Nepali Times
"A dangerous racism"


David Seddon, co-author of Nepal in Crisis: Growth and Stagnation at the Periphery (1980), The People's War in Nepal: Left Perspectives and The Struggle for Basic Needs in Nepal, Peasants and Workers in Nepal, spoke to Nepali Times in Kathmandu this week about why his dire predictions about Nepal haven't come true. He warns about the dangers of defining social exclusion only in terms of caste and ethnicity.

Nepali Times: You made some pretty dire predictions about this country 30 years ago. Yet, Nepal hasn't collapsed or become a failed state. How do you explain that?
Of course you are right almost every country is always in a series of changes and crises. But what we felt in the mid-1970s, was that there was a certain political statis under the Panchayat system, but we didn't talk much about that. Our focus was very much on the economic and social lives of the people in rural areas of the west-central region. At that time we felt that the dynamic in agriculture in particular was incredibly limited. There was a growing problem of food and food security, and all the commentators in the 70s were very gloomy about the economic prospects and particularly the problem of food security and we shared that concern.

That has been proven to be unduly pessimistic. Nepal has over the years in a variety of ways managed to maintain enough food supply to meet its requirements, despite the WFP talking about food deficit regions and so on. On the whole Nepal has managed to remain largely food self-sufficient. And where people have run short, they have been able to by and large purchase it as markets have developed. We were unduly pessimistic on the agriculture front. Right up to the late 90s commentators were looking at Nepal as an agrarian economy, that was the focus, so we like everyone else focused on dynamics of agriculture. In the 1990s there was another thrust with the Agriculture Perspective Plan that argued that the motor for growth was agriculture.

What hasn't happened is the kind of green revolution transformation of agriculture, cash-crop and commodity production. That was in the 70s and now 40 years on, that is still the case the development of a cash crop economy is less dramatic than one would have hoped. There are areas where it is happening, for example the eastern Tarai is very dramatic. So, I think we rather generalised the economic crisis, on the basis of the agriculture which at that time 80-90 per cent of the people were involved in and it was 60 per cent of the GDP, so it looked important. We also did not adequately pick up the growth in inter-cropping, and introduction of winter wheat, for example. We returned to the same areas in the mid-1990s, and did a re-study on a smaller scale of the same area and two things mainly struck us: there was still very little progress on cash crop and commodity production, in fact if anything there had been a retreat, and the other part was that people seemed to be relying increasingly on remittances from abroad.

Your other dire prediction then was that Nepal was on the brink of environmental collapse. But even there, despite problems, there has been progress in the last 40 years.
That is right, we have been proven again to have been unduly pessimistic about environmental change. We weren't talking about climate change then, it was the physical destruction of resources. In hindsight, most areas of the western and eastern hills deforestation and land degradation did continue on till the 1980s and was a serious problem, and remains a serious problem. People still rely on fuel wood, timber is still logged, forests continue to decline particularly in the Tarai. But in the eastern hills which we studied, there has been a certain amount of natural regeneration in the highest areas, in the middle hills there has been significant reforestation partly because of community forestry management, and farmers are now increasingly involved in maintaining the environment and that integration of cropping and forestry has become more dense. So we were over-pessimistic on environmental degradation on the forestry side. The other reason there has been a regeneration of scrub and forest land is that in the last ten years increasingly men have been travelling away from rural areas out of agriculture into the towns or to work abroad, and there has been a reduction in the area under cultivation. You could see this positively in environmental terms. There is an increase in natural regeneration, but there has been a reduction in the rural capacity of food production. Agriculture proved to be more dynamic than we had thought both in terms of food production capacity, intercropping, new crops, cash crops. But the development of commercial farming is still limited, for better or for worse.

Your first book was on the impact of roads. Do you still hold the view that roads are largely disruptive?
Yes and no. I think that in the short-run building roads is not cost-effective, but it can be argued that over a long term, 40 years or so, roads provide arguably a necessary but not sufficient condition for development. They can provide a foundation from which other road networks and other forms of change can develop, and their full positive impact can't be felt for 40 years or so. Roads undoubtedly encourage flows of people and goods, that can work both ways. They are not always a benefit they can also be a dis-benefit. I think one should add in modern terms to roads the idea of communications, because roads allow movement of people and transport of goods, but increasingly in Nepal it is the movement of ideas and information, as in the rest of the world, that is really important. The IT revolution has meant that in a way it is not roads that is so important now as it is the spread of ideas and information and how people use that I think will be profoundly important in the future. That is a positive for Nepal because the statistics suggest that there is now very widespread use of social media and mobile phones and people will gather information and ideas and be able to communicate with their families, we haven't seen the implication of this yet in Nepal or anywhere, profoundly revolutionary.

