Magh Badi 4, 1901: Sarat Simha Pantha, grandson of Dubal Pantha and son of Ajambar Pantha, was appointed Kaji with 116 khets of rice land and khuwa revenue amounting to Rs 3,500 in his Khangi assignment.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 26, p. 28.
Poush Sudi 4, 1902: Biravrinda Parakrama Shah was appointed Chautariya with 125 khets of rice lands and khuwa revenue amounting to Rs 4,000 in his Khangi assignment.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 26, p. 42.
Collection of Jagir Revenue in the Tarai Region On Chaitra Badi 7, 1893 (March 1837), the following instructions were issued in the name of Sardar Balabhanjan Pande regarding collection of revenue on jagir lands assigned to Bhardars, as well as to the Srinath Kampu and the Letter Paltan, in the districts of Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Saptari, Mahottari and Morang:
1. The outgoing thikedar (revenue-farmer) shall be allowed to continue if he is willing to make payment at the higher rate offered by another person.
2. In ase the outgoing thikedar is not willing to make payment at such higher rate, the person who has made the offer shall be appointed as his successor, provided that he assumes liability for arrears due from the former.
3. If the outgoing thikedar is not willing to make paymen at the higher rate offered by another person, and the newcomer is unable to accept the position because of the highhanded behavior of the former, investigate the actual reasons, and report the matter to us. take action as ordered by us.
4. Royal orders had been issued in your name, as well as in the name sof Subba Kulananda Jha and Fouzdar Birajadatta Mishra, to investigate the extent of damage to crops caused by drought. However, a full report has not yet been received, nor is there any information when the investigation will be completed. As as result, Jagirdars have been unable to receive payments due to them for the Vikrama year 1893, and so represented the matter to us.
Inspect carefully all lands, whether irrigated or not, or waste, and submit statements for each mouja in such a manner that neither the jagirdar nor the ryot suffers losses.
5. If collection of revenue from ryots for the Vikram year 1893 is held up because of your actions, you shall be held personally liable for the loss.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 35, pp. 91-92.
After reports on the extent of damage to crops in each mouja, as mentioned above, were submitted, royal orders were issued on Baisakh Badi 7, 1894 for these district prescribing that Jagirdars, thikedars, and ryots should each bear one-third of the total loss. A notification in this regard was published in the name of Jagirdars holding jagir lands in these districts on the same date.
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 26, pp. 631-33.
Sardar Balabhanjan Pande submitted reports recommending arrangements for the collection of revenue as jagir lands in the eastern Tarai districts for the year 1894. The following instructions were sent to him in this connection on Baisakh Badi 7, 1894:
''Make appropriate arrangements in such a way that arrears are realized and current instalments are collcted as they fall due. Give due assurances to the ryots, so that they may cultivate their lands and make the country populous. Retain existing thikedars as for as possible if they can make payments from their own pocket, if necessary. Otherwise, appoint new thikedars for the year 1894. .. We shall duly endorse these arrangements. If, however, the thikedars appointed the country, you shall be held personally liable for any shortfall.''
Regmi Research Collection, vol. 26, pp. 630-31.
Regmi Research (Private) Ltd ISSN: 0034-348X
Regmi Research Series
Year 14, No. 12
Kathmandu: December 1982
Mahesh C. Regmi
1. A Short History of Nepal … 177
2. Irrigation in the Tarai Region … 181
3. ''Manifesto of the Nepali Congress, 1950'' … 185
1. Among the three Mongolian communities inhabiting the three regins in the east of modern Nepal, only the Magars came into contact with the Arya cilvization through the Khasas of the west. The Khasas, however, followed the policy of exterminating Mongolian communities, hence the Magars did no welcome ther civilization. Around the same time, the Malla and Shakya republics became more populous, so only the Mahabharat mountains separated the Magars fom them. Because these mountains were not impregnable, there were frequent contacts between the Magars on the one hand and the Mallas and Shakyas on the other. Mallas and Shakyas were of Manvawa Arya stocks and so were liberal. But the Magars, who had been frightened by the Khasas, did not let Mallas and Shakyas visit their settlements. Nor was there any need for the Mallas and Shakyas to cross the Mahabharat mountains and fight the Magars in the Pahar region. Even then, contacts between the two groups introuduced the Magars to Arya civilization and taught them the value of unity. Strengthened by such unity, the Magars were able to check the Khasas beyond the Sakhiko-Lekh for several conturies. There may have been some petty principalities among the Magars, but documentary evidence is lacking.
