Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah

Introduction to King Gyanendra

Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah, the Last King of Nepal, was born into the Royal Family of Nepal on July 7, 1947, at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace in Kathmandu. He is the first person in the history of Nepal to be king twice and also the last king of the Shah dynasty of Nepal.

Gyanendra married his second cousin Komal Rajya Lakshmi Devi on May 1, 1970, in Kathmandu. They have two children, Prince Paras Bir Bikram Shah Dev, born on December 30, 1971, and Princess Prerana Rajya Lakshmi Devi Singh, born on February 20, 1978.

Life of King Gyanendra

Gyanendra was the second son of Crown Prince Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and Crown Princess Indra Rajya Laxmi Devi.

He had four siblings: two elder sisters, Princess Shanti and Princess Sharada, one elder brother, Prince Birendra, one younger brother, Prince Dhirendra, and one younger sister, Princess Shobha.

He was sent to live with his grandmother shortly after birth, as a court astrologer told his father not to look at his newborn son because it would bring him bad luck.

In November 1950, during a political plot, both his father and his grandfather King Tribhuvan, along with other royals, fled to India. The infant Prince Gyanendra as the only male member of the royal family that was left in Nepal.

Mohan Shumsher who was the Prime Minister of the Period brought him back to the capital Kathmandu and had him declared king on November 7, 1950. Not only was Gyanendra crowned, but coins were issued in his name.

The Rana prime minister provided a 300,000 rupee annual budget as expenditure for the king.

However, he gave up his monarchy to his grandfather King Tribhuvan in January 1951 when he returned to Nepal from exile after a deal was made between Nepal and India which opposed the rule of the Prime Ministers of the Rana dynasty.

Gyanendra studied with his elder brother King Birendra at St. Joseph’s School, in Darjeeling, India. He graduated from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, in 1969.

He served as the chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Coronation of his brother King Birendra in 1975.

He is a keen conservationist and served as chairman of the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation (later known as National Trust for Nature Conservation) from 1982 until his accession to the throne in 2001.

The Maoist Movement, along with a War, was initiated between the government of King Birendra and the Maoist guerrillas led by Prachanda. The Whole Royal Family of Nepal, including King Birendra, were killed on June 1 2001 A.D. It is said that Prince Dipendra was the perpetrator of killing the Royal Family.

However, multiple controversy still surrounds the massacre of the whole royal family in Nepal on June 1, 2001. When Prince Dipendra, the eldest son of King Birendra, died of bullet wounds received during the massacre on June 4, 2001, King Gyanendra was sworn in as the King of Nepal.

Political Career of King Gyanendra

After Gyanendra was sworn in as the King of Nepal, the Maoist Movement escalated.

In May 2002, he dismissed the parliament headed by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. In October 2002, he dismissed Deuba again and assumed full authority over Nepal. It is exclaimed to have been the Second Coup by the Nepalese Monarchy. He proposed a Normal Scenario would certainly be introduced within the next three years.

However, during the next three years from 2002 to 2005 A.D., he dismissed three more Prime Ministers for not being able to hold elections as the civil war was still continuing. He continued as the absolute ruler of Nepal on February 1, 2005.

He tried to reinstate the Partyless Panchayat which had been abolished by his elder brother King Birendra. However, he was confronted with opposition from all political parties. Nepalese Society and Politics increasingly emphasized a Tyranny-Less Political System for Nepal.

Because of such failure, he resorted to curtailing multiple Civil and Political Rights of Common Citizens. He further increased Censorship in Social Medias. He violated Right Against Preventive Detention and other rights against the State.

A Violent Protest took place after King Gyanendra showed hints of Tyranny. These Protests were led by the Political Parties. Therefore, a Curfew was imposed upon the Nepalese People. Henceforth, King Gyanendra decided to hand over the Power of the Government to the Political Parties themselves.

Ultimately, a Prime Minister chosen by the Seven-Party Alliance on April 21,2006 A.D. led the Government of Nepal for the time being.

In the latter part of his Kingship, a Constituent Assembly was to be chosen for Nepal who would decide the Fate of Monarchy in Nepal. During the election, the Insurgents led by the Maoists interfered with the Federal Election.

After several delays in elections, Gyanendra suspended the constitution and assumed direct authority in February 2005. He asserted that it was be a temporary measure to suppress the Maoist insurgency after civil governments had failed to do so. However, he restored the previous parliament in April 2006.

Gyanendra was removed as the King of Nepal, two years later by the first session of the Constituent Assembly, which declared the nation to be the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and abolished the 240-year-old Shah dynasty.

Conclusion

King Gyanendra Shah is the Last King of Nepal and the First King to be King Twice in the History of Nepal. He is considered to be an ambitious Businessmen who, because of unforseen circumstances, was handed over the throne, having to rule Nepal for half a Decade.

( Featured Image: By Sagarkca11 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=113768273)

Miscellaneous

Cite

Pokhrel, A. (2023). King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/modern-kings/gyanendra-bir-bikram-shah/

FAQ’s

Who became King of Nepal for two times?

King Gyanendra was first declared king on November 7, 1950, at the age of three months. He also became the King of Nepal for the second time after the assassination of his Brother, Birendra.

How did Monarchy end in Nepal?

King Gyanendra’s reign came to an end in 2008 by the first session of the Constituent Assembly, which declared the nation to be the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and abolished the 240-year-old Shah dynasty.

When was King Gyanendra born and where?

King Gyanendra was born on July 7, 1947, at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace in Kathmandu.

How many siblings did King Gyanendra have?

King Gyanendra had four siblings: two elder sisters, one elder brother, and one younger brother and sister.

What did Gyanendra do when he was in Power?

King Gyanendra dismissed three Prime Ministers and restricted civil liberties such as freedom of the press and preventive detention provided by the Constitution. He conducted a Royal Coup in 2061 B.S.

Why did People’s Movement II happen?

The Major Reason for the Second People’s Movement was the dissatisfaction of Political Parties with Gyanendra and his suspension of the Constitution of Kingdom of Nepal, 1990 A.D.