Prof. (Dr.) Kamal Prakash Malla (1935-2018)
Some Reflections in Tribute
For those readers, who might not be aware of what were Dr. Malla's great contributions to our society spending major part of his life in Kathmandu, Nepal. I share here what little I could understand from the article Bhavana makhu shodhaya lindhasaay chwasu choyamha Kamalprakash written by Bijaykrishna Shrestha that appeared in the www.newaonlinenews.com recently. “There are many writers and critics like Ratnadhwaj Joshi, Janaklal Baidya, Thakurlal Manandhar, Maniklal Shrestha Ishwaranand Shresthacharya whose seminal works have put the Newar literature to a high pedestal but it was only Dr. Malla to take through his scholarly and academic works to the international level to be reckoned with. Sik:miya Swahane, Nepalbhashaya Dhwana Safuya Ghala: (List of published books in Newar Language), Nepalbhasha-Angreji Khangwa: Dhuku, Gopalraj Vanshawali are the immortal works that he shall ever be with us though physically he is no more amidst us. Litterateurs and linguists like Kavikeshari Chittadhar Hriday were of the opinion that Nepalbhasha was like Tamang language, an offshoot of the Indo-European language.Considering many Newar words based on Sanskrit, it is believed so. But Dr.Kamal Prakash Malla based on works after the Sugauli Treaty the Assistant Resident and after him Resident in Nepal Bryan Hudson's Eassay on Languages, Literature and Religion of Nepal and Tibet (1874) and Stein Kono's authentic book Linguistic Survey of India wrote proved that Nepalbhasha was a language of non-prominal group under the Tibeto-Himalayan language based on Tibeto-Burman within the Tibeto-Chinese languages.
Kamal Prakash-ju wrote, the article continues, “Dharmaditya-ju, after him Hriday-ju and all writers thereafter have been writing in our different articles, speeches, forewords, debates, discussions everywhere that Nepalbhasha is the oldest of the languages in Nepal. Really, how old is this language? If it is that old, is it in the shape of a lingua franca/common language or in the literature and some treatise. How old is this language and does it have archeaological support? It has never been found studied till this date. Until some serious study is done of our language, without any scientific research no justice would be done to its linguistics. Today's intelligentsia, close-fisted doing nothing, simply harping about our language to be the oldest would serve no purpose.” In such a scenario, the article mentions, Dr. Kamal Prakash Malla have gone working to a great extent. He has shown the path and paved the way the present day research workers could follow. This he has done not only to benefit the scholars and universities through his works in English but also placed well before his fellow Newar community by writing in Nepalbhasha so that he could be heard and understood well. His major work throwing light on the history of Nepal was Gopalraj Vanshawali brought out along with its translation in association with Dhanvajra Vajracharya. Similarly, his work on own clan Mallas have brought forward Pachali Bhairav as their ancestral lineage.
A Big Support
Dr. Kamal Prakash Malla is not much known figure to the Newars in Sikkim and this author had once the rare opportunity to be introduced to him one evening when I was with Natibajra Bajracharya at his Safu Dhuku, the popular haunt for books and magazines in Nepalbhasha and concerning the Newars while in Kathmandu. Thanks to our book Newa Varna, Lipi ra Bhasha Parichaya (1996 and 2001) that made us a known figure there in Nepal. Later while in the USA in 2010, we had launched www.karunaguthi.com under the auspices of the primordial World Newah Organization via teleconferencing on the Skype. Dr. Kamal Prakash was among many others to be informed about its first update thus -
“Sept 1, 2010
Jwajalappa ! Greetings!
We have just updated our website www.karunaguthi.com with announcements that you would be interested to see. This is a step towards our continued efforts to repay the society to which we belong and owe much too!
Enjoy but let us have your Feedback to improve and serve more and better.
Subhay! Thank you!
For Karuna Devi Smarak Dharmarth Guthi,
(Rajiva Shanker Shresta)
He was prompt and kind enough to respond on Thu, Sep 2, 2010, 9.30 PM
Thank you for kindly posting me an update on your guthi's webpage. It is very easy these days to launch one, but hard to sustain it with meaningful materials.”