Showing posts with label gorkha freedom fighters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gorkha freedom fighters. Show all posts

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.

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.

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

Whom Shall We Remember Today?

3:01 PM
Writes - Jyoti Thapa Mani

“A nation’s culture resides in the heart and soul of its people” -Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 1869-1948

For the last two years, I have been penning Independence Day articles for TheDC, hailing heroes and heroines from the Indian Gorkha community who fought for India’s freedom.  This year I feel a vacuum. Because I feel we are still struggling more than ever before.

Recently, I attended a panel discussion on ‘In today’s globalised world, what role does nationalism play in India’s context?’ A mouthful of words, but essentially I think, it was about how nationalistic we are in this global age. One panellist said that nationalism is about the national bird, animal, dress, anthem and khichri. Another said it was about remembering our freedom struggle against the ‘other’, meaning the British rule. And what a costly affair it was, as freedom came with a big rider—the division of India and Pakistan based on religion.  A criterion, which after seventy-two years, appears as so very wrong. Millions were rendered homeless as they staggered across the borders by foot, on bullock carts, in trains and buses under the onslaught of massive violence and suffering. Lives, families and belongings were lost in the mayhem to reach a new homeland as per their religious identity. The governments in their hurry failed at maintaining a peaceful exchange.

After the British ‘other’, new ‘others’ took its place. Many Indians are still struggling for their identity. Some inside before 1947 are still crying for recognition. On the other hand, millions of refugees continue to pour into India. Some intellectuals say India is a huge tent where everyone can be accommodated. Others say sorry there is no more space in the tent.  Some expostulate that India stands for compassion. Clearly, idealism and reality knock heads in many ways and no one sees the middle path. Power and money appear to be the new nationalism. Nobody talks about the need to strengthen nationalism in terms of the Indian citizens feeling at home.

Millions of Indians born and raised in India go abroad and take oaths such as “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America”. Where does the Indian nationalism go then?

Either, there are those living in the world of ‘global opportunity-nationalism’ or clinging to archaic forms of racial insularity by dominating the minority. Dirty words like fascism are still surviving under new names. Leaders try hard to convince that we are a multinational and multicultural state because it sounds so good and upwardly mobile.  But murky waters lie deep beneath. Nationalism has different connotations for everyone and ironically the government has to force Indians to stand for the anthem in movie halls. Terms like the nation, nation-state, state, global citizen are weighing down or buoying up mindsets.

How nationalistic do we Indian Gorkhas feel? We are the country’s sterling defence force, but socially we are still perceived as immigrants from Nepal, foreigners on Indian soil. Despite the fact, that we have been citizens of this land for more than two hundred years. Our Indian identity on the face of it is as vague as a peel-off beauty mask. Funny thing is that while millions of Indians are migrating to the west, we are still here struggling to be accepted as Indians.  Its been a year now since the last agitation for Gorkhaland in the Darjeeling Hills witnessed yet another saga of dead bodies, persecution, humiliation and forceful crackdown. The Gorkhas of Darjeeling Hills are still fighting for independence from the ‘other’ being West Bengal government. Ironical, because the same government allows foreign nationals from Bangladesh to pour in millions and work without even a work permit. Bangladesh and India have no such treaty facilitating this.

So whom shall we remember today?

Shall we remember the 1947 era Gorkha freedom fighters for India’s Independence? They include patriots such as Amar Singh Thapa, Agam Singh Giri, Bhagat Bir Lama, Bhim Singh Rana, Balbhadra Chhetri, Bairagi Baba, Bhairav Singh Lama, Buddhiman, Bir Bahadur Gurung, Bishan Singh Khatri, Bishan Singh Rana, Bishnu Lal Upadhayay, Bhakta Bahadur Pradhan, Bhagwan Singh Thapa, Bhim Bahadur Khadka, Bhim Lal Sharma, Chandra Kumar Sharma, Chabilal Upadhyay, Dal Bahadur Giri, Dig Bir Singh Ramudamu, Dalbir Singh Lohar, Dhruba Singh Thapa, Devi Prasad Sharma, Dharmananda Upadhyay Mishra, Damber Singh Hingman, Gorey Khan, Gaga Tshering Dukpa, Gopal Singh Rana, Gopal Singh Shahi, Hari Prashad Upadhayay, Harish Chhetri, Hoshiyar Singh Karki, Hari Prashad, Hira Singh Khatri, Ishwarananda Gorkha, Indrani Thapa, Jung Bir Sapkota, Jai Narayan Upadhayay, Kumud Chandra Gorkha, Krishna Bahadur Sunwar, Khadga Bahadur Singh Bista, Laxman Limbu, Lal Bahadur Basnet, Man Bahadur Thapa , Mohan Singh Thapa , Mahabir Giri, Man Bahadur Rai, Maya Devi Chhetri, Niranjan Singh Chettri, Norbu Lama, Neetanand Tim Sinha, Pratiman Singh Lama, Parash Ram Thapa, Putlimaya Devi, Pushpa Kumar Ghisingh, Punna Singh Thakur, Padam Prasad Dhungel, Prem Singh Bista, Ratan Singh Lama, Ram Lal Upadhyay, Ram Singh Gurung, Shyam Bahadur Thapa, Samsher Singh Bhandari, Shyam Singh Shahi, Shiv Singh Thapa, Sher Bahadur Thapa, Sher Bahadur Allay, Shanker Dev Sharma, Savitri Devi, Thakur Prasad Kumai, Tej Bahadur Thapa (1), Tej Bahadur Thapa (2) and Tej Bahadur Subba.

Or shall we remember the INA freedom fighters from the 2/1 Gorkha Rifles? Including, the zealous INA Major Durga Malla, INA Captain Dal Bahadur Thapa, INA Captain Ram Singh Thakur, Bhim Singh Rana, Man Bahadur Thapa, Mohan Singh Thapa, Gopal Singh Shahi, Shaheed Shiam Bahadur Thapa and about forty-six more names.

Post 1947, do we remember the one thousand two hundred and one (1201) martyrs of the Gorkhaland agitation?  They include the thirteen unfortunate people killed by police firing in 1986 in Kalimpong and so many more with bullets shot straight to the head by WB police forces.

Or do we remember in recent times those killed in the 2017 Strike for Gorkhaland?  They include amongst many, the names of Bimal Sashankar of Goke, Mahesh Gurung of Relling, Sunil Rai of Kaijaley, Tashi Bhutia of Sonada, Suraj Bhushal of Tung Sung, Samir Gurung of Singamari, Ashok Tamang of Lewis Jubilee, Asish Tamang of Sukhiapokhri and Dawa Tshering Bhutia of Pedong.