2. The Vriji republic was situated south of Sesant at a great distance from both the Mahabharat and the Chure ranges. The Videhas inhabited a part of the district of Mahottari in the outer Tarai region; the rest of that region comprised stray settlements of Tharus. The Bajis gradually pushed the Tharus toward the north. The passes of Sindhuli, as well as those along the banks of the Bagvati river, were open at that time, but were covered by forests and infested with wild animals and so inaccessible.
One group of Tharus living on the banks of the Bagvati river in the Tarai region as fishermen was known as Danuwar. The Danuwars gradually penetrated through the Chure and Mahabharat mountains and reached the valley on the upper reaches of that river. They had borrowed the Aryan civilization from Magadh and adopted the Magadhi language, forgetting their own Mongolian language. These Danuwars introduced the light of Arya civilization in the Bagvati Valley. The inhabitants of this valley began to visit the capitals
of Vriji and Magadh in the company of Danuwars. They called themselves Nepar. At that time, the people of Magadh pronounced rasal, hence they began to describe the inhabitants of the valley of Nepal. the term eventually came to signify the country.
3. After assimilating the Arya civilization, the Nepars developed national unity, and established a Kingdom of their own in circa 400 B.C. This was the first Kingdom in Nepal. at that time, the Aryas of India used to describe Mongolian groups as Kisant. Because the Nepars were of Mongolian stock, they too were regarded as Kirants. For this reason, the Nepar Kingdom is known as the Kirant Kingdom. Yelam was the first of 32 Nepar Kings. We canot say that all of them were Kirant Kings, for it is not possible that there were so many kings in a single dynasty. Even in times of uninterrupted peace, a royal dynasty usually comes to an end after six or seven kings. Accordingly, it is possible that these 32 Kings belonged to five or six dynasties. In circa 100 A.D., the Nepar Kingdom came to an end. No information is available about the political condition of this Nepar Kingdom, which lasted five centuries.
4. The valley of the Bagvati river, bounded by the four passes of Shivapuri, Chandagiri, Sanga, and Bhimdhunga, was the original home of the Nepars. This region was cooler at that time than it was now, with more than half of the totoal surface area under forest. The Nepars were of Mongolian stock, hence they had a Mongolian physiognomy. They spoke a Mongolian dialect without any script. They worshipped local gods and sacrificed birds and animals to gain their ends and ward off evils. They selected a priest from among themselves. The Nepars used herbs and drugs for medical purposes and cultivated maize, millet, etc. they kept buffaloes for meat, their staple diet. After ghee began to be exported to the Tirhut region, they started using milk as well. It is possible that they did not keep cows. Sheeps and pigs were domestic animals. They spun the wook of sheep and wove blankets in crude looms. They also manufactured a black water-proof, were sold as far as Pataliputra (Patna), capital of India.
5. In Magadh, the Shishunaga dynasty was followed by the Nanda dynasty, and then by the Maurya dynasty. The first three Maurya emperors, Chandragupta, Bindusara, and Ashoka, were great conquerors. They extended the frontiers of the Maurya empire almost throughout the whole of India. They paid no attention of Nepal, a small Kingdom located in the midst of forests. Ashoka later gave up the campaign of military conquest and followed the policy of bringing other countries within the sphere of his influence by propagating the Buddhist religion. Accordingly, in the course of his tour of Buddhist places of pilgrimage, he visited Rumin, birthplace of Buddha, and installed a pillar there (248 B.C). His religious envoys reached different places in India, as well as Burma and the Yavana Kingdoms of the east. Thanks to their efforst, the
small Buddhist sect established by Gautama Buddha was transformed into the great Buddhist religion. However, Ashoka sent envoys of medium rank to propagate that religion in the Himalyanan region only toward the last days of his life. These envoys reached Nepal as few years before or after Ashoka was ousterd from the throne (236 B.C). the Nepars adopted the Buddhist religion with reverence, but not the neighboring Magars, Murmis, Syarpas, and Thamis.
