Kathmandu: A senior minister in the Nepal government on Thursday extended his support to a demand to declare Nepal a Hindu state, saying if the majority of the population is in favour, it can be done through a referendum.
Minister for Tourism and Culture Prem Ale, addressing the opening of the two-day Executive Council meeting of the World Hindu Federation in Kathmandu, said the demand to declare Nepal a Hindu state can be considered and if such demand comes he “will play a constructive role”.
Minister Ale was responding to the demand raised by the World Hindu Federation here during the programme. More than 150 representatives from 12 countries, including Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the United States, Germany and UK, are attending the two-day Executive Council Meeting.
“As the present five-party coalition government enjoys close to a two-thirds majority in Parliament, the demand to declare Nepal a Hindu state can be put into the referendum,” he pointed out.
“Although our Constitution has declared the country as a secular state, if the majority of the population are in favour of a Hindu state, then why not declare Nepal a Hindu state through referendum,” he asked?
Nepal was declared a secular state in 2008 after the success of the people’s movement of 2006 that saw the abolition of monarchy. Hinduism is the largest religion in Nepal.
During the programme, World Hindu Federation International President Ajay Singh demanded that Nepal be declared a Hindu state as the country is inhabited by a huge majority of the Hindu population.
“I was surprised to learn that the erstwhile Hindu state Nepal was suddenly declared as a secular one,” he pointed out.
“If some countries can be declared as Islamic states and still adopt democratic system and other countries can be declared as Christian states and still adopt democratic system, then why not Nepal be declared as a Hindu democratic country?” he questioned.
He called all the parties of Nepal to come together putting aside their political ideology and declare Nepal as a Hindu state.
“I ask the Nepali Congress, CPN-Maoist Centre, The CPN-UML and the Madhesi parties to come forward to declare Nepal as a Hindu state,” he said.
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