Via TheDC

126th Saheed Diwas of Subedar Niranjan Singh Chhetri observed

1:23 PM

Assam -126th Saheed Diwas in commemoration of martyr Subedar Niranjan Singh Chhetri was observed at Mani Kumar Subba Bhawan.


Subedar Niranjan Singh Chettri led the contingent of Native Gorkhali soldiers for revolutionary Manipuri hero Jubraj Tekendrajit Singh.

When East India Company was taking over different parts of India bit by bit and entered Manipur, the Manipuri hero Jubraj Bir Tekendrajit Singh decided to fight against the British than surrender. Much like Chattrapati Shivaji and Rani Laxmibai, Jubraj Tekendrajit Singh became a martyr in the battlefield.

On this day, the Gorkhalis of India remember, salute and celebrate the brave heart Subedar Niranjan Singh Chettri, who was hanged by the British in 1891 for his role in the "Revolt of Manipur". His bravery and patriotism was unparalleled, yet his act of patriotism, much like acts of patriotism from the rest of North-East India was lost in pages of history.

His last words - “My birthplace is my Motherland, I am ready to die for this land, and I am ready to kill for this land... but I am not ready to accept surrender and subjugation of my own land”

TheGTA team also salutes Shaheed Niranjan Singh Chettri who was the first Gorkhali martyr in the freedom movement of India.


Dalbir Singh Lohar unsung Indian Gorkha freedom fighter from Assam

3:27 PM
Writes Sanjog Chamling

Dalbir Singh Lohar (Nepali दलबिर सिंह लोहार) , unsung Indian  Gorkha freedom fighter, was a prominent political leader of Indian Freedom Movement from Assam. He was the first Indian Gorkha to win assembly election. Shri Dalbir Singh Lohar was a popular labour leader who closely worked with the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) as he was associated with the Assam Provincial Congress. He was also the President of Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha Central from 1964 to 1968. Singh actively fought in the freedom movement of India.
Dalbir Singh Lohar
Dalbir Singh Lohar

Dalbir Singh Lohar  joined the procession led by the Congress in 1921 during Gandhiji's visit at Dibrugarh in Assam. Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi visited Assam 4 (four) times. The first visit of Mahatma Gandhi took place in the year 1921 when he was invited by Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) to propagate the message of non-cooperation in Assam.

Dalbir Singh Lohar actively took part in Satyagraha launched by Gandhiji. During the third phase of the Satyagraha campaign middle of April 1941 a large number of political leaders were kept interned at home or placed under restrication and Dalbir Singh Lohar was externed from Assam for offering Satyagraha along with other leaders.
Rare photo of Late Dalbir Singh Lohar 

During the Civil Disobedience Movement in Dibrugarh (Assam) Dalbir Singh Lohar was imprisoned from 13-10-1930 to 12-01-1931. During the Civil Disobedience movement Dalbir Singh Lohar, Bir Bahadur Chettri, Anantalal Sarma, Bhakta Bahadur Pradhan were given imprisonment by the British Authorities. During the Quit India Movement, the Indian Gorkha freedom fighters of Assam were also sentenced to rigorous imprisonment and kept in different jails of Assam.

Dalbir Singh Lohar was one of the prominent leaders of the Digboi refinery strike of 1939 (Digboi is Asia's oldest refinery and the birth place of the Oil Industry in India). In 1939, the non-unionised Digboi oil refinery workers resorted to a strike.The Gandhi Movement of Congress for Indian Independence struggle was backed by labour rights and equality hence the strike was against the British  Administration. Jawahal Lal Nehru also gave speeches at Digboi condemning capitalist exploitation. The oil sector strike which began in 1939 and was so successful that eight platoons of Assam Rifles had to be brought in to crush it. Since the break of the World War II coincided with the Digboi labour strike therefore the  British had to take harsh steps to crush the strike by shooting down the president of the Labour Union which was followed by issuing orders of Quit Digboi, Quit Lakhimpur and finally Quit Assam to the leaders of the labour union.

In the first general election of Independent India Dalbir Singh Lohar became the first Indian Gorkha to win assembly election on a Congress ticket from Assam Digboi constituency. Singh got his Congress ticket for the first election on public deamnd as because All Assam Sikh Association had recommended Dalbie Singh, Labour Digboi Constituebcy Demanded seat for him.

NOTE - Looking for more information about legend Dalbir Singh Lohar as you can see we don't even have his photo. Information regarding his early life, education, birth and anything related to him would be very helpful. Request to readers, kindly pass the valuable information about Dalbir Singh Lohar to us so that we could publish theme here. You can  send us the information at

Book -Urban History of India: A Case Study By Deepali Barua
Book - Indian Nepalis: Issues and Perspectives edited by Tanka Bahadur Subba
Book - Empire's Garden: Assam and the Making of India By Jayeeta Sharma
Information collected from Internet.

Master Mitrasen Thapa (1895 -1946) Gorkha in Indian and Nepal postal stamps

8:20 PM
Master Mitrasen Thapa Magar (1895 -1946)  (Nepali/नेपाली: मित्रसेन थापा मगर (१८१५ – १९४६)) Indian Gorkha folk singer, lyrics writer, dramatist, social worker and a Freedom Fighter who took part in World War-I Master Mitrasen Thapa was born on the 29th December 1895 in Village Totarani, Bhagsu /Dharamshala. He was called master because in those days, the society called writers and musicians as Masters. He is the only Gorkha who has been felicitated by a postal stamp by both India and Nepal. He was concerned about the quality of the Gorkha society and his works are dedicated to the people. Besides his great talent, Master Mitrasen discovered and employed three major tools in communication to the masses.

One was humor, second, easy-to-sing and pick-up songs in melodious tunes and the third, the usage of simple Nepali householders‟ language. Thus, instead of sermonising in seriously, Mitrasen Thapa used the medium of humour, drama, singing and dance. His songs first mesmerised the audience who then continued to sing them again and again. The messages got repeated in the process. Mitrasen realised the community needed to come together and get united all across. Through his creative work in the Nepali language and travelling, Mitrasen united all Gorkhas from Nepal to Darjeeling to Punjab. Mitrasen also highlighted the weaknesses of the society which could affect the future. He wrote against extravagant living and excesses of drinking.

Master Mitrasen Thapa Magar Indian Gorkha folk singer, lyrics writer, dramatist,
social worker and a Freedom Fighter who took part in World War-I
He wrote about the upliftment of women, and also the importance of high thinking and simple living. He wrote and spread in Nepali, the messages of Gautam Buddha, Bhagvad Gita and Mahabaharata for the Nepali masses to understand and imbibe in their daily lives.. He was always concerned about the quality of the Nepali society and most of his works are dedicated to the people. Instead of sermonising in serious tunes, Mitrasen Thapa used humour, drama, singing and dance to communicate his messages. There was time when everybody from Darjeeling, Sikkim, Dehradun to Dharamshala was all singing Master Mitrasen Thapa‟s songs. This was his way of uniting them all. It is said that during his travels, he found Nepalis speaking different dialects, along with the highly Sanskritised Nepali bhasha. He realised that he had to develop a simple common man‟s Nepali language which could be understood by all. He then decided to write in simple Gorkhali, easily understood by all. Like they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Lahure Ko Relimai - Master Mitrasen Thapa

Today as our society stands at crossroads, a revival of Master Mitrasen‟s works will again create the same magic. Nine of his songs are there recorded in his own voice and with his own music group. His writings have been compiled by several authors. 35 of his original Pandulipis are there. Out of which only a few have been published. A museum has been dedicated to him at his residence „Mitra Jhupro‟ in Totarani, Dharamshala /Bhagsu. The museum could do with funds and management for better care, but nevertheless it still houses his work, his costumes, his stage jewellery, his harmonium, his medals and all that he possessed in his humble life of fifty years. It is painstakingly run alone by his only daughter-in-law Smt Devkanya Devi Thapa, widow of Master Mitrsen‟s only son Late Digvijay Singh.

Her message this morning to me was “Jole Mitrasen Thapa lai prem garcha unsang yehi vinti chha.. Unko Jyot hamesha jali rahos. Yo jo mitra jhupro chha yo hamesha chamchama rahos. Ma ta aba pachharti saal ko chhu. Ekley sambhali rahu chhu. Roj Dhoopbatti jalai dinchu. Saal ma ek baari unko janam din ma sabai la khana khilai dinchu. Aru ma kya kari sakhum? ” (Those who love Master Mitrasen Thapa, should ensure that the light of the flame of his work continues)

Extracts translated from some of the books written on Master Mitrasen Thapa

1) Mitrasen: A monograph by Magan Pathik on the Nepali author. Sahitya Academy, New Delhi (1994). First edition 1989. Second edition 1994. Amongst the many Gorkhas who made major contributions to Gorkha society was Master Mitrasen Thapa. Magan „Pathik‟of Dharamshala in his Bhartiya Sahitya Academy published book „Mitrasen‟, hails Mitrasen‟s lifetime as the golden period of Indian Nepali literature history. During this time, the country was astir with spiritual, social and political thinking. After the contributions of Vivekananda, Ramtirth and Lokmanya Tilak, great men like Gandhi‟s non-violence Satyagraha made a major impact on people. These great people were very inspiring to the people.

Rabindranth Tagore, Saratchandra, Jayshankar Prasad, Maithilisharan, Premchand, Dr Iqbal, Hasrat Muradabadi, Akbar Illhabadi and Josh Malihabadi, etc are considered the blessings of this time period, to the world of literature in the languages of Bangla, Hindi and Urdu. During that time the writers of the Nepali language included Dharnidhar Sharma, Surya Vikram Gewali, Paras Mani Pradhan, Thakur Chandra Singh, Bahadur Singh Baral and

2) Master Mitrasen ko Sanchhipt Parichay by Trilok Singh Thapa Magar, Master Mitrasen Thapa Smriti Pratisthan, Kathmandu. Family background: Enriched with Multitalented virtuoso, Master Mitra Thapa Magar was born on 29th December 1895 in India, Himachal Pradesh, Kangra District, Bhagsu Dharamshala, village Dhaarakhola. He is a Sijali Magar. His original home is from Western Nepal, earlier Banglung (now Parbat zilla), and Rakhupulla village. It is said that his grandfather Santsen Thapa (Santu Thapa) in the 18th century, came via Kumaon, Garhwal and Dehradun, to Bhagsu.

After military commander Amar Singh Thapa returned to Nepal, many Gorkhali soldiers settled near the Kangra fort area. Here was born Manver Sen Thapa Magar. Mitrasen was the son of Manversen Thapa and Radha Thapa. Despite born and brought up in India, Mitrasen has made great contribution to Nepal and Nepali language through his literature, folksongs, folk theatre, and folk lore. In 1936, he started wearing Nepali daura suruwal to create awareness of the Nepali dress. He was a great writer, director, actor, singer and producer. Nepali theatre and diary writing, humour and travel writing Mitrasen‟s contribution have been hailed as immortal.

Brief life history:
Master Mitrasen studied till class 8 in the Urdu medium as was the medium then in the Himachal schools. At a young age he also learnt music. From 1912 till 1920, he joined the 1st/1st Gorkha Rifles as per family tradition. During the 1st World War he was engaged in operations in Europe and Africa. The war‟s blood, gore, violence and hatred touched his soft heart. He entertained them with hare, rode, swarthy, Baja, chudka, played with his harmonium. Maruni dance, Phusungay dance, Horitakko phaag-dance. Being of creative bend, he was not much interested in his signalling work.

In 1914, he went with his troops to France and reached the island of St Marseilles. After one year, his troops reached Mesopotamia. There they fought against the Turk army for three years (1916-18). In the WW, lakhs of people died. Lakhs of people got injured. They included many of his friends. Therefore on returning from abroad, he resigned from the army in 1920. After that he devoted himself completely to the spread of the Nepali language through the mediums of plays, story writing, drama performances, social reforms and spread of dharma for the next 24 years of his life.

Nepal Tour In 1933-35
Mitrasen undertook a long tour of Nepal and different parts of India. First he reached his family home in Nepal at Banglung. After seeing the social condition there his work is seen to have veered towards jaati sudhaar and social reformation. Towards the end of 1933, he travelled through Palpa, Gulmi and Kathmandu. With a troupe of six members he presented his prowess in drama. Then he took the same troupe and reached Calcutta. There he recorded his plays “Dhuv” “Draupadi Charitraharan” on gramophone. In 1936, while touring Kathmandu, he advised Master Ratnadas and Melva Devi that music should have Nepaliness. His last trip to Nepal was in year 1944.

At that time Folk Theatre In 1936, Master Mitrasen established the Himalayan Theatrical Company. He performed in Hindi, Urdu and Nepali plays and earned name and fame. In Nepali language, his famous unrecorded plays are „Satyawadi Raja Harishchandra (8 parts), „Satyavaan Savitri‟, etc. In Hindi and Urdu, his works include plays „Badshah Tower‟, „Darde Jigar‟, „Noor kin Putli‟, „Mashoor ki Hoor‟, etc.

Nepali Folk songs He performed in the Kathmandu‟s durbar plays, dramas, songs and shamans. He was highly felicitated for the same.

Gramophone Disc Records (Recorded in Calcutta) 
1) Malai khukrukkay paryo jethan timro bahini le.
2) Dhaan ko Bala jhulyo hazoor deshei ramailo
3) Lahureko reli ma pheshun ramrod
4) Aba ta jau kanchhi ghara, baato chha Ukali Ourahli
5) Bhana Gorkhali Daju bhai Jai Gorkhali
6) Swami na jao chhari bidesh
7) Kina garchha tanataani dui din ko chha jindagani
8) Chui chui chukiney jootta
9) Chhatre topi dhalkai dhalkayi khukri chamkayi Out of his 63 songs, only 23 have been recorded.

In 1942, he wrote the „Buddhvaani‟ in Nepali language to spread the message of the

Buddha in a simple language. From 1940 till 1944, he wrote in Nepali, „Tirth Yatra‟, „Dharma Chhora‟, „Premma Bhagwan‟, „Teen Kura‟, „Teen Yogi‟, etc. „Premma Bhagwan‟ 3) Mitra ko Diary This edition contains Epics „Mahabharat ko Prahlad‟, „Parshuram Lakshman Samvad (73 lines)‟, „Bhakt Prahlad (702 lines), „Chandra Haas (107 lines), „Veer Abhimanyu (1120 lines), etc. For women‟s emancipation he wrote „Ekadashi Vratkatha (142 lines)‟, „Satyanarayan Katha (245 lines)‟, „Vitwamagal (1760 lines)‟, „Chandra hans (170 lines) and „Sant Sukhvai (330 lines), etc

Song writing: Master Mitrasen wrote his songs in a simple language which would reach the Gorkhali masses.
For example: “Rajya Sukh bhog Nimti Phaaakeyma, yudh rachaune kina? Mero manle mandayina, Krishna sansar dubauna kina? Duniyalai kasth, dukh diyara garib ko ragat choosera Jansamuhlai masera mauz urauna kina?” Mahabharat In 1934-37 he wrote from the Mahabharat „Aadiparva‟, „Sabhaparva‟, „Viraat parrva‟, „Udyog parva‟in Nepali. 4) Buddha Baani by Master Mitrasen Thapa This book was published in 1996 by the Mitrasen Sahitya Sangeet Sabha, Bhagsu, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India with foreword by His Holiness.

( by Jyoti Thapa Mani)

AMGSU paid homage to Niranjan Singh Chettri on 125th Shaheed Diwas

8:05 PM
 Manipur 8th June 125th Shaheed Diwas of 1st Gorkha Martyr Shaheed Subedaar Niranjan Singh Chettri was observed by All Manipur Gorkha Students Union today . Subedar Niranjan Singh Chettri was 1st Gorkha to achieve martydom when he was hung to death by the British on the charges of revolting against them along with Jubraj Tikendrajit Singh on 8th June, 1891.

Various students and individuals came to pay homage to the martyr. The observance function was held at the office hall of union's Kanglatongbi Unit.

Shaheed Niranjan Singh Chetri was a Subedar in the Native Force of Yubraj Tikendrajit in Manipur.
He was trial by the Chief Political Officer, Commanding Manipur Field Force of then British Government of India and was sentenced to be hanged by the neck for assisting the Tikendrajit's Native Force against the British on 8th June, 1891.
AMGSU paid homage to Niranjan Singh Chettri on 125th Shaheed Diwas
AMGSU paid homage to Niranjan Singh Chettri on 125th Shaheed Diwas
Even after 125 years of his Supreme Sacrifice and 67 years of free India, neither Government of Manipur nor Government of India cared to honour his legendary. Even our societies seems to have forgotten our hero.

Heartily Tribute to the Legend who had made such a Supreme Sacrifice for the land, for the freedom from British Colonial Rules.


Gorkhas So far...: No Land’s Wo/men in India (Part-III)

8:11 AM
Writes Tikendra Kumar Chhetry
Department of Peace and Conflict Studies
Sikkim University

"I believe slogans like Bharat ki barbaadi or Gorkhaland should be treated as an attack on the integrity of India. I can't say whether its sedition or not but its definitely an attack on India and steps should be taken to curb it."
-Chandra Kumar Bose, A Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader

“My blood and sweat smell the soil of this land. My body is painted of the soil of this land. I am born and shall die in this country. Assam is my motherland. I cannot leave this struggle which is for the freedom for crores of people like me in this country”.
-Chhabilal Upadhyaya,The First President of Indian National Congress Assam Provincial Committee

“Though I am overjoyed on the occasion of my country’s long awaited Independence, at the same time thinking about the future of the thirty lakh Gorkhas spread all over India makes me deeply concerned and worried”.
-Damber Singh Gurung, Leader of All India Gorkha League, 15th August, 1947

Second and third of the above placed statements were made by two ardent Gorkha freedom fighters of Indian freedom struggle in two different situations.  The second one was by Chhabilal Upadhyaya as mentioned above, the valorous freedom fighter from Assam and, one who is claimed to be the first president of Assam provincial congress committee. He was found making this statement while he was interrogated by colonial Police superintendent in relation to his (Chhabilal’s) efforts to organise a meeting to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s first ever Assam visit. Chabilal Upadhyaya had attended the meeting at Tezpur polo ground, Assam organized on occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s visit in August 1921 as a part of Non-Co-operation Movement. After the adjournment meeting, the district Police Superintendent (SP) of colonial administration took Upadhyaya to Hazarpar Park in his own (SP’s) car and made lucrative offers to him. Police officer said, “Do not oppose the Government. I will pay you Rs. 500/- per month, I will return your seized gun.” Upadhyaya boldly replied: “I am born in Assam and shall die in Assam, Assam is my motherland. I cannot leave the Congress”. At that juncture, Gandhi was resting in Parmananda Agrawalla’s house. When these words reached to Gandhi, he appreciated Upadhyaya in two valuable words- “Achchha Kiya”.
Chandra Kumar Bose - Gorkhaland an attack on the integrity of India
Chandra Kumar Bose - Gorkhaland an attack on the integrity of India
The third one, as mentioned, was by Damber Singh Gurung, the then leader of All India Gorkha League (AIGL). Gurung had made this statement while he was addressing the triumphant crowed on occasion of freedom of India on 15th August 1947.

