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Nepal Monarchy and Chacha Nehru

Even though Nepal as a state was established by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, later the monarchs became prisoners of their Prime Ministers and even had to get the Prime Minister’s permission to get out of the palace.

One of the first Prime Ministers in Nepal had decreed that the position would be hereditary and thus parallel to the Royal dynasty there was the Prime Minister and his family. They occupied positions of importance and also they prevented the Kings from exercising their power.

One person who got fed up with this arrangement decided to take the matter into his own hands and that was King Tribhuvan who got the throne when he was five years old. He and his sons established contact with Indian embassy officials and made a plan for an escape from Nepal. India had got freedom in 1947 and the Prime Minister of Nepal Mohan Shamsher did not want Nepal to go the democracy way of India.

In November 1950, the King got permission from the Prime Minister to go on a picnic with his family. The King himself drove his car, his children drove other vehicles and they set out with their families. The Indian embassy was on the way and Chacha Nehru had asked the embassy to help the King.

So as the King’s convoy approached the embassy, the gates were opened and in a scene not seen in any Hindi movie, the King and his children drove their cars into the embassy, shocking their security escorts. The doors were closed. Thus to protest the way their country was run, the King of Nepal took assylum in India. Some Ranas wanted to storm the Indian embassy but fearing a military a response they backed away and allowed the Royal family to leave for India.

The Ranas had installed the King’s grandson Gyanendra as the king, but Chacha Nehru worked with the Governments of United States and Britain to deny them any legitimacy. Pro-democracy Nepalis attacked the troops of the Ranas from their base in India and soon there was a fear of civil war. Since a destablizied Nepal is not good for India, Nehru proposed that the King return to Nepal under what is known was the Delhi compromise.

The King returned to Nepal and assumed real power after a long time, thanks to J. Nehru. Mohan Shamsher was appointed the Prime Minister(!) and was later dismissed and exiled to India.

[Adapted from Massacre at the Palace: The Doomed Royal Dynasty of Nepal]

2 Responses to Nepal Monarchy and Chacha Nehru

  1. Winds of Change.NET February 21, 2005 at 10:55 pm #

    Robi & Nitin’s Indian Ocean Horizons: 2005-2-22

    In this briefing: A significant step in US-India relatons; Nepal Goes Down – Advantage China; Bangladesh slows down – advantage who?; The Kashmir bus speeds up; Khan celebrates his first year in retirement; India – a million matinees now

  2. Winds of Change.NET February 22, 2005 at 11:48 am #

    Robi & Nitin’s Indian Ocean Horizons: 2005-02-22

    In this briefing: A significant step in US-India relatons; Nepal Goes Down – Advantage China; Bangladesh slows down – advantage who?; The Kashmir bus speeds up; Khan celebrates his first year in retirement; India – a million matinees now

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