-point meadow is so stale that we believe no one will take it. In fact, the tri-polar political tension of yesterday is slowly transforming into a bipolar equation.
It looks like the parliamentary parties, including the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) have learnt their bitter lessons after being repeatedly betrayed by the autocratic and tyrannical king. But if these parties get enticed by the king's offers again, it will be a suicidal move for them. The Nepali people can rest assured that even if the parties join hands with the king, nothing will stop such a coalition. Much water and blood has flown down Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali rivers.
In the history of Nepali people's movement, the roles of the youth and the students have always been important. The movements of 1951, 1980 and 1990 proved that. Whatever appears on the outside, the bottom line is that all these movements have been anti-monarchy and pro-republic. The present student movement to permanently get rid of the monarchy, which has always tried to strangle democracy, is praiseworthy. The move is more relevant considering the ugly and duplicate form of monarchy after the royal palace massacre.
It is the students' and young people's duty and rights to reject a criminal as a future king-a man who killed others including Praveen Gurung and raped many Nepali sisters. Just like in the fairytale "The emperor's new clothes", the parties hesitate to speak up, but the youth have spoken the truth like the child in the story, saying the emperor is not clothed in finery, he is naked.
By amplifying the slogan for a republic, the students have contributed significantly to Nepali history. We hope they will remain in this fort of struggle until the movement reaches the logical end of a republican state. The rural areas that once were the traditional foundation of the autocratic monarchy have now become the epicentre of the revolution. Every house, cowshed and public place in these areas fly republican flags. The other traditional energy source of the monarchy, foreign power is diminishing. There are indications that even those who believed monarchy was the base for stability are compelled to change their views. Under these circumstances, if the political parties do not draw back, chances are high that the present movement will be able to sweep away the autocratic monarchy and usher in a Nepali republic.