Political history of Nepal
Politics is a process by which groups of people make decisions. The term is generally applied to behavior within civil governments, but politics has been observed in all human group interactions, including corporate, academic and religious institutions. It consists of social relations involving authority or power and refers to the regulation of a political unit, and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy.
Previous Rulers of Nepal
1: The Gopals
Gopals are the first rulers of Nepal. They used to look after the cow. When Kathmandu valley was founded by Manjushree by cutting the hill of Katuwal from Southern Part of Kathmandu, Gopals came from India (Mathura) and started to rule in Nepal. Gopal was the NIP caste people. They entered from the western part of Nepal near Gandaki region. When they were NIP kind of people and with many practices, NIP became Naip and later on they practiced AALA, and it is called Nepal. The first king of Gopal was Bhumigupta and the last kind was Jitgupta. In the period of Gopal, Nepal was small. In the eastern part, Nepal was till Dhuhkoshi, western part till Trishuli, northern part till Gosainkunda and southern part till Chitlang. Even Gopals were started to cultivate the land in Kathmandu valley.
2: The Mahispals
Mahispals are the second rulers of Nepal. They used to look after buffalo. It is said that the last kind of Gopal named Jitgupta did not have any children because, in kingship, a son is a king after the death of his father. But Jitgupta was childless. This news was found by Mahispals who sere AATHIR caste people. Mahispal came from Simraunaghad, they attached to Gopals and Barshing became the first kind of Mahispals and later Jayasingh and Bhubansingh became king.
3: The Kirats
When Mahipals were ruling, Kirat came from the eastern part of Nepal and attacked them. They started to rule in Nepal. Kirat are those people who used to live in the cave and their face was like Chinese and Mongolians. Kirat ruled a long time in Nepal. Yalambar is the first king of Kirats and Gasti is the last king. The art and architecture were started to make from kirat periods. In Kirat period, Nepal was bigger than the Mahispal period. Kirat ruled 900 years in Nepal where there was a great change in art, architecture, political activities and so on.
4: The Lichhavi
After kirat, Lichhavi ruled in Nepal. They ruled 8oo years in Nepal. Lichhavi came from India (Baishali) at that time Baishali was the republic. The state of Magath, a ruler Ajatsatru attacked in Baishali and Lichhavi entered in Nepal. And there occurred conflict between those people who were in favor of republic and kingship. In Vaishali, Lichhavi lost the state and entered Nepal. Lichhavi were very clever and by attacking Kirat, they started to rule in Nepal in which they won the Kathmandu valley. Jayadev 1 became the first king of Nepal and later on Brishdev, Shankardev, Dharmadev, and Manadev became the king of Nepal. Manadev was very famous king in Lichhavi period because he is only one king in the history, who was scripted the history about the year of 464 A.D. in Changunarayan. When Manadev was young, 21 years old his father Dharmadev suddenly died and he became king. Even Manadev attacked eastern part and western part of Nepal and ruled in Kathmandu. Later on, he established Garuda Pillar in ChanguNarayan temple in which he has scripted history. Even king Aushubarma played the vital role in Nepal and due to his effective work, the period was called golden age. He has contributed to political activities, economic aspects, trade, agriculture production, animal farm, establishing coin and many other social attributes.
From 9th century to 12th century, Nepal was known as DARK AGE. After Muslims attacked in this period, in Nepal the kings became powerless and there is not any historical event in this period. Muslims destroyed temples, monuments, statues, and some are stolen by them. But in this period KARNATAKA state was powerful.
5: The Mallas
The Malla Dynasty was a ruling dynasty of Nepal from 12th to 18th century. The Mallas were the ruling clan of the Malla Mahajaanapada. They later shifted to Kathmandu valley. In Nepal, the first Malla king was Abhaya Malla, the son of Ari Deva. Mallas were rich and capitalist too. When king Yaksha Malla died, the nation was divided into two Malla kingdom such Bhakatupr and Kathmandu later Patan also. There are huge temples, palace, and monuments right now which was built in the period of Malla. There are three powerful Malls king of three Mall kingdoms.
A: Pratap Malla of Kantipur
B: Siddhi Narasimha Malla of Lalitpur
C: Bhupatindra Malla of Bhaktapur
The Malla dynasty rulers ruled in the Kathmandu valley till Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered the valley from them in 1768 to 1769. The last kings were Jayaprakash Malla of Kantipur, Tejnarsingh Malla of Lalitpur and Rajanjit Malla of Bhaktapur.