Forty years ago, you also saw overpopulation and the lack of employment as a fuel for future unrest. There were two democracy movements and a war, so that prediction was borne out.
We were accused of being 'radical pessimists' at the time as all the dependency theorists were. The impact of malaria eradication in the 1960s, which opened the up the Tarai, is the great development intervention in Nepal with long-standing implications. Ten years later, we were already beginning to get some sense of the migration from the hills to the Tarai but I don't think we picked up the importance of that as much as we should have done. In retrospect, in 70s and 80s there was a massive relocation of population from the hills to the Tarai and that absorbed that population growth to a very significant degree. It was a safety valve for the next 20 years, and it contributed to the large output of agriculture in the Tarai and it became the breadbasket. We underestimated that kind of transformation. If you look at the hill areas in the last 10 years, especially in the eastern hills which we studied, there has been a net decline in population. Natural population growth is relatively low, and there is migration out. And other thing that we didn't pick up until the 90s with our re-study was labour migration which at that time was mainly to India. The politics at the time suggested to us that there was a limit to migration to India, what nobody really saw coming until the late 1990s when we did study the "New Lahureys" was the great increase in migration to Japan, Korea, Malaysia and to the Gulf.

So, like the Tarai was the safety valve for agriculture, foreign migration turned out to be the safety valve for employment generation?
Migration did not really become a safety valve for employment till the mid-1990s. The lack of employment and frustration in the lead-up to the People's War were very real. The Maoists benefited from this frustration not just with poverty but growing inequality, in a sense recruitment into the PLA was not just because people were ideologically motivated but also substantially because they were looking for some alternative to unemployment. So we did recoup our study by this revisit in the 1990s, when we found two main things were happening: the lack of development of cash cropping in the western hills and the growth in remittances from abroad. With colleagues (Jagannath) Adhikari and (Ganesh) Gurung we ended up writing quite a bit about foreign remittances. Now it is well accepted that it is a crucial part of the Nepali economy, but it is a double-edged sword.

Given the contradictions in Nepali society and economy in the 70s did you feel that something like a Maoist revolution was inevitable?
It was a very economics-grounded analysis, but we did say at the end of the book that we didn't see a way out other than some sort of dramatic political transformation. I personally came back in the 80s and worked on Nepal: A State of Poverty in which I was much more explicit where I did see the beginnings of organised movements for a political alternative. A decade later, in the 80s I was talking about the frustrations that were beginning to build up. If you look at the post-1990 period economic and social demographic statistics were on the whole fairly positive, it was quite a dynamic period, and there was a tendency to over-criticise the politicians saying that we were getting nowhere. And the Maoist of course launched their war based on the perception of a deepening frustration that what had been promised in the early 1990s hadn't materialised. Ten years later we were in the middle of an intensifying, deepening war, the royal massacre and 9/11 had led to a hardening of positions, Maoists were successful in gaining territory and support, Gyanendra staged a royal coup and there was the beginnings of a backlash as the international community turned against him.

So, the two Jana Andolans were opportunities to move forward. But since 2008 there has been a period of political stalemate. In the meanwhile ordinary people carry on the best they can, labour migration continues to bring in remittances, there are some signal failures: hydropower is an area where there has been a complete failure to capitalise on Nepal's major potential. Lenin once said 'development is Soviets plus electricity', we don't have Soviets, but we don't have electricity either. This is a huge failing in industrial growth, health, education, all of these suffer because of the lack of electricity.

So we are still in crisis?
It is the political and legislative crisis that people are focused on, but underneath there is a continuing economic crisis about the failure to create an economy that generates employment productive growth. Nepal has become like Yemen or Jordan that rely on labour migrants to keep the economy going.

