Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Letter to His Majesty

Your Majesty, as an aware citizen of this country I am writing to bring to your notice that this voice is not just a personal one but that of all patriotic and democratic citizens of Nepal. According to our Hindu tradition, the monarch is considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. That is why the land of Nepal is our motherland and the monarch our father and why the king is considered the caretaker of the people. The Narayanhiti murders on 1 June 2001 ended the lives of the entire family of your majesty's brother and forever vanquished the superstitious belief that the king is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The wound inflicted by this sad incident will pain the nation for many ages. Your Majesty, if the monarchy had remained with the Nepali people this episode that put a black mark on the proud history of the Royal Palace would have never occurred. However, the late King Birendra has now left to you the future of the Nepali people and the responsibility of taking the nation forward. At a time when conflict is tearing the nation apart it is up to you to protect the constitution dedicated to the people by the late king as well as the image of the royal family. Your first responsibility therefore is to provide the country a safe alternative to t

Your Majesty, the people are a great force. A nation without its people and a monarch without his subjects are meaningless. These are the same people who faced death to start an armed rebellion to place your grandfather King Tribhuban on the throne and honoured him as the Father of the Nation, bringing an end to an era when your forefathers were merely puppets at the hands of the Ranas. If the people had lost faith in constitutional monarchy, so many would not have shaved their heads when King Birendra was murdered. Today, the rights guaranteed by the constitution to the people are dissolved. In this age of information and communication, the Nepali people have been refused the rights to use them. Without a free press, democracy is disabled. As though it were not enough to show contempt for the Supreme Court, the court itself is surrounded by armed security forces. Is this not a contradiction to the rule of law? It is not the Supreme Court that has lost but the announcement made by Your Majesty on 1 February in which you promised good governance.

It is wrong to use the army as a security cordon for the palace and the royal family. To conduct your unofficial royal visits by making the army surround villages and towns is an indication of how unsafe you feel amongst your own people. You must to end this distrust between a father and his children. You must break free from the circle of corrupt politicians like Dr Tulsi Giri, who till a few months back declared that all he had as property was 10 tolas of gold and yet was able to pay back millions in debt within two months, Dan Bahadur Shahi, who ordered armed police to surround the court, and the enemy of press freedom and looter of FM stations, Tanka Dhakal. If you want good governance you must make those on the black list of the Nepal Rastra Bank pay their debts even if they are royal relatives. What is more, if you really desire to earn popularity maybe some of the resources of your late brother's family could be diverted to national development.

You only have to stay within the spirit of the constitution and pay your income taxes. Your kindness and patriotism will transform the present disgust and rage that the Nepali people feel for the monarchy into something more positive. A monarch's responsibility does not end with merely wearing the crown. If democratic norms and values are safeguarded and the peoples' rights secured, the political parties will be the bridge between the monarchy and the people. The roads will no longer turn into battlefields and the people will be forever grateful. The time has come to give back to the nation and the people. If these methods continue and more of the peoples' rights are taken away, a fate similar to revolutionary France awaits us all.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)