KATHMANDU, Oct 16: Centenarian Satya Mohan Joshi passed away at the age of 103 on Sunday.
Joshi was undergoing treatment at Kist Medical College in Gwarko, Lalitpur. He was admitted to Kist Hospital on September 23 due to health complications. According to Joshi's family, his body will be kept using chemicals for study at KIST Hospital.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and others have expressed profound sorrow over the demise of Joshi.
Nepal Republic Media (NRM) had honored culture expert Joshi as Nagarik Hero 2019 for his selfless and inspiring contribution to society. Three-time Madan Puraskar laureate Joshi was honored for his contribution in the promotion of Nepali culture and art.
We have decided to republish an article Republica published on April 25, 2019 on the life and achievements of late Joshi.
Our heads bow in obeisance when we remember culture expert Satya Mohan Joshi. Even as a centenarian, he is equally active in the promotion of social awareness, folk culture and in literature.
Every individual wishes to be happy. While some devote their life to the happiness of their families, others find happiness in serving others.
But those who live for the cause of society deserve our special recognition and respect. Social activist and culture expert Satya Mohan Joshi is one such legendary figure.
Our heads bow in obeisance when we remember Joshi. Already a centenarian, he keeps himself active in promoting social awareness, folk culture and in literature.
His life has been so meaningful due to his principle of simple living and high thinking. This has brought him satisfaction in life. He is recognized as 'Century Literary Person' for his invaluable contribution to culture, story writing, poetry and various other forms of literature.
Madan Puraskar is a highly prized award in Nepali literature. The stature of a litterateur receiving this award increases suddenly. There is a jump in popularity . And it is only Joshi who has secured this coveted award thrice in his life. The course of that life has been charted not by others, but by himself. Continuous hard work and dedication help build one's life. This is what Joshi's life shows .
A person is evaluated on the basis not of age but the contribution made by that person. What matters is how a person has lived his life. On May 13 this year, this 'Century Literary Person' is stepping into his 100th year. Age has never obstructed his mission to contribute to society and to the nation. His life teaches us to love for our nation and our culture.
The life of the Century Person is like an open university. It is a good example of how much good a person can do in one's lifetime. Let's begin with Joshi's Madan Puraskars.
The first book that earned Joshi this prestigious award in 2013 BS is his “Our Folk Culture'. It contains various duet songs, folk songs and other typical songs collected in Western Nepal. Joshi again received the award in 2017 BS for his work, 'Nepali National Currency'. He has made a huge effort to collect, investigate and study the coins that were in use in Nepal since the earliest times.
And it was the book 'Karnali Folk Culture' that earned him the Madan Puraskar for the third time in 2028 BS. Five persons including Joshi were awarded for the work. Joshi, along with linguist Chuda Mani Bandhu, geologist Janga Bahadur Singh, singer Pradip Rimal and government employee Bihari Krishna Shrestha had gone to Sinja—the place of origin of the Nepali language—and lived there for two months to study the folk culture of the Karnali region.
Joshi's contribution is not limited to folk literature. He has a deep interest in the study of other cultural and archaeological heritage.The first elected prime minister of Nepal BP Koirala appointed him director general of the Department of Archaeology (DoA). Joshi is credited with establishing the National Coins Museum at Hanumandhoka, the National Pictures Museum in Bhaktapur and the National Metal Arts Museum in Lalitpur. It was also during his time at the DOA that excavations were conducted in Lumbini—the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Joshi has also authored an epic written in Nepal Bhasha. The establishment of the Nepal Bhasha Academy for the promotion of this language is also to his credit. He worked a lot for this while he was with the academy.
Later, he worked at the Royal Nepal Academy as it was then known. It was during his time there that he started organizing drama festivals and the Gaijatra Festival. Joshi also campaigned for the study of Araniko, the national hero who reached China in the 13th century and built the White Pagoda there. After returning from his own sojourn in China, Joshi wrote a book titled 'Artist Araniko”.
Joshi reached China in 2019 BS to teach Nepali. He went there again in 2036 BS and taught Nepali for two years. He has authored more than 70 works including collections of essays, poetry, drama and investigative works. His play Yagyawalkya written in Nepal Bhasha is being published in English by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
Joshi has also been awarded various state honors, including the Trishaktipatta, Suprabal Gorkha Dachhinbahu and Ujjwal Kirtimaya Rastradip, for his contributions to society and nation. He has bagged a number of awards from civil society organizations as well.
In a fitting honor , Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City is establishing a Century Literary Person Satya Mohan Joshi Academy and Study Center to mark his 100th birthday on May 13. The sub-metropolis also plans to build a park and install his image there. All concerned deserve appreciation for breaking with the long tradition in Nepali society of honoring distinguished individuals only after they are gone.