Protests by ‘C’ Class Ranas, Nhuchhe Ratna Tuladhar’s death
In Kathmandu, widespread protests against the government were continuing – however, it was the death of Nhuchhe Ratna Tuladhar which would add fuel to the fire within valley residents.
One day, a group of ‘C’ Class Ranas (at the time, Ranas would be categorized according to the stature of purity of their lineage; ‘C’ Class Ranas were those who were born of illegitimate wives of lower caste) staged a protest. They resigned en-masse and gathered outside Durbar High School. There were several bystanders and other protesting groups gathered as well.
As police charged batons to dispel a group of people, one police officer’s stick struck Nhucche Ratna Tuladhar – just beside Bhotahity.
Till date, one isn’t sure if Nhuchhe was simply a bystander or a protester; however, the blow was fatal. He coughed up blood, and instantly passed away.
Kathmandu residents were unable to bear the mistreatment on the 63 year old resident who was a chronic patient of tuberculosis.
Balkrishna Shamsher JBR renounces his surname
Amongst the protesting ‘C’ Class Ranas was Balkrishna Jung Bahadur Rana, although not a ‘C’ Class Rana himself, he had shown solidarity with the protesters. Balkrishna was deeply affected by the death of Nhuchhe Ratna Tuladhar.
The next day, after attending Nhuchhe Ratna Tuladhar’s funeral, he made a decision to renounce Jung Bahadur Rana from his name.
“From today onward, I and my family members will no longer use our Rana surname. In place of JBR, I am going to use ‘Sama’, meaning equal”, he said.
Balkrishna Sama was a Nepalese dramatist, and is considered as one of the trimurti (trinity) of Nepali literature alongside Laxmi Prasad Devkota and Lekhnath Paudyal. His contributions which explored several themes including social inequality, romance, and human psychology has transcended time, and is still very popular within reading circles.
Along with Balkrishna Sama, thousands of valley residents were deeply moved by the death of Nhuchhe Ratna Tuladhar. An entire city was angered. Thousands poured into the streets as Nhuchhe’s funeral procession made its way to the Bishnumati River.
Along the banks of Bishnumati, thousands had gathered to offer their last respects to Nhuchhe. Nhuchhe’s death highlighted the state’s atrocities and wider inequalities, and Nhuchhe became a symbol of resistance.
Protests erupted, and clashes ensued between protesters and security personnel. Angry protesters set ablaze police vehicles as police continued to charge tear gas at the crowd.
If on one side, flames from Nhuchhe’s pyre blazed, on the other side, police vehicles blazed.