Secular Nepal is Hotly Contested

September 18, 2006

Source: BBC News

On September 18, 2006 BBC News reported, "Young and old, some dressed in saffron, some wielding tridents, Hindu nationalists march in the streets of Kathmandu, letting out a cry of indignation. 'Bring back the Hindu kingdom,' they shout. It is a pattern being regularly repeated, mainly in the capital and the plains bordering India, by Hindus incensed by parliament's recent declaration that Nepal should be secular. But at the moment, Nepal remains the world's only officially Hindu country... At the rally Hindu priests extol the goddess Sita, born in Nepal according to legend, and vow to continue protests... According to official statistics, more than 80% of Nepalis are Hindu. Many have traditionally regarded their kings as incarnations of the Hindu God, Vishnu. But minorities in this multi-ethnic country and most political parties have long demanded the move to secularism."