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No mother's milk for these royals!

A Nepali writer has come up with a different cause for the downfall of Nepal's King Gyanendra and the Shah dynasty - the lack of breast-feeding by the Shah queens.

tabloid Updated: Jun 20, 2006 17:54 IST

A Nepali writer has come up with a different cause for the downfall of Nepal's King Gyanendra and the Shah dynasty that ruled the kingdom for over 200 years - the lack of breast-feeding by the Shah queens.

Peter J. Karthak, author and columnist, attributes the disintegration of Nepal's royals and their growing unpopularity to the royal babies' never knowing "the comfy zones of their mothers' bucket-seat laps and pillow-like soft bosoms".

Karthak, who was educated in North Point school in Darjeeling, India, where the current king and his two brothers also studied around the same time, wrote in his column in the Kathmandu Post daily Sunday that the lack of breast-feeding, symbolising the meagre role mothers played in royal childrens' lives, caused the "male brats" to grow up as "drunkies (sic), junkies, spoilers, wastrels and mean murderers".

Nepal's aristocratic families considered breast-feeding to be a lowly custom and nursing mothers were hired as wet nurses for royal infants.

"The aristocratic clans of Nepal are particularly known for not nursing their newborn babies," Karthak wrote. "The neo-natal mothers would rather let their abundant breasts and lactation go to waste and hire nursing mothers for the job."

With zero bonding between children and their mothers, Karthak says it was not surprising that in June 2001, the then Crown Prince Dipendra gunned down his own mother, Queen Aishwarya.

The malaise affected the current king and his two brothers, the late King Birendra and Prince Dhirendra, even more because they grew up without their "biological mother hen", Karthak wrote.

Their mother, Queen Indra, died when they were young, and their father, King Mahendra, married their aunt Ratna. While the new queen's "glacial beauty" qualified her to be the "royal consort", her "surrogate motherhood" could not replace the "missing mater", Karthak wrote.

"The missing mother meant that the royal family's centre would never hold, and the lapses would filter down ominously to the generation of King Mahendra's grandchildren, especially in such male brats as Dipendra and (current crown prince) Paras, who would be drunkies, junkies, spoilers, wastrels and mean murderers."

Being parentless, Karthak goes on to add, Birendra, Gyanendra and Dipendra developed into poor parents themselves and couldn't control their own children, who became wayward.

Unlike the British royal family, Nepal's royals have rarely been photographed playing or interacting with their grandchildren. Crown Prince Paras and his wife Himani have often gone on long unofficial foreign junkets, leaving their three young children home.