6. Buddha taught the lesson of purity of mind, speech, body, and action. He made atheism and non-violence the fundamental tenets of the Buddhist religion. The Nepars were able to understand sermons on good conduct, but found it difficult to prartice them. Even the, they tried their best. It was not difficult to understand the essence of atheism, but it was a formidable effort to forget the traditional gods and remounce violence. Even then , the Nepars gradually forgot their old gods. They found it impossible to stop the practice of the slaughtering animals, and so continued doing so. Buddha died of indigestion after eating pork. For that reason, Indian Buddhists abjuredthe concumption of pork, and the Nepars too followed suit. The Kirant not have spread had it not been accepted by Kings. By the second generation, the Nepars had become stanch Buddhists. Five stupas or Chaityas were then constructed in Lalitpur, the then capital. These still survive in the form of mounds and are known as Ashoka's stupas.
7. The Buddhist missionaries who visited Nepal were generally Bhikshus (mendicants). They practized celibacy. Buddha had laid down the rule that one could become a Bhiskhu even in youth and resume a worldly life if one so wanted. Women too could do s. usually, only female Bhikshus could visit the inaccessible areas of Nepal. the influx of Bhikshus of both sexes continued till 187 B.C. In that year, Pushyamitra Sunga overthrew the Maurya dynasty and founded a new royal dynasty. He began to persecute Bhikshus, as a result of which many of them came to Nepal from the plains. It was against the law of Nature for young Bhikshus, male or female, to practice celibacy. Accordingly, they mixed with the local Nepar population, thereby joining Mongolian blood with Arya. Mixed marriages of this type improved the physiognomy of the Nepars. But because the Bhikshu men and women came to Nepal in small groups, they began to speak in the language of the Nepars rather than their own. Consequently, unlike the Tharus, the Nepars did not forget their language. At the same time, the influence of the Arya language wiped out Mongolian traces in their language, which gradually assumed the form of a Tibeto-Burman language.
8. Thanks to the Buddhist religion, there was increasing intercourse betweenthe Nepars and the Aryas of India. Such intercourse had had a profound impact on their social and religious life, as well as on their economic condition. Wooden hust were gradually raplaced with houses built with bakes brickes and
tile roofs. Modern Lalitpur, the then capital, developed into a town with brick buildings. The Nepars, who used to wear cloth made of wool or bhangra, began to wear cotton cloth. New cereal crops, including rice, and fruits were introduced from the plains. Iron mines were worked, and iron tools and weapons were manufactured for war and agriculture. Copper and ther utensils began to be used. In addition to woolen cloth, medicinal herbs and drugs began to exported. However, the use of bows and arrows, and of pottery, did not decline. The Newars of those days did not shave their heads. Only members of the royal family used ornaments of gold and silver.
9. The territories of the Kirant Kingdom did not comprise more than 250 square miles. this small Kingdom, situated in a hill ara, became the nucleus of the big Kingdom of the future. In the east and the west, there were six other principalities inhabited by people of Mongolian stock. Information about their political conditions is not available, becaue they were not converted to Buddhism. There seems little doubt that the economic improvement achieved by the Nepar Kingdom had an impact on these principalities as well.
10. Around the time when the Kirant Kingdom was being established in central Nepal, there was increasing intercourse of Brahmans and Buddhist into the Khasanta region from Koshala or modern Oudh. Khasa settlements extended to Kumaun and Garhwal, which accordingly came under the impact of Koshala's civilization. Consequently, Khasa principalities emerged there. The Khasas of those days wore their hair long, hence the civilized Aryas of the Ganga-Jamuna region considered them to be degraded Kshatriyas.
