There is overwhelming support of people for the declaration of Hindu Nation in Nepal during the consultation and suggestion presenting period of drafting a new constitution.
Nepal’s four major political parties dominated by the Communists – extreme leftists, had decided to declare Nepal a secular nation. However, over 90 percent of the suggestions, the record number received during the face to face meeting and suggestions submitted through emails, online and telephone and fax to the Constituent Assembly, is for Hindu Nation, media reports and the party leaders are reported to have said.
Nepal was the only Hindu nation in the world until a decade ago. When the Maoist, a far leftist Communist Party, which launched a bloody war that claimed the lives of over 15,000, signed a peace agreement with Nepali Congress and UML in New Delhi, India in 2006, the parties agreed to declare secular state in the interim constitution.
However, the recent consultation process saw massive number of participation demanding Hindu nation instead of secular state. After the declaration of secular state, the conversion to Christianity is reported to have skyrocketed. Many churches were built even in the villages of Nepal and many people were converted to Christianity especially after Nepal was declared secular state, said Janak Shrestha of Kathmandu.
Although the Maoists leaders have said that they would not go back Hindu Nation, many political observers and other party leaders have said that the suggestions of the people will be addressed and Nepal can be declared a nation of ‘religious freedom.’ The proposed constitution has also the provision of freedom to change religion, which means allowing the conversion to be free and open. There is strong opposition for this from within and outside Nepal.
Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal, a fraction of the former royalist party led by Kamal Thapa and Khum Bahadur Khadka, an influential former Nepali Congress leader are leading the movement in political sector. However, their image is not so popular as Thapa is said to be close to ousted king Gyanendra and Khadka spent jail term on charge of corruption. ‘’If there was any major political party leading the Hindu movement, Nepal would certainly declare a Hindu nation,’’ said Prof Govind Upadhya, who is leading the campaign.
Renowned leading Hindu figures including 1008 Swami Gyananand Saraswati have also involved in the campaign to declare Nepal a Hindu nation. There are protests and mass meeting in Nepal for this purpose.
Meanwhile, Nepalese living in the United Kingdom have submitted a petition to Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Speaker of the Constituent Assembly (CA) Subhash Nembang demanding to declare Nepal a Hindu nation with religious freedom to all the minority communities. The petition was submitted to the acting ambassador at the Nepalese embassy in London on 23rd July by a group of Nepalese living in different parts of the UK, and affiliated and involved in various organisations, businesses, politics and professions have signed the 14 points petition, which shed lights why Nepal should be a Hindu nation.
‘’Secularism was not the demand of the popular movement, neither it was the agenda of any major political parties nor the 12 point understanding signed by Nepali Congress, UML and Maoists in New Delhi, therefore declaration of secularism was unfair and undemocratic’’, a press release issued by the Nepalese Hindu Forum UK stated after the submission of petition. Political party leaders and Constituent Assembly members must listen the voice of the people across the country during the consultation process, where people have expressed their demand for Hindu nation, the release added. The full content of the petition is given below:
Mr Sushi Koirala
Rt Honourable Prime Minister
Government of Nepal
Subject: Declaration of Hindu State
Rt Honourable Prime Minister,
We, the Nepalese people living in the United Kingdom and affiliated and involved in various organisations, businesses, politics and profession, would like to request you to declare Nepal as a Hindu state in the new constitution, which is in the process of drafting at present.
Why should Nepal be a Hindu nation?
1. Firstly, declaration of secular state was unfair and undemocratic as secular state was neither the demand of the popular movement nor the agenda of any political parties, nor it was the agenda and issue of the 12 point understanding signed by the Nepali Congress, UML and the Maoists in New Delhi India. The major political party leaders including you right honourable Prime Minister have referred time and again that popular movements since 1950, 12 point understanding and the wishes and demand of the people are the bottom line of the new constitution. Secularism is neither of these so this is against the fundamental rights of people.
2. Secondly, Nepal is known as a Hindu nation all over the world. Hinduism is our identity, Hinduism is our history and Hinduism is our glory, therefore Nepal should be a Hindu nation with the provision of religious freedom to all other minority religious community. Hinduism is deep rooted in our culture, tradition and everyday life of the people and Hinduism is the prestige of Nepal. This is the only historical identity that Nepal can present to the world.
3. In addition to this, over 81 % population of Nepal follow Hinduism. If we count the number of Omkar family, Sanatan Dharma followers, it is over 94 % of the population, therefore, it is unfair and undemocratic to declare secular state hurting the feelings of nearly almost all the population of Nepal. This is neither fair nor democratic so secularism is completely unacceptable.
4. There are over one billion Hindus living all over the world, and wherever they live Hindus consider Nepal as the only Hindu state in the world. Therefore Hinduism has glorified the image of Nepal; Hinduism has become the identity of Nepal and placed Nepal in a respected position in the world. Hindu temples and pilgrimage are the source of attraction to thousands of Hindus which can be a reliable source for the promotion of tourism and economic development of the country. Therefore, Nepal must be a Hindu nation.
