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Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Biography - 1000 + Contribution, Early Lifestyle, Education, Ascend the Throne, Murder

Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Biography
Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Biography

Who is Biredra Bir Bikram Shah?

Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev was the former King of Nepal. He was born into a royal family in 1995, December 20, and eldest son of King Mahendra. Birendra's journey is one of royal responsibilities, education, and personal growth. Let's explore the deep of Birendra Bir Bikram Shah's Biography and his early lifestyle, education, royal life, and family background of this remarkable figure in the history of Nepal.

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Early Lifestyle and Family Background

Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev was born on December 28, 1945, in Kathmandu, Narayanhiti Royal Place. He was the eldest son of King Mahendra and Queen Indra Rajya Laxmi and Grandson of King Tribhuvan. As a member of the Shah dynasty, Birendra was raised in the luxury of the royal palace. His childhood was filled with both privileges and responsibilities, as he was groomed to assume the throne one day.

Education and Personal Growth

Birendra's schooling was extremely important in developing his character and getting responsibility to control his upcoming throne. He attended St. Joseph's School in Darjeeling, India, for his early schooling with his brother Mahendra. In 1959, he studied at Eton College in the UK, where he improved his cognitive skills and gained a wider view of the world. After completing his studies he return to Nepal in 1964 and being to travels the Country from cities to the remote part of the village where he gained respect from villages and learned about the life of villagers.

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After attending Eton College, Birendra continued his education at the University of Tokyo in Japan. He studied a variety of topics there, including; political science, law, and international relations. He was able to learn essential lessons about other cultures and political structures while studying overseas. Before completing his education, he travels to many countries including; Canada, America, South Africa, and a number of South Asia Countries, where he gained valuable knowledge of each and every country, which was beneficial for the upcoming King,

Ascend the Throne

After the death of his father Mahendra, in, Birendra Bir Bikram Shah became the king of Nepal, on 31 January 1972, at the age of 27. His reign was marked by efforts to modernize the nation while also preserving its rich cultural heritage.

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During his reign, Birendra initiated various social and economic reforms aimed at improving the lives of the Nepalese people. He encouraged the establishment of democratic practices and granted greater freedom to the press and civil society.

Achievements and Challenges

During his reign, Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev saw both achievements and challenges. On the one hand, he was well-liked for his dedication to the welfare and unity of Nepal. He focused on infrastructural development, environmental preservation, and rural development. Both his citizens and the international world praised him for the leadership he showed in guiding the nation toward a more democratic course.

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King Birendra at 5 Rupees Notes
King Birendra at 5 Rupees Notes

However, there were challenges encountered throughout Nepal's journey to democracy. Periods of instability in the nation were caused by ongoing political conflicts and ethnic differences. King Birendra put forth a lot of effort to keep the country peaceful by acting as a mediator between disputing groups.

Contribution

Diplomatic Campaign

  • He maintained Nepal's independence despite pressures from India, China, and the Soviet Union.
  • His first foreign trips were to India (October 1973) and China (two months later).
  • He stopped Mustang from separating from Nepal and Tibet from separating from China during the Mustang revolution.
  • He helped disarm Khampa rebels fighting against China, improving Nepal-China relations.
  • He played a significant role in creating the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and establishing a South Asian food reserve.
  • He set up the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu.
  • He established diplomatic relations with 46 more countries, increasing the total to 96.
  • He strengthened Nepal's neutral policy by promoting it as a peaceful zone at the UN.
  • He believed Nepal should maintain good relations with both neighboring powers, India and China.

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Promotion of Peace

  • Someone proposed that Nepal should be declared a Peace Zone at a United Nations meeting.
  • This proposal got support from 116 countries in the UN.
  • Later on, a "Peace Keeping Training Camp" was established in 1986.
  • In 2001, this camp became a training institute for training peacekeeping forces.
  • It was renamed as the "Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre."
  • This institute helped Nepal train peacekeeping forces and work with the UN.
  • In 1974, King Birendra managed to peacefully disarm rebellions known as the Khampas in the Himalayan region.
  • He did this by offering land, money, and citizenship to those who surrendered their weapons.
  • Those who didn't surrender were not allowed to go towards the Tibetan region.
  • Birendra also prevented the use of the army to suppress the Maoist revolution in Nepal, avoiding more conflict and maintaining peace in the country.

Environmental Campaign

  • King Birendra loved nature and supported nature conservation during his reign.
  • The rhinoceros population declined due to migration and poaching, so a Rhino Patrol force and guard posts were established in Chitwan.
  • To protect rhinos and other wildlife, a National Park law was introduced, leading to Chitwan National Park's establishment in 1973.
  • For tiger conservation, Royal Karnali Wildlife Reserve (1976) became Royal Bardiya Wildlife Reserve (1982), which expanded later.
  • Langtang National Park was created in 1976 to protect Himalayan areas in Nuwakot, Rasuwa, and Sindhulpalchok districts.
  • Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Royal Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve (later a national park) were established in 1976.
  • Rara National Park (1984) protected unique flora and fauna in Humla, Mugu, and Jumla, including Rara Lake.
  • Sagarmatha National Park (1979) and Chitwan National Park (1984) became UNESCO World Heritage sites due to King Birendra's efforts.
  • Monument zones like Kathmandu's Durbar squares and religious sites were also enlisted as UNESCO sites.
  • King Birendra established the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve in 1987 to preserve hunting tradition and wildlife.
  • He founded the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation in 1990 as a tribute to his father, King Mahendra.

Economic reforms

  • In 1975, Nepal started a trolley bus system with help from China to support the environment.
  • King Birendra, following his father's example, set up industrial areas like Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Butwal, and more in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • He planned the Melamchi water project for Kathmandu.
  • During his rule, factories like Gorakhali Tires Industries, Udayapur Cement Industries, Nepal Metal company, and Nepal Pharmaceuticals were established.
  • He supported the development of the Pashupati Area and founded the Nepal-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission in 1983 to attract foreign investment.
  • A 60 Megawatt hydropower project at Kulekhani started in 1982 with help from the World Bank, Kuwait, and Japan.
  • He established TU Teaching Hospital and Nardevi Ayurvedic Hospital with support from Japan.
  • Nepal Police Hospital was created to provide free health services to police personnel and their families.
  • He started the Securities Exchange Center in 1976, which later became the Nepal Stock Exchange.
  • King Birendra set up Nepal Television in 1984 with French assistance, making it the country's first TV channel.
  • Economic reforms led to over 2,000 industrial establishments by 1986, providing jobs for around 125,000 people.
  • By 1990, television became popular, leading to the availability of video rental services and satellite dishes.
  • In 1986, King Birendra established Mahendra Sanskrit University in Dang, the country's second university at the time, to manage Sanskrit education.

Road and Transportation

  • Baglung Airport (Balewa Airport), Dhorpatan Airport, Mahendranagar Airport, and Rukum Chaurjahari Airport were established in 1973.
  • Sanphebagar Airport was established in 1975.
  • Simikot Airport was opened on March 18, 1977.
  • Dolpa Airport was set up in 1978.
  • Ramechhap Airport was established in 1979.
  • Doti Airport (Silgadhi Airport) with a blacktopped runway was founded in 1973.
  • Talcha Airport (Rara Airport) was built in 1975.
  • Taplejung Airport (Suketar Airport), Jiri Airport, Phaplu Airport, and Bajhang Airport were constructed in 1976.
  • Rolpa Airport was established in 1980.
  • Manang Airport was built in 1981.
  • Bajura Airport started operating in 1984.
  • Darchula Airport was established in 1986.
  • Additionally, the Lamosangu-Jiri road leading to Solukhumbu was completed in 1985 with assistance from the Swiss government.

Promotion of agriculture

  • Around 90% of the population engaged in agriculture by 1990.
  • Bhrikuti Pulp and Paper established in 1985 with China's support.
  • Bhrikuti Pulp and Paper set up under the Companies Act 2021 (Bikram Sambat).
  • Improved agricultural lands and workforce boosted food supplies.
  • Corn production increased to 1 million tons in 1991 from 500,000 tons in 1961.
  • Lumbini Sugar Mills built in 1982 with China's technical assistance.
  • Gorakhali Rubber Industries started cultivation of rubber in eastern Nepal.
  • New industries like Bhrikuti Pulp and Paper, Hetauda Textile, and garment industry formed.
  • Agriculture-based industries processed raw agricultural products, boosting the economy.

Political achievements

  • King Birendra's reign saw a referendum in 2037 BS for democracy with options of a multi-party system or Panchayati system.
  • He divided the country into 5 development regions to ensure balanced growth, visiting each annually until the 1990 democracy movement.
  • King Birendra maintained a constitutional monarch role, even under pressure, never exceeding his authority.
  • He helped during political crises and supported mid-term elections in 2051 and General Election in 2056.
  • The King regularly consulted the Supreme Court on political matters concerning the constitution.
  • He established a routine of weekly meetings between the king, prime minister, and palace to discuss state matters.

Social reforms

  • King Birendra saw that low literacy was holding back the country's progress.
  • He made improving education a top priority.
  • In 1971, a five-year plan began to create new schools and make the current education system better.
  • On his coronation day, King Birendra made primary education free for all Nepalese citizens.
  • In 1978, all school materials started being given to schools for free.
  • King Birendra supported the Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, which focused on developing science and technology in Nepal.
  • He set up Mahendra Sanskrit University in 1986 to protect the language and culture.
  • In 1976, the dowry system became illegal in Nepal under the Social Practices Reform Act.
  • As part of the five-year plan, King Birendra started National Service. Post-graduate students had to spend a year helping with rural development.
  • In 1975, he established the Natural History Museum to preserve history.
  • On September 22, 1976, he made a law called the Narcotic Drugs (Control) Act, which stopped the trade and smuggling of drugs in Nepal.

Development policy

  • Birendra focused on road development based on population and traffic.
  • He connected rural areas with airports.
  • He restructured government organizations for development goals.
  • Emphasized road construction, sanitation, science, and technical training.
  • Central Planning Agency study led to the National Planning Commission restructuring in 1972.
  • Minor changes in 1987.
  • The government prioritized the environment, agriculture, and education.

Murder (बर्दार हत्यकाण्ड)

In 2001, a tragic incident shook Nepal to its core. King Birendra and his whole royal family were assassinated during a mass shooting at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace. The incident shocked the world and plunged the nation into mourning. The tragic incident has remained a mystery till now, and there is no evidence as to who killed Birendra and his entire royal family.

Murder (बर्दार हत्यकाण्ड)
Royal Family

FAQs

a. When was the late King Birendra Born?
Ans: 
Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev was born on December 28, 1945, in Kathmandu, Narayanhiti Royal Place. 

b. Who is Birendra Bir Bikram Shah?
Ans: 
Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev was the former King of Nepal. He was born into a royal family in 1995, December 20, and eldest son of King Mahendra.

c. When was Barbar Hatyakanda take place?
Ans:
Barbar Hatyakand take place in Narayanhiti  Royal Palace on 2001.

d. How old was Birendra when he died?
Ans:
Birendra was 55 years old when he died.

e. What happened during the murder of King Birendra?
Ans: King Birendra and his entire royal family were tragically assassinated during a mass shooting at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace. 

f. What were King Birendra's development policies?
Ans: King Birendra focused on balanced development, connecting rural areas through infrastructure like airports and roads. He restructured government organizations, emphasized sanitation, science, and technical training, and prioritized environmental conservation, agriculture, and education."

 

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