New Delhi (Media Cell, BGP) : On August 25 sixty-five years ago, a young Gorkha major in the Azad Hind Fauz was hanged by the British in Delhi. Today, Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit paid homage to the Gorkha martyr, Durga Malla, at the spot where he was hanged. The occasion was Balidaan Diwas observed by the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh all over India in remembrance of all Gorkha heroes who have given their lives for the sake of their country.
After paying floral tributes to Major Durga Malla, who sacrificed his life at the young age of 31, at the memorial site in the Maulana Azad Medical College premises, the Delhi Chief Minister planted a sapling to mark the occasion. At the function, Mrs Dikshit interacted with the families of Gorkha war heroes who had died in the Kargil war in 1999. Then, the chief minister led the large number of Gorkhas from all walks of life who had gathered there in the Sankalp ceremony in which they pledged to uphold the great sacrifice made by the martyrs and work for the unity and integrity of India.
The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, which is the donor organisation for the statue of Shahid Durga Malla that stands in Parliament House complex, remembers all Gorkha martyrs on this day. The sacrifices made by Durga Malla, Dal Bahadur Thapa, Dal Bahadur Giri, Bishnulal Upadhyaya and all the other Freedom Struggle heroes were recalled.
The Central Programme Cell of the BGP had met Mrs Dikshit last week and apprised her of the issues related to the Gorkhas of India, including the demand for a separate state of Gorkhland.
As part of the Balidaan Diwas, the BGP also organised a musical tribute to the martyrs on August 22. At the very well-attended programme in the St Thomas School auditorium in New Delhi, several bands sang songs about the country and Gorkhas, including their bravery and their contribution to nation building.
General Ashok Mehta, formerly of the 5th Gorkha Regiment and Commanding Officer of the IPKF in Sri Lanka, was the chief guest. Prominent guests included Col R B Rai, who passed out in the very first batch of the Joint Services Wing, the predecessor of the National Defence Academy.
Groups that participated included iWitness, Himalayan Youth Forum, Decorus, Hamro Sanskriti, Kushal and group, and Mantra Two, which comprised two members of the erstwhile Mantra band. They all presented patriotic Gorkha songs, recalling the life and loyalty of the Gorkhas to the country. Diya and Sujata Pradhan also mesmerised the crowd with their dances.