Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
" The monarchy doesn’t want power"

Your majesty, you have been silent for a year.
We have been silent because we want the peace process to be successful. The Nepali people should speak about the kind of direction the country is taking, where it is heading, and why there has been so much confusion. Even today the monarchy doesn't want power. The monarchy has come through many other difficult situations over the years, but we have always listened to the people and moved forward according to their wishes. It is not that we are not well informed, but for various reasons even the people have not been able to speak. We think that certain forces are using democracy as an excuse to destroy the polity. We don't think that is democratic. No one should take the people for granted at any given time. Silence is also action. There can be various meanings to our silence. There are those who understand, and there are those who pretend not to understand. The Nepali people have their own character, and the monarchy trusts that essence. You cannot just talk about the people in urban areas, there are poor Nepalis living hard lives in the hills and mountains who are equally important.

What does your majesty want?
We want peace, democracy and want the country to be strong. We should follow the political system that the people want, the one that suits Nepal and Nepali people. Nepalis should be able to be able to hold their heads high. The confusion we are in at present should also be solved in a democratic way.

What do you think is the role of the monarchy?
The institution of the monarchy is older than the unification of Nepal. Had the nation builder His Majesty the late King Prithbi Narayan Shah not united us all, where would we be? When you insult him, we feel it is our insult. Instead of dredging up who was or wasn't awarded this and that in the past, and instead of blaming the monarchy, we think we should try and improve ourselves.

How should the monarchy move forward?
The people should take responsibility for taking the monarchy forward. Nepalis have such a big heart, there's space for everyone there. On 1 February 2005, our intention was to give what rightly belonged to the people within the space afforded to us by the 1951 Nepali constitution. We were not happy with the means used by the Maoists, which is why we were trying to do what the people wanted peacefully. It was not successful, and we have to admit that. The result is what the people are going through today. Our intention was good, and that has, in a way, been proven. The monarchy has no space in politics, and it should not concern itself with politics. We should understand what the people want the monarchy to be, and should try to transform it in the way they want. But democracy has become weakened, which is why the relationship between democracy and monarchy has to become stronger.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)