Modi Win in India Could Endanger Nepal’s Secular Transition

Modi Win in India Could Endanger Nepal’s Secular Transition

Nepal is keenly watching India’s ongoing parliamentary elections, where the presumed victory of Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi is raising questions about the future of the Himalayan nation’s transition from a Hindu monarchy to a secular democracy.

In 2006, Nepal agreed to abolish its 240-year-old Hindu monarchy as part of the Comprehensive Peace Accord ending a decade-long Maoist insurgency. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), then the main opposition party in India and leader of the National Democratic Alliance, wasn’t happy with the change at the time, and BJP nostalgia for its neighbor’s official Hindu identity has lingered.

“We used to feel proud that Nepal was the only Hindu kingdom in the world,” BJP President Rajnath Singh said during his visit to Katmandu in March 2010. “I will be happy when Nepal is a Hindu state again.”

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