Booker Talliaferro Washington

Booker T Washington, Circa 1903 (Courtesy: Library of Congress, American Memory Project)
Born: April 5, 1856, Died: November 14, 1915

Santa Bahadur Pun
(September 2021, Ashwin 2078)

Text Box: Booker T. Washington, circa 1903(Courtesy Library of Congress, American Memory Project)Writer’s Note: This is a follow-up to a good article by Dr. PB Nepali of Kathmandu University on Booker T Washington that was published by Spotlight on August 6, 2021. In an age raging with George Floyd, Black Lives Matter and in our own Nepal despite the abolishment of Kamalaris/Kamaiyas system the recent sad inter-caste clashes in the districts, the writer felt a short summary of Booker Washington’s remarkable life will be of interest to Spotlight readers. The following is a summary of Booker’s life from an excellent book George Washington Carver – The Man Who Overcame by Lawrence Elliott about Carver, another great Black American of that period.

Measure me not by the Heights to which I have climbed But the Depths from which I have come!’ – Frederick Douglass, the first great spokesman of the Negro people, after the 1863 abolition of slavery in USA, who died in 1895 and the mantle of leadership fell on Booker T. Washington.

Booker was born into slavery in 1856 on the Burroughs plantation in Franklin County, Virginia. His mother, Jane, was a cook in a ‘big house’ and of his father he only knew that he was a white man from some neighbouring plantation. Sometimes Booker was called up to the mansion to shoo away flies from the dining room. Even as a boy he was highly valued – assessed by a court at $400! Each Sunday his mother was permitted to take home some molasses for her three children. Home was a fourteen by sixteen cabin in the slave quarter with earthen floor and no windows. For Booker, raised on corn bread and fat pork daily, that piece of molasses was heart-stopping treat. He was not yet ten when the Civil War ended in 1865 and the slaves were freed. He remembers an army officer, standing on the verandah of the colonnaded white house, reading to the assembled Negroes US President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation[1]. ‘You are free’ the officer said and Booker felt his mother’s tears as she stooped to kiss him. There were tumult, songs and great shouts of rejoicing long into the night. Only later were they to realize and ponder: where to go, how to live, where would their food come from, and who would take care of their old folks? Washington later wrote ‘In a few hours, the great questions with which the Anglo-Saxon race had been grappling for centuries had been thrown upon these people to be solved.’ Four million souls had been flung into a strange and alien liberty without money, homes, jobs or votes. Free for what? Washington clearly saw, ‘To vie with their one time white masters! To them Booker T Washington devoted his life, struggling to make meaningful this new-found freedom, to put into unskilled black hands the tools of learning and enterprise and opportunity. His incredible journey from slavery to the Hall of Fame began in 1865. In Malden, close to Charleston, his mother’s husband, Washington Ferguson (Booker’s stepfather), sent nine year old Booker and his brother to work in salt furnaces. For seven years Booker scooped and packed salt and hacked coal in the dark mine bottom. With hunger to read and write, he scrambled his way to a rudimentary education. Nearly everything he read and heard told him that the Negro race was the lowest and most hopeless of God’s creatures.

In 1872 having heard about a School for Negroes in a place called Hampton Institute near Norfolk, Booker travelled 500 miles across the civil war-torn Virginia – begging for rides and walking. Working as a janitor to pay his way, he graduated in 1875 and returned to Malden to teach the School there. Four years later, Booker went back to Hampton to take a teaching post. In May 1881 his school principal, General Samuel C Armstrong received an urgent request from a group of people in Tuskegee, deep in the ‘black belt’ of Alabama but home also of the staunch racist Confederates, for a white teacher for a School for Negroes that the Legislature had authorized. Tuskegee was a little town of 1,000 whites and 1,000 Negroes. WF Foster, a former Confederate officer, an aspirant to the State Legislature asked Lewis Adams, once a slave, what his people wanted for their support. Adams, a skilled metal worker, asked for a Negro training School. Colonel Foster was elected[2] to the State Senate and a bill authorized the establishment of a Normal School for coloured teachers. General Armstrong replied that he had no white teacher for that post but recommended an eminently suited coloured man. Three days later a telegram to General Armstrong said ‘Booker T Washington will suit us. Send him at once.’

Washington came to Tuskegee in June 1881. His School consisted of a leaky Methodist Church building about to collapse and a more worse nearby shanty. There were no books, no slates, no desks and no students. Though disillusioned, he was not baulked. Two days later he borrowed a mule and wagon and set out to learn what he could about the Tuskegee people and their needs. He met an old grizzled man who related him about being sold into slavery. To Washington’s query ‘How many of them were sold?‘Five’ was the reply. ‘Myself, brother and three mules!’ The School started at the dilapidated church on July 4, 1881. There were 30 pupils most of them older than the 25 year old teacher himself. Late that year, Washington heard of a 100 acres of abandoned plantation about a mile north of town that could be purchased for $500. The land was arid, bare with four ruined buildings. But Washington now had 50 students and he dreamt of 50 times that number. So he wrote to General Armstrong begging for a loan which he promised to pay back. The money came by return mail. Only days later, the teacher and students were swarming through the plantation cabin, kitchen, stable and hen house hammering, scrubbing, whitewashing. A new teacher, Miss Olivia A Davidson, who was to become Washington’s wife, undertook to raise money to pay back the awesome debt. She organized festivals, concerts and suppers among the community to raise money. People offered gifts according to their means. One day an old coloured lady hobbled up to Washington and putting six eggs on his desk said ‘I have no money. But I want you to take this toward the learning of the young ‘uns.’ Within five months, the entire $500 was repaid.

To most students, swinging an axe and ploughing the fields was not the education they had envisioned. They were all suffused[3] with the idea that learning would free them from toil and hard physical labour. That Schooling would make them escape from such toils. But when Washington, the principal, strode out among them with an axe on his shoulder and wielded it with vigour, the students’ mutterings died away. It was a graphic lesson in the Dignity of Labourthe basic tenet Tuskegee Institute would grow and flourish on. Washington taught them to wash, plough and plant aiming to turn out not Scholars but teachers and technicians and competent farmers. In the next 15 years, 40 buildings were erected, all but four by student labour. Washington travelled widely for his School’s funds and at the same time addressing for a better understanding between the white and coloured races. When Frederick Douglass, the first great spokesman of the Negro people died in 1895, the mantle of leadership fell on the shoulders of the slave boy who had fought his way up from the deepest darkness.

That same year in 1895, Washington was invited to speak at the Atlanta Cotton States and International Exposition. This Exposition was to demonstrate to all that the onetime Confederacy had come back from Civil War devastation. King Cotton was back on the throne ready to do business with the Northern merchants and foreign mills. But there still were diehards who cried To permit a Negro on the same platform with Southern leaders was to confess to the world that the blacks and whites were equal after all.’ At the International Exposition auditorium, Washington told them the parable of a ship lost at sea with its crew dying of thirst. Sighting another ship, the unfortunate crew hoisted a signal for water and the answer came back, ‘Cast down your bucket.’ Again and again they hoisted their pleas and the reply was the same, ‘Cast down your bucket where you are.’ The exasperated Captain finally ordered a bucket down over the side – and up came the sparkling fresh water! The distressed ship was at rest in the great mouth of the Amazon River. Washington continued ‘Cast down your bucket where you are, among the 8 million Negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested. Cast down your bucket among these people who tilled your fields, cleared your forests, built your railroads and cities. In all things social we can be as separate[4] as the fingers’ – so saying he indicated the fingers of his raised open brown hand and then dramatically closing them into a fist, he roared ‘Yet One as a Hand in all Things Essential – to Mutual Progress!’ The audience roared its approval and Washington’s speech turned out to be the high point of the Exposition and his speech there was later also known as the Atlanta Compromise. Overnight Washington became one of the most famous men of the land. The problems and yearnings of his people were understood as never before. But many of his own race jeered him as ‘Uncle Tom’ charging Washington with betrayal of the Negro’s social and political claims.

Somewhere he had heard that there was a noted agriculturist, a coloured man, working at the Agricultural School at Ames in Iowa. George Washington Carver had just received his master’s degree in agriculture and was working at that School. On April 1, 1896 Washington sat down to write him a letter:

I cannot offer you money, position or fame. The first two you have. The last, from the place that you now occupy, you will no doubt achieve. These things I now ask you to give up. I offer you in their place work – hard, hard work – the task of bringing a people from degradation, poverty and waste to full manhood.

Four days later George W Carver read the letter. In addition to accepting Tuskegee’s offer of an annual salary of $1500, Carver replied ‘To this end, I have been preparing myself for these many years ….. that this line of education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom to our people.’ And in October 1896, the Tuskegee Institute paper reported that the new Agricultural Department would be headed by a Mr. George Washington Carver[5], en route from Iowa.

In October 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker Washington for dinner at the White House. This aroused intense anger and uproar in the South. While Democratic Party politician from Mississippi James K Vardaman described the White House as being ‘saturated with the odour of the nigger’, South Carolina’s Senator Benjamin Tillman from the same Party made far harsher racist remarks ‘The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that nigger will necessitate our killing a thousand nigger in the South before they will learn their place again.’ Washington never responded directly to such racist remarks of his critics, whether white or black. He was a true apostle of tolerance between the blacks and whites. For Washington, the burning question of the time, so well uttered by the two politicians of the South, was whether the black man was actually a human being or not.

Pressed and burdened with such environment, Washington, unable to find rest, would sometimes in the middle of night knock at George Carver’s door and apologetically say ‘I thought perhaps you would like to take a walk.’ Invariably Carver would quickly dress and hurry out to join the principal. Carver well knew the heavy weight that Washington alone was carrying. The two, though highly diverse in personality and talent, had the same vision – dedicated totally to the cause of uplifting their people.

On the evening of 25th October 1915, Washington spoke in New Haven – his favourite subject, as usual, was race tolerance – and almost immediately, he fell ill. Still he insisted on going on to New York. But there were to be no more speeches for him. Days later, he collapsed and was rushed to a hospital where doctors told him he might live only a few hours. Gasping for voice, Washington told his friend, Robert Russa Moton, who succeeded him as President of Tuskegee: ’Take me home. I was born in the South. I have lived and laboured in the South and I wish to die and be buried in the South.’[6] He was carried to the train and returned to his Tuskegee School in Alabama. On the morning of November 14th 1915, Washington breathed his last and his body was laid to rest on a little rise of ground at the School – now the Tuskegee University. When Booker Washington died in 1915, Tuskegee owned more than 100 well-equipped buildings with about 1,500 students learning 38 trades and professions and had an endowment of approximately $2 million.


[1] This Emancipation Proclamation was made on January 1, 1863. Three years earlier in 1860, Britain had already abolished slavery in India introducing the Indian Penal Code which not only abolished slavery but made enslavement of human beings a criminal offence. Slavery in Jung Bahadur Rana’s 1854 Mulki Ain contain interestingly detailed separate chapters dealing with: punishment of slaves for having sexual relationship, punishment to those who assist the slaves to run away, norms to be applied when selling off slaves, what to do when the mother slave is separated from her children during her owner’s family partition and even on keeping the female slave as wife by the owner. As slavery had been abolished in India, it was but natural for many Nepalese slaves to run away to India for refuge. So in 1868 Jung conveniently clamped a bill that freed only those slaves, who ran away from their owners, to Naya Muluk (Kanchanpur, Kailali, Banke and Bardiya districts) and Morang/Jhapa – vast birtas owned by Jung families and his ruling coterie who required cheap labour to till them! We should also remember that though slavery was abolished as early as 1860 in India, the ingenious ruler coining the term ‘indented labour’ exported hundred of thousands of poverty-ridden Indians to the colonial sugar farms of Mauritius, British Guyana, West Indies, Fiji and South Africa. Similarly in Nepal, after kamara/slavery was abolished in 1925, the ingenious rulers introduced the kamaiyas/kamalaris system to tend to their comforts. It is very strange that the kamaras/kamaiyas/kamalaris, that has haunted Nepal to this day, has failed to attract the attention of Nepalese researchers. The kamaras, Malati/Mangale, appeared on the musical drama only in BS 2042 after Madhav Prasad Ghimire wrote it in BS 2039.

[2] Colonel Foster’s political career was brief. Goaded as a ‘nigger-lover’, he was swept away from office in the next election.

[3]Unfortunately, such concepts, totally bereft of the Dignity of Labour, continue to still pervade our Schools and Colleges of Nepal!

[4]  Sadly, even the 21st century Nepalese leaders still fail to see this Strength in Nepal’s Diversity – diversity in ethnic races. Prithwi Narayan Shah in his Dibya Upadesh called Nepal Char Jat, Chhattis Varna ko Fulbari’! However, Jung’s 1854 Mulki Ain forgot the ‘chhattis varna’ and preferred to limit Nepal only to ‘Char Jat’!

[5]Carver taught at the Tuskegee Institute for 47 years till his death in 1943. Like Booker Washington, Carver became internationally known for his work at Tuskegee. Presidents, princes and even Mahatma Gandhi were in touch with him. Thomas Edison invited Carver to come and work in his Edison laboratories at Menlo Park, New Jersey at a minimum salary of $ 100,000/. Carver thanked Edison but did not accept the offer. He was still working at an annual salary of $1,500. Later when someone, having heard of Edison’s offer, queried ‘But if you had all that money, you could help your people.’ Carver replied ‘If I had all that money I might forget about my people!’

[6] Not unlike what the cancer-ridden terminally ill Dr Upendra Devkota did. When his treatment in Britain failed, Dr. Devkota returned to Kathmandu as he wanted to die in Nepal. His last wish was to do what he used to do in his boyhood: drink the sparkling water from the ‘dhunge dhara’ of his native Boharagaon in Gorkha. Having fulfilled that wish, Dr. Devkota passed away on 18th June 2018.

हिमवत खण्डमा गोर्खालीहरुको आगमन

हिमवत खण्डमा गोर्खालीहरुको आगमन

त्रिलोकसिंह थापा मगर

२०७८ असोज २५ गते १०:५२

https://www.wenepali.com/2021/10/

भारतको उत्तराखण्ड तथा हिमाञ्चल प्रदेशको विभिन्न भेगहरुमा विभिन्न समय, काल तथा चरणहरुमा गोर्खा राज्यको सीमा बिस्तारको क्रममा गोर्खा समुदायको आगमन भएको बुझिन्छ। गोर्खा सेना त्यस भूखण्डमा गोर्खा राज्यको सरहद बिस्तार गर्न गराउन त्यहाँ पुगेका थिए । आफ्नै मुलुकजस्तै हिमवत खण्डको मनमोहक सौंदर्यता, रमणीय, मन छुने मोहनी लगाउने शान्त पर्यावरण तथा आकर्षक पर्वतीय भेग र हिम शिखरमा रमाएर केही गोर्खा सैनिकका परिवारहरु विभिन्न समयकाल तथा चरणहरुमा आफ्नो थलो छोडेर त्यहाँ स्थायी बसोबास गर्न थाले । जुनको विवरण यसप्रकार छ

पहिलो चरणः (सन १७९०) गोर्खालीहरुको आगमन
(क) सन् १७९० मा कुमाउ तथा गढवाल राज्यका पूर्व राजा हर्षदेव जोशीको आग्रह र अनुरोधमा बृहत गोर्खा राज्यका गोर्खाली सेनाले कुमाऊ राज्यमा ठूलो संख्यामा प्रवेश गरे । त्यसै समय देखि (सन् १७९०) कुमाऊँ, गढवाल तथा हालको हिमाञ्चल प्रदेशका विभिन्न पर्वतीय भेगहरुमा गोर्खा राज्यका केही गोर्खाली सैनिकहरु स्वेच्छाले त्यही बसोबास गर्न थाले ।
(ख) प्रमाणको रुपमा हालको उत्तराखण्ड तथा हिमाञ्चल प्रदेशका विभिन्न ठाऊँ तथा स्थानहरुमा गोर्खाली सैनिकहरुले स्थापना तथा निर्माण गरेका प्रसिद्ध किल्ला, गढ, कोत, सैनिक छाउनी तथा मठ मन्दिर, पौवा पाटी, बाटो घाटो, धार्मिक यात्रु विश्राम घर, सराय र देवस्थालहरु आदी आज पनि त्यहाँ देख्न सकिन्छ । ती मध्ये केही प्रसिद्ध ऐतिहासिक तथा पुरात्वातिक महत्वका भवनहरुको नाम यस प्रकार छन् ।
(ग) मलाऊँको प्रसिद्ध किल्ला (सोलन) , अर्की किल्ला (शिमला), सैनिक कोत (सुबायु), नहानको किल्ला, नालागढ, जैथक कोत, जीत गढ, कुथल गढ, तारागढ किल्ला, (बकलोह) तथा देहादुनमा स्थित प्रख्यात नालापानी खलङ्गा किल्लाहरु आदी ।
(घ) सन् १८०३ देखि १८१४ सम्म सेनापति अमर सिंह थापा सरिवार शिमला शहरको नजिकको अर्की किल्लामा बस्नु भएको थियो । गोर्खाली सैनिकहरुले निर्माण तथा स्थापना गरेका ऐतिहासिक र पुरात्वतिक किल्ला, गढ, कोतहरुमध्ये अधिकांश हाल जीर्ण तथा भग्नावशेष अवस्थामा छन् । यी जीर्णावस्था तथा भग्नावशेषको रुपमा रहेका प्राचीन तथा प्रख्यात भवनहरुले विशाल गोर्खा राज्यको बिर्सिएको गाथाहरु मात्र सुनाउँछन् । यिनीहरुलाई हेरचाह गर्ने, मर्मत गर्ने, सोधपुछ गर्ने, आजभोलि कोही छैनन् । गोखार्ली फौजका सेना नायकहरु अमरसिंह थापा,
बलभद्र कुंवर, रणजीत सिंह थापा, भक्ति थापा आदिहरुले हालको हिमाञ्चल तथा उत्तराखण्डको विभिन्न स्थानहरुमा देवालय, मठ मन्दिरहरु र यात्रुघर स्थापना गरेका थिए । प्रसिद्ध जयन्ती देवी माता (काँगडा) सन् १८०५, रेणुका माता (सिरमौर) सन् १८०४, काल रात्री देवी (जैथोक)
सन् १८०९, श्री माता काली (सुबाथु), भैरव, बिष्णु र गणेश (मलाउन सोलन), पेगोडा शैलीको लोकेश्वर महादेव (बकलोह), भाग्सु नाथ (भाग्सु धर्मशाला) आदि । यी सम्पूर्ण मठ मन्दिर गोर्खा समुदायले सन् १७९० देखि निर्माण गरेको पाइन्छ । केही मठ मन्दिरहरुको पुनः निर्माण अंग्रेजहरुको शासनकालमा गोर्खाली समुदायले गरेका थिए ।
(ङ) सन् १८१२ मा जनरल अमर सिंह थापाले उत्तराकाशीमा प्रसिद्ध गंगोत्री मन्दिरको निर्माण गरेका थिए । केदारनाथको मन्दिर तथा गंगा नदीको मुहानमा प्रसिद्ध “गौमुख धारा” अमर सिंह थापाबाट निर्मित भएको थियो । त्यस ठाँऊमा बाटोघाटो र यात्रुघरहरु गोर्खालीले निर्माण गरेका थिए । देहरादुनमा प्रसिद्ध भद्रकाली मन्दिर सेनापति बलभद्र कुंवरबाट स्थापित भएको थियो ।
(च) वास्तवमा नेपाल सरकार तथा भारत सरकारको पुरातत्व विभागहरुको संयोजनमा ती प्रख्यात ऐतिहासिक तथा पुरात्वातिक महत्वको गोर्खालीहरुद्वारा निर्मित किल्ला, गढ, देवस्थल, मन्दिर तथा कोतहरुको विवरण संकलन गर्नुपर्ने र त्यसपछि संरक्षण र सम्बर्धनको कार्ययोजना तर्जुमा गर्नुपर्ने देखिन्छ । यी नेपाल र भारत तथा भारतीय गोर्खालीहरुको ऐतिहासिक, सांस्कृतिक, पुरात्वतिक धरोहर एवं सम्पदाहरु हुन् । यिनीहरुलाई जोगाउन आवश्यक छ ।

