Ayo Gorkhali!

The myth of Gurkha invincibility is belied by their graves in the battlefields of Gallipoli and Tobruk. The myth of fearlessness tends to deny the humanity of the Nepali soldier.

The days when the Khukuri defended one's own soil have long been past for Nepalis. Since early 1800s, the Khukuri has served in the battlefield for others. In fact, the very notion of "being true to one's salt" ("noon ko sidha") has elements, not of glory, but of submissiveness. The near- mercenary status of fighting another's war (with official sanction) is also not necessarily edifying. But most people seem to readily agree with Prince Charles (Colonel-in-Chief of the 2 Gorkha Rifle, now a part of the British army) that "the very name 'Gurkha' is a byword for courage and steadfastness."

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Himal Southasian