End of Chapter IV
Irrigation in the Tarai Region Revenue regulations promulgated for the districts of the Tarai region on Baisakh 13, 1992 (April 25, 1935) made the Mal Adda (Revenue Office) of each district responsible for the construction and maintenance of irrigation facilitites. The chief of that office was required to prepare a detailed plan for the development of such facilities in the district in consultation with the local jimidars and other landowners.
The regulations added:
In case irrigation channels are damaged, or fields are damaged by floods or washouts, the local cultivators or tenants shall undertake necessary repairs themselves or through collective efforts. … In case a new irrigation channel must be constructed in any mouja, or a damaged one must be repaired, a levy shall be collected rom each jimidar, birta-owner, or other landowner whose lands will be irrigated through such channel, and labor too shall similarly be impressed for that purpose. in case any landowner is unwilling to provide such labor, their obligation shall be commuted to a cash payment at current wage-rates.
''In case local jimidars and landowners are unable to construct irrigation channels through collective efforts as mentioned above, an amount sufficient to meet the estimated cost of the construction or repair project shall be raised through a levy on jirayat, birta, and other lands, and placed under the custody of the local jimidar or other responsible person. The project shall then be executed through wage labor under the supervision of the jimidar, as well as the gumasta and the jethraiti of that mouja. The surplus amount, it any, shall be kept in reserve with the jimidar to finance necessary repairs from time to time.
''No new irrigation dam shall be constructed within a radius of 100 chain-lengths from an existing dam on a personnial stream, or in such a way that supply of water through the existing dam is affected. A dam may be constructed on the upper reaches of a stream if the existing dam, built on the lower reaches, cannot supply sufficient water.
''If the Chief of the Revenue Office finds that the jimidar and landowners of any mouja are not capable of collecting funds in advance and mobilizing labor in the manner mentioned above, and that both the government and the people will suffer if no dam is constructed there, he shall report the matter to the District (Goswara) Office. Arrangements may then be made to supply interest-free loans for the construction of the dam under the liability of the local jimidars. Such loans shall be recovered after crops are harvested.
Plans for the construction and repair of dams and irrigation channels must be fanilized before the last day of the month of Magh (February 11) and implemented before the last day of the month of Jestha (June 14) each year.
''Local jimidars shall be ordered to repair immediately any damage to dams and irrigation channels resulting from floods and submit reports accordingly. … As soon as the month of Aswin (September 17) commences, officials of the District Office and the Revenue Office shall be deputed to each mouja to arrange for the repair to damaged dams and irrigation channels.
''The Revenue Office shall exercise supervision to ensure that jimidars use available irrigation facilities properly. Priority in such use shall be given to those landowners who have contributed money and labor for the construction of such facilities. Those landowners who have made no such contributions shall be allowed to use the irrigation facilities thereafter on payment of a proportionate share of the cost, and the additional fee of one rupee for each bigha.
''Since dams will be more durable if reinforced with beams, permits may be obtained from the local Kathmahal Office for the necessary quantity of non-commercial timber, which shal be cut and transported through the labor of the local people.
''In case the Revenue Office nees additional staff to discharge the functions mentioned above, it shall procure such staff from the local District Office.
''Crops cannot be cultivated without water, and dams and irrigation channels cannot be constructed in all moujas. At some places, water cannot be brought from streams and rivers, so that it is necessary to use run-off water for irrigation. Accordingly, in districts where there are no canals and permanent dams, it is necessary to construct dams and irrigation channels during the appropriate season for utilizing such run-off water. Otherwise, irrigation facilities will not be available when needed. South of the Chure range, the Tarai region slopes toward the south. North-south irrigation channels must, therefore, be constructed on both sides, east and west, of each mouja, from northernmost point (Siraha) to the southernmost (bhatha), so that all lands under the jurisdiction of the Revenue Office are irrigated.''