धार्मिक कुटनीति
गोर्खा राज्यको पश्चिम सरहदको बिस्तारको क्रममा गोर्खा सेना नायकहरु द्वारा निर्मित र स्थापित मन्दिर, देवस्थलहरु वास्तवमा धार्मिक कुटनीतिको रणनीति थियो । आफ्नो धार्मिक आस्था, विश्वासका साथै हिन्दु धर्मालम्बी समुदायमा चर्चित, जनप्रिय एवं लोकप्रिय हुने कुटनीति थियो । स्थानीय राजाहरुले गर्न नसकेको कार्य गोर्खाली सेना नायकहरुले गरे भन्ने सन्देश प्रवाहित गर्नु थियो । आजसम्म पनि स्थानिय निवासीहरुले गोर्खा सेना नायकहरुको नाम लिन्छन् । त्यसबेला गोर्खा सेना नायकहरुको विरुद्ध दुष्प्रचार गर्न ईष्ट ईन्डिया कम्पनी सरकारलाई ज्यादै कठिन र गाह्रो भएको थियो र हम्मे हम्मे परेको थियो ।

दोश्रो चरणः (सन् १८०५ देखि १८०९)
(क) सन् १८०५ देखि १८०९ सम्म बडाकाजी अमर सिंह थापाको नेतृत्वमा गोर्खा फौजले प्रसिद्ध किल्ला कांगडा किल्लालाई आफ्नो घेराबन्दी तथा कठोर नियन्त्रणमा राखेका थिए । त्यसै समय र अवधिमा कांगडा किल्लाको निकट पहाडको टाकुरामा माता जयन्ती देवीको मन्दिर उनले निर्माण गरे । मन्दिरका लागि शिलालेख, पुजारी, रक्षक तथा सहायकहरु काठमाण्डौंबाट झिकाएका थिए । मन्दिरको रेखदेख तथा पूजापाठ आदि सम्पूर्ण व्यवस्था र जिम्मेवारी गोर्खालीहरुको थियो । त्यसै समयदेखि केही गोर्खालीहरु मन्दिरको छेउछाउ गाउँहरुमा बसोबास गर्न थाले । आज पनि केही भाग्सुबासी गोर्खाली परिवारमा जयन्ती मातालाई आफ्नो ईष्ट देउटा मान्ने चलन यथावत कायम छ ।
(ख) सन् १८०९मा गोर्खा फौजका सेनापति अमर सिंह थापा तथा पञ्जाबका महाराजा रणजीत सिंहको बीच शान्तीमैत्रीको सन्धिको धारा अनुसार गोर्खा फौजले किल्ला कांगडाको घेराबन्दी र नाकाबन्दी छोड्नु पर्यो । राजा रणजीत सिंह गोर्खाली सैनिकहरुको वीरता एवं युद्धकलाबाट धेरै प्रभावित थिए । उनको अनुरोधमा केही गोर्खाली सैनिकहरु स्वेच्छाले महाराजा रणजीत सिंहको सिख सेनामा भर्ना भएका थिए । सिख सेनाले गोर्खाली सैनिकहरुको सपरिवार सम्मानका साथ स्थायी बसोबासको व्यवस्था मिलाइ दिए । कांगडा जिल्लाको ईच्छी, मसरेड, सेड्डा, गगल तथा मरकोरी गाउँहरुमा जग्गा जमिन मिलाई दिए । यसरी सन् १८०९ देखि धर्मशाला जिल्ला कांगडामा गोर्खालीहरुको दोश्रो चरणमा आगमन भएको देखिन्छ ।

तेश्रो चरणः (सन् १८४६ भाग्सुमा गोर्खालीहरु)
(क) सन् १८४६को हाराहारीमा ईष्ट ईण्डिया कम्पनी सरकारले पञ्जाबका महाराजा रणजीत सिंहको सिख सेनाबाट किल्ला कांगडा आफ्नो अधीनमा लिए । किल्लाका रक्षाको लागि गोर्खालीहरुको पहिलो तथा चौथो नरसरी बटालिएनका गोर्खा सैनिकहरुलाई त्यहाँ तैनाथ गरे । त्यस पछि गोर्खा सैनिकहरुको स्थायी आवास, तालिम केन्द्र, भर्ना केन्द्र तथा केन्द्रिय कार्यालय (रेकर्ड अफिस) आदिको लागि राम्रो ठाऊंको आवश्यकता पर्यो । साथै ईष्ट ईन्डिया कम्पनी सरकारको अङ्ग्रेजी सेना तथा अङ्ग्रेज निजामती कर्मचारी एवं अफिसरहरुका लागि शीतल, चीसो (ठँडा ठाउँ) पर्यावरण भएको स्थानको आवश्यकता महशुस भयो ।
(ख) कम्पनी सरकारले भाग्सू धर्मशालाको माथिल्लो भेगलाइ गोर्खा सेनाको सहायक छावनी खडा गर्न छनोट गरे । त्यस क्षेत्रको घना जंगल फँडानी गरी सन् १८४९ देखि गोर्खा सैनिकहरु बस्न शुरु गरेका थिए । बाटो घाटो, सहायक सैनिक छावनीको भवनहरुमा साथै भाग्सू नाथ मन्दिर तथा यात्रु विश्राम घर आदीको निर्माण कार्यमा गोर्खाली सैनिकहरुको श्रम शक्ति लागेको थियो ।
(ग) सन् १८४९ देखि नै केही गोर्खा सैनिक (नरसरी बटालिएन) सपरिवार त्यस भेगमा बसोबास गर्न थालेका थिए । सुनिन्छ भाग्सूबासी गोर्खालीहरुको पहिलो गोर्खा बस्ती तथा गांऊहरु मकल्योडगंज, फुर्सेतगंज, बारहकोठे, तोतारानी र तिराहा लाईन सन् १८४९ पछि स्थापना भएको अनुमान गरिन्छ । त्यसपछि यलिघाडी, पेन्सन लाईन, सघेड, सल्लाघारी आदि ठाऊँहरुमा गोर्खाली गाँउहरु सन् १८६९ मा स्थापना भएको हो भनेर भनिन्छ ।

चौथो चरणः (सन् १८६१० फस्ट गोर्खा राईफलको आगमन)
(क) समूहगत रुपमा गोर्खालीहरुको भाग्सु धर्मशालामा आगमन बारेमा हिमाञ्चल प्रदेशका पूर्व मन्त्री श्री सत महाजनले आफ्नो अनुसन्धनात्मक लेखमा यसरी उल्लेख गर्नुभएको छ ।
“The Frist regular settlement of Dharmashala is known to have taken place sometime between 1879 and 1882 when the pensioners lines is known as Chilghari” (Gurkhas: Personification of courage in Quarterly Magazine Bindu 1987, Page 17)

(ख) वास्तवमा सन् १८६१ म पहिलो गोर्खा पल्टन वर्तमान पुलिस लाईनमा स्थानान्तरण भएको थियो । त्यसपछि सन् १६ फरवरी १८८६ तिर तिराह लाईनमा (कनलोट) अर्को गोर्खा बटालियनको स्थानान्तरण भएको थियो । त्यसपछि माथिल्लो धर्मशाला म्याकलोडगंजको परिसरमा गोर्खाली सेनाको फस्ट गोर्खा रेजिमेन्टको स्थायी आवाशीय छावनी, गोर्खा बस्ती, प्रसिद्ध भाग्सुनाथ मन्दिरको जिर्णोद्वार तथा पर्यटकीय विकाशको प्रारम्भिक चरणमा फस्ट गोर्खा राईफल्सको गोर्खा सैनिकहरुको अभूतपूर्व योगदान रहेको ईतिहास छ ।
(ग) अनकण्टार, घनाजंगल, दुर्गम र उराठलाग्दो माथिल्लो धर्मशाला म्याकलोडगंजलाई विश्वप्रसिद्ध पर्वतीय शहरमा विकसित गर्नु गराउनुमा भाग्सुका गोर्खा समुदाय र फस्ट गोर्खा राईफलको महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका आज ईतिहासको पानामा लुकेर बसेको छ ।

छोटकरीमा
हिमवत खण्डमा गोर्खा समुदाय गोर्खा राज्यको सीमा विस्तारको क्रममा विभिन्न समयकाल, चरणहरुमा (सन् १७९०, सन् १८०५,सन् १८०९, सन् १८४६, सन् १८४९, सन् १८६०—६१ तथा सन् १८६९) आगमन भएको अनुमान सजिलैसंग गर्न सकिन्छ । हिमाञ्चल प्रदेशको भाग्सु धर्मशाला, कांगडा जिल्लामा गोर्खाली समाज र समुदायको बसोबास गरेको झण्डै २५० वर्ष लामो ईतिहास छ । यस्तो लामो अवधिमा पनि भाग्सुका गोर्खालीहरुले आफ्नो जातीय पहिचान, गोर्खा संस्कृति, परम्परा, रीतिरिवाज, सामाजिक चाडपर्वलाई यथावत सकेसम्म जोगाई
राखेका छन् । आफ्नो गौरवमय ईतिहास सुरक्षित राखेका छन् । नेपाल सरकारको संस्कृति मन्त्रालयले उनीहरुलाई थप सहयोग गर्नुपर्ने देखिन्छ । जे होस् “जय गोरख” को अभिवादन भाग्सुबासी गोरखालीको विशिष्टता हो ।

मित्रको डायरी

मित्रको डायरी

(विजय हितानद्वारा उधृत ‘मास्टर मित्रसेन र उनका सिर्जना’ (पृष्ट ९३– १११) बाट)

आफ्नो जीवनको धेरैजसो भाग देशी वा गोर्खाली जनताको सेवामा बिताएपछि १३ जुलाई १९४४ को दिन दाडी गाउँ, धर्मशाला (भाग्सू) जिल्ला, काँगडामा मैले आफ्नो बाँकी जीवन ‘गोर्खा सतसंग प्रचारिणी सभा’लाई समर्पित गर्ने फैसला गरेँ । यो सभाको स्थापना पनि आजै त्यहाँ गरियो । सभाका प्रमुख कार्यकर्ताहरूमध्ये कप्तान बहादुरसिंह बराल, मास्टर नत्थुराम बिएबिटी, पेन्सनर जम्दार रामकृष्ण, थानेदार दुर्गासिंह र पेन्सनर सुवेदार दयारामज्यू बैठकमा उपस्थित हुनुहुन्थ्यो ।

 प्रतिज्ञा त भयो तर केटाकेटीले गरेको कुराझैँ पो हुने हो कि भन्ने डर पनि मनमा उत्पन्न भयो । एकापट्टि परिवारको निर्वाह र अर्कोपट्टि समाजसेवाको उत्कट अभिलाषाले मन विचलित हुन थाल्यो । तर परमात्मामा मेरो अटल विश्वास रहेको हुँदा र निस्वार्थ भावनाले समाजको सेवा गर्ने दृढ अठोटले गर्दा के खाउँला, के लाउँला भन्ने चिन्तालाई परित्याग गरी म समाजसेवाको सत्य मार्गतर्फ नै लागेँ । सभाका कार्यकर्ता भला आद्मीहरूलाई पनि यही नै चिन्ता रहेको रहेछ । अघिअघि पनि धर्मप्रचारको काम गर्दै रहन्थेँ तर त्यसबेला त केही न केही आम्दानीको बाटो राखेकै थिएँ । एक सानो पसल (दोकान) गाउँ तातोरानी (भाग्सू) मा उहिले बाबुकै पालादेखि चलाउँथँे र निर्वाह राम्रो गरी भएकै थियो । तर आजभोलिको विश्वव्यापी युद्धले गर्दा रेलवेले माल बुक नगर्ने, खोजेको माल बेलामा नपाइने, कहिले कतै अलिकति माल पाए तापनि साह्रै महङ्गो पाइने, सरकारले भने यस दरभन्दा बढ्ता दाम कसैले लिने छैन भनी धेरै चिजको दरभाउ बाँधिदिएको, आफूलाई चैँ त्यो भाउमा नपुग्ने । साह्रै अप्ठ्यारो पर्न गयो अन्त पसलको काम बन्द गर्न बाध्य भएँ । कसैसँग केही नलिई आफ्नो भिन्दै सात्विक कमाइ गरी परिवार निर्वाह गर्ने अनि बाँचेको समयमा जनताको सेवा गर्ने मेरो विचार । तर यस विचारलाई पूरा हुन नदिने एउटा अर्को कारण पनि थियो, म सन् १९४० को श्रावण मासदेखि रोगग्रस्त भएको बल्लबल्ल यस साल (सन् १९४४) मा बिरामीले अलिकति छोडेको छ तर पूर्ण रोग नाश नहुनाले शरीर साह्रै निर्बल छ । कुनै प्रकारको सात्विक कमाइ गर्न सक्ने बल शरीरमा छैन । अतः सभाको निर्णयअनुसार समाजकै माथि परिवारको भार थोपी, नाम मात्रको, ढाँट स्वयम्सेवक हुन स्वीकार गरेँ । छिः छिः कति नसुहाउँदो कुरा गर्दै छु, कति ठूलो आत्मघात म गर्दै छु । यस्तो आत्मग्लानि लिएर मैले सभाको कारवाही बहीमा हस्ताक्षर गरिदिएँ । सभाको तर्फबाट मलाई सर्वप्रथम नौतुना गएर प्रचार गर्नू भन्ने हुकुम भयो । आदेश पाउनसाथ घरादिको बन्दोबस्त मिलाई परिवारसहित नौतुना जान तयार भएँ । घर अनि दोकान दुवै २२ रुपियाँ मासिक किरायामा दिएँ, त्यस किरायाबाट १५० रुपियाँ लिएँ, डेढ सय जति रुपियाँ मैले ऋण पनि तिर्नु थियो । अतः बाटो खर्च पुग्दैन कि भनी मैले १८ जुलाईमा एक पत्र कप्तान साहेब बहादुरसिंह बरालज्यूका हजुरमा पठाएँ । पुगनपुग बाटो खर्चका लागि १०० रुपियाँको सहायता गर्नुहोस् । आस थियो, कप्तान साहेबले अवश्य रुपियाँ पठाइदिनुहुने छ तर २७÷७÷४४ को दुई बजेसम्म बाटो हेर्दा पनि रुपियाँ आइपुगेन । मनमा अनेक कुराहरू खेल्न थाले । मैले भने १÷८÷४४ देखि घर अर्कैलाई किरायामा दिइसकेको, पहिला अगस्तको बिहानै घर अवश्य छोड्नु थियो । तर बाटो खर्चलाई कसो गरुँ ? ऋण नदिऊँ भने पनि नहुने । ऋण दिऊँ भने बाटो खर्च नपुग्ने । केकति कारणले कप्तान साहेबले रुपियाँ पठाउनुभएन ? उहाँले त बचन दिनुभएको थियो, ‘जहिलेसम्म सतसंग प्रचारिणी सभामा धन एकत्र भएको छैन, म पूरा गरुँला ।’ उनकै आशाभरोसामा मैले यो कार्यभार उठाउने निश्चय गरेको थिएँ, किनभने आज १५– २० वर्षदेखि ठाउँठाउँ गोर्खाली संसारमा प्रचार गरी हिँड्दा, अन्तरआत्माले जातिको हित चिताउने अनि जातिका लागि तन, मन, धन सबै अर्पण गरी कर्तव्यक्षेत्रमा हामफाल्ने जातिप्रेमीहरू मैले कप्तान साहेब बहादुरसिंह बराललाई भेटाएको थिएँ ।