One of the reasons for the constitutional and political stalemate post-2008 has been the demand for identity-based federalism. You have been slightly critical of that idea.
I have been very critical. The Irish response to a question like 'where do you go now' is 'I wouldn't have started from here'. For me the strength of the Maoist movement was that it was a class-based, it's about people who are disadvantaged economically and socially. Let's refer to it as a horizontal cleavage between the relationship between the rich and poor. My sense is that sometime during the middle of the war, the Maoists for tactical reasons began to see ethnic identity as a basis of support and out of that came what I think is a dangerous and misleading philosophy: that you can address ethnic and caste inequalities which undoubtedly exist and need to be addressed in society by recognising them as ethnic groups which have some sort of vote in so far as they are from an ethnic group or caste. For me that fundamentally violates universal human and democratic rights. As an individual I should have the right to vote for whatever party I want, not vote only on the basis of my ethnic or caste identity. Everything is caste, you will forgive the pun, in one identity. I find that profoundly undemocratic and racist. There are countries that have organised themselves on the basis of religious groups and so on, like Lebanon, and it's a recipe for disintegration and chaos. It is really not the basis for an effective state. It also has the dangers of ethnic cleansing in which you begin to define people only by their caste and ethnicity. So whether I am a very wealthy Gurung or a poor Gurung, whether I am a wealthy Bahun or a poor Bahun and seems not to be a caste-based position. So I am surprised that the Maoist have maintained what I thought was only a tactical approach drawing on the support of the Magar in Rukum and Rolpa and other ethnic groups, and has now become a flawed ideology.

The danger of this is the endless proliferation of groups. Take the Madhesis, there is a legitimate grievance of the people of the Tarai because of political marginalisation, failure to recognize their numbers and so on. Madhesi is a lumpy category and immediately other groups like the Tharus disassociated themselves. There are more than 100 ethnic and caste groups in Nepal, each one then has the right to special identity representation, it splits and splits and splits again. Secondly, if you are going to organise a federal state on that basis, most federal states are based on already existing social-economic-cultural entities, take the example of the Limbuwan the majority of the people in that area are not Limbu. There is no so-called ethnic autonomous region proposed in which the ethnic category is the majority even. So not only do you have a problem of majority overwhelming the minority, but you have the problem of states which are defined by the ethnic identity of a minority. It doesn't make a lot of sense if you see the mosaic of different groups in Nepal there is no logic of division in terms of territory, it seems to me a misleading dangerous idea.

Federalism will add another layer of government, bureaucracy and so on, it is expensive and this is not something Nepal can afford whatever the shape it takes. If it doesn't actually divide Nepal into economically strategic and sensible regions or provinces, there is the danger of comparative disadvantage being used. If you happen to be in the Karnali and there is no central government to redistribute resources, you are always going to remain marginal and weak. Federalism is a dangerous division even on a territorial and development basis.

But when identity-based federalism becomes a political ideology as it has now, it isn't easy anymore to backtrack.
We should never have got to this point, but we recognise I guess that for some reason federalism appeared first in the first interim constitution and as you say has grown to become a political ideology of substance, although very dangerous. I see it as a way to identify one grouping as against another which is the NC, UML and its constellation that are now defined as non-federalists. If federalism is now on the agenda, and all things I have been saying are sort of out of date, then I think the best one could hope for is some form of federalism which is based on geographic, and economic factors, where there is an acceptance of regional differences in different parts of Nepal and where proper democratic representation according to population is taken into account. What is needed is a re-examination of the electoral constituencies so they do represent the populations in them, to me that would satisfy to some extent the concerns of the Madhesis that the actual population in the south is represented properly but on the basis of universal rights rather than ethnic or caste identity.

Still, how do you address the serious imbalance caused by the historical caste domination of the bureaucracy and government?
I think that is something that every party needs to address, including and one might even say particularly the UCPN and CPN. But, yes, there is no doubt that there is a dominance. But this is not just a caste and ethnic dominance, this is about those who are wealthy and powerful, and again as an old Marxist I would emphasise the class nature of this dominance. It's not just that people are Brahmins and Chhetris or Newar, these are educated with wealth and power and what needs to happen is that there should be an opening up of opportunities in government in political parties in regions for people who are from disadvantaged ethnic groups and castes, but more generally people who are disadvantaged. So I see it as a power and wealth control rather than on that should be framed always in terms of caste and ethnicity. I think there is a dangerous racism. It is really about power and control. Bahun chhetri leaders will be rich and powerful so will Janajati leaders, so will the leaders even of Dalit groups. I have noticed that the most of the leaders of Dalit groups are Biswakarma, and there are very few Sarki, Damai, Pode. Always in my view there is a class basis under which it is the rich and powerful who control the country.

