All Hail the new Republic!
So Nepal has finally arrived. Through years of struggle against autocratic rule, through years of false democracy and strife to the people, through civil wars and a Maoist uprising, through a right royal bloodbath and a king in a coma and finally through the overthrowing of an evil monarch who by all senses of the word was a paranoid control freak, the forces of true democracy have come!
Ok, maybe that passage there was a bit too dramatic and biased by usual journalistic standards, but they just represent the general public sentiment that I believe must be prevailing in Nepal right now. The Maoist have gone as far as to ask the king to leave the royal palace within a week and they have made their intentions clear to turn it into a museum. Also they have been kind enough to allow the former king to ‘live in the country as an ‘ordinary civilian’. So if King Gyanendra was expecting British royal family like treatment then he obviously has a lot more rethinking to do. After seizing all power and dissolving parliament last year and holding what many denounced to be staged elections, the old king looks to have brought down this fate upon himself.
But the new Maoist leader Prachanda (A nick-name im sure a lot of us Sri Lankans will be wondering about) is willing to consider giving the king some sort of role within the constituency if that is the ‘will of the people.
The downfall of the monarchy was speeded up all the more after the massacre of 2001 where the then crown prince Dipendra shot and killed most of the royal family (including then king and his father King Birendra) before apparently turning the weapon upon himself and missing the shot badly enough that he was in a coma for a few days until succumbing to his injuries and was proclaimed king in the meanwhile as well.
The Nepalese seem to have never fully accepted the circumstances and the explanations widely spread with regard to the royal massacre and several conspiracy theories abound. The most famous of course named the real culprit of the killings to be King Gyanendra himself who of course being next in-line to the throne after Dipendra, stood most to gain from the killing of the existing king and the disposal of the person next in line.
Dipendra was a PHD holder and said to be quite skilled in the art of karate. He was Eton educated and was incidentally disciplined in that school for selling alcohol. This is an insignificant fact of course; we all get up to nonsense get disciplined in school. But such a fact can be used to definitely tarnish someone’s character and even make him look like he is even capable of mass murder in the hands of an artful propagandist. The most voiced of the conspiracy theorists claims are that Dipendra was a right handed man, but he shot himself on the left side of his head. Now why would that happen?
There is a new book detailing eyewitness accounts of what happened that night and a former palace worker details how she saw individuals ‘masked’ as the crown prince opening fire. Incidentally Gyanendra’s wife and son were also present that night and his wife escaped with minor injury while his son walked away uninjured. Gyanendra himself was away from the palace at the time of the incident.
If anyone was lookin for a motive; Dipendra was claimed to have been angry at his parents for their refusal to grant permission to marry his first love from a rival family. Sounds a bit like Romeo and Juliet from a parallel universe eh.
The way the wind blows
Prachanda Is said to be inspired by Peru’s Shining Path rebels and is said to be a bit on the puritanical side outlawing alcohol and denouncing ‘vulgar literature’ from India and the States.
Whatever the implications of this new rule will be it will not go unnoticed by Nepal’s two regional powers India and China. India has a long history of political manipulation in the Nepalese Government and obviously Maoists in rule there would provoke fears of China’s hidden influence. Meanwhile, Mr. Prachanda (Fierce one) holds the reigns of this republic and we will soon see which way she leans after she completely wakes up.