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Hawaldar Sher Bahadur Thapa - unsung Sino-India war hero

7:55 AM
Remembering forgotten Sino-India 1962 War hero Late Hav. Shere Thapa is no less a martyr than Anyone.

                      ‘Punya Smaran
   Swargiya Hawaldar Sher Bahadur Thapa
                 2 J &K RIF “Bodyguard”
   
       Is veer ne 1962 mein Chiniyo ki chakke udaye
Inka naam yahan ke bacche bacche ke zaban par hain
       Deshvasiyo ki aur se tumhe sat- sat pranam.’

Itanagar , Fri, 19 Oct 2012 ANI
By Pradeep Kumar (ANI)

Itanagar, Oct. 19 (ANI): His light machine gun boomed relentlessly, like a roaring tiger. One after another unsuspecting Chinese soldiers were killed and fell into the Ngo River without anyone to count. The day was October 18 half-a-century ago.

A brave Shere Thapa of the Indian Army's 2 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, hiding in a very advantageous position, fired non-stop as his lone soldier-mate continued changing the carbines.
Hawaldar Sher Bahadur Thapa - unsung Sino-India war hero

The People's Liberation Army of China had sneaked through the Tama Chung Chung Ridge. Thapa had positioned himself on a vertical slope - invincible high mountain ridge on one side, steep slope down to the Ngo stream, the source of the Subansiri River, on the other side. He had located the most strategic place, either to stop or kill the advancing Chinese soldiers.

Thapa did not notice anymore Chinese after emptying all magazines with the fired brash khokas lying scattered. He confidently came out of his bunker for a recce. Death was waiting for him. He peeped towards the heap of corpses with great satisfaction. A wounded, but alive Chinese soldier, lying on the heap along with his colleagues fired, killing him instantly.

The corpses of the Chinese soldiers were piled up so much that the river failed to carry them. This is the folklore. The great soldier is highly revered in the area for his gallantry act.

Comparatively, brave Thapa was no less a war hero than subedar Jaswant Singh Rawat (No. 4039009 of the 4th Garhwal Rifles Bn), who had fought a lone battle against the invading Chinese in Eastern Sector (Tawang). He was conferred the highest military honour, the Param Vir Chakra, for his bravery. Jaswant Garh, a few km ahead of the pass, stands tall today as a testimony to his heroism.

Political interpreter Chader Mangha along with many villagers, who carried supplies, arms and ammunition for Thapa's Army section, were witness to his bravery. Mangha, who died in 1994,was given a commendation certificate by the GoI in recognition of his service to the nation and promoted to the rank of political assistant. He had also narrated the entire episode to his daughter Yating Byaling a resident of Gosing Taying village under Taksing circle, wife of RD Minister Tanga Byaling. Byaling also vouch of the bravery of Thapa and the village folk.

Even the Chinese had respectfully buried him and left a small note praising his bravery. Why none ever bothered to honour his brave act, even posthumously is intriguing? I have high respect for Rawat as he was a great martyr, but Thapa deserves equal honour.

Villagers inhabiting the Indo-China border claim that the PLA had sent its troops through passes, including Taksing, Mechuka, Anini, etc where the forces camped waiting for orders. Had the war prolonged, Chinawould have launched a multi-pronged attack but withdrew its forces after cessation of firing, following 29 days (Oct 18 to Nov 16, 1962) of fierce battle, leading to the humiliating defeat of the Indian Army.
Supply line was cut off following retreat order which never reached the duo. Left with no food and insufficient ammunition, they feared any eventuality and decided to fight till death. Thapa sacrificed his life in Middle sector (Upper Subansiridistrict) while protecting Mother India. His mortal remains were brought to Lemiking, last rites performed and a grave built there. The neglected grave and a bridge named after him are evidences of his heroism.

"The first bridge, named after soldier Shere Thapa, with a 600m steep climb...." is the reference about him with picture of his grave found in 'Secrets of Subansiri, Himalayan Club, recoding the 2005 expedition report by a group of trekkers to famous Buddhist pilgrimage Takpa Shiri; Arunachal Expedition - Takpa Shiri; In Search of Old Pilgrimage Route to Takpa Siri 2005 and India 2005 - Alpine Journal.
Thapa knew well that without any road and communication then, expecting any support from the base camp was well neigh impossible. He decided to face the enemies as a brave soldier of Mother India. Shouldn't he be recognized, albeit late, and due honour given by bringing his heroic story before the nation.

I presumed that martyr Shere Thapa,  might not have a god father or a senior Army officer to recommend their brave act. But with facts surfacing, it is still not late to honour them. By Pradeep Kumar (ANI).

We appreciate and grateful to Hon’ble Minister Tourism Shri Nakap Nalo for rediscovering buried  story of our True Hero, a Martyr of 1962 war Late Hav. Shere Thapa.

 Via All Arunachal Pradesh Gorkha Welfare Youth Association

Pratiman Singh Lama ‘A Jewel of the Himalayas’

10:50 AM
Some great people with extraordinary mind and characteristics have walked the face of the earth since time immemorial. Many of them became divine masters, legends and heroes and their stories have been told and listened incalculable number of times primarily because people did not forget them, neither did their nation nor the era. Even after they are long gone and their mortal remains turned into dust, their names and their deeds are eternally inscribed in the history of mankind.

Alongside those great men, many other heroes sacrificed their lives for the same cause or motive as their superior counterpart engaged in altogether but sadly they were forgotten in the course of time. Perhaps some of them are the ones who made those legends’ tales told. But their inglorious contributions were never mentioned or valued as they might have gone unnoticed, uneventful or unheard. Or for the matter, their magnificent role was conspicuously hidden in the darkness for one or multiple reasons.
Pratiman Singh Lama
Pratiman Singh Lama 

The fame of their valiant role might have resonated for a brief period but eventually became unknown as though they never existed. Amongst them some might even have turned out to be just a myth and some, as we, the modern human and intellectual people politely classify as the Unsung Heroes and permanently concealed their identities in the dark dungeons of history.

