Contesting Place in a Post-colonial Space

(Re)colonizing Tradition

A Pedestrian Guide to a "Traditional" City

Welcome to Bhaktapur

[1] The Tea Stall at Guhepukhu

[2] Nava Durga Chitra Mandir

[3] Khauma Square

[4] Tourist Motor Park

[5] Indrani Pitha

[6]Lasku Dhwakha Gate

[7]Char Dham

[8]Cafe de Temple

[9]Batsala Temple

[10] Batsala Temple

[11] City Hall

[12] The Procession Route

[13] Pujari Math

[14] The Peacock Restaurant

[15] Sewage Collection Ponds

[16] Bhairavanath Temple

Hyo(n)ju Incident

After the earthquake of 21 August 1988, His Majesty Government had given Mr. Hyo(n)ju the responsibility of distributing earthquake relief funds in Bhaktapur. Mr. Hyo(n)ju was mistrusted by many in Bhaktapur, because he had been elected as a member of Nepal Majdur Kisan Sangh, but had given his support to the "Panchas." During the distribution of funds, Mr. Hyo(n)ju was accused of neglecting real victims and only giving help to Pancha political cronies. A crowd gathered, and started to violently drag Hyo(n)ju around the procession route. The police came, but failed to stop the procession. Suddenly, many drunken people arrived. It is rumored that they were undercover police (mandales).Others say that it they were just drunk people celebrating the festival of Gai Jatra. Soon the crowed started to beat Hyo(n)ju into unconsciousness. He was then rescued by police and taken to the hospital in Kathmandu, but died later that night.

     At midnight, the police rounded up Rohit and twenty-four other leaders from Nepal Majdur Kisan Sangh and placed them under house arrest. Soon after the incident, the Prime Minister and Chairman of the Rastriya Panchayat and other ex-members of Rastriya Panchayat participated in a funeral procession from the hospital in Kathmandu to Bhaktapur. People shouted, "Hang the murderer Rohit! Hang the Murderer Govinda Duval". The same day, brothers of the victim filed charges of murder against Comrade Rohit who had not even been at the scene. On 23 Bhadra 1988 (2045), HMG dissolved the elected members of Bhaktapuršs Nagar Phanchyat, and formed a nineteen-member committee of Panchas to suppress Rohitšs faction. Soon after, a special court sentenced Rohit and seventeen others to jail‹five were released after paying 2,000 NRs. in bail.

     In Bhaktapur, many people suspect that the Hyo (n)ju incident was a conspiracy to discredit Rohit and the Nepal Majdur Kisan Sangh led by the central government. Other people suspect that while Rohit and the other Nepal Majdur Kisan Sangh leaders had not planned on Hyo(n)jušs death, that they had aroused the peoplešs anger and directed it toward Hyo(n)ju as a symbol of the Panchayat. While it may or may not have been a government conspiracy, Hyo(n)jušs death was the perfect excuse for the Pancha forces to suppress Rohit and the other members of the Nepal Majdur Kisan Sangh who had won village panchayats, district panchayats and Rastriya Panchayat elections. People argued that since the Panchas could not win legally, they conspired against him. The Hyo (n)ju incident was a defining moment for Bhaktapur. To this day, the 9th of Bhadra, the date of the Hyo (n)ju Incident, is celebrated as "Kalo Divas." Depending on onešs loyalties, to mark either the death of Mr. Hyo(n)ju or the arrest and imprisonment of the party leaders.


Mandala Map

Tourist Map


Tour Map

Durbar Square

Tacapa Map



Key | Bibliography | Maps

Š 2001 Gregory Price Grieve , Site design by GDL Historical Laboratories. .