Heera Devi Yami
HEERA DEVI YAMI
Laxmi Krishna was a Kasa, or Kansakar, who followed the traditional handicraft of making copper and brass pots. He lived in a lane called Masangalli off the main street of Kel Tol in central Kathmandu. He had four sons – Laxmi Bir Singh, Heera Kaji, Ratna Man Singh and Moti Kaji. When the oldest son, Laxmi Bir Singh, grew up, he was sent to work at the Kothi or shop of his maternal uncle in Lhasa, where he had the usual experience of a Banja – great hardship.
Later, Laxmi Bir left his uncle’s shop and began to trade on his own with money borrowed from some other people. He bought and sold nabu cloth in the streets and gradually over the years, he made good.
By the time the second son, Heera Kaji, had a son, born at Talabi, the particular section at Masangalli where he lived, the family was able to buy a part of a house called Bhansachhen in the main street in the name of one-year-old Dhana Kaji. The house was repeatedly haunted but an astrologer said it would be all right if it was bought in the name of the child.
Bhansachhen is an old building, the only example of Newar architecture with red bricks, ornamental windows and sloping red tile roof in the locality. It boasted a history of its own as the customhouse, for that is what Bhansachhen meant.
In 1918 when a great fire raged at Kel Tol, Laxmi Krishna and his oldest son, Laxmi Bir took the sleeping baby, Dhana Kaji, in their arms to their newly bought Bhansachhen and placed him in a corner on the ground floor in the hope that the fire would spare the property, as the astrologer had told them.
The fire turned to the north and burnt a whole lane called Suchikagalli. Bhansachhen across the street to the east was saved. Later, Laxmi Krishna bought the remaining portion of the house- and the whole courtyard became his. The old house at Talabi was sold - and the family moved to Bhansachhen.
In Lhasa , the oldest son who later became famous as Lama Sahu had established his own Kothi in a building belonging to Chusimsyapala, one of the ten guthis or associations of the Newar merchants in the city. His brothers Heera Kaji and Ratna Man went to Lhasa by turn. The youngest of the brothers, Moti Kaji, managed their shop at home, where he sold clothes to Tibetans from Keyrung and the border areas who came to Kathmandu during winter, bringing with them goats, sheep and blankets for sale in Kathmandu. For several months, these people were lodged in the ground flour of Bhansachhen.
The grandson, Dhana Kaji, at the age of 20 went to Lhasa and stayed a year. There were five Banjas in the kothi – Bijuliman Kansakar, Gajaratna Tuladhar, Dan Man, Dhirendra Bajracharya and Gyan Ratna Bajracharya.
Ratna Man Singh was attacked by a gang of people while travelling (one month) back from Lhasa in the jungle, robbed, thrown in a jute bag. A team of three Newar merchants while travelling back on the way discovered the bag with light movement. When they opened the bag they discovered Ratna Man Singh. Luckily one of the three knew minor treatment and tried his best to save him. The three took turn to carry this diseased body by foot, traveled back walking for two days and came across a Tibetan monastery. They handed over the body to the monks and the three returned back the Kathmandu. Ratna Man Singh returned back to Kathmandu after he covered from his illness.
The family had become quite rich by the time Heera Kaji had a daughter, Heera Devi, in 1924.
During 1934 earthquake of 8.4 RS the Kathmandu valley was physically badly damaged ( .https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1934_Nepal%E2%80%93Bihar_) earthquake No resources were available to save people who got crushed due to building and infrastructure damages. Cries were heard every where with limited support from government. Heera Devi's family (joint family) was performing well in business in Lhasa (Tibet) during that period. Her family had contributed a lot in relief operation of the disaster of those days. These houses were rebuilt after 1934 earthquake. The people around Jana Baha had well established livelihood and had financial capability to rebuild the damaged building with seismic proof structure using traditional knowledge. The status of these old buildings after April 25th 2015 Earthquake should be analyzed by the experts regarding the knowledge of old expert builders in those days.
Years later, Laxmi Bir Singh ( also known as) Lama Sahu’s wife, Lani Maya, made a golden image of the Bodhisattwa Maitri at a cost of Rs.60,000/- for a monastery at Swayambhu Hill in Kathmandu .bi
the name of the monastery on Swoyambhu hill is " श्रि सुमति मैत्रि शासन महाबिहार" in short "मैत्रि गुम्बा". It is just below the vehicle parking at Swoyambhu. This Gomba was consecrated on 1954 AD, २०१४ B.S.
