Honor is the sacred inheritance of a Gurkha. When 40 robbers armed with knives and pistols boarded the Maurya Express train on September 2nd, 2010, 35-year-old Gurkha Bishnu Prasad Shrestha was on board, travelling back home after voluntarily retiring from the Indian Army. He watched the bandits rob his fellow passengers. He sat still and let himself be robbed by those bandits. But when a few of the bandits started manhandling an 18-year-old girl and dragging her away from her helpless parents, his honor called.
The thieves had made a grave mistake. They had not robbed Bishnu of his Khukuri, his trusted weapon, the ceremonial blade of Gurkhas; and neither would they rob him of his honor. His Khukuri was all he needed to engage all the 40 robbers at once. He killed three of the miscreants, and injured eight others. The rest of them bolted out of the train car. Bishnu had taken a gruesome injury on his left hand from one of their knives but the girl remained mostly unharmed. When asked later, the Gurkha said that he thought of the girl as his own sister and could not ignore his duty as a human being by just watching the act transpire in front of him.
Bishnu spent two months in a hospital, getting treated for his injury and restoring the function of his left hand. He received the Sena Medal and the Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak medal for his bravery.
“If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.”
-Indian Army Chief Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw