About Jung Bahadur Rana: – Jung Bahadur was born June 18, 1817, Kathmandu, Nepal and in died Feb. 25, 1877, Kathmandu. Jung Bahadur, a man of great courage and ability, took control of the government after killing a usurper, Gagan Singh, who plotted to become prime minister with the junior queen in 1846 and put her son on the throne.
Subsequently, after trying to get him assassinated, he deposed and exiled both the king and the queen. He was nominated for life as prime minister and given Rana’s hereditary title. He toured England during the period 1850–51. Throughout his career he stayed a strong British buddy.
The economic ability and conciliatory strategy of Jung Bahadur assisted Nepal stay autonomous while the remainder of the Indian subcontinent fell under British rule.
Subsequently, after trying to get him assassinated, he deposed and exiled both the king and the queen. He was nominated for life as prime minister and given Rana’s hereditary title. He toured England during the period 1850–51.
Throughout his career he stayed a strong British buddy. The economic ability and conciliatory strategy of Jung Bahadur assisted Nepal stay autonomous while the remainder of the Indian subcontinent fell under British rule.
He sent a contingent of Gurkha soldiers to help the British during the Indian Mutiny of 1857–58, thereby establishing a tradition of Gurkha military service in the British army. He also made a lot of efforts to improve and modernize the country’s administration and revised the old penal code. Though he tried to abolish suttee, his burial pyre was immolated by three of his wives.
His mother, Ganesh Kumari, was the daughter of the then ruling Thapa dynasty, Kaji Nain Singh Thapa, brother of Mukhtiyar Bhimsen Thapa. He enjoyed privileges through his maternal side’s influence.
He eliminated factional fighting at court during his lifetime, removed his family rivals like Pandes and Basnyats, paved the way for Ranas to be found, introduced innovations into the bureaucracy and the judiciary, and made efforts to “modernize” Nepal.
He remains one of Nepalese history‘s most important figures, although modern historians also blamed Jung Bahadur for establishing the dictatorship that suppressed the nation from 1846 to 1951 for 104 years and left it in a primitive economic condition. Others blame his nephews, the Shumsher Ranas, exclusively for the dark period of history in Nepal.
Tyranny, debauchery, economic exploitation and religious persecution have characterized the rule of Rana. Having been named hereditary prime minister, Jung Bahadur thought it was crucial for the state’s safety that a fully mature and competent person should succeed him. He therefore conceived an order of succession through which the office passed within the family, not from father to son, but from brother to brother.
It passed to the sons of all his brothers in the second generation in order of age and in the following generations in a similar way. His younger brother Rana Udip Singh succeeded Jung Bahadur at his death.
Prime Minister’s office remained in the Rana family through the first half of the 20th century, with Mohun retiring in 1951 as the last hereditary prime minister.
His father, Kaji Bal Narsingh Kunwar, was on trial the day King Rana Bahadur Shah was assassinated by his own half-brother Sher Bahadur Shah; he was killed on the spot as retaliation by Bal Narsingh. He was rewarded for this action with Kaji’s position, which in his family became hereditary, and he was also the only person allowed to carry weapons inside the court.
He was Kaji Ranajit Kunwar’s grandson and Sardar Ram Krishna Kunwar’s great-grandson,[an influential military leader in King Prithvi Narayan Shah’s time. He was linked to Mukhtiyar Bhimsen Thapa’s Thapa family through his aunt Ganesh Kumari, which assisted him join the royal court at an early era. He was linked to the aristocratic Pande household through his paternal grandparents as his mother’s aunt Rana Kumari was the sister of Kaji Ranajit Pande, an important royal court.
Bal Narsingh Kunwar has been appointed Rana Bahadur Shah’s bodyguard. He was working at the same spot when Shah was attacked on April 24, 1806. The second spouse of Bal Narsingh Kunwar, Ganesh Kumari, was Mathabarsingh Thapa’s daughter. The Thapas had influence over Nepal’s administration in those days.
