By PR Pradhan
Patriotic Nepalis observed 27 Pous (12 January) with great fanfare nationwide and abroad as well. The government didn’t recognize the Day as the birth anniversary of founder of modern Nepal Great King Prithivi Narayan Shah, although, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, ministers Yogesh Bhattarai, Gokul Banskota, NCP leader Bhim Rawal, among others, have recalled the Great King as the founder of modern Nepal and unifier of different ethnic communities. They have twitted congratulatory messages to the Nepalis and extended gratitude to the Great King.
Unfortunately, former Maoist Center leaders Pushpakamal Dahal and others have remained silent. Meanwhile, Baburam Bhattarai has suggested not to transform King Prithivi Narayan Shah to a God. It is interesting to visit reactions expressed by his followers. They have projected Bhattarai as the foreign agent who is barking with the blessings of his foreign bosses.
Senior advocate Bhimarjun Acharya, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of the Great King, has twitted that 27 Pous is the national unity day and thus it is a valuable asset of all the Nepalis.
“The Day may not be significant for those who have already sold their self-pride”, Acharya has written.
Many twitter and facebook users have condemned the government attitude of not recognizing the Day as an official event. They have written, “The government which had announced national holiday on the arrival of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and the then Indian President Pranav Mukharjee, is seen reluctant on recognizing the significance of 27 Pous!”
They have remarked that from where the present day government is functioning!
Many have written: “Insulting the Great King is a slave mentality of those people, who are serving foreign interests”
“Those who oppose the Great King, they are not Nepalis.”
Senior scholar Jagaman Gurung has stated that if King Prithivi Narayan Shah had not unified modern Nepal, we all would have been Indian citizen!
Rajesh Ahiraj, who has done PhD on Nepal’s tarai issue, has stated that those who believe unification was a crime, they are not Nepalis.
Nevertheless, the Nepal Army observed 27 Pous as the birth anniversary of the founder of the Nepal Army.
Nepal Academy also observed the day organizing an official programme. RPP, which is observing the Day as national unity day, observed the birth anniversary by offering garland on the statue of the Great King and hosting tea reception. Besides, different groups who have pride of being Nepali, organised different programmes while observing the birth anniversary of the founder of modern Nepal.
Until 2006, the birth anniversary of the Great King was being observed as the national unity day. After introduction of “loktantra”, through a conspiracy, the government scrapped the national event. Of course, we got Nepali identity and Nepal as our motherland due to the great contribution of the Great King. Of course, there are characters known as foreign agents, who had conspired to insult the Great King. Among those who were instrumental of foreign powers are Krishna Shitaula, the then home minister and the then prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala. Nepal’s history may identify them as traitor.
The colonial imperialist British ruled in India, nevertheless, they were unable to expand their colony in Nepal as King Prithivi unified small Hindu states. If the King had not unified Nepal, it is sure, we would have gone under the British colony and identified as the slave of British colonial rulers. The king, when he saw Christian campaign in Nepal, had compelled to quit Christian religion campaigners from Kathmandu. According to the history, the Malla kings in Kathmandu Valley had allowed Christian religion campaigners. After the victory over Kathmandu Valley, those Christians were ousted from the Valley by declaring Nepal as a pure Hindustan. This is the reason that Christians were unhappy with the King and wrote a history defaming the Great King. The enmity between Christians and the institution of monarchy continued until the removal of the institution of monarchy. The Christians used Nepali intellectuals and politicians as they saw no chance of Christianization of Nepal without the removal of the institution of monarchy. As a result, within 14 years of absence of monarchy, Christian Churches and Christian population have increased in a multipliable number, which is very much unfortunate!