June 13, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Satya Mohan Joshi


The Nepal Weekly
October 24, 2022

Satya Mohan Joshi remained in life spanning over a century – 103 years – a constant voice for exploring and preserving the great heritage of various parts and communities of Nepal. He reminded Nepalis of the noble values treasured in works of art, music, culture and language and motivated all to encourage creators and practitioners with respect and appropriate decency. His personality has, in death, emerged as a towering luminary capable to guide, for centuries to come, the direction of sustaining a country’s cultural heritage – tangible and intangible. Late SMJ’s vision and act could be felt through the way he explored the Karnali areas and through the contributions he made to establishment of Rastriya Nach Ghar in Kathmandu, the Archaelogical Garden in Patan, the Archeological Museum of Taulihawa,  the National Painting in Bhaktapur and the Araniko White Dagoba Gallery in Kirtipur. The great role he played in building image and providing a cause to Pragya Prathisthan – then Royal Nepal Academy – in earlier days could never be forgotten. It was for his scholarly work in art and literature that he received the country’s highest literary award – Madan Purashkar – three times. SMJ, although not placed in high chairs of protocol and power, commanded VIP-respect from all Nepalis across generations even in his 90s. He was a real polymath, some described him as a virtuoso for the depth of knowledge and experience he had in Nepal from the Rana regime to modern republican era. Late SMJ deserves historic appreciation for his vision of inspiring Pauva artists to make an art of Chakrasamvara that depicts Nepal’s indigenous art traditions, style and practices. People in general, VIPs with high protocol value, celebrities, politicos and professionals would feel a sense of pride and glory to receive awards from his hand, get filmed with him, have seats close to him in public functions, and participate in conversation he would engage in over tea or formal occasions. The nation mourned his death with great honour amidst a public holiday and having national flags fly at half mast. His sons, despite SMJ-family rituals of dedicating human earthly remains to fire, honoured his wish of offering dead body for medical research to Kist Medical College and Teaching Hospital – yet another exemplary feat in the SMJ-life and narrative.