Veteran republican activist Ramraja Prasad Singh was visiting the sprawling palace grounds for a third time, but the first as a free man.These are some noble words. Any student of American history might immediately see a kinship here. From the Times of India, we get this account:
"I was here as a prisoner twice before," said the 73-year-old, who bombed royal statues in Kathmandu in 1985. "King Mahendra saw me when I was brought in as a prisoner in 1971. He tried to buy me off and I told him I was not for sale," said Singh.
For Singh, the event marked the end of a long road that began in the early 1960s when he started to campaign for Nepal to become a republic.
"My whole aim, my mission in life has been to overthrow the monarchy. I never wanted to be anybody's subject or slave," he said. "I never actually believed this day would come."
"I had read a book that said there are upheavals when momentous changes take place," [Prime Minister] Koirala said, referring to Ayn Rand's influential novel 'Atlas Shrugged'. "I don't know whether the ground shook or not but all eyes are on Nepal for setting a unique example of instituting a republic without any bloodshed."What's missing from this account, however, is what a republic means to the Nepalese. They have overthrown the monarchy and are going to replace it with... what, exactly?
By the Communist Party of Nepal -- backed by armed gangs of Maoist youth -- and 20 some odd other political parties, vying for power and control, trading barbs and blame. From another AFP article:
...Nepal's mainstream parties argue it is too early to hand over full power to the Maoists, and insist that the peace process has not been completed. Koirala's Nepali Congress, the second largest party in the constitutional assembly, has laid down a set of preconditions that the ex-rebels must meet before it will back them in government.There appear to be no fundamental principles advocated by any of the players in this farce, except perhaps bad ones by the communists. The holdouts from the old government are hoping that the Maoists will give back the land they seized. The absurdity of this is amazing. The whole point of communism is full-scale seizure of all property to be redistributed to "the people". I predict that begging by the bourgeois to have their land back won't have much of an effect.
"They have to give back the land and property they seized during the conflict," senior Nepali Congress official Arjun Narsingh Khatri Chettri told AFP.
The Maoists' feared youth wing -- who face constant accusations of using mafia-like tactics -- "are an organised group of goons who have been creating anarchy," and must be disbanded, the politician said.
The result is that with the king ousted, Nepal is drifting along with an interim constitution, interim head of state and interim government.
Meanwhile, some former Maoists are hanging onto their guns until the situation clears. [bold added]
Instead of a true revolution and an establishment of an independent republic--a government of laws and not of men--founded on core principles of individual rights, the Nepalese "revolution" has as its prime movers those who might yearn for something closer to a Soviet-style "socialist republic". It doesn't take much of a stretch to predict it will soon after devolve into a totalitarian dictatorship led by a military junta much like Burma/Myanmar.
One can assume that there is very little real opposition to this, and the loudest contrary words are from those who beg for the return of seized lands. To whom they should be returned is unknown, because it's doubtful there was any form of property rights prior to the downfall of the monarchy.
Without a political philosophy founded on individual rights, as has been the case in all other "revolutions" in recent memory, I fear this situation will quickly be distilled to its essence: the rule of men, by thugs, for thugs. When that happens, unless "Veteran republican activist Ramraja Prasad Singh" is on the "right" side of the pull equation, he's going to face much worse than he did under the previous kings.