Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
End of an epoch



ROBIN SAYAMI
King Gyanendra dug his own grave when he said, "the Nepali people want a king that can be seen and heard". Gyanendra's ambition has led monarchy to its very end. The loss of internal support and international recognition marks an end of an epoch.

From 1989 to 2005, the political parties tried to take monarchy and democracy together. Even the Maoists talked to the king's representatives while communist parties known for their support for republicanism joined hands. When Manmohan Adhikari accepted ceremonial monarchy, he became the first elected communist prime minister. Even Madan Bhandari, the then general secretary of CPN-ML, who had once said "we won't let the monarchy justify its existence as long as the sun and moon remain in the sky", was eventually in favour of weakening and providing a ceremonial role to the monarchy, rather than a complete transformation to a republic. The NC and UML pledged their support for a ceremonial monarchy and multi-party democracy but their patience was broken on 1 February, 2005. The monarchy that hadn't been a problem for any party became unacceptable to everyone because of Gyanendra's own deeds.

Gyanendra's lack of foresight and selfish aspirations made him the last king of Nepal. But the end of monarchy in the process of development is not a new thing. Almost six decades ago, when the then king Farukh I of Egypt left the throne he said, "now including Great Britain and four other cards there are only five kings." But Gyanendra failed to realise that the Nepali monarchy could only continue to exist in a form similar to the British monarchy. As a result, even our neighbour which formerly gave strong support to Nepal's monarchy, accepted republicanism easily.

The sovereign people who believe in multi-party democracy are the pillars, and the political parties who have taken responsibility for the management of this new republic are the drivers of this new era.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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