The founder and chief of the Maitri Gomba is भिक्षु सुमति शिल ( ज्ञानमानसिं तुलाधर, ङत). Other founding monks are भिक्षु सुमति सासन (देबकुलसिं तुलाधर, ङत), भिक्षु मुनि भद्र (महाचन्द्र शाक्य), भिक्षु मुनि सासन ( न्हुक्षे शाक्य), भिक्षु सुमति धर्मबृद्धि ( केश रत्न तुलाधर), भिक्षु .....(ज्ञानेन्द्र श्रेष्ठ), भिक्षु .....(गजानन्द शाक्य) ।
Late Gyan Maya Kansakar is the second wife wife of Late Bhauju Ratna Kansakar. He ( http://www.jyotigroup.org.np/maniharsha-jyoti-kansakar/ ) is a renowned Industrialist & Businessman of Nepal, Social Worker, Proponent of Newari Language and Buddha Dharma, Committed follower of Buddha, Vipassana Mediator, Dhamma Worker .Gyan Maya looked after Heera Devi Yami (Kansakar) at Calcutta and Kalingpong while undergoing treatment of Tuberculosis under a German doctor at Calcutta and a Bengali doctor at Kalingpong. In the year 1970 January on the day before Hera Devi died she told her children how Dev Maya gave her new life by taking care of her when she was critically ill due to Tuberculosis at such tender age.
Heera Devi as freedom fighter and the great mother:
This is the sad yet courageous story of a brave woman Heera Devi whose contribution to the Nepalese democracy cannot be forgotten. Heera Devi was one of the founders of the First Women's Association of Nepal who fought for the democracy in Nepal and civil rights of the women in Nepal.
Heera Devi's mother Heera Maya died when she was only seven years old. This child suffered from Tuberculosis after her mother's death. No medical treatment was available for such disease and this disease used to be called "Gha (Gandha mala ) " disease in Newari language meaning the person simply looses weight and dies. Jagat Lal master who was her neighbor took pity on her and taught her English secretly. Her family came from a very conservative family and discouraged girls from learning. Girls were taught from young childhood not to peep from windows for the fear being whisked away by the rulers.
Heera Devi's family came from wealthy family who used to trade with Lhasa could afford the treatment at Calcutta. Late Gyan Maya Kansakar was the second wife of Late Bhauju Ratna Kansakar. He ( http://www.jyotigroup.org.np/maniharsha-jyoti-kansakar/ ) is a renowned Industrialist & Businessman of Nepal, Social Worker, Proponent of Newari Language and Buddha Dharma, Committed follower of Buddha, Vipassana Mediator, Dhamma Worker . Gyan Maya looked after Heera Devi Yami (Kansakar) at Calcutta while undergoing treatment of Tuberculosis. In the year 1970 January on the day just before dying Hera Devi wept recalling Late Gyan Maya Kansakar and told her seven young children how Dev Maya took care of her when she was critically ill due to Tuberculosis at such tender age of nineteen at Calcutta and Kalingpong, India.
Those days, elderly persons in the society used to discourage growing up girls from getting educated: even basic literacy was not possible. The elderly would say “Bhotaan Nawai" in Newari – the language for communication in the Newari community. The phrase would translate in English as the "paper will speak" and " girl will learn to write to lover and will elope." Learning to read books by girls used to be considered a big social "taboo." During a famous ceremony called “Kumari Jatra” (city tour for the Living goddess Kumari. Ranas of Nepal ::https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHc2TqtCcZMused to move around sprinkling coins especially around the places where they saw girls. At night they used to depute their people to collect those girls.
The Indian people were trying to free India from the British rule. At Calcutta she was impressed by the freedom movement of India. Because of Jagat Lal Master's ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagat_Lal_Master secret home education she could understand English newspapers of India.
"In his neighborhood lived a young girl Heera Devi Kansakar (Heera Devi Yami after marriage), who would grow up to become a freedom fighter. According to her daughter Timila Yami Thapa, Heera Devi caught tuberculosis, which then had no medical treatment available.
Seeing this young girl’s miserable health condition, Timila Yami says, Jagat Lal Master felt that teaching her could ignite in her some hope, just as it had in his life. Knowing that her highly conservative family discouraged children from learning, he started secretly passing her lessons scribbled on small sheets of paper. Later, as she recovered, she would visit him at home for lessons.
“Learning to read gave me hope,” she’d later tell her children. She’d also tell them that when she (age nineteen) stayed in Calcutta and Kalimpong for treatment of tuberculosis, being able to read newspapers and gain insights about the Indian freedom movement fueled her willpower to recover and stay alive to see her own country freed from the Rana-British rule regime."
