Thursday Aug 11, 2022
Thursday Aug 11, 2022

Who are the martyrs?


Nepalnews
2022 Jan 30, 8:06,

According to the Nepali Comprehensive Dictionary published by the Nepal Pragya Pratisthan, a martyr is a person who sacrifices his life for the protection of his country, culture, and existence and for the attainment of freedom.

Lately, there have been protests saying that anyone has been declared a martyr. There is no clear criterion of martyrdom even if there is a protest against declaring a person who has been involved in an incident or accident as a martyr as an insult to the country. There have been various comments on the announced martyrs. It seems that there is competition among the political parties for the declaration of martyrdom. Although two commissions have been formed to clarify the definition of martyrs and prepare a list, satisfactory work has not been done.

Lakhan Thapa is considered to be the first martyr of Nepal. Thapa was hanged from a tree near the Manakamana temple in Gorkha on February 11, 1877, on charges of spreading propaganda against the then Rana Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana. Thapa was serving in the then military platoon. However, Thapa was declared a martyr during the tenure of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on September 20, 2015.

Martyr declaration

So far, two commissions have been formed to determine the number of martyrs. The commission was formed under the convener ship of former minister Modnath Prashrita on December 9, 2066 BS, and chaired by Nawaraj Subedi in 2068 BS also submitted its report. However, Khilanath Dahal, chairman of the Martyrs' Memorial Foundation, says that the two commissions have not been able to end the controversy over the martyrs. He said that the Political Victims Relief Fund, formed in 2048 BS under the coordination of former Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, had also worked on the issue. The fund had also published a book on the subject. It is still called the Red Book because of its red color.


Prashrita said that the four martyrs who wanted to die without apologizing for the country and the people should be considered as first-class martyrs. He said that even though he did not know that he would die while doing good deeds, the report was submitted that those who died due to the cause would be martyred. Knowing that such martyrs are being killed, it cannot be compared to a martyr who is ready to die and shoots himself in the chest.


The government had provided financial assistance of Rs. One lakh each to the 19 martyrs who were martyred in the people's movement for restoration of democracy in 2046 BS. Similarly, 26 people who were martyred during the people's movement of 2062 BS were declared martyrs. The families of these martyrs were also provided financial assistance at the rate of Rs. 1 million. The government does not have clear statistics on the other martyrs, even though the statistics have been searched twice. After the people's movement of 2062 BS, people who died in various movements and incidents were also declared martyrs.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has stated that 190 people who were killed in various agitations on January 17, 2074 BS have been declared martyrs. The ministry has stated that it has started compiling statistics of all the martyrs and keeping clear records. However, the ministry does not have a clear answer on how many martyrs have been declared so far. The government had declared 1,619 people as martyrs on June 23, 2010, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction. Similarly, the government has declared 6,344 people as martyrs on December 24, 2008, but no official statistics have been available.

Also, the exact number of people killed in the Tarai-Madhesh movement and various identity movements across the country has not been ascertained. The government set up various commissions to ascertain the number of people killed and injured in the protests. The commission was also tasked with defining martyrs.

The families of the martyrs have complained that the recent practice of declaring a person who has lost his life in a fight or an accident as a martyr and pressuring for financial assistance of Rs. 1 million has hurt the spirit of a real martyr. Former coordinator of the task force Subedi says that even if all martyrs are heroes, not all heroes can be martyrs. He said that those who shot him in the chest despite knowing that he would die would be declared martyrs and others would be declared heroes.

Although the information of some of those who were declared martyrs at different times has been published in the Nepal Gazette, the Ministry of Home Affairs does not have all the official statistics. The ministry had sent a proposal to the cabinet meeting to declare 2,807 of the four security forces killed in various movements in 2074 BS as martyrs. Of them, 1,018 are from Nepal Army, 1,448 from Nepal Police, 318 from Armed Police Force, and 23 from National Investigation Department. The state has been providing Rs 1 million to his family since he was declared a martyr recently.

Martyr's Day is celebrated every year on Magh 16 of the Nepali calendar with various programs in memory of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the establishment and restoration of democracy and freedom of different periods. Various programs have been held by announcing the celebration of Martyr's Week with various programs from 10 to 16 January. Martyrs' Day has been celebrated on Magh 16 every year since 2012 BS under the coordination of Kathmandu Metropolitan City.

Martyr Shukraraj Shastri was executed by the Rana ruler on January 23, 1941 at Pachali in Teku, Kathmandu, on January 26 at Mathema in Sifal and Gangalal Shrestha and Dasharath Chand at Shobhabhagwati.

The National Martyrs' Memorial has been abandoned for fourteen years

On the other hand, the National Martyrs' Memorial being constructed at Gokarneshwar in the northeastern part of the Kathmandu Valley has been vacant for 14 years as per the decision of the Council of Ministers on May 25, 2007, in memory of the martyrs who were martyred in the last independence movement from Lakhan Thapa. It is said that the construction of the monument is being carried out by the Ministry of Forest and Environment through the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction under the Ministry of Urban Development after the dismissal of the Ministry.

Chairman of the Yagyadol (Jagdol) Community Forest Group Sudarshan Sigdel said that the government has decided to relocate the statues of four martyrs of Gate to Gokarna after the completion of the construction of the memorial. The memorial construction committee has stated that the construction of the Martyrs' Museum, Library, and other structures is for those who want to conduct research on martyrs in the 650 ropani area of ​​Jagdol (Yagyadol) Community Forest in Gokarna has reached the final stage.

Until 2063 BS, Martyrs' Day was celebrated by the state with a special program at Martyr's Gate. National holidays were also given on that day. After that, a special program has been started at the Martyrs' Memorial in Lanchaur. Various organizations have been holding programs in Sahid Gate to celebrate the day.

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