1990 people’s movement ‘hero’ living a life of beggar

Parbat/ Tara Khadka of Solabang, Rukum who had once dared to try to smash the statue of King Mahendra placed in front of the Narayanihiti Palace during the 1990 people’s movement launched against the absolute monarchy is now seen on the streets of Parbat and other nearby districts asking for charity.
Khadka was just in his 20’s when the wave of people’s movement was taking its height and he, without caring its consequences, had decided to join an irate mob in their attempt to bring down the sculpture of King Mahendra, the father of the then King Birendra Shah. He was among those who collapsed due to the firing from the security personnel, but lucky among eight ‘protestors’ who had lost their life to the firing and alike of them he was alive with three bullets lodged in his right leg.
Despite being injured in the firing, he was subjected to cruel and harsh punishment by then authority.
He had spent two years in a US-based hospital in course of treatment. Khadka had to return home with just minor improvement. Later, the State had spent Rs 5 million in his treatment and he had also sold his private house in the capital for Rs 40 million to meet his treatment cost. In this way he sold all his property for treatment ultimately coming to the street. He owns no personal property.
He is now single after his spouse died to the 1988 Earthquake. He is living with the support of an artificial leg, but not in a position to carry out any physical labour.
Khadka had perhaps never imagined that his boldness that he had demonstrated that time would ultimately bring him to this pathetic situation.
Though the country witnessed an epochal political change in this period and such change was applauded at home and abroad, he said his identity as just ‘people’s movement victim’ has never changed.
Accusing the state and the governments formed after the success of the people’s movement of failing to recognise the contributions of the ‘heroes’ of people’s movement that had established constitutional monarchy, he shared that he was eventually forced to survive on begging. “See what a wretched life I am living as I am even unable to afford the cost of medicines I need to take regularly,” he shared his grief with tear-filled eyes.

 

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