King will stay, say Nepal’s soothsayers

May 18th, 2008 - 12:54 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, May 18 (IANS) Though Nepal’s former Maoist guerrillas who waged a 10-year war on the monarch of the world’s only Hindu kingdom say King Gyanendra will have to yield his crown and exit the royal palace in 10 days’ time, a small but resolute group of people predict monarchy will not die out. Nepal’s astrologers, who are consulted till this day by the rich and poor alike for auspicious dates to start new ventures and means to ward off bad luck, foresee the nation’s 239-year-old institution of monarchy will survive the fateful first meeting of the newly elected constituent assembly on May 28, that is scheduled to deliver the death blow to the crown - with a twist.

“According to star signs, when the king’s grandson turns 13, circumstances can put him on the throne of his grandfather,” says Swami Dhruv, an Indian who has made Nepal his home and has been a practising astrologer for eight years.

The king’s grandson Hridayendra, once third in line to the throne, turns six in July.

According to the astrologer, he would have a chance to become a teen king in 2015.

Dhruv says while bad luck would dog King Gyanendra till 2010, forcing him to a life of dishonour, people would forgive him after that though he would never reclaim the omnipotence he once enjoyed with both the army and government under his thumb.

However, adds the bearded astrologer, despite the Maoists’ claim that they would force the king to exit from the Narayanhity royal palace on May 28, he would remain there.

Veteran astrologer Dharma Raj Regmi, whose family has been soothsayers for generations, says King Gyanendra will continue to be buffeted by the stars for 15 days more.

However, from June 3, the luck of the king, born under the sign of Aquarius, will turn and by 2011, there will be enduring peace and reconciliation in Nepal.

“They will not be able to abolish monarchy,” the 75-year-old says.

Dr Madhav Bhattarai, chairman of the committee of astrologers and religious scholars that draws up the almanac each year, too predicts the king’s stars will grow stronger.

“From monsoon, his lot will improve,” says Bhattarai. “However, the position of stars is relative. One has to see how strong the stars of the king’s enemies will be.”

With little public information available about Maoist chief Prachanda’s horoscope, unlike the king’s, Bhattarai says it is difficult to make an exact prediction.

“However, as an informed citizen, I can say with assurance that the king will stay,” he says. “The election last month was not held to decide the fate of the crown but to choose a constituent assembly (that would write a new constitution for Nepal).

“Only a referendum can decide if Nepal should abolish monarchy.

“The king is a symbol of national unity and sovereignty.

“After he was sidelined, see what happened. There was a secessionist movement in the Terai and rifts everywhere on the basis of caste and religion.”

King Gyanendra himself still has unshaken faith in the stars though they led him astray in 2005, after his army-backed coup unravelled due to a national uprising. During his 14-month absolute rule, he is said to have made major moves in accordance with the advice of royal astrologers.

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