A 'different' Shivratri for Gyanendra | world | Hindustan Times
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A 'different' Shivratri for Gyanendra

world Updated: Mar 06, 2008 00:55 IST
Anirban Roy

After portraying the image of reincarnation of Lord Vishnu for almost two-and-half centuries, Nepal’s King has now been barred from giving alms to sadhus.

It has always been a tradition in “Hindu” Nepal that the King gave alms to the sadhus at the sacred Pashupatinath temple, disciples of Lord Shiva.

But, the Girija Prasad Koirala-led government on Wednesday ordered the Pashupatinath temple to bar King Gyanendra from giving alms.

This year, instead of the King, the Pashupatinath Temple’s Guthi Sansthan would distribute alms on behalf of the government. Last year, during Shivaratri, devotees mobbed King Gyanendra’s motorcade, and vehicles were also stoned. Usually, the monarch gave away clothes, blankets and minor allowances to the sadhus.

As Nepal is now getting ready for the crucial Constituent Assembly election, King Gyanendra has lost all of his political authority, and is no more the head of the state. He has also been removed from the post of Supreme Commander of the Nepal Army.

In the fast changing political scenario in Nepal, the monarch has also lost cultural rights. The controversial king is now barred from attending important religious events like Phulpati, Bhoto Jatra and Indra Jatra.

In fact, the government’s decision to end the King’s religious role at the Pashupatinath temple is the last nail into the coffin. The Shah Dynasty, which ruled Nepal for 239 years, is all set to be a history.