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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 June 2006, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Nepal's misunderstood movement
Reconvened Nepali assembly
The political parties are ill-equipped to handle power
To mark the fifth anniversary of Nepal's royal massacre, BBC News invited Nepalis of different political viewpoints to present their vision of what lies ahead for their country.

Here is the view of Krishna Murari Gautam, a satirist and an agricultural economist by training.

In 1990 when Nepal embraced multi-party democracy, the political party leaders found themselves in a position where they had no one to fight against.

But they also didn't have any plan or programme ready at hand to fight for in order to meet the aspiration of people.

The royal massacre of 2001 injected new confusion, suspense and a new player in Nepali politics - King Gyanendra.

Like the political parties in 1990, the then prince Gyanendra suddenly found himself in a role for which he was not prepared.

The political leaders found it easier to channel mass frustrations through street protests

His accession to the throne as per the constitution and tradition of Nepal occurred when (a) many suspected him of engineering the royal massacre, (b) the country was sliding down to the brink of being a failed state, and (c) section of the population disappointed with the performance of political parties looked upon him as the possible rescuer of the nation.

All this at a time when party leaders were beginning to realise that the Maoist insurgency has become a formidable force to reckon with and economic woes had pushed the country to the brink of being a failed state.

Street protests

The pain of being caught unprepared but responsible for the situation then did not come as easy as to continue playing the game of finger pointing that the political parties had been practicing since coming to the power.

The political leaders found it easier to channel mass frustrations through street protests to topple the ruling government instead of assuming the responsibility to reverse the ongoing trend of economic down turn and government failure to deliver goods and services.

This cycle of street protests leading to government change left each successive government weaker.

Maoist rebels in Nepal
The Maoists are the only one who have benefited from the crisis
This instability only furthered the Maoists' interest leading to further instability and anarchy.

And, now there was this new direction where the failing governments and party leaders could point their fingers to - the new King.

The growing mass frustration came in handy for any party to call street protest and general strikes to topple the ruling government only to be replaced by another group of the date-expired parliamentarians.

Royal takeover

Somebody had to intervene responsively before any country, neighbouring or not, or organisation came ready to pass Nepal from her failed state. And the constitutional monarch did step in to fulfil his constitutional obligations as the head of the state.

The royal proclamation of October 2002, that dismissed the then government, promised to conduct election of all political bodies dissolved by the earlier governments, and make the 1990 constitution functional again within three years by handing over power to the elected government.

Nepal's King Gyanendra
King Gyanendra had no choice but to take over
But that was not the way the political parties had got used to earn the authority to rule Nepal.

Therefore, the political parties again took to the street to fight against the king - the new obstacle in their accession to power through street protests after the parliament was dissolved.

Interestingly, the king who favoured people electing their representatives both at the local and central governments was projected as anti-democratic or authoritarian while the political parties that avoided election and dissolved the elected bodies were to be taken as the beholders of democratic values.

The old notion of autocracy associated with the term King came handy for the political parties to misguide the international opinion and understanding of the kings' actions after 2002.

Defamation campaign

History repeated itself only to leave the country in much worse condition than before.

Now the future of Nepal rests singularly on the hands of Maosists

Thus, the constitutional head of the state, i.e., the King Gyanendra, had no choice but to assume the position of the head of the government too.

And he did so in Feb. 2005 and included his old friends, faithfuls or monarchists in the government with the hope that they will somehow be able to make the 1990 constitution functional again through the election of local and central government bodies.

But by then, the agitating parties had made considerable progress in defaming the king, misguiding the international community on the king's actions and intentions, and getting stronger to make impossible for any government other than their own to rule.

Somehow, they succeeded in convincing the world that taking part in the election of representatives of the people for different levels of the government is against the democratic norms in case of Nepal.

By April 2006, the leaders leading the street protests had to be called in to form the government and rule the country with democratic values and norms.

Now the future of Nepal rests singularly on the hands of Maoists who have performed well as revolutionary but their performance as rulers is yet to be seen.

Below is a selection of your comments on this article.

The move taken by the king was appreciated by many people for they thought that peace would prevail within the kingdom, but the direct rule of the king was misguided by the advisers and the political parties were totally muddled and coul not find appropriat sologans to go to the public. They tried their every technic to get the public sentiments but most of the people had lost trust upon them. Its time to wait and see how they would steer the nation. The maoist need to do some concession if they are really serious for peace. They have to be flexible and accept the view of the present government. The government must take precautionary steps and should not concede to their unwanted demands. There must be discussions rather than arguments. Time act immediately.
Keshav Pd. Ganesh, Nepal

The average Nepali, without Internet access, is not reflected in these comments. They want a republic, the "king" to be put on trial, and the "royal" assets to be given to the whole people. His model was a fascist, feudal one. A new Nepal will be born, that is secular, republican and democratic.
K.G., U.S.

