Moment Of Inspiration
The 297th Prithvi Jayanti was observed throughout the country on Friday, organising varieties of programmes in the honour of Nepal’s founding father, Prithvi Narayan Shah, who unified small principalities into a great Nepal in the middle of 18th century. President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, ministers, leaders from different political parties, dignitaries, intellectuals, business community, civil society members, various faith groups and common people paid their sincere tribute to Prithvi Narayan Shah on the occasion. President Bhandari laid a wreath at the statue of Prithvi Narayan Shah situated in front of the main entrance to the Singha Durbar. A contingent of Nepal Army presented a guard of honour to the President to mark the occasion. The homage to Prithvi Narayan Shah by the President of democratic republic Nepal amply attests to the fact that Prithvi Narayan Shah is above hereditary monarchical system. Hence, it is irrational to link the nation’s founder with the kingship that was abolished through a popular mandate. At the same time, it is equally egregious to point the finger at Prithvi Narayan Shah’s great contributions by coming under the sway of ethno-centric politics fed by the Westerners whose business ambition and territorial expansion bid was crushed with the successful unification campaign that he launched and carried on relentlessly for 25 years.
Prithvi Jayanti is the fitting moment to recall his historic role in building Nepal and preserving its independence, sovereignty and dignity. PM Oli said that if Prithvi Narayan Shah had not led the unification campaign, none could have imagined Nepal in this form. “Prithvi Narayan Shah is duly credited for freedom and self-respect that Nepalis have won as dignified citizens of the sovereign nation,” he said. It is imperative for all to recognise Prithvi Narayan Shah’s unification camping that gave birth to an independent and modern Nepali state and saved it from falling into the clutch of the colonial rulers. As PM Oli noted, Prithvi Narayan Shah bolstered the bases of unity among the linguistic, ethnic and cultural diversities in the aftermath of geographic unification of country. Today Nepal has been known as a country of ‘unity in diversity’. This glorious cultural tradition was initiated by Prithvi Narayan Shah himself. Prithvi Jayanti should inspire all to commit to independent, sovereign and integrated Nepal, and contribute from respective sides of all to this end.
Nepal is now moving on the path of federal democratic republic. Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali is the motto of the government formed following the three-tier elections last year. It is necessary to link Prithvi Narayan Shah’s vision of nation building and foreign policy to the present context and efforts of government to create equitable society with equal rights, security and respect of all citizens as outlined by the national charter. In his famous Dibya Updesh (divine counsel), the founding father has clearly said that the people are the storehouse of state, and they must be strong and happy for the nation to grow and flourish. He instructed his followers to adopt a balanced and neutral foreign policy and sought to sort out disputes through peaceful means and reconciliation. His opined that both bribe givers and receivers are the enemies of the nation, and the government should punish such persons harshly. Moreover, it is his nationalist economic policies that the present government should implement to create jobs, achieve inclusive growth and ensure prosperity.