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PHOTO ESSAY


Perhaps the Allied Victory Parade in London held on 10th of June 1946 was the Swan Song of the British Empire before it started unraveling a year later with the independence of India (and Pakistan). Looking at the photograph of the Nepalese contingent led by my father Major General Kiran Shumsher J. B. Rana marching past the grandstand where King George VI is taking the salute, I can only marvel at the empire that was! How soldiers from the Himalayan foothills found their common cause with the rest of the empire, fighting in Gallipoli, Monte Casino and Burma is well documented in history.

I recently read an acerbic columnist asserting that the Nepalese contribution to quash the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 was the act of a vassal state. A nation must act to protect its own interest first and foremost. If our present day leaders were as far-sighted as Jung Bahadur, Nepal would not be unraveling today!

Comments

  1. Hi Subodh,

    I read some more of your postings. I must admit that they have changed my former opinion of you. I think you are seriously trying to document your feelings and what you knew to be true.

    Obviously, I have found quite a few errors here and there. I was totally shocked the way you wrote about kazi Karbir Khatri. Khatri doesn't have anyone to defend him now, but he had every right to dislike a young man who killed most of his friends in Kot and Bhandar, went to London and did laspas with courtesans and so on. I like Jung too, for he was a man of extraordinary flamboyance and meant good for the country, but it is sad that a wise man like Khatri was pissed off in the court at his advanced age, rather than taking advantage of such a man. It is obvious that if you and I were at the position of Kaji khatri, we would have disliked Jung too.

    Besides these minor stuffs, I agree with lots of things you wrote. I also congratulate you for contributing to our country's tourism sector. Hope new found peace will lead to prosperity for all of us. Please continue to write things, but also remember that as a Rana rule beneficiary, you can very easily rub people in the wrong way, if you hint that somehow Rana or royal rules were far better than current system.

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  2. Dear Ranaji,
    The earlier comment has it all. Ranaji, you are above all an excellent writer and I regret not finding your blog earlier. The reason why I like your blog is because you are not very biased or prejudiced. True that you have very brightly pictured your father, who seems to be an important but forgotten man, but still you know how Rana histories are. If I read from the POV of a non-Rana historian, every Rana is a self serving aristocrat, just a figure not a person. If I read Padma Jung Jung Bahadur appears to be a demigod; if I read Diamond Shumsher, I am appalled to see how untrustworthy Shumshers were; If I read Purushottam Shumsher, he is nearly silent about Bir Shumsher's saving accounts in foreign banks, but castigates Juddha Shumsher for emptying the silver reserves and issuing paper currency. You have not favoured one Rana Prime Minister over other, so I continue to enjoy the read.

    P.S. I would love to read something about Chandra Shumsher, I am sure you know something that most people don't know about him.

    Best Wishes,
    Uttam

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