The contribution of Prithvi Narayan Shah to Nepal, nationalism and the unification of Nepal has little relation to whether the monarchy goes or stays. He was a king of the Shah dynasty but he became great because he was the unifier of Nepal. For this reason it is relevant to view him as a symbol of national unity.
One can see that steps are being taken to fragment the land he unified. Nepali society is under threat from those who are sowing the seeds of ethnic discord. At this time it is appropriate to honour the legacy of Prithvi Narayan Shah.
There are those who say that Prithvi Narayan Shah only achieved a geographical unification, and that true national consciousness that incorporates all ethnicities and languages for a 'New Nepal' is now being led by the Nepali people. Presumably these people feel proud of being Nepali. If this is the case, then why is it so difficult to honour the founder of the nation? Honouring Prithvi Narayan Shah doesn't make one a royalist. Nepalis should not be afraid or embarrassed to honour the founder of Nepal.
We need to strive towards social, cultural and religious equality, but also keep history in mind. Those who aim for the former by apportioning ethnic states to different groups, without understanding history, will actually weaken the Nepali identity. Attacking history and destroying statues of Prithivi Narayan Shah will not benefit republicanism, nor will it bring about social equality and inclusion. Rather, it will incur a politics of revenge and give control to New Jangbahadurs only interested in power.