This “once upon a time” monarchy business and its relevance, existence and function had a deep impact on Nepalese society. We were so accustomed to this word monarchy and the system surrounding it that it is sometimes hard to believe a dynasty of 238 years has collapsed so spontaneously. “Long live the King and Queen” was a popular slogan here, whether you liked it or not. The players in the pack had orchestrated this vicious circle so well that a common person had no access. Only a very limited inner circle was participating in the musical games. Often I remember a good English proverb AS YOU SOW, SO YOU REAP. Two hundred and thirty eight years of a dynasty has collapsed in disgrace, due to their mismanagement of public affairs. As you sow, so you reap has great relevance in this case. In the past it was said: A KING CAN DO NO WRONG. There could not be any kinds of mistakes by the monarchs, they were always supposed to be right. Since Nepal is an interesting country, here interesting things always happen. A King CAN DO WRONG and DID DO WRONG here.
A big hue and cry from time to time occurs that Democracy is here due to revolution, political movement, people’s uprising and revolt against the King etc. All these versions are in some ways correct, but not completely accurate. This particular word democracy came to Nepal many times and also went many times. The recent political change to the Republic of Nepal has many root causes. In my personal opinion the individual who helped to bring the current political state of Nepal to its present scenario is Ex King Gyanendra. Who, whether knowingly or unknowingly, by his series of mistakes and wrongdoings in handling the affairs facilitated the change. Without his actions it would have taken longer to reach the present scenario. At the last SAARC conference in Sri Lanka, our then prime minister had praised the ex King and some of our other leaders in public forums. This has some foundation. Earlier when Gyanendra was a prince, he was a good man, and later he became a nice man when he became a King. Now as a simple citizen of Nepal he should understand his position. It is better to be a good man than a nice man.
Previously “once upon a time” when King Mahendra (a person having many good qualities) took power he devised a system with the help of his top class swindlers that kept the country in an imprisoned state in the name of Panchayat Democracy. If you can cunningly use this word democracy especially in the underdeveloped countries, you can appear to be doing right even though your system could be very undemocratic. If you do it nicely, confuse the people, but do not forget to use the word democracy from time to time, success is on the cards. If you cannot convince a person with a legitimate idea then another technique is to confuse them, this often works particularly in an uneducated society. The political pundits of those days devised a new form of democracy and fooled the people calling it Panchayat Democracy that was not much better than the autocratic system. In those days crafty advisors to the King were good at fooling and flattering him whilst they were busy taking advantage. Many such advisors have amassed posh property and could transfer funds to the developed countries that are beyond the normal Nepalis’ imagination. They were the swindlers like in the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
Once upon a time, one simple example of how a national property was misused is the case of the Narayanhity Royal Palace. Sold to the then His Majesty’s Government of Nepal and the money personally utilised by the Royal Family. This was a total abuse of authority and the numerous such cases of this type gradually compelled Nepali people to question the relevance of the monarchy. Then, the King was above the law, but his relatives felt immunity was their divine right as well. These collective acts of abuse were another cause that had the effect of rapidly collapsing the system. The circle completed its roundabout and continued its course, spontaneously changing the substance that was on it. So what fell where, how, and when hardly mattered, only the final result was important. The Monarchy became once upon a time ….. in Nepal.