The Legend of Garjaman Gurung

Michael Hutt

in Unbecoming Citizens

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780195670608
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081806 | DOI:
The Legend of Garjaman Gurung

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This chapter elaborates the life of Garjaman Gurung, an early Nepali settler who became politically powerful in southern Bhutan during the 1920s, and is now a major figure in the Lhotshampa refugees' political martyrology. He became so powerful in the Paro region of southern Bhutan that the Paro Pönlop came to regard him as a threat, and had him brought to Paro and killed. In D.B. Gurung's account, his birth is accompanied by portents which are identical to those which accompanied the birth of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the King of the Gorkha. Garjaman Gurung is still seen as an embodiment of Nepali political aspirations in Bhutan, and his name is omitted from national historical narratives. It then shows the manner in which Tongsa, whose Pönlop became the first hereditary monarch in 1907, gradually covered its control over southern Bhutan by marginalizing first Paro, then Nepali contractual landlords such as Garjaman, and finally the Dorjes.

Keywords: Garjaman Gurung; southern Bhutan; Lhotshampa; Paro Pönlop; Dorjes; Tongsa; Prithvi Narayan Shah

Chapter.  4457 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Migration Studies

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