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Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Its Ideology

Issue March 2020

Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Its Ideology

Siddhi B. Ranjitkar


Leaders of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) once again came together and said that they had united the broken parties into a single party again on Wednesday, March 11, 2020; however, it was not the first time they had done so and said so, too. One thing they had agreed on was again on the Hindu State and the monarchy both had been history. It was the victory of Kamal Thapa brand of RPP over Pashupati Shumsher and Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani because they came back to the umbrella of Kamal Thapa leaving behind the republican state they had previously accepted. Thus, Kamal Thapa had been successful to bring back the two leaders that had been on the right track to the old track that had been rotted. If the RPP leaders were the visionary and if they were to correctly analyzed the political situation they would rather go for safeguarding the current people’s constitution rather than going to the king’s constitution that had put the monarchy above anybody and anything and even the law or the constitution. Girija Prasad Koirala had wisely stated in 2008 that his party and he was abandoning the monarchy so that youths of the future generations would no more need to shed blood for reinstating democracy as the kings not once but several times killed democracy; the youths no more needed to fight for democracy losing their precious lives again and again once the monarchy was eliminated.


RPP leaders erroneously stated that Nepal had 80 percent Hindus to justify the Hindu state. The reality was that the Hindus might be 50 percent of the total population because most of the ethnic people who made up 40 percent of the total population were the non-Hindus. During the population census, most enumerators filled up the column religion with Hindu even without asking the folks. That might be the reason why the Hindu population looked so high. Will the ethnic people and the people of other religions accept the Hindu domination? Will not they rise up against the Hindu state?


In my personal view, RPP leaders would be able to make their party as an alternative to the NCP and the NC if they were to go to the people for preserving the current people’s constitution because the current NCP had been hitting the constitution as much as possible and deny the common folks the rights the people’s constitution had provided them, and the opposition NC in the parliament had been so weak it hardly could stop the current prime minister from doing whatever he liked to do; if RPP leaders were to promise the common folks that they would eradicated the corruption endemic in the current politics and civil administration, then the common folks might opt for the RPP as an alternative, as common folks needed an alternative to the current political parties in power to be free from the widespread corruption even though RPP leaders also had the background of mismanagement and corruption in their past performances as the ministers, and prime ministers, and they had been opportunists rather and the politicians serving the people.


However, RPP leaders chose to go the old way, and carry the Hindu State and the monarchy on their shoulders even the load had been so heavy that they could hardly carry the load further but they were still trying to do so. Common folks had been not of the 1960s, not even of 1990s but of the 21st century. RPP leaders needed to ask the questions themselves whether the new generation of the common folks would accept the horrible and undemocratic conditions their grandfathers and fathers had undergone.


In 1950s the then folks were very happy to bring back the then king Tribhuvan and put him on the throne believing that the king would help to develop democracy and the constitutional monarchy because he committed to hold elections to a constituent assembly for crafting a people’s constitution but the king surely betrayed the people’s faith in him; and he never thought of holding the elections to the constitution assembly rather he consolidated his power in his hands and strengthened the palace rather than the common folks and the democracy.


Then, came his son Mahendra to sit on the throne his father Tribhuvan had vacated after his untimely death in 1955. Mahendra went even further to manipulate the young political leaders, who had made the provision for the constitutional monarchy in the statute of the party, and who had trusted Tribhuvan; and Mahendra even destroyed the political parties killing the infant democracy in 1960. Mahendra successfully became the despot and he introduced the so-called no-party political system called Panchayat. Mahendra killed many democrats, who had fought for the constitutional monarchy because he believed that they were the true enemies and threat to the monarchy.


The then king even wanted to destroy Ganeshman Singh and his colleague BP Koirala, who had reinstated Tribhuvan to his throne and committed to protect the constitutional monarchy forever. When they came back home after self exile in India in 1977 the then king wanted them to be hanged. Their demands were for democracy, freedom of expression, human rights and rights for the people to live as humans honorably. All these fundamental rights had been denied not only for the last two hundreds yeas of the monarchical rule but also even after the introduction of democracy. The king thought that Ganeshman and BP were his enemies, and no room for them in his kingdom.


