May 27, 2024, Monday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Observing Fagun 7 as Prajatantra Diwas or National Democracy Day

The Nepal Weekly
February 21, 2023
A photo of King Tribhuwan, B.P. Koirala, Indian PM Jawahar Lal Neharu and other leaders in BS 2007

Prajatantra Diwas or National Democracy Day is observed on Falgun 7 every year in Nepal. On this day, in 1951 AD, democracy was established in Nepal by ending family rule of the Ranas. This was the result of a revolution against the autocratic rule which lasted for 104 years. This year, Prajatantra Diwas is being observed on February 19.

A lot of Nepali nationals lost their life for the “Democracy”. Nepal’s democracy has an adventurous history of being established, snatched, and reestablished. During the 1940s, the people and civil society of Nepal launched a movement against the autocratic family regime of Ranas and established democracy on this day.

The partyless Panchayat system imposed by kings remained for 30 years when all parties were banned and the fundamental democratic rights of citizens were seized. Finally, democracy was restored through various movements and mass protests in 1990, and the monarchy was brought under the constitution. In the meantime, Maoists commenced people’s revolution to combat the imperialist forces and establish an inclusive system, with the combined movement of other political forces and Maoists, a campaign was initiated against the autocratic steps of the monarch. This mass movement successfully abolished the monarchy and established the Republic of Nepal (The comprehensive peace accord 2006). Nepal has several painful memories and glorious twists in its path of democracy, today is a national day in remembering those incidents and assimilating the lessons. The term “New Nepal” refers to a new democratic system of Nepal, a newer Federal Republic Nepal of this century translates a glorious example of democracy and peace to this world.

National Democracy Day, 2079, was celebrated for three days. The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration issued a circular to the Chief Ministers and Council of Ministers offices, all commissions, departments, institutions, district coordination committees and local governments of all seven provinces to celebrate Democracy Day for three days.

A circular has also been issued to form a State-level Democracy Day Main Celebration Committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister of all the states to celebrate the Democracy Day. Similarly, there is a program of hoisting the national flag in all government agencies, institutions, organizations, and offices and lighting lamps in the evenings of February 18, 19 and 20. The circular of the ministry also mentions to increase the beautification of public institutions and places by placing the national flag in the possible places and decorating them.

On the occasion of National Democracy Day, President Bidya Devi Bhandari said that the essence of Democracy Day could be established with the transformation of democratic ideals into daily life style being based on the assumption that people were the entire source of state power.

In her message to all Nepalis at home and abroad, the President said the present political system should be successful in materializing the people’s aspirations and martyrs’ dreams.

“The foundation of today’s federal democratic republic we have attained today was built on the basis of the People’s Revolution in 2007 BS,” she said.

The President further stated that the martyrs’ dream and peoples’ aspirations should be transformed into reality.

“To that end, we should envision the social justice, equality, social harmony and economic prosperity as the nation’s foremost goal”, the Head-of-the-State said in her message.

She noted that the movements waged before 2007 BS had been inextricably linked with the background of the Democracy Day and the martyrdom attained by four great martyrs, GangalalShrestha, DharmabhaktaMathema, ShukrarajShashtri and Dasharath Chand in course of the struggle spearheaded by PrajaParishad in 1997 BS was spectacular for creating ground of democracy.

Extending heartfelt tribute to all martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the establishment of democratic governance system to guarantee civil rights, President Bhandari expressed sincere respect and homage to the leaders who guided several movements meant for democratic establishment.

In the anal of political history of Nepal, Falgun 7 has a special importance, the message reads, noting that the people’s struggle came up with the victory on the same day.

“The higher levels of sacrifice of the martyrs have inspired our movements for political and social reforms and this would continue to guide us in the days to come”, the President stated.

In this sense, the Democracy Day thrives the importance of civil rights and always reminds us the tale of the unprecedented struggles of the martyrs, the message reads.