Nepal » History of Nepal

History of Nepal

The history of Nepal can broadly be divided in to three phases, Ancient, Medieval and Modern. The history of the Nepalese monarchy has been the integral and inseparable part of the history of Nepal. Nevertheless, Nepal has much more than Monarchs when it comes to realm of history. It has a Vedic past to boast about and a bright feature to look to.



Ancient History of Nepal
The history of Nepal dates back to 11000 years. The recent excavation in the Kathmandu valley has found out Neolithic tools. These tools were used at the advent of Neolithic era and many of them date back to 9000 B.C. This tells about the pre-Aryan settlement in the then Nepal. These people were of Bhutanese-Mongoloid parentage. Nepal once again gets mentioned in the Hindu epic of Ramayana. It is said that Janakpur, in the Tarai Nepal, has been the birthplace of Sita, the wife of Rama. Nepal is mentioned as Kirat Pradesh in the epic Mahabharata that is said to be composed around 1000 B.C. This place has been mentioned many a times in the epic. It is mentioned that the concerned king supported Kaurvas against the Pandavas in the battle. In the years around 500 B.C, Nepal had many small kingdoms and the most powerful among them were Shakyas of Kapilvastu. It was in the house of one of the Shakya kings that Gautam Siddhartha was born. He got the name of Buddha when he was enlightened. In the later era Nepal fall under the rule of the Maurya. Ashoka finds mention in many of the rock edicts. In the post-Christ era, the Licchhavis of Bihar ruled Nepal. There are many historical edicts that glorify the reign of Licchhavis.


The Medieval History of Nepal

Nepal remained largely undisturbed in the medieval period. Mallas used to rule Nepal and were largely confined to their own territories. In the sultanate era, there were some attempts of assault on Nepal but they were met with sporadic successes only. The relief and the climate of Nepal have always served as its military generals. It was king Jaisthitimalla who tried to bring Nepal under one reign in the late 14th century. The unification was short-lived and Nepal got divided in to 3 kingdoms namely, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhadgaon. Apart from these, in the medieval period, Nepal was largely peaceful. May be that lull was going to bring a severe storm.


The Modern History of Nepal

The modern history of Nepal starts with the establishment of the Gorkha kingdom by Prithvi Narayan Shah in the 18th century. From 1765 the Gorkha king started unifying all the lands and states and ethnicities of Nepal, and it's varied land, split into mountains, and of Hindu and Buddhist majority areas, into modern Nepal. He was largely successful in his attempts of invasion. He annexed a large area of Bhutan and Tibet. His designs were later put to action by his successors. Their attempts hit a roadblock at the advent of the 19th century. The British East India Company got apprehensive of their maneuvers and took them head on. The kingdom was soundly humiliated and routed in the Anglo-Nepalese war of 1816. They had to agree to some of the very insulting terms, on the negotiation table. They conceded the entire Gadhwal and Kumaon region to the British India. In the same decade, Jung Bahadur, one of the valiant generals of Shahs tried to topple the regime. The queen met the efforts with the bloody counter initiatives. This led to various massacres on both sides. The Kot massacre is considered to be the bloodiest of them all where close to 30,000 Nepalese were chopped to death in matter of hours. This started the century long conflict between the Shahs and Ranas, the descendants of Jung Bahadur. In later years close to 20th century, both the warring dynasties established matrimonial relations between them and started to rule Nepal jointly. This pact is evident on the flag of Nepal as well. The two triangular flags, that are the part of a single flag, represent these two dynasties. Nepal assisted Britain in the Indian, revolt of 1857, and saw it's own royal massacres of itself in the 1840s,.


The land remained a land of Mountains, to the 1900s, and holding a broad range of inequality from rich concubine holding princes, too child labourers, but also many comfortably off urban servants, and poverty, and also a majority of the population being peasants farming. across the foothills and valleys below the Himalayas, and also Sherpas, and lots of Hindus and Buddhists and some Muslims, and Christians, split into many ethnicities. In 1923 Nepal was approved independence by Britain, but remained a strong ally of Britain it had sent many troops to help Britain in World War One, which helped spread flu back to Nepal. Nepal saw it's autocratic regime, end slavery under British interference, but the regime kept Nepal, in poverty, and did not develop much. In the 1930s, some died, and were arrested in small rebellions. Which included just forming rival religious groups. This continued in the 1940s, when Congress got stronger and helped oust the monarchy of then, India helped the democracy movement get a new king, who had less concubine ways, But the kings used their power to attack the democracy movements, small revolts and riots shone through seeing some deaths. By 1959 the kings deposed the Nepali Congress influenced regimes, this was as the kings wanted power, they claimed there was corruption in the Congress party but if there was it was no worse than the rampant high pay to the king and his supporters, and massive control his fellows had. This stayed across the decades. In the 1970s there was a small Maoist revolt of some deaths. not many that was beaten. Since 1945 and India's democracy, Nepal had fallen behind India in GDP per capita, despite India's difficulties, and had fallen behind in life expectancy. In 1980, more democracy was brought in after protests, deaths would occur in riots with political campaigners, campaigning, so that the state would be a democracy for the people, rather than for the king and his family.


