Lakhan Thapa

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Lakhan Chowk at Pokhara

Lakhan Thapa Magar (1835–1877) was a Nepali revolutionary whom Nepal government has declared "The First Martyr of Nepal"[1] He was the first revolutionary leader who, for the first time in history, resisted the government in Nepal namely: the rule of the Rana dynasty 1846 - 1950. He rebelled against the tyranny of Jang Bahadur Rana. He was supported by his close friend Jay Singh Chumi Magar. Jaya Singh Chumi was his minister. He propagandized his political ideology to destroy the Jung Bahadur Rana regime, to form a free state and army.[2]

Kot Massacre of 1846[edit]

The mysterious killing of General Gagan Singh Khawas, followed the Kot Massacre of September 14, 1846 that catapulted the Ranas into power to last for 104 years. The reigning queen wanted to know the murderer of General Gagan Singh Khawas. General Abhiman Singh Basnyat, who was the first General or Commander-in-Chief of Nepal Army[3] had known who the killer was. Jung Bahadur Rana, therefore shot him at his chest and the dying General Abhiman Singh Rana Magar, shouted, "Junge was the killer of Gagan Singh"("गगन सिंहको हत्त्यारा जंगे नै हो"). It is understandable that Junga Bahadur Rana had to finish all nobles in the royal house and other in the country, that included ethnic leaders like Lakhan Thapa Magar to secure his position. His iron-fisted rule scared people in the country.

Resistance[edit]

Lakhan Thapa Magar, a man of great courage could not tolerate it. He organized some youths that included ex-army men also from his area and began to protest against the government. Later Jung Bahadur Rana knew it and sent his troops to Gorkha. The troops captured and hanged him to death with his friend Ajay Singh Chumi Magar. Some historians write the government captured other 50 youths also and hanged all of them along with Lakhan Thapa Magar. But one of the descendants of Jung Bahadur Rana has otherwise dismissed Magar's martyrdom.[4] But all renowned historians of Nepal have attested that Lakhan Thapa Magar was hanged to death.[5] Junga Bahadur Rana had risen to power with brutal massacre of the nobles of Nepal Durbar. The Kot Massacre was the beginning of 'black days' of Nepalese history. Junga Bahadur Rana was a ruthless ruler. It can't be even imagined such a cruel ruler, who had risen to power through conspiracy and bloodbath would have left anyone unharmed, who had opposed him so vigorously for the first time.

Another historian and then Director General of Nepal Government's Department of Archaeology has written[6] that Jung Bahadur Rana's tyrannic rule had reached its optimum limit; people had suffered beyond imagination. Therefore, Thapa Magar began to organize people against the government. Taking some ex-army-men into his organization, Thapa Magar began a rebellion from Bunkot, Kahule Bhangar in Gorkha. People overwhelmingly supported Thapa Magar's movement. His organization grew leaps and bounds. In the meantime, government secret service agents reported what Thapa Magar was doing against the Rana regime. That was a 'first ever political movement against any Nepalese government' which was totally corrupt and tyrannic, extremely unpopular and fundamentally against the public interest. Jung Bahadur Rana thought, he must stop the rebellion or else he had no future. So, Jung Bahadur sent his troops to crush the rebellion. While Lakhan Thapa Magar and his seven friends were in a secret meeting, the government army got into there and captured all of them. The troops searched and found 60 guns and other arms and ammunition also. Thapa Magar and other captives, arms and ammunition were brought into Kathmandu.

Jung Bahadur thought to eliminate Thapa Magar and other rebels and ordered to hang them. After sometime, Thapa Magar was hanged in front of his residence in Bungkot and rest other seven were hanged near Manokamana temple.[7]

Death[edit]

Lakhan Thapa Magar was hanged to death by the central Rana government on February 27, 1877. Some historians draw parallel between Lakhan Thapa Magar and Bhagat Singh (Punjabi: ਭਗਤ ਸਿੰਘ بھگت سنگھ]) (28 September 1907[7] – 23 March 1931) of India.

Family tree[edit]

Lakhan Thapa Magar's Siblings:

  • Ram Thapa Magar (older brother) and;
  • Dhana Mala sister.

When the regime hanged Thapa to death, his family fled Gorkha. His wife and children took refuge in Rumjatar, east Nepal at some Limbu household for sometime and then again to Darjeeling, India.

