28 July, 2021

Spring Is Nigh In Nepal

With universal disapproval, how long will Gyanendra's chairmanship last? Updates

Sandeep Adhwaryu
Spring Is Nigh In Nepal
It has been a year since the king of Nepal descended from the throne and pedestal and proclaimed himself chairman of council of ministers. On February 1, 2005, Gyanendra Bir Bickram Shah Dev conducted a coup d'etat with the support of the Royal Nepal Army, and began illegal, unconstitutional, unprincipled direct rule. And yet, many had nurtured the hope that the royal personage had a plan, either to motivate the military as its 'supreme commander-in-chief', or to cut a deal with the Maoists to usher in a lasting peace.

It turned out that the chairman had no plan, no strategy; only a hankering for absolute power not sanctioned by the 1990 Constitution, a document that reserved sovereignty for the people. Before long, it also became apparent that the chairman was not a capable administrator, nor a political leader. All of this would have been merely poignant had the royal takeover not added immeasurably to the miseries of 26 million citizens.

On Wednesday, February 1, 2006, the chairman gave a televised address to the nation. Using the royal 'we', he misrepresented the...

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