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Magazine Web Edition > October 1990 > Nepal Must Remain a Hindu State

Nepal Must Remain a Hindu State

Rijal, Nagendra Prasad

Since the beginning of civilization, Nepal has remained a Hindu state. Sometimes it was a bigger state, sometimes a smaller state, but always a Hindu state. Nepal has a unique background. It has never fought for religions. We were always liberal in religion, as Hindus are. Nepalis are 93% Hindus, in which we include Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs, 3-4% Muslim, 2-3% Christian and a few percent others. The majority of Hindus do not intrude in other religions. We have given all the facilities, all the independence for other religions also. But there are some rules, like non-conversion. The Hindu, the Muslim, the Christian, nobody can convert to another religion. And cow slaughtering is also not allowed by law.

There are many Muslim states, many Christian states, there is one Jewish state, Israel, and Nepal is the only Hindu state. By being a Hindu state, nobody experience any harm or any vexation. In some African or Muslims countries there is a very great difficulty of discrimination toward Hindus for doing their puja and religious performances. This is not so in Nepal. We have churches, we have Muslim Mosques, we have guardwaras. We have everything and they are independent. We don't give any trouble to them.

When His Majesty, King Birendra, declared the multiparty system, he gave two directions for the interim government. One was the election to be held within one year. And the other was to have a new constitution. The King agreed to be a constitutional head and within one year. And the other was to have to a new constitution. The King agreed to be a constitutional committee. One is the Congress-the democratic party-and the other is the communists. These communists began to talk and raise the Hindu/secular questions. This was not among their assigned considerations. Therefore, this question should not have been raised. Once raised, it diverted the whole thinking of the committee people. They didn't give importance to the necessary work for the framing the new constitution, but were diverted to this issue. The Christians and other interested groups inside and outside the country were also interested in these questions. But it was not necessary and the people were not demanding it.

If Nepal is not a Hindu state, then the future may bring very great hardship and be very bad, because they majority must be granted. So also they can give all or more facilities to other religions, also independence. They can spell out that we have no objection [to other faiths], but Nepal should remain a Hindu state. If it doesn't, the people will be hurt very much, not only in Nepal but in India and all over the world.

I have been to the Assembly of World Religions recently in San Francisco. There I met Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs (representing 12 countries) who expressed their support for this cause. They have appealed to the king, the Prime Minister, the constitutional adopting committee and offered very sympathy and moral support for a Hindu state. At the same time, I would like to request you to notice that no state from outside should disturb our internal working in Nepal.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.

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