It was during the Anglo-Gorkha kindgom War fought in 1800s between East India company(Britishers) and Nepalese soldiers that left an impression on Britishers. The valor of a Nepali ‘Gurkha’ soldier was praiseworthy !
After the war ended with a treaty between the two armies, Britishers decided to include Gurkhas in their own armies. Eventually, the Brigade of Gurkhas came into existence and fought for Britishers in several battles. Its an interesting anecdote as several Nepal’s soldiers have been guarding the Queen for around 200 years now. Such a conviction in ones duty is rarely found.Its a tradition now wherein Nepalese youth look forward to British Army recruitment campaigns.
However, in spite of being so dutiful, Gurkhas were facing injustice on another front. A gurkha, after having served in the British army was not allowed to settle down in UK. In 2009, a protest led by actor Joanna Lumley was launched asking for citizenship rights for Gurkha veterans. Later British Government obliged and passed a law allowing gurkha soldiers to apply for citizenship if they had served in the British army for at least 4 years.
Former Indian Army Chief of Staff Field Marshell Sam Manekshaw had said for a Gurkha soldier – “if a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or he is a Gurkha!”
Cover Image Courtesy : Al Jazeera