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Japan Times
26 October, 1933
Former Ruler if Indian State now Peace Advocate
Raja J.P. Bahadur Singh
To Lecture in Japan on World Unity
By Franz Weissblatt

Once Maharajah of an independent state in India, holding the power of life and death over 30,000 subjects now Raja Jai Prithvi Bahadur Sing, Private Citizen, Philosopher and Author- this remarkable character has just arrived in Japan for a three weeks visit.

The Rajah has been attending a world conference of the Humanistic club in Chicago, of which he is the founder, and where he was elected president of the International Committee of the World Fellowship. He has been deputed to carry the mission of 'World Fellowship" to Japan, China and India and to establish centers in these countries. Three lectures on the ideas and object of the mission will be given in Tokyo.

If the idea of the 'Humanistic Club' his broadcast throughout the World, the Nations of the World will not have to spend enormous sums on the upkeep of their Military and naval equipment. The people of all the Nation will have nothing but a friendly feeling for each, stated the Rajah Mission is World Peace

The Rajah when interviewed at the San Hotel was asked to give his opinion on future trade relations between Japan and India. He smiled and said- I am not interested in international affairs in that sense of the world. My mission is world peace and unity.

After abdicating in 1914 as Raja of Bajhang, one of the Nepal States on the Southern face of the Himalayas between British India and Tibet, the Rajah went to Southern India, made friends with other social reformers, founded the Humanistic club and devoted himself entirely to spreading the gospel of religious tolerance, abolition of castes and classes, and to furthering the fellowship of Nations. In 1928, when his father-in-law, the Prime Minister of Nepal and actual ruler of Nepal States, tried to force him to return to his native land, the Rajah packed his bag and started on a world lecture tour. Since then he has gained recognition among leaders of the world fellowship.

Educated in India

The Colonel Rajah, who is 56 years old, is a tall, striking man with gentle brown eyes. Although he was educated in India, he speaks English perfectly. The State of Bajhang, over which I once ruled, is a very small place, said the Rajah. He explained that it had a population of 30,000 was 30 miles long and 12 miles broad. The Rajah will lecture in Osaka and Kobe after leaving here and then sail for Shanghai and Nanking for a series of lectures.

Addresses Meeting

Raja J.P. Bahadur addressed a meeting of the Asia Club, Takaratei, Hirakawa-Cho, Kojimachi-Ku, Thursday evening.
Excepts from his speech follow:

This is my first visit to this beautiful and wonderful country of yours. My object of visiting this country has been twofold. In the first place I had long since cherished an idea of seeing this land of the rising sun, the nation that has redeemed the prestige of the orient. Next and this is the more important object, I have come to spread the message of the second parliament of religions, or the world fellowship of faiths that was held at Chicago.

"I belong to a country between British India and Tibet in the Southern watershed of the Himalayas known as Nepal. This is an independent country like Afghanistan, though we have no diplomatic relations with other countries. Nepal is the Holy Land to the Buddhist World for it was in this country that Lord Buddha was born. Excavations are proceeding today at Kapilavastu, the birthplace of Buddha, and are likely to reveal a great wealth of information. As for my self, I was once the ruler of a small province in this Kingdom of Nepal and in the year 1914 when the Great War broke out, I gave up my title preferring to serve my fellowmen by being one of them. Ever since I have devoted all my means and energy to the ideal of bringing peace and unity between all classes, races and creeds of humanity. It was with this object, that I undertook a lecturing tour in Europe in 1929, and started an organization called the Humanistic Club in Bangalore India. This year I visited Chicago to attend the parliament of religions whose ideals I discovered to be almost identical with those of mine. This conference at Chicago was a very significant one. More than two hundred speakers from different parts of the world among whom were such distinguished personages from Japan as Dr. Anezaki of the Emperial University and His Holiness K. Nakayama of Tenrikyo Temple. Every one, whatever his faith, race or creed came forward in a sprit of friendliness, and met each other in a cordial spirit of fellowship".