Apart from above mentioned two different moments, Damber Singh Gurung and Chhabilal Upadhyaya led Gorkha community had a great contribution in keeping the then Assam which comprises considerably a large part of present northeast intact within present boundary of India. In the year of 1946, when at the threshold of moment of free sky, India was encountering oversized problem created by proposal of Cabinet Mission. On proposal of Cabinet Mission subscribing Jinnah’s ‘two nation theory’, the colonial government wanted to club up the then Assam with East Bengal (the then proposed east Pakistan and presently Bangladesh). To counter the proposal, some local congress leaders attempted to convince national leaders as well as tried to mobilize all sections of people in region against the move. Gorkhas stood by the side of whole community with all lovely attachment to region. The Assam Provincial committee of All India Gorkha League (AIGL) opposed the colonial plan. Damber Singh Gurung the central president of AIGL gave a written assurance in support of Congress. Gopinath Borodoloi sent two Congressmen, Vijoy Chandra Bhagawati and Mahendra Mohan Choudhury to meet Mahatma Gandhi to avoid Assam’s inclusion into East Pakistan. Gandhi replied, “Assam’s quietness would finish it. Only Assam can do what it wants”. Assam stood at a critical juncture. By the time, Chhabilal Upadhyaya, a Gorkha of the affected region was selected as the president of central body of the AIGL in its 4th central conference held at Tezpur of Assam in April, 1947. Under his leadership, the Gorkha League strictly denounced the inclusion of Assam into the Eastern part of proposed Pakistan that was being designed under Jinnah’s ‘two nation theory’. Chhabilal declared “Jinnah would not be allowed to decide the future of Assam. The AIGL opposes Jinnah’s plan of Pakistan and inclusion of Assam. And to avoid it, if necessary, thirty lakh Gorkha wrists with khukuris would be used to save our motherland India”.

The first one of above statements is by Chandra Kumar Bose, known to be the grand Nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) candidate who is probably contesting against present West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Benerjee during the upcoming Assembly election that is going to be held in five states in India including West Bengal.

The second statement portrays that how Gorkhas were committed for the freedom of the land being visionary for self and community while country of love was in the jog of freedom struggle. The third statement reveals that how a Gorkha leader, an ardent freedom fighter of country foresaw the possible status of the community that he belonged, on the very first day of the Independence of country. It is difficult to grasp that what were the circumstances those compelled Damber Singh Gurung to depict his frustration about future of a community that he belonged. Whatever might be the situation, Gurung’s forecast about the future of Gorkhas that he made at the first day of exultant free India slowly started to be proved. The first of the statements above ( which is very recent one) is one of the evidences that how contribution of Gorkhas in architecting India has been disregarded time and again causing misery, adversaries and on the top, no land’s people in own country.

 Aggravating situations against Gorkhas in free India started to undervalue the vision and sacrifice of leader like Chhabilal Upadhyaya. The members of community that freedom fighters like Chhabilal Upadhyaya and Damber Singh Gurung belonged gradually started to face the rejection and reduction in own country where lakhs of their ancestors sacrificed pouring sweat and blood to paint the colour of freedom. In this regards, so-called leaders like Chandra Kumar Bose, times and again, are deliberately creating situation for let Gorkhas’ be excluded and attacked in every sphere of state’s every day practices.

However, in a long list of the messiahs of divisive politics in India, Chandra Kumar Bose is not the only face but just a new face to provoke the some ill-minded citizenry to attack Gorkha community in India.

The initial defamation that came to Gorkhas was from none other than the first Deputy prime minister of country, Sardar Ballavbhai Patel on 14th December 1949. On question of Pandit Thakurdas regarding the creation of a province with Gorkha populace Darjeeling, Patel had made a very numb and insensible reply. Patel’s argument deemed his derogatory and suspicious perception on Gorkhas when he said that proposal to create Darjeeling as a province was harmful for the welfare and integrity of country but, he failed to explicate his argument in parliament and baselessly crushed the proposal.

The misdemeanor that Sardar Ballavbhai Patel made against Gorkhas was followed by the office of National language commission. Anand Singh Thapa, the chief editor of Jagrat Nepali, a magazine, and his two associates Bir Singh Bhandari and Narendrasingh Thapa had submitted a memorandum to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first president of Indian republic demanding the constitutional recognition of Nepali language under Eight Schedule of the constitution in January 18, 1956. But, B. G. Kher, the then chief of National Language Commission of India had made a controversial remark against Nepali speakers.  B.G. Kher in his reply to memorandum of Anand Singh Thapa, Bir Singh Bhandari and Narendrashingh Thapa remarks that Nepali is a foreign language; hence it cannot be recognized as a language under the eight schedule of the constitution of country.

Even the some prime ministers of country had very discriminatory and indifferent attitude towards the bona-fide Gorkhas, the Nepali speaking citizens. In 1979, Morarji Desai, the then Prime Minister of India had placed ridiculous and irresponsible commentary backlashing Nepali as foreign language when a delegation of Akhil Bharatiya Nepali Bhasa Samiti was tabling a demand to include Nepali language under eighth schedule of Indian constitution. Morarji Desai responded discourteously stating that the Gorkhas can be thrown into the Indian Ocean when the said delegation was trying to draw his attention to the contribution of Gorkhas, the Nepali speakers in country, particularly in protecting country as crucial custodian of defense sector of country. Also Indira Gandhi had very vague and insensitive outlook over Gorkhas in country. Ms. Gandhi tried to ignore the issue that pertained to demand for inclusion of Nepali language in eighth schedule of constitution and she rhetorically stated “vehicle is moving forward’. It is difficult to decode the rhetoric phrase she used as reaction over the demand of Akhil Bharatiya Nepali Bhasa Samiti but, a common and laymen understanding can interpret it as reduction of the value of Gorkhas’ contribution in building this nation. During 80s of last century when the Gorkhaland Movement was on its peak the then ruling left front in West Bengal, using all tools, tried to brand the Gorkhaland movement an anti-national upsurge. Attempts were seen to provoke non-Gorkha people against Gorkhas in West Bengal labeling a constitutional demand of Gorkhaland as an anti-national insurgency or foreigners’ shakeup. With the motive to brutally crush a popular movement for a constitutional demand, the Left Front West Bengal government put pressure on Rajib Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India to consider the movement a threat to India. He did not give any heed to the staging of West Bengal government. However, the Prime Minister gutted his sympathy, while he also fall in Gorkha (Nepali speakers) slurring convoy while he lost the balance of his tongue and lips and made the ‘Nepalese of Darjeeling are foreigners, thus some political arrangement to be made’. Undeniably, despite the fact that his initial response towards Gorkhas was not concrete but it was somehow compassionate latter. Though he did not sort out any plan over the demand of Gorkhaland (the aspiration of all Gorkhas living across the country for the identity of their inclusiveness in India) yet his moral commiseration towards the issue of Gorkha community was someway reflective.

