Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nepal, Rana Administration

The old king's palace on a hill in Gorkha

Rana Administration

Factionalism among the royal familyled to a period of instability after the war in 1846. Queen rajendralakshmi plotted to overthrow Jang Bahadur, a fast- rising military leader who threaten her power. The plotwas uncovered and the queen had several hundred princes and chieftenants executed after after an armed clash.This came to be known as the Kot Massacre.Ultimately , Bahadur won and founded the Rana Dynasty, leading to the Rana autocracy.The king was made a titular figure and the prime minister was made all powerful and hereditary.
Rani (queen) of Nepal surrounded by her ladies- in- waiting,1920.
The Ranas were staunchly pro-British and helped the British during the Sepoy Rebelion in 1857 and both world wars of the twentieth century. In 1923 the United Kingdom and Nepal signed an agreementof friendship, recognising Nepal's Independence.
In the late 1940s, political parties became more critical about Rana's autocracy and they launched a pro-democracy movement. China occuppied Tibet in 1950, making keen on the stability of Nepal. To avoid an expensive military campaign , India sponsored Trivuban as nepal's new kingin 1951, and a new government , mostly comprised of members of the Nepali Congress party.
In early 1959, King Mahendra issued a new constitution, and the first democratic elections for a national assembly were held. The Nepali congress party , a moderate socialist group, gained a substantial victory. its leader , B.P.Koirala,formed a govt. and served as prime minister.
But King mahendra dismissed the Koirala Govt.and promulgated a new constitution on dec.16, 1962, which established a "partyless" system of panchayas(council) which the king thinks more close to Nepali's traditions. As a pyramidal structyre progressing from village assemblies to a Rastriya Panchayat (national parliament) . this system enshrined abslute power of the monarchy.
King Mahendra was succeeded by his 27-year old son , king Birendra, in 1972. in a referendum panchayat system won by a narrow mar gin.In 1989, "Jan andolan" forced the king to accept multi-party parliament, which came about 1991and Girija Prasad koirala fron NPC became the prime minister. but the govt. policy tends to radical movementand violence began to take place.