I totally disagree with this biased write-up about the king and his "heroic" efforts to save the country from the brink of disaster. The bottom-line.. he got a chance to prove himself and he failed miserably! Today, one has to prove that one can lead a country and its people....sorry, getting a chance to do so just by birth to a family is a little too much to digest. Gyanendra definitely needed to be axed form his position. The Nepali people decided so...and they will carve their future too.
Binayak Singh, Nepal

Gyanendra has certainly become a scapegoat. The Nepali people are already bearing the brunt now and this is only the beginning. There is so much more along the way. Ultimately, there will come a day when the Nepali people will have to plead to Gyanendra for his leadership. Despite all odds stacked against him, Gyanendra did make an effort to save Nepal from the Maoist barbarians and foreign interference. Gyanendra was a true leader and I salute his leadership. By contrast.
Hans Kale, USA

It is our duty as Indians to support the people of Nepal with money and whatever facilities they need. We are a rich nation and the people of Nepal deserve better. We must respond! Nepal is a Hindu nation and a secular country that should be our closest friend and ally and to whom we in India must be the closest friend and ally. Great powers take bold steps. The time has come for us to rebuild Nepal to the great nation that it once was, and will again be.
Sumer Dewan, India

Well as much as I knew about the political parties of our nation they don't have the spirit for developing of nation because they had been in power and parliament for so long time before the king took the power. All these political parties are misusing the term "politics" in a bad manners which directly or indirectly effecting the Nepalese peoples. So now what we Nepalese can do is just hope for the best and a bright future of our nation.
Taya, Hong Kong

This article in BBC comes as a surprise. The international media, Indian and Kantipur media have played major role in defaming Nepal in all its earnest efforts to get back to democratic rule, but the media always viewed failing Nepal as a business opportunity for breaking news coverage. Elections were conducted in Nepal in a fair manner early this year, but the media joined the band wagon of Maos and SPA in declaring it a failure, but wasn't that the first step towards democracy? In Nepal, only the King had a have clear cut road map for Nepali people, but unfortunately, we lost everything due to the Indian, American and other western interest.
babu ram adhikary

This article is very emotive, even handed and is a far cry from the entire hullabaloo that the western media, including yours, created over the months regarding the King's rule in Nepal. A month down the road from the restoration of parliament, looting and robberies are sweeping the country like a wild fire and the only ones to blame are the Maoists. The inept and corrupt politicians have already started to fight amongst themselves. The king is wrongly being given all the blame. Populist policy announcements of the recent days aside, Nepal's darkest period in history has just started.
Shreeyana S, ! Kathmandu, Nepal

My view is, King Gyanendra and royal family is a burden for our poor country. We cannot afford that much expensive family with that low per capita income. They do not work just waste money. Also that family has never been loyal to the Nepalese people. I say we should investigate the murder of king Birendra's family.
Dhan Chhetri, uk(nepal-parbat thapathana-6)

Yes, i agree with the article. It is actually a "Misunderstood Movement". Nepalese people and the political parties should have understood the steps of the king and supported his actions in bringing peace and prosperity in the country. Instead, they supported the terrorists, and are now facing the consequences. Nepalese, don't know how to respect those who try to do good to them.
Gautam, India

I will have to fully disagree with this article and the stand it takes. King Gyanendra is no hero to say the least and please do not use this space to try and gain sympathy for him. Yes, the country was in turmoil, economy was worse than ever. The politicians and the people are to blame for it. However that is no justification for a 'constitutional' monarch to take absolute control. Exactly who and what was Gyanendra fighting for and defending. The people or himself and his personal power and institution? The movement in Nepal was not to make him the scapegoat, it was to prove to the world that absolute monarchy and absolutism in general, is not acceptable in the present day world.
Harke dai, Nepal

I totally disagree with the King. The only goal of the king is to take power. He never thought seriously for development. He is no doubt the most unpopular king in the history of Nepal. If he really thought about the goodwill of Nepal, he should never have used his autocratic power to dominate human rights and media. Ashokanism
Ashokanism, Nepal

Suresh, Canada

Not only Nepali media but also foreign media including BBC played big role in defaming the King by sending wrong messages. By doing so, they helped to bring back those corrupt thugs in the temporary power and created opportunity for Maoists criminals to rule the country in a worst form of dictatorship. Communists can not become democrats. In the hands of Maoists criminals there is no future for Nepal.
Chandra Samal, Nepal

At least someone is brave enough to bring this matter up. In the name of democracy, these hypocrite leaders are going to create more problems for Nepal. King has been made scapegoat though his cause was genuine and he could have saved the country if these power hungry fatah politicians would have given him support. Instead, they joined Maoists and now Maoists going to eat everyone up. I am very upset and sad for my country and her future that is going to be controlled by the Maoists of the 21st century.
Rajendra Shrestha, US

I believe that king has got no rights to rule the Nepal after the massacres taking place in streets of Nepal since past 10 years. On the other hand I believe the political parties were trusted time and time again by people of Nepal. All the people of Nepal got was Corruption and Indiscipline. Until now Maoist are not tested as rulers of Nepal. But they have created a hype that they will bring the government to rural Nepal. It needs to be tested.
Janak Raj Awasthi, United Arab Emirates

