Personality: Pioneer Humanist Raja Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh (1877-1940)
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 26, 2012
Raja Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh of Bajhang Nepal was a passionate advocate of world peace and brotherhood, a preacher and a thinker of Humanism. Born as the fifty-fifth prince of Bajhang on August 21, 1877, he graduate from Calcutta university, and started the publication of Gorakhapatra (the first newspaper in Nepal) in 1899, established the first Nepali language school, and brought-out many books for students in 1901. Nominated Ambassador for Nepal at Calcutta in 1902-1905, he published the history of Japan in 1907 and visited England as the Chief Editor of Gorakhapatra in 1908 where he was honored by Emperor Edward VII with the title of honorary Colonelship. Jai Prithvi’s magnum opus was ‘Tatwa Prasamsha,’ a book on Humanism in Nepali which came out in 1913.
While he was working for the Humanistic Movement in Nepal, the First Great War (1914-1918) broke out which shocked all humanists and plunged the whole world into chaos. As countries lost their grip on stability, a new wave of cynicism enveloped humankind to an extent never experienced before.
At a time when countries one after another were going bankruptcy and sinking into chaos, and the intellectuals were groping for values that could rescue humanity from the global morass, Jai Prithvi roused the attention of the world to ward the need of Humanism. His movement on Humanism struck a fresh note of peace and brought solace to humanity.
Handing over the rule of his state to his brother he went to Nainital India in 1916 to work eight years on a manuscript in three volumes “Humanism” to propagate his idea of world peace, unity, and brotherhood and then in 1924, he migrated to Bangalore to build the Jaya Bhavan, a residential mansion.
The first Humanistic Club was established by Jai Prithvi in 1928. His publications include Humanism, Vols. I-III, ‘The Humanist’ Journal, and ‘The Flag of Peace,’ a collection of verses on peace. He also undertook extensive travel in Europe between 1929 and 1933 to promote the humanistic movement visiting USA, Japan, China, and almost all Asian Countries and established branches of the Humanistic Club.
In 1935, Jai Prithvi visited Abyssinia (Ethiopia) to serve the war victims. But four years later, then Rana rulers of Nepal and British India, who were growing suspicious of his popularity and global activism, put him under house arrest for one year where he passed away in 1940.