In the early 1960s, King Mahendra declared Nepal a Hindu state, one language, and one uniform for all Nepalis even though Nepal is a country of diverse religion, numerous languages, and different uniforms depending on the geographical regions. People could not openly celebrate their festivals rather they had to remain in the Hindu State, to obey the Hindu king as the lord and the god and so on. Development of culture and religion had been totally under control. The king became Lord Vishnu, Panchas means the members of the Panchayat had been the lords and the common folks had been relegated to mundane creatures. Do Nepalis want to go back to the same situation reinstating the monarchy and the Hindu State?


Then, Mahendra’s son Birendra became the king after Mahendra ascended to the heaven in 1972. Even though Birendra was educated in Britain and Japan and even though he had seen how the constitutional monarchy worked in Britain and Japan, he gave continuity to the Panchayat his father had so cruelly introduced abusing the people’s faith in the monarchy. Probably, Birendra would have got his name written in the golden letters in the history of Nepal if not the world if he had reinstated the political parties his father had banned, and ran the country democratically. Birendra would have been really Lord Vishnu but he did not take that opportunity rather he went on abusing the monarchy and he used the State resources for his personal pleasure traveling on the army helicopter for months during the winter season every year of his absolute rule.


Then came another chance for King Birendra to lift the ban on the political parties when the students revolted against the Panchayat and they wanted the democracy back in 1979. Birendra would have been a declared god if he had announced the lifting of the ban on the political parties and if he had restored the people’s rights to live honorably as citizens having all the democratic rights but again Birendra missed that opportunity, too, and he declared referendum on the choice of the improved Panchayat and the multi-party democratic system. People accepted the challenge the king put forward hoping the referendum would be fair and transparent.


Unfortunately for the monarchy, King Birendra through his the then prime minister rigged the referendum and made the improved Panchayat victorious. Millions of green trees became the victims of the referendum as the then prime minister let his colleagues cut the standing green trees for sale for having the money to prop up the Panchayat system in the referendum. Counting of the ballot papers took months; by then, the then home minister succeeded to print abundant additional ballot papers and shoved them in the ballot boxes elsewhere particularly in the remote areas. Thus, the Panchayat became victorious but it was really the defeat for the monarchy, as the people realized the monarchy had been the obstacle to the democracy and development. Common folks were disappointed but they did not lose the hope for the future democracy and development.


After the victory of the Panchayat over the multi-party democratic system in 1980, the RPP leaders including the king emboldened to indulge in the corrupt practices and they succeed to embezzle the national resources as much as possible. The Panchayat and Panchas had been synonymous with the corruption and mismanagement of the state resources. For example, Birendra had transferred thousands of ropanis of land to his name. That was only a tip of the iceberg of corruption. If anybody were to take a look back at what King Mahendra did then s/he would know that how Mahendra expropriated the people’s land for building Bhrikutimandap, Police Club, Sabha Griha, Nepal Academy and of course for building residences for the Mahendra’s daughters and even for his secretary at Kamaldi in Kathmandu forgetting about such things happening elsewhere in Nepal. That was the monarchy. Would common folks vote for such a monarchy?


Panchayat and its leaders including King Birendra had done enough for the so-called leaders rather called Panchas in fact no leaders except for the king were there at that time; consequently, the Panchayat had been aging fast due to the corruption and mismanagement of the state property, and the time had already come for the Panchayat to go. The king and the Panchayat had been so weakened because of the corrupt practices and mismanagement of the State resources. So, the people had revolted against the king and his Panchayat system under the banners of the then Nepali Congress and the communist parties. If the political parties were ready the people were for chasing out the king but the political leaders had empathy for the monarchy so they wanted to keep it as the constitutional monarchy. The king was saved but not the Panchayat.


