A cruel practice
The article ‘A Relationship of Trust’ was a good read but the information given in it left a lot to be desired. It did not mention that 2014 marks the double centennial of the induction of Nepalese soldiers in the British Army. It was after the Anglo-Nepal War of 1814-16 - in which an expansionist Gorkha Empire clashed with the British East India Company - that the kingdom signed the Sugauli Treaty of 1816. Although this treaty gave freedom to Nepal, it came with a price: Nepal lost one-third of its territory. In addition to this, a British resident was appointed in Kathmandu.
But perhaps the most awful condition of the treaty was the recruitment of Nepalese soldiers into the British Army. The realization of the impact of this condition dawned upon the people of Nepal in the true sense after the First World War when Nepal lost some 20,000 young men to the war. One in every 10 young men recruited did not return home. Gurkhas still serve in the British Army but now there is growing discontent about the cruel tradition of Nepalese men serving a foreign army. One hopes this ends soon.