तर २८÷७÷४४ सम्म पनि न केही पत्र आयो न रुपियाँ । के कप्तान साहेबले आफ्नो विचार अर्कै गर्नुभएर हो कि ? तुरुन्तै एउटा एक्सप्रेस तार २८ जुलाईको तीन बजेमा धर्मशाला छाउनीको तारघरबाट पठाएँ, ‘पहिला अगस्तमा हिँड्ने विचार छ, हजुरको के आज्ञा छ ?’ जसको उत्तर २९÷७÷४४ को तीन बजेमा ‘हुन्छ आऊ ।’ भन्ने तारद्वारा पाएँ । त्यो तार नपाउँदासम्म त अब अघिकै झैँ स्वतन्त्र प्रचार गर्नुप¥यो भनी ठाउँठाउँको प्रोग्राम बनाउँदै थिएँ । सो तार हात पर्दा मन ढुक्क भयो, प्रोग्राम त नौतुनैको भयो, तर खर्च कसो गर्ने ? साहुको ऋण पछि तिरुँला भन्ने निश्चय गरी १ अगस्तको बिहान साढे आठ बजे डाकमोटरमा पानीले भिज्दै घर छाडी हिँड्यौँ । गग्गल, शाहपुर, कोटला सबै ठाउँमा झमझम पानी पर्दै थियो । मोटरको छानामा राखेको सामानमाथि त्रिपाल ओढाइएको थियो । तर पूरा नछोपिएको हुनाले असबाब सब भिजिसकेको थियो । भाल्ली भन्ने ठाउँबाट कोटलासम्म त झन् मोटर पाँच माइल प्रतिघण्टाको हिसाबले हिँड्न लाग्यो । ठाउँठाउँमा पहिरो गएर सडकै थुन्निएको, डाँडाहरूका खोल्चाखोल्चीको भल जम्मै सडकको माझमा बगिरहेको थियो, मानो सडक के थियो ? एक खासा ठूलो खोलाझैँ थियो । जसोतसो गरी चक्की नदी पार भयौँ, बल्ल पानी पनि थामियो । झण्डै दुई बजेतिर हामी पठानकोटको रेल स्टेशननेर आइपुग्यौँ । रेलैको बाटो जाऔँ भनी मैले स्टेशनैमा असबाब उतार्न लगाएँ । हत्तपत्त टिकेट बाबुकोमा गएर टिकट मागेँ । ‘टिकट दिने समय भएको छैन ।’ भन्यो । तर दुनियाँ लोभी छन्, दुईचार पैसा अप्ठ्यारो परेका परदेशीबाट फुत्काउनका लागि पनि अहिले समय भएको छैन भनी भन्छन् । सो कुरा विचार गरी तिनीहरूलाई पानफूलका लागि भिन्दै भेटी चढाएँ र बल्ल चार टिकेट पठानकोटदेखि गोरखपुरसम्मको ८३ रुपियाँ १२ आना खर्च गरी इन्टर किलासको लिएँ । थर्ड किलासको टिकट लिएर मजस्तो रोगीले सफर गर्नु आजभोलि साह्रै कठिन छ । भित्र ठाउँ नपाएर झुन्डिएर मुसाफिरहरू सफर गर्छन् । रेलमा ठाउँ नपाएर तीनचार दिनसम्म स्टेशनमा मानिसहरू थुप्रिएका देखिए । माराकुटी घुचेटाघुचेटमा निर्बल मानिसहरू कसरी सफर गर्न सक्छन् ? भएन भनेर सँगमा मेरी स्त्री अनि ८५ वर्ष पुगेकी बृद्ध महातारी पनि हुनुहुन्थ्यो । हुल त आजभोलि सबै किलासमा हुन्छ तर इन्टर किलासमा पढेलेखेका भला आद्मीहरू नै धेरै हुन्छन्, अलि मारकुट घुचेटाघुचेट हुँदैन । बस्ने ठाउँ नपाए पनि उभिने ठाउँ त अवश्य पाइन्छ । यस्तो विचार गरी इन्टर किलासको टिकट लिन करै लाग्यो । टिकट लिएर माल बुक गराउन भनी गएँ । त्यहाँ पनि बाबुले आलेटाले कुरा गर्न थाल्यो । यसले खोजेकै हो भन्ने ठानी त्यसलाई पनि भेटी चढाएँ । भेटी पाउनसाथ झट्टै माल जोखजाख पारी बिल्टी काटी हातमा थमायो । जम्मै कुरा ठिकठाक पार्दा मलाई रुपियाँ पाँच बेसी खर्च गर्नुप¥यो । यताउता सोधपुछ गर्दा थाहा भयो कि एक डब्बा (कोच) तीन बजेमा पठानकोटबाट अमृतसर जान्छ, पाँच बजे अमृतसर पुग्छ र सात बजेर चालीस मिनेटमा अर्को रेल अमृतसर– हावडा मेल छुट्छ । तर त्यसमा साह्रै हुल हुन्छ । हुल भएपनि जसोतसो त्यसै डब्बामा जाऔँ भन्ने निश्चय भयो । डब्बा आइपुग्यो । कस्तो हुल थियो, मलाई यहाँ वर्णन गर्न पनि गाह्रै छ । एक खासा मल्ल युद्ध मचियो, बृद्ध महतारीलाई लिईकन त्यस घचारोमा कसरी पसौँ, म आफैँ कमजोर । कोही भित्रबाट बाहिर झर्ने, कोही बाहिरबाट भित्र चढ्न खोज्ने । रेल डब्बाको ढोकामा ठ्याम्मै बुजो लागेजस्तो भयो । न बाहिरको भित्र पस्न सक्ने न भित्रको बाहिर आउने सक्ने, यस्तै संघर्षमा हामी पनि जुझ्दै थियौँ । यत्तिकैमा एउटा पुलिसको सिपाही आएर ढोकामा उभियो र पहिले भित्रका मुसाफिरहरूलाई बाहिर उतारेर बाहिरकालाई भित्र चढायो । त्यस्तो गर्नाले घचारो भए तापनि मानिसहरूले ठाउँ पाइहाले । रेलगाडी पाँच बजे अमृतसर पुग्यो । उहाँ फेरि उस्तै धक्कापेल सुरु भयो । त्यस घचारोमा च्यापिएर प्राण निस्किन्छ क्यारे भनेझैँ भयो । बूढीमाउलाई जोगाउन कठिन प¥यो । बलिया मानिसहरू त टाउको टाउकोमा टेक्नेझैँ गरी फाल काट्न लागे । न ओर्लिन सक्ने न आफ्नो ठाउँमा फर्किन सक्ने । बल्लबल्ल फर्किने बाटो पाएर आफ्नै ठाउँमा गएर बस्यौँ । आठदश मिनेटपछि घचारो अलि कम्ति भयो र घचेटघचाट पारेर बाहिर निस्क्यौँ । पहिले हाम्रो सल्लाह थियो, लुक्सरसम्म यसै गाडी (कलकत्ता मेल) मा गएर त्यहाँदेखि हरिद्वार जाऔँ, आमालाई सँगै ल्याउने मुख्य कारण पनि दुईचार तीर्थ घुमाइदिऊँ भन्ने थियो । तर त्यस घचारोले गर्दा आमाको मन फेरियो । ‘भयो, पछि फर्कंदा सुविस्ता प¥यो भने हरिद्वार स्नान गरुँला, अहिले चाहिँ सोझै जाऔँ, काशी जान पाइयो भने हरिद्वारको महात्म्य पनि भइहाल्छ ।’ अन्त यही निर्णय भयो र सोझै लखनौ उत्रियौँ । राति दश बजे गोरखपुरको गाडी चढी ३ तारिखको बिहान ७ बजे गोरखपुर पुग्यौँ । कप्तान बराल साहेबको दर्शन भयो अनि थाहा भयो कि उहाँले १४÷७÷४४ मा १०० रुपियाँ मनी अर्डर गरेर पठाइदिनुभएको रहेछ । तर कुन्नि के कारण प¥यो पैसा चाहिँ मेरो हात परेन । माल असबाब नआइपुगेको हुनाले तीन दिन कप्तान साहबकै पाहुना भएर बस्यौँ । ५ तारिख साँझको गाडीमा बसी राति डेढदुई बजे नौतुना पुग्यौँ । कप्तान कालुकहाँ हाम्रो डेराको बन्दोबस्त रहेछ । सो त्यहाँ पुगी रात बितायौँ । बिहान भयो, सुवेदार साहेब गिरधारी बिष्ट, जो त्यहाँ एसिस्टेन्ट रैकरुटिङ अफिसरको काम गर्दै हुनुहुन्थ्यो, आउनुभयो अनि उहाँले रासनपानी इत्यादिको बन्दोबस्त मिलाइदिनुभयो । १० अगस्त १९४४ (बिहीबार) मा सतसंगको पहिलो कार्यक्रम नौतुनामा राखियो । ११ अगस्त (शुक्रबार) कृष्णजन्माष्टमीको उत्सवमा भाग लिनका लागि निम्त्याइएको हुनाले म र मेरो छोरो दिग्विजयसेन कुँडाघाट (गोरखपुर) मा गयौँ । राति नौ बजेदेखि साढे बाह्र बजेसम्म कालीमन्दिरमा धुमधामसँगले कथा, वार्ता र भजनगायन गर्ने अवसर पायौँ । बिहानैको गाडीमा नौतुना फर्किने विचार थियो । तर, कुँडाघाटका जनताहरूले मानेनन् । १२ अगस्तको दिन दुई बजेदेखि साढे चार बजेसम्म स्कुल भवनमा अनि साँझ सात बजेदेखि नौ बजेसम्म हेडक्लर्क जम्दार साहेबको घरमा सतसंग प्रचारको कार्यक्रम साजसङ्गीतको साथमा सम्पन्न गरियो । १३ अगस्त (आइतबार) मा पनि यस्तै प्रकारको प्रोग्राम दिनभरि चलि नै रह्यो । मेरो भने आङको लुगा पसिनाले डुङ्डुङ्ती गन्हाउन थाल्यो । कुँडाघाटका गोर्खाली जनताले पचास रुपियाँ सतसंग प्रचारिणी सभालाई दान गरे । १४ अगस्तको बिहानै रेलगाडीमा बसी दिउँसो डेढ बजे नौतुना फिर्ता पुग्यौँ । अति बिसञ्चो हुनाले दुई दिन आराम गरी १६ अगस्तदेखि फेरि सतसंग प्रचार कार्यक्रम नियमित पाराले सुरु भयो । हर आइतबार अनि बिहीबारमा बिहान ८ बजेदेखि १० बजेसम्म सतसंग (ढोगभेट) प्रोग्राम हुन्थ्यो, बाँकी दिनको प्रचार कार्यक्रम बेलुकी पाँच बजेदेखि सात, साढे सात बजेसम्म हुन्थ्यो ।

अब नौतुनाको अलिकति परिचय दिन जरुरी सम्झन्छु । विशेषगरी पश्चिम खण्डको गोर्खाली लाहुरे अनि पेन्सनेहरूको पहाड आउने जाने ठूलो गौँडा नौतुना हो । हामीले यसलाई ‘नौतुना’ भन्छौँ । यो अङ्ग्रेज राज्यभित्र एउटा सानो शहरको रूपमा छ । त्यहाँ रेलको आखिरी स्टेशन छ । नौतुनाबाट झण्डै नौ कोस टाढामा बटौली भन्ने एउटा नगर पहाडको घ्याँचमा तिन्हुँ खोलाको छेउमा बसेको छ । त्यहाँबाट अङ्ग्रेज राज्य सकिएर नेपाल राज्य सुरु हुन्छ । हुन त नौतुना अङ्ग्रेज राज्यमा छ तर अङ्ग्रेजले अरू ठाउँमा जस्तो बन्दोबस्त मिलाएर राखेको छ, त्यस्तो बन्दोबस्त नौतुनामा मिलाएको झैँ बुझिएन । यहाँ लाख रुपियाँको व्यापार हुन्छ । धनी धनी मारवाडी शेठहरू यहाँ व्यापार गर्छन्, नगर पनि ठूलै छ तर कोही अड्डाअदालत अथवा थानापुलिस यहाँ छैन । सिर्फ दुईतीन जना पुलिसे सिपाही बस्छन् । यो नौतुना शासक नभएको प्रदेशजस्तो छ । जसलाई जे मन प¥यो उही गर्दै छन् । केही दरभाउ निश्चित छैन । एक रुपियाँको माल छ, सात रुपियाँको दरमा लाटोसुधो लाहुरेहरूलाई बिक्री गरेका छन् । दोकानदार (पसलेहरू) यति अहङ्कारी ठूला भएका छन् कि सितिमिती बाहिरका मानिसहरूसँग कुराकानी पनि गर्न मन पराउँदैनन् । लाहुरेहरूलाई मात्र आउनुहोस्, बस्नुहोस् भनी फस्ल्याङफुस्लुङ पारी अनीतिको कमाइले आफ्नो ढुकुटी भर्दै छन्, कसैको डर रत्तिभर छैन । यहाँ न सरकारको डर न परमात्माको भय । यस्ता आफूपन्थे नास्तिक, सुनचाँदीका पुजारीहरू मात्र नौतुनामा देखियो ।

अन्दाजी एक सय गोर्खालीहरू होटल खोली भट्टी थापी बसेका छन् । यिनीहरूले देशतर्फ जाने अनि छुट्टी पेन्सनमा पहाडतिर फर्कने गोर्खालीहरूलाई भातरोटी पकाएर ख्वाउँछन् । परदेशीलाई भात पकाएर ख्वाउनु अनि मुनासिब दाम लिनु असल कुरा हो, धर्मको धर्म हुने अनि धनको धन पाइहाल्ने । तर यहाँ अर्कै जङ्गली चाल देखियो । हरेक भट्टीमा डम्फुमादल साथै तरुनी आइमाईहरूको चडकभडक छ । उनैका हातबाट रक्सी ख्वाई लाहुरेहरूलाई जोशमा ल्याउँछन्, अनेक प्रकारको छाँट झिकी मखौल ठट्टा गर्दै गीतमा तानाबाना मार्दै मनलाई विषय बास्नातिर तान्छन् र एकै रातमा एक लाहुरेबाट काफी ज्यादा रुपियाँ फुत्काउँछन् । प्रत्येक भट्टीमा दशपन्ध्र लाहुरेहरू त कमसे कम बसेकै भेट्छौँ । यस हिसाबले एक मामुलीभन्दा मामुली भट्टीवालाले एक रातमा कम्ति भनेको तीन सयजति रुपियाँ लाहुरेहरूबाट खसाल्छन् । ओहो ! कस्तो अनीति, कस्तो अधर्म सय ठाउँमा चलेको छ !

२४ अगस्त १९४४ को राति साह्रै गर्मी हुनाले म राम्ररी निदाउन पाइनँ, अढाई बजे रातदेखिन् हरेक होटलवालाले आफ्आफ्ना झोलामा पाँच छ बोतल हाली हातमा टर्चबत्ती वा लाल्टिन लिएर गल्याङगुलुङ कुरा गर्दै बिहानसम्म रक्सी ओसारेको नजारा मैले कहिले पनि भुल्ने छैनँ । रातभरि भट्टीभट्टीमा मादल बज्दै थियो । बिहानपख मोटरभित्र लाहुरेहरू अटाई नअटाई अनि छानामाथि पन्ध्रबीस जना बसेका थिए । माल बोक्ने लरीले पनि लाहुरेहरूलाई धमाधम ओसार्दै थियो । विश्वयुद्धको बेला आजभोलि लाहुरेहरूको ओहोरदोहोर खुबै तेज भएको छ । रोजै इस्पेशल गाडीले पाँचसात सय गोर्खाली जवानलाई गोरखपुर पु¥याउने अनि त्यहाँबाट ठाउँठाउँ पल्टनहरूमा लैजाने गर्दै छ । लाउरेहरूका पासमा रुपियाँ पैसाको कमी छैन । हजारबाह्र सय त जाबो एउटा मामुली सिपाहीले छुट्टीमा जाँदा बोकेकै हुन्छ । कति तरुनीहरू त मोटर अड्डासम्म लाहुरेहरूका पछिपछि गई कसैको लाज नमानी लाहुरेहरूसँग हात हाली चल्छन् अनि पाँचदश फुत्काएर ल्याउँछन् । कति आइमाईले राति विचेत भएका लाहुरेहरूका जम्मै रुपियाँ झिकेर लुकाइदिन्छन् र ती बरा घरमा पनि नगई त्यहाँबाट छाउनीतिर रित्तै फर्कन्छन् । बटौलीतिर त कति लाहुरेहरूलाई भट्टीवालाले लुटपिट गरी प्राणसमेत हरेर राति जङ्गलमा फालेर आउँछन् भन्छन् । यस विषयमा कुनै नौतुना निवासी भला आद्मीसँग कुरा ग¥यो भने यस्तायस्ता डरलाग्दा कुराहरू सुनाउँछन् कि यो आँङ त्यसै जिरिङ्ग भएर आउँछ । हामी सर्वत्र नाम पाएका बहादुर र इमान्दार गोर्खाली हौँ भन्ने कुरा त यहाँ छँदै छैन । जातिको गौरव भन्ने के हो कसैले बुझेको छैन । कति जना तरुनीहरू मदेशेसँग अँगालो मारी बजार बजार डुल्छन् । कतिजना गोर्खालीहरूले यहाँ आइमाई बेच्ने काम पनि गर्छन् भनी थाहा भयो ।

पहाड घरतर्फ गई रुपियाँ पैसाको लोभ र झिलिमिली लुगालत्ता देखाई लाटीसुधी केटीहरूलाई फस्ल्याङफुस्लुङ पारी साथमा लिएर आउँछन् अनि टाढाटाढा मधेशमा लगेर बेचिदिन्छन् । उहिले उहिले म पञ्जाबका जम्मै शहर गाउँमा धर्मप्रचारनिमित्त डुल्ने गर्थें । प्रत्येक सानोभन्दा सानो नगर अनि गाउँमा पनि दुईचारजना गोर्खाली आइमाई पन्जाबिनी भएर बसेकी मैले आफ्नै आँखाले देखेँ । मनैमनमा साह्रै दुखित भएर विचार गर्थें कि यतिका धेरै गोर्खाली आइमाईहरू कसरी यति टाढा यहाँ छापिन आइपुगे ? आज नौतुनाको हालचाल देख्दा अनि सुन्दा नबुझेका कुराहरू बल्ल बुझेँ । नौतुना मात्र होइन, यसप्रकार घिनलाग्दो व्यापारका अड्डा रक्सौल वीरगञ्ज इत्यादि ठाउँहरूमा पनि रहेछन् भनी मैले चाल पाएको छु । नेपाल सरकारले कुनै तरुनी आइमाईलाई बिनाजाँचको मदेशतर्फ जान नदिनू भन्ने कडा हुकुम जारी गरेको छ । सबै अड्डा चौकीहरूमा रोकथाम हुन्छ । तर पनि यी आइमाईहरूलाई कसरी कुन बाटो निस्काएर लैजान्छन् ? ती जात फाली दुःख पाएकी आइमाईहरूसँग मैले त्यहाँ (पञ्जाबमा) भेटेर कुरा गर्न धेरैपटक कोशिस गरेँ तर ती आइमाईहरूलाई जसै थाहा हुन्थ्यो कि यो गोर्खाली हो, एकदम लुकिजान्थे, सामने पर्दैनथे । म दङ्ग पर्थें, म त झन् आफ्नै दिदीबहिनी भनेर मायाले कुरा गर्न खोज्थेँ तर उनीहरू मलाई देखेर भाग्ने किन ? धेरै वर्षपछि आज त्यसको अर्थ पनि बुझ्न सकेँ । उनीहरूको श्रद्धा, विश्वास र मायाप्रेम गोर्खालीप्रति रित्तिइसकेको थियो । तिनीहरूको हृदयले गोर्खालीलाई सायद यसरी धिकारिरहन्थ्यो होला ‘हे निच पापी स्वास्नी बेचुवा गोर्खाली जाति, हामी गरिब अवलालाई धोकामा पारी हाम्रो जीवनलाई सधैँका लागि नाश पारिदियौ । अब कौन मुखले हामीसँग कुरा गर्न आएको ? जाऊ, हामी दुखी छौँ वा सुखी, हाम्रो सोधपुछ गर्नुपर्दैन । हाम्रा घर, इष्टमित्र, दिदीबहिनी र आमाबाबुसँग सधैँका लागि छुट्याई विदेशमा थुनुवा बनाउने निच गोर्खाली हो, जाऊ हामी तिमीहरूको मुख हेर्दैनौँ ।’

नौतुनामा गोर्खालीको यस्तो नजाती अवस्था देखेर जाती हितैषी कप्तान साहेब बहादुरसिंह बरालको मनमा साह्रै दुख लाग्यो र उहाँले केही समय अघिदेखि नै यहाँ सतसंग (ढोग) को साप्ताहिक कार्यक्रमद्वारा समाजसुधारको काम थाल्नुभएको रहेछ । त्यस सतसंगको प्रभावले गर्दा रुपियाँमा एक या दुई आना सुधार अवश्य भएको होला जस्तो लाग्छ । जहिलेसम्म कप्तान साहेबले नौतुनामा रैकरुटिङ अफिसरको काम गर्दै रहनुभयो उहिलेसम्म नौतुनामा काफी राम्रो सुधार हुँदै गयो । कप्तान साहेब यहाँबाट बदली भएर कुँडाघाट (गोरखपुर) जानुभएपछि उप्रान्त आजभोलि सुवेदार साहब गिरधारी बिष्टले कप्तान साहेबको पदभार सम्हाल्नुभएको छ । बिष्ट साहेबले पनि सतसंगको कार्यक्रमलाई झन् राम्रो ढङ्गले चलाइराख्नुभएको छ । यसै सतसंग प्रथालाई अझ बलियो बनाउन ससङ्गीत धर्मप्रचारको उद्देश्यले गोर्खा सतसंग प्रचारिणी सभा धर्मशाला (भाग्सू) ले मलाई नौतुना खटाइपठाएको हो ।

