There is outrage in Kathmandu after the Nepal Supreme Court ruled that the Kumari has rights. The country has long taken a pre-pubescent girl that declared her a “living goddess” – – a nice status but it comes with a denial of school and other basic rights like freedom of movement. The ruling means the the current Kumari, nine-year-old Preeti Shakya, can be freed from a virtual ornate prison in the palace.
The reform comes on the heels of the return to democracy and elimination of the Nepali Hindu monarchy. The Kumari was used to reinforce the legitimacy of the 240-year-old monarchy.
The ruling could signal the beginning of the end of the tradition. Officials are livid at the ruling. ajan Maharajan, the vice president of the committee that looks after the Kumari and her palace. insists” “This is not good news. In any case, she is a goddess so how can court rulings apply?” He insists that the living God receives three hours of schooling a day at the palace and is not a prisoner. As the video shows below, however, the Kumari is not allowed to speak to anyone.
While the Kumari is a living princess, she loses that status when she starts menstruating — then a new Kumari is selected. The tradition obviously repels many feminists and Westerners.