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.
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.
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remained unpublished.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on genre-basis, some of his published and unpublished works.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.
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.
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