Being human and possessing humanly instinctive behavior, we often tend to commit such errors but on the other side we also do identify and realize our wrong doings henceforth make effort to rectify them to the best of our abilities. Being forgetful is not a sin but being ungrateful is indeed an immoral act.

The following illustration is also a historical factual of an extremely courageous, diligent and patriotic personality who loved his people and country more than his own existence yet generous and humble.

Historical Fact:

We have heard and read umpteenth times that our fathers and grand fathers have immensely contributed to our great nation in various avenues and has set prominent milestones in the history of pre and post independent India. Those valiant sons of our motherland contributed to the society and country as a whole through their specific line of expertise in different arena such as; art & culture, education & literature, medicine, sports, business but most importantly for nation’s independence and national security. Those great souls most painstakingly and courageously sacrificed their lives for the betterment of our society and people. Their remarkable stories of heroism and patriotism have been repeatedly told end number of times over a period of more than two centuries. However, every one of those great men are not remembered and revered today as our society and government forgot their roles in building our modern society and furthermore ignored their exceptional deeds as if they never existed. One of them was Late PRATIMAN SINGH LAMA.

Born in the year 1895 to a moderate family of Late Mangal Singh Lama and Jethi Tamang of Tekbir Busty, Kurseong, Darjeeling, Late Pratiman Singh Lama was exceptionally smart and intelligent person since his boyhood days. He acquired his primary education from the then Middle English School, presently known as Puspa Rani Higher Secondary School, Kurseong and later received secondary education in Darjeeling Government High School where he was given a monthly stipend from the government at the rate of Rs.3 as he always stood first and few times in second position among his fellow classmates.

In 1910, he completed his matriculation which was known as Inter Examination during that period, securing first position. On his glorious success in passing tenth standard, the entire Darjeeling District rejoiced and celebrated and was even carried around the town on a palanquin. He was conferred such an honour by the people because it was indeed a matter of great pride and triumph for the whole region and Gorkha community in particular as there were very few who could achieve educational qualification up to tenth standard. The jovial news also reached the ears of the then District Collector and he immediately called on to the boy’s father Mangal Singh Lama and congratulated him He then offered his best possible help for the boy’s further studies and for opting a government job. Highly obliged father thanked the DC and expressed his desire to make his son a forest ranger as his son could wear a hat, a full-length uniform and ride on a horseback and would not have to get down while passing by a British officer - as in those days any Indian riding a horse would have to get down and greet the passing British officer (as quoted by Shri G.B. Bal in Sunchari nepali newspaper on 05/05/2004).

Subsequently, Shri Pratiman Singh Lama was sent to Dowhill Forest School for few weeks to undergo basic training and later to F.C. College, Jalpaiguri. Then onwards, with the help of government he was sent to study and undergo training at Forest Research and Training Institute, Dehradun. He studied and received the training for two years. There also he accomplished his education and training in first division. During those days such commissioned forest official was given a title of DDR (Dehradun Rangers) hence he was also awarded the same. After his return to Kurseong he was appointed as a Ranger in Dowhill Forest Office.

A few years later, he married Phulmaya Tamang, daughter of Pakhrin Sardar of Longview Tea Estate. His father-in-law was highly respectable personality who was a contractor of Saat Ghumti Tea Estate during those days. As years passed by, they had five children (2 daughters and 3 sons) out of them the eldest son died at an early age. They were namely, Tekendra Kumar Lama (died at an early age), Manorama Lama, Narendra Kumar Lama, Mahendra Kumar Lama and the youngest daughter Tilotama Lama.

Pratiman Singh Lama
Pratiman Singh Lama 
In the meanwhile, he was temporarily posted at various forest offices of the region – Kalijhora, Teesta, Tarkhola and eventually in 1918 he was given a promotion and became a Divisional-Forest-Officer (DFO) and was transferred to Baikunthapur Forest Office. This office used to be located near present day 2nd Mile, Siliguri.

Political Life:


Despite his highly respectable government service and ample future securities he was somehow more concerned and inclined towards the national issues, social condition of his fellow-citizens. Deep within his conscience he wanted to seriously work for the betterment of the society. In short, he did not want to work under the British Government because of its corrupt and malicious policies and rules. He could analyze and understand vividly the cruelty and suppression against Indians. Thus, he affirmatively decided to dedicate his time and knowledge for the greater cause of the country, its social reforms and fight against British Raj’s dominance as in those days the British authorities deprived our peoples’ civil and fundamental rights and were discriminated in varied ways. Racism and oppression against native Indians were the most common tribulations.

Late Pratiman Singh Lama was not just an ordinary man employed as a forest officer but he was also a versatile writer of that era. He was a brilliant writer, a poet, a columnist, and an editor. He possessed incredible sense of humor and replicated this quality in his writings. One of his greatest masterpieces was novel titled, ‘Mahakaal Jasoos’ a political satire based on Indian Gorkhas. It is said that; His Majesty’s Royal Nepalese Government demanded and received tax as ‘Royalty’ from the British Government imposed on bona fide Indian Gorkhas while joining Indian Army and in that book Pratiman Singh Lama had strongly condemned and criticized the practice/law. Through this book he disgraced both the governments of such mal-practice and dared to reveal their dishonorable practice in front of the society. The novel immediately drew attention of British and Nepalese Government and consequently within a day all the books were seized from bookstands and other sources and were practically burnt and destroyed by the officials of both the Governments. Afterwards, some said one survived piece of the aforementioned book was seen in one of the libraries in Kathmandu, Nepal but there is no evident proof. Many scholars/intellectuals including Pratiman Singh Lama’s younger son, Late Mahendra Kumar Lama anxiously searched for its existence in India as well as in Nepal but sadly no one have ever succeeded in finding one.