सतसंग भजनको नियमित कार्यक्रमबाहेक मैले यहाँ कथा पुराण, गायन गरेर सुनाउँदै अनेक प्रकारको धर्म उपदेश दृष्टान्त दिएर जनतालाई असल बाटोतिर हिँडाल्ने कोशिस गर्दै छु । तर संसारको एक छेउबाट अर्को छेउसम्म, पूर्वपश्चिम, उत्तरदक्खिन कतै गएर हेरे पनि यस वर्तमान कालमा लोभ नभएको मानिस कहाँ कता पाइएला ? सबैको मनमा एकैनासे लगन छ कि कुन सजिलो भन्दा सजिलो ढङ्गले म धेरैभन्दा धेरै धन जम्मा पार्न सकूँ । अनपढ र दुष्ट भए तापनि यदि उसैको सँगमा धेरै धन छ भने उसले संसारमा मान, प्रतिष्ठा पाएकै छ । समाजसुधारक विद्वान्हरूले पनि यस्तै उपदेश ठाउँठाउँमा दिँदै हिँड्छन् । साँचै भनुँ भने उन्नतिको मूल जरो धनै रहेछ । धनले गर्दा युरोप र अमेरिकाका सम्पन्न जातिहरूले संसारमा कस्ताकस्ता काम गरी देखाए अनि देखाउँदै छन् । धार्मिक गुरुहरूको पनि आजको समयमा यस्तै भनाइ छ, धन भएमा दान, पुन्य, तीर्थ, व्रत इत्यादि हुन सक्छ, परमात्मा प्राप्तिका लागि पनि धनैको खाँचो छ । समस्त भूमण्डलमा पैसा खुबै कमाउने हो भन्ने प्रचार बढेको छ भने नौतुना निवासीले केही अर्घेलो काम गरेको त म देख्दिनँ । आफ्आफ्ना योग्यताअनुसार यिनीहरूले पनि संसारको देखादेखीमा धन कमाउँदै छन् । रक्सी बेची कमाएको धन भनुँ भने रक्सी नबेच्ने जाति आज संसारमा को छ होला ? मैले पश्चिम एसिया र युरोपका साना ठूला धेरै शहरहरू घुमी राम्ररी देखेको छु । ती धनी देशहरूमा रक्सीको पसल गन्ती नगरिसक्नु छ । जता जाऊँ रक्सीकै पसल मात्रै छ, प्रत्येक पसलमा रक्सी बिक्री गर्ने तरुनी आइमाईहरू छन् । जस्तो हाम्रो नौतुनामा मादल, डम्फु बजाएर गीत गाउँछन्, उस्तै प्रकार उहाँ पनि प्यानो, वायलिन, साज बजाएर तरुनीतन्देरीहरू सँगसँगै मिलेर नाचगान अनि खेलठट्टा, हाँसो गर्छन् । नौतुनामा केही अनौठो कुरा मैले देखिनँ यदि धन कमाउँदामा केही पाप हुने रहेछ भने त्यसको उपाय पनि त हाम्रो समाजमा छँदै छ, सालमा एकपटक श्री सत्यनारायण भगवान्को पूजा गरेमा जम्मै पाप सजिलैसँगले पखालिन्छ ? ‘जाऊ, मित्रसेन नौतुना गएर सतसंग प्रचार गर ।’ भनी मलाई यहाँ खटाइपठाएको कुरा सत्य हो तर नौतुनाको हालको अवस्थालाई देख्दा कस्तो प्रकारले समाजसुधारको कुरा यहाँको जनताको सामुने राखुँ ? रक्सीको खण्डनमण्डन गर्ने कि नगर्ने ? लाहुरेहरूलाई लुटपिट नगर भन्ने कि चुपचाप लागी बस्ने ? मैले सुनाउँदै गरेको उपदेशको प्रभाव यहाँ असल पर्दै छ वा उल्टो ? मनमा अनेक प्रकारका चिन्ता, शङ्का चलिबस्छ । सबैमा धन जम्मा पार्ने इच्छा प्रबल छ किनभने धनैमा शक्ति छ । हरेक मानिसले राम्रो लाऊँ, रेलमोटरमा सफर गरुँ, ठूलो घर बनाऊँ, जमिन जग्गा बढाऊँ, सन्तानलाई खुबै पढाऊँ, सभासमाजमा मानइज्जत पाऊँ भन्ने चाहना गर्छ । यो प्रत्येक कुरा पूरा हुन सक्छ, मात्र पैसाको शक्तिले । पैसा उपार्जनका निम्ति कसैले नोकरी, चाकरी गर्दै छन्, कोही जमिनजग्गा कमाउँछन्, कति सौदाव्यापारपट्टि लागेका छन्, कोही चोरीडाँका गरेर अथवा धर्मकर्मका आडमा जीवन निर्वाह गर्ने छन् भने नौतुनावासीले आफ्नो धन उपार्जनको यस्तो सजिलो बाटो किन छोड्ने ? यो सतसंग (समाज सुधार) कार्यक्रमले केकति प्रभाव यहाँ पार्न सक्यो अथवा पार्नसक्छ अन्दाज लगाउन अलिक गाह्रो छ । तर हामी गोर्खाली हौँ भन्ने आत्मगौरव अब अलिअलि यहाँ जागेको जस्तो मलाई लाग्छ ।

३१ अगस्त १९४४ (बिहीबार) मा नौतुनाको एक भागमा हाम्रो सतसंग प्रचार (जाति सुधार) कार्यक्रम समाप्त भयो । समाप्तिका दिन श्रद्धालुजनले सिदा लिएर आए । जम्मै सिदादी जम्मा पारेर अघिल्लो दिन हाम्रो डेरामा पु¥याइदिए । तीसपैँतीस सेर चामल दुई छटाँक मसला, बेसार, नुन र एक छटाँकजति घिउ । यसबाहेक सतसंग प्रचारिणी सभालाई ३५० रुपियाँ दान प्राप्त भयो । हवल्दार सेतु आलेले चाहिँ कुन्नि किन हो कति रोक्दा पनि सुरुको दिनदेखिन् कहिले केही, कहिले केही सामान लिएर आउनुहुन्छ । मेरो आत्माभित्रको आवाजले भन्छ, ‘मित्र सिदा लिने काम तैँले निको गरिनस् ।’ तर श्रद्धाले दिएको सिदापानीलाई निरादर गर्नु पनि त उचित ठहरिँदैन । हामी चारजना परिवारमा छौँ । बाहिरबाट हामीलाई कुनै प्रकारको आम्दानी छैन । दिनभरि जाति सुधारका कुराहरू कथा, कविता, निबन्ध, गीत, भजन आदि लेख्छु । साँझ प्रचारकार्यमा लागिरहन्छु । शरीर अझ राम्रो तङ्ग्रिएको छैन । यहाँ सौदा पत्ता साह्रै महङ्गो छ । मामुली मोटो चामल एक रुपियाँको एक सेर, घिउ रुपियाँको पाँच छटाँक, तेल बाह्र छटाँक, आँटो दुई सेर । गृहस्थमा सबै थोक चाहिने । लुगाफाटा पनि सफा राख्नुप¥यो । सागतरकारी महङ्गो बेसाहामा मेरो पारिवारिक खर्च कम्तिमा भनेको ५० रुपियाँ मासिक त अवश्य होला । मेरा मित्र कप्तान बरालज्यू अनि सुवेदार बिष्टज्यूले मेरो र मेरो परिवारका लागि सकेसम्म मद्दत गरि नै रहनुभएको छ ।

जातिसेवाले तप र त्यागको माग गर्छ तर यसभित्र एक अजिव किसिमको आनन्द पनि छ । यसै आनन्दको लोभले गर्दा राधा फिल्म कम्पनीको डाइरेक्टरको प्रलोभन जालबाट म बाँच्न सकेँ । ‘डेढ सय रुपियाँ मासिक र बस्ने घर फ्री दिन्छौँ, कम्पनीमा काम गर ।’ भनी जोर हालेर भन्नुहुन्थ्यो । मैले चाहिँ मानिनँ । पोहोर साल लाहोर सनातन धर्म प्रतिनिधिसभाका मन्त्रीज्यूले ‘सभामा आएर फेरि काम गर्नुस्, तपार्इंलाई अघिभन्दा बढ्ता तलब दिने छौँ ।’ भनी आग्रह गर्नुभयो तर मैले ‘हुँदैन ।’ भनी उत्तर दिएँ । यस्तै प्रकार मेरा कतिजना धनीमानी देशी मित्रहरूले कतिपटक मलाई भनिसके, ‘तपाईं हाम्रोमा आएर बस्नुहोस्, जिमिनजग्गा, गाईभैँसी जम्मै गृहस्थका सरसरजाम मिलाइदिन्छौँ, आनन्दसाथमा जीवन निर्वाह गर्नुहोस् र समयसमयमा धर्मप्रचार गरेर उपकारको काम पनि गर्नुहोस् ।’ तर मैले त्यो सुझाउ पनि मानिनँ । मेरो लगन त आफ्नै जातितिर लागेको छ, कसरी म आफ्नो परिवारको सुखआनन्दको मात्र विचार गरुँ ? पैसा कमाउने इच्छा भएको भए म किन यो धर्मप्रचारको काम गरिहिँड्ने थिएँ ? आजभोलि यस महायुद्धमा खेर गएको लाटालुरेलाङ्ग्रे पनि जम्दारसुवेदार भएका छन्, के म जाबो हवल्दारसम्म पनि हुन सक्तिनथेँ ? मेरा इष्टमित्रले पनि भनिरहन्छन्, ‘मास्टरले छोरोलाई सपार्न सकेन । आफू धर्मप्रचारतिर लागे पनि छोरालाई त अङ्ग्रेजी तालिम पढाएर कतै जागिरे बनाउनुपर्ने थियो । नभए पल्टनमा भर्ती गराइदिनुपर्ने थियो । यति समझदार मानिस भएर किन भूल गर्दै छन् ?’ चारैतिरबाट आवाज उठ्दै छ । मैले छोरालाई ‘जस्तो तेरो विचारमा आउँछ, उस्तै गर् ।’ भनी स्वतन्त्र छोडेको छु । तर उसले चाहिँ कसैको कुरा नसुनी, अनेक दुःख अपमान सही, ‘म पनि जातिसेवा नै गर्छु ।’ भनी अग्रसर भएको छ । भविष्यमा कहाँसम्म ऊ अड्न सक्छ । यस कुराको अड्कल गर्न गाह्रो छ किनभने यो धर्मप्रचारको बाटो साह्रै अप्ठ्यारो छ । यसमा अनेक प्रकारका कष्ट छन् । छोराको अहिले बुद्धि छिप्पिएको छैन, १९ वर्षको उमेर छ । अहिलेसम्म त ऊ आफ्नो योग्यताअनुसार काम गर्दै छ । यदि राम्रो सङ्गत रह्यो र जातिले उसको उत्साहलाई बढाउँदै ग¥यो भने भविष्यमा राम्रै काम गर्ला ।

मैले जीवनभरि यात्रा नै गरेँ, ठाउँठाउँमा धर्मप्रचार गरी हिँडेँ तर यस्तो यात्रापुस्तक लेख्ने प्रयास अघि गरिनँ । १३ जुलाई १९४४ मा जुन दिन गोर्खा सतसंग प्रचारिणी सभाको स्थापना भाग्सूमा भयो, श्रीमान् माननीय मास्टर नत्थुराम बिएबिटीबाट मर्जी भयो कि ‘तपाईंले एउटा डायरी लेख्नुपर्छ । ठाउँठाउँ गएर केके हुन्छ ? केके काम गर्नुहुन्छ ? सबै कुराहरूको नोट गर्नुहोला ।’ उहाँको आदेशअनुसार यो डायरी यस ढङ्गले लेख्दै छु । यो लेख्दा मनमा विचार उठ्छ कि पुरानो जीवन यात्रा वृतान्त पनि लेखूँ । सो भगवान्को इच्छा ।

१÷९÷४४ को बेलुकी बिष्ट साहेबले मलाई २० रुपियाँ दिएर भन्नुभयो कि यो कप्तान साहेबले तपाईंहरूको खर्चका लागि पठाइदिनुभएको छ । ४÷९÷४४ देखि नौतुनाको अर्को भाग कप्तान टोलमा सतसंग प्रचारकार्य सुरु भयो । सतसंगको कार्यक्रमबाहेक मैले यहाँ सुदामाभक्तको चरित्र भजन गाएर सुनाएँ । दश दिनसम्मको यो सङ्गीत, कथा सकिएपछि यहाँ पनि श्रद्धालुजनले सिदापानी दिए अनि सतसंग प्रचारिणी सभालाई ३२ रुपियाँ ८ आना दान प्राप्त भयो । १४÷९÷४४ मा थाहा लाग्यो कि बराल साहेब ज्यादै बिसञ्चो हुनाले लखनौको ठूलो मिलिट्री अस्पतालमा दाखिल हुनुभएको छ । सो समाचारले हामी सबैलाई दुखी गरायो ।

‘१९÷९÷४४ देखि नौतुनाको दशैँघरमा दुर्गा चरित्र सुनाउनू ।’ भनी बिष्ट साहेबले अनुरोध गर्नुभयो । पाँच दिनसम्म दुर्गा चरित्र गायन गरी २३÷९÷४४ मा यो कार्यक्रम समाप्त गरियो । कप्तान साहेब बरालसँग सल्लाहविचार गरी मैले लेखेका भजन, कथा, गीत, उपदेशादि पुस्तकका रूपमा गोरखपुरको कुनै प्रेसमा छापेर सतसंग सभा हुँदा बिक्री गर्दै जाउँला भनी विचार गरेको थिएँ तर उहाँको लामो बिमारीले गर्दा मेरो योजना बिग्रँदै गएको जस्तो लाग्छ । धर्मशालादेखि नौतुनासम्म आएको बाटो खर्च एक सय अड्तीस रुपियाँ छ । पैसा सतसंग प्रचारिणी सभा भाग्सू (धर्मशाला) बाट अझ आइपुगेन । मेरो पासमा भएभरिको पैसा जम्मै सिद्धिसक्यो । बूढी आमालाई तीर्थ घुमाउन भनी ल्याएको रुपियाँ अब अलिअलि गरी खर्च गर्नुपर्दै छ ।

भगवान् बुद्धको जन्मस्थान लुम्बिनी नौतुनाको नजिकैमा पवित्र तीर्थस्थान छ । झण्डैझण्डै दुईअढाई कोस टाढा छ । तर आजभोलि बाटो खराब छ, ठाउँठाउँमा पानी छ भन्ने थाहा भयो र दर्शनका निमित्त केही दिनपछि जाने निश्चय ग¥यौँ । जन्मभूमि भाग्सूदेखि टाढा नौतुनासम्म आएर मुखसामनेको गोर्खा पहाडपखेरालाई देखाउन पनि जरुरी थियो । सो बिष्ट साहेबको अनुमतिले पहाडतर्फ रिडीसम्म गई गङ्गा स्नान गरी नौतुना फर्की आउने चाँजो मिलायौँ । दशैँटीकाको अघिल्लो दिन २९÷९÷४४ (बिहीबार) तदनुसार १३ असोज २००१ सम्वतमा हिँड्ने पक्का ठहरियो । सिरिफ बाटोमा चाहिने विस्तारा, लुगा, पकाई खाने भाँडा, रासन इत्यादि अलिअलि गर्दा पनि एउटा भरियाको भारी भइहाल्यो । यदि भरिया पाइएन भने यो भारी हामीले आफैँ बोकेर हिँडौँला भनी निर्णय गरियो । १३ असोजका दिन मोटरमा बसेर बटौलीतिर लाग्यौँ । नौतुनाबाट हिँड्दा मेरो गोजीमा जम्मा पच्चीस रुपियाँ थियो । पाँच रुपियाँ मोटरभाडा तिर्नुप¥यो । दश रुपियाँको मोहोर साटेँ । सो फर्किंदालाई दश रुपियाँ मात्र रह्यो । आफैँले भारी बोकेर हिँड्दा पनि रिडी यात्रा गरेर नौतुना फर्किनसम्म मलाई पुग्छ वा पुग्दैन ? परमात्मामा भरोसा राखी हिँडेँ । ईश्वरले आमालाई बल प्रदान गर्नुभो । विस्तार विस्तार ठाउँठाउँमा बिसाउँदै बत्ती बाल्ने बेलामा नुवाकोटको चौकीमा पुग्यौँ । थाकेर हलाक भएको प्राण मात्र बाँकी थियो । चौकीको हवल्दारलाई भनी चौकीमा नै बास बस्ने इरादा थियो । तर चौकीमा कोही पनि थिएन । त्यहाँ एउटी नेवार्नीको पसल रहेछ, सोधपुछ गर्दा चौकीको हवल्दार त टीका लाउन भनी हिजो गाउँमा गएका हुन्, थाहा भयो । सरकारी बन्दुक हातहतियार छोडेर, आफ्नो ड्युटीको पर्वाह नमानी जाने त्यो हवल्दार कस्ता रहेछन् छक्क लाग्यो ।

चौकीमा रात काट्ने आस पनि टुट्यो, उता तिनी नेवार्नी बहिनीले पनि बास दिन मानिनन् । रात पर्न लाग्यो । आमाले रातिमा आँखा नदेख्ने । विवश भएर झेरदीतिर ओह्रालो झर्नुप¥यो । झेरदीको पहिलो भट्टीमा बास माग्यौँ तर पाइएन । मन साह्रै दुख्यो । किन भट्टीवालाहरूले हामीलाई बास दिन मन गर्दैनन् ? यी लाहुरेहरूलाई मात्र खोज्छन् ? कारण स्पष्टै छ, जसको पासमा पैसा छ, उसको कदर संसारमा हुन्छ । हामी चामल बोकी हिँड्नेहरूबाट भट्टीवालाहरूलाई केको आम्दानी हुने ? लाहुरेहरूले रक्सी खान्छन्, कुखुरा काट्न लाउँछन् । तिनीहरू बास बसे १५ वा २० रुपियाँ झर्ने भयो । हामीलाई बास दियो भने चार मानिसको बीचमा धेरैभन्दा धेरै एक सुका पैसा पाउने भयो । सर्वशक्तिमान, सबै रोगव्याधि हटाउन सक्ने, जम्मै पापको नाश गराई स्वर्ग पु¥याउन सक्ने, मनको जम्मै इच्छा पूर्ण गर्न सक्ने साक्षात् पैसारूपी भगवान्लाई प्राप्त गर्न छाडी, धर्मकर्मको पछि किन पो लाग्थ्यो ? संसारमा मझैँ मुर्ख कुन होला ? पैसाको चमत्कार देख्दा मेरो पनि पैसातिर मन तानिन्छ । तर मनको भित्री कुनाबाट कसैले मलाई सावधान हो, भन्छ, रोक्छ । रात परिहाल्यो । आमा आत्तिन लागिन् । एउटा भट्टीमा भारी चाकरी गरेर बल्लबल्ल बास पायौँ तर यो शर्तमा कि यदि लाहुरेहरू आएछन् भने पटामा बास बस्नुपर्ला । नभन्दै केही छिनपछि लाहुरेहरू आए अनि मुनि अर्को भट्टीमा बास बसेँ । यो देखेर हाम्री भट्टीवाल्नी रिसले भुतुक्क भइन् । ‘यिनीहरूलाई देखेर यी लाहुरेहरू यहाँ बसेनन्, मलाई नोक्सान पा¥यो ।’ इत्यादि अनेक कुराहरू हामी ननिदाउञ्जेलसम्म गनगनाउँदै रहिन् ।

यसरी रात काटी १४ असोज (३० सितम्बर ४४) को बिहान त्यसै भट्टीमा भात खाएर आआफ्नो गुन्टा बोकी दोवानखोलातर्फ ओह्रालो लाग्यौँ । आमाको यौटा घुँडा ज्यादै कमजोर हुनाले ओह्रालो झर्दा तकलिफ हुन्थ्यो । विस्तार विस्तार हिँडी तीन घण्टामा बल्लबल्ल दोवान खोलामा पुग्यौँ । हिँड्दै बस्दै गर्दा बल्लबल्ल साँझ झिमझिम हुनेबेलामा मनयाक भन्ने ठाउँमा पुग्यौँ । त्यहाँ एउटी नेवार्नी बूढीमाऊको घरमा बास बस्यौँ । त्यहाँ कुनै प्रकारको कष्ट हामीलाई भएन । राम्रो सत्कार भयो । १५ असोजको बिहान भातभान्सा गरेर सुस्तोविस्तो सिस्नेखोलातिर लाग्यौँ । डुम्रे र नयाँपाटीको बीचमा पुग्दा सूर्य अस्तायो । नयाँपाटीसम्म पुग्दा झमक्क राति भइहाल्ने छ । आमाले आँखा देख्न छाडिन् भने डो¥याउनुपर्ने छ, बरु यस्तै बेलामा बास बस्न पाए हुने थियो, विचार गरेर नयाँपाटीको वरै खोलाको छेउमा एक भट्टीमा बास माग्दा बास दिएनन् । विवश भई नयाँपाटीतर्फ बढ्दै गयौँ । बाटोबाटै दाउरा पनि खोज्दै गयौँ । नयाँपाटी पुग्दासम्म राति भइहाल्यो । एउटा थकाल्नी बहिनीले हामीलाई बास दिइन्, राम्रो आदरसत्कार गरिन् ।

१६ असौज (१ अक्टोवर ४४) को बिहान त्यसै भट्टीमा भातभान्सा गरी बाटोमा मैलिएका लुगाहरू फुकाली सफा लुगा फे¥यौँ । भाँडाविस्तारा पनि बाँधेर त्यहीँ छाड्यौँ । तानसिङ नयाँपाटीबाट एक कोस छ । मेरो मित्र मेजर भूपेन्द्रविक्रम तनासिङको जङ्गी अड्डामा हुनुहुन्छ । उहाँकै आश्रयमा गुन्टा त्यहीँ भट्टीमा…..