Sardar Ballavbhai Patel, B.G. Kher, Morarji Desai, Indira Gandhi and Jyoti Basu led Left Front West Bengal Government are only a few examples in a long cue who enjoyed and roasted their political bread glooming the glorious history of Indian freedom struggle while they excluded, demeaned and rejected derecognizing Gorkhas’ nationality in their own land. In the pace of time in Indian politics, leaders with insufficient knowledge of Indian history appeared and left in pages of past and, avatar of similar leaders in face like Chandra Kumar Bose is still occurrence to disregard the Indian history worsening the nationality status of Gorkhas. In relation to Chandra Kumar Bose, it may observably be added that in BJP too he is a next name after standing PM Narendra Modi and Rahul Sinha who are playing with the innocence of Gorkhas. In a mass gathering at Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency during Lok Sabha election 2014, PM Narendra Modi had assured that the issue of Gorkhas would be taken into consideration after BJP acquires parliamentary power. Gorkhas trusted him/his party throughout the country rightly starting from Darjeeling constituency. It is now two years of BJP’s power in parliament. Modi is not seen flipping back the page of his assurance to Gorkha. After few days of his assurance, the then president of West Bengal unit of BJP openly declared BJP’s disagreeable position on Gorkhaland. Rahul Sinha is beating the same anti-Gorkha aspiration drum still, and now, Chandra Kumar Bose projects constitutional demand of Gorkhas as threat to the country.

As mentioned here, these are only few names from a large cue of national leaders in India who disgustingly design/designed the tickets for minority Gorkha community in national political circle to roast their political breads defaming national history of India. Apart these mentioned figures, there is another large cue of journalists, film stars, columnists, civil servants, social workers local political leaders in various parts of country and so on, who glue/glued stickers of foreign nationality on the forehead of Gorkhas in India. These maturely immature bunches of people hoodwinking the rest mass of citizens in India while they talk/write/work in the fields academics on nationalism/constitutionalism, politics, journalism, film, performing arts, civil services, social services, games and sports and so on, in one hand and, glued/glue stickers of foreign nationality on the forehead of Gorkhas in India in other. For every conscious/concerned citizen of India these bunches of citizens are maturely immature because, talking/writing/working on these fields cannot be completed without placing the names of Gorkha ancestors like Durga Malla, Khadga Bahadur Bista, Dal Bahadur Giri, Indreni Thapa, Sabitri Thapa, Damber Singh Gurung, Ari Bahadur Gurung, Sitara Devi, Laxman Shrestha, Shasi Shekhar Jung Bahadur Rana, Chandra Singh Rawat, Bir Bahadur Gurung, Amar Bahadur Gurung, Upendra Singh Rawat, U B Thapa Shyam Thapa and so ahead… Some of readers might be curious to know these people are about. Definitely, contribution of these historical figures will be discussed in next number of this series.

There is a large list of Gorkha names pending in the history of India who had contributed firmly to prepare India to the present stand. Right now, before quieting the key board and cursor here, it is to add, some so-called Indian citizens like Chandra Kumar Bose, time and again make/made mockery of Indian history gluing stickers of foreign nationality on the forehead of Gorkhas in India. The glory of India is severely incomplete until Gorkhas contributions are mentioned.

Also Read
Gorkhas So far...: The No Land’s Wo/men in India (Part-I)

Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Nepali:छबिलाल उपाध्याय) Indian Gorkha freedom fighter

8:00 PM
Indian Gorkha freedom fighter Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Nepali:छबिलाल उपाध्याय), popularly known as Chhabilal Babu was a prominent leader of the Indian Freedom Movement from Assam. He was the first president of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee.He presided the historic meeting of the Assam Association held at Jorhat on 18 April 1921 which decided to convert itself to Assam Pradesh Congress Committee.Upadhyaya played an important role in the education of the indigenous Gorkha community of Assam to which he belonged to by establishing many schools and libraries.Chhabilal Upadhyaya set up Behali School at Tezpur in Assam in 1941. It was Chabilal Upadhyay under whose presidentship the then Assam Association was converted into now Assam Pradesh Congress Committee(APCC)
Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Nepali:छबिलाल उपाध्याय)
Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Nepali:छबिलाल उपाध्याय) 


Babu Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Ghimire) was born in 1882 A.D. He is the second son of Late Kashinath Upadhyaya (Ghimire) and Late Bishnumaya Devi. At the time of his berth his parents were residing at Burigang area near Biswanath Chariali of present day Sonitpur District of Assam. Like other Assamese-Gorkhali people they were also in search of a suitable place preferably a high land for their residence and a grazing land for their cattle. The primary source of income of such Gorkhali people was cattle farming and cattle rearing and as the time passes they started cultivation. Upadhyaya’s family also falls in the same stream. Chabilal Upadhyayas shifted from Burigang area to Borgang Sukansuti area and finally came to Mazgaon (Gangmouthan).This was some time in 1886 when Chabilal was at the age of four. It is said that his primary education started at Hatibondha Primary School in Bengali medium. But this Hatibondha Primary School was not there in present day location; rather it was in old Hatibondha village which was located about two to three miles distance in the south-east direction from the present School. The village was eroded by the river Brahmaputra or washed away and the school was later shifted to present day location.  As there was no other higher educational institution in the nearby locality, he had to finish his academic studies just in his primary level. But his alert and kind father had searched for a teacher to give him knowledge of Sanskrit, Assamese and also for English language. He also got necessary knowledge of arithmetic and geography by the same teacher. Meritorious master Chabilal was extra-sharp and equipped himself with moralities. He studied Amarkosha, he learned the Anhik Padhati, he recited the morning prayers and he practiced Karmakandas (from the Yayur Veda). He was so eager to acquire knowledge that despite of the evils created by his age, when there was British Raj flourishing everywhere in India, when it was not easy even to listen a radio, or to go to a library to read a book or a paper, he somehow managed to read few Bengali daily newspapers: “The Ananda Bazar Patrika” and a weekly Bengali medium newspaper “Basumati”. He collected these papers from a Bengali gentleman Post Master of Behali Post Office though these were stale enough. He also showed his interest in studying Bengali novels. He got those novels from a kind and generous Bengali doctor of Borbheel Tea Estate. He had his family like relations with these gentlemen, for all of them used to come and go to the houses of one another for quite a long time. And in the process Chabilal was well versed with Bengali language and literature and Bengali people around him, As he was in the threshold of his manhood he was well acquainted with different news papers of the said language, he had studied the works of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya , Saratchandra, the essays and novels of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya,  the Lives of Swami Vivekananda and Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He studied the Bengali version of Krittibasi Ramayana and Kashidasi Mahabharata.  He was able to feel the taste and the usefulness of literature, and he felt the need of social reform from his above reading. He had also formed for himself a good concept of Hindu religion.

He bore practical worldly knowledge. He had a good number of companions with whom he practiced swimming, rowing boats, catching and transhipping wood and logs that were brought by the flooded water of Borgang and the Brahmaputra river, to the river bank and so on. His long limbs and tight muscles, his big forehead, his long and not a small nose, his bright eyes and a pleasant face with manly moustache fit his tall and healthy figure. It well expressed his personality. He was brave and intelligent, he could think and analyze and could give decision and accordingly he could lead his companions, and on the other side he belonged to a well-to-do family. And that’s why he was invited and he was obeyed with honor.