Japan Times
November 5, 1933

Sanskrit Characters for Japanese
Appeal to Japanese People
By Col. Raja Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh of Nepal

It was on board the N. V. K. liner Asama Maru, on my way to Japan from America, that I had the first opportunity of listening to Japanese language being spoken among my fellow passengers as well as the Steamship employees. Then I first realized how close the Japanese tongue sounded to the languages of India and particularly to that of my country, Nepal. When I listened to Japanese, I felt I was listening to a language very much skin to my own, though I could not understand the sense. I was just then preparing my speech in English which I intended to deliver in Tokyo, regarding any mission in connection with the world fellowship of faiths whose message, after the connection of the conference Chicago, I was entrusted to carry to the East.

It was then a bright idea stuck my mind, 'Why' said I to myself, Should I address in English in Japan when I know that the majority of the people will not understand me, unless through the mediation of an interpreter? Rather than have an interpreter stand between me and my audience, I thought I could have my speech translated in Japanese, which I would take down in Sanskrit Characters, which, I would take down in Sanskrit characters, which, by the way, are the same employed for my own mother tongue- Nepalese, and would read out directly to my audience. Enthused with the idea, I hastened up to a fellow passenger, a Japanese gentleman, whose acquaintance I had made previously, to try and see if my idea is workable. I asked him to translate for me a rather complex sentence from a newspaper and took down the translation in Sanskrit and read it out him and later to a few other friends who complimented me on my exact reproduction of the sentence. This experiment convinced me of the feasibility of reading my address directly to my audience in Japan.

Is put To Test

At a meeting of the members of Asia Club, a couple of days ago, I put this experiment to the full-test by reading out a rather lengthy speech translated into Japanese and written out in Sanskrit characters, and at the close of the address all the members present congratulated me on my novel idea, and assured me that they understood every word I said. I relate this story, as a personal instance, in support of the argument, which I am going to put forth before the Japanese people, both academicians and layman, on behalf of my appeal for the introduction of Sanskrit characters for the Japanese language.

It is an obvious fact that a tremendous lot of energy, time and concentration is taken up in just learning to master the baffling number of Japanese characters. All this strain exerted by the student, which I am told extends over a period of more than six years, could be so simplified, as if by magic, by just introducing the Sanskrit alphabet consisting of forty-eight letters. It is no exaggeration to say, with in these 48 letters may be written every articulate sound of the human tongue. Sanskrit, perhaps the oldest language of the world, is the mother of a great culture. Sanskrit, writing is undoubtedly the most scientific method of phonetic writing ever evolved. The very word 'Sanskrit' means "well-made", All the great Buddhist Scriptures, in the original are in Palf language, a dialect of Sanskrit, and written in the same script, More than half a dozen languages spoken in India are written in the Sanskrit characters.

Attempt will fail

I have been told that there is a movement in certain circles for the introduction of Roman characters for Japanese writing. It is an obvious fact that such an attempt is bound to fail, not only because the transcription involves an informs loss of time and occupies a greater space, but also because the Roman alphabet has no equivalents for certain of the sounds in the Japanese language. By the time you will have written the Japanese word for 'I' in Roman script you will have come to the end of the line.

On the other hand, Sanskrit not only reproduces every sound in Japanese but also conserves space and time. Besides, Sanskrit writing is very artistic in appearance, and what is more important than all these, is that is can be learnt in so short a period as a month or two, depending upon the attention paid by the student.

Sanskrit has none of the silent sounds of French or English nor is there the baffling problem of spelling that you have to face in trying to learn these two languages.

I put forth this plea for Sanskrit alphabet, with the fervent hope that not only Japan but every other country of the East may adopt one common script, script, just as Europe all over has adopted the Roman script, and thereby uniting the Great Human Family of Asia. The adoption of a common script encourages and facilitates the study of one another's language and helps to remove the barriers of speech that stand so much in the way of mutual understanding among the nations of the East.

 



 
 
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