The country may soon come back to its Hindu nation status

Kathmandu : Eight years after turning Nepal into a secular nation, major political parties in the country are mulling to replace the key term ‘secularism’ from the new Constitution with an appropriate word.

Nepali Congress general secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh on Monday said that during a discussion among top leaders of the major political parties, the idea of replacing the term secularism with an appropriate term has been floated.

The erstwhile Hindu state, Nepal was declared a secular state in 2007 after the success of the People’s Movement of 2006.

Unified CPN-Maoist was the main force behind declaring Nepal as a secular nation. However, now the party has changed its stance with majority of people voicing in favour of returning to a Hindu state during the two-day public debate over the preliminary draft of the Constitution.

UCPN-Maoist chief Prachanda today said that the term “secularism” is not an appropriate one and it would be replaced by a suitable term in the new Constitution.

Talking to reporters at his residence, Prachanda said they are mulling to replace the word while finalising the new Constitution as it has hurt the sentiments of the general public.

“We found during the feedback collection process that the people were deeply displeased and hurt with the usage of the term ‘secularism’, therefore, when the new Constitution is promulgated, the term will be replaced by another suitable term,” he said.

During the public opinion collection last week, majority of the people preferred the word ‘Hindu’ or ‘religious freedom’ instead of using the term ‘secularism’.

There are impression among the majority of the people that secularism may encourage religious conversion through monetary play in the country where 80 per cent of the population is Hindu.

In an editorial, the Ekantipur Online said, “Over the past few days, a campaign to remove the word ‘secularism’ from the Constitution has been gaining momentum. Many politicians from the CPN-UML and Nepali Congress had always been opposed to the declaration of Nepal as a secular state and were secretly in favour of

defining Nepal as a Hindu state.”