A Tradition of Bartering and Selling Nepalese Youths

35 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2013

Date Written: March 16, 2005


The historical accounts demonstrate that the Kingdom of Nepal had been drained on eligible youth manpower owing to massive recruitment of Gurkhas during the war times. The recruitment of Gurkhas was more inclined for sustaining the bureaucracy of Rana regime. The Gurkhas who were recruited to die mercilessly in the world war were also the ones who were disbanded without any incentives and pensions. Gurkhas were kept ignorant of the politics for which they had been recruited. The recruitment was done as such all the Gurkhas were simply born to serve the British purposes as slaves. The Gurkhas were paid unequally with the pensions and benefits in comparison with the other similar ranks of British army. They were even not promoted to higher level ranks to keep them unaware and ignorant about the actual politics involved. The Gurkha Brigade therefore was an institution for trading the Nepalese hill-youths to British government. This had a very serious effect among the Gurkhas themselves as well as in the country. The hill people developed a sense of communal tension among the other people. They were left behind in the issues of education, employment and services inside the country. Despite of their hard and brave efforts, Gurkhas unfortunately could not get the payback they deserved. Even no any honest attempts to collect the figures of war casualties were made by the British. Although Nepal sacrificed so many people in the wars and played vital role in restoring international peace and order, everything was forgotten. The Gurkhas despite of their struggle in the World wars were discriminated and ill treated during and even after their services. The recruitment tradition not only divided the country into martial and non-martial races, but also destroyed the potentiality of people’s participation in education and spiritual development from which Nepal could do very much the same utilizing the manpower for the purpose of building the nation.

The paper therefore critically highlights that truth behind the scene of recruiting Gurkhas in the British army. The opportunity of employment for the Nepalese citizens was never a basis for recruitment. Though the British and their supporter writers often make attempt to depict the recruitments as a "Mercy done by the colonial power to the poor people of Nepal", the truth is other way round. Nepal and its citizens obtained nothing out of the recruitment but to lose always. The British Empire, however, earned immeasurable wealth from the Indian subcontinent using the service of Gurkhas to maintain the colony.

Keywords: Gurkhas, British, World War, Gurkha Brigade, Rana regime, bartering, colonial, India

Suggested Citation

Sangroula, Yubaraj, A Tradition of Bartering and Selling Nepalese Youths (March 16, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2360008 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2360008

Yubaraj Sangroula (Contact Author)

Kathmandu School of Law ( email )

Dadhikot-9, Bhaktapur
Bhaktapur, Bhaktapur 6618

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics