Former King regrets takeover, eyes 'guardian's role' once again

<br>Yubaraj Ghimire

July 10, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 06 No.-03 July 06 -2012 (Aashar 22,2069)<BR>

As Nepal's transition gets indefinitely prolonged and political leaders stand discredited mainly over their failure to complete the peace process and deliver the constitution within the stipulated time frame, former King Gyanendra has spoken openly in favour monarchy's restoration to keep the country united and integrated.

In his rare interview to a Television channel--News 24 telecast late last night and this morning--the former King said a referendum to decide the fate of monarchy in itself will not be a good idea. "The process of referendum itself will have two sides: for and against. The monarchy should be above controversy and political division", he said , adding "there was no referendum conducted when I was ousted."

The former King appeared reflective, refusing to speak directly against the political parties, often telling the interviewer not put 'your words in my mouth'  when he asked the political leaders cared less about 'morality' in conduct of politics and statecraft. "They are you words, and not mine", Gyanendra said."Do you have regrets over the active role you took in politics in 2005"? After a pause , he said "Yes" that came as a sort of unconditional acceptance of the mistake he committed. In another context, he however, said that he had easily quit the throne thinking the country will be united, prosperous and happy. "Nothing of that kind has happened. In fact, things are  much worse today".

The interview was given at the end of his five tour in western Nepal during his people lined up in hundreds and thousands with many complaining against the prevailing level of security, lawlessness and other problems. "In Nepal today, blood are spilled over the road in much cheaper price than buying a bottle of water", a local Muslim told him in Bhairahawa. "Religious conversion is taking place openly reducing Hindus to minority", another said. The complaints were endless with all of them asking him to do something before it was too late.

"Even at the time of leaving the palace, I had raised certain issues. I had said I will always work for the country and Nationalism, and that I will not leave the country under any circumstances". He also said that there were exchange of drafts with leaders of seven parties with clear commitment to multi-party democracy and constitutional monarchy", he said , adding "I donot know why was that not honoured". After a brief pause, he said "may they decided on removing the monarchy after they became eight', implying that Maoists joining the seven party alliance may have made all the differences.

"Yet, some times it may be better to lose or face defeat. Who knows that might also turn into a larger victory in the long run"?, he said if he felt guilty for the loss of dynasty that ruled the country for 240 years.

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