The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) tried to prevent the emergence of Nepal as a republic in 2008 as it wanted to retain it as the World’s last ‘Hindu Kingdom’, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) felt.
Krishna Mahara, a member of the Maoist Central Committee of Nepal expressed the fear in a letter written to Nancy Powell, the American Ambassador to Nepal in 2007.
Mahara had written the letter when intense negotiations and manoeuvering was going on between the Maoists — who wanted full democracy under a republican form — and the ruling ‘royalits’ who wanted Nepal to remain as a Kingdom. The Maoists wanted Nepal to be declared a republic even before the constituent assembly elections — an aim they would not succeed in.
However, the Maoists went on to emerge as the largest party in the elections held in 2008 and formed the government, which abolished the Monarchy and converted the Palace into a Museum and Nepal into a Republic.
Indian policy towards the republican movement was often accused of being coloured by its perception that the Maoists were closer to China than to Nepal’s ‘traditional’ ally, India.
The cable released by Wikileaks shows that despite the fact that Maoists and the Americans represented the two extremes of economic ideology, the former thought it better to reach out to the Americans to let them know what is happening.
Krishna Mahara pointed out that while the United States may not “be able to support all of the CPN(Maoist) activities,” it was desirable that it had a “a deeper understanding of its problems and goals.
“Presently, we are very much concerned about the interference from elements south of our border. For some time we have had intelligence regarding this possibility and in the past few months our fears have been proven true.
“Just lately, the announcement by a BJP leader regarding their support for the Monarchy has only confirmed this fact. And, for him to be so bold as to speak publicly in such a manner has caused us to be all the more concerned that these elements will be very active in the forthcoming Constituent Assembly election.
“Unfortunately, since 1991, the outcome of the elections in Nepal has been greatly affected by money, power and family connections.
“Consequently, we fully expect that BJP and others like them will be quite willing and able to inject large amounts of money in support of candidates of their liking and that this alone could significantly change the outcome of the election as elements like BJP and others in India are making every effort to keep the monarchy in Nepal as the defender and protector of Hindu faith and to keep Nepal as the Hindu kingdom.
“But we are fighting for the abolition of the institution of monarchy which we consider as the main enemy of the Nepali people and for full religious freedom where the state treats all religions equally,” he noted.
Mahara pointed out that the King was forced to agree to call for a constitutent assembly after a bloody civil war lasting a decade, in which millions of Nepalis risked their lives.
“We feel we would be poor stewards, as leaders of the revolution, if we were to knowingly allow this credible
threat to our Democracy form the South to succeed.
“Consequently, we have found it necessary to demand that Nepal be declared a republic at this time.. Otherwise, the Constituent Assembly election.. could be significantly affected and the election become a sham…
“If the Constituent Assembly election does not result in a republic and bring an end to the gross government corruption and injustices of the past, then we are fearful of where it will lead our nation,” he added.
The ambassador, in her update on the contents of the latter to Washington, pointed out that the letter was delivered by K.B. Rokaya, “a Nepali Christian leader who was recently appointed as a member of the National Human Rights Commission.”
The CPN(M) lost power in 2009 to a coalition led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist).
Nepal was considered the World’s last ‘Hindu Kingdom’ as the official religion of the Kingdom under the Kings was Brahmanical Hinduism. India, on the other hand, was declared a secular state sixty years ago. The BJP represents right-of-center politics in India.