At the same time, she remembered the miserable condition of the general public of Nepal. The public were suffering from poverty, illiteracy and ignorance. They were being exploited by the ruling class who had no law to obey and who lived in luxury. Tyranny, debauchery, economic exploitation and religious persecution characterized Rana rule. The Rana oligarchy ruled Nepal from 1846 until 1951. This 104-years of Rana regime has been called as one of the darkest periods of Nepalese history. As she grew up, she couldn't resist protesting the rulers.She was determined to end the Rana rule.
In the old photograph (Mahila Sangathan ), Heera Devi is standing on the right side (second row) holding her first child in her arms. The children in the front row were the students of Heera Devi. She used to teach English language at Budhi Bikas School behind Hanuman Mandir, Hanuman Dhokha, Kathmandu where she often had to take school children into hidings while teaching because of being surrounded by secret police agencies. The guardians used to give food grains in return. She used to feed sick underground activists fighting agaist Rana-British rule and the family members of these freedom fighters languishing in the Ranas’ jail system.
During Heera Devi’s first pregnancy in 1946, while on her way to mobilse Nepalese people for creating awareness champaign and Anti Rana movement in India Heera, Devi had to stay back at one of the Ashrams of Vihar, India, one of the centers of Gandhiji's activities till India won its freedom in Bihar (India), a shelter for women in need of support. Her husband Dharma Ratna Yami went ahead to Banaras, Kalingpong, Darjeeling, sikkim, Patna etc to mobilize Nepalese people settled in India for mobilizing high risk underground movement to overthrow Rana - British regime ( for more information please read https://www.timilayamithapa.com/blogs/view/61.html ). During that time underground activists working under high risk were facing serious problem also with Nepalese leaders staying in India who were fighting over leadership roles creating confusing groups in field level in Kathmandu. On top of that Rana regime wanted to diffuse the movement by playing in the minds of activists. The situation was very grave. However, they could not patch up the ego centric leaders at Banaras. Heera Devi had to go through hard time because that was her first pregnancy. Even the basic staple diet of “chapattis” (Wheat bread) was unavailable due to the limited supply of food to the inmates of the overcrowded women-shelter there. Whenever food distribution took place inside Ashram she could not make her way through the crowd of hungry people to grab the chapattis (wheat bread) because the quantity used to be far less to feed the total inmates. She had no choice but to wait for months for her husband Dharma Ratna to return to that place. When he returned, he was shocked to see her skinny starved body. The first thing she demanded was food and she had to rushed a nearby restaurant.
An enlightened patriotism was punished by the ruling Rana - British regime as they felt threatened by it. As the Ranas were holding absolute power over the country and exploiting the resources mainly for their own benefit, the people they could trust were those who were exclusively loyal to them alone. Anyone with a concern for the society at large and to the future of the country had to be the enemy of the Ranas, so they singled out, punished, jailed and executed anyone who fought for people’s welfare on the pretext that it was high treason. The bulk of the abled bodied members of the populations were quite familiar with the name of the British monarch and conditions in India because of connection to these who were serving the British empire, while the powerful Ranas with the backing from British imperial system chose to surround themselves with dependent sycophants and opportunists, contributing to the degradation of ethical and moral principles of the people around the seat of power.
At the end of World war II a large number of countries won independence form their colonial overlords. Nepal was kept under the worst form of isolation, backwardness and economic exploitation and the country remained a feudal estate controlled by Ranas with backing from British rule. Their only interest was the collection of revenue and maintenance of law and order. Rana did limit number of progress and reform. This 104-year era was night mare for NEPAL which had pushed Nepal backward than other Nations in context of Progress and development.
Heera Devi was able to read newspapers and gain insights about the Indian freedom movement which fueled her willpower to recover and stay alive to see her own country freed from the Rana Regime. After this painful experience of witnessing the massacres of freedom fighters of India and the sufferings of vulnerable women in India, she with the help of other activists decided to design a massive protest program after returning to Kathmandu valley.
Under the Rana-British rule, between 1846 and 1951, access to education was confined to the higher castes and wealthier economic stratum of the population; the Ranas were opposed to giving education to the masses. General public used to be frightened to express their wish for getting educated. In the early 1950s, the average literacy rate was 5 percent. Literacy among males was 10 percent, while female literacy was 1 percent. Only 1 child out of 100 children attended school.
On 15th August 1947 Heera Devi led a protest procession against Rana-British rule regime and chaired the program at Maru Tole (Kasthamandap), a historical central place in Kathmandu (Nepal), even when her child was just one month old. Procession was banned then. She had led the procession which had all male protestors and children in the front whom she had been teaching secretly. As soon as she started delivering speech, she, along with her one-month-old child, was thrown into jail including 33 other protestors. Inside the jail, she was placed in a cell filled with male inmates including criminals and political activists. The prison-cell was full of bugs and mosquitoes without any privacy suitable for female prisoners; the only facility the prison-cell had was a open sky public toilet. The jail inmates could not sleep during the nights due to biting-bugs and mosquitoes and a month-old Dharma Devi crying throughout the night. The place had unbearable foul smell from the open toilet adjacent to the room and inmates couldn't sleep because of constant crying of a hungry one-month baby throughout. The situation quickly became unbearable for the inmates, and they went on hunger strike on the thirteenth day of Heera Devi’s arrest.
