Phatte Bahadur Singh

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Phatte Bahadur Singh in 1956.
Front page of Nepal Bhasa Patrika dated 5 November 1960.

Phatte Bahadur Singh (Devanagari: फत्ते बहादुर सिंह्) (1902–1983) was a Nepalese poet and journalist who started the first daily newspaper in Nepal Bhasa. He suffered persecution and was jailed for his activities to develop his mother tongue.[1]

Singh was born in Kathmandu to father Kuldip and mother Dev Lani Singh. He was the grandson of poet Siddhidas Mahaju. Singh published his first poem entitled "Bānmalāhgu Chāl" (meaning "Bad move") in Buddha Dharma wa Nepal Bhasa in 1930.[2]

Imprisonment[edit]

Nepal's autocratic Rana regime disapproved of Nepal Bhasa, and writers and publishers were harassed and imprisoned.[3] Singh was sentenced to life in prison for editing and publishing an anthology of poems by various poets entitled Nepali Bihar in 1939.[4][5] He had the book printed in Bettiah, India and shipped to Nepal. After half of the print run had been sold, the rest of the copies were confiscated.[6]

Singh was in jail from 1941 to 1945, when he was released along with other writers Chittadhar Hridaya and Siddhicharan Shrestha. In 1951, the Ranas were overthrown and democracy was established in Nepal.[7] This brought freedom to publish material in Nepal Bhasa.

Nepal Bhasa Patrika[edit]

On 28 September 1955, Singh launched Nepal Bhasa Patrika (नेपाल भाषा पत्रिका), the first daily newspaper in Nepal Bhasa, as editor and publisher.[1] It was published from Kathmandu and was among the few dailies during the time.[8]

In 1962, Singh was elected president of the Federation of Nepali Journalists.[9] He was president of Nepal Bhasa Parisad (Nepal Bhasa Council) from 1955 to 1960.[2]

Nepal Bhasa Patrika (meaning "Nepal Bhasa Periodical") championed language rights and also reflected the interests of Nepalese business.[10] It ceased publication not long after Singh's death in 1983.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "History of Nepali Journalism". Nepal Press Institute. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Bajracharya, Phanindra Ratna (2003). Who's Who in Nepal Bhasha. Kathmandu: Nepal Bhasa Academy. ISBN 99933-560-0-X. Page 37.
  3. ^ Lienhard, Siegfried (1992). Songs of Nepal: An Anthology of Nevar Folksongs and Hymns. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas. ISBN 81-208-0963-7. Page 4.
  4. ^ Shrestha, Siddhicharan (1992). Siddhicharanya Nibandha ("Siddhicharan's Essays"). Kathmandu: Phalcha Pithana. Page 73.
  5. ^ Tumbahang, Govinda Bahadur (January 2010). "Marginalization of indigenous languages of Nepal". Contributions to Nepalese Studies. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Tuladhar, Prem Shanti (2000). Nepal Bhasa Sahityaya Itihas: The History of Nepalbhasa Literature. Kathmandu: Nepal Bhasa Academy. ISBN 99933-560-0-X. Page 105.
  7. ^ Brown, T. Louise (1996). The Challenge to Democracy in Nepal: A Political History. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-08576-4, 9780415085762. Page 21.
  8. ^ Press Foundation of Asia (1978). Asian Press & Media Directory. Press Foundation of Asia. Page 252.
  9. ^ "Federation of Nepali Journalists: Past and Present". Federation of Nepali Journalists - UK. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Rose, Leo E. (1971). Nepal: Strategy for Survival. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-01643-2, 9780520016439. Page 211.