Book Review: ‘Nepal: From Monarchy to Republic’ by Lok Raj Baral

Nepal's Epic Transformation: Monarchy to Republic Unveiled

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Book Title: Nepal: From Monarchy to Republic
Author: Lok Raj Baral
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Number of Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-9357025843
Date Published: Oct. 9, 2023
Price: INR 475

Nepal From Monarchy to Republic by Lok Raj Baral Book Cover

Book Review

Nepal’s political history has been marked by a series of seismic shifts, transitioning from monarchy to oligarchy and, eventually, embracing multiparty politics. In this diverse nation, where numerous ethnicities, languages, and religions coexist, turmoil has been a recurring theme. From the tumultuous Maoist uprising of the late 1990s to the tragic royal massacre of 2001, Nepal witnessed various signs of unrest.

However, the most defining moment arrived with the abolition of the 240-year-old monarchy through the 2008 constituent assembly elections. On one side of this tumultuous journey were individuals driven by an unquenchable thirst for power, while on the other were advocates for equitable representation of the people.

Lok Raj Baral’s “Nepal: From Monarchy to Republic” delves into the nation’s transition from monarchy to republic in 2008, following a decade-long civil war and popular uprising. The book meticulously analyses the post-monarchy era’s causes, consequences, and challenges.

With the author’s extensive political expertise and experience as Nepal’s former ambassador to India, the narrative unravels the Himalayan nation’s journey, navigating its path from the Shah Dynasty’s rule to becoming a democratic republic. It also delves into Nepal’s ongoing pursuit of internal stability and diplomacy with neighboring China and India, offering profound insights into the nation’s turbulent history and contemporary challenges.

With a wealth of experience and knowledge in Nepal’s political landscape, societal intricacies, and its relationships with neighboring nations and the global community, Baral offers a balanced and objective perspective. He navigates the complex terrain of Nepal’s contemporary issues, which encompass ethnic diversity, federalism, democracy, development, security, and foreign policy, with a keen eye for the nuances that shape the nation’s destiny.

Drawing from a diverse array of sources, including academic literature, official documents, media accounts, personal interviews, and the author’s firsthand observations, this book is a treasure trove of information and insights. Its well-structured narrative presents clear and compelling arguments supported by robust evidence. Additionally, readers will find the inclusion of valuable appendices, such as a chronology of pivotal events, a glossary of terms for better understanding, and a comprehensive list of references.

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A significant addition to the realm of Nepali studies, this book also offers profound insights into the intricate political landscape of South Asia. It is a must-read for those passionate about Nepal’s rich history and culture and those intrigued by the challenges and prospects that accompany the nation’s transition toward democracy. In the realm of contemporary politics and historical transformations, this work is an indispensable guide for those seeking a more profound comprehension of Nepal’s intricate journey.

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