Nepal’s former Maoist guerrillas have endorsed a decision to switch over from the existing calendar to an ethnic one that will take the former Hindu kingdom back more than eight centuries.
While the world ushers in the year 2009 in January the Maoist-led government of Nepal will change over to the Nepal Sambat calendar according to which it would be year 1129 in the new Himalayan republic.
The change is certain to add to the complexities of a nation guided by its own peculiar cultures and traditions.
Currently, Nepal uses the Vikram Sambat calendar, which was established by the great king of India’s Gupta dynasty, Emperor Vikramaditya.
According to the Vikram Sambat calendar, it is now the year 2065, putting Nepal ahead of the internationally used Gregorian calendar by 57 years.
However, Nepal will now go 879 years back officially from Wednesday following a long campaign by the rich and powerful Newar community of the Kathmandu Valley.
The Newars, the original residents of the valley, had been campaigning against the Vikram Sambat on the ground that it was “imported” from India.