Senior CPN-UML leader Sahana Pradhan died of brain haemorrhage in the Capital on 22 September. She was 88. Pradhan was actively involved in the country’s democratic movements. During the reign of Rana Prime Minister Padma Shumsher, she had staged a 15-day hunger strike demanding education for women.
After the restoration of democracy in 1990, Pradhan was appointed as Minister of Commerce and Supplies in the interim government. In 1991 and 1994, she was elected the Member of Parliament from the CPN-UML with an overwhelming majority. She later became the Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare in 1996 and the Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2005 and in 2007.
Dharmaraj Thapa, a multi-award winning devoted folk singer, collector and songwriter, who imbued his compositions with vernacular colours, died at his son’s home at Swoyambhu in the Capital on October 14. He was 90.
Thapa had been battling dementia for the last two years and was bedridden for the past three months. He died of complications from dementia, hypertension and diabetes, said his eldest son, Madan Raj Thapa.
Dharmaraj, better known as Janakabi Keshari, a title he received in the mid-1950s from then-king Mahendra, was, as the appellative suggests, renowned for his knack for composing songs that touched the mass.
Bishwa Nath Upadhyaya
With the demise of former Chief Justice (CJ) Bishwa Nath Upadhyaya on February 1, the country lost one of the most influential figures who shaped the course of Nepal’s judiciary.Upadhyaya, who assumed the role of the chief justice in the crucial post-1990 democratic transition, made headlines in 1995 after the bench he led ruled that the dissolution of Parliament by the-then Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari was unconstitutional. In his verdict, Upadhyaya argued that Germany’s Weimar constitution was abused by using a provision which allowed the dissolution of parliament, thereby paving the road for fascism.
The decision of the court to quash the Adhikari government’s recommendation had polarised the political landscape. Earlier, Upadhyaya had upheld the similar recommendation made by the Nepali Congress Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala in September 1994.
Dr Anjani Kumar Sharma
Nepal’s first surgeon and a pioneer in the field of cancer care, Anjani Kumar Sharma died on October 9. Aged 86, the cause of death was the lower ureteral cancer.
Known as Dr AK Sharma amongst his peers, the doctor played a crucial role in the advancement of surgery in Nepal. He led the surgery departments of two prominent government hospitals-- Bir Hospital and Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital -- for over three decades. He is mostly remembered for his unwavering efforts and campaigns to ban tobacco products and raise taxes to curb their use, which he continued until the last moments of his life.
Post Bahadur Bogati
UCPN (Maoist) Vice-chairman Post Bahadur Bogati died on September 15 while undergoing treatment for brain haemorrhage and cardiac arrest. Bogati was considered a politician with integrity among his friends and colleagues. He is one of the few leaders who were in the Maoist party when the war erupted in 1996. Bogati lost his son to the war and is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Bogati was elected to the first Constituent Assembly from Nuwakot in 2008 and held a number of positions, including that of being the party chief whip. Later, at different times, he became the minister of energy, culture and civil aviation, tourism, and of information and communications. He had been the Vice-Chairman of the party since May 2014.
Shree Krishna Shrestha
Actor Shree Krishna Shrestha passed away on August 10 in New Delhi, India while undergoing treatment. He had been long been suffering from diabetes and intestine-related disorders. Shrestha stepped into the film industry with the movie Bhumari 25 years ago. Admired for his dancing and acting skills, Shrestha went on feature in successful movies, such as Maiti, Aafno Manche, Gorkhali, Eh Mero Hajur, Sukha Dukha, and Kaha Bhetiyela, a film Shrestha produced.
And assistant dance director at the National Academy, Shrestha had married actor Shweta Khadka only a month before his demise.
Film director Alok Nembang hanged himself on November 7 at his Dhapasi-based Grandi Villa apartment. Nembang, originally from Panchthar district, was a much-admired music video director as well.
He first came to public attention in 1998 when he hosted a Nepali pop countdown show on TV. But it would be the music videos, which he subsequently started directing, that would bring him fame. Kohi Mero, the last movie he directed, is set to be released in 2015.
Udaya Raj Pandey
Garment Association of Nepal (GAN) President Udaya Raj Pandey passed away on December 11 in New Delhi, where he was undergoing treatment for cancer. He was 55.
Pandey had made significant contributions in revitalising the garment industry, which had suffered from the quota phase-out decision made in 2004 under the Multi-Fibre Arrangement of the World Trade Organisation. His peers in garment industry said that Pandey struggled for the development of the garment industry throughout his life.
Jagadish Rathi, Chairperson of the Revenue Committee of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and proprietor of Bagmati Plastic Industry, died of cardiac arrest on January 12.
Former Chairperson of Morang Trade Association, Rathi was considered to be the mediator between the government and the Madwadi community during negotiations on the Value Added Tax (VAT).