  • Thapa Magar's wife and Children : Both his wife and son's name is not known.
  • Martyr Thapa Magars' Grandson: His grandson was Karbir Thapa Magar who had a son: Hem Dal Thapa and a daughter (name unknown). n Hem Dal Thapa had a son Padam Bahadur Thapa and daughter Shuva Kumari Thapa.

Padam Bahadur Thapa has two sons: Binod Thapa Magar, Bidhan Thapa Magar and four daughters: Shakun Thapa, Rukmini Thapa, Malati Thapa and Sudha Thapa. They all live in Darjeeling today.

Shuva Kumari Thapa has also two sons Rohit Thapa Magar, Shyam Thapa Magar and four daughters: Pawitra Thapa, Sumitra Thapa, Sabita Thapa and Lalita Thapa.

Shuva Kumari Thapa was in Kathmandu in 2002.She was honoured by Martyr Lakhan Thapa Memorial Foundation amidst a function in Kathmandu, Nepal.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In 1874 (1932 BS), Lakhan Thapa gathered people in Gorkha to protest against the Ranas, Jung Bahadur in particular. All the protesters were arrested and most, including Lakhan Thapa, were hanged to death. Lakhan Thapa was killed for political reasons and so is considered Nepal's first martyr. Nepali Times
  2. ^ "जंग बहादुरले नेपाल लाई म्लेछेलाई बेच्यो, दुनियालाई त्राही त्राही परिरहेको छ , जंगेलाई हटाई नेपालमातालाइ पापको बोझबाट हल्का गरेर नेपालमा सत्य युग फिराऊं भन्ने जगदम्बा कालिमाताले मलाइ वरदान दिएकिछन् | लौ भाइ हो तयार होउ " भनि उनले निक्कै मानिसहरुको दल खडा गरे |Bhim Bhaktaman Singh - Nepal - 2005 pp 68
  3. ^ tulsiram vaidhya, vijay kumar manandhar and premsingh basnyat. 2009. military history of Nepal part 2. kathmandu: army Headquarter. p.417.
  4. ^ " जंगको हत्या गर्न भनि लखन थापा को दलले गोरखामा षड्यन्त्र रच्यो |लखन थापा प्रथम पटक पक्राऊ परे | केरकार गर्दा हात जोडी "फगत् प्राण पाल्नका निमित्त औतारी बनि टोपलेको हुँ" भन्ने बयान गरेकाले केहिदिन कैदमा राखी छोडियो |" Puroshottam Sumshwer JB Rana " Shri Teenharku Tathya Britant" PP 51
  5. ^ Chapter 5: The Messianic and rebel King Lakhan Thapa, Utopia and Ideology among the Magars notes that Lakhan Thapa had become synonymous with "ridiculous person" in the Nepali language till history and actions were rediscovered in the 1990s by the concerned group of intellectuals. Eventually he is rehabilitated as the official martyr of Nepal. He is a hero, a king and a messianic for the Magars today.Contributions to Nepalese Studies, Jan, 2009 by Dilli Ram Dahal
  6. ^ Janak Lal Sharma - a renowned archaeologist,writer and director general, a recipient of Sajha Prize for his book -हाम्रो समाज : एक अध्ययन - Hamro Samaj: Ek Adhyayan - 2036
  7. ^ "आठ पहरिया दलले ती सबै ब्यक्ति र सामान समेत जंग बहादुर लाइ ल्यायर बुझायो | जंगबहादुरलाई शस्त्रास्त्र समेतको संगठन देखेर निक्कै आश्चर्य लाग्यो | उनले यस संगठनलाई जरैदेखि निर्मूल पार्ने विचार गरे | निर्मूल पार्ने सबभन्दा सजिलो उपाय थियो संगठन्कर्तालाई निर्मूल पार्नु | त्यस कारण जंगबहादुरले लखन थापा र उनका ७ जान साथीलाई फासीको सजाय सुनाए र उनीहरुलाई फैसला सुनाएको निक्कै समय पछी लखन थापालाई आफ्नै मठमा र अरु ७ जनालाई मनकामनामा लगेर झुन्द्याइयो | लखन थापाको मठको विशाल भाग्नावासेश अद्यापि बुग्कोटबाट नाम्जुंग जाने बाटामा अवस्थित छ र त्यहाका स्थानीय जनताले बिर्सेका छैनन् |" लखन थापा द्वितीयको पर्व : जनक लाल शर्मा २०२० - पन्ना ९१
  8. ^ Sanchhipta Magar Itihas - 2003: pp 80

References[edit]

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