SN1101E Various - Nepalese Politics is So Exciting SN1101E Briefly Nepal is a country with multiple contradictions of those described by Michael

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Nepalese Politics is So Exciting SN1101E Briefly Nepal is a country with multiple contradictions; of those described by Michael Hutt in Himalayan People's War: Nepal's Maoist Rebellion , the following are of particular relevance: (1) Nepal's constitution defines it as a Hindu state, yet there exist significant religious and minorities (2) It is a unitary state with a single official state language, but there are scores of different ethnic groups speaking multiple languages (3) It receives some of the most foreign aid, but much of its population remains marginalised and impoverished (4) Despite its democratic multi-party system under a constitutional monarchy, Nepal has a well-entrenched communist movement; perhaps this is a result of (3) From the 1990s, Nepal has oscillated between monarchy and constitutional monarchy The monarchy plays crucial role in politics, and still remains looked upon as one of the centres of power ++ monarchy wields considerable influence over the Nepal Army, which owes its allegiance to the King Also, Hindu identity is very strong; Nepal is the only Hindu kingdom in the world! The concept of a Hindu state + the monarchy's association with Hinduism lends its a certain traditional legitimacy Also a reason why the monarchy ascended to power in the first place Monarchial dominance (pre-1990) Historically, there has always been dominant monarchial rule The Ranas, a courtly family, pursued a programme of Hinduisation, attempting to incorporate Nepal's disparate ethno- linguistic groups into a caste system Hinduism is therefore closely associated with the monarchy ++ they intermarried the Shah kings, so basically they made up the ruling elite This elite regarded the mass of the population as revenue-producing subjects rather than citizens with rights In 1936, Nepal's first political party, the Praja Parishad, was established; it was sternly suppressed Its successors, the Nepali Congress Party and the Communist Party of Nepal, were formed in India, not Nepal These two parties, along with a Shah king and factions of Ranas, overthrew the ruling Rana elite ++ Nehru's Indian government played a crucial role in brokering a political settlement This revolt against oligarchial rule took place in 1951 + subsequent adoption of constitutional monarchy However, the King usurped power again in 1960 because of his disgust with the in-fighting in Nepal's political system He decided that politics needed to be reformed. .. which was basically an excuse for banning politics The monarchy instituted the Panchayat system – a system involving village-level government – for the next 30 years Essentially this was the monarchy's way of maintaining their hold over Nepal. .. sort of a divide-and-rule thing? Under this system, the King wielded the fundamental power to make decisions
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This note was uploaded on 01/11/2010 for the course SAS SN1101E taught by Professor Kripasridharan during the Fall '09 term at National University of Singapore.

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SN1101E Various - Nepalese Politics is So Exciting SN1101E Briefly Nepal is a country with multiple contradictions of those described by Michael

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