Ranjit Chhetri, 75, the only son of martyr Mahasur Chhetri, has fallen sick since a few weeks. He tells that he has developed asthma and has been getting chronic each year. He is popularly known for having the most expensive marriage ceremony among his contemporaries in the country.
“I have lost my body weight significantly this time as I am confined to the bed most of the time,” Chhetri says. “I find it challenging to visit the nearby market at present since I am unable to walk as before.”
The AMDA-Nepal has been treating Chhetri in the camp-based health center of Beldangi-II whenever he becomes serious. However, he is not happy with the kind of treatment that he is getting.
“The heath centre serves me with a few tablets that last just for a week or even less,” explains he.
He has a big dream. He tells that he wants to visit a specialist in Siliguri of India or Kathmandu at the earliest so that he would live longer. “My dreams to get better treatment have not yet come true since I am handicapped financially,” he adds, controlling his irregular bridge.
According to his verse, some people have told him that even the chronic asthma can be treated when in big hospitals in Kathmandu.
Interestingly, Chhetri had visited Kathmandu in 1951 along with his mother. “That is a long story,” says he,” When my father was thrown alive into the Sunkosh River, I and my mother were brought to India and then to Kathmandu by some well-wishers of the Bhutan State Congress.”
The Gorkhaland National Liberation Front leader Subash Ghising, 75, was the driver of the Indian jeep that transported the Chhetris to Darjeeling from Bhutan, as per his narration.
“If I meet him again, probably he recalls that journey.”
Regarded as the bravest son of Nepali-speaking Bhutanese, Mahasur, who was thrown alive into the Sunkosh River on March 8, 1951 by Jigmei Paldel Dorji, was a resident of Labsibote of Chirang district. He was 53 at the time of the state betrayal.
Chhetri, the only eyewitness of the state cruelty against his father, has remained as the last surviving second-generation member of the Chhetri family following the passage of his sister Kaushila Budathoki and wife Pabitra Chhetri some years back in Sanischare and Beldani-II respectively.
He regards that the society has failed to recognize the contributions made by martyrs in Bhutan. “Just a few people talk about the sacrifice of my father, forget about others,” he comments.
Last year when the Punya Foundation offered him a pair of cloths, he had felt that his fellow-countrymen have not forgotten him, claims he. However, the feelings are changed now.
“Such feeling is gradually fading away,” Chhetri explains,” Even my neighbours have stopped inquiring about my health when I am forced to struggle for survival in my bed.”
I would be delighted to live longer if my community becomes willing to support my treatment, he adds.
(Mishra, who is currently undertaking a research on the political life of martyr Mahasur Chhetri, can be reached at [email protected] for comments or suggestions, if any.)