Thursday, February 7, 2013

The First Martyr of Nepal - Lakhan Thapa

“Lakhan Thapa Should be Declared as the First Martyr of Nepal” – Nepali New Yorker

 By Abhishek Agarwal

New York- Last Sunday on 12th February 2012 the federation of Indigenous People of Nepal in America along with Magar Association USA, Inc. held the 135th Lakhan Thapa Memorial day at the Himalayan Yak Restaurant in Jackson Heights in Queens, New York. Lakhan Thapa Magar was born in 1835 and hung by the Rana Regime in 1877. He was a Nepali revolutionary and Freedom fighter fighting against the Oppression and Tyrannical rule of the Rana Dynasty. He was also conferred the honor of being known as “the first martyr of Nepal”. He has been labeled such by the Nepali Magar ethnic and Indigenous group as he was one of the very first revolutionaries to take a stand and inspire a resistance to the government in Nepal namely: the rule of the Rana Dynasty 1846 -1950. He rebelled against the rule of Jang Bahadur Rana. He was supported by his close friend Jay Singh Chunni Magar. Lakhan Thapa declared himself king of his free state.

According to Dipesh Limbu the General Secretary of federation of Indigenous People of Nepal in America who served as the Emcee and helped in Organizing the event said ” Freedom Fighter and Revolutionaries like Lakhan Thapa Magar need to be acknowledged and given the honor and respect they deserve when taking the names of the great Martyrs of Nepal”.
The Purpose and motive behind the event was to educate the people of the sacrifice of Lakhan Thapa Magar and his immense contribution to the great cause of revolution against the tyrannical rule of the Rana Monarchy. In addition to this the event was also organized with the sole intention to highlight a significant and important aspect, that Lakhan Thapa Magar was indeed the First Martyr of Nepal. His name should be acknowledged along with other great Martyr’s of Nepal namely “Dharma Bhakta Mathema”, “Ganga Lal Shreshtha”, “Dashrath Chand” and “Shukraraj Shastri” who sacrificed their lives fighting Oppression and the abolishment of complete rule of the Rana Regime.
The event also Highlighted a need to educate the new generation and made a sincere appeal to its youth to not forget the people who willingly sacrificed their lives for their country but to become a symbol for a new awakening that is required in today’s time when all Nepal sees at the moment is huge Political turmoil and Political upheaval. The appeal also stretched towards respecting their fallen heroes and to try and learn and imbibe from them a lesson about their great heritage, their culture, their customs and their great legacy and to understand the reason behind their great sacrifice.
When Jung Bahadur Rana decided to eliminate Thapa and other rebels he ordered them to be hung so as to make an example out of them and anybody else harboring notions of joining a revolution have their faith shattered. After sometime, Thapa was hung in front of his residence in Bungkot and the rest of his accomplice were hung near Manokamana temple. Lakhan Thapa was hanged to death by the central Rana government on February 27, 1877.
The event was a success in terms of various prominent leaders of the Nepalese Community gracing the event and addressing the public and regaling the crowd with words of praise and importance of the role played by LakhanThapa Magar and his contribution to Nepal and lending his hand in the fight against oppression and fighting for freedom.

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