17 June, 2021

The Queen's Unpaid Army

After some 200 years on the frontline, Gurkhas in the British Army demand just wages for blood

The Queen's Unpaid Army

‘The Almighty created in the Gurkha an ideal infantryman—brave, tough, patient, adaptable, skilled in fieldcraft’.
—Field-Marshal Viscount Slim 

ASK any British general, and he will delightfully narrate why Gurkhas make excellent soldiers. In these rugged mountain people, the commanders found almost every trait they could possibly desire in a soldier. Limitless courage, cool-headed discretion, indefatigability. But it was their unflinching sense of loyalty that endeared Gurkhas to their superiors most.

Some of those white sahibs could now be turning in their graves. After nearly 200 years of blind devotion and disciplined reticence, the warriors are now breaking their silence. To tell the world how badly they were treated by their British commanders. They have even threatened to drag Her Majesty’s Government to court if their long-harboured grudge against a discriminatory pay package is not addressed.

"The oppressive Panchayat regime would not tolerate dissent of any kind in the past," says Padam Bahadur Gurung, chairman...

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