Jung Bahadur has shown interest in courageous deeds from an early age. He entered Prasad Laxmi, the sister of the Basnyat family Prasad Singh Basnyat on May 1, 1828, at the age of 11. Then his father went to Dhankuta, taking with him his sons. Bal Narsingh relocated to Dadeldhura in 1833, where he was followed by Jung Bahadur and accepted to the military.
By 1835, when Bal Narsingh moved to Jumla, Jung Bahadur had already been promoted to second lieutenant rank. All his relatives were released from the services in 1837 when Bhimsen Thapa was dismissed. Bal Narsingh and Jung Bahadur were also dismissed from their services in this course and seized their properties.
This incident made it difficult for Bal Narsingh to meet even his large family’s fundamental needs. Then Jung Bahadur went in search of work to Varanasi. He wandered there in vain. He returned to the Terai after a brief stay there to work as a Mahout, but he was also unable to achieve any success there. He moved to Kathmandu in 1839, where he had already killed his spouse and infant daughter.
Rise of Jung Bahadur Rana
Jung Bahadur married Colonel Sanak Singh Shripali Tandon’s sister in 1839. Jung Bahadur received from the marriage a decent amount of dowry that resulted in a slight improvement in the family’s financial condition. The King Rajendra came to Terai in 1840, where he was also accompanied by Jung Bahadur.
There, by showing excellent bravery, Jung Bahadur fascinated the King. The King was pleased with him and gave him Captain’s position immediately. Jung Bahadur was included among the Crown Prince’s bodyguards after returning. Once, he had to jump into the Trishuli River in the Prince’s command riding a horse he did and only survived.
Jung Bahadur was transferred back to the King’s from the group of the Prince after a while. He was appointed as a Kaji there and sent to Kumarichowk’s office. There he had a chance to understand Nepal’s financial transactions properly.
It was known that Jung Bahadur was extremely ambitious. Throughout those days, the youngest Queen was the country’s real ruler with only King by name. Gagan Singh Bhandari was the queen’s closest. With his diligent efforts, Jung Bahadur had succeeded in pleasing the Queen, the Prince and the Prime Minister.
Henry Lawrence and his wife Honoria Lawrence had also been able to influence him. A cousin of Jung Bahadur was sentenced to death penalty when Mathavar was still the prime minister. Jung Bahadur had asked Mathavir to persuade his cousin to excuse the Queen, but Mathavar denied it. This had led in a grudge against Jung Bahadur.
Jung Bahadur had friends with Pandit Bijayaraj, who was the palace’s inner priest, and he began gaining precious data about the Durbar from him. He had also succeeded in making friends with Gagan Singh Bhandari. The queen gave Jung Bahadur the rank of a general after assassinating Mathavar Singh and included Gagan Singh in the council of ministers.
The first massacre in Nepal’s history that caused to the emergence of the Rana regime was Kot Parva (trial massacre). Through this parva, Jung Bahadur Rana succeeded in eliminating his competitors and gaining authority by stating himself Nepal’s prime minister and Nepal’s army leader.
Chautariya Fatey Jung became Nepal’s prime minister after the assassination of then-prime minister Mathawar Singh Thapa. However, there was more force in Gagan Singh’s fingers as he was the favourite of Queen Rajya Laxmi and he also governed seven Nepal Army divisions.
Gagan Singh was unexpectedly assassinated at his residence on the evening of September 14, 1846. The king became angry about this and ordered Jung Bahadur to meet all the administrators at the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Royal Court. Jung Bahadur his without the Queen’s or his parents not to let anyone out of the palace.
She thought it was the Pandeys ‘ actions and commanded the killing of Abhiman Singh. He waited for his instructions and stared to King Rajendra. The King told him only to explore the issue and compensate the culprit. Tension rose on the palace as bloodshed was highly possible.
The Queen came to calm down Jung Bahadur and Fateh Jung, and Abhiman Singh remained behind. Singh decided to bring his own regiments to the Kot, but he couldn’t go outside. In the process that gave way to the bloodshed that took the lives of about forty nobles, he tried to force his way out and was killed.
