The Bicycle Incident and Breaking Open of Dhukuti

At the age of seventeen, Ganesh Man Singh’s grandfather took him to Rudra Shamsher’s durbar to get an appointment as bahidar of Mulki Adda. Mulki Adda was the central headquarter of the state’s administration and was then under the jurisdiction of Commander-in-Chief Rudra Shamsher (later driven away to Palpa by Sri Teen Maharaja Judhha Shamsher).

Ganesh Man Singh would ride a bicycle to work – a symbol of wealth and prestige during the time. Although minimum traffic rules prevailed, it was compulsory for bicycle riders to install a bell and lighting system, however not many, including Ganesh Man Singh paid attention towards it.

One day, on his way to office, an army officer stopped Singh. Using a derogatory tone, the army officer hurled racial abuses at Singh – calling him a ‘showy Newar’ for wearing clean clothes and riding a bicycle without lights and a bell. Singh politely reminded him that it was the police’s and not the military’s duty to remand cyclists for breaking the rule. The officer however continued his rant – up to a point where Singh could not tolerate any more. An out of patience and emboldened Singh pounced on him, and beat the army officer up.

The matter was taken to Padma Shumsher – because Singh had dealt four blows to the officer, he instructed a guard to hold Singh by his ears and pull him up four times.

“This incident acted as a fuel on fire upon my hatred towards the Ranas”; Singh later told Mathbar Singh.

During his working years, Singh would be seen gambling a lot. He had lost quite a hefty sum of money, and owed a lot of money to his creditors – an amount that could not be covered with his salary.  A guilty conscience started nagging Singh after he tricked his grandmother towards giving him her gold bangles, to pawn and gamble more. Therefore, one day, when his grandfather was away in Hetauda, he broke open the Dhukuti, stole an amount equal to 25/30 thousand rupees – a hefty sum then.

With the amount he paid all his creditors, and with the balance headed to Calcutta. During the first 15 days, Singh enjoyed the city – toured the attractions, watched cinemas, explored new places. In the third week, he was taken back to Hetauda to meet his grandfather – who asked him the reason to steal?

After a slight admonishing, it was decided Singh would return to Calcutta.

In Calcutta, Singh resumed his studies and cleared his matriculation exam.

After clearing his matriculation, Singh joined the Vidyasagar College. In Vidyasagar, he started gravitating towards political activities – watched demonstrations, read about global and Nepali politics and took a keen interest in reading newspapers. So much so, Ganesh Man Singh started mailing newspaper clippings about Nepal’s political situation published in Indian papers to his friends in Nepal

– his first inclination towards a stirring a movement towards a democratic Nepal.

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