Published on 25th October AD 1947 National Herald, India
Banaras , 23rd October - The secretary of Nepali National Congress announces that 33 persons including a girl named Hira Devi , with a baby in her arms, were arrested in Nepal valley in connection with celebration of Indian independence day.
Heera Devi had hard time feeding underground activists fighting against Rana-British rule regime and also had hard time feeding her own children. She used to enter butchers’ shops and ask them to hand over bones of buffalo-meat thrown into the shops’ corners meant for feeding stray dogs. She would pick up those bones and tell the butchers that she was taking the bones meant for feeding her dogs. She would dry those bones in the sun and store them in the big earthen vessel meant for storing rice ("Tepa" in Newari language). She used to collect Sishnu ( Nettle ) plant, a leafy vegetable plant, in the neighboring places, and cooked them with dried bones because she didn't have any money to pay for rice or staple grains. This used to be the regular diet even during her pregnancy and delivery periods too. She also fed the same most of the times to the underground activists hiding in different localities. Those underground activists always described this dish in later parts of their lives.
Heera Devi worked for social and political transformation by risking her life during Rana-British regime in Nepal. She was a personality who had already learnt to deal with any grave situations and had very mature mind. By then she had already matured up in having the skill of political analysis and dealing with social transformation. In fighting of Nepalese leaders at Banaras, which created fractions among supporters of Dilli Raman Regmi group and B P Kiorala groups. reflected in groupism of underground activist, had aggravated the risky situation even more in Kathmandu. People recall Heera Devi's role in sorting out the differences during most vulnerable moments through her persuasion skills. People appreciated her because she was very action oriented approach and was able to resolve differences among underground activists together.. People appreciated her on the role she played during critical times of the decision making among underground activists. She also gave lot of hope to the suppressed society then. With her compassionate nature she was well connected in the field with the people then. She was promoting education among local people also. .
During the delivery of her second child (Vidhan) in the year 1948, Heera Devi again was arrested for heavy interrogation. That was the time when the ruling Rana regime arrested all the underground people staging war against ruler and also demanding scientific constitution in the country. After all the arrests the rulers thought everything would become peaceful, however, they received reports of some underground activities under secret movement managed by Heera Devi. They mobilized all the secret services personnel hunting for facts in the field. After detail survey they discovered the active underground involvement of Heera Devi. The rulers decided to arrest her. She was taken inside the prison-cell with her newborn baby while she was still bleeding after the delivery with blood stains on her Saree. Since she was still bleeding the administration decided to torture her by making her attend physically attend every day for a month making her stand for eight hours every day inside Simha Darwar in the freezing cold of December - January peak winter season instead of keeping her inside jail. During this period her health suffered including the health of the new born baby. She, two year old daughter Dharma Devi and new born baby Vidhan suffered from hunger and malnutrition. In order to escape from long hours of standing in that freezing cold she even was forced to keep both children hungry so that the people in Simha Darwar get irritated from the screens of both the crying hungry children. Both mother and the newborn child fell seriously ill due to the extreme weather conditions and improper healthcare.
“Tamnani” the word doli means a palanquin, which was used in earlier times by women as a mode of travel and for carrying bride during marriage. This was carried by butchers of those days. Couple of times during the initial phase of the arrest Heera Devi and her newborn were carried in Tamnani for the interrogation by Ranas. She used to bleed in Tamnani due to the recent delivery. She had no spare saree to change.
Local resident Chhal Kumari Mali , her neighbor and wife of Shiva Lal Mali and other neighbors used to see her bleeding while on the way to Simha Dawar. Local residents were dead scared of tyrannical Ranas’ police constables and avoided going near Heera Devi. Chhal Kumari secretly used to lend her Saree by secretly visiting her at night and washed her saree soaked with blood in river in late evenings.
All the jail inmates were very happy to celebrate the arrival of new born boy and unanimously decided to name the baby boy as “Vidhan” to symbolize the struggle for the demand of the first democratic “Constitution of Nepal.”
