KATHMANDU, June 11: The newly promulgated Constitution declares Nepal a secular country but the government has been funding an organization which has been lobbying at the international level to end secularism here and reinstate Nepal as a Hindu state.
The meeting of the council of ministers on April 1 had decided to provide financial assistance of Rs 2 million to the World Hindu Federation (WHF) Nepal chapter, as per the recommendation of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
WHF is holding a Virat Hindu Sammelan (Grand Hindu Conference) here in October. WHF international vice-president Arjun Prasad Bastola met Bharatiya Janata Party leader and chairman of WHF India chapter, Yogi Adityanath, in Gorakhpur on Friday and held discussions about the conference.
“Hindu religion is now being attacked everywhere. Nepal was declared a secular state through the new Constitution. Conversion has increased. In different countries, Hindu temples and shrines are being attacked. The conference will discuss all these issues and formulate strategies for the future,” said Hem Bahadur Karki, chairman of international committee of the WHF.
The online version of the Times of India newspaper, quoting Bastola, reported that the conference will focus on making Nepal a Hindu state again.
“It seems that the government is inclined towards making Nepal a Hindu Rashtra again. The present Nepali government has given Rs 2 million as aid to the federation for the sammelan in Kathmandu,” the newspaper quoted Bastola as saying.
However, Karki said that the financial support was for running the WHF office rather than for holding the conference.
At its April 1 cabinet meeting, the government decided to provide Rs 2 million to WHF, Rs 200,000 to the Rajdhob Valley Coordination Committee and Rs 400,000 each to Nepal Tamang Ghedung and Kirat Rai Yayokhkha.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Aanand Prasad Pokharel said that the funds were allocated as per the policy of preserving all cultural and religious values in society.
“The decision was taken as per the existing practice of the government providing financial support to various community and cultural organizations,” Pokharel told Republica. “It is not for lobbying in favor of reinstating a Hindu state. We will look into publicity to the contrary and punish anyone involved.”