Introduction of Nepal

Nepal is a Himalayan country in South Asia bounded by the Tibetan region of China on the north part and India on east, south and west. There has not been enough investigation about the origin of the name Nepal, state system and its prehistory due to the different causes. Some references to Nepal have been found in the famous Hindu epic “The Mahabharata”, Purans, Buddhist scriptures, various chronicles, Thyasaphus, ancient coins, Foreigners accounts and archaeological findings etc. This land was known as the Satyawoti in the Satya Yuga, Tapovan (land of meditaion) in Treta Yuga, Muktisopan in Dwapar Yuga, and Nepal at present.

According to Nepali historian, Dhanabajra Bajracharya the name of Nepal was given by the Gopala Dynasty who was the first ruling dynasty of Nepal. The first inscription which mentioned the name Nepal was inscribed by the Samundra Gupta in Allahabad in India. The famous Chinese traveler Huyan-Tsang in his travel account mentioned the word Nepal as Nepolo. In the Nepalese Inscription the name Nepal was used for the first by Lichchhavi king Basanta Deva In 512 AD at tistung. Nepal was the selected land for the Rishi Muni (learned Men) in mythological period.

There is not any reliable pre-historical and historical sources to know the knowledge about the origin of the Nepal and state system. In the absence of any archaeological findings, analysis about the origin of Nepal and the state system can be done with the help of language, foreigners travel accounts and chronicles.

How was the name Nepal and state originated?

  • According to Myth

Manjushree as the Bodhisatwa came from China and manage drain away water of the big lake Nagdaha and established town “Manjupatan” and Dharmakar became the king of this land.

  • According to chronicles

Historian believes that Gopala were successors of “Ne” Munee and gopalas were known as Neep. Ne-Neep-Nepal. In kirat language Nepal is known as Neyothapa here Niyatha means cattle and pa means people. In limbu language Plain area is known as Nepal.


Meaning of Sovereignty

Sovereignty is the ultimate power of the particular state. The term sovereignty is derived from the Latin word “superanus” which means supreme. Thus the etymological meaning of sovereignty is the supreme power of any independent country. In every independent country there is an absolute and ultimate authority from which there is no appeal. The sovereignty or supreme authority is supreme both in internal and external matters. Internally, no individual or group of individuals has the legal right to act contrary to the decision of sovereign power. In externally, the sovereign state is supreme. It is its own master.

Definitions of Sovereignty

  • Duguit, Sovereignty is the ‘commanding power of the state: it is the will of nation organized in in the state: it is the right to give unconditional orders to all individuals in the territory of the state.”
  • Pollock, “Sovereignty is that power which is neither temporary nor delegated nor subject to particular rules which it cannot alter.”

Thus, sovereignty is the supreme power of the state and it is the quality of the state power in internal matters and in external matters.

Characteristics of Sovereignty

  • Absoluteness: -

Sovereignty is the absolute power of the country. It is not relative to any matters. The sovereign power is said to be absolute and unlimited. Internally the sovereign power has absolute power over the individual and group of individuals within the state. Externally, the sovereign authority is considered supreme. It is absolutely independent of any compulsion or interference on the part their states.

  • Permanence: -

Sovereignty is permanent as the state itself. So long as the state lasts sovereignty last. State and sovereignty are inseparable. The death or dispossation of the head of the state does not mean the break of sovereignty. It shifts immediately to the next person. It is only the change of leadership not a break in the continuety of the state.

  • Indivisibility: -

According to Gettell if sovereignty is not absolute, no state exists, if sovereignty is divided more than one state exists. Thus sovereignty is indivisible concept.

  • Universality: -

The sovereign power is supreme over all persons, associations and things within the state. It is the subject to the law of individual state.

Nepal as Sovereign state: Origin and Development

Origin of Nepal as Sovereign country

According to Gopala Raj chronicles Nepal state was originated as the kingdom under the Gopala dynasty around 9th century BC. Gopalas were the founder of the Nepal state. Gopalas were successors of Ne muni and they were called “Neep”. The term Nepal is product of Neep+ Aala. Initially the sovereignty was vested in the Gopal kings.

After the Gopala dynasty the sovereignty of nepal was transferred to the Mahispal dynasty. After the Mahishpala the Nepalese was exercised by the kirata dynasty. After Mahispal the sovereignty of nepal was exercised by the Lichchhavi dynasty. In the Medieval period the sovereignty of Nepal was divided there were the existences of small provinces. Kathmandu valley itself was divided into three state kantipur, patan and bhaktapur. In this medieval period there were 52/52 states with the territory of Nepal. 

Nepalese history of the present-day polity begins with Prithvi Narayan Shah, who ruled the Kingdom of Gorkha during the mid-eighteenth century. At that time Gorkha was a petty Himalayan state that interacted politically in the League of Twenty-Four Kingdoms situated in the Gandaki watershed of the central Himalayas. At the turn of the nineteenth century the Gorkha rulers referred to their territorial domain in terms of a possessions (muluk).

After the conquest of the Kathmandu Valley by P.N. Shah in 1768 AD the sovereignty of Nepal was exercised by shah dynasty. King of Gorkha exercised his ritual authority was a quite different territorial unit from the possessions over which the king exercised proprietary authority. The demarcation of a defined border (1816); opened the door of exercise of real sovereignty in Nepal. This demarcation gave the recognition of sovereign country.

At the conclusion of the 1814-1816 Gorkha-Company War, the East India Company demanded the border dividing the territories be a fixed line demarcated by stone pillars. Till the 2065 BS, the sovereign power of the Nepal state was under the king. According to constitution of 2072 BS sovereignty is vested in Nepali people.