The mighty Wheel of the Time revolves round. During the year 1919 the Upadhyaya family was residing in permanent nature at Mazgaon (Gangmouthan) but their buffalo farm (locally called Goth or Khuti) was in Kaziranga Reserve Forest with due Professional Grazing Permit. There were many other graziers of different communities, namely, Miri, Assamese and Gorkhali; with due permits. As in the case of the landed property was brought to book to for primary purpose of collecting taxes rather than to regulate it, the cattle property was also brought within the purview of The permit system by the British Administration to levy taxes. Before this system, graziers were asked now and then to shift their farm to other locations called “tapu”- the river island or char area of the river Brahmaputra, on the plea that their present Char area falls in the Kaziranga Game Reserve, which was whimsical, wantonness and unlawful. And hence, the graziers bowed their head on the system for they thought that if they would pay the Grazing Tax they would not be disturbed. The time wheel was moving smoothly, but how could an ill habit of evil spirit calm down merely for a system! Under the influence of such uncalled-for spirit, suddenly a bolt was thrown from the blue with a thundering sound “Be off with your buffaloes! This is only for wild animals!” The Administration not at all considered that these graziers have their due permits issued by the administration itself, the tyrants burnt their Khutis to ashes. The blazing flames of the fire not only laughing arrogantly by burning their Khutis but also burnt their sense of security, hopes and aspirations. The simple shepherd like people cried for help. All the people came to Chabilal, who himself was suffering from the atrocities of the British administration. He thought the action was illegal and interference on the means of livelihood. So he discussed with his people and decided to fight against the unlawful act of the government. He moved for Justice. He met Chandra Nath Sharma, an intelligent and patriot advocate. Upadhyaya briefed the matter to Sharma and Sharma in turn gave him solace. Chandra Nath also talked about how people of all over India are going against British rule. He also stated Upadhyaya how Gorkhali people can participate and contribute to the mother land. Chabilal realized that time has come to serve the Mother land and he too gave his commitment that all the Gorkhali people residing in Behali and other adjoining areas will come forward. Chabilal came out successfully in the case that graziers could continue to keep their buffaloes in their own place. Now, Chabilal explained people how British Raj is doing wrong to Indian People and the public in turn dissatisfied, stand against British Raj and how they are willing to get freedom from the foreign rule. He stated that all these movements were under the leadership of Gandhiji who was later known as Bapu and Mahatma Gandhi. It is worthy to mention here that Gangmouthan-Mazgaon became residential area prior to 1886 and at the end of the nineteenth century Gorkhali people were inhabiting in villages and localities like Batiamari, Kamal Pokhari (now Kamar Pukhuri as Revenue village), Kouri Pathar, Gomiri, Teleni, Dipura in the eastern side of Mazgaon, and Burigang, Pani Bhoral, Bhanganbari, Panpur,Gorpal, Koldarighat, Lokhra (Lakhara), Bura chapari, Bhurbandha, Naubil (Nabil),Teligaon, Singri, Sittalmari in the west, that is to say, everywhere there is in the then sub-division of Tezpur, Gorkhali people were mixing themselves with Assamese, Missing, Boro, Koch and Rajbanshi people. So, after his victory in the case as stated, Chabilal, irrespective of any race, visited the areas, informed the people and motivated them to come forward in the National interest. The public, as they realized that it is a chance to do something for the mother land extended their full support.

Chabilal Upadhyaya went to Jorhat,1921.

Chabilal Upadhyaya was already in the field of Non-Cooperation movement lead by Mahatma Gandhi and was known among the leading personalities of greater Assam. He was invited with his colleagues to Jorhat conference of Assam Association representing the people of the Kaziranga Game Reserve viz. the Khuti people irrespective of all races as well as all other people of Tezpur Sub-Division including Nepali community. There were many other people in the leading role in the area and all had supported Babu Chabilal on the great cause of National Freedom Movement. The Assam Association was the first and foremost political organisation of Assam at that time. Many talented leaders from different parts of Assam, to name few of them were – Tarun Ram Phukan, Nabin Chandra Bordoloi, Dr. Hem Chandra Barua, Amiyo Kumar Das, Kuladhar Chaliha, Faiznur Ali, Prasanna Kumar Barua, Lakheswar Barua,, Lakhidhar Sharma, Gopinath Bordoloi, Bishnuram Medhi were devoted to the cause of National Interest and except Tarun Ram Phukan all were present in the conference venue in Jorhat. The above conference of the Assam Association was presided over by Babu Chabilal Upadhyaya. That was the last meeting of the said Association and by the Resolution taken on the meeting making it a historical event, the Assam Association was merged for ever into Indian National Congress. Karmabir Chandra Nath Sharma thought that the Graziers’ problem should be treated as the problem of the state and all the Khuti People should be made active member of the nation wide Non-Cooperation movement. As he thought, so was the declaration of Chabilal that “I would try my best until my death” to bring the problem out from its miniature state to the level of provincial problem. Accordingly all the Nepali people joined as active members in that great cause of Nation. The thoughts and feelings and endeavours of Chandra Nath Sharma were expressed and executed and the conference achieved its aims and objectives.

If the soul of Mahatma Gandhi was in search of freedom from the tyranny of British people and British Rule against fellow Indians, the heart of Chabilal Upadhyaya cried for the cruelty of British Administration and British machinery on Kaziranga people. Both of them thought for their people. Chabilal with all the leaders in Assam joined actively with the non-cooperation movement lead by Gandhiji.  He did not leave any stone unturned in the nation wide non-cooperation movement. The blazing flame of brute fire of Kaziranga turned into ever greatest protest as Non-cooperation movement against the British Empire. And Chabilal, was sent to imprisonment for three months. To keep him away from the movement and pro people activities, they tried to tempt him, they tried to divide him with his leaders and followers, they tried to punish him, but of no avail, he remained unmoved in his decision. For his capacity to take right decision in right time, for his heroic manner and bravery, for his pains taking attitude and for his patriotism he became popular among the people and in the state and national level elite society.

He actively participated in the Swaraj Fund of Lokmanya Tilak, and gave company to Karmabir Chandra Nath Sharma. There was a requirement to be fulfilled by the people of Assam which was known as ‘quota’ of the Fund. It was fulfilled before the due time. The British administration could not help itself but snatched back his gun with cartridges and a notice of expulsion was served under the Foreigner’s Act stating Chabilal is a Nepali of Nepal. Chandra Nath Sharma felt sorry for such an act of ‘immorality’ and ‘meanness’ of British bureaucrats. Chabilal exclaimed with joy in such action and said, “   ” meaning “I become happy” (for I have done something for my motherland).

