My Republica

Prem Singh Basnyat

Prem Singh Basnyat is a Brigadier General (Retired) of Nepal Army. PhD in military history, he has authored several books on military and political history of Nepal, besides being a visiting lecturer to universities in Nepal and abroad. He is also the Chairman of Nepal Museum Association.

The great king who gave us Nepal

Published On: January 11, 2021 08:50 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

If Nepal was defeated in the battle of Sindhuli, unification would not have been possible. The British would make Kathmandu Valley their colony, a point to access Tibet and China, which might as well have become the British colony later on.

A general’s brief on Indian military strategy on Nepal

Published On: November 2, 2020 07:00 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

It is getting late for Nepal to stop exchanging honorary title with army chief of India. What will Nepal do if China, too, seeks to exchange honorary titles between PLA chief and chief of Nepal Army?

How patriotic was Bada Kaji Amar Singh Thapa?

Published On: August 22, 2020 09:19 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Let me make it clear at the outset that there are two historical characters with the name of Amar Singh Thapa—both from Gorkha district—one from Siran Chok, the other from Borlang. Amar Singh from Siran Chok was senior in age and thus he was called Bada Kaji. The one from Borlang was called Chhota, meaning younger. Both were Kajis by rank.

The battle of Makawanpur

Published On: July 31, 2020 05:00 PM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Few kilometers away from Kathmandu on the hill of Makawanpur district stands a palace, also called a castle and a fort. It has a lot to communicate to us about our history and heritage, which I am going to write in this article.

Israeli contribution for Nepal Army

Published On: June 25, 2020 09:00 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Diplomatic relations between Nepal and Israel were established on June 1, 1960. Israel opened its embassy in Kathmandu in March, 1961 and Nepal opened its Consulate in Israel in 1993. Nepali Ambassador to Egypt was concurrently accredited to Israel until Nepal established her embassy in Tel Aviv on August 13, 2007. The bilateral relations, marked by mutual cooperation, goodwill, understanding and friendship have expanded in various developmental and cooperation areas. Nepal was the only country in the region until recent past to recognize Israel by maintaining continued diplomatic relations.

Faults of India’s Nepal policy

Published On: June 8, 2020 01:35 PM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

As India stood reluctant to resolve the border matters with Nepal, the government of Nepal has published the new political map including Limpiyadhura Lipulekh and Kalapani region, the land which belongs to Nepal but which India claims and which it is even occupying. Since this incident, there have been several interpretations and discussions regarding India’s intention vis-à-vis Nepal. People are angry, sad and agitated by the recent behaviors from Indian side. But the type of response and reaction coming from Indian side and its deferral to resolving border issues through friendly peaceful diplomatic dialogues reinforces the fact that India has not changed its old habits when it comes to dealing with Nepal. For those who follow history, India’s overbearing attitude and behaviors with its neighboring countries is not new.

Why we should care about museums

Published On: May 18, 2020 02:00 PM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Today (May 18) is the International Museum Day, the day which, because of pandemic ruling the whole world, is likely to remain unnoticed. Museology and history have yet to become the subjects of intense study in Nepal anyway.

The war Nepal won

Published On: March 23, 2020 10:37 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Nepal is often projected as the nation that lost the war with the foreigners. The Anglo-Nepal war (1814-16) is often cited to prove this claim. Yes, the war with the East India Company government turned out to be a losing battle for Nepal at the end. Nepal suffered a defeat but given that Nepal had fought with small troops against huge and well-armed troops of British India, the defeat was almost a foregone conclusion.

Nepal-UK defense ties

Published On: February 18, 2020 09:10 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Nepal-Britain defense diplomacy goes back to 1744 along with Captain Kinloch’s Expedition. It stands on the foundation of faith and mutual honor

How Nepal fought back

Published On: December 28, 2019 08:26 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Muslim kings of India attacked and plundered the temples including Pashupatinath and golden and silver statues of Kathmandu Valley several times. These attacks were meant for accumulating wealth. Qasim Ali Khan, also called Mir Qasim, the seventh Nawab of Bengal and Orissa who later became the Nawab of Mursidabad with the help of the British rulers, followed the same trend.

