by Shaphalya Amatya
Shaphalya Amatya is Nepal’s highly distinguished historian and Cultural Heritage expert. Rana Rule in Nepal is a pioneering study of the most intriguing chapters of Nepalese history.
A disturbing book, it focuses on the Armed Revolution of 1950-51, a popular uprising against the autocracy and tyrannical regime of the ruthless Rana rules.
It is pioneering partly because of author Shaphalya Amatya’s capacity as a native and a student of history, and partly because he belongs to that family of Amatyas whose several relatives was connected with the Rana administrators as well as with the Royal Palace in various official and personal capacities.
Dr. Amatya opens this voluminous book with a brief study of the factors responsible for sustaining the despotic Rana rule, discussing characteristic features of the Nepalese society and gradual process of political socialization of the period understudy and the moves ahead to discuss detailed deseription of the growth of anti-Rana policies in Nepal and India since the beginning of 20th century.
The chapters that follow discuss careers, achievements, and foreign and domestic policies of three Rana Prime minister, Juddha Shamsher, Padma Shamsher and Mohan Shamsher respectively.
The political opposition they faced and international pressure for the liberation of their repressive, enclosed regimes is here analyzed.
The chapters that follow examine King Tribhuwan as a king, a politician and a statesman.
The concluding chapter emphasizes the king’s role in the anti-Rana policies, the Delhi Compromise, the fruits India reaped out of her involvement in this Upsurge and the part played by the Nepali Congress, and its liberation Army called Mukti Sena.
The last chapter explores the causes behind the downfall of the Rana rule. Employing a breezy, and engaging narrative style, Dr. Amstya presents in a chronological order the dark chapter of history that ushered the dawn of democracy in this Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.