Ayodhya/Kathmandu: On a blistering afternoon in the north Indian town of Ayodhya in early April, Mahant Kamal Nayan Das—a white-robed seer and a spokesperson of the Ram Temple Trust—spoke on the expansion of Hinduism before an audience of saffron-clad devout Hindus.

The articulate 75-year-old preacher at one of Ayodhya’s most prominent temples, Mani Ram Das Ki Chavani, where more than 500 sadhus live, seemed particularly concerned about neighbouring Nepal.

“Christianity is spreading fast in the upper reaches of Nepal and Islam in the lower reaches,” he said. “We need to arrest that and sensitise people about a Hindu Rashtra (polity).”

A month earlier, Das was in Nepal, where he delivered elaborate sermons on reviving Nepal’s Hindu past, particularly political and religious systems based on indigenous thought.

Amid the surge in Hindu nationalism in India, Das and other votaries of majoritarianism are not only campaigning vigorously to reinstate Nepal as a Hindu kingdom but are also finding wide support among local Nepalese.

With India in the middle of election season, calls are also growing in Nepal to bring back its Hindu monarchy 15 years after Kathmandu abolished the centuries-old institution, turning the Himalayan country into a republic.

Buoyed by the rise of Hindutva in India – the political ideology of Hindu nationalism– pro-monarchy forces in Nepal, including the fifth-largest party, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), have launched mass protests and rallies in different cities.

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