Anti-Monarchy struggle gathers momentum in Nepal

The fake and puppet monarchy raised after the infamous palace massacre of 1 June 2001 in Nepal is now facing a massive countrywide movement for its overthrow and replacement with a republican system of government.

The anti-monarchy democratic struggle has entered a new phase with the traditional pro-monarchy parliamentary parties, and particularly their student wings, coming out in the streets with overt republican slogans in the past month.

It may be recollected that the CPN(Maoist) had given a call for institutionalisation of the republic soon after the massacre of King Birendra and his entire family, under a grand conspiracy of internal and external reactionary forces in 2001.

The masses of the people had then come into the streets and openly branded Gyanendra (the present ‘King’) and his gangster son, Paras, as “the murderers”. However, because of the vacillating posture of the major parliamentary parties and support from some international forces the regicidal and fratricidal culprits managed to stabilise themselves on the throne. The genocidal ‘Royal Nepal Army’ (RNA) provided the major internal support base for the fake monarchy. After two-and-a-half years, the situation has undergone a fundamental change.

Now the major parliamentary parties, particularly the Nepali Congress headed by Girija Prasad Koirala and the UML (Communist Party of Nepal), are increasingly realising that the dissolution of parliament in May 2002 and the direct royal take-over of power of the old state in October 2002 was under a calculated plan to snatch away the limited democratic gains of the 1990 people’s movement and restore an absolute monarchy. Also, the major international players in Nepal seem to have realised that the ‘new’ monarchy is extremely unpopular with the masses and cannot be sustained for long with mere external support.

The simmering anti-monarchy volcano has now erupted in the streets of Kathmandu and major cities. There have been daily processions and violent skirmishes with the royal police and armed forces. Defying the official positions of their parent parties, the students and youth wings of the major parliamentary parties have been raising slogans for the abolition of the monarchy and institutionalisation of a republican set-up.

The royal puppet government and its RNA have, therefore, made wild accusations of ‘infiltration of the movement by the Maoists’. This is clearly designed to scare away the parliamentary parties from ‘the Maoists’ and win them over to the royal fold once gain, which the students and the masses have been resisting so far.

Meanwhile, the ‘King’ has started his old game of ‘divide and rule’ by meeting the leaders of the parliamentary parties one by one and offering them some ‘carrots’. There are strong rumours that there will be another change of puppet government soon to diffuse the anti-monarchy movement.

However this time the leaders of the parliamentary parties seem to be more sceptical about the ‘King’ and not likely to be easily trapped in his conspiratorial net. There is tremendous pressure from the lower level cadres and intellectuals upon these leaders to stand firm against the treacherous monarchy. Hence, unless a dramatic change occurs in the situation, a decisive anti-monarchy movement seems to be in the offing in the coming months.

The CPN (Maoist) has given an open call for the overthrow of the feudal autocratic monarchy and the ushering in of a republican democratic set-up in the country. The Party believes that in the specific situation of Nepal even a bourgeois republic would be much more preferable for advancing the democratic rights of the masses.

[From Information Bulletin No.8, Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), 20 January 2004]

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