How much do you blame Nepal's international partners for this?
That's not their responsibility in the sense that what happens in Nepal is mainly for Nepalis to determine. But there is no doubt that the international community has played its part all along, since the 1950s, in shaping the way development and political discourse has taken place. And not surprisingly, given the countries that are involved, they haven't challenged the fundamental status quo. They have tried to improve things where possible, partly through technical assistance and providing infrastructure. There has been no challenge of the status quo, and perhaps rightly so. On ethnic-based federalism, led possibly by people in the World Bank and supported by DFID, there is this concern about the exclusion of marginal peoples, and the agenda of inclusiveness. Unfortunately, for all sorts of reasons, the focus whether it was because anthropologists were involved rather than radical economists, the frame of reference is very much in terms of caste and ethnicity rather than in terms of class. And although poverty became important, people did not talk about workers and peasants and certain disadvantaged classes, they talked about talked about social exclusion in terms of caste and ethnicity which then became the conventional wisdom and the dogma. Donor agencies particularly the World Bank and DFID felt projects should be defined in those terms every effort should be made to include people gender caste and ethnicity. What they didn't focus on was groups and class differences and so on. In that sense they have contributed to a dominance of a discourse that focuses on caste and ethnicity and that has something to do with the growing dominance of social development in development agencies in the 50s right through to the 70s it was predominantly economists who spoke about development, GDP, agriculture and roads. The 70s and 80s was all about market forces. During the 90s, partly because of the conflict it became more about poverty and inclusion and that reflects international concerns as well. The first HDR in 1990 had a focus on poverty, so since then there has been this effort to define development as not just economic growth and markets but also in terms of social development, NGOs, civil society. But the social issues were mainly addressed from the perspective of caste and ethnicity in Nepal rather than class. Social development concerns of the 1990s gave way to conflict, the development agencies all because very interested in conflict, conflict management and since then have focused on the post-conflict and since then have moved more into the political domain. Now, whether that is legitimate for development agencies I think is very debatable. More money has been spent on training and constitution-building workshops than on agriculture and road-building in the last five years. So the development agencies have moved from economic and infrastructure into social development into political interference, you can debate whether that is legitimate or not. But I think not.

Read also:
Textbook history, ANURAG ACHARYA
To blame outsiders for Nepal's ills is to excuse the mistakes of our rulers and misread history

1. Paul Krugman
Blaming outsiders and international partners for Nepal's problems is the worst sort of scapegoating. Nepalis need to acknowledge ownership of -- and blame for -- the problems here.

2. DG
Caste domination in bureaucracy has still now taken into consideration only the statistics on civil administration in general ( like CDOs) as all projection shows.
 Will it not be better and fair to include the statistics on recruitment in army and police too?
After all the investment for training an army officer is many times more than in civil administration.

3. Dr. Nanda Bdr. Singh
Dear David Seddon, What we are doing in Nepal right now through our social movement  network of more than 13 different societies of Kshatree, Brahmin, Thakuri, Dashanami, Dalit, Backward class federation, Rajput, Bumihar, Nathyogi sampraday etc.which represents majority of Nepali demographic composition is exactly chiming with your opinion!!! We believe in universal human rights, social justice and economic equality for which the parameters of social upliftment should be economically, socially and culturally backward groups or peoples,but Nepal's Maoists and some other so-called communists started raising the dangerous voice of caste and ethnicity in order to get a short term political benefit. Therefore, we have already started correcting our international development partners and development agencies to kindly and coolly think twice or thrice in Nepal to get involved in the issues of mainly of ethnicity and caste. Wealth and power have a  lot to say to have dominance over politics , bureaucracy, security (army and police etc) for which we need to raise the question of economic equality through the upliftment of backward regions, groups and class of peoples etc. I think some of the international agencies have vocally trying to mistakenly raise the issue of caste and ethnicity which is compatible with Maoist's strategy in Nepal will lead our nation to the ethnic war at last. That's reason, we have begun to inform the international partners not to deviate from their  economic, and infrastructure to political intervention in the name of so-called social development. Our mission is taking its stock so hardly and trying to go ahead with a great mission of keeping our national interests intact,  ethnic goodwill in co-existence , a lesson taught by our history and national builders!!! 

