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Democracy and nationalism interface between state and ethnicity in Nepal

  • Hachhethu, K.
  • Summary
This paper attempts to address a number of questions, which draw greater attention for public discourse in Nepal in the post-1990 period. Whether the Nepali state - which gained a new image as a democratic state after the restoration of multiparty system in 1990 - is potentially inclusive or not? How has it responded to demands and struggles of the excluded groups? What are the main contents/agendas of 'backwards' and ethnic groups of Nepal? Is there any possibility of forging an alliance of all kinds of excluded groups? How the Nepali democratic system could be made inclusive and participatory? These questions arise in consideration of three major factors. One, Nepal is a diversified and pluralistic state in terms of caste/ethnicity, linguistic and religious composition of its population. The 2001 census of Nepal recorded 100 castes/ethnic groups, 92 languages and dialects, and 9 religious groups. Two, the advent of democracy has in its wake raised the voices of different groups of people hitherto silent. Three, democracy generates hope of minorities and deprived sections of society that the state unlike in the past authoritarian regime, would become responsive to their needs and interests.
  • Published in:
    Contributions to Nepalese Studies, Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS), Tribhuvan University (TU), Kathmandu, Nepal. Volume 30, Number 2, July 2003: http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/contributions/pdf/CNAS_30_02_02.pdf. Digital Himalaya: http://www.digitalhimalaya.com/collections/journals/contributions/index.php?selection=31_2
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