Between 2017 BS (1960 AD) and 2080 BS (2023 AD), Nepal saw enormous political, social, and economic developments. This period saw the collapse of the Rana government, the rise and fall of the Panchayat system, the restoration of democracy, a decade-long Maoist insurgency, and the formation of a federal democratic republic. This detailed review includes major events and advancements during this time period.

End of the Rana Regime and Establishment of Democracy (1950–1960)

  • End of the Rana Rule (1951): The Rana dictatorship, which had dominated Nepal for more than a century, came to an end in 1951 as a result of a popular movement led by King Tribhuvan and the Nepali Congress. This revolution resulted in the foundation of a democratic government and the start of political modernization in Nepal.
  • Democratic Experiments (1951-1960): Nepal experimented with democratic governance, creating a new constitution and holding its first parliamentary elections in 1959. Despite beginning efforts, political instability and power struggles dominated this time period.

The Panchayat Era (2017-2046 BS / 1960-90 AD)

  • The Panchayat System (1960): In 2017 BS (1960 AD), King Mahendra disbanded the democratic government and established the party-less Panchayat system, which centralised power under the crown. This method sought to establish a direct contact between the king and the people, circumventing political parties.
  • Development Initiatives and Repression: During the Panchayat era, major infrastructural development occurred, such as the construction of roads, schools, and hospitals. Political persecution, censorship, and protest were also common.
  • Growing Discontent and People’s Movement (1990): Growing unhappiness with the autocratic Panchayat system sparked widespread protests and calls for democratic reform. The People’s Movement of 1990, led by a combination of political parties and civic society, compelled King Birendra to accept political reforms.

Restoration of Democracy and Political Instability (1990–2001)

  • Restoration of Multiparty Democracy (1990): The People’s Movement’s triumph led to the restoration of multiparty democracy and the writing of a new constitution in 1990. The new constitution transformed Nepal into a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system.
  • Political Instability: The 1990s saw frequent changes in government, coalition politics, and political instability. Despite these hurdles, democratic institutions began to emerge, and civil freedoms were restored.

The Maoist Insurgency and Royal Massacre (1996–2006)

  • Outbreak of the Maoist Insurgency (1996): In 1996, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) declared an armed insurgency against the government, demanding the establishment of a republic and the removal of the monarchy. The insurgency caused significant violence, human rights violations, and the displacement of thousands of people.
  • Royal Massacre and Political Crisis (2001): In 2001, King Birendra and the majority of the royal family were slain in a palace massacre, paving the way for King Gyanendra to ascend the throne. The massacre severely destabilized the country and fueled the conflict.
  • King Gyanendra’s Direct Rule (2005–2006): In 2005, King Gyanendra dismissed the government and took direct authority, blaming political parties’ failure to address the insurgency. His move sparked considerable resistance and protests, resulting in further political uncertainty.

Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Federal Democratic Republic (2006–present)

  • People’s Movement II (2006): The second wave of major protests, known as People’s Movement II, called for the abolition of the monarchy and the installation of a republic. The campaign, which was supported by political parties, civic society, and the Maoists, resulted in King Gyanendra abandoning direct control and the restoration of parliament.
  • Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2006): In 2006, the government and Maoists signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which brought an end to the decade-long insurgency. The CPA enabled the incorporation of Maoist soldiers, the drafting of a new constitution, and the foundation of a federal democratic republic.
  • Monarchy Abolition and New Constitution (2008-2015): In 2008, the monarchy was officially dissolved, and Nepal was declared a federal democratic republic. In 2015, Nepal adopted a new constitution that established it as a secular, inclusive, and federal state.
  • Federal Structure and Recent Developments (2015–2023): Nepal’s new federal structure divided the country into seven provinces, each with its own government. Political stability has remained an issue, with frequent government changes and continued efforts to effectively implement the federal system.

Conclusion

Between 2017 BS and 2080 BS (1960 AD to 2023 AD), Nepal saw major political instability and transformation. Nepal’s journey has been turbulent yet progressive, beginning with the fall of the Rana regime and the Panchayat era and ending with the restoration of democracy, the Maoist insurgency, and the foundation of a federal democratic republic. The hardships encountered and the tenacity demonstrated by the Nepalese people have moulded the country’s journey to peace, stability, and progress.

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