नोटः श्री पूज्य पिताजीले यहाँसम्म लेख्दै हुनुहुन्थ्यो । उहाँ अचानक बिसन्चो हुनुभयो, लेख्दालेख्दै चट्ट छोड्नुभयो । छाडेको छाडै पार्नुभो । अन्त १÷१०÷४४ देखिन् उहाँको मृत्युकाल (९÷४÷४६) सम्मको यात्रा–डायरी छोटकरीमा लेख्दै छु ।

– दिग्विजय सेन ‘प्रदेशी’

त्यहीँ भट्टीमा गुन्टा राखी हामीहरू नयाँपाटीको फाँटको बाटो, त्यहाँको हरियो सुन्दर दृश्यलाई हेर्दै तानसिङको उकालो चढ्यौँ । तकरीवन चार बजे साँझ बाबुसाहेब मेजर भूपेन्द्रविक्रमज्यूका भवनमा पुग्यौँ । श्री भूपेन्द्रसमेत उहाँको जहानपरिवारले हाम्रो स्वागत गरे । उहाँले हाम्रो गाँसबासको असल व्यवस्था मिलाइदिनुभयो । चार दिनजति आराम गर्नाले बाबालाई निकै स्वास्थ्यलाभ पुग्यो । ५ अक्टोबर २०४४ मा बिहानै ६ बजे हामीहरू रिडी जान भनी तयार भयौँ । बतासेडाँडा, चुतरा भञ्ज्याङ, कुरुङखोलाको बाटो हुँदै तीन बजे अर्घेली पुग्यौँ । अर्घेलीबाट ओह्रालो झरी साढे पाँच बजेतिर रिडीको प्रसिद्ध देवमन्दिर ऋषिश्वरको धर्मशालामा पुग्यौँ । रिडीको चारैतर्फ पहाड हुनाले त्यहाँ छिट्टै रात पर्छ । हामी पुग्दा साँझ परिसकेको थियो । त्यही धर्मशालाको एक कुनामा डेरा जमायौँ । धर्मशाला ह्वाङ्ह्वाङ्ती थियो, ढोकाझ्याल नभएको । पास पसलबाट एकुन्टा गिलास चिया खाएर दिनभरि हिँडेको थकान मेट्यौँ । केहीपछि तानसिङबाट नै पकाएर ल्याएको खानासाना खाएर ओछ्यान गरी त्यहीँ भुइँमा लड्यौँ । कृष्णगण्डकीको सामुन्नेमा खल्लबल्ल गर्दै बगिरहेको मधुर आवाज तर मुटुसम्म छेड्ने चिसो बतास दुवैको आस्वादन गरी रात काट्यौँ । बिहानपख घामले अलि न्यानो गराएपछि गण्डकीमा नुहाउन भनी गङ्गाछेउमा गयौँ । स्नान आदि गरी फर्किंदा बाटोमा एकजना मानिसले बाबालाई चिनेछन् । एकछिनमा सारा रिडीमा लौ मास्टर मित्रसेन परिवारसमेत यहाँ आउनुभएको छ भन्ने खबर फैलियो । धर्मशालामा पुगी हामीहरू चिया खाँदै थियौँ, त्यत्तिकैमा रिडीका प्रसिद्ध मानिस दुर्गा शाह र त्यहाँका जनता स्वागतका निम्ति हामीनेर आइपुगे । गण्डकी नुहाएर आजै तानसिङ फर्किने विचार थियो । तर रिडीका जनताको आग्रहले एक महिनासम्म त्यहाँ बस्नुप¥यो । कात्तिक एकादशीमा रिडीमा ठूलो जात्रा निस्किन्छ, त्यतिबेला ऋषिश्वर तीर्थ महात्म्य विषयमा एउटा नाटक तयार पारिदिनुहोस् भनी सबैले बाबासँग अनुरोध गरे । बाबाले केही पौराणिक तथ्यका आधारमा एउटा नाटक लेख्नुभयो । रिहर्सल सुरु भयो । नाटकको मुख्य रोल बाबाले आफैँ अदा गर्नुभयो । नाटकको पहिलो शो रिडीबजारमा अनि दोस्रो शो ऋषिश्वर मन्दिरमा एकदमै राम्रो प्रकारले सम्पन्न भयो । जनताको फर्माइसलाई पूरा गर्नका निम्ति अघिल्लो रोज पनि धुमधामसँगले ऋषिश्वर मन्दिरमा एक शो अझ भयो । नाटकको कार्यक्रम सकेपछि रिडीका जनतासँग बिदा माग्यौँ । यसरी एक महिनापछि तानसिङ फर्कियौँ । तानसिङमा एक हप्ताजति बसी नौतुना फर्की आयौँ । बाबु साहेब मेजर भूपेन्द्रविक्रमज्यूले हाम्रो सुविस्ताका लागि दुई जना भरियाहरूको व्यवस्था मिलाइदिनुभयो ।

डिसेम्बर ४४ को पहिलो सप्ताहमा नौतुना फर्की आएपछि तीनचार दिन आराम गरेर बस्यौँ । त्यसपछि नौतुनाको रैकरुटिङ अफिसरको सामुन्ने फेरि सतसंग प्रचार कार्यक्रम साथसाथै बाबाले भक्त अम्बरिषको कथा गायन रूपमा सुन्दर प्रकारले जनतालाई सुनाउन सुरु गर्नुभयो । बीचबीचमा उहाँले नैतिक र सामाजिक विषयमा पनि व्याख्या दिनुहुन्थ्यो । कहिले झ्याउरे लयमा हँसाउने खालका गीत गाएर घत लाग्ने कुराहरू सम्झाउने यत्न गर्नुहुन्थ्यो । यो कार्यक्रम गर्दागर्दै सन् ४४ बित्यो अनि ४५ लाग्यो । नयाँ सालको सुरुमासमा अल इन्डिया ब्रोडकास्टिङ रेडियो स्टेशन, दिल्लीबाट रेकर्डिङका लागि बाबालाई बोलाइपठाए । ‘आमा र बज्यैको ख्याल राख्नू अनि सतसंगको कार्यक्रमलाई नियमित रूपले चलाउँदै रहनू ।’ बाबाले मलाई आदेश दिनुभो । बाबाको सेवा, सहायता र सुविस्ताका लागि बाबु जसबहादुरज्यूले आफ्नो छोरालाई साथमा पठाउनुभयो । दिल्ली र लाहोरमा गई रेकर्डिंङ आदिको काम सिद्धिएपछि बाबा तीन सप्ताहबात नौतुना फर्की आउनुभयो अनि सतसंग प्रचार आदिको जिम्मेदारी उहाँले आफैँ सम्हाल्नुभयो । सन् १९४५ अगस्त मासको आधासम्म नौतुना अनि कुँडाघाट (गोरखपुर) मा कथा, सङ्गीत, व्याख्यान, भजन, सतसंग कार्यक्रम सुचारुरूपले चलि नै रहेको थियो । बाबाले फुर्सद पाएमा निबन्ध, कविता, नाटक, गीत आदि पनि धमाधम लेखिबस्नु हुन्थ्यो । आमाजी सख्त बिमार हुनुभयो । गोरखपुरको नामी डाक्टरसँग जाँच गराउँदा उहाँले आमालाई दुईचार महिनाका लागि हावापानी बदली गर्नका निमित्त पहाडतिर लिई जाऊ भनी सल्लाह दिनुभयो । बज्यैले भाग्सू फिर्ता हुन्छु भन्नुभो । कप्तान साहेब बरालज्यू अनि सुवेदार साहेब बिष्टज्यूका सरसल्लाहले बजैलाई भाग्सू फिर्ता पठाउने बन्दोबस्त गरियो अनि हामी तीन जना (बाबा, आमा र म) शिलाङ जाने आँट भयो । भारतस्थित जम्मै गोर्खाली पल्टनहरूमा बाबाको उहिलेदेखि नै राम्रो चिनजानी र आनाजाना थियो । त्यसकारण शिलाङका सबै गोर्खालीहरूले बाबालाई राम्ररी चिन्थे ।

१९ अगस्त ४५ को साँझ हामी रेलमा बसी गोरखपुरदेखि शिलाङतर्फ हिँड्यौँ । २२ अगस्तमा गोहाटी पुग्यौँ तर हाम्रो सामान असबाब ढिलो पुगिदिएकाले २५ अगस्तको साँझ मात्र हामीहरू मोटरबाट हिँड्यौँ । बिहान भात खाएर मौप्रेम गाउँमा गयौँ । श्री देवसिंह जोशी अनि श्री लोकनाथज्यूसँग हाम्रो भेटघाट भयो । उहाँहरूले हाम्रो बासगाँसको असल व्यवस्था मिलाइदिनुभयो । आमाको इलाजपट्टि विशेष ध्यान दिए तापनि बाबाले आफ्नो सतसंग प्रचार कार्यक्रम हामी पुगेको तीनचार दिनपछि सुरु गरिहाल्नुभयो । पहिलो प्रोग्राम ठाकुरबाडीमा भयो, एक सप्ताहसम्म । त्यसपछि दुई सप्ताहको कार्यक्रम पाठशालामा राखियो । अब केही नाटक तयार पारिदिनुहोस् भनी त्यहाँका भला आद्मीहरूले बाबासँग अनुरोध गरे । प्रभुभक्ति नाटकको रिहर्सल बाबाको निर्देशनमा आरम्भ भयो । बाबाले आफँै सिनसिनरी (पर्दाहरू) चित्रकारी गरी बनाई तयार पार्नुभयो । सबै तयारी पूरा भइसकेपछि दुई दिनसम्म खुबै धूमधामसँगले यो नाटक त्यहाँ देखाइयो । बाबाले हार्माेनियम बजाउनुभयो अनि मैले तबला ।

शिलाङको ओसिलो हावापानी र नियमित इलाजले आमाको बिमारी काफी ठिक भयो । अतः ११ नोभेम्बर १९४४ मा शिलाङदेखि तेजपुर, शिलघाटतर्फ जाऔँ भनी गोहाटी आयौँ । राति आठ बजेमा हाम्रो स्टीमर हिँड्न थाल्यो । रातभरि दिनभरि त्यसमा सफर गरी १२ नोभेम्बरको साँझमा तेजपुर पुग्यौँ अनि राति एक बजेमा शिलघाट पुग्न सक्यौँ । त्यहाँ उत्रियौँ र ब्रह्मपुत्रको किनारा जङ्गलको बीचमा रात काट्यौँ । तर मञ्जिल अझ टाढा छ । बिहानपख एउटा डुङ्गामा बसी दिनभरिको सफर तय गरी राति आठ बजे हामीहरू आफ्नो मञ्जिलमा पुग्न सफल भयौँ । यो सफर अत्यन्तै कष्टदायक थियो । घोर जङ्गलभित्रको गाउँमा पुग्दा त्यहाँ बस्ने गोर्खालीहरूले हाम्रो खुब आदरसत्कार गरे । बाबाले सतसंग प्रचारको कुरा गर्दा ‘हामीहरू यहाँ बस्ने जम्मै गोर्खाली राधास्वामी मतका अनुयायी छौँ ।’ भनी भने । अतः चारपाँच दिन बसी तेजपुर फर्की आयौँ ।

तेजपुर पुग्दा बाबा अलि बिरामी हुनुभयो । तेजपुरमा दुई दिन बसी गोरखपुर फर्की आयौँ । केही दिन आराम गरी डिसेम्बर ४५ को पहिलो सप्ताहदेखि बाबाले सतसंग प्रचार कार्यलाई खुब जोश र उत्साहका साथमा फेरि थाल्नुभयो । निभ्न लागेको बत्तीजस्तै एकछिन झलल उज्यालो पारी विस्तारविस्तारै प्रकाश मन्द हुँदै गयो । बाबाको शरीर दिनदिनै सुक्दै गयो । कप्तान साहेब बरालज्यू, सुवेदार साहेब बिष्टज्यू अनि नौतुना र गोरखपुरका जम्मै भला आद्मीहरू चिन्तामा परे । बाबाको असल इलाजका लागि उनीहरूले केही कसर बाँकी राखेनन् । गोरखपुरको नामी डाक्टर जसवाल साहेबले बाबाको राम्ररी जाँच गरे । खुन टेस्ट, थुक टेस्ट, छातीको एक्सरे आदि सबैथोक गरे । तर रोगको पत्तै लाग्न सकेन । डाक्टर साहेब पनि छक्क परे । बाबाको हालत दिन प्रतिदिन झन्झन् खराब हुँदै गयो । अन्तत साह्रै हतास भएर भारी मुटुले बाबाले सतसंगको कार्यक्रमलाई अब स्थगित गर्नुप¥यो भन्ने विचार प्रकट गर्नुभयो । कप्तान साहेब बरालज्यू अनि सुवेदार बिष्टज्यूले पनि अब तपाईंहरू भाग्सू फर्किनुहोस् भन्ने सल्लाह दिनुभयो । २१ मार्च १९४६ का दिन बाबा, आमा र म नौतुना गोरखपुरको सतसंग धर्मप्रचार कार्यलाई बीचैमा छाडी रेलबाट भाग्सूतर्फ हिँड्यौँ ।

२४÷३÷४६ मा हामी घर (भाग्सू) फिर्ता पुग्यौँ । बाबालाई ज्वरोले छाडेन । ज्वरो १०३ डिग्रीसम्म रोजै चढ्ने अनि बेलुकी उत्रने । पल्टनका सरकारी डाक्टरलाई बोलाई बोलाई इलाज गर्न लगायौँ तर केही लाभ पुगेन । अन्ततः ९ अप्रेल १९४६ बुधबार चैते दशैँताका राम नवमीका दिन बाबाले यो नश्वर शरीरलाई त्याग गर्नुभयो । शरीर छाड्नुभन्दा केही छिनअघि मलाई भन्नुभयो ‘तँ अब टाठोबाठो भइसकेको छस्, आमा र बज्यैको ख्याल राख्नू अनि सतसंग धर्मप्रचार कार्यलाई जहाँसम्म हुन्छ चलाइ नै राख्नू ।’

 मास्टर मित्रसेन, मित्रको डायरी, १९८४ दोस्रो संस्करण (पेज १– २०), मित्रसेन साहित्य सङ्गीतसभा, ग्राम दाडी धर्मशाला, काँगडा, हिमाञ्चल प्रदेश ।

(विजय हितानद्वारा उधृत ‘मास्टर मित्रसेन र उनका सिर्जना’ (पृष्ट ९३– १११) बाट

The Gurkhas, Eden Vansittart

Vansittart, Eden, The Gurkhas, Anmol Publications, New Delhi, India, Reprint 1993
Book review by Dr. Govind Prasad Thapa

The Western division is inhabited by Doti and other non-Gurkha tribes and until the close of the last century was divided in, 22 separate principalities which were collectively called the Baisi Raj and were all tributary to the Raja of ‘Yumila’-Jumla.