Some of his highly celebrated books are:

1. Mahakaal Jasoos:
This famous controversial book was printed at Hari Printing Press, Kurseong in 1919. This book is regarded as the first Nepali Novel written outside Nepal by many researchers and Nepali writers.

2. Should Hillman join Politics:
The articles of this book were published in ‘Young India’ a very famous news paper of that period which was established by Gandhiji.

3. Khukuri Vs Kripan
This book was written on the basis of ban enforced by the government on carrying ‘Khukuri’ (a traditional dagger) to the then nepali residents of Assam and created problems as carrying one at all times was like an integral part of daily life and symbolic to male Gorkha/Nepali. This article was also published in ‘Young India’ and ‘Amrita Bazar Patrika’ and thereafter compelled the government to lift the ban.

4. Paak Parimal
A remarkable Nepali book on culinary art and its variety, recipes and some special cuisine prepared during special occasions, festivals and religious ceremonies.

During his life time he wrote many articles, books, short-stories and poems. He was also a correspondent for Amrita Bazaar Yugantar News paper and by understanding all these facts it would not be inappropriate that through his publications he, thereby immensely contributed valuable treasures in the field of literature too. He was also an executive member (Editorial Section) of Gorkha Public Library of Kurseong. This library has its own brilliant significance and is a symbol of Gorkha heritage in the country. He was also elected twice as the Chairman of Kurseong Municipality.

Late Pratiman Singh Lama was a very simple and ordinary looking man who mostly wore plain white khadi clothes. He was kind hearted and docile natured. He loved his countrymen and would often go to interior areas of tea gardens located in the surrounding hills and valleys to meet them. He was also fond of his family and loved his children but he was disciplined and well-mannered. He would often tell other people and his folks to stay away from alcohol and social vices like drinking, domestic violence, gambling.

While still serving in the Forest Department, he constantly remained unhappy and hated the vile system of the British government and the way the Indians were treated with humiliation and were subjected to disgraceful punishments if anyone dared to raise a voice against the atrocities. Simultaneously, he seriously thought that it would be ethically wrong to rise against the British government and yet work under the same. Hence, he decided to resign from the post of Divisional-Forest-Officer (DFO) eventually and leaped towards the National Freedom Movement of India.

India’s Freedom Movement:

Because of his extreme affection and respect towards the society and its people and nation as a whole, he began to work extensively for the sole purpose of National Movement for Freedom, its importance and urgency. He most dedicatedly emphasized to bring the sense of awareness in people and necessity to unite to fight against the foreign dominance. He went on meeting townsfolk and visited rural tea garden areas for the same. Later, during his days of prohibition to meet local people and hold meetings, he used to quietly sneak behind the police disguised as a blind old man and went on meeting people from rural tea gardens. He was often addressed as ‘Andha Bajey’ – blind old man by those village children and followed him around. Somewhere around late 1980’s one of those children had grown old narrated this story himself to the family members of Late Mahendra Kumar Lama.

In the year 1919, he joined Gandhiji’s National Movement ‘Satyagraha’. He became the President of National Congress Committee, Darjeeling, (District Level) after Late Dal Bahadur Giri. Then onwards he became a serious threat to the government and as a result he was enlisted as an unlawful citizen in police and administration records. He was frequently detained and interrogated by the police and numerous times his house was searched and countless papers and documents were seized. After his father’s demise, he moved to Tekbir Busty where he built a house and named it ‘Polyview’ which still exists. He became even more determined and insistent on doing work for India’s Freedom Movement after meeting Gandhiji in 1925 when the great leader – father of Nation had come to Darjeeling to meet legendary politician of West Bengal Late Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das who had fallen ill and was recuperating in the hills. During Gandhiji’s visit congress delegates came to meet him from all four sub-divisions of Darjeeling. Pratiman Singh Lama also met Gandhiji heading the Congress delegation from Kurseong.

At Kurseong, his close associates were Late Sita Ram Agrawal, Late Keshar Bahadur Gurung, Late Trichandra Gupta, Late Suraj (Sarju) Prasad Poddar, Late Savitri Devi (Helen Lepcha) and many others. Those great souls also have unique and huge contribution towards National Freedom Movement.

Late P.S. Lama relentlessly wanted to bring social and political awareness in the society and travelled extensively to educate people and make them understand the Gandhian philosophies and principles on national movement for freedom of our country. He even ran a secret printing press where he could print important papers, journals and books. Those days, he was financially very strong as he owned over three hundred fifty-five acres of land near present day Champasari which was known as Madlaguri Joth during that time and another equal measure of agricultural land in Naxalbari region namely, Bhelku Joth and Lohar Singh Joth which produced huge amount of rice, mustard and other cash crops were cultivated by his tenants/caretakers. The income generated from these fields was considerably high.

Apart from these agricultural territories, he owned several landed properties in Tekbir Busty, Merry View Tea Estate, Sukna Army Cantonment area and even a piece of land in the heart Siliguri town (present location Kurseong Medical, Hill Cart Road). His source of income was reasonably sufficient for him and his family’s survival but altogether he could also spend huge sums of money for the political cause which indeed was circumstantial necessity and were recurrent too. During those days he also travelled far and wide to various parts of the country like Banaras, Allahabad, Kanpur, Calcutta, Bombay, Lahore, Delhi to meet eminent political personalities and attend various national level political conferences and meetings. He spent his valuable time and resources for the good cause of the society in all possible support, for the higher objective of the country – India’s Freedom from British Rule.

It is said that during the famous ‘Great Trial’, Gandhiji was sentenced to six years imprisonment and consequently the entire country became agitated and rose against the court’s verdict. The fire of resentment spread throughout the country and also caught Darjeeling Hills in its flare. Under the chairmanship of Pratiman Singh Lama, several protest gatherings/meetings took place. The people of Darjeeling took to the streets in revolt and protested against the injustice done to Gandhiji. During one of such secret meetings, the police was secretly informed and while the meeting was taking place the police raided the gathering where he was severely beaten up with batons and even one of the policemen merciless fractured his nose with a heavy torch-light. Thereafter, he was kept under house-arrest and was not allowed to meet anyone or for that matter he was not permitted to go anywhere. The police officials raided the entire house and confiscated all the documents and journals.

