‘The Comprehensive History of the Nepalis in North East India’ released



Shillong, May 27 : For former bureaucrat and author of many popular books, KK Muktan, it was a necessity to write about the Nepalis as there is no Nepali history book so far written by anybody and that is how the three volumes of “The Comprehensive History of the Nepalis in North East India came about.

His book entitled, “The Comprehensive History of the Nepalis in North East India,”- was released on Saturday by famed historian and the former chairman of the Union Public Service Commission of India David Reid Syiemlieh in the city on Saturday.

Informing it took him two years to complete the three volumes and the press took another two years to publish it, now 92, Muktan said, “This was written because of the necessity. There is a saying necessity is the mother of invention so there is no Nepali history book so far written by anybody here. So many Nepali people are here but no one wrote any book, no other communities also wrote about Nepalis”.

“There are so many contributions and achievements made by Nepalis but these went in vain and it was pinching voice in my heart that I must write something so this the book that has come out now,” he added.

Asked about Nepalis in Meghalaya, he said, “Meghalaya and in India itself Nepalis came more than 200 years. Now in 1815 the first recruitment of the Gorkhas was done by the British people and after that the Gorkhas started coming every year because the British found that they are courageous and expert in fighting”.

“After the retirement the British encouraged them to settle down wherever they are working in Assam Meghalaya in other places also and they gave jobs to the retired person like peons chowkidars in British establishment”.

“Since then Nepalis began settling down and at the same time the British also encouraged the Nepali soldiers to bring their families to India with the Idea that their children will be available for recruitment because there was want of recruitment and the government of Nepal was not ready to supply so many Nepali gorkhas for recruitment, So the british encouraged them to come and settle and this is how the Nepali Population increased,” he informed.

He said, “Today Nepalis are all over India and more in North all the district of North East everywhere they are there one good thing about them is that wherever they have settled they have adopted the language of the place and also customs and traditions that is how they were loved by all and mutually they stayed in different places”.

Talking about his book he said, “It consists of three parts and I have divided the 200 hundred years of Nepalis here into three different period. The first period is from 1800-1920 when the Neplais first came to Assam in connection with Burmese war”.

“The Gorkhas drove away the Burmese from Assam and they and brought peace and tranquillity in Assam finding this the British gave them land to settle down everywhere in Assam they reared cattle did agriculture and many other professions that is how they are here,” he said further adding that the second volume begins from 1921 upto 1947 and the third part begins from 1948 up to date.

Informing that there is no exact census figure of Nepalis so far, he said there will be not less than 20 lakhs Nepalis all over the North East.

Meanwhile renowned historian Syiemlieh said, “Muktan turned attention after his reteirement to writing history I am fascinated with the word history because it is something that I have taught for the last 40 years and it will continue to do so but that Muktan should make a transition from economics to history is awesome he did a marvellous job and many will be there in fascination reading your texts”.

Recalling the many number of books Muktan had written, Syiemlieh said, “Muktan has in detail provided us the connection of the Gorkhas in the army and that was in support of the colonial raj and they did a splendid job …whether fighting in India or abroad”.

“We are thankful to the text available that gives us these details because history cannot be by passed, history is truth it has to be established and it was established that the Gorkhas played a marvellous role in the defense and the growth of the empire,” he added.

Reminding that recently there was almost a direction that the lesser known fighters of the country be emulated and brought into the readership of young students and scholars, he said, “ I wish the volume which has been released today could have come a little earlier because somebody would have taken up the role of the Gorkhas in the freedom struggle”.

He went on to suggest, “If it is nott too late may that portion be developed into an article or given to the press to indicate though we Tirot Sing over here kiang Nongbah, Patogan Snagma and the very many others who fought for the freedom of their own state, the Gorkhas did play a role as mentioned in the book that has just been released”.

Syiemlieh said, “These volumes trace the history of the Nepalis in the North East starting from their earliest migration and settlement including the socio cultural and economic and political welfare over the time and these volumes are a testimony of the commitment of the author to his people and the contribution to making the region so multi –cultural”.

He also informed that Muktan’s many books are available in the best of the libraries and reputed universities across the world-US, UK and that he is sure a copy or two will be in the national library at kolkatta

K K Muktan was born on the 31st of January ,1931.He did his graduation in Economics from St.Anthony’s College ,Shillong in 1953 and M A in Economics from Allahabad University .He joined Assam Civil Service (ACS)in 1960 and when Meghalaya got its statehood his cadre was changed into the Meghalaya Civil Service (MCS) cadre in 1975.He had the opportunity to serve the people of Meghalaya from the very initial stages of statehood as the Block Development Officer at Mairang, Mawsynram and Pynursla and thereafter in Garo Hills as Additional Deputy Commissioner and at Shillong as Director and OSD, Agriculture and Veterinary and Fisheries Department.