Baisi is derived from Bais (twenty two). The names of these principalities were-
Jumla, Jagwikot, Chain, Acham, Rugham, Musikot, Roalpa, Mallijanta, Balhang, Daelekh, Darimeka, Doti, Sallyan, Bamphi, Mellianta, Jehari, Kalagaon, Goriakot, Gutam, Gajur, Jajarkot, Bilaspur.(p. 3)

Baisi is derived from Bais (twenty two). The names of these principalities were-
Jumla, Jagwikot, Chain, Acham, Rugham, Musikot, Roalpa, Mallijanta, Balhang, Daelekh, Darimeka, Doti, Sallyan, Bamphi, Mellianta, Jehari, Kalagaon, Goriakot, Gutam, Gajur, Jajarkot, Bilaspur.(p. 3)  

Towards the close of the last century the Central Division included in its limits, besides the Kingdom of Gurkha proper, 24 other independent principalities, collectively called the Chaubisia Raj, or ‘country of the 24 kings’. These principalities were called- 

Lamzung, Tanhung, Golkot, Malibam, Sathung, Garhun, Rising, Ghiring, Deorali, Palpa, Pokhra, Bhirkot, Butwal, Gulmi, Nuwakeot, Kashi, Isma, Dharkot, Musikot, Argha, Pyung, Latahung, Kaikho, Piuthan. Previous to the conquest of the western hill by Gurkhas, Jumla was the chief of the 46 principalities into which the country between the Kali and the province of Gurkha proper was divided, and all of which were nominally tributary to the Raja of Jumla.(p. 4)  

This book introduces Nepal-its geography, people, economy, culture and history. It also tells about the recruitment of Gorkhas into British army. The author lists the races of aboriginal stock of Nepal—”The aboriginal stock of Nepal is most undoubtedly Mongolian. This fact is inscribed in very plain characters, in their faces, forms, and languages. Amongst the aborigines of Nepal must be counted the Magars, Gurungs, Newars, Sunwars, Khambus, Yakhas, Yakthumbas, Limbus, Murmis, and Lepchas. (p.6) 

……The most ancient records would seem to prove that Nepal was originally inhabited by Mongolians. Probably from one of the great waves of Mongolian conquest, which spread through the breadth of Asia from east to west, some side wave was washed over the bleak snows of the mighty Himalayas into the fertile plains and valleys of Nepal. Finding here a cool and bracing climate and fertile soil, this mass of Mongolians settled down and adopted the country as their own. But again, the southern boundary of Nepal rested on India, from whence continual streamlets of natives were finding their way into Nepal. (p. 8-9)  

….In the Saka year 811, and Nepal Sambat 9(AD 889) on the 7th Sravara Sudi, a Saturday, Nanya, Deva Raja came from the south Karnataki country and entered Nepal. He brought with him the Saka Sahkala era and introduced it. Amongst the troops that there with him were Newars, from a country called Nayeva, who were Brahmaputra Chattris and Achars. He defeated the Malla Rajas, and established his court at Bhaktapur or Bhatgaon, he ruled over it as well as over Lalitapattan (present Patan), and Kantipur or Katmandu, and established a dynasty, which lasted about 220 years and gave six kings. The sixth and last king of this dynasty, by name Hari Deva, had at this time (about 1100 AD) a Magar in his service, who through the machinations of the ministers, was dismissed. This man returned to his home and praised Nepal as having houses with golden roofs and golden pranalis or dharas. The Magar Raja, by name Mukunda Sena, a brave and powerful monarch, having heard of this, came to Nepal from the west with a large number of mounted troops, and subdued Hari Deva, the son of Rama Sinha Deva. Of the Nepalese troops some were slain and others fled. Great confusion reigned in the three cities. The victorious soldiers broke and disfigured the images of the gods and sent the Bhairava, in front of Machindranatha, to their own country, Palpa and Botwal. With this Raja the Khas and Magar castes came to Nepal. These men having no mercy, committed great sins, and the southern face of Pashupati showed its frightful teeth, and sent a goddess named Maha-mari (pestilence) who, within a forthnight, cleared the country of the troops of Mukunda Sena. The Raja alone escaped to the east in disguise. On his way back to his own country he arrived at Devighat and died there.(pp. 15-16)  

Social relations appear to be governed more by custom, than by the fixed rules, and superstition prevails so widely that the most ordinary occurrences of everyday life are referred to supernatural agency, frequently to the malevolent action of some demon. The writer writes that information on “Magars, Gurungs, and Thakurs are fairly complete and correct. The lists of Khas, Limbus, Rais, Sunuwars, and Murmis are undoubtedly incomplete, and perhaps in parts incorrect.” The writer has given chapter VI to details on Magars.  

The writer has argued that, “….the most ancient records would seem to prove that Nepal was originally inhabitated by Mongolians. Probably from one of the great waves of Mongolian conquest, which spread through the breadth of Asia from east to west, some side wave was washed over the bleaks snows of the mighty Himalayas into the fertile plains and valleys of Nepal…the northern wave, which originally peopled Nepal, probably consisted of a most uncivilized,, ignorant race with, perhaps, no religion at all. Those who came from south, on the other hand, were Hindus, whose religion, even then, was an old established one, and who were famous for their intelligence and civilization.

“Of very ancient Magar history we know nothing, and the first time that they came into prominence as a great power is about AD 1100, when we hear that Mukunda Sena, the Magar King of Palpa and Botwal, invaded and conquered the Nepal Valley, and committed terrible atrocities during the reign of Hari Deva, King of Nepal. The principal seat of Magars was most of the central and lower parts of the mountain between the Jingrak (Rapti) of Gorakhpur) and Marsiandi rivers. That they resided about Palpa from time immemorial is well-known. Doctor F Hamilton in his book published in 1819 says that the Magars, who resided to the west of the Gandak river, seem to have received the Rajputs princes with much cordiality. Until the arrival of the Rajputs and Brahmans, the hill tribes seem all to have eaten every kind of animal food, including the cow. Each tribe appears to have originally to have a priesthood and duties peculiar to itself, and to have worshipped chiefly ghosts.”

“The Magars have for many centuries more or less admitted the supremacy of the doctrines of the Brahmans, and consequently they have adopted many Rajput customs, ceremonies, and names. The Gurungs also, but to a very much lesser degree, have borrowed from the Rajputs, but this does not give either of two tribes any claim to any other descent than Mongolian.

“Owing to the geographical positions of the tract of country inhabited by the Magars, they were the first to receive immigrants from the plains of India, and thus conversions were more numerous amongst the Magars than any of the other hill tribes living further north or east. 

“….Hence we find Magars many high-born titles such as Surajvansi, Chandrvansi etc., etc., which undoubtedly never existed amongst the Magar themselves, but were introduced from India. Some of the Magars having been converted assumed the sacred thread, whilst others did not; hence we find Ghartis, Ranas, and Thapas, who appear as tribes belonging both to the Magars and to the Khas.” p.81

“Makwanpur originally formed part of the estate of the Ruler of Palpa. There is no doubt that Makunda Sen possessed very extensive dominions, but on his death he devided his kingdom amongst his four sons. To the youngest, Lohanga by name, Makwanpur was given, a mountain chief, by name Bajuhang Rai, joined Lohanga with all his Kirant troops, and they conquered all the petty independent principalities lying to the east of Makwanpur and took possession of Bissipur.”

Bajuhang was killed during these wars, and his son, relinquishing the title of Hang, in its stead took that of Chautaria, and all his successors assumed Hindu names.

Lohanga now possessed a very extensive territory reaching from Mahananda in the east to Adiya on the west, and from Tibet to Julagar, near Purneah.

One of Lohanga’s successors was called Subha Sen, and two sons, who on their father’s death divided the kingdom. In 1774 the Gurkha’s overran the country. Vansittart..p99-100

Vansittart quotes Doctor F. Hamilton on Gurkha family: “In 1802 Doctor F. Hamilton writes: ‘The first persons of the Gurkha family, of whom I have heard, were two brothers, named Khancha and Mincha, words altogether barbarous, denoting their descent from a Magar family, and not from the Pamars, as they pretend'”.p.24

Vansittart claims that “Khancha was the founder of the imperial branch of the family, viz., they remained Magars. Mincha was the Chief of Nayakot, and adopted the Hindu rules of purity, and his descendants intermarried with the best families although not without creating disgust.” He further asserts that “Kulmandan, the son of Jagdeva, obtained sovereignty over Kaski, and having pleased the Mahomedan Emperor, received from him the title of Sah.”p. 24

…..The famous Prime Minister Bhim Sen was the descendant of a Magar Thapa, as was also General Amar Sing.(p. 67)  

To the north and to the west of Sallyan, numbers of Matwala Khas are to be found. They are rarely if ever found to the east of the Gandak  river. There can be no doubt that this race found its origin somewhere about Sallyan or perhaps still further west. The Matwala Khas is generally the progeny of a Khas of Western Nepal with a Magar woman of Western Nepal. If the woman happens to belong to the Rana clan of the Magar tribe, the progeny is then called a Bhat Rana. The Matwala Khas does not wear the thread. He eats and drinks and in every way assimilates himself with the Magars and Gurungs. He invariably claims to be a Magar. Amongst the Matwala Khas are to be found those who call themselves Bohra, Roka, Chohan, Jhankri, etc. These are easy to identify, but it is more difficult to find out a Matwala who calls himself a Thapa. His strong Magar appearance, his not wearing the thread, and his eating and drinking freely with the real Magars, all tend to prove him to be what he almost invariably claims to be, viz., a real Magar. The writer has found men in the ranks who for years had served as and been considered Magars, but who really were Matwala Khas. Some very excellent results are obtained amongst the Matwala Khas, although the greater proportion are coarse-bred and undesirable.(p. 70)  

Of very ancient Magar history we know nothing, and the first time that they came into prominence as a great power is about AD 1100, when hear that Mukunda Sena, the Magar King of Palpa and Botwal, invaded and conquered the Nepal Valley, and committed terrible atrocities during the reign of Hari Deva, King of Nepal. 

The principal seat of the Magars was most of the central and lower parts of the mountains between the Jhingrak ( Rapti of Gorakhpur) and Marsiangdi rivers. That they resided about Palpa from time immemorial is well known. Doctor F. Hamilton in book published in 1819 says that the Magars, who resided to the west of the Gandak River, seem to have received the Rajput princes with much cordiality. 

Until the arrival of Rajputs and Brahmans, the hill tribes seem all to have eaten every kind of animal food, including the cow. Each tribe appears originally to have had a priesthood and duties peculiar to itself, and to have worshipped chiefly ghosts. 

The Magars have for many centuries more or less admitted the supremacy of the doctrines of the Brahmans, and consequently they have adopted many Rajput customs, ceremonies, and names. The Gurungs also, but to a very much lesser degree, have borrowed from Rajputs, but this does not give either of these two tribes any claim to any other descent than Mongolian. 

Owing to the geographical position of the tract of country inhabited by the Magars, they were the first to receive immigrants from the plains of India, and thus conversions were more numerous amongst the Magars than any of the other tribes living further north or east.

At other place the writer claims that, “The famous Prime Minister Bhim Sen was the descendant of a Magar Thapa, as was also General Amar Sing.”p. 67

Though this book was written as guidebook for the purpose of British Officers who were engaged in the recruitment of Nepali, this book also covers information on many other aspects, history, culture, people, and geography of Nepal. So, this book will be very useful for the pursuit of further research on the people’s history of Nepal.

Who was Aramudi?

Was Aramudi a Magar? Need for Scholarly Researches through Magars’ Lens
SB Pun, Magar Studies Center, Journal Shodhmala, Volume 8, No. 9
January 2015, (Magh, 2071)


Aramudi in Kalhan’s Rajatarangini:

The Kashmiri historian, Kalhan, lived in the middle of the 12th century AD when the once powerful Kashmir Kings were very much on the wane. He was, in fact, a contemporary of the last Kashmir king. Kalhan’s celebrated Rajatarangini, A Chronicle of the Kings of Kasmir, is a five hundred years’ historical record of the Kashmir Kings from the 7th/8th century AD. According to MA Stein , the British scholar who in the late 19th century translated Kalhan’s Rajatarangini, King Jayapida ruled Kashmir in the ‘years AD 751 – 782 but in all probability fell much closer to the end of the eighth century, few authentic details seem to have been recorded.’ King Jayapida expanded his empire conquering large parts of northern and central India. During his territorial expansion, King Jayapida was, however, defeated and even captured by Aramudi in a battle on the bank of the river ‘Kala Gandak’. Dr. Dilli Raman Regmi quotes Kalhan’s following Rajatarangini verses, as translated by RS Pandit, to provide a vivid and enlightening description of the Jayapida versus Aramudi battle fought over 1200 years ago:

The Raja named Aramudi, skilled in magic, protector of Nepal, endowed with the arts of peace and war planned to over-reach him(531).
When Jayapida entered his principality he did not make his submission but retired from before him to a great distance with his army(532).
Thus, it was that he, who was ambitious to conquer, inflicted, while in pursuit of Aramudi, defeats on the various ruling princes which would have necessitated special efforts to achieve (533).
He was occasionally visible just like to the hawk the pigeon in the thicket (534).

At this time on the further bank of the river on the right of the king was found posted Aramudi displaying his army with the emblem of his own parasol (537).
Seeing his powerful army which resounded with the rattle of massed kettle drums, Jayapida flared up like fire which was absorbed melted butter (538).
He, on seeing that the river water, which was knee deep, was no impediment, in his anger, plunged in to cross, unacquainted with the terrain as he was from never having been before (539).
When the king had reached the middle, the river was filled by the rising tide and unexpectedly became unfathomably deep with the waters (540).
The king’s army teeming with men, elephants and horses sinking in the river, which was rising in the manner, in a trice came to an end (541).
The king, whose ornaments and clothes were torn off in the rushing waves, penetrated the waves with his arms and carried off far by the flood waters (542).
With the pitiful shrieks of the one army, the triumphant shouts of the other and with the roar of the waves of the river, the direction became full of tumult (543).
The enemy made haste and with armed men on inflated skins, he drew out Jayapida from the midst of the river and took him prisoner and held a feast (544)
his confidence (546).
Thus the Kashmiri king was once more submerged in adversity and, puzzled as to what should be done, was consumed by concealed sorrow (547).

Together with fortune of Jayapida, I shall deliver to you the throne of the king of Kashmir, thus through the emissaries, Aramudi heard the message (553)
When upon the arrival of the emissaries of the opposite side, the agreement was complete (554).

Who was Aramudi?

This, then, is the fascinating account by a Kashmiri historian about how his own powerful King Jayapida suffered an ignominious defeat on the bank of Kala Gandak at the hands of an obscure Aramudi. Now who was this Aramudi? According to Dr. KP Jayaswal, Aramudi in Kashmiri means a monk and hence identified him as Varadeva of Bendall’s chronicle. This chronicle relates a story about Varadeva’s life of renunciation as a monk and Jayaswal conveniently concluded that the above fight was between Varadeva and Jayapida. On the other hand, Professor Sylvian Levi, along with MA Stein, believed Aramudi was a Tibetan King as Aramudi is a Tibetan word. This was vehemently refuted by Dr. DR Regmi who believed that Professor Levi suffered from that ‘innate prejudice to give credence to anything glorifying Tibet.’ Both Regmi and Stein state that the name Aramudi does not appear in the traditional lists of Nepal Rajahs. In fact, Regmi finds this very strange – a name so eloquently appearing in Rajatarangini and yet traced nowhere in Nepal’s history.

Regmi believed that ‘Aramudi in all possibility was a king of the Gandak region. He might act as well as a ruler of a native dynasty of Magars. The Magar vocabulary might provide a clue to the meaning of the word Aramudi in its historical setting. But scholars with a competent knowledge of linguistics and Indo-Mongloid dialects are needed for the task.’ There is, thus, the task for the Magars to delve into this Aramudi issue in an impartial and scholarly manner. Aramudi now needs to be researched through the Magars’ lens. We have seen above how Jayaswal and Levi through their lens interpret Aramudi as a Kashmiri and Tibetan respectively. Regmi, however, has thrown the gauntlet to the Magars that as the battle was fought on the bank of Kala Gandak, Magarat, the land of Magars, Aramudi could very well be a Magar!
Aramudi Need to be Researched through Magars’ Lens:

The call for Aramudi to be studied through the Magars’ lens is eloquently illustrated by the following translations of the same Rajatarangini verses by RS Pandit and MA Stein:

(531) The Raja named Aramudi, skilled in magic, protector of Nepal, endowed with the arts of peace and war planned to over-reach him. RS Pandit

531. King Aramudi, who ruled Nepal, and who was possessed of wisdom and prowess, wished to prevail over him by cunning. MA Stein

(541) The king’s army teeming with men, elephants and horses sinking in the river, which was rising in the manner, in a trice came to an end. RS Pandit

541. Then the king’s army, with its mass of men, elephants and horses, was washed away by the swollen river, and destroyed in a moment. MA Stein

(554) When upon the arrival of the emissaries of the opposite side, the agreement was complete. RS Pandit

554. When an agreement had been arrived at, on the arrival of the envoys sent in return [by Aramudi], the minister, accompanied by an army, proceeded to the land of Nepal. MA Stein
It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One can see that the above three same verses of Rajatarangini are translated differently by Pandit and Stein. Whereas Pandit viewed Aramudi as the protector of Nepal, Stein saw him as the ruler of Nepal. One can draw a fine line between the protector and ruler of Nepal. Pandit’s translation of ‘men, elephant and horses sinking in the river which was rising’ is not as easy to understand as Stein’s ‘mass of men, elephants and horses was washed away by the swollen river’. Similarly, while Pandit translated ‘[Aramudi] was occasionally visible just like to the hawk the pigeon in the thicket’, Stein translated that same verse in a more difficult manner as ‘sometimes kept in hiding and sometimes showed himself, in pursuit from land to land, as the eagle [pursues] the dove in the thicket.’ Pandit’s hawk and pigeon get transformed into eagle and dove in Stein. These examples are illustrated merely to stress the need for Aramudi to be researched through the Magars’ lens. JC Dutt, who translated Rajatarangini into English, commented in March 1887 that Kalhan’s love for alliteration and artistic styles clouded many of his passages, making them difficult to translate. Dutt, however, was of the opinion that though the materials were meager and incomplete, Kalhan’s historical records are generally correct.

Aramudi’s Ignominious End:

563. When the clever [minister] had obtained the consent of the duped [Aramudi], he went to the imprisoned King Jayapida. MA Stein

579. As soon as he had reached his army, he at once invaded the kingdom of Nepal and destroyed it completely, together with its ruler. MA Stein

The clever minister, who came from Kashmir to rescue his King Jayapida and skillfully duped Aramudi, was Devasarman. The faithful Devasarman killed himself so that the imprisoned Jayapida could jump from his stone building imprisonment into Kala Gandak and across the river floating on the dead minister’s body. Once free, a thoroughly bitter and angry Jayapida then invaded Nepal and destroyed it completely together with Aramudi. This massive destruction of Nepal and the fleeting victory of Aramudi, so faithfully documented by Rajatarangini, failed to be registered in Nepal’s chronicle.

The End

Diary of a Nepali soldier in France

Writings and a khukri of an unknown World War I Gurkha soldier surface in Germany after 107 years surface in Germany after 107 years

Shree Bhakta Khanal, November 28, 2020, Nepali Times

Gurkhas in the trenches of France during World War I. More than 20,000 Nepali soldiers were killed fighting for the Allied Forces between 1914-1918. Photo: Imperial War Museum

Books have been written about the legendary bravery and sacrifice of Nepal’s Gurkha soldiers. Officers have extolled their obedience and cheerfulness despite hardships and danger. The world has an image of Nepali soldiers in the battlefield: fierce but always smiling. 

But historians have pored through letters and diaries written by Gurkha soldiers from the two World Wars to paint a slightly different picture — Nepalis in the trenches of Flanders Field or below the cliffs at Gallipoli, homesick, terrified, cold and miserable. Many of these letters home were held by military censors, and are archived.

Now, a diary written by a Gurkha sergeant in the British Army during the battle of La Bassée in northern France during World War I in 1914, and retrieved by a German officer, have revealed a whole new side to the Gurkha legend, one that confirms the traditional bravery, but also their human side. 

Two unnamed Gurkha prisoners of war in a German camp in Münster in 1916. Courtesy: Sir Kukri & Co
Gurkha prisoners of war in a German camp. Some of their voices recorded in song and stories are now in the Humboldt Museum archives. Courtesy: Sir Kukri & Co

Lieutenant Alexander Pfeifer was with the Kurhessische Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 11 and found the diary of a Nepali soldier in La Bassée on 20 December 1914 after a fierce battle against Allied forces of the British and French Armies. The battle had lasted from 12 October till the end of December. The name of the Nepali soldier, and whether he died in the battlefield or as a prisoner of war, are not known. 

Lt Alexander Pfeifer, the German officer among whose papers was the diary of the Gurkha soldier, and was recently retrieved by his great-grandson, Philip Cross.

Lt Pfeiffer’s great-grandson Philip Cross found the documents and the khukri while going through his family effects. He is in the process of translating his great grandfather’s diary into English, and also getting the diary of the dead Gurkha sergeant translated into English and German.

