//Nepal fears interference from Hindu right

Nepal fears interference from Hindu right

Seema Guha, DNA, May 30, 2006 

NEW DELHI: Events in Nepal since King Gyanendra was stripped off his powers have so far gone according to the script dictated by the Maoists. Political parties, the Maoists and civil society are hoping to begin a brand new democratic chapter in the Himalayan kingdom.

The one disquieting aspect is the report of demonstrations in some areas of Nepal against the May 18 declaration by Prime Minister G P Koirala that Nepal would now on be a secular state instead of a Hindu kingdom. Though the protests did not attract much attention, there is unease among many in Nepal that the pro-Hindu feelings of some sections of the country may be exploited by King Gyanendra to build up a constituency for himself. These sections fear that with a little bit of prodding from India’s Hindu group’s the move may gain momentum.

“My fear is Indian domestic politics infringing into Nepal. The worst thing that can happen now is for a desperate monarch to play the Hindu card. He has already been humiliated and could be encouraged by Hindu fundamentalists in India to hit back. This could be dangerous and Indian political groups must make sure that they do not instigate royalists in Nepal and fix religion with politics,” says Kunda Dixit, senior political analyst and editor of Nepali Times.

Indian officials, while acknowledging that there may be some elements in the country unhappy about what is happening in Nepal, believe they cannot interfere in the affairs of another country. But these fears become very real, when Hindu nationalists like J G Arora write provocative stuff like what recently appeared in Central Chronicle, Bhopal. “Events in Nepal concern every Hindu in Nepal, in India and everywhere else. The issue in Nepal is not of monarchy versus democracy as has been wrongly projected by some sections of the media. The issue is that of having a friendly Hindu nation versus a communist dictatorship in India’s neighbourhood. The issue is that of native Hindu governance versus a totalitarian communist regime like China, Vietnam or North Korea. The issue is of preservation of Hindu culture and heritage in Nepal, in India and in rest of the world.’’

And again “Demolition of the only Hindu country in the world will be disastrous for Hindus, and will lead to gradual destruction of Hindu heritage all over the world…. Since government in India is passively watching the gradual demolition of Hindu nation of Nepal, organisations and individuals who understand Hindu anguish must do their best to preserve Nepal as a Hindu country,’’ Arora wrote.

While sections of the Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal have decried the fall of the only Hindu monarch, the BJP has been much more discreet. Despite their concerns, the BJP as so far not come in with an official line criticising Koirala’s new government.