In 1942, during Quit India Movement, he was completely involved and thoroughly participated at several protests and public demonstrations as a result he was arrested and brutally tortured. Following the incident his health condition started deteriorating. After his wife’s death his condition worsened further as there were only children at home who could not take proper medical care and give necessary attention. As a freedom fighter he not only sacrificed his family, a government service, his youth but he had also contributed and donated huge sums of money and wealth. He generously utilized so much of cash and valuables for the cause of national freedom that he literally became penniless and spent his last days in sheer misery and poverty and finally his mortal body could no longer endure the pain and agony of his ailment. Ultimately on the darkest day of Gorkha history Shri PRATIMAN SINGH LAMA died at his residence, Polyview, Kurseong, Darjeeling on 4th May 1944 at the age of forty nine. It also said that he was conferred with an honor of National Freedom Fighter and his body was draped in Indian National Flag at the time of cremation. As a result, our Gorkha/Nepali community, our country lost a great freedom fighter forever.

But it is extremely sad and unfortunate to state that such an astonishing person who was a social-worker, a political leader, All India Congress Committee President- Darjeeling (pre independence), a learned master, a writer, an author, a poet and principally a loyal citizen of India did not get any form of recognition after independence in 1947. Perhaps, our country’s famed politicians; leaders of Indian National Congress did not consider his contributions as equal as theirs. But on the contrary, on 15th August, 1947 Kalimpong Drivers’ Association constructed and inaugurated a brass plated Memorial pedestal whereon his name is engraved and it still exists at Kalimpong Motor Stand. Born on the soil of Kurseong and a pride of entire Darjeeling Hills, Late Pratiman Singh Lama was remembered occasionally by some reputed writers and consequently his articles were published in local English, Hindi, Bengali and Nepali Newspapers but till date no association, organization, politicians or state government has taken any initiative to recognize his sacrifices and contributions on a national level.

An Appeal to the Government:

Even after a person of his stature dies, his name should not be forgotten – his enormous contributions towards mankind, society and his country should be valued and respected by our people, our community and our country. I believe it is our moral responsibility and humanly duty to remember, honor and express our sense of gratification towards such an incredible person who lived for his countrymen and died for his country.

With much respect and humility I have attempted to illustrate notable facts in regard to his noteworthy both personal and political life episodes herein which may not be justifiable to have transformed into a few unworthy words yet I strongly trust in your authority and sense of nationalism that after your thorough reading and analysis you would positively grant justice and recognition to his supreme contribution to the society and nation at large.

§ National Freedom Fighter Status:

Late Pratiman Singh Lama most sincerely and dedicatedly involved and worked for the cause of the freedom movement of our country at various levels and capacities and helped and motivated other freedom fighters of Kurseong, Darjeeling and Kalimpong to spread the sense of awareness and importance among common people. He vigorously worked towards reaching and making people understand the principles of Gandhi and unite in the movement in support of the nation wide demand for country’s freedom from Colonial supremacy and atrocities. He traveled far and wide like Delhi, Lahore, Bombay, Calcutta, Banaras, Allahabad, Kanpur to meet distinguished political personalities and attend various regional and national level political conferences and meetings and also to discuss and prepare strategies of the movement in the hills and other areas. He spent his valuable time and resources for the good cause of the society in all possible support, for the higher objective of the country – India’s Freedom from British Rule.

During the movement he personally met Gandhiji in 1925 during his historical visit to Darjeeling to meet legendary Shri Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das. Shri Lama had led the National Congress delegates from Kurseong to meet Gandhiji. Late P.S. Lama often visited the distant areas of surrounding tea gardens of Kurseong and Darjeeling to meet the common people and make them understand the reason and urgency of the freedom. He did so to widespread the message and motive of Gandhiji. He persistently worked towards bringing awareness to the furthest areas even to the extent of disguising himself as a blind man, a ragged homeless man during the prohibition imposed on him to meet the local people and was subjected to house arrest.

Despite of all odds and warnings from the administrative authorities and police, Shri Lama did not keep quiet and stay away from doing activities for the freedom movement rather he went on meeting people and addressed them during meetings at public places. He even organized secret indoor meetings with his colleagues. During one such public meeting police personals abruptly attacked the gathering and physically assaulted Shri P.S. Lama and severely injured him. He was then arrested and was charged as committing cognizable offence. Due these brutal assault and internal injuries and also non-availability of medical treatment he succumbed to his serious internal wounds and died at early age.

It is my most humble request to the government that Pratiman Singh Lama’s extreme affection and respect for the nation and simultaneously involving in the Freedom Movement of India and serving the nation for its great cause till his last breath, he undoubtedly deserves an honour and respect from the Government and as mark of tribute and gratification he should be awarded a National Freedom Fighter Status.

§ Conferment of Tamra Patra:

In reference to the facts about Tamra Patra Award, to the best of my knowledge this prestigious certificate/award is given to individuals for their participation in the Indian Freedom Struggle. But sadly why do most Indians know very little about the Northeastern states? Why is there very little information about these states and their role in Indian history and the freedom struggle? as quoted by Subhayan Purkayastha. A twelve (12) year old girl Aaira Goswami, originally from Assam and currently residing in Jaipur has written a letter to The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi saying “I know the history of almost whole of India; Jammu & Kashmir to Tamil Nadu, from Mughals to British, from Rajasthan to Kolkata. But where is the long lost glory of the Seven Sisters. Some students don’t even know what the Seven Sisters are. It is very difficult to find things about the Northeast in my books. If I could just read about my state, Assam, and Northeast in my book it would be like a dream come true.”

