• Saturday 24th August 2019

Going Back

  • Published on: February 6, 2019

  • It wasn’t long after 1990 that king Birendra realized that what was His Majesty’s Government was no long his. Nor was His Majesty’s most loyal opposition loyal to him. This is in accordance to a latter day book by Birendra’s secretary during the takeover. When the king drew attention of the elected parliament on what exactly the Maoist movement was, the response was one of the king dabbling in politics while all along the Maoists were sought to be quelled by force with the use of the police. Politics on the other hand sought to associate the Maoists with unconstitutional monarchical ambitions maligning that sacrosanct institution further. When government could not meet the police force’s demands for more arms, government eyes turned to the use of the army to quell the movement. When the army demanded parliamentary consensus on the use of the army and the declaration of a state of emergency in the country, government could only produce such a consensus after the Maoists attacked an army post. It is another matter that king Birendra helped position the army in aid of civil forces by hen. It was at just this juncture that the royal palace massacre ensued. The fight all along was between the Maoists and the parliamentary parties and the monarchy was caught in between.
    The palace massacre brought Gyanendra, resident of Nirmal Niwas where mainstream publicity was such that he was alleged to be supremo Prachanda, even more into focus. Organized publicity was to charge him for the murders and his assumption of the throne brought him the responsibility of guarding the constitution. When the elected prime minister dissolved parliament for elections only to pronounce later that he was unable to do so, the monarchy once again sought a parliamentary consensus on a government which was no forthcoming. This democratic option prevented from the king, his last resort was to step in with a call to elections. The hype and propaganda on events and the king’s actions given that monopolistic partisan machinery encouraged in the political sector all condemned the king for his actions. The international community which went blind on the fact that the parliamentary parties were each demanding from the king their own thirst for office remained advising the king that government be sought from the Parliamentary parties while the parties were withholding their support. An agitation ensued to scuttle the king’s bid to hold elections while none less than Prachanda later admitted that Girija Prasad Koirala was exhorting him to eliminate candidates. The voice was all over, the king did wrong.
    There is none to say as yet what the king should have done to absolve himself from association\ of a perverted democratic process. Partisan intellectuals and the media were so used to pronounce him wrong that the king left the throne. What was a movement against the king’s ‘takeover’ and the restoration of a duly dissolved parliament went maverick. What emerged was the impudent imposition of a secular federal republic through the flagrant violation of all norms of constitutionalism and system-building. The result ever since has been the widespread awareness of a redundant system serving none else than the entrenched politicians and their foreign patrons. A consensus, not surprisingly, is gradually emerging that the alternative must be conceived on the streets. Somehow Gyanendra the citizen cannot escape respite here too. Newly disgruntled intellectuals and analysts now conclude that the monarchy could well have a role in reverting the situation and restoring sense in governance. The streets are heating for sure. But a much maligned monarchy? Those who tarnished it must cleanse it surely. Undoing what has been done is upto those who did it, surely. Who wronged the monarchy? Sterling question isn’t it?


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