The heroic resistance which Mahabir Singh Laypu (Rajput) Shrestha and his four sons showed in re-mobilising the disbanded armies of the three Malla principalities already conquered by Prithvi Narayan Shah and the common people of Bhaktapur and Kirtipur and in waging a war of resistance against the newly-established Shah rule is unparalleled in the history of patriotic struggle against invading conquerors. Mahabir Singh and his sons fought heroically for days together until Prithvi Narayan Shah himself came to the battle front and shot all the five with guns acquired by him from British East India Company Government. Likewise there is the instance of heroic feat shown by Captain Ram Malla in the invasion of Lhasa during Rana Prime Minister Bir Samsher’s expedition to Tibet. These examples show the dedication and dynamic action as inherent virtue of the Newah people.

As shown above the Newahs being from the very beginning of recorded history, an exploited subjugated and downtrodden people developed within them a spirit of revolt and throughout the course of history Newah heroes and common people have revolted against oppressive regimes, fought in resistance against domestic tyrants as well as invaders and have made brilliant contributions to the cause of freedom and liberty. The unique mass struggle of the poor peasants who, in hundreds of number attacked with their bamboo poles (used in carrying hanging baskets) and drove away from his Kingdom the tryrant King Sadashiva Malla and the heroic resistance struggle by the entire population of Kirtipur town for years together against the invasion of Gorkha King Prithvi Narayan Shah have been an eternal source of inspiration for successive movements for not only the Newah but the entire Nepalese people in modern times.

In modern times too, Newah political personalities have made incomparable contribution to the struggle for emancipation of Nepalese people. The founding of Nepal Praja Parishad in 1936 and its historic struggle for overthrowing Rana family oligarchy and establishment of parliamentary democracy was accompanied by glorious sacrifice made by many Newah patriots. The Praja Parished movement was mercilesely surppressed by the Rana Governant in 1941 in course of which four persons were executed and hundreds were imprisoned. Of the four heroes who attained martyrdom, three namely Sukra Raj Joshi, Ganga Lal Shretha and Dharma Bhakta Mathema belonged to Newah community and among those who were imprisoned, many of them for life, majority were Newahs. Inspite of this cruel suppression of Praja Parishad movement by the Government, the revolutionary flame of movement for people’s rights continued to be unflickered and the movement was carried forward by an organization named Nepal Prajatantra Sangh under the chairmanship of Prem Bahadur Kansakar and the initiative of a Praja Parishad cadre, Surya Bahadur Shrestha. Of all the seven founding members of this organization excepting Miss Kamaksh Devi Rana (Basnet), six others belonged to Newah community.

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July 14th, 2015

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