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Rajendra Lingden: Monarchy and Hindu state only way to bring stability

Rajendra Lingden: Monarchy and Hindu state only way to bring stability

A right-wing pro-monarch leader has claimed that only the return of monarchy and declaration of Nepal as a Hindu state would bring stability to the Himalayan Nation.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Rajendra Prasad Lingden, chairperson of right-wing pro-monarch Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) claimed the present political system has failed and needs reform.

Lingden, also the parliamentary leader of the fifth largest party in the parliament with 14 seats, called for the dismissal of the federal structure claiming it to be costly and unfavorable.

“In the context of Nepal, in order to make it a peaceful, stable and prosperous nation, the provincial system of governance should be dismissed and the Hindu nation as well as the monarchy should be reinstated. On the basis of it peace and stability would prevail and the people's representative would then be able to take forward the developmental works,” Lingden told ANI.

According to Lingden, the party has been using the fronts of the road as well as parliament to raise awareness and garner its support from the public to bring about the changes. The pro-monarchist leader stated that the party would convince existing parties to agree on a point to make changes in the constitution making them realize the failure in delivery which was promised at the time of change.

“The existing political parties who have stood in line with the republic, secularism and federalism, those political parties would be convinced and made to agree for it for change. The reason would be their own roadmap which led their country to this phase has been proven wrong. The current malpractice has proved this system to be wrong. In order to correct it, we would convince them to make the correction and reinstate the monarchy, Hindu state and annul the federalism, moving forward with a new roadmap which would be achieved through mutual understanding and the conviction,” Lingden added.

Demands for a Pro-monarch system have continued to rise in the Himalayan Nation in recent years with huge turnovers seen in the protest called by various pro-monarch groups. Thousands of people took part in a pro-monarch protest organized in the capital Kathmandu on 23 Nov 2023, which clashed with the police for hours where pro-monarch chants along with others relating to loan shark laws were heard.

Earlier this year on April 9, thousands of pro-monarch supporters rallied in Kathmandu and broke into a restricted zone in front of Singha Durbar, the administrative capital of the nation, defying the tear gas and water cannons used by the Police.

Lingden who had led the protest claims it to be a result and testament to rising frustration/ dissatisfaction of people towards the existing system of governance.

“Now the calls for a Hindu state and the monarchy are rising. People now are realizing that replacing the King with a President has led to the inclination in the respect and value of the nation. The public in real-time is experiencing it. In bygone days many had thought that the nation could operate in the absence of monarchy, develop and prosper, there are countries in existence in the absence of Kingship, and it worked as a driving force. Making a comparison of the past and present and the place of Nepal in the world arena, the lowering graph also might have made people realize the importance of the monarchy in any form, the essence of a strong guardianship,” the leader of the right-wing pro-march party said.

“On the other hand, being an independent nation and its prerequisites apart from the geography, the governing system—the existence of the monarchy, only Hindu state in the world, like we have been saying the country of Mount Everest, Hindu state and the Monarchy also would add-on identity to Nepal. It has been realized lately which has given rise to the Hindu state and the monarchical system.”

Nepal in the year 2006 had abolished a centuries-old constitutional monarchy after then King Gyanendra seized power and imposed an emergency sending all the leaders under house arrest. The movement also referred to as ‘People’s Movement II’ witnessed bloodshed with dozens killed in the crackdown against protestors by the government.

After weeks of violent protest and increasing international pressure, Gyanendra gave up and reinstated the dissolved parliament, the dawn of a new democracy is highlighted as Lokantantra (People’s Rule).

Upon being asked about the form of the monarchy that the RPP is promising, Lingden replied, “When we talk about monarchy, there is a perception that the King is only related to RPP. Those who follow us (RPP) also are under the illusion that the King whose reinstatement we are talking about only relates to us but the King which RPP is talking about, whether you call it figurative, cultural, constitutional or any of the name to be given, it (Kingship) will perform the duty as a parental institution, bounded by the constitution and the parliament would have the rights to appoint the successor. We are doing so because the concept which we have proposed has the provision of a Directly elected Prime Minister with executive rights, which gives the King a limited right to remain within the boundaries of the constitution. The Kingship which was in practice in bygone days does not come under our proposed monarchical system.”

Formed in the 1990s after lift of the ban on the formation of political parties by then monarchical system, the RPP since then served as the force always supporting the Kingship. It also has been taking part in periodic elections and presenting its demands forth.

In the year 2008 right after the overthrow of monarchy rule from Nepal, the RPP had secured eight seats in the Constituent Assembly out of the 575 seated strong parliament. In the 2013 election, it was able to secure 13 seats while in the year 2017, it fell down to one seat while it bounced back in the election of 2022 with 14 seats.

The party since its inception has been supporting the Hindu State and the Kingship as interdependent in the tiny nation buffered between two giants India and China. The Himalayan Nation of Nepal has a population of 30.55m with a Hindu population of 81.19 percent as per the census of 2022.

With rising demands for the Hindu state and monarchy, Lingden also clarified that the party’s demand would be inclusive and not based on any religious ultraism feared by minority groups. ANI