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Author: Chandra B Khanduri
Publisher: Gyan Publishing House
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186987061
How did the Gorkhas acquire the cogonmen of Bahadur, the Bravest of the Braves? How did they repeatedly defeat a twenty time larger superior force of the British equipped with battering guns and cavalry in those unknown landmarks of Malaun, Kalunga, Jaithak, Jitgarh, or Makwanpur? How were they invited by a Quisling to capture and rule Kumaon? Or, how a small band of Gorkhas moved into Tibet and Sikkim to plunder and then invite the Chinese wrath that had their back to Makwanpur and Kathmandu? How the Garhwalis who held them back at Langurgarhi and Benital got decimated at Khurbura, in the Dun? What frontline leadership and strategic vision propelled the peasant army of Gorkhas to fight like Ghenghis Khan’s tartars? And how did the legend of the Gorkha Johnny inspire awe and admiration of the British and Maharaja Ranjit Singh both employing hem in their armies? Fascinating aspects of history, indeed.
Fascination is further romanticized by revealing historical mammoths that who the other side of the coin: the Johnny himself. Here he was punishing a Quisling respecting the fallen Garhwali King Pradyuman; assisting the fallen comrades to be removed from the no-man’s land. On the battlefield a 74 year-old Bhakti Thapa attacks the British guns and gets killed; a Johnny walks into a British camp with his fractured jaw and salutes and thanks for the treatment he received before returning to his fort to fight yet another day; or, a group of Gorkhas who captured Lieut Young tell him that they would be happy in being officered by him. A great trust in the right type of the officer: The Gorkha soldier has been and continues to be the world’s highest decorated for courage’s and gallantry and is admired for loyalty, camaraderie and lack of malice. The amazing feat of the valour of Bal Bhadra and his 600 Garhwalis and Gorkhalis with one-third women and children standing up to repeated attacks by a 20,000 strong assaulting echelons of Rollo Gillespie for two months continues to awe historians. Rollo himself at the head of his Division was killed and three Generals like him assigned to attack the Gorkhas from west to east were so frightened that they returned after touching the fringes of the Himalayas. To sum it up, one of them, deserting his command-another rare feat!
Marching off with colours…decidedly a fascinating history, is packed with characters of the adventurers, exploiters, negotiators and manipulators.
Deeply researched, Marching off…was promoted and supported in researches by the ICHR, British Council, Koirala Foundation, The Nepalese Army and The Indian Army. The book is expected to serve both as a rare piece of history and literature.
An erudite study; a revealing history; and a fascinating past described that is how Field Marshal Chapple called It. That is how Prof Irfan Habbib Sees IT.