There is now a heated argument in Nepal on whether the “secular republic” should return to its former status as a “constitutional Hindu kingdom.” According to reports, certain members of the RSS, BJP, and Indian bureaucracy would prefer a “Hindu republic” over a “monarchical Hindu Nepal.” The return of a Hindu constitutional monarchy is advantageous to both India and Nepal because of their special relationship, the profound changes in global geopolitics, and the growing attention being paid to South Asia.

This author, a former journalist who is now a politician, has recently had meetings with a number of prominent figures from several political parties. They acknowledge that Nepal is getting out of control and say they have no clue how to deal with it. However, the bulk of them concur that India’s assistance would be essential for the restoration of the Hindu monarchy in Nepal.

King Gyanendra is superior to everyone else.
After years of political unrest and escalating Maoist bloodshed, King Gyanendra assumed full authority on February 1st, 2005. Once peace had been restored in Nepal, he promised to hand up control to political parties in three years. With the aim of bringing the Maoists into a democratic process and abolishing “absolute” monarchy, India brought the Seven Parties Alliance and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) together under a 12-point agreement. However, the act precipitated a significant political realignment the next year.

In April 2006, the king’s direct authority came to an end when he consented to reconstitute the Nepali parliament. However, after the king’s exclusion, the senior officials “conspiratorially” violated the 12-point agreement’s mandate as well as an arrangement they had with the king to uphold the institution of monarchy, motivated by their own vested interests. No one anticipated that they would make Nepal a secular republic as well. The present situation has simply served to demonstrate that neither Indian nor Nepali players were able to predict the degree of departure that Nepal’s political shift may cause.

After fifteen years, King Gyanendra is no longer seen as a villain and is followed around by large crowds. The monarch reaffirmed during our recent discussion that he “belonged to every Nepali, and [that] he could not discriminate [against] people on the basis of who supported or opposed him.” He is undoubtedly the most knowledgeable and sensitive top leader in the nation about the shifting geopolitics. What prevents the main parties from openly supporting the agenda of the Hindu monarchy if the atmosphere is so friendly?

The majority of senior executives concur in private that things are not heading in the correct way. However, as is often the case, they are reluctant to reflect on and make amends for their previous errors. They are victims of the “sunk cost fallacy,” a condition in which individuals refuse to give up on futile endeavors simply because they have heavily invested in them. The 12-point agreement’s mediation by India makes it only logical for Nepali parties to see it as a review signal.

India has seldom complained about Nepal’s security throughout the monarchy period, and Nepal is cognizant that India’s security must be given first priority. The best way to ensure Nepal’s peace and stability, according to India, is to establish a culturally vibrant institution that is deeply rooted in social and traditional values and is sensitive to its neighboring country’s security interests. This is because the Maoists and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) generally hold anti-US and anti-Indian views. In reality, having a credible, stable, and uniting head of State in Nepal is very essential for the peace, stability, and long-term interests of India in particular and the whole South Asia region in general.

In Nepal, which was formerly seen to be India’s exclusive sphere of influence, India is finding it more and more difficult to preserve its historical dominance. China joined the failed peace process in Nepal after the US, EU, and UN did, and more forcefully this time. Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is anxious in regaining its international prominence and is working to develop a foothold in Nepal.

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