Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Worshipping the Goddess Lands King in Hot Soup

From The Times of India online Nepal king visits goddess, lands in soup 2 Oct 2007, 0054 hrs IST,TNN KATHMANDU: A traditional visit to receive the blessings of a goddess said to be the patron deity of the royal dynasty has landed Gyanendra in a fresh controversy with PM G P Koirala construing it as a challenge to his authority. Koirala, who till recently had championed giving “space” to the kingdom’s two-century old ruling family and had advocated that Gyanendra should abdicate in favour of his five-year-old grandson, on Monday trained his sights on the monarch, warning that the government would take action if Gyanendra tried to challenge his authority. The warning came a day after both Koirala and Gyanendra went to the site of a traditional Hindu festival that ends with the Kumari- Nepal’s living goddess - blessing the head of state. Though Nepal is now officially a secular state, the multi-party government however still continues to patronise traditional Hindu festivals to the exclusion of Muslim and Christian celebrations. After the end of Gyanendra’s government last year, Nepal’s parliament, in a bid to make Gyanendra powerless, took away all his official functions, including attending religious ceremonies. With the king’s functions as head of state being given to the PM, Koirala has also stepped into Gyanendra’s religious shoes. Despite his erratic health and mounting crises, Koirala has been revelling in his newly acquired role, attending various festivals. Last week, it was he who kicked off the Indrajatra festival but did not have the stamina to see it through. On Sunday, it was a reversal of roles at the festival where the PM went in pomp and the king came as a commoner after him. When the king was all powerful, protesters shouted slogans against him and showed him black flags. This time, it was the all-powerful prime minister who faced the wrath of protesters. At the earlier religious festivals, the king had expressed his desire to attend though stripped of his prominent role. However, the government stopped him. ********************************************************************************* Well, I know that some folks out there may snicker at the King asking the blessing of the embodiment of the Living Goddess, but these things are taken deadly seriously in Nepal, and they have political consequences, where right now a war-by-proxy is going on behind the Chinese-backed "democratic" forces and those who support the traditional monarchy. It's pretty damned pissy to me when the King can't visit the Living Goddess (embodied in a girl child - I've posted about here earlier in the year here) without permission from the fricking government. Suddenly worship in the traditional way has to be sanctioned by the government. Do you get it now, folks? Hey?

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