Current Politics And Forgotten History Of Nepal

Then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was murdered; Indian Sikh army revolted, and as a result  they had to be disarmed.  Armed unrest spread all across north-west India.  Innumerable  innocent people were killed&nbsp

Oct. 24, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 05 No.- 08 Oct. 21- 2011 (Kartik 04,2068)<br>

At present Nepal is passing through quite an uneasy period of abrupt transition from one political system to another.  Discussions are going on about a complete restructuring of the state.  Unfortunately, even the most crucial decisions having far-reaching consequences for the entire country are now being taken simply based on the consensus of few selected leaders of political parties totally disregarding the right of the people to approve or disapprove such decision by direct referendum, as in all truly democratic countries.  This has led to piling up of all sorts of unfulfilled ever-increasing demands for changes, which might be   genuinely in the interest of our people, or intended purely to deceive the country.  It is one of the main causes of frequent unrests   spreading even in remote corners in a quiet country like ours.

Restructuring under a federal setup has become at present the buzzword in high echelon of our country’s political circle.   This matter is extremely serious and requires very careful study.  Unfortunately, we are taking it very lightly.  We don’t have to go too far to realize the gravity of this highly sensitive problem.

India on the Brink of Civil War

Even in a vast country like India the restructuring or partition  of merely one province -original Punjab - into two provinces one for the Sikhs and another for non Sikhs  and  the sharing  of the ownership of  Chandigarh  city had triggered  a virtual civil war that began  with the bloody confrontation at  Amritsar Golden Temple.   The way the province was partitioned had infuriated the Sikhs.

Many top Sikh leaders and non Sikh leaders complacent to the partition were killed. Then Indian Prime Minister India Gandhi was murdered.  Indian Sikh army revolted, and as a result they had to be disarmed. Armed unrest spread all across the north-west India.  Innumerable innocent people were killed in course of the conflict that continued over a period of several years. There was an indiscriminate massacre of Sikhs in Delhi.  Air India plane bound for India even from a far-flung destination like Canada was hijacked.

Indian people had to endure the terrible pain of partition of the state even though they had already once gone through similar dreadful ordeal on a far bigger scale immediately after gaining the independence from the Great Britain.

Separate Homeland for Muslims

The British India was partitioned to provide a separate homeland for the Muslims.  The partition was followed by massacres of   tens of thousands of Muslims and non Muslims alike.   Millions were dispossessed of ancestral homes and their entire other properties after being driven away for good from the places where their families were living since the time immemorial.   The murder of Mahatma Gandhi is also linked to the partition.

The chilling memories of the horrifying massacres will ever remain fresh in the mind of those and their descendants who had suffered as a result of the partition.  The Kashmir problem still remains as a deep wound of the partition that is not expected to heel up any time soon in future.

Despite the partition, separate homeland for the vast majority of Indian Muslims still remains as an illusion.   At present there are more Muslims living in India than in Pakistan.

Strong Unity in Diversity

Nepal is home for people from more than hundred different ethnic groups.  People from several   such ethnic groups have always been living side by side almost in every village in perfect harmony and close friendship since the ancient time.  This has helped to build strong national unity.  Many historians are  of the view that the  national unity ( Hama Gorkhali Hom) had turned Nepal into the most formidable Himalayan power that deterred the Great Britain from converting our country into their colony.

Nepali in India

Historians write that leadership and the character were the hallmarks of the success of  Gorkhas. Unfortunately, our present day  leaders   are not able to  reach  to  the same  level  of high leadership standard of the past  in  unifying  all communities.   In contrast  to it  the people of Nepali  origin living in India are drawing the inspiration from the past glories not to let the Gorkhali spirit to die.

In Darjeeling areas Tamang,  Gurung, Limbu, Rai are taking  the  lead role in  uniting  all other communities including  those  inhabiting in the plains  of Siliguri region also  by  reviving   the historic Gorkhali spirit.  They have succeeded to get  recognition  of  the Nepali  as  the  sole  official  language.   All political parties are strongly advocating  the use of  daura, suruwal with topee  for the male  and  saree and cholo  for the female on  all  important occasions.

Initially, Nepal  Emerged  Victorious

After the 1757 Plessey Battle British gained a strong foothold  in Bengal and Bihar. Nepal became the next target for British occupation where the national unification champion was  slowly gaining momentum.  British Governor General Robert Clive infamous in the history for his brutality  dispatched in 1767 a big British force under Kinock to capture Nepal.  In the ensuing battle Nepal had scored a decisive victory.   After this humiliating defeat  British  never  dared  to launch another attack  for a long time.  

For  Freedom of  South  Asia

Several years later   in  early 1810s  Britain had already taken a firm grip on big parts of North India.  British  had then started to realize that Nepal  was   already  posing  a serious threat to further expansion of British rule in India.  Thus  they decided to go to all out war against Nepal.

British  launched in 1814  a preemptive attack even before declaring  the war to capture the entire Nepal within a very short period of only about one month. As explained in the book “Rediscovered History of the Gurkhas”  the total British strength involved in the war exceeded 2,00,000 ( two lacks).  In initial months of the war to the great  dismay  of the British our country had  successfully   repulsed  the attack.

The British-Nepal War had a great significance for the Asia. Historian C. P. Khanduri looks it from the angle that had the Maratha or Sikhs supported Nepal  the  history of colonialism in Asia would have had a full stop.

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