Dharma Ratna came secretly one night disguised as a poor a farmer pretending to deliver harvest. The condition of both mother and her newborn son was “touch and go”: either could die any moment. Dharma Ratna could stay only for a short duration in order to avoid getting arrested. He had to leave behind helplessly his Heera Devi who was playing such an important key role in the revolution during dangerous times of Rana regime. Both mother and child were near death bed. Laxmi Heera Tuladhar of Jwa Bahal, the maternal aunt of Heera Devi, decided to rescue baby Vidhan by shifting him to her residence. Baby Vidhan survived and recovered slowly due to the good nursing provided by Mrs. Tuladhar. She was taken care by her elder brother Dhana Kaji Kansakar at Nara Devi tole.
Dharma Ratna Yami, her husband, fell ill with tuberculosis at Nakhu jail because of malnutrition and physical torture. Heera Devi used to walk for four hours(two way) to reach the prison (Nakhu jail) to feed her ailing husband and help other political activists with serious health ailments. The conditions of the family members and children of the prisoners were equally bad.. Heera Devi had to help them too. She used to teach neighbors’ and farmers’ children in order to collect food grains and vegetables to feed underground activists and their starving families.
There was no one to look after her two small, desolate and crying (Dharma Devi and Vidhan Ratna) children while she was away. She used to lock behind her two small, desolate and terrified children due to the fear of Rana’s police constables who used to terrorize her children. The desolate children would eat, do toilet, sleep and cry the whole day in the same locked room. These children would also often fall ill because they used to fall inside an open drain opposite the entrance of her house while she used to be busy running around with secret underground responsibilities. People around were too scared to be near this family for giving helping hand in looking after two children in her absence because of the fear of getting tortured by police constables.
People recollect painful moments of her life during 1951 watching her moving around with a third child in stomach ( Timila ), three year old son ( Vidhan ) on the back and a five year old daughter (Dharma ) and walking tirelessly facing hunger, threat and tortures faced during Rana regime. Celebrities of her period have published articles about her braveries she demonstrated during critical times of the revolt against rulers.
( https://www.facebook.com/HeeraDeviYami/), ( https://www.facebook.com/dhmacademy2011/ ) and ( https://www.facebook.com/PoliticianDharmaRatnaYami/ ) contain copies of published articles in Heera Devi Yami.
She used to be called a REAL DIAMOND of the nation by the politicians, writers and historians of Nepal.
She spread awareness campaign mobilizing women secretly encouraging them to start struggling for domestic and national liberty..