The king who saved Nepal

Published On: December 17, 2019 11:09 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Push 1 (December 17 this year) is the day when commentaries are written about King Mahendra. This is the day Mahendra had taken powers in his hands and started direct rule. Most people writing about it describe King Mahendra’s action as a coup (the action he took on December 15, 1960) and considerable length of space is used to demonize him in Nepali media. Mostly, the people to demonize and vilify the late king are those who are, or perceived to be, close to Indian power centers. No wonder, most Indian intellectuals have also focused their energies in portraying Mahendra in bad light. In this article, I look into why Mahendra model of nationalism, as is popularly used, came to be the subject of scorn among them and what that brand of nationalism was mainly about.

Documenting historical forts

Published On: December 1, 2019 11:49 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Allow me to say something at the outset. I have been in a mission to document history. I have been travelling across the country and hope to go across the border too. The main mission of my travel is to explore how Nepal was under attack from various powers in the past and how Nepal managed to resist or fight back for the sake of safeguarding or expanding its territory.

Managing museums

Published On: November 16, 2019 09:47 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Museums are repositories of history and heritage and remain preserved in the form of writing, picture, objects and audio-visuals for the present as well as future generations. They give the holistic picture of status of industry, pattern of settlement and agriculture, art and artistry of temples, churches, monasteries and mosques, festivities, birth and death rituals, pattern of house construction, dress making and costumes so on and so forth. In the recent times, practice of taking writings, arts and artifacts, objects and ornaments, costumes and audio visual materials of historical and cultural importance to display in different places is gaining ground.

What went wrong?

Published On: October 27, 2019 01:00 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Everything might look honky dory from outside, but several challenges stare Nepali politics at the moment, some of them with roots in happenings of a decade back. The first is Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed on November, 2016 between the government and warring Maoist. It was probably the first agreement of its kind in the world in which the agreement was signed more with the partners in peace than between the parties in conflict. Parties in conflict at the time were royal palace and Maoists. Agreement should have been between the two. Instead, agreement was signed between the Maoist and the parties which together were in anti-monarchy movement. Nowhere else are agreements signed between the partners in peace. This makes the peace accord fundamentally flawed.

Bonds of history

Published On: October 12, 2019 12:30 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

In absence of high-level visits from China, goodwill and cordiality had been shadowed. President Xi Jinping’s arrival in Kathmandu will renew cordial ties between China and Nepal

Conflict with the north

Published On: October 2, 2019 09:09 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

Tibet was a good market for Nepali traders and Nepal had good ties with Tibet. With marriage of Nepali princess Bhrikuti with King Tsroang Chong Gympo of Tibet, diplomatic and official relations became cordial. Following that many Nepali merchants and officials also married Tibetan girls. Eventually, Tibet and Nepal had both people-to-people and government-to-government ties.

The battle of Sindhuli

Published On: August 18, 2019 02:05 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

King Prithvi Narayan Shah’s unification campaign was focused on Kathmandu but it seemed like a powerful state to win over. To weaken it, he blockaded the Kathmandu Valley.  This affected East India Company’s trade with Tibet (and China) because their trade was carried out via Kathmandu.

War changed everything

Published On: July 20, 2019 02:00 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

After Nepal ratified Sugauli Treaty following the war with British India, Nepal’s politics, history and economy changed. Here is how

Musings on museums

Published On: July 6, 2019 01:30 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

The government of Nepal has not given much priority to museum development and its protection. Existing museums in Nepal date back to the days of monarchy

A forgotten history

Published On: June 22, 2019 12:25 AM NPT By: Prem Singh Basnyat

After Dalai Lama fled to India, Chinese security operation started in Tibet in 1971 and some Khampas started to settle down in the adjoining areas of the Himalayan border on the northern region of Nepal. They started to operate anti-China activities from Nepali territory, which was against foreign policy of Nepal. So Nepal launched military operations against Khampas. Many of them were killed, others fled and some surrendered. This episode is known as ‘Khampa Disarming Mission’ in Nepal’s military history.