*King Prithvi Narayan Shah: 1723- 1775
Prithvi Narayan Shah was Nepali nobleman. He was the ninth generation of the descendant of Dravya Shah, the founder of the ruling house of Gorkha. Prithvi Narayan Shah‘s successful entry began with the union of Nepal. Before his period, Nepal was divided into small kingdoms and he contributed the reunification of all kingdoms. In 1743 Prithvi Narayan Shah succeeded to the throne of Gorkha and set out for the unification of Nepal. By September 1768, he became the king of Nepal. Before the unification of Nepal, there were 22 states in eastern part of Nepal and 24 states in western part of Nepal and 3 three states in Kathmandu valley, later on, King Prithvi Narayan Shah unified all kingdoms.
The Rana dynasty ruled the Kingdom of Nepal from 1846-1953, reducing the Shah monarch to a figurehead and making Prime Minister and other government positions hereditary. Jung Bahadur Rana was a ruler of Nepal and founder of Rana dynasty of Nepal.
Political Parties and the introduction of democratic ideas in Nepal
A side effect of this education in India has been the growing political consciousness of the exiled Nepalese. They got entrance to western political ideas and many of them actively took part in the Indian independence movement. Quite a number of them were members of the Indian National Congress, while others joined the Communist Party of India. At the time, when the Ranas prevented the formation of political and social organizations in Nepal, the emigrant Nepalese were even able to found political parties in India. In January 1947 some minor political and student organizations on the initiative of B.P.Koirala joined under the name of Nepali Rastriya Congress or Nepali National Congress. When the British left India the Rana government deviated from the principle of political isolation and tried for international recognition by extending diplomatic relations to evade political pressure from India. Independent India regarding the Rana system as outdated and tyrannical showed growing support for oppositional politics in Nepal, especially among the exiled Nepalese living in India.
Nepal’s political events of 1950/51 have often been praised as a people’s revolution (janakranti). This proves problematic because political changes were not brought about by the masses, but they were the result of the cooperation of internal and external forces in a highly effective regional political situation. The treaty of peace and friendship of July 31, 1950, gave the Ranas the last hope for the survival of their political system, but at the same time, it guaranteed the continuation of Indian influence and infiltration of Nepal. The toleration and unofficial support of the armed rebellion of the Nepali Congress confirmed the politicians of that party in their positive view of India and kept them dreaming of creating a democratic Nepal with Indian support. King Tribhuvan’s flight arranged by India and the so-called Delhi compromise initiated by Nehru in discussions with the Ranas and King Tribhuvan finally led to the restoration of the monarchy in combination with special democratic elements. On December 26, 1961, king Mahendra appointed a council of five ministers to help run the administration. Several weeks later, political parties were declared illegal. At first, the Nepali Congress leadership propounded a nonviolent struggle against the new order and formed alliances with several political parties, including the Gorkha Parishad and the United Democratic Party, which had been strong critics of the Nepali Congress when it ran the government. Early in 1961, however, the king had set up a committee of four officials’ from the Central Secretariat to recommend changes in the constitution that would abolish political parties and substitute a National Guidance system based on local Panchayat led directly by the king. By late 1961, violent actions organized by the Nepali Congress in exile began along the Indian border, increasing in size and number during early 1962. The Political situation changed completely when war broke out between India and China on October 20, 1962.
Until 1990; Nepal was an absolute monarchy running under the executive control of the king. Faced with a people’s movement against the absolute monarchy, King Birendra in 1990, agreed to large-scale political reforms by creating a parliamentary monarchy with the king as the head of state and prime minister as the head of the government. Nepal’s legislature was bicameral consisting of a House of Representative and a National Council. The House of Representative consisted of 205 members directly elected by the people. The National Council had 60 members, 1o nominated by the king, 35 elected by the House of Representative and the remaining 15 elected by an electoral college made up of chairs of villages and towns. The legislative has a five-year term but was dissolved by the king before its term could end. All Nepalese citizens 18 years and older became eligible to vote. In the first free and fair elections in Nepal in 1991, the Nepali Congress was victorious where CPN UML party was in opposition.