Nepal's innumerable problematic customs in the past included not only Sati ( system still prevailed in rural areas during her time ) , but child-marriage, the fact that widows were not allowed to remarry, the caste system, un-touch ability. Early marriage, which was very common, made the physical, intellectual and spiritual development of women almost impossible. The girl-child from the moment of her birth to her death, undergoes one continuous life-long suffering as a child-wife, as a child-mother and very often as a child-widow. Heera Devi advocated all throughout her life saying " solution would come through access to education and property right for the girls"
Heera Devi dreamed for social and political transformation by risking her life during Rana-British regime in Nepal. Very unfortunately during Rana-British tortures she developed heart disease and suffered from acute asthma.
Following FaceBook page link contains published articles of Heera Devi:
In summary, Heera Devi and her children had to pay great personal price in the freedom struggle of Nepal against the Rana_British regime of Nepal. Yet, they managed to live, contribute to the freedom struggle, and survived to tell the tale of hardships during the period of Ranas’ tyranny.
राणा शासनकालमा पढेका महिलाहरुको अनुभव
१०४ वर्ष जजेर र निरंकुश,फासिष्ट राणाशासनकाल नेपालको राष्ट्यि पतनको इतिहास भन्न सकिन्छ । सर्बसाधारण नेपालीहरु राणाशासनहरुसंग सधैं त्राहिमामभएर बस्नु परेको थियो । त्यस माथि पनि महिलाहरुलाई त झन् साह्ै सास्तीथियो । पढ्नु लेख्नु त कताहो कता कसैले थौरै प्रगतिशील कुरा ग¥यो भने त्यसलाई सोझै गिरफतार गर्ने, पिट्ने मार्नेसम्म कामहुन्थे । यस्तो नारकीय अवस्थामा पनि शिक्षाको उज्यालो छर्न प्रयास गर्ने त्यसबेलाका महिलाको बारेमा छोटो परिचयत ल दिइएको छ ः
काठमाडौंमखनबहालमाजन्मिएकीलक्ष्मीप्रभाबज्राचार्य बुद्धि विकास विद्यालयमखन टोलको हनुमान ढोका निर पशुपतिमन्दिर छ त्यसको ठीक पछादि जानकीको घरमा खोलिएको स्कुलमा सानो छँदा पढ्न जाने गर्थिन ।उनकाश्रीमान् मोतीकाजी स्थापित र उहाँका केही साथीहरु मिलेर २००३ सालमा स्कुलखोल्नुभएको थियो । त्यो बेलाउनीजम्मा ६ वर्षकीथिइन् । त्यस स्कुलबचाउनलाई उनले पनि धेरै सास्ती खेप्नुप¥यो । पछि उक्त स्कुललाई त्याँहाबाट हटाएर मरुसतहभन्ने ठाउँमा सारियो । त्याहाँबाट पनि हटाएर कोछेंमा सारियो त्यसको केही समय पछि फेरी भोसिको टोलमा सारियो । यसरी राणाहरुले थाहापाएको संकेट पाउनासाथत्यो स्कुल सारिन्थ्यो । गल्लीगल्लीभित्र स्कुल सार्दा उनी र उनका साथीहरु बिलभ लेन माने गल्लीभन्दै गाउँदै स्मुलपुग्दथे ।
रााणाहरुले पठाएको सीआइडीहरु र पुलिसहरु आउँदाउनकीगुरुमा हिरादेवीयमिले जो सधै एउटा बच्चाबोकेर आउने गर्थिन । उनले पढाउन छोडी सारा विद्याथीलाई गल्लीगल्लीहँुदै चोकचोकबाट भित्र लगेर लुकाउने गर्थिन । त्यस्तै उनीहरु पढीरहेको बेलाबाहिर राणा विरोधीजुलुसहरु आउँदाखुब डराउथे । जुलुशकाबारेमा सिकाउँदै गुरुमाले नडराउनभन्थिन् । त्यो बेला हिरादेवीको मुहारमा रााणाको विरोधमाविद्रोह झल्केको देखिन्थ्यो । हरेकाविद्याथीको कापीमाअलगअलग गृहकार्य दिँदा गुरुमालाई धेरै समय लाग्थ्यो । गुरुमाका साथमा सधैं एउटी एक वर्षकीबच्चीहुन्थिन् ।