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.