Remembering our great heroes


Not all history recognizes the contribution of great heroes of the nation. Most of their contributions remain unfolded while some continue to be neglected to some extent, if not at all. Our tiny Bhutan’s history, in all almost all contexts, is considered controversial.

The regime has focused more in exploring one-sided history, mostly written by subsidized writers. In other way round, such documents more exaggerations rather than research-based facts. Hardly, have we found balanced views, which in particular articulate contribution of all ethnic groups or individuals in the country, reflected in books claimed to enfold historical aspects.

For many of us it might be a harsh challenge to accept but it is practically inequitable only to pour in words of negative allegations to Bhutanese government for doing or not doing ‘this’ or ‘that.’ Here, I would never mean that what the regime has done so far is justifiable. Let alone the government be ignorant to balancing the historical contributions made by our heroes but it is time that we might want to ask some questions to ourselves, for instance, what have we personally or organizationally done so far to recognize the contribution of great heroes of our history? Are we serious to bring or accept changes in Bhutan? Are we able to write our own history or there exists the need to move forward with a concept of ‘national reconciliation’?

Vidhyapati Mishra’s “Legendary Marriage of Mahasur Chhetri’s Son” that has appeared in Bhutan News Service (BNS), our only news agency of the community, compelled me to take a long breathe once, paused my thoughts for a while and generated enthusiasm to take a second read to make my other family members understand it in Nepali, a language they understand well.

Exceptionally, it further made my eyes widened, almost forcing my tears scroll down the cheeks; yet above all, it heartily encouraged me to take a third read and made me feel contented to become a very close blood relative, family member of late Mahasur Chhetri and carve out my immediate feelings here. I was not born when my uncle Ranjit got married and this untold story is not only untold to you but also to me. However, I have had listened to many stories about late Mahasur from my elder generation family members.

Some questions are raised in the comment section of Mishra’s article regarding if our leaders or seniors in the community had the idea about Ranjit’s living in the unimproved camps in Nepal. I am feeling uncomfortable to spell out their names here now but I would say most of them were aware of this fact. Some of them even had made assurances of supportive hands to the family of late Mahasur, but to no avail. Financial or moral support to the family of late Mahasur, to me, doesn’t reflect noteworthy achievement of our leaders as does the commitment to remain united and follow the paths walked in by Mahasur and many such heroes in our history.

It is still a sad thing that none of the seniors or leaders have shown up for the research-based documentation of the contribution made by late Mahasur. I would be unfair if I limit the heroic works with Mahasur alone. There are hundreds of Mahasurs, whose contribution and philosophy should be materialized into practice, especially if we are serious in boosting our call for ‘real’ democracy in Bhutan. A good start is never a late start, thus, what BNS decided to do now, to document the contribution of Mahasur, adequately proves that media mirrors the society’s image. Hats-off BNS! We would be cordially coordinating with you to accomplish this great mission, in whatever ways possible. Not only Mahasur’s, let’s also try to dig out the contribution made by other Bhutanese heroes at different times.

(Now based in Colorado, the writer is one of the grandsons of maryr Mahasur Chhetri)

Ed – These texts, which we received as a comment to Legendary Marriage of Mahasur Chhetri’s Son, have been developed as a separate article for greater publicity.


  1. Dear Roshan ji,for me,this will be a great start.As BNS suggested,you may also like to dig out the selfless contribution made by other people at different level and at different time in the history.

  2. Rosanji,
    your comments reflects our past and where we are today .I think with the exception of very few most of our leaders tried to do good works for our community.But we could not achieve much because they set their goals rightly but failed to set the steps to reach them.
    Mahasur and all others who lost lives for all of us were remembered and forgotten at the same time .Nothing concrete was done t preserve their legacy and stature and use their sacrifice to march forward.
    Now BNS has come up with this vission .I do join you to salute BNS team .I Think the new upcomming generation will change our future

  3. I met a gentleman who was bit forward and good at debates during my school days at my village. Why am I marking the note of this very man is, other villagers were too simple and afraid to talk to others but this man had the immense capacity to orate and make things in his favor. Everyone was afraid to counter this man and one day, I asked to this man about how he acquired all those abilities. He was bit surprised when a young boy like me asked that question and he became very happy too with me.
    He narrated his story to me and he was orphaned at a very young age and never got a chance to learn ‘KHAW’ or ‘KHA’. He had to struggle to meet the ends of living through life’s ups and downs. And he told me that either one need to be orphan or born from a rich family to become capable of doing high level rural jobs. I got struck and pretended that I knew everything that he told to me. He also felt that a school going kids can investigate the truth.
    I found a weight in his statement. Likewise the complete story of Mahasur proved us that the family was rich and able too. Did Mahasur come across such situation to be close and favorite character of the then rulers?
    Again to our surprise, none of his siblings, sons and following generation became able and influential figures. Was this their choice or weakness? It didn’t see them prospering and progressing as expected. Things were too conducive and favorable to them had they took the advantage of name itself.
    Anyhow everybody cannot be Einstein or Napoleon. Each of us are having our own abilities.

  4. Roshan Dai Wonderful Job!!
    Your article is an eye-opening to our people. Your crux statement, “I would be unfair if I limit the heroic works with Mahasur alone. There are hundreds of Mahasurs, whose contribution and philosophy should be materialized into practice, especially if we are serious in boosting our call for ‘real’ democracy in Bhutan” is an eye-opening and I believe that it is the thought of majority of Bhutanese. There is no denying the fact that focusing only on Nepali-speaking Bhutanese heroes and isolating other unsung heroes who did equal heroic tasks in the history of democratic struggle in the country is always incomplete. Hence, let all of us be guided by the principle of inclusiveness for better Bhutan.
    Sudha Khatiwada
    Concord, NH, USA.