A Leader or an Obnoxious Showoff
Like his immortalized uncle Prime Minister Bhimsen Thapa, Mathwar Singh Thapa also remains a controversial figure in his own right in Nepalese politics and history. Was he really worthy of being called a leader like other members of his family like his uncle or was he just a show-off cashing on his physical prowess and family name? Let’s find out:
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Mathwar Singh Thapa was the son of General Kazi Nain Singh Thapa and nephew of prime minister Bhimsen Thapa. Since his father died during the unification campaign battle Bhimsen Thapa had raised him. He had other illustrious members as well like his Ujir Singh Thapa, Ranjor Thapa, and others who earned merit in the field of battle.
Like his uncle, Mathwar Singh Thapa also got a leg up for his early career in the military. He was made a commanding colonel at the age of 16 and Junior General at the age of 18-20. However, he fitted into this position quite easily.
Due to his early rise to the top post Mathwar Singh Thapa was said to be obnoxious in nature. He did not even return the salute of junior officers and once during his visit to Calcutta then the capital of British India he is rumored to have spent Rs150000 on lavish parties and entertainment for his entourage whereas in Nepal treasury was almost empty. After the uproar, his uncle Bhimsen Thapa paid the spent amount from his own pocket.
Mathwar Singh Thapa failed to secure the visit to Great Britain from the Governor General of British India. Due to his activities and behavior in Calcutta despite the warm welcome provided to him by Governor General, he refused the diplomatic visa to Britain thus failing his mission and depriving him of the honor of being the first Nepalese to visit Europe.
Since he was in a position of power from young age Mathwar Singh Thapa mismanaged the state contracts and received bribes from them which allowed him to live a lavish life in Shimla after the downfall of Bhimsen Thapa.
Man Of Strength:
Mathwar Singh Thapa was reportedly a man of impressive physique and strength. It was once said that during the first crackdown on the Thapa clan during the downfall of Bhimsen Thapa, Mathwar Singh Thapa did not utter a single word in pain when he was being punished with 100 lashes with a whip. Holy Hell!!!
Mathwar Singh was saved from the second crackdown on the Thapa clan where the old poisoning case was revived against Bhimsen Thapa and he had died brutally at the hands of his enemies in court. Mathwar Singh was spared from the ordeal because he was in exile at Shimla.
After 4 years of exile and the death of Queen Samrajya Laxmi, the power went into the hand of Queen Rajya Laxmi who had her own ambitions. To fulfill those she recalled Mathwar Singh Thapa from Shimla. She returned all the confiscated property and provided even more. King provided immunity documents and a golden sword to assure him that he would not be assassinated or killed. Queen even sent his nephew Jung Bahadur to welcome him from the Nepal border.
Man of Vengeance:
Like his uncle on the matter of taking vengeance and killing the opposition Mathwar Singh was no less of a murderer than his uncle Bhimsen Thapa. Before accepting the post of prime minister and mukhtiyar general he brutally killed and punished the Pandey who had been his enemies and had contributed to the downfall of his uncle Bhimsen Thapa.
Not even the senior citizen and insane Ranajung Pandey who posed no threat to him was spared. What a sadist!!!
Downfall: The Tragic End of Mathwar Singh Thapa
Like every brutal and cruel person in history, Mathwar Singh Thapa also saw his downfall sooner than later. Unlike his uncle, he was in power for only 2 years. King Rajendra ordered his assassination under the urging of his queen who had failed to fulfill the ambition of Mathwar Singh forgetting that he, himself had given Mathwar immunity paper to assure him from assassination.
His own estranged nephew Jung Bahadur was chosen as the assassin and another ambitious courtier Gagan Singh was kept as backup for his killing. He was called to the palace under the pretext of the fatal illness of the queen but instead was shot by Jung Bahadur hiding under the curtain.
Like always it remains to the reader to decide whether Mathwar Singh was really a good leader or just another pawn in a dangerous game of political chess where he was checkmated by his king and queen along with his own nephew.