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Himachal Pradesh : 95 Year Old Gorkha INA Freedom Fighter Hoshiar Singh Thapa is no more

Jyoti Thapa
Dharamshala : INA Captain Hoshiar Singh Thapa lived a ripe age of 95 years to tell his story on many occasions. We were lucky to hear him give first hand versions of the freedom struggle with INA. He spoke with great strength reflecting the zeal and passion of the Gorkhas of 2/1 Gorkha  Rifles who during WWII  joined the Indian National Army, to the call of Netaji Subhash Chandra​ Bose. They risked their lives to fight for India's freedom.
The INA veterans suffered disbandment after the demise of Bose. For many years they remained unemployed.  In 1983 he served in the Punjab Police as Inspector till retirement. Hoshiar Singh Thapa hailed from village Chandmarhi,  Dharamshala,  Himachal Pradesh. This village was established during the 19th century when Dharamshala was the Regimental centre of the 1st and 4th Gorkha Rifles during British rule.

Hoshiar Singh and many others were born here. In the August years of his life,  Hoshiar Singh and many others faced loss of their homes as the Defence Ministry blocked the access road claiming it as army property.  The residents had to vacate their homes and look for new ones. Hoshiar Singh raised the issue with the authorities including some protests but to no avail.  Imagine rendering old freedom fighters and army veterans homeless  just over a strip of road.  Finally,  15 years ago he and other INA veterans left their childhood homes and moved to another village Sidhbari.

Till the end Hoshiar Singh fought for the usage of the link road but the Defence Ministry refused to pay any heed.  Hoshiar Singh drew his last breath at 4.30 am on the 24th of February.  He is survived by his wife Smt Rambha Devi, son H/Capt Bishan Singh Thapa and three married daughters. His mortal remains were cremated at Rakkar village,  Dharamshala.

We are now left only two more surviving Gorkha INA Freedom fighters in Dharamshala-Capt Babar Singh Bura from Chandmari now settled at Yol and Capt Charan Singh Gurung from Khanyara, both aged and the last living heritage of our glorious history. The last of the few hundred Gorkhas who fought for India's freedom along with martyrs INA Major Durga Mall and INA Captain Dal Bahadur Thapa.

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