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Showing posts from May, 2013


The booming cannon volleys heralding Nepal's transformation to a republic for the 5th year running woke me up from my deep slumber even as the motley crew of the canine population of our neighbourhood started their protests in a hideous cacophony of yelps and barks, growls and howls. Staring outside my window I was transported to another time, another place.

The cannons boomed seventeen salutes to the person who had just been re-installed in the Roll of Succession in the Rana rule of Nepal. General Jagat Jung Bahadur Rana watched the cannon salute from his palace at Manohara Durbar with a telescope he had imported from England. From his vantage point he, Jagat, could watch the whole of Thapathali Durbar his father's palace where he grew up, Tundikhel the vast parade ground, the spire of Dharahara built by Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa and the three eyes painted on the stupa atop a hill beyond Kathmandu city. He felt that justice had been finally done as he was the rightful heir…


The news travelled quickly on galloping horseback in the chilly November night; it was relayed with cupped hands next to alarmed ears from house to house, street corner to street corner. Maharajah Ranauddip Singh had been assassinated and those on the Roll of Succession were the next target. Once powerful sons of Maharajah Jung Bahadur Rana would be hounded and hunted like common criminals in the unfolding saga of Rana rule in Nepal.

The root of discontent within the ruling clan was the advocacy of Maharani Hari Priya Devi in favour of General Jagat Jung Bahadur Rana, the eldest son of the illustrious Maharajah Jung Bahadur, now dead. She was in favor of pardoning Jagat, known as "Mukhiya Jarnel", and bringing him back from exile and restoring him to the Roll of Succession to the post of prime minister and Maharajah of Kaski and Lamjung. Her hen-pecked husband and uncle of Jagat Jung Maharajah Ranauddip Singh was the prime minister of Nepal. Although nephew Jagat had plotted…