The unimaginable event of 1 June 2001 left a stain on the Nepali people's esteem for their monarchy. Whether this stain is erased or remains will depend on the successors of the late King Birendra. History will remember the heir to the throne, Dipendra, killed his father, mother and most of his clan.
Despite his shady past, Crown Prince Paras as a member of the royal family, has the duty to live up to his new responsibilities. As the king, and as a father, King Gyanendra's responsibility is even greater.
Crown Prince Paras' involvement in last week's shooting incidents at the Everest Hotel and at Nirmal Nibas is a test for the country, people and the king. This nation's reputation is at stake, therefore it is now incumbent upon the king, the government and the Royal Council to draw up a code of conduct for members of the royal family. Instead of insulting the political parties at taxpayer's expense as it is currently doing, the Royal Council should turn its attention to restoring the dignity of the royal family and smoothening the rocky relations between the political parties and the king.
At the beginning of the 21st century, there is a universal trend towards cutting the privileges and special powers of ruling elite all over the world. It is also accepted that there is no alternative to democracy. In a democracy, the military is under the command of an elected government. Militarisation never sits well with democratic values. The constitution's acceptance of the king as supreme commander of the armed forces must also be seen in this light. It is a symbolic title. After all, the days when kings led their armies to battle are long gone.
Even if he wears a military uniform, if the king of Nepal were unarmed and believed in peace, it would be a positive sign. And if that rule also applied to the heir to the throne, we would perhaps see the last of such ugly incidents.
Given the fallout of the royal massacre, it would perhaps be best for the reputation of the country and the monarchy that these steps are taken. It is also necessary that in the country's present precarious state, the king not be exposed to private stress of this nature.