In a similar context, very few people more specifically speaking, the historians know or have written about the region within the Indian Territory – Darjeeling, Kurseong & Kalimpong to name in particular and its people who fought courageously for the freedom movement of India and sacrificed their lives for this country. Amongst those brave freedom fighters, Late Pratiman Singh Lama too participated and valiantly protested against the British Government through his writings in books & journals, illustrating in various newspapers of that period, resigning from his government service from the post of senior forest official, meeting and attending several national level conferences and meetings with illustrious politicians and leaders of the National Congress, organized political meetings and headed protest rallies against the policies and rules of the British authorities, elected and served twice as the Municipal Commissioner of Kurseong Municipality for a period between 28.04.1941 to 04.05.1944.

He was put under house-arrest in Kurseong and his books, journals, notes, important documents were seized by the British police and authorities. According to an illustration he was arrested and trialed. He sacrificed everything for the cause of the freedom struggle including his family and landed property. Even his house was captured by others (non-family members) making false and fake land papers. His minor children literally came to the streets after his death. His two sons, Narendra Kumar Lama and Mahendra Kumar Lama were practically thrown out of the school (Middle English School-present day Pushpa Rani High School, Kurseong) and their names were erased from the school register on the instruction of British authorities as because they were children of a Freedom Fighter – children of Pratiman Singh Lama. His daughters were married at an early age because there was no one to look after them and protect them. Shri Lama contributed for the good cause of the nation so much but till this very date the government has never valued his immeasurable contributions and showed gratitude in any manner.

Hence, I request the concerned authorities of the Government of India to at least pay respect and acknowledge his immense contribution in building our nation by awarding him with country’s prestigious award – ‘TAMRA PATRA’.

1. I most humbly wish to make an appeal to your gracious self that considering his immeasurable contribution to this great nation, our state of West Bengal and Darjeeling as well as Kalimpong districts in particular should commemorate a day in a year to pay tribute to this great soul – Late Pratiman Singh Lama. The day must be observed in harmony by all and should also make our nation realize that such great Gorkha citizen once lived and died for the freedom of India.

2. I would also like to courteously urge the government and administration that in the process to pay tribute and continually remember Late Pratiman Singh Lama, a ‘Memorial’ of his statue must be erected at a suitable/precise location as a mark of honor and reverence. This benevolent act will certainly convey a tremendous sense of admiration and pride amongst our people and glorify our history of nationalism and our peoples’ contributions and sacrifices for the great cause of our country and its grandeur. The statue would be a hallmark of our people, of our existence, of our history and most importantly of our role in the making of this country – a free country, an independent country.

3. Similarly I would also wish to put forward my humble submission that along with above stated prayer it would be even higher gesture if a landmark/ government premise/ road or any other important venue could be named after him. As a token of remembrance and gratification on behalf of our entire region, community, society and the government we could at least pay our homage in this manner and set an example for the forth-coming generation that we have not yet forgotten our legends’ gallantry sacrifices and will not be ignorant to value their blood and tears spilt for our today and our children’s better tomorrow.

4.
In addition to the same matter, I would also like to request you to kindly include a proposal to the relevant ministry of West Bengal to incorporate a text book or least an elaborate chapter of Late Pratiman Singh Lama either at secondary or senior secondary school syllabus. In my personal opinion it would undoubtedly boost up and motivate our children to set their goals with much determined and stronger aptitude. I ardently believe that such excellent historical facts about our own people will further strengthen their attitude towards society and help in their personality development which is absolutely necessary quality in our children. Since ancient times, people have been studying history as an essential subject as because history helps to build our future in a more superior and brilliant manner apparently the reason being we get to study about great people and their even greater deeds. Hence, I may kindly be allowed to make a strong suggestion on this matter. Since premature standards of our schooling we have read about numerous heroes and their glorious achievements and as a result we get highly inspired and desire for doing somewhat similar praiseworthy work because they teach and make us aware of our capabilities and also should learn to utilize our wisdom not just for our personal enhancement but we should comprehend on our social and national issues and interests. Therefore, when we emphasize and study on world history then why also we study about our own people, our roots simultaneously.

5.
It is my honor and privilege to humbly request you to kindly make a strong and effective proposition to the concerned ministry to introduce/initiate a Postal Stamp of Late Pratiman Singh Lama which will indeed be a greatest honor and respect to acknowledge his immense contribution towards the freedom movement of our county. It would certainly be a milestone in the history of India and make the citizens proud that such lion-hearted legend once born in India and sacrificed his life for the sanctity and honor of his motherland to which he loved and respected beyond ordinary degree. Your voice and support towards this noble cause would incredibly boost our optimism and eternally remain grateful to you.

Before I conclude this article, I would like to highlight the following matter which is of absolute mystery and injustice and ask for your serious intervention and initiative to a satisfactory conclusion. I have mentioned above that Late Pratiman Singh Lama possessed considerably a large volume of landed properties chiefly his private residence, Polyview at Tekbir Busty, Kurseong, agricultural lands around Mallaguri and Champasari, Loha Singh Joth & Bhelku Joth near Naxalbari. It is also stated that after his demise his four surviving children who were barely teenagers and did not have adequate knowledge about assets and rightful inheritance. In fact, after their father’s untimely death they literally became orphans and were neglected by relatives and other known people in every possible manner. They were practically plundered and became homeless and were denied reasonable help due to fear of British authorities since their father was red marked as an activist, a freedom fighter and tagged as anti-national. Their situation turned out so pathetic that even a decent meal of a day became a futile dream and their reality turned into a horrific nightmare. It is said that whosoever gave shelter to a family of a person who dared to struggle for freedom would be seriously dealt by the law even to the extent of physical torture and imprisonment. Alas, they ran helter-skelter and were ultimately disintegrated from each other for over twenty years. The youngest daughter never ever met any of her siblings. Only once she could meet one of her brothers during his last days.

Now the mystery is, who took all the assets and how? Was it his family, his colleagues? Or for that matter the government itself? And how did this all happen?

