Former king of Nepal allied with Hindu extremists to return to power?

April 2, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india, Persecution

Nepal, March 30, 2012: Tired of the political chaos, the poor call for a return of the Hindu monarchy. King Gyanendra will visit the poorest districts in the far west of Nepal during the Easter period to foment religious sectarianism. During Holy Week Christians are calling for respect for religious freedom in the new constitution.

The former monarch Gyanendra is taking advantage of the political and economic chaos in the country to see Hinduism return as the state religion. In Easter Week, the last king of Nepal and hundreds of his supporters will visit the western districts, dominated by poverty, ignorance and overpopulation, to persuade residents to support a new absolute Hindu monarchy and eradicate the presence of other faiths. According to media reports in Nepal, Gyanendra is also seeking support in the Hindu extremist movements, responsible for numerous attacks against Christians.

Lokendra Bahadur Chanda, former Prime Minister at the time of the monarchy, from the region of the Maha-Kali (far west of the country), explains that in the region, poor people are tired of the government politicians who in recent years have ignored their problems. The politician confirms that among the population a revival of Hindu monarchy and Hinduism as the state religion is growing. According to Sher Bahadur Deuba, former Premier and representative in the western districts of the Congress Party (Conservative), few want a return to a confessional state. “The Hindu monarchy – he says – has no chance to return to power. The country is secular and all the main political parties are making efforts to write a new constitution with no permanent record of the religion.” The political leader points out that religious minorities are a resource for the country and announces that he will give his best wishes to Christians who are preparing to celebrate Easter.

Nepal is a secular state since 2006, after centuries of an absolute Hindu monarchy. The interim constitution guarantees religious freedom and secularism, but the Hindus have a great influence on the population and institutions. Since June 23, 2011 the approval two laws are pending that restrict freedom of converting to a religion other than Hinduism. If validated, they will be included in the new constitution, to be submitted by May 27, four years after the United Nations agreement. Catholics and Protestants have recently submitted a document to parliament calling for respect for religious freedom in the future constitution.

Each Easter, the Protestant community organizes a meeting in central Kathmandu, despite the risk of provocations by Hindu movements. Ishu Karki, a Protestant pastor, said the event will bring thousands of people. “The country has changed – he says – the people have respect for our religion and will not disturb our celebrations”.

– asianews

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