Republic day | Liberation | Revolution

Second People's Movement (2006) | Image Source: mronline.org
Second People's Movement (2006) | Image Source: mronline.org

Politics

The 16th Republic Day

Sixteen years ago, the arbitrary post of King was replaced with the constitutional post of the President as the Head of State by the first meeting of the first Constituent Assembly.

By Vivek Baranwal |

The Bagmati government on May 24 decided to celebrate the 16th Republic Day for three days. Soon, the social media platforms were flooded with chitchats about the government adding unrequired additional public holidays.

Some taunted it as an additional excuse for governments to remain away from work and responsibilities, whilst others called it a move to institutionalise the republic in the country, however, declaring a three-day public holiday is not the appropriate way. Meanwhile, a faction of social media users questioned the need for the republic (and federalism) at all.

While the chit chat hovers around public holidays, it should be noted that such days, backed by a history of setbacks and breakthroughs, mark the achievements of the country's people.

In various timelines, Nepalis have stood together for their liberation. 

Democracy day (Prajatantra Diwas) marks the achievement of the 1950 revolution that ended the dark era of Rana regime and the 1990 revolution restoration of multiparty democracy (Bahudaliya Prajatantra Punahbahali).

The latest 2006 revolution marks the end of direct rule of the king and restoration of democracy (Loktantra), and the foundation of republic (Ganatantra) and federalism (Sanghiyata). This time it was called Loktantra since Prajatantra consists of the word Praja, who belongs to Raja

Following the 2006 revolution, Nepal was declared a republic state on Jestha 15, 2065 or May 28, 2008, by bringing down 240 years of the Shahs’ reign.

Sixteen years ago, the arbitrary post of King was replaced with the constitutional post of the President as the Head of State by the first meeting of the first Constituent Assembly. Subsequently, Ram Baran Yadav was elected to the post of President (2008), followed by Bidhya Devi Bhandari (2015 and 2018) and incumbent Ram Chandra Poudel (2023).

The new regime was established on the grounds of the Second People’s Movement, popularly known as 62/63 Ko Jana Aandolan, attributed to the Maoist civil war aka Jana Yuddha. The 240-year reign included 104 years of Rana prime ministers who enjoyed absolute powers under the royal seal, and a few years of constitutional monarchy in two phases — 1951-1960 and 1990-2005. The rest were the years of direct rule by Shahs.

Awaiting a smooth landing of political transition, a republic Nepal hosts the staircase to multiple economic opportunities. Stability, building strong public institutions and systemic handover of political leadership should be the founding stone.

Vivek Baranwal is sub-editor at the_farsight.

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