Lt Pfeiffer writes in his diary about the fearsome reputation of the Gurkhas among the German troops: ‘I found quite a few letters written in Indian script. They are fierce warriors. We are afraid of them. They use their knives to cut up the enemy,’ he writes in one entry.

It appears that Lt Pfeifer’s job was to go through the bodies of dead enemy soldiers to find out if he could find any intelligence of what the Allied forces were up to. That appears to be how he got hold of the diary, photographs and even the khukri.

The first page of the diary of the unknown Nepali solider is in verse with numbered lines. It lists the names of the writers’ young friends who were killed or taken prisoner, the hardships they endured. From the penmanship and vocabulary and the use of numbered verse, the soldier appears to have learnt his Nepali probably from a village priest who used to be the only literate person in the villages in Nepal in those days. 

यो कठै बरा…जोबन सबै शत्रुका हातबाट गयो ।।२०।। पल्टनको माया मोह नेपालमै रह्यो जिउँदै मरी कैलाशमा गयो। सुवेदार भीमसिं भँडारी भयो ।।२१।। हर्के थापा जसराजा धर्म खत्री कम्यान्डर प्रजीतन नैनसिं खत्री सरुप कुँवर प्रतिमन थापा

Pages from the diary of an unknown Nepali soldier with a verse, and a list of names, possibly of prisoners of war. Courtesy: Philip Cross

Translated, the lines read: 

‘Poor fellows, their youth was taken away by the enemy’s hands (20)

The love of the military was left behind in Nepal

We are the living dead who have gone to heaven

Subedar Bhimsi Bhandari (21) Harke Thapa Jasraja Dharma Khatri Commander Pasitan Nainsingh Khatri Swarup Kunwar Pratiman Thapa’ 

The same names in the Nepali soldier’s diary also appear in the diary of Lt Alexander Pfeifer,
The grave of Haribal Thapa, a Gurkha prisoner of war who died in captivity in Germany 24 January 1915, and is buried at a military cemetery outside Berlin. Courtesy: Sir Kukri & Co

Lt Pfeiffer’s note in his own diary entry reads as follows: 

Found with a Gurkha sergeant major. The content of the notice page no. 1 says: The soldiers of the section (Battalion) should be treated with love, friendliness and kindness. Every person, who carries out the rules of his religion, according to law and order, receives his payment (will be happy). The orders of the commanding officer should be carried out precisely and immediately. The content of the notice paper no.2 is as follows. Names of the Gurkhas: 

  1. Thuparau Gurun
  2. Chandrabir Thapa 
  3. Akalbir Gurun
  4. Manbahadur Gurun
  5. Amarsing Gurun
  6. Udjersingh Gharti
  7. Imansing Gurun
  8. Manbir Thapa
  9. Chhabilal Rana
  10. Akatbir Thapa
  11. Narbahadur Thapa
  12. Schatasin Gurun

On investigating some of these names, British Army records show that Chandrabir Thapa was a rifleman in the Second King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles (Sirmur Rifles). Manbir Thapa was a sergeant in the First Battalion of the First King George V’s Own Gurkha Rifles (Malaun Regiment), and his service number was 1896 and he was killed in action on 20 December 1914 in La Bassée. We even know Manbir’s father’s name was Parasram Thapa and lived in Dohadi village in western Nepal.

Chhabilal Rana’s service number was 2114 and he was a rifleman with the Second King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles Second Battalion (Sirmur Rifles) and he was also killed in action on 20 December.

Records at La Bassée show that there were other Gurkha soldiers killed in the battlefield or taken prisoner who are not on Lt Pfeiffer’s diary list. One of them is Haribal Thapa who, according to the Sir Kukri & Co blog was a rifleman in the First King George V’s Own Gurkha Rifles (First Gurkha Regiment).

His service number was 2952 and he died on 24 January 1915 while he was a prisoner of war in a German camp after being captured in La Bassée. His grave can still be found at a military cemetery outside Berlin. Haribal Thapa’s documents show that his father was Dal Kishore who lived in Perung in today’s Majhkot of Tanahu district.

Lieutenant Alexander Pfeifer’s diary, as translated by his great-grandson, has many references to the Gurkhas who were their enemies and served in the British Army. Among them are entries dated 20 December 1914, the day of the fierce battle during which the 12 Gurkhas listed above by the unknown Nepali soldier were probably taken prisoner:

The grave of Haribal Thapa, a Gurkha prisoner of war who died in captivity in Germany 24 January 1915, and is buried at a military cemetery outside Berlin. Courtesy: Sir Kukri & Co

  • I was woken up at 5:30am on 20 December 1914 by the sound of cannons and gunfire. Someone opened the door to the room where I was sleeping. He was the uberjäger from our machine-gun company. He was so frightened he could not even speak properly. Our machine-gun company had been over-run by the enemy. He said they (the Gurkhas) used their curved knife to cut the throats of our comrades, and killed everyone they could find. I woke up the others and related this news to them.
  • After the end of the battle, I witnessed a horrific sight. The dead and wounded covered the ground. There were some British and Indian (Gurkha) soldiers, who were in eternal sleep next to our artillery position. Some were headless, others did not have limbs. We took what we could from the dead. I got one of those curved knives, tobacco, food in tiffin boxes. 
  • We were fighting these Indians (Gurkhas) who had their heads shaven. They were short and stocky, and very agile. One of them who was a prisoner of war said that the Gurkhas were terrified of the cold. They were afraid of the snow and freezing weather. They will soon bite the dust.
  • The Gurkhas have a reputation for being brutal, aggressive and fearless, but in their hearts they are kind, peace-loving and spiritual people. 

Among Lt Alexander Pfeifer’s effects was this khukri possibly taken from the same Gurkha soldier who wrote the diary. Photo: Philip Cross

The Nepali soldier’s diary, written by hand 107 years ago, says a lot about the war and the warriors from Nepal. The soldier was writing about fellow Nepalis in his own, and possibly other units, listing carefully the names of the dead and those taken prisoner. The names in the poem are probably of those who were killed in battle, but we cannot be sure. The other list, because of its similarity to the list in Lt Pfeifer’s list in German, could be of those who were taken prisoner on 20 December.

But that opens up a puzzle. How come the list of dead soldiers in Nepali soldier’s diary is in the same order as the list of prisoners in German in Lt Pfeifer’s diary? Nepali writer Satis Shroff who lives in the southwest German town of Freiburg has read Lt Pfeifer’s notes, and deduces that the list contains names of Gurkha POWs and the commanding-officer is instructing his subordinates to treat the soldiers well and to allow them to practice their religious rites as they are used to. Shroff infers that the Gurkha who wrote the list of names is dead because there is no mention of a handing-over of the diary.

It is not clear if Lt Pfeifer is just translating the Nepali soldier’s diary, or if those are his own instructions. The German officer’s own diary was ultimately found more than a century later by his great-grandson. We do not know what the Gurkha’s name was, where in Nepal he was from, and what happened to him. 

To add to the puzzle, Manbir Thapa, whose name is among the 12 listed in the German and Nepali soldiers’ diaries, is also on the FindGrave.com list of those killed in action on 20 December 1914 in the battle of La Bassée and buried at Indian Cemetery in La Rochelle in France. Here is a partial reproduction of the list of those killed from the First King George V’s Gurkha Rifles (Malaun Regiment) on that day with their father’s name and hometown:

Rifleman Buddhiman Thapa 

Father’s name and address: Sukhbhar Thapa, Lamjung

Lance Corporal Kharak Bahadur Gurung

Father’s name and address: Jasbir Thapa, Lamjung

Rifleman Bahadur Gurung

Father’s name and address: Asu Bahadur Gurung, Lamjung

Rifleman Rana Bahadur Rana

Father’s name and address: Kulman Singh, Serung

Rifleman Pritman Thapa

Father’s name and address: Sarbajit Thapa, Graham

Rifleman Ransur Thapa

Father’s name and address: Purnabir Thapa, Bhirkot

Rifleman Haribaran Thapa

Father’s name and address: Pratiman Thapa, Bhirkot

Lance Corporal Lal Bahadur Gurung

Father’s name and address: Sriman Gurung, Gorkha

Besides the uncertainty of war, the Gurkhas who sailed across the oceans to a completely new country, climate and food must have suffered badly from culture shock. Many had boarded troop ships from Calcutta or Bombay and arrived in Europe at the beginning of winter in 1914. Their main hardship was caused by the extreme cold because they did not have enough warm clothes while in the wet trenches. Many wore military trousers on top of their suruwal.

They had never been trained in trench warfare, and did not know how to dig them. They were not used to fighting in such cold. The Germans found out from the Gurkha prisoners of war that the Nepalis feared the cold more than the enemy they were fighting, according to Alexander Pfeifer’s diary.

Most of the fighting men from Nepal could not read or write, and no one ever wrote their stories for them, so there is very little written documentation of what they went through. There must be so many hidden stories of unknown soldiers that we will never get to hear about. Yet, they are a part of our people’s history, and a forgotten chapter in the history of Nepal.

Those who returned alive from the front, used to dock in Bombay and take the train via Banaras, where they all bought copies of the Nepali Ramayana translated by Bhanubhakta Acharya. One of the major ways in which the holy book got to the far corners of Nepal was through these demobilised Gurkhas returning home.

The Battle of La Bassée lasted three months with the Germans first gaining the upper hand, and then being repulsed by British Army reinforcements from the Lahore Division and Gurkhas. The British suffered more than 20,000 casualties, of which 1,600 were from the Indian Corps, including Gurkhas. The Germans recorded 6,000 killed. 

Contemporary map of La Bassée in France, which was captured by the Germans during 1914.

Many of the Gurkhas captured in France and Belgium were transported to prisoner of war camps in Germany. There, some of the prisoners had their voices and songs preserved in early recording machines that had just come into use. 

Nepali professor Alaka Atreya Chudal of Vienna University has been translating from Nepali into German some of these testimonies recorded between 1914-1918 in a prisoner of war camp of Halbmondlager in Wünsdorf 40km away from Berlin. 

The 100 or so recordings contain Nepali folk tales, songs, poetry, and folk riddles that have immense linguistic and cultural value because they are preserved in audio from more than a century ago. The recordings are now in the archives of Humboldt-Universität in Berlin.  

Says Prof Atreya: “These folk material bring out the sorrow, prayers, suffering, longing for home and family of the Gurkha prisoners from long ago.”

Shree Bhakta Khanal is an investigative journalist and author of An Arduous Path.

Bhakti Thapa: Neglected History

Historian L.F. Stiller has written that during the regency of Bahadur Shah Nepal passed from the status of an insignificant state to that of formidable power in the South Asian Sub-continent

https://www.spotlightnepal.com/2021/03/11/bhakti-thapa-neglected-history/

History sees the present in the light of the past. Famous German historian Leopold von Ranke, founder of modern source based history has said ” History has been assigned the office of judging the past , instructing the present for the benefit of the future ages”.

Acknowledging the significance of great role played by various individuals in the past British Historian J.H. Plumb has said ” History seeks to deepen understanding about men and society not for its own sake but in the hope that a profound awareness will help to mould human attitudes and human action”.

Unfortunately, our society is not seen to be interested to care about our glorious past history and draw inspiration even from the life of a person like Bhakti Thapa, who had played a key role in unifying the almost entire present day western Nepal and still further to the west up to Sutlez river now in India. Ultimately he had sacrificed his life in Deothal Battle when he was already 74 years old defending our country against British colonialism, which was the greatest evil of that time.

From Insignificant State to a Formidable Power

Historian L.F. Stiller has written that during the regency of Bahadur Shah Nepal passed from the status of an insignificant state to that of a formidable power in the South Asian Sub-continent. Published LALMOHARS reveal that almost throughout Bahadur Shah’s regency Bhakti Thapa had played decisive role in conduct of unification campaign. Judging from the opinion of historian Hamilton about geopolitical situation of that time perhaps Nepal’s western boundary would not have expanded beyond the Kali-Gandaki river if Bhakti Thapa would not have been at the helm of the unification operation.

LALMOHARS, Unification and Bhakti Thapa

Bhakti Thapa’s crucial role in transforming Nepal’s status from an insignificant state to that of a formidable power in the South Asian Sub-continent became known in 1960s after Historian Narahari Nath published the official LALMOHAR documents addressed to Bhakti Thapa bearing the royal seal in the magazine HIMABATKHANDA. Foreign historians were quick to rewrite the Nepalese history of that period based on those published LALMOHARS. Unfortunately our society is not seen caring to know about the true past history of that time of our country and the vital role of Bhakti Thapa in unification of our country.

Paramount Role of Bhakti Thapa

Historian C.P. Khanduri has written “Leadership and character were the hallmarks of the Gorkhas that got them victorious. Bhakti Thapa had impressed the Gorkha commanders during the War of Consolidation and joined those who were to be the eventual rulers of Nepal. Kaji Amar Singh Thapa had treaded in the footsteps of Bhakti Thapa.”

Bhakti Thapa had assumed in 1789 the leadership role of the campaign to unify western Nepal at the end of the critical period of two years long confrontation when the forces of Jumla had proven itself impenetrable barrier on the path of further expansion of then Nepal to the west

From Jumla towards Garwal

Historian Stiller has written “Jumla was the key to the west. Jumla had collected an army to face the Gorkhalis, a force far superior to anything the Gorkhalis could put in the field at that time. It is not surprising that Jumla with such an army was able to resist Gorkhali army for more than two years”. .

According to historian Hamilton an outright attack against the Jumla force would have ended up sadly. Further extension of Nepal to the west would have been totally unthinkable without subduing the resistance of Jumla. Thus it was certain that Nepal’s western boundary would never have extended beyond the present day Gandaki zone or the Kali-Gandaki river if Bhakti Thapa would not have assumed the leadership role right from the Jumla operation.

Bhakti Thapa’s Ingenuity

Bhakti Thapa had demonstrated his exceptionally brilliant skill and ingenuity in defeating Jumla kingdom. He totally changed the strategy of his predecessors and led the attack on Jumla from the difficult northern side. The result was a swift victory and life of many people was saved.

It is stated in the LALMOHARS sent to Bhakti Thapa after the accomplishment of the Jumla operation that he had been assigned for the job believing in his high performance capability.

Operations at Bhakti Thapa’s Discretion

According to the LALMOHAR Bhakti Thapa was strongly cautioned that his resources are quite limited and thus he should not advance beyond Jumla. Bhakti Thapa is seen to have completely ignored the instruction of the Capital by advancing the unification operation further to the west. Poet Shakti Ballab in a poem in Sanskrit has written about Bhakti Thapa’s campaign to unite Doti soon after Jumla operation. After the Doti operation Kumaun and Garwal were also incorporated into Nepal. Within a short period of about two years the Yamuna river became Nepal’s western border.

Unlimited Responsibility

During almost the entire period of Bahadur Shah’s regency Bhakti Thapa had played a decisive role in conduct of unification campaign, which becomes apparent from the virtually unlimited authorities vested in him according to the LALMOHARS.

Even at a time when the Nepal’s western border was already Yamuna river and his headquarter was at Almora far away from the Capital, Bhakti Thapa continued to administer a vast region extending from Chepe-Marshyangdi to Yamuna river on matters related to mass mobilization, control of all military garrisons, deployment of local rajas, constructions of forts and fortification, building bridges and roads etc. He was authorized to receive foreign head of states or their representatives and hold negotiations with them and sign the agreements unless it is deemed necessary in his opinion to refer them to the Capital.

Administering Disbursement

It is most astonishing that Bhakti Thapa stationed at Almora was even vested in authority to disburse fund to support the Capital. In one of the LALMOHARS the king has` written not to cut the emolument of his brothers and nephews without his prior concurrence.

British-Nepal War and Independence

Nepal always remained an independent country whereas all counties of South Asia and most of the countries of Asia and Africa were subjected to the yoke of European countries because even 74 years old Bhakti Thapa and many other patriots of our country had sacrificed their life in battles fought against the foreign aggressors.

During the British-Nepal War according to Historian Vikramjit Hasrat the territory of then Nepal remained intact until Bhakti Thapa was alive only after that it started to contract.

Deothal Battle

Historian CB Khanduri quoting various contemporary British historians has written “The euphemism of the bravest of the braves had been used by Napoleon for Marshal Ney, whose bravery during the retreat from Moscow in 1812 was one of the highest. Brave les brave, said Napoleon of him. The British then used this citation for the Gorkhas during and `after the Anglo-Nepal War. Such was the bravery shown by Bhakti Thapa that the next legend of the Bravest of the Braves had been created on the day – 16 April 1815 at Deothal.”

History of Human Race and Bhakti Thapa

The legend of bravery and sacrifice of Bhakti Thapa has reached even far corner of the world. A website in the USA has even identified Bhakti Thapa as one of the world’s 600 topmost outstanding figures in the entire history of human civilization. Other names in that list are Marshal Zukov, Douglas MacArthur, Edmond Hillary, Charlemange, King Solomon, Sir Francis Drake, Queen Laxmi Bai of Jhansi etc.

