Gathering held to demand Hindu state

Gathering held to demand Hindu state
KATHMANDU, Aug 7: Demanding Nepal to be reinstated as a Hindu state a mass gathering was organized on August 7 at Khullamanch in Kathmandu. The ‘Birat Dharma Sabha’ saw an impressive turnout of people against secularism.

“Declaring a predominantly Hindu country a secular state would hurt the sentiments of many,” said one of the speakers addressing the gathering. “We participated in the people’s movement to get a nation that was truly ours and not a country in which we are forced to convert to another religion,” he added. Comments were made on the rise in the number of individuals converting to other religions.

Religious leaders present at the gathering urged the audience to take up the issue with seriousness and press the Constituent Assembly to amend the provision on religion in the draft constitution.

Supporters thronged venue carrying yellow banners and flags. The gathering had thrown Valley traffic out of gear for some time.

According to statistics, 81.3 percent of Nepal’s population identify themselves as Hindu. Prior to the people’s movement in 2008, the country was officially a Hindu state, but was declared a secular state after 2008. People have given mixed reactions on the issue during feedback collection on the draft constitution.

A faction of the population has strongly approved of secularism, whereas others are for reinstating Nepal as a Hindu state.