2001: Royal Massacre
On June 1, 2001, there was royal Massacre in Narayanhiti Royal Palace where King Birendra, Queen Aishwarya, Crown prince Dipendra, Nirajan, Shruti, Dhirendra, Princess Jayanti, Shanti, Sharada, and Kumar Khadga were killed. Later, Gyanendra became the king of Nepal who is the second brother of King Birendra.
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is a political party in Nepal, founded in 1994 and currently led by Prachanda. Following massive popular demonstrations and a prolonged “people’s war” against the monarchy, the CPN (M) became the ruling party during the Nepalese Constituent Assembly election, 2008. The CPN (M) was formed following a split in the Communist Party of Nepal (unity center) and used the name CPN (Unity Center) until 1995. On February 13, 1996, the party launched the Nepalese people’s war and it gained control of some rural areas throughout Nepal before a ceasefire agreement was reached. In 2001, the Nepalese Army began a military campaign against the Maoists, focusing their efforts in the rural and western areas of the country. Although there was an intermittent ceasefire, fighting was roughly continuous through 2005, when the CPN (M) was at the height of its military power. In 2005, the CPN (M) sought a different strategy of seeking permanent peace accords while forming a pro-democratic alliance with several other mainstream political parties in opposition to the monarchical dictatorship of King Gyanendra. Following massive popular uprisings and protests a prolonged general strike in 2006, and several violent clashes between protesters and the Nepalese Army, the monarchy finally capitulated. The CPN (M) gained international legitimacy as they agreed to lay down arms and participate in the new electoral process. In the aftermath of the conflict, several western European powers removed the CPN (M) from their government’s terrorist lists.
Suspension of parliament and Loktantra Movement
On 1 February 2005 King Gyanendra suspended the parliament, appointed a government led by him, and enforced martial law. The king argued that city politicians were unfit to handle the Maoist insurgency. Telephone lines were cut and several high profile political leaders were detained. Other opposition leaders fled to India and regrouped there. A broad coalition called the Seven Party Alliance was formed in opposition to the royal takeover, encompassing the seven parliamentary parties who held about 90% of the seats in the old, dissolved parliament. However, a decade-long people’s revolution by the communist party of Nepal along with several weeks of mass protests by all major political parties of Nepal in 2006, culminated in a peace accord and the ensuing elections for the constituent assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of the abdication of the last Nepali monarch Gyanendra Shah and the establishment of a Federal democratic republic on May 28, 2008. The first president of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav, was sworn in 23 July 2008. Now, either communist or Maoist, are believing in multiparty democracy and they all are in favor of people’s views and they respect for people.
Since the late 1940s, Nepalese politics has been a contest for power between three separate political streams; Congress, communist, and royalists. Since, the advent of legal party politics after the 1990s Jana Andolan, all three streams have gone through various processes of divisions and mergers.
The Nepali Congress is a centrist ‘socialist’ party, comprising of leaders who have worked for the restoration of democracy. Successfully lead all 3 political revolutions in Nepal. Has historically advocated constitutional monarchy for Nepal, but has recently accepted the idea of transforming Nepal into a republic. Between 2002 and 2007, Sher Bahadur Deuba led an important splinter group, Nepali Congress (democratic). On September 25, 2007, NC (D) and NC re-unified.
The communist party of Nepal was established in 1949. This party was splintered into a plethora of different factions during the 1960s and 1970s. In the early 1990s, two important unification processed took place, with the moderate sectors of the communist movement forming the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) whereas more radical sectors formed the communist party of Nepal. CPN (UML) became a major parliamentary force. CPN (UC) was divided in 1994, with one faction forming a group that would become the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Today, in between CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist) are various smaller communist groups, out of whom five have parliamentary representation.
When multi-party politics began, elements of the previous regime formed the Rashtriya Prajatantra Party. The RPP became the third force in parliamentary politics during the 1990s and an important partner in various governing coalitions, it was ridden by divisions. Presently the main RPP and one splinter group, Rashtriya Janashakti Party are represented in the parliament. And Raprpa Nepal still sometimes issues about a rebirth of the monarchy.
In 2013, there was the election of Constituent Assembly 2, where Nepali Congress became the first party, CPN (UML) became second and Maoist became the third party. Pushpa Kamal Dahal became the prime minister of Nepal.