तीबच्ची रोएको रोयै गर्थिन् उनलाई विद्यार्थीले फकाउँदा पटक्कै मान्दैनथिइन् । तीबच्ची धर्मदेवी यमि थिईन जो अहिले क्यान्सरको डाक्टर बनेकी छिन् । पछि लक्ष्मीप्रभाले कान्तिईश्वरी राज्यलक्ष्मीहाईस्कुलबाट एसएलसीपास गरिन् । अत्यन्तै हिम्मतभएकी हिरादेवीलाई देखाउदै लक्ष्मीकीआमाले भन्नुहुन्थ्यो हेर छोरी यीमहिलाको श्रीमान् धर्मरत्नयमीजहिले पनि जेलमा हुन्छन् र यिनीपनि राणा विरोधीजुलुशमापनिपुगेकी हुछिन, जेलमापनि पर्छिन । अनिनिस्केर फेरि जीज्यानलगाएर उनै बन्दीकालागिविभिन्नकाम गछिन ।उनलेबच्चाहरुलाई पढाएको पारिश्रमिकबाट पाएको चिउरा,मकै,भटमास लागायतकाखानेकुराहरु जम्मा गरेर जेलमा पु¥याउने गर्थिन । आफन्त र चिनेजानेकाहरुले दिएको तरकारी र भटमास जम्मा गरी भुमिगत नेताकार्यकर्ता र आफनाबच्चाहरुलाई खुवाउने गर्थिन । यिनलाई खाना जुटाउन साह्ै गाहे थियो । बिरामीहँुदापनि कसैले हेरचार गर्ने आँट गदैंनथे । यहाँसम्म कि कसाहीले कुकुरलाई दिने निहँु बनाई मागेर ल्याइ घाममा लुकाएरु मटोको ध्याम्पोमा जम्मा गरी राख्थिन् । र वरिपरि बाटोमा भएकासिस्नुहरु टिपेर ल्याई सिस्नु र हड्डीको सुपबनाएर खाने र खुवाउने गर्थिन । यस्ता कष्ट व्यहोरेकीलक्ष्मीप्रभाकील गुरुमाको शिक्षाप्रतिको मोह साहै प्रशंसनीय र प्रेरणा दायी छ । त्यो बेला रााणहरुले दुइचार जना मान्छे जम्माभएर कुरा गर्न पनिदिदैनथे । यदि कसैले कुरा गरिहाल्यो भने पनि सीआइडीले लगेर बेसरी पिटेर छाड्थे । त्यसैले राणा विरोधी कृयाकलाप गर्नलाई धेरै सतर्कताअपजाउनु पथ्र्यो । त्यो बेला केटीमान्छेलाई बाहिर एक्लै दुक्mलै देखेमा राणाहरुले उठाएर लैजान्थ, बलात्कार गरी घरमै राख्थे । बलात्कारको कारण उक्त केटी गर्भवतीभइभने उसलाई मारेर घरमै गाडिदिन्थे ।
त्यो बेला राणहरुले कसैको घरमा राम्री तरुणी छोरी बुहारीभएको चालपाएभने तिनलाई जर्वर्जस्ती उठाएर लैजान्थे र उनीहरुलाई नाचगानमाप्रयोग गर्ने बलात्कार गर्ने र मार्ने सम्मकाकामगर्थे अहिले पनिसिहदरवारमा उत्खन्नग¥यो भने त्यो बेलाका सर्वसाधरणका छोरी बुहारीलाई राणाहरुले मारेर गाडेको अवशेषहरु भ्ेटिन्छन भन्ने त्यो बेलाकाभुक्तभोगीहरु बताउँछन् । यतिमात्रहोइनसिहदरबारको उत्तर पश्चिममा पर्ने पुतलीसडकको नामकरण कसरीभयो भन्ने बारेमा पनि पुरानो भनाइ छ । राणाहरुले नाच्ने केटीहरुलाई पुतलीभन्थे र सिहदरबारभित्रउनीहश्रले त्यस्तै कामको लागीपुतली घर बनाएकाथिए ।त्यहीबाट सडकको नाम नै पुतलीसडक रहनगयो । राणहरुले त्यो बेलाअसारमा धान रोप्ने बेलामा रोपाहारको रुपमा राम्रा केटीहरु निस्कन्छन र त्यहीबेलातिनलाइ उठाएर आफनो दरवारमा ल्याउनउनीहरु रोपाइँ हेने बाहानामाबाहिर निस्कन्थे । त्यसैले जनताहरु ऋाफ्ना छोरी बेटीलाई राम्री देखेर राणाहरुले नलैजाउनभनी शरीर भरी र मुखमा समेत हिलो छयापेर रोपाइँसिध्याउथे । र आफना छोरी बुहारीलाई लुकाउन घर नजिक धेरै चोकै चोकै बनाउथे जसले गर्दा राणाहरुलाई अर्काकी छोरी बुहारी देख्न मुश्किलहुन्थ्यो ।
त्यसैले त्यो बेला छोरीहरु घरबाट निस्केर पढ्न जानुभनेको धेरै ठुलो खतरा मोल्नु हुन्थ्यो । पढ्नु लेख्नु भनेको राणहरुको लागि अपराध र राज्यविप्लव ठहरिन्थ्यो ।
तलेजु देवताको अगादिकन्या पाठशाला भन्ने स्कुलखुल्यो । त्यहाँशहिद शुक्रराजशास्त्रीकाभाइबुहारी र बहिनीप्रधानाध्यापक र सहप्रधानाध्यापकथिए । त्यसपछि पद्य शमशेरले डिल्ली बजारमा पद्यकन्याहाइस्कुलभनेर २००४ सालमाखोलेका हुन् । त्यतिबेला पढेलेखेकाहरुले अन्य रोजगारी पाउदैनथे । त्यसैले धेरै जसोमानिसहरु अध्यापन गराउर्थे ।
लुकीलुकी पढ्ने र पढाउने कथा
