The Blood Stained Throne: Struggles For Power in Nepal (1775-1914)

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Item Code: NAF149
Author: Baburam Acharya and Madhav Acharya
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9780143416371
Pages: 275
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 210 gm
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Book Description
Back of the Book
Nepal, the land of Buddhism and misty mountains, is not a nation whose history one would expect to be filled with blood. And yet, the struggle grain and keep control over the mountain Kingdom is one marked by a long history of violence kingdom is one marked by a long history of violence and murder. The Bloodstained Throne is a translation of Aba Yasto Kahilyai Nahos, a compilation of historical essays that recount some of the bloody battles for power in a tumultuous period-a phase that spanned more than one hundred years.

This tale of the machinations, massacre and bloodletting that rocked Nepal power-center the royal palace-will give You a rare and fascinating glimpse into one of the least-known and most violent power struggles that South Asia has ever seen.

About the Author

Baburam Acharya, the first and only historian laureate of Nepal, was a scholar and researcher who lpioneered the writting of Nepalese history based on indigenous resources. He is credited with coining the Nepali name 'Sagarmatha' for Mt Everest, the world's tallest mountain. An honorary member of the Royal Nepal Academy, he was awarded the Tribhuvan Award in 1963.

He wrote fourteen books (seven published posthumously )and over one hundred reseach-based pieces and articles on subjects ranging from Nepalese History to Nepal-China relations. He is best known for his four-v olume biography of King Prithvinarayan shah, the founder of modern Nepal, and Aba Yasto Kahilai nahos, a collection of his essays.

Shreekrishna Acharya, seventy-five, holds two master's degrees. He taught astronomy and Nepali literatureat the Balmiki Vidyapeeth of Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. Writer and editor of Books, he also sered as the vice chancellor of Nepal's Mahendra Sanskrit University. He is the son of Nepalese historian Baburam Acharya.

Madhav Acharya, the grandson of Baburam Acharya, served as the Kathmandu-based correspodent of Kyoda News of Japan for over three decades. He also worked with the state-run Radio Nepal as the broadcaster, and with RSs, Nepal's national news network, as an executive editor. Besides, the edited the now-defunct English-language newspaper The motherland.

Editor’s Note

My father, Itihas Shiromani (Historian Laureate) Baburam Acharya, wrote several essays and articles and articles on manifold aspects of Nepal and walks of Nepalese life, published in Scattered forms during his lifetime. A few of his writings remained unpublished. Attempts are being made to bring out in book form, and on genre-basis, some of his published and unpublished works. This volume marks the beginning of such an Endeavour.

The late Baburam Acharya had conducted in-depth research studies and analysis in various fields and areas of Nepal and the Nepalese, including the country’s history, geography, archaeology, culture, language, literature, and other arts. These works step beyond the realm of the ordinary also because they had been carried out during the intolerant Rana regime, when any interest shown in acquiring knowledge about the nation’s history could be construed as a punishable act of prying into politics. Baburam’s research and studies had unveiled facts and truths that are of great significance even today. It is hoped that these works help to enlighten the readers about the past of Nepal and her People.

His life of and Poverty did not dissuade the eminent historian from his research and investigative studies, nor did it deter him from fulfilling what can best be described as his heightened sense of responsibility to the nation. All the writings of this collection were produced after Baburam lost his eyesight.

This volume has ten historical pieces, all written for broadcast over Radio Napal on request from the then official of the country only broadcasting institution, which has meant that, occasionally they tend to read like narrative tailored for broadcasting. At times, they also smack of repetition, but that is because we have pieced together essays and articles produced at different periods of time. Only a few of these have been published. Whether or not a particular piece had been previously published is indicated at the end if each chapter.

King Prithvinarayan shah had successfully driven the aggressive and irreverent British out of Nepal. But after his rule and that of his able son Prince Bahadur Shah, the Nepalese seemed to have lost the capacity and courage to face events and situations squarely. They also seem to have lost their pride in patriotism and in the Nepalescharacter of fearlessness. All the Nepalese bhardars (courtiers or members of the Council of Nobility) Seemed to be indulgent and interested only in accumulation wealth, wallowing in debauchery and enjoying the pleasures of life. While machinations murders and massacre become the order of the day in Nepal, the whole of Europe saw the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, bolstered by which the European about colonizing various parts of the world. Conscious of colonized Asia and Africa had begun to come out openly in strong revolts against colonialism. But in Nepal the people were forced to endure hardship and exploitation at the hands of home-grown autocrats. Though an uneasy calm prevailed in the country, illiteracy and poverty were widespread; starvation, too, was a reality. And none from the ruling clique showed any concern, let alone made any attempt to mitigate the suffering of the people. The autocrats had not cared to conceive any plan for the growth and progress the country, or for the comfort and am happiness of the people. Comfort and amenities of life remained mostly confined to the privileged high-class families. Nepal general condition during that period may well may account for her present-day maladies, including her grinding poverty and back wardens.

The articles of this collection seek to convey the message that Nepal should no longer be the playground of disdainful Murders and conspiracies, and her people no longer-and never again-should be subjected to the tyranny of autocracy.

This work seeks to unveil the actual facts and happenings In Nepal’s history. It does not aim to criticize, or level charges nor is there an attempt to sow hatred or malice against anyone; indeed for matter, this work is also not directed toward any undeserved eulogy or encomium. The Publication of this collection would become meaningful if it helped to instill a sense of nationalism among the proud and patriotic Nepalese people, besides sharing with curious and intelligent readers a few insights into the nation’s past.

Translator’s Note
In undertaking this translation, my only objective was to take my Grandfather’s works to the English- reading public. I have tried, as far as I far as I could, to convey the essential meaning of his words and expressions in simple English. In rendering this work, which is far removed from us both in time and space, there were times when I was tempted to paraphrase, for lack of clarity; but I think I did resist. Yet, faults have crept in, and those I must accept as mine.

Rendering titles and historical terms was difficult. The traditional method of referring names by surname in the second or third reference was inapplicable, as it would only lead to confusion. For example, Jugbahadur Rana could not be referred to by his family name in the second or third references because other characters too happen to bear Rana as their surname, and are frequently mentioned on the same page, if not in the same paragraph. Ditto with the surname Shah. At the same time giving the name in full in all references would have been redundant. So, for clarity’s sake and to make it more intelligible, I have used the first name, not surname, starting with the second reference As for the titles these are essentially Nepalese titles having no English equivalents. So I have tried to go for the nearest equivalents. Regarding the historical terms, I have tried to set down what is the likely meaning.

Bikash Sangraula helped a great deal by reviewing the text of the translation and taking the work to the esteemed publishing house.

Editor’s Note vii
Translator's Note xi
1 The Tragic End of Prince Bahadur Shah 1
2 The Beheading of Damoder Pande 29
3 The Slaying of Ranabahadur: Bhimsen Rules the Roost 59
4 The Fall of Bhimsen Thapa 74
5 Mathbarsingh Betrayed: The Rise of Jungbahadur 100
6 The Kot Massacre and the Dawn of the Rana Rule 128
7 The Bhandarkhal Episode and the Internment of Queen Rajayalaxmi Shah 153
8 The Alou Episode and the House Arrest of king Rajendrabikram Shah 164
9 The Death of Jugbahadur and the Rana Repression of Revolt 178
10 The Brutal murder of Runodeepsingh Rana 203
11 Maharaja Devshumsher Is Deposed and Banished 233
Calendar of Events 251
Index 255
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