Massive Strike by Pro-Hindu activists in central and western Nepal for the demand of Nepal Hindu Rashtra
Chitwan, July 29, 2015: Thousand supporters of a ‘Hindu Nation in Nepal’ enforced a shutdown in four districts of central and western Nepal on Wednesday, protesting ‘secularism in the constitution‘ instead of making a ‘Hindu constitution‘ in Nepal.
Hundreds of passengers were stranded in the strike throughout the day as members of the Hindu Rashtra Bachao Andolan, a movement believed to be backed by the Hindu Royalist Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP)-Nepal, blocked the East-West Highway in Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Syanja and Rupandehi districts.
A truck (Ga 1 Kha 4111) laden with noodles was torched in Devchuli of Nawalparasi district during the shutdown. Markets, educational institutes and factories were also closed. However, no other untoward incidents have been reported so far.
The campaign on strike has also demanded withdrawal of secular state from the constitution. General strike has grossly affected normal lives in Rupandehi, Nawalparasi, Syanja and Chitwan. Demonstrators and protesters have been protesting in the main cities like Bharatpur, Narayanghat and Tandi.
Similarly, demonstrations are also being held in Gaindakot of Nawalparasi. Long route vehicles and vehicles that travel on shorter routes are off the road. People are stranded on the roads but the strike enforcers have informed that they will provide food to the people.
The RPP-N, which had vowed to not call any kinds of strike in its manifesto, says Wednesday’s shutdown is ‘spontaneous’ and ‘not enforced by the party’.
But, as a matter of fact, the common cadres of all the parties including Nepali Congress and even from a section of communists also took part in the strike, as reported.
“Some of our district committee members might be involved in the Hindu Rashtra Bachao Andolan, but we have no ties with this movement,” said Biraj Bista, a Constituent Assembly (CA) member from the RPP-N. “People are spontaneously descending on the streets to demand a Hindu nation.”
In Gaindakot (Nawalparasi), the followers of Swami Kamalnayan Acharya of Muktipeeth obstructed the Mahendra Rajmarg (Mahendra Highway) from dawn to dusk for the demand of Hindu Rashtra in Nepal. They were performing Kirtan (devotional singing for God) on road with various musical instruments peacefully.
After the four major political parties signed a 16-point deal on 8 June, the RPP-N has intensified protests demanding that Nepal be reinstated a Hindu nation in the new constitution. A group of Nepali Congress (NC) leaders, led by Khum Bahadur Khadka, has also launched a separate campaign for a Hindu nation.
During a nationwide campaign to collect public feedback on the draft constitution last week, most of the people had also preferred ‘religious freedom’ over ‘secularism’.
The Nepali Congress, the CPN (UML), the UCPN (Maoist) and the MJF (Democratic) on Tuesday agreed to use the term ‘religious freedom’ instead of ‘secularism’ in the new constitution in an attempt to appease the RPP-N and other pro-Hindu groups.
But the RPP-N says replacing ‘secularism’ with ‘religious freedom’ would not be sufficient. “The reinstatement of the Hindu nation is our bottom-line,” said Bista. “But we do not want to curtail rights of other religious groups, everyone will have rights to practice their religions within the Hindu nation.”
Earlier a consensus has already been made that there will be strict provisions of the prohibition of conversion in the new Nepali constitution in the making.
Police have arrested 7 (seven) bandh enforcers from Chitwan on Wednesday.
The bandh enforcers have gathered in major roads since early morning today to make the strike successful.
Dr Jagat Bahadur Pathak one of the coordinators of Hindu Rashtra Bachao Andolan thanked all concerned to make this Bandh a great success. He further hopes, ‘Nepal will be Hindu Rashtra again very soon‘.
Remaking Nepal as a Hindu Rashtra once again has also been made an issue in the mind of Hindu activists in India also. Last week, Yogi Adityanath of BJP urged that, “Nepal must declare itself a Hindu Rashtra”.
Source : Hindu Existence