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Ganeshman Singh: Super Iron Man

Issue November 2017 From archive

Ganeshman Singh: Super Iron Man

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Folks! Whatever we have today is thanks to the iron man like Ganeshman that had sacrificed the most luxurious life he could enjoy, for the sake of the welfare of the common folks like you and me. Today, we have the free media, almost all sorts of human rights anybody could list, and business and employment opportunities in the country and abroad, as the super human like Ganeshman and his fellow political activists fought for us not caring about the risk to their lives not to mention the comfort they could enjoy without involving in the political activities at that time. September 18 brings back the memories of this immortal great man Ganeshman in the history of Nepal.


I would not have been what I am today in other words I would not be writing this write-up in English had Ganeshman not fought for the freedom of speech, for democracy, and for the fundamental rights of the people to prosperity in 1940s and 1950s, as I would not have an opportunity to go to school, and then for further schooling to make me the man as I am today.


I was born in early 1940s when the then Rana autocrat Juddha Shumsher hanged two young brave men such as Sukraraj Shastri (Joshi) and Dharma Bhakta Mathema to death, and another two equally brave and young men such as Dashrath Chanda and Ganaga Lal Shrestha shot to dead, other men saved because of their caste were Tanka Prasad Acharya and Ram Hari Sharma but sent to the life imprisonment for demanding basic human rights.


Ganeshman and other fellow political activists carried on the political activities those extraordinarily brave young men set in motion despite knowing that they were risking their lives and even knowing that they could be either hanged or shot dead. Ganeshman even did not care about the luxury life he could have following the family tradition of serving in the Rana administration at that time.


Brave man such as Ganeshman rather went to jail and became even prepared to face the bullets and the hangman of the Rana rulers, and remained in the jail with other political coworkers. He chose the hard life in jail rather than the cozy bed sharing with his newly wedded spouse in the comfortable home.


He managed to break away from the jail and made himself free from the bonds of the Shah-Rana rule and escaped to India. However, BP Koirala the then president of Nepali Congress: a Nepalese political party in India sent him back to Nepal knowing that Ganeshman would land in the jail again because Ganeshman was an arch rival for the top position BP held in the political party, and BP did not want to see him in India.


As anticipated Ganeshman landed in the jail as he could not evaded the spy network of the Rana administration. Soon, he was back to his colleagues in jail. He could have better contribute to the people’s revolution rather than helplessly sitting in the jail. However, that was what BP wanted for him. But Ganeshman remained faithful to BP during the political life.


Ganeshman was in jail in Kathmandu when BP gave in to the tripartite agreement done in New Delhi in February 1951 on returning the power from the Ranas to the then King Tribhuvan. With the tripartite agreement the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru brokered, the Rana prime minister would hand out the power the Ranas had monopolized for 104 years back to the then King Tribhuvan, and set in the rule of Shah king practically giving nothing to the people that had shed blood for abolishing the Rana rule.


Ganeshman vehemently opposed the agreement and wanted to fight for the political rights to the finish but his voice BP did not listen to, and King Tribhuvan returned to Nepal triumphantly while placing the heroes of the people’s revolution on the backburner. Later on, Tribhuvan became the real king not a puppet as had been during the Rana period whereas Ganeshman and his fellow political activists that had risked the lives for tearing down the Rana autocracy became less than the common folks.


The subsequent events put Ganeshman and his fellow BP in the Sundari jail for seven years and other numerous political activists in jail; many strong activists even lost their lives being the victims of the despotic king Mahendra in 1960s because of the one great mistake BP committed in 1951 submitting to the tripartite agreement that made the last Rana Prime Minister Mohan Shumsher the first prime minister of the democratic Nepal, and the smooth transfer of power from the Ranas to the Shahs. How could the despotic Rana prime minister be the first prime minister of the democratic Nepal if BP had not given in to the transfer of power to the then King Tribhuvan?


Ganeshman never did surrender to the Ranas, as he had held a grudge against Ranas because of the humility he had to suffer at the hands of the then Ranas. He did never submit to the king either after the Ranas had gone. He wanted republic not the constitutional democracy modeled in the British system but his fellow political activist BP who was conjoined with the then King Mahendra at the neck did not agree with Ganeshman. The result was a life-long denial of political activities not only to BP but also to the fellow political coworker such as Ganeshman.


However, Ganeshman never gave up his vision for making Nepal a democratic country. In 1990s when the situation had been conducive to the people’s movement for democracy again, Ganeshman put all the broken pieces of the political parties together, and made an united front of the democrats and leftists following the doctrine of the communist leader Pushpa Lal, and fought against the then King Birendra.


Ganeshman got the tile of the Supreme Leader means leader of both the democratic and leftist forces put together. The fight went on for 49 days under the strong leadership of Ganeshman in 1990. Ganeshman and his spouse Mangal Devi: a life as well as political partner landed in the jail but later on transfer to the Bir Hospital for the medical treatment.


Ganeshman commanded the people’s movement from the hospital. The then King Birendra and his henchmen tried every possible trick to break up the people’s movement prematurely but uncompromising Ganeshman did not yield to the lure or the threat of the despotic ruler. He stood up to the challenge King Birendra and his sycophants posed to, making King Birendra bow down to the demand of the united front of the democrats and leftists for the dissolve of the Panchayat system and reinstatement of the multi-party democracy lost to his father King Mahendra in 1960.


Ganeshman became a super hero, supreme leader, and some folks even called him the father of democracy but his fame and reputation had been the victim of Girija Prasad Koirala in 1990s, as he had been the victim of BP in 1950s. By the time of his death, Ganeshman became disillusioned with the politics and the corruption going on with the politics, and died without achieving his lifelong mission to make Nepal a corruption free democratic country.


However, his contribution to democracy and making Nepal a democratic country and prosperous has been tremendous. Had he not commanded the joint front of the democrats and leftists to topple down the Panchayat, and had he not worked together with the leftists, he would have simply died as BP did without putting democracy back.


Ganeshman’s contribution to make Nepal democratic country has made hundreds of thousands of youths possible to go abroad and work for the families and for the country. Billions of NPR would not have flowed in the country had not Ganeshman fought for democracy and for the fundamental rights of the common folks. The country would not have hundreds of FM radios, private TVs, and newspapers in other words the so vibrant private media to keep the State administration alert all the time.


We would not have so many medical colleges, technical colleges and IT institutions and other private schools, hospitals, the flourishing private business making so many super markets available, super apartment buildings, housing areas and so on today, had Ganeshman not shed his luxurious life for the hard and risky political life fighting for the basic rights of the common folks.


Our children would have been reading the same Mahendra-Mala textbooks made in praise of the despot King Mahendra; our youths would have been wasting their lives working for the kings and queens; our people would have been wasting millions if not billions of NPR for the luxury of the king and the queen, had Ganeshman smartly not worked for the people and the country during his lifetime.


Even today, some people that had been henchmen of the king and his Panchayat system have been shouting for reinstating the monarchy in other words making the common folks the slaves of the despots again even though those henchmen are aware of reinstating the monarchy is as impossible as giving a life to a dead body. They have been doing so for paying off the debt to the enemy of the people.


Paying tribute to Ganeshman means remembering his great selfless deeds done for the people and for the country. His contribution to bringing democracy to the country made me what I am today otherwise I would have been one of the illiterate persons lost in the history of 240 years of the Shah-Rana rulers. I hope Ganeshman and his spouse Mangal Devi must have been enjoying the most politically and socially satisfying life in the cosmic world that their colleagues had denied them in the human world.


September 17, 2017

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