Even after the people’s wish for the democratic constitution, King Birendra wanted to manipulate and play with the constitution the political parties had crafted presenting his own constitution instead at the last moment of declaring a new constitution in 1990. Then, the supreme leader and the commander of the people’s revolution: Ganeshman Singh had to go to the palace and tell King Birendra, either accept the constitution or leave the crown. King Birendra shrewdly chose the constitution. King Birendra was enclosed within the four walls of the palace and he became the first constitutional monarch.


The first elected government Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had presided over opened up the economy and broke off the shackles of the obstacles to the economic development the then kings had imposed on the people; and his administration opened up the floodgate for the economic, social, political and cultural development; and made sure that the people have the freedom of expression, freedom of doing businesses, and freedom of living as the humans. The current socio-economic and cultural and religious development have been the results of the democratic practices made in 1990s.


The fast actions the then Girija administration had taken and the policies it had adopted in 1990s had resulted into opening up of hundreds of private FM radios, and tens of TVs, and newspapers elsewhere in Nepal. More than 20 medical colleges, and a number of private hospitals came up to exist for meeting the health services required by the people; hundreds of technical schools opened up; many regular privates schools were set up. Folks with money did not need to send their kids to the schools in the neighboring country for better education. Private banks and financial institutions came to exist. Super markets were everywhere. Hundreds of billions of rupees were invested in the privately run public transport making public transport available for anybody to travel anywhere. These are the few things of development everybody could see.


The constitutional monarch did not want to remain within the four walls of the palace. After the palace massacre in which the entire family of King Birendra was wiped out on June 1, 2001, then his brother Gyanendra ceremoniously ascended to the thrown and wore the crown Birendra left behind. In 2005 in other words in the 21st century, he wanted to emulate what his father Mahendra did in 1960s. He brought back the traitors that had assisted his father Mahendra in overthrowing the elected government in the coup in 1960, to be his deputies and he ran the administration, as he wanted suspending the constitution of 1990. That was the final straw on the people’s tolerance of the monarchy.


The Seven-political Parties Alliance (SPA) peacefully fighting against the monarchy for the restoration of democracy reached the twelve-point understanding with the Maoists fighting against the king to set up the republic and the secular state for all the Nepalis removing the Hindu state with the king that had been for the limited Nepalis who had been the most privileged ones. They jointly launched the peaceful demonstration while the Maoists continued to fight against the State forces elsewhere in Nepal. The joint peaceful movement brought down the monarchy crashing within 19 days. King Gyanendra even lost the opportunity of staying on within the four walls of the royal palace and went to take shelter at the Raniban bungalow in 2008. Nepalis had done with the monarchy forever.


Then, the interim government Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala presided over held elections to the constituent assembly in April 2008 for crafting a people’s constitution and the constituent assembly to work as the parliament until the elections were held for a new parliament following the new constitution to be crafted. The first thing the constituent assembly did was to remove the monarchy in May 2008. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala made a historic statement in the parliament that the constituent assembly was abolishing the monarchy so that the youths of the future generations would not need to shed blood again and again for reinstating democracy as the kings had killed democracy not once several times in the past.


Now, the question is whether the RPP leaders want to bring back the dead monarchy to life and make Gyanendra a new king? Will the people accept it, as thousands of youths had shed blood to bring the country to the current state? Will the people accept the Hindu state? Will people accept to be under the control of the Hindu state denying the ethnic people and the people of other faiths the opportunity of celebrating their festivals?


None of the answers of these questions would be positive. So, RPP leaders would not make any positive results with the banners carrying the monarchy and the Hindu state going against the current people’s constitution. If they really wanted to make comeback in the politics they needed to commit that they would protect the people’s constitution and eliminate the corruption not as Prime Minister Oli did but in the reality.


March 12, 2020

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