In 1989 the Communists and Congress, helped oust the Royal partyless dictatorial version of democracy,. and democracy started. But the king kept allot of power. The new system, started on the economic liberalization of many lands. The fact was that in most lands economic liberalisation was bad for the lower classes, most people, you know like South America, where it saw welfare, and subsidies cut, so seeing private companies and privatisation benefit the rich. But Nepal, was so poor, that economic liberalisation, did not see much state cuts. Whereas experts from IMF or whatever were able to sell South America and lands, cut this welfare cash, and state investment, in social services, Nepal's royalist elite had not seen helping the peasants as any use to their rich money grubbing, some wanted good for their people, but most wanted stuff for themselves. So privatisation did not see much bad, as their was little to privatise, so actually amazingly social services improved in Nepal, and life. But this was not good enough for many Nepalis, for a country still with more serfs and slaves, and child labourers than India per head at the time, poorer and with a lower life expectancy where 100s still did in famines, this seemed pointless, So democracy was not bringing in enough for them. Revolutionary Maoists started a small scale rebellion in areas of ethnic minorities usually in the west. The ruling Congress, and Communist and every so often royalists coalition had interference from the king, but unstable regimes, they were unable to crack down on the Maoist revolt, By the end of the decade there had been low thousands of deaths, The tactics of the Maoists were to take over areas and every so often attack state police and such. In the 1990s, welfare improved.


But the Maoist revolt increased it's strength, the revolt started in 1995 then upped in 1996. To 2001 it took rural areas, and had its own courts, Then 3000 died in 1996-2002 in this. There was a royal coup in 2001, to fight the Maoists, claiming politicians had failed, they gave power back for a while then took it again seemingly for ever, from, early 2005, Propaganda from royalists claimed democracy had failed, But by late 2005, the war still upped, 11,000 had died, and by now as of the massacres by Maoists in 100s, the Royal army killed far more, massacring 1000s. The Royalists became able to be seen as as bad the Maoists if not worse especially after torture and arresting of over 3000 dissidents and their labeling of human rightists activists as terrifying names, even ones fighting child labour, and politicians, and corrupt, When their kings were very rich and far richer. It was shown the honeymoon, of this royal coup failed, and support drained, away as the war carried on, Small scale Congress marches of 1000s, increased and increased more, when the Royalists refused to have a peace deal with the Maoists, then Congress a party which and the non rebellion Communists said they would make a deal with the Maoists, It was now seen that holiday making had plummeted massively since the royal coup of 2005, that people, were being arrested just for their views, and things they had said in the past, that the army was being more unfair, sand still committing massacres. So the royals were seen as worse than the not many deaths they could be held responsible for democrats, the less murders than Royalists Maoists, so the Royalists and their terrifying high minded attitude to others (I saw on the Internet ) could be seen as extreme, and the most murderous and least pro peace, The royalists were prepared to ally to anybody China, India, or Pakistan, just to stay in power, While the democrats were more allied to democratic India, a land, more linked in trade to Nepal. China wanted to set up roads, but this was very difficult so that it could support the royal dictatorships like how it supported Pol Pot and the king of Cambodia, in their brutal late 1970s regime. I helped say on the Internet condemn the king, do not say it is just his advisors, oppose him. This attitude of codemning the king of the Nepalis also developed from more Nepalis, and they saw massive campaigns against the monarchy that merged with Maoist marchers, The King was ousted after a very low percent local election, boycotted by democrats.


On April 21st after 21 deaths in state troops shooting back protesters saw the king have to give up power, in case the people took the palace, or the army changed sides.


Now congress the non rebellious Communists took over, with some smaller parties (even royalist parties did not show support for the king), and in the late 2005 period the Congress and Communist gave up support for the idea of monarchy, stripped the king of any remaining power, s and started deals with the Maoists proposing a referenda on monarchy and free elections.


The war essentially ended, and peace deals were in proposals. It seemed a great great victory for socialism,, and democracy, possibly the greatest of the 21st Century so far.


