Kathmandu: The former King of Nepal Gyanendra Shah is returning home March 25, 2009, if every thing goes smoothly in New Delhi where he has already arrived.
Though coined as a private visit, however, the manner some highly influential Indian leaders greeted the former Nepali monarch, does tell that Gyanendra Shah may have lost his post and pride back home but yet he is being revered by the Indians with Hindu religion bend as if he were the Hindu Emperor, still.
To the extent that when former Nepal King was in Madhya Pradesh last week, he has had to appeal the local government and the authorities there not to “accord” him the “official” honor as he was just on a private trip there.
“Let it go as a private and unofficial affair”, is what the former Nepali Monarch told his hosts in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat States in India.
“No fan fare please”, he then suggested his Indian hosts in order to keep his trip in a low profile.
But the former King’s secret talks with Narendra Modi, one of the top-notch of the Bharatiya Janata Party, have some political connotation(s) even if the visit was publicized as a private one.
The King met Narendra Modi, the incumbent Chief Minister of Gujarat, India, in Nepal’s erstwhile national dress on March 12, 2009 at the latter’s official residence.
Question now arises as to why the former Nepal monarch could have presented himself before the Gujarat Chief Minister, Modi, in his former official national attire? What he wanted to sound the Indian leader through the national dress that he was wearing in during the said meet?
By the way, back in Nepal, Nepal’s national dress, whatever it were in the past, have lost its meaning.
This could be a non-issue for some but it is loaded with political meaning.
Meeting Modi implies that the King wanted to push his inner grievances to the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party-BJP- seated at the upper echelons of the Indian party and let’s presume that by now the ex-King’s messages must have approached those in Delhi who mean much in the Indian politics through the kind courtesy of Chief Minister Modi who is himself a fundamentalist Hindu.
The Indian party-the BJP is a fundamentalist Hindu party which still reveres the Nepal King as the Emperor of the entire Hindus scattered all over the world.
His visit to some well known Hindu temples in India apparently sent messages to the Hindus all over the world that he be taken in the same esteem and honor as he used to receive while he was the reigning monarch of the world’s last Hindu Kingdom, Nepal, though in Nepal he is denied the same honor and respect.
Thus former King Gyanendra has been able to play his “religion card” well, claim the Hindu sources in Indian Capital-Delhi.
Beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2009, he must have already opened his political cards as he is already in Delhi.
Let’s presume by now that he has already opened his cards from under his sleeves. Since he is yet to see the Indian Queen, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the former monarch will expectedly push his (lost) case strongly.
To recall, Sonia and ex-King Gyanendra are very close friends since the days when Gyanendra was just His Royal Highness.
Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia used to reside in the private residence of His Royal Highness Gyanendra’s residence at Nirmal Nivas as back as in the early 1980s as and when they used to make a Nepal trip, if one were to recall.
Not confirm yet but he is expected to meet leaders of the ruling congress party and of the current opposition, the BJP indeed, and discuss on fresh Nepal events. He is expected to bring up the issue with the Indian leaders as to why he was so callously dethroned?
Analysts have been told that the day former King Gyanendra landed in Delhi, February 25, 2009, on his way to Madhya Pradesh to attend the wedding ceremony of one of his close relatives, he successfully managed to handover a secret packet to Sonia Gandhi, the President of the ruling Indian Congress.
Question now could be asked as to what was inside the said packet which was sent to Sonia Gandhi straight?
Our own sources in Delhi claims that the packet contained nothing other than a copy of the “agreement” signed by the then agitating Nepali leaders wherein the Nepali leaders have put their authentic signature and have stated that if the King reinstated the then dead parliament then the King’s place will remain secure whatever political changes grip the nation in the following days. This agreement was made April 21, 2006.
The said agreement is a strong proof for the King as the said accord was made in the presence of the then visiting Indian emissary, Dr. Karan Singh, who had come to Nepal to mediate in between the King and the agitating seven leaders as back as in April 2006.
The former King’s plea has been that when his place in the country’s politics and in the constitution had been guaranteed by the said agreement then why all of a sudden he was made defunct and his institution summarily dismantled? Dr. Karan Singh is considered to be a very close associate of Mrs. Gandhi and a “relative” of the former Nepal King as well.
To recall, it was as per this agreement the King on April 21, 2006, reinstated the then dead parliament and invited the agitating parties to nominate the next Prime Minister for the country.
However, things changed much to the chagrin of the then King. The seven parties forgot that they had assured the King of his secured place through the agreement- the eye witness of which was Dr. Karan Singh-the Indian emissary himself.
The King was further pressed by the agitating parties and had to make yet another address to the nation on April 24, 2009, wherein he yielded completely to the demands of the agitating parties.
The then Indian Foreign Secretary, Shyam Saran, presumed to be the real and “authoritative” mentor of the Maoists then residing in NOIDA, New Delhi, summarily rejected the King’s first address by calling an instant pres-conference in his office. The agitation then only took a different turn pressing the King to make yet another address. This is how the mater stood then. The King yielded.
The former King now in India is perhaps hoping against hope.
But he has a strong point. He has the copy of the fateful agreement and thus he is expected to forward his plea that his institution should be revived in whatever form it could be managed by taking all Nepali parties into confidence.
If he meets Sonia Gandhi, which is very much likely to happen early next week, will perhaps push his case seriously. However, the King’s case will gain weight if Dr. Karan Singh intervenes.
Some thing more has come to the notice of this paper which throws ample light on why the Indian Prime Minister got annoyed with Nepal King Gyanendra in Jakarta in 2005 April.
On the sidelines of the Jakarta Summit, King Gyanendra and Dr. M.M. Singh meet at a Hotel.
By this time the agitation in Nepal had not taken any significant momentum.
During the meet and after exchanging diplomatic courtesies, the Indian PM proposed that the next Nepal Prime Minister be of India’s choice.
This annoyed the King who retorted by stating, “If so then why you don’t become yourself the Prime Minister of Nepal?”
This heated debate ended the talks in Jakarta. Nevertheless, this does explain as to how the Indian leaders poke their nose in Nepal’s internal affairs. The height of naked interference that it was by all means which was exhibited by Dr. Man Mohan Singh-the Indian Prime Minister. He could have concluded that Nepal was an extended territory of the former British colony to which it is not.
The same year in November 25, 2005, when the Nepal King pressed the SAARC leaders that China be awarded an “observer” status in the SAARC regional body, Dr. Singh’s annoyance increased further and it is perhaps after this China episode the Indian establishment took a decision that the Nepali Royalty deserved a penal action of the highest order.
India still considers China as number one enemy and arch-rival.
Things then moved as per the wishes of the Indian regime.
The rest what followed then we all know better. The King was dethroned and the country declared a republic on May 28, 2008.
The former King vacated the Royal Palace on June 11, 2008.
Nevertheless, what could be taken for granted that if the King had not annoyed Dr. Singh in Jakarta, Indonesia, and later in Dhaka over China’s entrance into the regional organization, his institution could have been easily saved. After all, China did not come to the rescue of King Gyanendra when he needed the Chinese support most. Admit this fact.
This applies equally to the Indian Prime Minister as well. Had he not put extra pressure on Nepal King, the Chinese influence in Nepal could not have been to the extent to what it is now.
Both have been penalized. But the one who immediately lost his 240 year long throne, crown and scepter is the former King or better say the last King of Nepal.
Now it remains to be seen as to how former King takes into confidence the Indian leaders who not only count in Nepali politics but possess the right to chart Nepal’s future as well.
(This story has already been printed in the Telegraph weekly dated March 18, 2009. The second part of the story will appear Wednesday morning, March 25, 2009): Chief Ed.