Many Thapas, Pandeys and Basnyats, including Prime Minister Fatey Jung, were killed in the massacre. This chance was used by Jung Bahadur to eliminate his competitors and gain authority. He proclaimed himself the fresh prime minister, as well as the Nepal Army chief.
Visit to Bisauli
A wild war was waged in Punjab between the British and the Sikhs towards the beginning of 1848. Jung Bahadur met with the resident after hearing the news and assured the British of the support of the Nepal government. But the Governor-General rejected the proposal for fear at the crucial moment that the Nepali troops might divert to the side of the Sikhs.
Then Jung Bahadur decided to show the English his power. He was passionate about hunting, but he didn’t get a chance to hunt after being the prime minister. Jung Bahadur planned to go to the Terai in 1848 with a dual purpose, one for hunting but primarily to show the English his power.
Jung Bahadur left Kathmandu on 22 December, accompanied by the King and a large group. The group included 32,000 foot soldiers, fifty-two cannons, three hundred risalla, and two hundred and fifty mules of cannons to be pulled.
The Governor-General sent a letter to the resident, requesting him to find out the truth of the issue, after receiving the data of this great power near its border. The King and Jung Bahadur then camped in Bisauli, a village not too far from the Company’s territories. But the spread of cholera and malaria that began killing the soldiers forced them back.
The Queen named Jung Bahadur as Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief on September 15 following the massacre. Jung Bahadur came to encounter the resident at the British Residency after consulting with the Queen and the King.
He told the resident about the massacre there and also persuaded him that the fresh state was going to be a wonderful English buddy. All military and bureaucracy officers were called to their respective offices within 10 days on September 23. Jung Bahadur then named his siblings and nephews to the government’s greatest positions.
During Jung Bahadur’s tenure, Nepal began to experience some successes in international affairs. Since Nepal’s victory in 1792, ties with Tibet had been facilitated through China to the west, and embassies had to take the arduous voyage to Beijing every five years with local products as a homage to the Qing emperor during the mid nineteenth century.
In 1852, immediately after the death of the sixth Panchen Lama, the Nepalese mission to Beijing was allegedly mistreated in Tibet. The Nepalese government sent Beijing and Lhasa a protest letter outlining several grievances, including excessive customs duties on Nepalese trade, because of this slight.
The Kuti and Kairang regions were dominated by Nepalese soldiers in 1855. The Nepalese-Tibetan War spanned about a year, with achievements and losses on both parties, until a treaty agreed and approved by the Chinese representative in March 1856 granted duty-free trade rights to Nepalese dealers, compelled Tibet to send an occasional homage of 10,000 rupees to Nepal, and permitted a Nepalese citizen in Lhasa.
In return, Nepal abandoned territorial gains and agreed to remain a tributary state subject to China, as would Tibet. This tributary rank was permitted to lapse as the Qing Dynasty disintegrated subsequently in the decade, and even Tibet started to break off its subordination.
Begum Hazrat Mahal took refuge in Kathmandu in 1859 with her ten-year-old son Birjis Qadr and some other loyal staff. Samim Miya Ansari said that the then Prime Minister of Nepal, Jung Bahadur Rana, gave her shelter at Thapathali Palace (which now houses Thapathali Durbar, a bank office in Nepal Rastra).
Although at the time Jung Bahadur Rana was in good terms with the British, he took the step. In 1858 King Surendra granted the honorary title of Rana to Jung Bahadur Kunwar, an ancient name denoting natural power used by the kings of Rajput in northern India. He then became Jung Bahadur Rana and, in honor of his accomplishments, the later prime ministers came down from his family to add his name to their own.
Their line became known as the Ranas ‘ house. Until 1877, Jung Bahadur remained prime minister to suppress conspiracies and local revolts and to enjoy the fruits of his early successes. He practiced almost unlimited domestic power, taking for his own use whatever money was available in the treasury.
Although he was the ruler of a truly independent nation, an ally rather than a British subordinate, unlike the Indian princes, he lived in the British Raj in the high style of an Anglicised native prince.
By Anil Sharma