Gyanendra feels sad and betrayed but not guilty over end of monarchy

Former King Gyanendra Shah has said he feels sad but not guilty over the end of monarchy in the country during his regime. “I feel a little sad, not guilty. Because many things could have been avoided,” he said in an televised interview with Image Channel, a local television station, on Tuesday evening.

Former King Gyanendra in Nepalgunj

Gyanendra amid his supporters in Nepalgunj

According to him, he feels that he was betrayed, and that the people are yet to experience and understand the real impact of the end of monarchy. Pointing at the present political situation of the country, he said, “This is where we are right now.”

Responding to a question how he felt when it was said that the former king who was removed from the Naryanhity Royal Palace should be shooed off from Nagarjun also, he said that even as a common citizen justice has not been given to him wholly. “That is how I feel. I think there is a room for the government of the day to give thought to our plight as well as a common Nepali,” he said, adding that he also has rights which he deferred to go to court, not embarrassing the government of the day.

“But I had been advised by many: If you want rights, you should go to court,” he said, adding, “Let us see. If that day will come or the government of the day will give justice to us.”

Shah, who ascended to the throne after his elder brother King Birendra was assassinated along with his family in 2001, has been living a low-profile life following the Constituent Assembly’s decision to abolish the centuries-old monarchy two years ago.

Responding to the first question how he likes to be introduced–whether as a former king or a future king– Shah said that he prefers being taken as an ordinary citizen. “I am like other people.”

According to him, he has some close people who he meets time and often. “However, it is not necessary that politics is discussed seriously while meeting them.”

When asked whether the pro-monarchy party Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal is his political front-end, he said that it was but an illusion. “They have their principles. But it is not like that we have relations,” he said, adding that he did not preferr joining the politics.

When asked whether the former royalists and Panchas have joined hands with the Maoists because they did not get political shelter from him, the former king said, “ Ask them. This is not me to answer.”

Responding to a question regarding possibility of reinstatement of the Hindu status of the state, he said that many people have been hurt as the religious faith of more than 80 percent people has been ignored. “The leaders should think how to address this.”

Reacting to the allegations made against him over his remarks in Janakpur some weeks ago, Shah said that the leaders have right to speak but to listen to others is their duty. “I had said what others had told me. What I said there was not my personal opinion.”

Hinting at former Crown Prince Paras’s interview in which he had said that his unpopularity might have some role in the end of monarchy, Shah said that it was his son’s magnanimity to say so, but being the head of the royal family he himself takes the responsibility. “None should lay blame on others…We don’t have habit of pointing fingers at others. Being the main person of the family, I have to take up the discredit.”

When asked whether he believes that monarchy will be revived with the reinstatement of 1990 Constitution as it is obvious that the new constitution cannot be promulgated on May 28, Shah said that he cannot add or subtract anything to others’ opinions at the present political situation. “That is why, let’s not talk about politics.”

He said the people should be wise and patient, and see whether the dossier (new constitution) will come. “But none should belittle the nation, nationality and sovereignty.”

Upon asked whether he would take up role or he would just remain a mute spectator to the current political chaos, the former monarch maintained that it depends on people’s desire. “If they (leaders) wish me to stay quiet, I will respect that,” said Shah. He, however, said, “That time might come, but it has not come now.”

The interview was taken in Nepalgunj when the former King visited the city on Monday.


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