The Significance of National Independence in Nepal
Posted by n3wday on February 22, 2010
This article was published in the Red Star.
Movement for National Independence
Even in the period of peace process, the Nepalese people are in the street for the protection of their civil rights, which is civilian supremacy. The feudalism has been beheaded and imperialism has been warned to hands off country by the justice loving people of Nepal. Still the remnants of feudalism and their imperialist allies are trying their best to strengthen anti-people alliance for the continuation of feudal-colonial exploitation over Nepal and Nepalese people.
For the breakdown of the anti-people alliance and for the institutionalization of the civilian rights and civilian supremacy, Nepalese people are in the campaign of liberation that is run under the leadership of a largest party of the Constituent Assembly (CA), UCPN Maoist. Even after the Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed, the feudal-imperial alliance was made when the civilian supremacy was being institutionalised through the sovereign CA under the leadership of the elected government. However, at the same time, the elected government was forced to resign and military supremacy, in place of the civilian supremacy, was maintained throuth the unconstitutional step of President Ram Baran Yadav.
People are chanting their slogans from the street for the review of all the unequal and secret treaties and agreements that were made with British Company and even with India, after the liberation from British Raj. There is factual truth in the demands to review the old treaties and agreements through which feudal and colonial exploitation were yoked together over the Nepalese people almost since the same time when the feudal unification began.
Therefore, to smash the institutional foundation of anti-people alliance of these two from the beginning, Nepalese people should run the struggle ahead to create obligatory situation to review all those treaties; and after the review new treaties and the agreements should be made. Therefore, the struggle for national independence and civilian supremacy has appeared side by side.
The feudalism stands against civilian supremacy and imperial-expansionism stands against independency. Sugauli Treaty of 1816 is feudal-imperial joint exploitation because it was the defeat of patriots and victory of the lackeys. Since then, the lackeys are being empowered and patriots are being powerless up to the initiation of the historic People’s War. People’s War itself is beautiful combination of the movement of national independence and civilian supremacy.
Ranas, the British puppets, always tried to keep the people in darkness by suppressing and terrorizing them. The rulers of the Panchayat system had their Mandale nationality, which was nationalism without democracy that was feudal in its character. Nepali congress and even UML plead democracy without nationalism that is a new form of capitulation. They rarely talk about nationalism.
Nevertheless, after the initiation of People’s War, a historic mass awareness aroused and the question of liberation was developed into its new height. The true representative for the liberation of the people or the political party is in the existence now and it is leading the campaign in an effective way. The history of patriotism from Balbhadra Kunwar to Bhim Datta Panta and the historic sacrifice of a decade long People’s War has merged all the struggles and the movements into a same garland. The lackeys are being weaker and they have lost their objective ground to rule over people.
The present government of Nepal, the puppet government under the leadership of Madav Nepal, has been isolated from the people and it has been exposed; the step of president Yadav has been problem to the entire nation.
In course of maintaining the hegemony in South Asia, Indians rulers are being American lackeys and they are being isolated from the crores of toiling Indian people and the neighbouring countries. Contrary, the campaign of the Nepalese people for national independency is getting support internationally.
Gorkha-British War (1814)
Patriotic warriors, soldiers and commanders tried to make the country independent along with the unification of Nepal. However, it had feudal character in its essence rather than democratic. The campaign of unification was advancing ahead; forts were made stronger for the security of the nation. Feudal patriotic awareness was aroused nation-wide. The sense of patriotism, even though it was feudal in its character, was dangerous for the British Company, which had just extended its colony over Indian continent. The existence of the independent hilly nation, with its strategic location, was really a problem to them.
British had successfully captured India because it was divided into smaller states at that time. However, there were some states left to come under British colony. Bhimsen Thapa, the then Prime Minister of Nepal, wanted to make a broader alliance with Punjab Gwaliyar and Maratha to chase the British Colonialists from South Asia.
At that time, economic condition of Nepal was very proporous. The trade with Tibet was very beneficial and Nepal had purchased some weapons for the security of the nation. It was danger for the colonialists and they had collected some information from Nepal. On the other hand, they wanted to expand their trade to Tibet through Nepal. British were looking for opportunities to attack over Nepal. British governor Marqish of Hastings declared war against Nepal by writing a letter of threat to the government of Nepal to abandon the Nepalese land Syuraj and Butwal in 1814.
The government rejected the proposal and Nepalese brave warriors fought for two years. However, because of the lack of farsighted opinion and the tendency of the capitulation of Nepalese ruling class, specially, the kings of Nepal made a signature on Suguali Treaty. According to the treaty, Nepal had to abandon Darjeeling and the plain land of Terai from east to the west. British colonialists established their Embassy at Kathmandu and repeatedly interfered into the internal affairs of the country. Similarly, they were able to create contradiction among ruling class and brought Ranas, the reliable lackeys ahead.
Nepalese patriotic captains were taking their responsibilities in different forts of the boarder area of Nepal. British had cunningly made its military strategy to scatter brave Nepalese warriors for the guarantee of their victory because they were already defeated by the Nepalese people in Sindhuligarhi. Therefore, they attacked over Nepal from different blockades.
Balbhadra Kunwar was holding command in the fort of Nalapani, five miles far from Deharadhoon. He had no more than 600 armies including women and children. General Gillespie from British side had sent a letter to Balbhadra Kunwar to surrender before them. But, Balbhadra Kundwar said, “We are not habituated to open letter at night, I will meet Gillespie soon”. And, he tore the letter without reading it.
Next day, the war began. It was 30 October 1814. General Gillespie was wounded and dead later. Nepalese brave soldiers and women and children fought during a month. British colonial armies were continuously besieging the fort from outside. They stopped the source of drinking water from its spring.
A month later, Balbhadra Kunwar came out of the fort of Nalapani with his soldiers, women and children with their bare knives on 30th November 1814. He challenged British colonial armies by addressing “It was impossible for you to get victory over the fort; however, I willingly abandon it”.
Amarsingh Thapa in Malaun Fort
Amarsingh Thapa had taken responsibility for the security of Malaun fort. He was with his co-warriors there. He had extended the boarder of Nepal far west to Satlaj in course of unification. He fought bravely against the British army under the command of Ochterlony. However, Amarsingh Thapa had to abandon the fort due to the continuous attack of British army with sophisticated weapons and at the same time there was no assistance from the centre Kathmandu.
Likewise, Bhakti Thapa was fighting in the Fort of Surajgarh. He was accompanied with 200 Nepalese armies. As the British army tried to enter, he attacked over them with knives, stones, swords and the arrows they had. After a short time fighting, he got martyrdom in the battle field. At that time, the king and his councilors in Kathmandu were luxuriously staying without plan and strategy for war. Rather, they were waiting to welcome the messengers from British Company to make treaty. And, they signed on the Sugauli Treaty in 1816.