A State Visit by Rana Leaders to Delhi and Mohan Shumsher’s Proclamation

A State Visit by Ranas to Delhi:

The Rana government, despite many pleas, was unable to garner international support towards the recognition of Gyanendra as Nepal’s new king. Amidst much international pressure, Shree Teen Maharaja Mohan Shumsher decided to send two of his trusted aides to India.

The two chosen aides were Kaiser Shumsher, brother of Mohan Shumsher and Bijay Shumsher, son of Mohan Shumsher. Kaiser Shumsher, who was third in line to become Nepal’s Prime Minister, was a learned scholar of the English language and an expert in diplomatic dealings. Bijay Shumsher was much behind in the roll of succession, however was an intelligent person.

The two, carrying a letter from Mohan Shumsher, reached Delhi. They handed the letter with Mohan Shumsher’s request to India to recognise Gyanendra as Nepal’s new king to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Nehru told the visiting Rana dignitaries, “In the modern world, democratic movements are irrepressible. Therefore you should advise Shree Teen Maharaja to initiate democratic reform instead.”

According to Ganesh Man Singh, “Nehru, although an ardent advocate of democracy, also did not believe Nepal should overthrow the Rana government in one stroke. He believed democracy brought about by gradual reform would be more sustainable. Pt. Nehru admired the experience and capabilities of the Rana government, and was skeptical of the ability of Nepali Congress mainly owing to lack of experience”.

“I arrived upon this analysis of Nehru’s opinion about Nepal on the basis of a number of talks I had with him”, Ganesh Man Singh had told Mathbar Singh while sharing his life’s account.

Nehru therefore advised the following:

  1. To form a Constituent Assembly. Members will be elected by the people, and they will draft Nepal’s constitution.
  2. To form a cabinet of ministers under the leadership of the Rana PM of which half should be included from the people’s representatives.
  3. Tribhuvan shall remain the King of Nepal.
  4. All political prisoners shall be released.
  5. Freedom to form political parties should be granted.

Mohan Shumsher’s Proclamation I:

Once in Kathmandu, Kaiser Shumsher and Bijay Shumsher presented before Mohan Shumsher the five-point proposal by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Mohan Shumsher was of the opinion to usher in democracy, however his brothers, who were next in line to become Prime Minister were not willing to relinquish power.

Singh, who was spending his days in jail, would notice prominent Rana leaders enter and leave Singha Durbar. “They would hold long deliberations over the proposal. However, Mohan Shumsher did not have any other alternative but to introduce democratic reforms”, Singh would tell Mathbar Singh.

On 24th Paush, 2007 B.S. (8th January, 1951), Mohan Shumsher made a proclamation:

“Countrymen and women of Nepal, one hundred and four years has passed since Shree Teen Maharaja Junga Bahadur Rana shouldered the responsibility of Nepal’s governance of this country in pursuance of the order of the then Shree Panch. On this day, I would like to remind you that in those days, owing to poor administration, the country suffered from lawlessness and internal bickering. After the advent of Junga Bahadur Rana, Nepal regained peace and political stability.

Without mentioning other remarkable events of last century, it can be said without any fear of contradiction that Junga Bahadur Rana and his successors not only preserved Nepal’s independence, but also strengthened the country by providing the people with security, progress and stability. All these are essential for a nation’s prosperity.

With a view to let Nepal move according to global pace and time, and to allow the people of Nepal participate in state affairs, Nepal Government Constitution Law was promulgated in Baisakh 1, 2005 B.S. So far 200 panchayats, including village and district panchayats have been set up.

Therefore, keeping in mind the need of the people of Nepal, we and our Government will work towards making the people more involved in the nation’s administration. Keeping these in mind, we have decided to take the following measures:

  1. To set up as soon as possible a constituent assembly formed by members elected on the basis of adult suffrage. A national census will be taken to facilitate this. Although the task ahead is difficult, we are confident that the first session of the constitution will be held within B.S. 2009.
  2. In order that the actions needed for setting up a constituent assembly may not be delayed, a ministerial cabinet shall be formed at the centre. The cabinet will constitute of 14 ministers, of which 7 will be elected via popular vote, and carry the confidence of the people.
  3. Until the new constitution framed by the new constituent assembly comes into effect, the BS 2004 Constitutional Law will remain in force.

Certain provisions of the Constitutional Law, especially those pertaining to the power of the judiciary and the executive, and an appointment of the Advocate General and an Auditor General were to be brought into effect as soon as possible.

The Proclamation also said the state would provide amnesty to those who have taken to arms for a political cause from Kartik, 2007 B.S. provided they gave up their arms, except for those who committed cold-blooded murder, or were involved in looting. Political prisoners were also to be released.

Further, Mohan Shumsher also asked all Nepalis who were parts of political organizations outside Nepal to come back home, and contribute their efforts towards the development and good-governance of Nepal.

Mohan Shumsher also thanked the army, and said that until King Tribhuvan would arrive back in Nepal, a regent appointed by His Majesty, in consultation with the government of Nepal would be conferred with for maintenance of peace and order in the country.

“Mohan Shumsher’s Proclamation of Paush 24 came as a surprise to many”, Singh who was following the poltical developments would comment:

“I wasn’t sure if Mohan Shumsher really had a change of heart, or if he was trying to appease other nations. We had to wait and see”, Singh would tell Mathbar Singh.

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