Lal Bahadur Basnet

Lal Bahadur Basnet (Sikkimese Nepali: लाल बहादुर बस्नेत) (17 December 1926 – 5 May 1998) was an active leader of the Pro-Democracy Movement in the erstwhile Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim.

Lal Bahadur Basnet
Former Deputy Speaker of Sikkim Legislative Assembly,
In office
Preceded byDorjee Tshering Bhutia
Succeeded byManita Pradhan
Personal details
Born(1926-12-17)December 17, 1926
Nazitam, Sang, Sikkim, India
DiedMay 5, 1998(1998-05-05) (aged 71)
Political partySikkim National Congress, Sikkim Janata Party
ResidenceGangtok, Sikkim, India

Personal lifeEdit

Lal Bahadur Basnet was born to Lieutenant (honorary) Prem Bahadur Basnet and Narbada Devi at Nazitam, Sang in East Sikkim.[1] At the age of four, he, along with his parents, left Sikkim for Dehradun to get basic education and later went to Ludhiana, Punjab University for his graduation. In 1945, he went to United Services Pre-Cadet College Belgaum to join the army. He was court-martialed due to his direct and open letter to a high-ranking army officer, on the corrupt practices of his superiors. In his letter he stated about “the dissatisfaction prevailing in 2/5 Gurkha Rifles”, which was not supported by other high-ranking officers.[2] He was sent for a rigorous three months imprisonment, but was released after spending one and a half months in the jail. After resigning from the Indian Army, he went to the Himalayas in search for spiritual satisfaction. After a brief sojourn in the Himalayan foothills he returned home to his wife (Sumitra) and his children. In 1961, he sat for the Sikkim's first Civil Service Examinations and was appointed as a magistrate in Gangtok.[3] The life of a public servant in a feudal monarchy was not his cup of tea. He resigned and left for Kathmandu where he worked as a journalist. His close relations with student leaders active in the pro democracy movement of Nepal led to his arrest and incarceration for nine months. This experience of jail in Nepal is documented in his book "His Majesty's Paying Guest".


Basnet joined the Sikkim National Congress, a political party headed by L.D. Kazi appointed as Joint Secretary of the Party. In the general election of 1967, the Sikkim National Congress won 10 out of 18 seats. Much credit for the victory goes to Basnett for his political stalwartness. Because of his divergent political views with L.D. Kazi he resigned from the Sikkim National Congress and founded the Sikkim Janata Party in 1969.[4] His party was active in the pro-democracy movement in the kingdom of Sikkim. After victory in the election of 1979,[5] he was elected as the deputy speaker of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.


  • Sikkim: A Short Political History by Lal Bahadur Basnet. S. Chand Group New Delhi (India), 1974
  • His Majesty's Paying Guest by Lal Bahadur Basnet. Original from the University of Virginia, 1980


  1. ^ "Sikkim Janata Party - Gorkhapedia". 15 January 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Late Lal Bahadur Basnet: An unforgettable figure in Sikkimese Politics". Rajen Upadhyay. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Late Lal Bahadur Basnet: An unforgettable Sikkimese". 11 February 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  4. ^ Author Search
  5. ^ "LIST OF SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES" (PDF). Election Commission of India. Archived from the original on 14 August 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.