Hindu Vs Secular
- Nepal declared secular as a reaction against the Hindutva brigade's perceived opposition to democracy
- Also, to provide a sense of belonging to all, irrespective of their religion
- But critics say the US and the church were behind the move
- They dub the change from a Hindu state to secular hasty-and needless.
- The detractors fear it could lead to conversion of Hindus and destroy Nepal's religious harmony
- Secularists may show their anger for religion by attacking temples
In revolutionary mode from the time King Gyanendra retreated to accept the supremacy of parliament, Nepal has been witnessing sweeping changes in its constitutional arrangement of governance—often to tremendous applause from the streets. But one among the new measures that surprised, even confused, the people was the parliament's decision to declare the world's only Hindu kingdom secular. In one stroke, the king of Nepal, recognised as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was reduced to an ordinary mortal without any divine power. And to think, only six months back the country's attorney general had in the Supreme Court claimed the king was above any man-made constitution because his responsibilities were of a divine nature.
This declaration didn't elicit an euphoric response, as had other declarations depriving the king of his powers. Secular Nepal felt its first real pinch in Uttar Pradesh's Maharajgunj-Gorakhpur area bordering Nepal. Local BJP MP Mahanth Adityanath took out a procession protesting against Nepal's decision to become secular. A few days later, people in Birgunj town, bordering Bihar, came out to block streets and burn tyres. "It's a conspiracy against our national identity," protesters shouted.