On this matter I would like to amplify a fraction of truth.

Late Mahendra Kumar Lama, younger son of Late Pratiman Singh Lama years later came back to Kurseong and attempted to find out his father’s lost possessions and pursued to retrieve through legal and conventional official procedures. Despite of several legal documents obtained from various departments and sources, he was only made to run from pillar to post but not a single square inch of property was ever given back to him. It was learnt that majority of his father’s agricultural land situated in the plains was taken by the government and vested it and other properties including his family home – Polyview had already been taken by other people on the basis of fraud and manipulated documents. In the process of fighting to reclaim for what was lawfully belonged to him and his surviving family, he spent rest of his life desperately knocking at every relevant door of reigning politicians, government departments and authorities. But he was only sympathized verbally and advised to keep meeting countless officials and approach accordingly. He was corresponded a few times through some letters of government nature but none helped him to recover his family assets.

He vigorously researched and collected legal documents to prove his rights and submitted before the pertinent officials. He was also assured of some government compensation but all his trust and hope never turned to reality. He always cherished his memorable days with his parents and treasured his father’s dignity but sadly, he could never set his foot on his own land and eventually passed away in 2007 at the age of sixty seven at his residence in Salbari, Siliguri.

Even during his last few days before his demise he called on to his family and instructed them to carry on with his unfinished work and request the government to recognize his father’s contribution to the country as a genuine patriot and a valiant freedom fighter and bestow justice to his soul even if it takes time. He fought for justice all through his life but not just for wealth and assets but principally for recognition by the government of his father’s deeds and he strongly wished and expressed his desire to donate some for social cause if any of his ancestral home/ property ever returned to him. His tireless effort till the very end of his life was for justice.

Researched & Compiled by Jeetendra Lama, Salbari, Siliguri, West Bengal





Anirudh Thapa captain of the Indian National Football Team (Under-19)

8:45 AM
After Sunil Chettri, here's our own Anirudh Thapa, born on 15th January 1998 in Uttarakhand, has given us more reason to watch and follow football, the most followed sport by our community, ever closely. The captain of the Indian National Football Team (Under-19) Thapa came into the spotlight when India defeated hosts Nepal to win the U-16 SAFF Championship. Anirudh Thapa is a talented midfielder whose dribbling and passing skills are a treat for the eyes.

He did his schooling from St. Stephen's in Chandigarh. This is where he started playing football at the age of 10. The 18-year-old comes from Dehradun in Uttarakhand and is currently plying his trade at the AIFF Elite Academy based in Goa.
Anirudh Thapa captain of the Indian National Football Team (Under-19)
Anirudh Thapa
Thapa joined the AIFF academy in Kalyani in 2012. He was also integrated in the India U15 squad in the same year.

In 2013, Thapa won the SAFF U16 Championship. He also participated in the AFC U16 Championship where he scored once in four appearances.

The attacking midfielder went to Malaysia to compete in the Asia U16 Championship in 2014.

In 2015, Thapa was the youngest member selected to be part of the India U19 squad who were runners-up in SAFF U19 Championship. Thapa scored twice in four matches in the competition.

He won the U19 I-league in 2015-2016 season when he captained the AIFF Elite Academy. He played 14 games and notched up three goals.

Thapa's family backs him to the hilt.

Football is his love, he eventually sees his growth in the world's most followed sport. Aspiring to become one of the best, he continues to dream to play for the national team in the foreseeable future.

Gokul Sharma Captain of Assam Cricket Ranji Team, A Gorkha Pride!!

2:25 PM
Gokul Sharma is an Indian Gorkha first-class cricketer who plays for Assam and is the Captain of Assam Cricket Ranji Team. Sharma is a right-handed middle order batsman and right-arm off break bowler. Son of Mr. Khadanand Sharma and Mrs. Dil Kumari Sharma. Studied in Model High School, Born and Brought Up in Guwahati. He is also working as an Auditor at Indian Audit & Accounts Department (C&AG of India). His Best innings is 101 against Bengal in the Ranji Trophy in 2010-11.

Full name Gokul Sharma
Born December 25, 1985, Guwahati, Assam
Current age 30 years 167 days
Major teams Assam
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Gokul Sharma Captain of Assam Cricket Ranji Team
Gokul Sharma Captain of Assam Cricket Ranji Team


His Interview With The Gorkha Times Assam

The Gorkha Times Assam asked him some Questions,

-How does it feels to lead the Assam Cricket Team?.
He replies, "It's an honour to lead a team like Assam which have so much of potential and believe to perform at the highest level."

-Who is your Inspiration?
He Replies, "Well in cricket I always idolise Sachin Tendulkar, the way he goes about the game and also the kind of human being he is off the field and in my life my mother is my inspiration because I saw the toughest part she faced in her life, what I really appreciate and like about my mother was the attitude and the way she handled that situation was very learning experience for me"

-His view about "The Gorkha Times Assam"?
He Replies,"I would like to thanks them for promoting cricket and showing great interest for the development of the game. The Gorkha Times Assam is doing a great work by promoting crickets or any other sports,just like to give a big thank to them and keep encouraging the sportsperson"
With this small Interview Conversation, We also came to know about the Great Human Being. We are Proud of you Sir.

You are Sachin Tendulkar for the Gorkhas of Assam. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours, We will be always there to support you.


Ace Gorkha Shooter Mr. Sisir Rai from Gitdabling Kalimpong‬

12:37 PM
Writes: Rupesh Tamang

Ace Shooter Mr. Sisir Rai from Gitdabling Kalimpong‬ is a Gorkha achiever who despite all odds have excelled in his field. While the whole nation is celebrating the success of Jitu Rai, there are those whose names are yet to catch the popular fancy. Mr. Sisir Rai is one such sportsperson who has stood against all odds and kept his passion for shooting as well as the Gorkha name flying high.

