Monday, January 12, 2009

When militants get elected to rule

No, I am not talking about Hamas.

Gopal Kiranti, a member of the Nepali government's cabinet who belongs to the ruling Maoist party, says that all Nepali citizens should be given the right to carry arms for protecting themselves against colonial powers.

What does it remind you of?

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Kiranti was also behind the recent tamasha about Indian priests in the Pashupatinath temple. The godless Maoist government, at Kiranti's call, had fired (or accepted the resignation of, depending on where the story comes from) the head-priests of the temple who have been, since 1747 , of Indian origin - the temple itself was probably built in the 3rd century. There was a lot of domestic opposition to the act, but the louder one was from across the southern border.

Bhishma Pitamaha LK Advani was disappointed at the move and commented thus:
A tradition going back three centuries...has been trampled upon in a most clumsy and undemocratic matter by the Government of Nepal.
That's funny. There are few authoritative sources on the internet about this, but it seems that the custom of Indian priests started because the death of Nepali kings would make Nepali priests unfit to perform pooja because of the temporary impurity bestowed by shradhh. However, in 2007, Nepalish abolished monarchy and the former monarch lost his position as patron of the temple. Surely, Advaniji, you must have noticed it too. What is the point of a tradition if its raison d'etre doesn't exist any more?

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On the subject of LK Advani, read his first blog post - it is excellent piece of reflective writing, the kind that one would associate more with AB Vajpayee (link via India Uncut).

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