कुरा २००४ सालतिरको हो । हाल चाकुपाट पाटनमा बस्ने रत्नेश्वरी श्रेष्ठ पनि राणाकालकी भुक्तभोगी एक प्रतिनिधिपात्रहुन् । उनीबैंसमा अत्यन्तै सुन्दरी थिइन् उनीजहिले पनिधोसे मुन्टो लागाएर हिड्ने गर्थिन । राणाहरुबाट जोगिन उति बेला साह्ै मुश्किलथियो ।उनकाअनुसार भन्साछेँ केलटोलको साहुकी छोरी हिरादेवीले जनकलालश्रेष्ठको घरमा दुइचार जना केटाकेठी जम्मापारेर पढाउनथालिन् । त्यो बेला पढ्ने र पढाउने काम सार्वजनिक रुपम गर्न पाईदैनथ्यो । यस्तो काम गरेको कहीकतैबाट राणाहरुले थाहापाएभने शिक्षक र विद्यार्थी दुवैलाई खेदेर झ्यालखाना पु¥याइन्थ्यो । कहिलेकाही पढाइरहेको घर वरपर सीआईडी र पुलीस आइपुग्थे । यस्तो बेलाबेलागल्लीगल्लीहुँदै आफनाविद्याथीहरुलाई शिक्षिका हिरादेवीले सुरक्षित स्थानमा लैजन्थिन् । केही गरी पढाउने घरको बारेमा राणाहरुले थाहापाएभने उनीहरु सुटुक्क अर्को ठाँउमा सर्थे । सानैदेखि राणा विरोधीअभियानमा लामबद्ध बनेकी हिरादेवीलाइअचानक टिबीकोमिारले च्याप्यो । उनको धाटीमा ठुलठुला खटिरा आउदै फट्ु्दै गर्न थाले । त्यसपछि उनलाइउपचारका लागिभाजुरत्नले इण्डिया लगे ।त्यो बेला ईण्डियामा ब्रिटिस धपाउआन्दोलन प्रत्यक्ष देखेकीहीरादेवीले आफू पनि नेपाल फर्केर राणालाई फाल्ने आन्दोलन सक्रियबन्ने मनमनै प्रण गरेकीथिइन । इण्डिया बसाइकाक्रममात्यहाँको आन्दोलन देखि आँट र साहस लिएर नेपाल फर्केकी हिरादेवीले राणा विरोधीअभियानमालागेर पटक पटक जेलमा बस्दै आएका धर्मरत्न संग विवाह गरिन् । यसरी पटक पटकजेल बस्दै आएका धर्मरत्नसंग विहे गरेपछि हिरादेवीकामाइतीले उनलाई घरबाट उनलाई निकालीदिए । त्यसपछि यो जोडीले केही समय साँखुको डाँडामा बितायो । यसै बिच धर्मरत्न फेरि जेल परे यता हिरादेवीले बुद्धि विकास स्कुलमा पढाउन थालिन । केटाकेटीलाई पढाएर पाएको पारिश्रमिकबाट आएको च्यूरा,मकै,भटमास र तरकारी लगायतकाअन्नपात र खानेकुरा लिएर उनी जेलमापुग्थिन् । सातवर्षको उमेरमा आमागुमाएकी हिरादेवी सानैदेखि आँट र साहसले भरिएकी एक विदेहीथिईन । सधैभरी बच्चाबोकेर काममालाग्ने हिरादेवीका ६ छोरी र एक छोरा छन् । जिन्दगीभरि राणा विरोधीआन्दोलनमा आवद्ध नेताकार्यकर्ताको व्यवस्थापनमा खटिएकी उनी ४० वर्ष नपुग्दै थला परिन् ।
सधैभरि आफ्ना सबै छोरीहरुलाई जम्मापारेर हिरादेवीले भन्ने गर्थिन “मैले तितिहरुलाई सम्पति र गहनादिएभने पछि अरुले लैजान्छ । त्यसैले म मर्नै बेला एउटा शव्द छोडेर जान्छुतिमिहरु ज्ति सक्दो पढ । म मरेपछि तिमिीहरुले ज्यानफालेर पढ्नु ।
उसो त छोरीलार्य गुफा राख्ने र बेल विवाह गरिदिने नेवारी परम्परालाई हिरादेवीले लत्याइदिएकीथिइन् । उनले आफ्ना कुनै छोरीलाई पनिगुफा राख्ने बेल विवाह गर्ने संस्कृतिनमानेर आफ्नै छोरीबाट परिर्वतनको सुरुवात गरेकीथिइन । यसरी गुफानबसेका र बेल विवाहनगरेका उनीहरुलाई विवाह गर्ने कोहीनिस्किएन । यहाँसम्म कि विदेशबाट डाक्टर सकेर फर्केकी जेठी छोरी धर्मदेवीलाई विवाह गर्न पनि मान्छेहरु हिच्किचाए । पुरातनवादी सोच भएकोले आफ्नै जातभित्रविवाह गर्न बेल विवाह र गुफानबसेकोले त्यति सहजभएन । पछि धर्मदेवीले स्थानीय राजभण्डारीसँगअन्तरजातीयविवाह गरिन् । उतिबेलाअन्तरजातीयविवाहगर्नेचलनै थिएन । तै पनिशिक्षित राजभण्डारी परिवारले यी कुराहरुको कुनै परवाहनगरी धर्मदेवीयमिलाई बुहारीको रुपमाभित्रा्याए ।आजनेपाली समाजले कोल्टो फेरिसकेको छ । आफ्ना बालबच्चाको शैक्षिक स्तर बृद्धि गर्ने कुरामाप्रायः सचेत भइसकेका छन् । छोराछोरीमा भेदभावविस्तारै हटिसकेको छ । तर राणकालको त्रासदीभित्रपनिजीवनलाई नै दाउरा राखेर लुकीलुकी पढ्ने र पढाउने काममा सक्रियमहिा हिरादेवी,रत्नेश्वरी र लक्ष्मीप्रभाहरुको अभियानलाई एक साहसिक र कांन्तिकदमहो भनेर मान्नै पर्छ ।
Published in Athmarch magazine
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