Congratulations. First time I read a seemingly independent review of the situation in Nepal which appears to be very close to reality even though may not agree from what had been said in the international press for the last few years. Nepal's problem is generally not very different to that which seen in almost all regions of south Asia. Poor people are driven by the political parties in the name of democracy !! It's true that Maoist is a movement against the corruption of the ruling class and they also provide support to the poor, still they need to get some maturity by understanding the merits and virtues of freedom independence and civil liberties.
Pankaj Joshi, uk

King Gyanendra as a misunderstood upholder of democracy??? You have to be kidding, right? How quick we are to forget that the king disabled communication to the outside world, produced nothing of substance in the years of authoritarian rule, and essentially helped to convince a country, once tied to a sacred Hindu tradition, that secularism was the only viable option.
Ian Harris, USA

By now almost everyone seems to have agreed that Maoists are the most powerful force in Nepalese Politics today. Maoists created this situation by understanding the weakness of the parties' people and used it as weapon for their success that did bring the positive result for them. The total struggle of 2006 will not benefit anyone other than Maoists.
Nepali, Australia

The Maoists are a very dirty set up made in India (as Srilanka). They are funded by India and supported by India to hijack Nepal's water resources to steal the only income of Nepal to cover the poverty of the North of India. The leaders of Maoist are living as king with Indian money in India . The Maoist are racketing and threaten all the poor people of the West of Nepal which have nothing to survive to follow by force their non sense and false cause. Prachanda is the also an Executive of RIM (revolution international movement).
Arifin , Tonga

We believe that till today your government recruits my hill people of Nepal into your army who are known as British Gurkha Army and government Of India also recruits them into the their Army known as Indian Gurkha Army. The autocratic Rana regime of Nepal had given this permission some 145 years ago. Imagine what would happen if we were not to allowed to recruit our boys into the British & Indian armies and we think that both governments should not be allowed to recruit the simple hill boys into their Armies in a free and democratic society May Lord PashupatiNath bless us all.
Guru Bar Singh Thapa, Nepal

This article tried to catch some issues of Nepal but failed to address main concerns. This article failed to analyze how tyranny is intertwined in Nepalese culture. In some ways all political parties and their leaders are also involved in ruining Nepal's future and economy so they must take responsibility. We must understand that now power has moved from autocrat-king to corrupted leaders but not to the public; people still have to face bribery and nepotism in their every day lives.
Gita Rijal, USA

I agree more with Mr. Gautam's view. His Majesty intervened in 2002 with all the right purpose. Maybe the cause for it to fail was because of the pre 1990 cronies who had other intentions. I do support the name change of Nepal Army and other decisions taken by the govt. But don't make the king a scapegoat. As for the Maoists, I whole heartedly believe in their cause for rural Nepal but for now lets just wait and see what action they take.
Bheshraj, USA

I agree with your article, Nepal started to destabilise when political parties ruled the country. King was just trying to bring the country on the right track. But these selfish leaders managed to defame king among the international communities and cooperated with maoist to topple the government. It's clear that all they want is power and wealth not democracy. Our country is already in the grip of Maoists. I don't see any bright future for our country at the moment.
govinda, Australia

This article tried to address the core problem of Nepal. But failed to address it. The core problem is our duality, which is created from premature response and actions. We love to criticize others even though it was relevant. That was unfortunate for Nepal. We have not had a national goal to achieve. In reverse, what we have a personal agenda to achieve. We have to end it. We have to create Unity among us. That is the foundation of good system to create.
Krishna Acharya, UK

Well said. For the first time I agree with BBC upon its views for NEpal. But its too late now??? The whole world has been deceived becasue UK and USA (best freinds of democracy)wanted to see Nepal from India's eyes. India had idiots like Shyam Saran in its beurocracy and I am sure India is going to burn its hands too.
Jyoti Sabu, Nepal

King Gyanendra is the man. he tried to save nepal, and what did the politicians do? they turned around and made him the bad guy. now the politicians are in the sack with the maoists and i've never been so afraid so my nation's future. now they have no one left to blame. watch them turn on each other like the pack of dogs they are.
rick flair, Nepal

I do fully agree with the article written by Mr Gautam. There is no doubt, now it is only the performance of Maoist on which the nations future depends. We have seen all political parties'& even king's performance. We fear that, again if Maoist fail to perform then it is sure the future of Nepal is uncertain.
Raj Shrestha, Nepal

The parties have made mistakes and they are paying the price for that. But king Gyanendra is worst than that. He is simply interested in gathering wealth and power for himself. You can all imagine his lavish life style, increasing royal expenses, lavish travel around the country, while the whole county is in war, people do not have jobs, many dying without any medical care, proper nutrition. Let's try without a king. I am pretty sure it will work for the country. At least the excessive cost in sustaining the king his family can be diverted in other activities.
Ramesh Thapaliya, UK

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