The following regulations was enforced on Magh 2, 1998 (January 15, 1942):
''In case dams and irrigation channels cannot be constructed through the efforts that contributions of jimidars and landowners alone, so that governmental assistance is essential, the local Bada Hakim is empowered to provide interest-free loans subject to the limits mentioned below. Such loans shall be recovered after the new crop is harvested. The District Office shall be held liable for arrears, if any.
(in Indian Rs)
1. Jhapa Rs 5,000
2. Biratnagar Rs 7,500
3. Hanumannagar Rs 6,000
(Only for areas not irrigated
by the canal, which has a
command area of 25,000 or
4. Siraha Rs 5,000
5. Mahottari Rs 7,500
6. Sarlahi Rs 5,000
7. Rautahat Rs 5,000
8. Bara Rs 5,000
9. Parsa Rs 4,000
10. Palhi Rs 4,000
11. Majhkhand Rs 5,000
12. Khajahani Rs 6,000
13. Sheoraj Rs 2,000
14. Dang-Deukhuri Rs 2,000
15. Banke Rs 3,000
16. Bardiya Rs 3,000
17. Kailali Rs 2,000
18. Kanchanpur Rs 2,000
19. Makwanpur Rs 1,000
20. Udayapur Rs 1,000
21. Chitaun Rs 1,000
22. Surkhet Rs 500
''The Chief of the Revenue Office shall check, personally or through a trusted employee, whether or not dams and irrigation channels are in proper condition, and whether or not irrigation facilities have been made available to landowners according to the regulations. In case any damage is detected, he shall make immediate arrangements for repairs. In case any landowner submits a complaint, the Chief of the Reveneu Office shall make water available to him according to the regulations. In case he neglects these duties, and the landowner submits a complaint accordingly, he shall be held to have failed to make necessary arrangements regarding irrigation facilities, and be punished accordingly.''
Source: Government of Nepal, Madhesh Malko Sawal (Revenue regualations for the Tarai region), Kathmandu: Gorkhapatra Press, n.d., secs. 94-105, and 107, pp. 42-48.
''Manifesto of the Nepali Congres, 1950'' By
(Full translation of the manifesto as reproduced in the Rastra Pukar Weekly, Aswin 28, 2039 (October 14, 1982) and Kartik 4, 2039 (October 21, 1982).
It is more than a century since the present system was established in Nepal. this system is also known as Rana regime. The history of the past century is one of horrible political, economic and social consequences. This family rule had been established by Jung Bahadur through treachery and consopiracy. It has confined His Majesty, the real ruler of Nepal, to the royal palace, as if he was a political prisoner. The Rana regime remains a barrier between the King and the people. The Rana Prime Ministers have no affection for the people. It reality, they are rulling the country without any mandate from the King. They are far removed from a sense of responsibility and dutifulness toward the country and the people, as might be expected from a capable ruler. It is, therefore natural that the people should have to goodwill at all toward such a despotic system. The constitutional rights which the peoples of other countries have wrested from the rulers are still a day-dream for the Nepali people. The basic feature of this system is the despostism of its rulers. Such a system has always been upopular in every country.
The Rana rulers have never accepted Nepal as their motherland. No foreign regime has exploited a country so intensively, as the Ranas have done. During the past hundred years, several countries in the world have achieved remarkable progress. Europe has long entered into a new era after having extricated itself from a feudal system. a wholly new civilization is emerging in Europe thanks to industrial progress. India was unable to make as much progress as Europe, because it had been under the clutches of foreigners. But, compared with Nepal, India has achieved remarkable progress. The history of the past centry shows tha self-ruled nations have been able to achieve glorious progress in every field. On the other hand, the Nepali people are still groaning under an anachronistic and medieval feudal rule.
Every Nepali has a vivid knowledge of the consequences of the century-old Rana regime. Our country has not succeeded in achieving industrial progress even in this morder age. Investments in industriy and agriculture amount to less than Rs 20 million. It is a matter of anguish that not more than Rs 20 million has been invested in the production of essential commodities required by the ten million people of Nepal. Nor has the government implemented any plan in the field of agriculture. As a result, food production has