Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Political Condition of Mallas

The early Malla monarchy was based on the divine right theory of kingship. The kingship was hereditary. With the exception of a few rulers, the Malla kings governed according to their own whims. They did not take the opinion of the people in political affairs. However, they took keen interest in the works of public welfare, and enriched the social and economic life of the people. Kings like Jayasthiti Malla, Mahendra Malla, Pratap Malla, Bhupatindra Malla and Siddhinarasimha Malla contributed much to the development of the kingdom and raised the prestige of Nepal in the outside world.

The Malla is also characterized by power politics and palace intrigues. Very often the administration was shared jointly by brothers, which led to the establishment of separate identities. When the king was a minor or inefficient, the ministers and nobles took the power of administration into their own hands. This led to a struggle for power between the king and the noble, and sometimes between the father and his son. There was a feudal type of administration where the Samantas or Pradhans became the de-facto rulers. The Pradhans of Patan exercised tremendous political power in the administration of the kingdom. They were known as the 'king-makers'. They enthroned and dethroned the king at their own will.

There were different kingdoms in the Valley itself. Though the Malla kings of the three kingdoms of the valley had descended from the same ancestry, there was no unity among them. There was mutual hatred, jealousy, discord and dissension. Each wanted to rise at the cost of other. However, Sriniwas Malla of Patan tried to form a united front making an alliance with the neighbouring kingdoms. he held a conference of the occasion of the 'Bratabandha' ceremony of his son in which Pratap Malla of kathmandu, Jagatprakash Malla of Bhaktapur, Dgbijay Sen of Tanahun, Prithvipati Shah of Gorkha and Shubha Sen of Makawanpur attended. They signed a treaty of alliance, mutual understanding and co-operation. But the treaty was not followed any longer.

On the eve of the conquest of the Prithvi Narayan Shah, political condition of th valley was deteriorating and was going from bad to worse. The political structure had reached such a tottering condition that one gentle push was enough to make it fall, that was why, Prithvi Narayan Shah easily smashed the Malla Kings one by oned and laid the foundation of a Grater Nepal, in 1768.

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