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Nepali Democracy failed and Indigenouse people become loser?

Date Tuesday, January 23rd 2007, 9:42 PM Icon 21 Date 1

Debates over democracy are literally tearing Nepal apart. The catch phrases of social and economic development in the last 15-20 years in Nepal, whether in political speeches or INGO mission statements, have been empowerment, poverty alleviation, equality, and democratization.2 Whether a parliamentary constitutional monarchy is sufficient to deliver development in these terms, whether political parties are a necessary part of any democratic system (or rather are just vehicles for partisan selfishness), and whether the entire system needs to be destroyed and re-built on Marxist principles – these are the issues which are being fought out in the streets and in the villages of Nepal. In this context, it behoves researchers, especially foreign ones, to ask open-minded questions about democracy and to examine just what democracy means, and just how it is put in into practice, in a variety of local contexts.

The main aim of this paper is to examine the role that democracy plays within ethnic organizations. An influential early statement claimed that, among other things, indigenous people in the Nepalese context – the unspoken opposition here is to hierarchically minded Hindus – are those “whose society is traditionally erected on the principle of egalitarianism… and gender equality…” (Indigenous 1994: 3). Whether and how far this is so of the organizations which represent ethnic or indigenous people in Nepal is a question worth examining (and on which feminist ethnic activists have had strong views). We have chosen to concentrate here principally on those national or would-be national organizations that claim to
represent all members of a given ethnic group within the country. Democracy in the wider sense, i.e. as part of the context within which ethnic
organizations operate, has clearly played a large part in encouraging the development of such organizations, and they have expanded enormously in numbers since 1990 and the freedom to associate was guaranteed. Only a few ethnic movements, such as the Tharu Kalyan Karini Sabha (TKKS), the Thakali Sewa Samiti (TSS), and the Tamang Ghedung, can trace their origins back before the Panchayat period. Most ethnic organizations were founded either in the last two or three years of the Panchayat regime, when there was a perceptible loosening of government controls, or in the much freer atmosphere post 1990.

Most ethnic organizations prefer to avoid actual votes most of the time. And it is
telling that even when they have had votes, they are often extremely reluctant to talk about it because it is felt that publicizing voting figures will encourage division within the organization. Votes are avoided because they are felt to be divisive and that the losers will leave the organization (as has often happened) and set up a rival organization. Voting may also be avoided because it is associated with political
parties, which are not respected because they are associated with severe struggles of leadership positions and because they are known to be riven by factionalism and prone to frequent splits (Hachhethu 2002). Much effort therefore goes in to trying to build consensus and achieve a set of candidates and policies that everyone can support so that there is a united public front which will inspire respect. When there is consensus, and candidates chosen unanimously, it is much harder not to accept the
result, no one faces public humiliation, and the organization can present a united front to the outside world. Behind the scenes there is often frantic manoeuvring, and the mobilization of respected elder leaders, in order to construct a consensus. In many cases of unanimous and unopposed election there have been preparations for a vote up to the last minute when one side is persuaded to withdraw. Only recently and in some cases has the sentiment been expressed that a vote is good in itself, that regular voting invigorates the organization and gives the elected leaders a stronger mandate.

www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/depa rtments/anthropology/saag /DavidGellner.pdf



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lawatikrishna

indegenouse not loser

Date Sunday, January 28th 2007, 10:50 AM

hi realy suprise to read indegenouse loser i don't think we r loser we win part but not full so we have to work hard to our rights get back. we have to make strong unit get our goal. thx

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Bullet What do we gain or lose
  Date 01/24/07 Icon 49 Date 0 comment(s)  
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