5. Furthermore, Nepal is known as the country of origin of Sanatan Hindu religion where renowned sages and saints including Balmiki and Vedvyas, were born, lived and created renowned Hindu scriptures. However, with the declaration of secular state, this historic glory of Nepal will be deleted from our history.
6. Sanatan Hindu religion has been the social, cultural and religious tradition of Nepal since ancient time. Historical facts and evidence since ancient time clearly suggest that Nepal has deeply rooted Sanatan Hindu tradition and that tradition continued from various prehistoric periods. Pashupatinath, Muktinath, Kailash, Gokarna, Janakpur, Ruru, Barah, Lumbini, Devghat and hundreds of pilgrimages, shrines, temples, monasteries, dharmashalas and ashrams dating back thousands of years are the testimonies of this fact. The ancient temples existing for thousands of years are the clear evidence of the existence of Sanatan Hindu religion in Nepal. Therefore, this glory of long history cannot be abolished in the whims political leaders and foreign influence. Therefore Nepal must be a Hindu nation.
7. Moreover, we must also read the history of other democratic nations. We live in the United Kingdom so it is appropriate to mention this country as an example. Prime Minister David Cameroon and other leaders proudly say ‘’we are Christian nation.’’ However, the number of Christian population is less than 60 %. Why don’t Nepali leaders understand this fact and be proud of their rich religious tradition?
8. There are dozens of Christian and Islam declared countries in the world, and even in the SAARC, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the Maldives are officially Islamic countries and Bhutan is Buddhist country. Why should Nepal not be a Hindu nation?
9. The population of Jews is very few compared to the Hindus; despite this fact Israel is a Jewish nation and Jewish people all over the world are proud of this. Why the Hindus cannot see Nepal as the glorious Hindu nation?
10. In the recent newspaper reports, Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal is reported to have said that increasing Christianity in Nepal is not in the interest of neighbouring countries; India and China. Then why should not Nepal be a Hindu nation to make balance and friendly relations with the neighbouring countries?
11. Hinduism is not only the most ancient religion but also a great tolerant and peaceful religion. One of the prayer of the Hindus is ‘’ Sarve bhavantu sukhina, sarve santu niramaya, sarve bhadrani pashyantu, makaschid dukha bhagbhawet.’’ (May all be happy, may all become healthy, may all enjoy prosperity and may none suffer). Hindus pray for all. Where is the intolerance in Hinduism? Which Hindu scriptures advocate for violence? Hinduism teaches love, fraternity and brotherhood. This is the most scientific and most developed religion with so many great religious scriptures. These have started to attract the scholars, literary figures and political leaders all over the world. Albert Einstein to TS Elliot, leaders to layman, Hollywood star to academicians have attracted to Hinduism saying this is the real religion with convincing scientific bases. American president Obama always keeps Hanuman’s idol in his pocket. There are reasons for this. Many renowned figures in the west have started to practice Hinduism, many leaders including David Cameroon and Obama praise Hindus and Hinduism. Declaration of secular state will be the killing of our glorious cultural heritage. Therefore we must understand the greatness of Hinduism and declare Nepal a Hindu nation.
12. You are a democratic leader and you believe in democracy. If you are a real democratic leader then you just listen the voice of 94 % Omkar family, who are demanding Hindu nation.
13. Media reports and leaders of your own party have been saying that there is overwhelming support for Hindu nation and people have raised this voice during the recent consultation process. So as a democrat, you must listen the voice of people and declare Nepal a Hindu nation.
14. Rt honourable Prime Minister, despite the peoples’ wish and demand, despite the people’s voice and suggestion for Hindu nation, if you hesitate to declare Nepal a Hindu nation, then you must hold referendum. Therefore either hold referendum or declare Nepal a Hindu nation. Let people decide the fate of religion in Nepal. This is the democratic rights of the people and this is the most democratic process.
Right honourable Prime Minister, we would like to request you to listen the voice of Nepalese people living around the world and declare Nepal a Hindu nation.
We hope you will consider our request and suggestion, and most importantly listen the voice of people from Mechi to Mahakli and all over the world, while drafting the new constitution.
Surya Upadhya, Chairman Nepalese Hindu Forum UK (NHFUK)
Chiranjibi Paudyal, General Secretary, NHFUK
Ravi Jung Lamichhane, Businessman, Founding member NHFUK
Durga Pokhrel, Spiritual Advisor NHFUK
Nabraj Neupane, Regional Chairman NPCCUK
Rosan Sapkota, Businessman, Political Activist
Kirti Pant, Former chairman Greater Reading Nepalese Community Association (GRNCA)
Ujjal Dhakal, Project Planner Engineer
Mahesh Acharya, Coordinator, Highly Skilled Migrants Forum
Baburam Banstola, Treasurer, Nepali Pran Yoga Group
Devendra Manandhar, NHFUK
Mrs Jessica Lamichhane
Miss Sagun Chhetri
Ramesh Paudel, NPCCUK
Mrs Punam Gurung
Mrs Arunima Shrestha
Names of many petitioners affiliated to various political parties, professions and organisations have been withheld in their requests.
Source: WHN Media Network