Friday, October 30, 2009

Is Perceval Landon’s Nepal Public Relations of Rana

By Harsha Man Maharjan

What is PR ?

What is advertisement?

Where do the two differ?

Where are they similar?

Answers to these questions are difficult.

Yes simply paid propagation of any thing is advertisement and it is PR if it is unpaid. Is it complete?

These questions came to my mind while reading the autobiography of Ram Mani Acharya Dixit, Purno Samjhana. There is a chapter called: Ram Mani’s Role in Perceval Landon’s Nepal. Here he informs that he did research and wrote early version of this book in Nepali under the request of then prime minister Chandra Shumsher. It was supposed to be the biography of Chandra-hagiography of Chandra. Later a Bangali master, T.N. Roy translated it into English. Roy thought of publishing himself. But Chandra had other thing in his mind. He wanted to publish the book in the name of well known person. And he asked Landon to do this job. Chandra also provided IC Rs. 16,5000 for the book in 1923. Landon published it in 1928.
Well these facts are absent from Landon’s book. He only thanks Chandra for allowing him to do research.

Purna Samjhana is an autobiography and it is Ram Mani’s version of history. He might be exaggerating or providing us wrong facts. But I found same allusion in Pramod Shumsher Rana’s book Rana Shasanko Britanta. Pramod thinks that Landon’s book promoted Chandra.
If these facts are right. Is this PR material of Chandra ? or Advertisement ? I think it is both.