Chabilal thought it appropriate the call of Non-cooperation after the incident of Kaziranga embezzlement and massacre of Jalianwala Baugh. He started with devotion to enlarge the books of record with the new name of volunteers, to boycott the foreign garments, to motivate and emphasize the people to give up the habit of intoxicant material like ale and liquor, puppy and ganja    etc. and to start establishing Swadeshi schools. To help him his companions were Bogiram Saikia, Molan Chandra Sharma, Powal Chandra Bora, Pandit Duttaram Das, Ramlal Upadhyaya, Hari Prasad Upadhyaya, Tikaram Upadhyaya, Brihaspati Upadhyaya, Hari Prasad (Ram Babu) Upadhyaya, Bhishma Prasad Upadhyaya, Troilokyanath Sharma, Kanak Chandra Sharma, Bijoy Sharma, Ram Prasad Agarwala, Jwala Prasad Agarwala, Nabin Chandra Bhattacharya and many more willing workers. To give him timely advice and blessings there were district level leaders and well-wishers who were Chandra Nath Sharma, Lakhidhar Sharma, Amiyo Kumar Das, Mahadev Sharma and Gunabhiram Barua.

Chabilal, when he was in his manhood, full of his morals and creative ideals, his life was moulded and prepared for the benefit of all. He learnt from and experienced with the environment of the state that what was the value of education and culture. He realized that education and culture could only improve the condition of Nepali as well as the greater Assamese community. As was thought, so was the action. With the help of his friends and fellows, he had taken steps to improve the No. 41 Hatibondha Primary School to Hatibondha Combined Middle School. He then took next step to give education for girls and in 1935 Gangmouthan Girls’ M.V. School was established. To give the taste of education and culture he encouraged the youth who were educated and set up an institution called Mazgaon Nepali Theatre Party in 1929, a full- fledged platform with a library which was at that time the second only in the entire North Bank of Brahmaputra leaving Baan Theatre at Tezpur (1901). Step by step he forwarded, he thought, there were no higher education centre from Boronga Bari to Biswanath Chariali. Without a higher educational institution the people could not go ahead. So he thought of a High School and discussed the matter with local people. He explained the need of a high school. He had to appease and convince them all. He proposed to donate the Mazgaon Nepali Theatre Party with its well furnished library for the school, the fiscal value of which at present day would be Rs. 2.5 lakhs . After flowing much water on the subject, a General Body Meeting was held on 26th of February, 1941 at Hatibondha CM School and it decided unanimously to establish “Gangmouthan High school”. Later this was renamed as Behali High School and was upgraded in 1985 to Behali Higher Secondary School. He further added a feather to it by constructing an auditorium in memory of his parent – “Kashi-Bishnu Prekshyagriha”. He extended his help to Biswanath college with a purse of Rupees Thirty thousand only.
He worked for society. In 1928 with the help of his good guys a committee called Abhyuthan Samity was in existence. It cordially received Godan, Bhumi Daan, artha daan or Bastra daan (donation of cows, land, money and clothes respectively) and such donated amount and materials were used for schools, library, theatre and rest was treated as contingency amount for the society. He worked to stop child marriage system from the society. He also acted for women education.

Behali High School had just been completed its first anniversary, on 8th of August,1942, the Congress , at Birla Bhawan, Bombay declared its Quit India Movement. On the way to imprisonment Gandhiji raised his slogan “do or die” to get freedom.

Chabilal Upadhyaya too took the chance. There was movement everywhere in the country. The Second World War was opposed. The demand for freedom was seen everywhere. The teachers and students of Behali High School also went on strike. Village level Primary committees became active. The training of Shanti Sena (Peace Keeping Force of public) started in different places. The Mrityu Bahini or Death Squad were formed and trained in different remote places. They all decided to hoist three numbers of the Congress flags bearing the symbol of Charkha from three different directions. Yet there was non-violent motive. For the people thought if the police or military force peacefully allow them they would offer them garlands and do their pious work of hoisting their beloved Flag  and if any bullet hurt them they would still unfurl the Flag at the roof of the Behali Police Station. So on 20th September,1942 they started for Behali Police Station. The Mrityu Bahini was in the front followed by Shanti Sena and thousands of village people moved with a garland in one hand and a placard on other and on their tongue “Vande Mataram” , “Inclub, Zindavad”, “Swadhin Bharat Ki Jai”. At that time in different parts of India people had a very popular patriotic song which they used to sing  – “Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja,/ Khusi Ke Geet Gaye Ja, / Yah Zindagie Hai Koum Ki, Tu Koum Par Lagaye Ja….”. Unlike Gohpur nothing unwanted was happened at Behali. People won their coveted victory. But the joy and happiness of this victory could not last long. The police started to suppress the movement. On the day of Bhatri Dwitiya (Just a day after Deepawali) the police arrested Chabilal Upadhyaya, his two brothers Ramlal and Hari Prasad followed by Bogiram Saikia, Kumud Chandra Sharma, Rabiram Saikia, Molan Sharma, Dr. Ananda Prasanna Dutta, Sarada Prasanna Dutta, Magur Barua, Baliram Duara, Nandeswar Barua, Roopram Barua, Budheswar Bora, Bishnulal Upadhyaya, Keshab Chandra Sharma, Punyadhar Bora, Baneswar Saikia, Kamala Kanta Bora etc. But others like Lakheswar Hazarika, Mitralal Upahdyaya, Jagannath Bhattarai, Debidutta Poudel, Durga Sharma, Debi Prasad Sharma etc. were working underground.
It would not be out of place to mention here that the three first ladies who joined the Mrityu Bahini (Death squad) and they were Tileswari Mahanta, Gujeswari Devi and Padma Saikia. One Jaman Singh Gole was accused and escaped from the Police custody. He was, it is said, himself a “Platoon”.

Such a great soul of this part of land, Babu – Father of All Assamese-Nepali of the state, left us all on 24th of January,1980. We all the public,  pay our deep regards on this auspicious moment of Platinum Jubilee, 2015-16 of BEHALI HIGHER SECONDARY SCHOOL.

“ I have many things to do. I hope, I would come again to complete my work.” – CHABILAL UPADHYAYA

Ref. Chabilal Upadhyaya- by Late Bishnulal Upadhyaya,
        Shailaputri- Ed. Uma Pokhrel, Gangmouthan
        Behali Darpan-  Behali HS School, Golden Jubilee , Ed-Renu Saharia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Prepared by: Kishore Khatiwarah, Gangmouthan                                                    

Sources - , Wiki
Copyright © Indian Gorkhas. Designed by Darjeeling Web Solutions