As left wing principles were believed in, not to be ashamed of, and kept alive. Able to impose socialist ways, freedom, and liberty, and a better society, and catch up with India, but remain a free society. Brilliant. Often foreign states support the autocratic rightist regime, even the US, to support it's trade interests, not caring about froegners, sometimes not, For a change Britain gave support top teh democarts, as did India, even verging on sacrficing a ally Nepal, aionto being a ally of China, which became the major backer of Nepal's royals, while Pakistan was unable, to even if it wanted as found it so hard, But the India, - British alliance, saw even the British ambassador condemn the royal coup, just like they should, I mean maybe be friends even with dictatorships that are old, to encourage world peace, but condemning them is good and often better like they sometimes do over Burma, and do over some lands. Sometimes right wingers are the ambassador, like in Saudi Arabia, where the ambassador said Riyadh after some terrorist killings of Brits is safer than the most crime ridden British city, more like he is the British ambassador in Saudi Arabia, against tourism, in Britain rather than ambassador for British values, and peace. Anyhow, some are good, and some are bad. differnet people at different times. But anyhow some US support for the democracy movement, so it all also worked.


2007 saw the Maoists, and the Political parties split in some senses, Jimmy Carter visited and many other negotiaters, and the country at the moment has in late 2007 a interim constitution which is called the State of Nepal, the Maoists want proportional representation and a republic soon, while the Congreess party and many other main parties want the present more seat based system and a republic after elections. At the moment though Nepal is at more peace than before despite some riots and small conflicts in the south in 2007, added to this it has good relations with India and again to some extent China, Under the king their were attempts to drive away from the closer love hate realtionship with India, with plans for a road and arms deals to China, but this changed after the end of that era, and now the more traditional and geograpgically more senseible India Nepal link survives. With China still wanting trade as ever, so the best of both worlds there. Nepal then has no king, so is in a sense a republic anyhow, as the king is not head of state and has no power. Nepal renamed itself the state of Nepal in May 2007 so in actuall fact Nepal has not been a mon archy and has been a republic since then. In 1999 el;ections 37% voted Conmgress Social Democrat and over 30% Communist, with of the rest under 15% for those that got into parliament being Conservative or Cnetrist and some low single persents for other Communist Parties. Officially in 2001 Nepal saw the vast majority want a democracy and a monarchy as of royal propaganda, the second bit but despite that for the first bit, as of campaigns in 2006 under 25% wantwed the king to have real power, and 76% in polls opposed the king having a role in foreign policy to other matters, 83 % opposed the king having power to cesnor the media in 2004 retaining the monarchy was supported by 84.7 perecnt of people, in 2007 41.4% wanted to retain it with 15.5 then 58.7 the percentage for supporting a republic, in 2006 it was about level, so good hope for republicans worldwide.


It is claimed that Sherpas are descendents of travelers of eastern Tibet who came across the Himalayas in the 16th century, maybe moving as of war or famine.


On May 28th 2008 after the Maoists suprise election Victory, with them in 1st with near a third of the vote, Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) First Past the Post total 30.52 Pr 29.28 but 220 of 601 seats
Nepali Congress 22.79 21.14
Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) 21.63 20.33
Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum, Nepal 6.15 6.32
Tarai-Madhesh Loktantrik Party 3.35 3.16
A Republic was declared, with deals about coalition government ongoing, In August 2008, Prachanda of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN (M) became PM, beating Congress's Deuba to the post. Ram Baran Yadav of Congress was just before elected President replacing Koirala of Congress who had been the 7 party alliance that ousted Pm, from 2006-2008, the 7 Party Alliance had ousted the King, Koirala had the first acting President, after the republic had been declared, the Maoists had wanted the President post, Koirala had been PM and Head of State of Nepal, after the republic declaration, As of writing of this in August 2008 the Nepali Civil war is still over, ended by the republic. The first Vice President is Parmanand Jha of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum.


There were many small states around Nepal, infact Buddha is said to have been a prince who renounced his throne, and became an ascetic, and lived around Nepal. By 250BC the Mauryan empire influenced allot of Nepal. This was followed by Nepal, being influenced by the Gupta's,. Many dynasty's cam,e and were the main powers across Nepal. But many tribes in the mountains lived more independent


In the 14thC the land unified then it split in 3 as Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhadgaon From 1765 the Gorkha warrior caste started unifying all the lands and states and ethnicities of Nepal, and it's varied land,. split into mountains, and of Hindu and Buddhist majority areas, into modern Nepal.


China, was brought into a late 18thC war with Tibet, and in the 19thC Nepal, was unified, and became an ally of Britain, after a number of wars with Britain, which saw British troops help spread cholera.




Nepal Fact Sheet
 
Area : 147,181 sq. km
Geography : Situated between China in the north and India in the South
Location : Latitude: 2612' to 3027' North Longitude:804' to 8812' East
Capital : Kathmandu
Population : 23 million
People : 101 ethnic groups and 92 spoken languages
Climate : sub-tropical in low lands to arctic in higher altitudes

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