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Jul 18, 2022

Busts of five pioneers of Nepal Bhasa (Newari Language) unveiled

Foreign Affairs News Desk
Busts of Five Pillars in Nepal Bhasa. All Pictures by Natikaji Maharjan
Busts of Five Pillars in Nepal Bhasa. All Pictures by Natikaji Maharjan

The busts of five people– Pundit Nisthananda Bajracharya, Great Poet Siddhidas Amatya, Educationist Jagat Sundar Malla, Poet Yogbir Singh Kansakar and Scholar Prem Bahadur Kansakar– who contributed for the development of Nepal Bhasa (Newari language) have been erected amidst a function organized on Saturday in capital.

The statues were inaugurated by literary figure to political faces.

Bajracharya, Amatya, Malla and two Kansakar are honored as the pillars of the Nepal Bhasa (Newari language) renaissance who spearheaded the campaign to revive the Newar language and its literature during the repressive Rana regime and guided its renaissance at the beginning of the 20th century, as stated in the Wikiwand.

They produced literature at the risk of personal freedom and laid the foundation for the development of modern Nepal Bhasa. Their works mark the beginning of the Nepal Bhasa movement in Kathmandu, which has led to greater rights in education, the media and official recognition, the Wikiwand added.

Pundit Nisthananda Bajracharya was born in Nepal Sambat (NS) 978 in Om Bahal Kathmandu and died in NS1055 (December 9 1858- November 29, 1935).

According to Wikiwand, late Pundit Bajracharya marked a turning point by breaking away from the classical style and writing prose in colloquial language. In1909, Bajracharya published Ek Bishanti Prajnaparamita, the first book in Nepal Bhasa to be printed with movable type. Lalita Vistara, his most famous work which is based on the Buddha’s life story, and Swayambhu Purana were published in 1914, it said.

Honoured with “Mahakabi” (Great Poet) Siddhidas Amatya was born in NS 987 in Kel Tole who died in NS 1050. Also known as Siddhidas Mahaju (1867-1929) was at the forefront in the endeavour to revive literature in Nepal Bhasa.

Mahaju wrote more than 44 books of poetry, epics, short stories and essays. Sajjan Hridayabharan, a book of poems on morals which came out in 1920, was the only one published during his lifetime.

Mahaju composed Siddhi Ramayana, a translation of the epic Ramayana in Nepal Bhasa, in 1913, Wikiwand writes.

Master Jagat Sundar Malla was from Khauma of Bhaktapur who was born in NS 1002 and died in NS 1072.

Jagat Sundar Malla (1882 – 1952) was a teacher and writer who dedicated his life to the education of the common people.

In 1913, Malla opened a school stressing the importance of learning English in his home defying government disapproval. He also has credit to many textbooks.

Poet Yog Bir Singh Kansakar was born in 1006 in Kel Tole of Kathmandu and died in NS1062.YogbirSingh Kansakar (1885 – 1942) was a poet and social reformer who worked to develop his mother tongue.

In 1929, Kansakar headed a committee which petitioned the prime minister to be allowed to open a library for which he was arrested and fined. He has also been publicly flogged for his reformist activities.

An anthology of Kansakar’s poems entitled Yog-Sudha was published by Nepal Bhasa Parishad in 1951.

Bhashanibha Prem Bahadur Kansakar was born in Kel Tole in 1037 and died in 1111.

As per Wikipedia, Kansakar (1918-1991) was a Nepalese fighter for democracy and linguistic rights, author and scholar of Nepal Bhasa.

His main contributions were promoting Nepal Bhasa mainly by collecting and preserving ancient manuscripts. He was the founder of Aasa Archives, the only public archive in Nepal.  

Newari also known as Nepal Bhasa is spoken by the Newar people, the indigenous inhabitants of Nepal especially form Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur, Banepa, Dhulikhel, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Palpa, Narayangadh, Pokhara, Birgunj, Hetaunda etc.