Back of the Book:
Nepal's history extends over a period of more than two thousand years. In its long history dynasties have risen and fallen and various people have become dominant at different times. The Lichchavi, the Thakuri, the Malla and lastly the Shah dynasty have played their parts. People like the Kirats, the Newaris and the Khasa Kshatris, the Magars, and the Gurungs have moulded the pattern of Nepali culture according to their own genius. Outstanding men like Manadeva, Amshuvarma, Jayasthiti Malla of Dullu and Jumla in western Nepal, Mukunda Sen and Lohan Sen of Palpa and Dravya Shah and Prithvi Narayan Shah of Gorkha in central Nepal have left the indelible stamp of their personalities on the history of their country.
Nepal's national life today is the sum total of the achievements of all these dynasties and people. The martial spirit of the Kirats, the artistic and business skills of the Newars, the tenacity of the Magars and the Gurungs, the political enterprise of the Kshatris and the intellect of the Brahmins, have all become a part of the Nepali national heritage.
Just a word about how this book took shape. I had to open these pages in a rather hurried manner to satisfy the growing curiosity of my boy to learn more about our past and our national heroes. I thought that I owed it to him to do this because I had seriously neglected my responsibility for educating him in our national history. To accomplish my purpose readily, it occurred to me to render into English Shri S. B. Gewali's book Nepali Birharu, which I had myself read with great profit as a boy. I have made a few additions here and there. Otherwise, the basic pattern remains the same.
Some of my friends in the teaching profession saw the typescript and felt that it might be of use to a larger audience. Hence, I have decided to bring it out in its present from.
This book has been divided into two broad sections, with first with ancient and medieval heroes and second with builders of modern Nepal.
Never before in its history has Nepal won as much international recognition of its independence and sovereignty as during King Mahendra's rule. In the sphere of domestic policy, King Mahendra has, by his bold and calculated actions, sought to prove that national unity and the power of the Crown hang together, and that 'both can only be served by offering, for a price, even justice to all men, and enforcing it by royal authority.' His force of personality and far-sighted statesmanship has created in us a new awareness of our national life and purpose. If this book enables our young people to acquire, in however small a way, a feeling of this new consciousness, the author's efforts will not have been in vain.
Let me also take this opportunity to record my humble thanks to His Majesty King Mahendra for the favour he has done on me by reading the book in typescript and by offering valuable suggestions along with a message.
I am greatly indebted to my old teacher and friend Shri S. B. Gewali for the permission he gave me to model this book on his. My thanks are also due to several other friends who have assisted me in different ways in giving the book its present shape but have chosen to remain anonymous.
Lastly, I shall fail in my duty if I forget to mention and thank warmly my friend, Miss Elizabeth Hawley, of Time and Life magazines and Reuters news agency, who took unsparing pains to revise the typescript and rearrange the paragraphs in such a manner as to give a new coherence to the narrative as a whole. All opinions and conclusions expressed in this book, however, are entirely my own.
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