Diamond Shumsher Rana

Born to the aristocratic Rana family in Palpa, in 1917, Diamond Sumsher Rana was on the high rank of the Nepal Army at the age of 20. Despite being a Rana himself, he loathed the Rana rulers. He was an advocate of the people and democracy. His decision to quit the guns and pick up the pen earned him the recognition as the first important historical novelist. He was the first author to survive solely on the royalty of his novels. He died at the age of 94 in 2011.

Life and career

He was born at Tansen Durbar in Palpa, where his grandfather, Sher Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, was governor. His father Buddha Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana was a colonel in the Royal Nepal Army. Rana enjoyed a privileged upbringing and was a captain in the Royal Nepal Army.

In 1948 Rana travelled to Benaras, India and had his first novel Basanti published. In Nepal, he had aligned himself with an anti-establishment faction of the Rana regime and was arrested, court-martialled and sentenced to death but was later freed after members of the Rana family pressured the regime for his release Rana later joined the political opposition and was a member of the Nepali Congress Party from 1954 to 1987.