References:

Khanduri C.B. Rediscovered History of Gorkhas: 1997, Delhi

Narahari Nath Sardar Vir Bhakti Thapa, Himabhaktakhanda Journal

Royal Nepalese Army: Nepalko Sainik Itihas, 1992

Shah Rishikesh: An Introduction to Nepal, 1975

Stiller Ludwig F. The Rise of the House of Gorkhas, 1995

History of Nepal

हाम्रो इतिहासको आरम्भ हिमवत्खण्ड

प्रदीप नेपाल

नेपालमा आदिवासी र जनजातिबारे धेरै विवाद भयो । यो बहसको थालनी गर्ने आफूलाई जनजातिको नेता भनाउनेहरू नै थिए । उनीहरू विद्वान थिए र अङ्ग्रेजी भाषामा दीक्षित पनि थिए । त्यसैले नेपालमा पनि संयुक्त राष्ट्रसङ्घ र ‘आर्टिकल’ १६९ भन्ने शब्दावलीको छ्यासछ्यास्ती प्रयोग भयो । एकाध वर्ष तिनले सबैलाई अलमल्याए । जनजाति र आदिबासी अविभाज्य समुदाय हुन् भन्नेसम्मको असत्यलाई अङ्ग्रेजीभाषी विद्वानहरूले नेपाली जनसमुदायका बीचमा खेतपाती गरे । उनीहरूले एउटै बनाएको असत्यलाई अङ्ग्रेजी पढेका अरुले, अङ्ग्रेजीमा ‘एण्ड’ भन्ने शब्दले ती दुई एउटै होइनन् भनेर छुट्याइदिएको छ भनेपछि बहस त सकियो । तर अङ्ग्रेजी पण्डितहरूले छरेको भ्रम अहिले पनि नेपाली मानसबाट बाहिर निस्केर गइसकेको छैन । भ्रममुक्त त आफैं हुने हो । तर सत्य के हो भने आदिवासी र जनजाति एउटै हुन् भनेर कतै भनिएको छैन । आदिवासी बसोबाससँग जोडिएको छ भने जनजाति विकाससँग जोडिएको छ ।

पछिल्ला दिनमा नेपाली विद्वानको विद्वता पढ्दा मलाई लाज लाग्न थालेको छ । यिनीहरू के साँच्चिकै नेपाली इतिहासकार हुन् ? मेरो विश्वास हो – यिनीहरूलाई आफ्नो देशको इतिहास थाहा छैन । यिनका ज्ञानका स्रोत भएका छन् सिल्वाँ लेभी लगायतका पश्चिमा इतिहासकारहरू । हाम्रो देशको इतिहास के पश्चिमाहरूले लेखिदिएको चौहद्दीभित्र मात्र छ ? तिनैबाट ज्ञान लिएका हाम्रा विद्वानहरूले त्यसैले राष्ट्रिय एकीकरणपछिका सबै नेपाली आदिवासी हुन् भनेर संविधानसभाले तोकेको होला । योभन्दा लज्जाजनक ज्ञान अरु के हुन्छ ? हाम्रै देशका विद्वान र राजनीतिक पण्डितका कारण हामी नेपालीको पाँच हजार वर्षको इतिहास पाँच सय वर्षमा झारियो ।

नेपाली किराँतको पात्रो नै पाँच हजार वर्षभन्दा पुरानो छ । नेपालका पहिला शासक किराँतहरू नै हुन् । त्यतिबेला शासित पनि किराँतीहरू नै थिए । ग्रेगोरियन क्यालेण्डर अनुसार दोस्रो शताब्दी दक्षिण पश्चिमबाट आएका लिच्छवीहरूले किराँतलाई पराजित गरेर नालाको डाँडो कटाइदिए । आरामले बसेका किराँतलाई पाटनको च्यासलमा पटापट काटेर मारिदिए । जो श्रमिक थिए, ती त लिच्छवी शासकलाई पनि चाहिन्थ्यो । त्यसैले ती किराँत श्रमिकहरूलाई लिच्छवी शासकले कजाएर खाने निर्णय गरे । अहिले पनि तिनीहरू ज्यापुका रूपमा काठमाडौंका भूमिपुत्र भएर बाँचिरहेका छन् । अर्थात् उनीहरू काठमाडौं उपत्यकाका आदिवासी हुन् । ज्यापु बाहेकका नेवारहरू आदिवासी होइनन् ।

सत्य धेरैलाई मन पर्दैन । किनभने सत्यले भ्रान्त धारणालाई स्वीकार गर्दैन । नेवार जाति वर्णाश्रम व्यवस्थामा हुर्किएको एक भाषिक समुदाय हो । अहिले पनि त्यसभित्र वर्णाश्रम व्यवस्था जीवित छ । भूमिगत कालमा हामी प्रायः दमाई टोलमा बस्थ्यौं । किनभने त्यहाँ सुरक्षा हुन्थ्यो । सवर्ण नेवारहरू त्यतातिर भेटिँदैनथे । कलेज पढ्दा मेरा धेरै नेवार साथीहरू थिए तर सबै सवर्ण । राजोपाध्याय र अमात्य, जोशी र श्रेष्ठ । तर साही र खड्गीसँग मेरो सम्पर्क थिएन । त्यसैले भूमिगतकालमा तिनै साही र खड्गीहरू मेरा आश्रयदाता भएका थिए । नेवारमा हिन्दू र बुद्ध धर्मालम्बी दुवै छन् । नेवार सधैं सत्तासँग जोडिएको जाति हो । बाहिरबाट आएका धेरै जातिसमूहहरू उपत्यका छिरेपछि नेवार भएका छन् । कायस्थ र झा पनि छन् नेवार समुदायमा । यी थर तराई क्षेत्रका हुन् । मैले रिमाल नेवार पनि भेटेको छु । यस्तो वर्णवादी समुदाय कसरी जनजाति हुनसक्छ ? अहिलेसम्म मैले बुझ्न सकेको छैन । भ्रममुक्त कुनै नेवार विद्वानले पछि यसको साङ्गोपाङ्गो इतिहास लेखिदिनु भए सबै नेपालीको ज्ञान बढ्ने थियो ।

नेपाली विद्वानहरूले छरेको अर्को भ्रम हो खसआर्य । अर्थात्, उनीहरूको विश्लेषणमा खस र आर्य एकै हुन् । योभन्दा ठूलो अज्ञान नेपालमा केही पनि छैन । नेपालका थोरै र भारतका धेरै विद्वानहरूले खस आर्यबीच आकास जमिनको फरक भएको ज्ञान पस्किएका छन् । ककेसियाबाट झण्डै छ हजार वर्ष पहिले एउटा समूह मानसरोवरको बाटो हुँदै जुम्ला झ¥यो । त्यसलाई नेपाली खस र त्यहाँको भूमिलाई खसान भनियो । यिनीहरूको कुनै धर्म थिएन । उनीहरू वर्षको एकपल्ट मस्टो पूजा गर्थे । मस्टो निराकार सत्य हो । आफ्नो फरक अस्तित्वलाई जनाउन उनीहरू वर्षको एकपल्ट गोठधूप गर्थे । यसलाई कुलपूजा पनि भनिन्छ । यो कुलपूजामा पनि कुनै देवी देवता हुँदैनन् । समूहमा भेला भएर, लोहोरोे जस्तो लाम्चो ढुंगाको पूजा गरेर उनीहरू कुलपूजा मनाउँछन् । किराँतसँगै यिनीहरूको नेपाल बसोबासको इतिहास पनि पाँच हजार वर्षभन्दा पुरानो छ । किराँत र खसहरूको नेपालमा उपस्थिति वैदिक कालभन्दा धेरै पुरानो छ । (पढ्नु होस्, खसजातिको इतिहास अनि खसजाति र कुलपूजा)

आर्यहरू इरानबाट पूर्वदक्षिण लागेका हुन् । सिन्धु घाँटीको उन्नत सभ्यतालाई पराजित गरेर दक्षिण लागेको समूह नै अहिलेका आर्य हुन् । इशाको पाँचौं शताब्दीमा आर्यहरू आफ्ना महागुरु शंकराचार्यसँग कैलाश दर्शन गर्दा पश्चिम नेपालको बाटो उत्तर लागे । शंकराचार्य आफ्नै पिठतिर फर्किए । तर बाठा आर्यहरूलाई नेपालको सुन्दर, शीतल, जडिबुटी र रसिला फलपूmलहरूले लोभ्यायो । युद्ध त उनीहरूको रगतमै थियो । आपूmभन्दा बलिष्ठ शक्तिलाई हराउने इन्द्रका सन्तानहरूले खस राज्य पटापट खाइदिए । खसहरू उनीहरूका लागि अनार्य थिए । शत्रु थिए ।

त्यसैले आर्यावर्त भन्ने शब्दले नेपाललाई वेष्टित गर्दैन । नेपालमा आर्य पनि छन् । अहिलेसम्म शक्तिशाली पनि छन् । राज्य गर्न राजाको सल्लाहकार या पुरोहित हुन सजिलो हुने भएकोले उनीहरूले आपूmलाई राजगुरुमा पदासिन गराउँदै राज्यको उपभोग गरे । यो परम्पराले सत्र शताब्दी खाइसकेको छ ।

आर्यहरूले नेपाल भित्रिँदासम्म एक डङ्गुर देवदेवीहरू जन्माइसकेका थिए । धर्मको आडमा शासन गर्न सजिलो हुन्छ भन्ने ज्ञान उनीहरूसँग थियो । भक्तिमार्गमा लाग्नेहरू स्वर्गमा बास पाउँछन् भन्ने शिक्षा यिनै आर्यजनले दिएका हुन् । हिन्दू धर्मका तेत्तीस कोटी देवता जन्माउने पनि यिनै आर्यपुरुष हुन् ।

चित्त नदुखोस् कसैको । सत्य तीतो हुन्छ । खसहरू ककेसियाबाट पूर्व लागेर जुम्ला छिरेका हुन् भने उपत्यकाबाट पूर्व खेदिएका किराँतहरू ह्वाङ्हो सभ्यताका उपज हुन् । बाँकी जनजातिका बारेमा लेख्नुपर्दा मलाई अलिक अप्ठेरो पनि लागेको छ । मगरहरू खस हुन् । नेपालमा सबैभन्दा लामो समय राज गर्ने समुदाय पनि मगर नै हो । तर, गुरुङ, तामाङजस्ता जातिहरू किराँतहरू आउनुभन्दा धेरै पछि, झण्डै झण्डै दक्षिणबाट नेपाल छिरेका आर्यहरूसँगै उत्तरबाट नेपाल छिरेका हुन् ।

मभन्दा बढी जान्नेबाट यसको खण्डन गरियोस् । संस्कृतमा एउटा भनाइ छ – वादे वादे जायते तìवबोध । अर्थात् छलफल गरेरै निष्कर्षमा पुगिन्छ । आग्रह र भक्तिले हामीलाई कहिल्यै निष्कर्षमा पु¥याउँदैनन् । खोजौं हाम्रा परम्पराहरू, वेद र मुन्धुमहरू, हामी सत्यमा नपुग्ने कुरै हुँदैन ।

मैले लेखेको नै निष्कर्ष होइन । यसलाई खण्डन गर्ने काम होस् विद्वानहरूबाट । नेपाल भारतवर्षको अंग होइन । जतिबेला भारत थिएन, त्यतिबेला पनि नेपाल थियो भन्ने सत्य महाभारतले पनि पुष्टि गर्दछ । महाभारतमा गान्धार थियो जो अहिले अफगानिस्तानमा पर्दछ । कुरुक्षेत्र भारतभित्रै थियो होला तर नेपाल भन्ने राज्य त्यतिबेला पनि एउटा स्वतन्त्र र आत्मनिर्भर राज्य थियो । किराँत त्यो राज्यको शासक थियो ।

अर्थात् आर्य र खसहरू एकापसमा गाभिने जाति समुदाय होइनन् । यिनी एकआपसमा जुध्ने शत्रु समुदाय हुन् । यिनलाई एकैठाउँ मिसाउनु भनेको घाम र हावा एउटै हुन् भन्नुजस्तै हो ।

जंगबहादुरलाई मार्न लखन थापाले बनाएको किल्ला

जंगबहादुरलाई मार्न लखन थापाले बनाएको किल्ला
राजकुमार दिक्पाल, हिमाल खबर, सोमबार, २२ भदौ, २०७७
उवेलाको भव्य पाँचतले घरलाई उनले सुरक्षाका लागि पर्खालले घेरेका थिए। ‘रेग्मी रिसर्च सेरिज’ को वर्ष १२ अंक २ (सन् १९८० डिसेम्बरः७२–७५) मा छापिएको आलेख अनुसार, सरकारी सैन्य अधिकारीहरूले लखन थापाको विद्रोह दमनका क्रममा वि.सं. १९३२ चैत सुदि १ मा गरेको बयानमा लखन थापा बस्ने एउटा किल्ला जस्तो घरलाई आठ क्यूविक चौडाइ र १६ क्यूविक उँचाइको पर्खालले घेरिएको उल्लेख छ।
‘प्राचीन नेपाल’ (उही) अनुसार उक्त घरलाई मैदान हुने गरी भत्काइयो। र, आज त्यही ठाउँलाई नै ‘विद्रोही किल्ला’ भनिन्छ।
१५०० सेना
मगर समुदायले लखन भारतको अल्मोडामा शिक्षादीक्षा पाएका र नेपाली सेनाका कप्तान थिए भन्ने दाबी गर्दै आएका छन्। तर, सैन्य इतिहासकार उनी कप्तान नै भएको भन्ने दाबीमा प्रमाण नपुग्ने बताउँदै आएका छन्।
जंगबहादुरका छोरा पद्मजंग राणाले आफ्नो पुस्तक ‘जंगबहादुरको जीवनयात्रा’ (२०७४ः२८३–२८४) मा लखन थापालाई ‘एक जना भूतपूर्व सैनिक’ भनी लेखेका छन्। राणाकै लेखाइ अनुसार लखन आफ्नो विनित आचरण र अनुनयी भाषाले छोटो समयमै १५०० सङ्ख्यामा सेना जम्मा गर्न सफल भएका थिए। नेपाली सेनाको नेतृत्व गर्ने, राजधानी प्रवेश गर्ने र जंगबहादुरको हत्या गरी सरकार आफ्नो अधीनमा लिने अनि त्यसै दिन नेपाली इतिहासको स्वर्णयुग शुरू गर्ने घोषणा लखनले गरेका थिए।
पद्मजंगकै लेखाइबाट पनि लखन थापासँग त्यही बेला १५०० को सैन्य शक्ति हुनु, उनको नेतृत्व स्वीकार गर्नुले पनि कुनै समय उनी सैन्य अधिकृतकै पदमा रही सक्रिय एक अनुभवी कमाण्डर थिए भन्ने अनुमान गर्ने आधार मिल्छ। किनभने, एउटा सामान्य सिपाही मात्रै भए न उनमा सैन्य नेतृत्व गर्ने आँट र सीप हुन्थ्यो, न उनको नेतृत्व सर्वसाधारणलाई स्वीकार्य हुन्थ्यो। लखनले आफ्ना बफादारहरूलाई उच्च सैन्य अधिकारीको जिम्मेवारी पनि बाँडेका थिए।
लखनको गतिविधि निगरानी गर्न सरकारका तर्फबाट मेजर कप्तान शम्शेरबहादुर थापा क्षेत्री, सुब्बा वीरमानजंग थापा क्षेत्री र पाल्पाका सुवेदार वदलसिंह बस्न्यातलाई जिम्मेवारी दिइएको थियो। उनीहरूले प्रसादसिंह थापा, खड्ग थापाहरूबाट पाएको सूचना अनुसार २६ फागुन १९३२ मा ढाल र तरबारले सुसज्जित भोटे सेनाको ठूलो समूह लखनलाई जंगबहादुरको हत्याको योजनामा साथ दिन आइपुगेका थिए।
यी भोटे सेनाका जवान गोरखाको उत्तरी भेगको अठारसयखोला क्षेत्रका स्थानीय हुनसक्ने अनुमान छ। यहाँका भोटेहरूले १९०७ सालमा जंगबहादुरको आदेश अनुसार त्यहाँ खानी खनाउन जाने ठेकेदारलाई पाता कसी काम अवरुद्ध गरेका थिए। भोटेहरूको यो विद्रोह दवाउन जंगबहादुरको आदेश अनुसार सैन्य शक्ति परिचालन गरिएको थियो भन्ने तथ्य ‘रेग्मी रिसर्च सेरिज’ वर्ष १२ अंक ५ (सन् १९८० डिसेम्बरः७०–७१)मा पढ्न पाइन्छ। सम्भवतः जंगबहादुरप्रति बदला लिन पनि उनीहरूमध्ये कतिपय लखन थापाको सैन्य पंक्तिमा पंक्तिबद्ध भएका थिए।
जंगबहादुर तार्कु वा लमजुङको मनाङवेसीमा शिकार खेल्न आएको बखत उनको हत्या गर्ने लखन थापाको योजना रहेको थियो। सरकारी सेनाले घर घेराउ गरेर लखन, अजपसिंह थापा लगायतका बफादारहरूलाई पक्राउ ग¥यो। उनीहरूलाई पक्राउ गरी केरकार गर्दा लखन थापाले जहरे चुमीलाई जर्नेल, विराज थापा मगर, जुठ्या थापा मगर र जीतमान गुरुङलाई कर्णेल पद दिएको र अन्यलाई जर्नेल, कर्णेल र कप्तान पद दिने कसम खाएको ‘रेग्मी रिसर्च सेरिज’ वर्ष १२ अंक २ (सन् १९८० डिसेम्बरः७२–७५) मा पढ्न पाइन्छ।
त्रैलोक्यविक्रमसँगको सम्बन्ध
गोरखाबाट जनसाधारण समेतको सहयोगमा राणा प्रधानमन्त्री जंगबहादुर विरुद्ध सशस्त्र विद्रोहको योजना गरेर लखन थापाले असामान्य आँट देखाएका थिए। ‘रेग्मी रिसर्च सेरिज’ (उही) अनुसार लखन थापा शिकारमा गएको बखत जंगबहादुरको हत्यामा असफल भए तिब्बतसँग विद्रोहको लागि गुहार माग्न जाने बताउँथे। हत्या योजना सफल भए शाहजादा उपेन्द्रविक्रम शाहलाई राजा बनाउने र आफू दोस्रो व्यक्ति अर्थात् प्रधानमन्त्री हुने योजना पनि लखन थापाको थियो।
नेपाली इतिहासमा राजा सुरेन्द्रविक्रम शाहका छोरा युवराज त्रैलोक्यविक्रम शाहले जीवनभर आफ्नो शिरमा श्रीपेच पहिरिएनन्। राणा शासनको अन्त्य नभइञ्जेज श्रीपेच नलगाउने प्रतिज्ञा उनले गरेका थिए।
३० वर्षकै उमेरमा १९३४ सालमा रहस्यमय ढंगबाट उनको मृत्यु भयो। श्रीपेच नलगाई खुलेआम राणाहरूको विरोधमा लागेका उनलाई राणाहरूले नै विष खुवाएर मारेको हुनसक्ने आशङ्का गरिंदै आएको छ। उनको मृत्युको एक वर्षअघि १९३३ सालमा लखन थापा लगायत उनका अन्य ६ जना बफादारलाई झुण्ड्याएर मृत्युदण्ड दिइएको थियो।
लखन थापाले नेपाली सेनाबाट सैन्य सेवा त्याग्नुअघि उनै राणाविरोधी युवराज त्रैलोक्यका अङ्गरक्षक थिए। यो ऐतिहासिक प्रसङ्ग जंगी अड्डा, काठमाडौंबाट छापिएको ‘नेपालको सैनिक इतिहास’ भाग–२ (२०६५ः३६४) मा परेको छ। तुुलसीराम वैद्य, विजयकुमार मानन्धर र प्रेमसिंह बस्न्यातद्वारा सम्पादित यस पुस्तकमा ‘…युवराज त्रैलोक्यविक्रम शाहको आठपहरिया लखन थापाले वि.सं. १९३२ मा श्री ३ जंगबहादुर राणाको विरुद्धमा गोरखा क्षेत्रमा विद्रोह शुरु गरे। सोही कारण उनलाई झुण्ड्याएर मृत्युदण्ड दिइयो’ भन्ने उल्लेख गरिएको छ।
त्रैलोक्यको राणाविरोधी भावबाट प्रभावित भएर पनि उनका अङ्गरक्षक लखन थापामा विद्रोही चेत आएको हुनसक्ने अनुमान थप बलियो भएर आउँछ।
‘जंगबहादुरको जीवनयात्रा’ (उही) मा पद्मजंगले लखन थापा लगायत उनका ६ जना बफादारलाई जंगबहादुरले देवीदत्त कम्पनीलाई खटाएर मनकामना मन्दिर अगाडि झुण्ड्याएर मार्न लगाएको उल्लेख छ।
तर, गोरखाको बुङ्कोट काहुले भँगारमा लगी उनीहरूलाई मृत्युदण्ड दिइयो भन्ने अर्को स्थानीय अनुश्रुति सत्यको नजिक देखिन्छ। किनभने धार्मिक स्थलहरू पवित्र मानिने हुँदा त्यस्ता स्थलहरूमा मानिसको बध नगरिएको हुनसक्ने देखिन्छ।
बरु स्थानीय गाउँलेहरूलाई तर्साउन वा चेतावनी दिन विद्रोहीहरूलाई उनीहरूकै गाउँ बुङ्कोट काहुले भँगारमा लगेर मृत्युदण्ड दिए होलान् भन्न सकिने आधार बलियो देखिन्छ।
सोमबार, २२ भदौ, २०७७, २१:३६:०० मा प्रकाशित
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