When I was in junior class, there was a Nepali book Mahendra Mala published by Janak Sishya Samagri Kendra which is a government owned publishing house. There was a chapter about Gods. In that chapter there was some picture of all the gods from all religion and the chapter was about that there is just one god and different religion gave different name to the god.
The time when I was in junior class, Nepal was under His Majesty’s Government and was the only Hindu Kingdom in this world. If the government wanted then it would have just gave us a lesson through that book that only Hindu religion is good, all other religion is not that good as our religion, our god is great, but we were not taught that. The book and the teachers taught us that there is one god who is known to us by different names in different religion.
Why Nepal needed to be made secular country, what benefits did we get? A decade back, off course the government policy was to stop people from changing religion, but with the new constitution that rule has be abolish, people are free to change their religion.
No one had seen god, and religion is just a beliefs and practices that is conducted by a group of people. If we go through history, Nepal never got divided for religion or had any fighting between group in the case of religion beside few minor incident happen because of misunderstanding, and theses minor case were also solved quickly without having some major problem.
I don’t think Nepal being a Hindu country; it has stopped any religion from celebrating their festivals. All religion is free to walk, talk, and make pray. You will not see a good example about the relation between Hindu and Buddhist like in Nepal. In fact, I never counted Nepali Buddhist as a different religion; it is a part of Hindu. Hinduism consist of so many gods and Buddha is counted as one of the reincarnation of lord Vishnu. In Nepal counting Buddhism as a different religion makes no different in my opinion. Ask any Buddhist, don’t they celebrate Dashai and Tihar, Hindu’s biggest festival, don’t they pray other Hindu gods? I am sure the caste shakya who are Buddhist feels proud of being the only living goddess Kumari, who tends to be a Hindu God is selected from their cast. This is the trends and customs in Nepal which made us so close, it never differentiates between Hindu and Buddhist, we both religion stayed in harmony till now.
I came across an incident, one of my friends who are shaky asked me one day, why most of the big Hindu temples have restricted other religion saying ONLY FOR HINDU, and my only question to him without any reply for this question was are you stopped to enter there. He was answerless.
Nepal still consist more than 80% Hindu and more than 10% Buddhist. If we count both religions it is 90% which is a high majority and why Nepal was announced Secular country last year by the parliament, who are these members of Parliament? They are just the people who are chosen by us to run the nation, to take decision for the progress of the nation not to take major decision which might change Nepal’s history, custom, religion. These things are directly involve with people’s emotions. Such decision should be taken from people’s vote; it’s the rights of each Nepali to decide either to keep Nepal as HINDU country or to make it secular.
What did we achieve after making Nepal a secular country? It is just a political issue to get votes from minor community, they did not think about the major community and what effects it will have in general people life.
In some news papers, at reader’s column I read some comments, people asking to change the national animal from cow to some other animal so that they can eat the beef. I think in Nepal beef are easily available which are imported, before making Nepal a secular country few restaurants use to serve beef. Changing cow as a national animal will raise lots of question in Nepal, will the government allow people to cut cow and sale it’s meat? Till now since it is a national animal, it has been prevented from killing. Now minor community who’s religion might have no bound for them to eat cow meat will demand from law to let them allow to cut and eat cow meat. At this point what will government decides, will it allow them to do so? What about the major Hindu community who takes cow as their God? What about their religion, emotions, custom? Don’t you think this might bring unhappiness in Hindu people, may be like in India we might have a religious war? Because I don’t think any Hindu will accept this decision about letting their god to be cut in their community.
Once there was a debate on for allowing cow meat, and our beloved human rights activist Mr. Padma Ratna Tuladhar said that the people who are not bound to eat cow meat should allow to eat cow meat and cut them, After few days in one of the newspaper one of the leader from Muslim community said “we respect our national animal, and we don’t need to eat cow meat”.
This shows that we still are in harmony, these minor communities are proud to be Nepali and they have a respect for other religion also. This is a reason for Nepal being a peaceful country for many years and after such a big revolution in Nepal we still not have has any religious demonstration.
There are so many Muslim Nation, Christian Nation and Buddhist Nation, why not a single Hindu Nation?
Note: These are just my thoughts and feelings, I don’t mean to make any people or community feel bad or hurt their feelings. Everyone has their right to live their life in their own way.