Ganesh Man Singh was born in the year 1915 at Yetkha, near Hanuman Dhoka in Kathmandu, Nepal. At the time of his birth, Nepal was ruled by the autocratic Rana regime. From early years, Singh exhibited signs of resilience, determination, and zero tolerance towards injustice – all inherent traits of a great leader.
Ganesh Man Singh lost his father Gyan Man Singh at an early age; his own grandfather too had passed away at the age of 33, and was therefore raised by his eldest grandfather Ratna Man Singh. Ratna Man Singh, who served as a Sardar during Ganesh Man Singh’s birth, rose all the way up to the position of a Badakazi during his service to the Ranas.
Singh studied in Durbar High School until Grade 6, from where he was expelled for dishonoring a fellow Rana classmate. He was home-schooled before moving to Calcutta for further studies. Singh’s interest in politics began in Calcutta, after interacting with other fellow students about the affairs of Nepal, and through own personal introspection. After returning to Nepal, Singh joined the Praja Parishad, an underground party which resisted the Rana regime. Other members of Praja Parishad included martyrs Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Shukraraj Shastri, and Ganga Lal Shrestha – all of whom where dear friends of Ganesh Man Singh.
Singh was arrested and sentenced along with other members of Praja Parishad. He was able to escape from jail, and fled to India – from where, in partnership with B P Koirala and Subarna Shumsher was able to launch Nepali Congress – the party which fought for democracy for Nepalis from the Ranas.
Singh again seven years in Sundari Jal Detention Centre without trial, and many years in exile in India while protesting King Mahendra’s partyless Panchayat system.
In 1991, he served as the Supreme Leader of the People’s Movement, which was able to restore democracy in Nepal.
Singh was married to Mangala Devi Singh; someone who he has said is his source of strength and inspiration. Together, they raised five children – two sons and three daughters.
Singh served in various capacities within the Nepal government – including as senior ministers, and was the recipient of several awards including the “Human Rights Award” by the United Nations in 1993, and the United States Peace Run Prize in 1990. He was also decorated by the “U Thant Peace Award”.