This is his story.
Name: Sisir Rai
Father: Sh. Dil Bahadur Rai,
Mother: Smt Harka Maya Rai,
Wife: Smt. Leena Rai (married in 1997)
Daughters: Nivedita Rai-15 yrs and Sanjina Rai, 6 yrs.
Permanent Address: Village Pochak, PO Gitdabling, PS Kalimpong, Darjeeling (WB),
Present Address: New Police Lines, Kingsway Camp, New Delhi-09.

Academic Qualifications
Primary School: Govt. primary School, Pochak.
Matriculation: Sita Ram Junior Memorial School, Gitdabling
Higher Secondary: St. Georges Higher Secondary School, Pedong
B. Sc : Kalimpong Govt. College.
Ace Gorkha Shooter Mr. Sisir Rai from Gitdabling Kalimpong‬
Ace Gorkha Shooter Mr. Sisir Rai from Gitdabling Kalimpong‬
Mr. Sisir Rai was an excellent sportsperson right from his childhood days; however it was during his NCC days that his knack for shooting and natural talent in the same came to the fore. Perhaps it was his love for Shooting that drove him to join Delhi Police as a constable in 1997, that same year he got married to his sweetheart. It has been 19 years since he joined the Delhi Police and in 2007 he was promoted as the Head Constable.

After joining the Delhi Police, he made his mark in shooting and in 2001 was made a part of the Delhi Police Central Shooting team. In the first year i.e. 2001 of his shooting career, he participated with his team (Central team of Delhi Police) in Delhi State shooting Championship and succeeded to prove his capability when he won one Gold and one Silver medal in .22 prone free rifle.

He also participated in All India Police Games and All India G.V. Mavlankar Shooting Championship (Big Bore) at Phillaur, Punjab in .38 revolver and 303 Rifle.

But such is the life of a policemen, he was transferred to North West District from the Central Team, however he gave in his best and he performed various law & order duties assigned to him during his tenure in the District. During his posting in North-West District, he did Post-Graduation in Computer Science from Allahabad University.

His passion for shooting brought him to fore and in the year 2007, he was once again selected for Delhi Police Shooting Team.

Since 2007, he participated with his team in all events/ tournaments/championships and in every events/ tournaments/ championships he succeeded in winning numerous medals for his team.
Some of his best performances include wining:

2 GOLD: 59th National Shooting Championship (Big Bore) 2016, Team
GOLD: 58th National Shooting Championship (Big Bore) 2015, Team
GOLD: 58th National Shooting Championship (Big Bore) 2014, Team
GOLD: 23rd All India G.V. Mavlankar shooting Championship (Big Bore) 2014, Individual
GOLD: 7th All India Police Shooting Sports Championship 2013, Team
GOLD: 32nd North Zone Shooting Championship, .22 prone 2012, Individual
GOLD: XXVIII Delhi State Shooting Championship, 10mtr Air Rifle 2012, Individual

HIS STRUGGLES 
Every success they say is measured in 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, despite his knack and natural talent for Shooting, life as a Shoooter wasn’t easy for Mr. Rai. He states, “I was transferred on a regular basis from one unit to another, so it was difficult to pursue my shooting career… moreover, we don’t have basic training facilities like coaching, shooting range, rifle, pistols, ammunition, even target papers for that matter.”

Despite these drawbacks, Mr. Rai has continued to persevere. He managed to buy his own shooting rifles and pistols from his own salary to improve his capabilities.

Such is his passion that in the year 2012, he managed to import a shooting rifle from Germany at the cost of Rs 225,000 all of which he paid from his own savings. He also prepared a 10 mtr air pistol/rifle shooting range in his room and continued to practice in his spare time.

However life is not easy for Mr. Rai as the cost of ammunition are very high and he could not afford to import sufficient ammunition for training and he could only import them for competitions. As such proper shooting kits are crucial for a shooter to perform at his best, but without any financial support from the authorities, Mr. Rai has not been able to afford the best quality shooting kits as they are very expensive.

Despite all the hardships and financial constraints, Mr. Rai has continued to perform to the best of his abilities and won numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for his team.

When asked to comment on his struggles, Mr. Rai says, “Shooting was my dream from childhood and I could achieve the same after joining Delhi Police. I want to continue my shooting career and want to represent for my country at International level and prove my capability to win gold medal for my country.”

Currently, Mr. Rai is coaching his daughter Nivedita Rai in pistol shooting and proudly states, “she has improved herself and got a chance to participate in Delhi State inter School Shooting championship, Open Delhi State Shooting championship in the year 2015. She also qualified for All India Inter School Shooting championship and Sports Crafts shooting Championship.”

We are hopeful that the Delhi Police, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, Bengal Government and Sports Ministry will come forward and extend financial support to Mr. Sisir Rai and his prodigiously talented daughter, so that they can make the entire nation proud by winning Gold at international tournaments.

If any of our readers want to financially support Mr. Rai and his daughter Nivedita, we’d request you to contact them at:
Phone: 8588855997
Email: sisirrai64@gmail.com

Via TheDC

Gorkhey Film "Ek Dhakar Jiwan" makes to 20th International Short Film Festival

6:54 PM
After  bagging The Best Short Film Peace Award in the just concluded Gothenburg Independent Film Festival in Sweden Phurba Tshering Lama, a young filmmaker from Darjeeling, has made us all proud as his film "Ek Dhakar Jiwan" has been selected for the 20th edition of the International Short Film Festival. His film has been selected in the Indian Panorama Section. The festival will take place in Canada in march. It is a big honour for the Indian Gorkha community and country as a whole.

For Phurba who owns a production house in Darjeeling "FerryTale Pictures" this is like a dream come true. Phurba was born on 21st January, 1982 in Kurseong. He studied Literature from St. Joseph's College, Darjeeling and pursued Direction in Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. His debut short film ‘Ek Dhakar Jiwan / The Beaten Path’ won the Best Short Film Peace Award at Gothenburg Independent Film Festival and a Special Mention Jury at the Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival. He is currently working on his debut feature film titled as Macqee, in Darjeeling.
Gorkhey Film The Beaten Path (Ek Dhakar Jiwan) in 20th International Short Film Festival
Gorkhey Film The Beaten Path (Ek Dhakar Jiwan) in 20th International Short Film Festival
About the Film The Beaten Path (Ek Dhakar Jiwan)

India 2014; 27 min
Original version: Nepali
Genre: Drama, Short

Synopsis: In the face of an apparently meaningful world Balvir lives and coexists in the grand mosaic of nature like any other entity. However, his human spirit yearns to understand life especially from a sense of disorientation and confusion as a result of the material world.

Director: Phurba Tshering Lama
Writers: Phurba Tshering Lama, Gupta Pradhan (story)
Star: Man Bahadur Tamang
Cinematography: Ayan Saxena


His short film "Grey and Matter" went on to be project in Nepal Cine-Symposium, 2012 and SIGNS Film Festival / Kerela (India) 2013

Ek Dhakar Jiwan (The Beaten Path) has gone all the way to many festivals. Some of them are;
  • - Gothenburg Independent International Film Festival, 2014 / Sweden (Best Short Film Peace Award) 
  • - SIGNS International Film Festival, 2014 / India (National Competition Section)
  • - XX Film Festival Della Lessinia, 2014 / Italy (International Competition Section)
  • - IDFL Film Festival, 2014 /India (National Competition Section)
  • - Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival, 2015 / France (Special Mention Jury)
  • - JAGRAN International Film Festival / India (Top Shorts Section)
  • - WIZ-ART International Film Festival, 2015 / Ukraine (Special Screening) 
  • - Ajyal Youth Film Festival, 2015 / Doha (International Competition Section)
  • - International Short Film Festival, 2016 / Canada (International Competition Section)
Watch the Trailor of The Beaten Path (Ek Dhakar Jiwan)



His vast Experiences includes:-
  • - Visa Girl (Nepali Feature Film): Position: Chief AD / Casting Director / Supporting Role
  • - Sikkim University (Documentary): Chief AD / Post-production Supervisor
  • - Have made social documentaries for CARE International (in Nepal and Lucknow) and for 
  • - Himalayan Climate.
  • -Worked as a Chief AD for an IndiaMART Advertisement in Mumbai.
We wish him success in future.

Via-GYASA


Rewati Chetri crowned Miss Asia at the World Miss University 2016 pageant in China. 

8:09 PM
Writes Nanda Kirati Dewan

Rewati Chetri crowned Miss Asia (Best in Asia Continent) at the World Miss University 2016 pageant in China.

Beijing, China 29th Jan 2016: Rewati Chetri Miss India Miss Popular and Miss Multimedia, Femina Miss India 2015 Finalist pride of Assam and the North East who India at the World Miss University 2016 pageant in China was crowned Miss Asia (Best in Asia Continent) at the World Miss University 2016 pageant in China. She also made it to Top Super Six Finalist through online voted. The 22 year old fashion diva student of a city law college from Guwahati Assam under Gauhati University was selected to represent India at the prestigious World Miss University 2016 pageant.

Talking to the mediapersons in Beijing last evening the Indian diva now World Miss University - Miss Asia Rewati Chetri said, ‘I must thank all the wonderful people back home for their wonderful support and continued blessings. I must sincerely acknowledge efforts of my friends and family members who have been my source of inspiration. My journey from a small town girl , city model to Miss India platform and today Miss Asia at World Miss University wouldnot have been possible with the professional help and guidance from my managing agency Mantraa Media & Events, grooming salon Kurls & Spykes in Guwahati. Entry to WMU2016 paegent was possible only after meeting Janaranjana Pathirana of Shades Mirror the organizer of Interantaional Fashion Fest, Colombo Srilanka where I walked as Show Stopper. 
Rewati Chetri crowned Miss Asia at the World Miss University 2016 pageant in China. 
Kelin Rivera Kroll from Peru was crowned with the title of Miss World University 2016 in Beijing, China by the outgoing titleholder, Karina Stephania Martin Jiménez from Mexico after beating about 70 other crown contenders. 

The World Miss University pageant is held annually since 1986, with an average of about 70 contestants joining the competition every year. The event is specifically designed to select World Miss University Peace Corp Representatives. The organizing committee dispatches peace missions to regions in conflict like Kosovo and Rwanda. Currently, the event is organized by World Miss University Organizing Committee which has headquarters in Manhattan, New York, USA.

Another good news is that Rewati who is landing in New Delhi on 30th Jan 2016 after her successful stint and Miss Asia title at WMU2016 in China has made it into Top 50 of Times Most Desirable Women 2015 along with Top Bollywood actresses likes of Anushka Sharma and Kangkana Ranaut. People can follow and vote her in this link http://ww.itimes.com/times-polls/times-most-desirable-women-2015

World Wide Release by Mantraa Media & Events

For More information Please Contact
Nanda Kirati Dewan, Managing Partner, +91-9864077700


Indian Gorkha Maj. Deep Pradhan Felicitated by Narendra Modi

7:50 AM

Gorkha‬ Pride: Maj. Deep Pradhan Felicitated by PMO India Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitated Major. Deep Pradhan of VI Garhwal Rifles (GR) for developing an Android-based mobile application which can be helpful for the armed forces in navigation and locating the enemy position at the time of war.

Incidentally, Pradhan who is an expert in computer programming was bestowed with a certificate of excellence on the occasion of Army day on January 15 by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

One of the significant achievement of Pradhan is that his application can be used without the facility of Global Positioning System (GPS).

Major Pradhan is a third general army officer whose family lives in Hathibarkala area of Dehradun. An elated Colonel D K Pradhan (Rtd) who is father of young Major, said that Deep developed an affinity for computer since his childhood and kept it till date.

Source TheDC

 
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