4. Dr. Nanda Bdr. Singh
Dear Dr. David Seddon, 
Nepal's communists are so called Maoists and Marxists who do believe in ethnic issue rather than economic class. So are the some of the international partners or development agencies have started interfering in Nepal's internal affairs by unnaturally aligning with the UCPN with their hidden agenda of pushing Nepal into a ethnic war or civil war just for the sake of  few so leaders who want to be the president or chief ministers of future Nepal. It is almost impossible to materialize their vested interests. Therefore, we are now compelled to bring in many societies belong to different social groups into one network under the name of " Joint Struggle Committee for National Integrity and Ethnic Goodwill"  which is ready to sacrifice blood, toil and labor for keeping our nation intact and ethnic goodwill  in peaceful coexistence for centuries. If anyone tries to disintegrate our nation born out of our ancestor's blood and toil, we will be ready to act as the army of our nation to uphold its flag forever. We do represent majority of demographic composition in this nation. Thank you seddon for your universal and rational opinions for which we have been fighting for the benefit of each and every citizen of our country. 

5. Om Sharma
Thank you David Seddon for your reality-based opinions. Thank you Dr. Nanda for valuable comment. 

6. Deepak Shah

I am sure you mean well but your views will be distored and exploited to suit the interests of feudals who have exploited the innocent Nepalese for centuries. These misguided people with very primitive mindsets even openly self declared themselves "superior" than others on caste basis shamelessly. They used everything from religion to army power to subdue others spiritually, fianancially and socially. All Nepalese even could not worship together. There was a system in many ways worst than apartheid. Now it is time that people like you also use your pen to ensure that this kind of indecorous mindset eradicates forever as all are equal in front of God and the civilized communites.

7. Krishna Pradhan
Kudos to DFID for their years of humanitarian work to mitigate the sufferings of the people of Nepal. We apologize to them on behalf of Mr. Seddon as he used cheap allegations in trying to defame them. Please keep up the good work DFID

8. LR
it's pretty obvious 6,7 are from the same guy probaby a beneficiary of a DFID grant. so now david seddon is in the payroll of nepal's scheming bahuns? give me a break.

9. arun mardan bam malla

I couldn't agree more with Dr. Nanda B Singh. He is absolutely right to point out the fact that Nepal is heading toward becoming another breeding ground for violence. The majority of Nepalese with some brains know exactly what Dr. Singh is saying. No doubt Nepal is being pushed into the brink of disintegration in the name of caste and ethnicity, and we all know who planted the seeds of hatred. Enough is enough; how long can we remain mere specators?     

10. Nirmal
In principle and praxis, the democracy ought to guide raciosocial cultures but in our case it is always seemed the other way. I think DFID has a perspective rather "kuire" which means they explain us "those truths" that are loudly told to them. Only the referendum holds the capacity to liberate this much suffered country from the wrong decisions taken, the structural violence at the hands of "messiahs" and corrupt political class. There are only 3 to 4 dozen powerful people who control the whole country and ethnicity based federalism will strengthen these groups further making the large mass of Nepal be impossible to enjoy the state power toward their progress.

11. T.R.Rijal
Thank you Mr. David Seddon,to your deep concern toward Nepalese ground realities and positive comment.

12. Sanjay Gelal
Before a man goes to grave at his death, he goes to his comfortable bed everyday, before a man becomes ash at a crematory, he gingerly becomes hot everyday!! This is the pure elaboration of Nepalese politics. We have forgot class conflict yea

13. A Nepali
The heterogeneity within Nepal that needs to be addressed through political and policy changes has to do with disproportionate differences in wealth, education, influence, and opportunity. Ethnicity and caste issues are politically useful for some opportunists, but not for a large majority of Nepalis, and targeting these two factors will not lead to meaningful development. If you use statistical methods to separate the influences of all the major factors contributing to the present development status of Nepal, the primary effector variables of Nepal's poor development will be wealth, education, influence, and opportunity (often highly correlated with one another). Caste and ethnicity are insignificant factors confounded with these 4 primary variables. For Nepal to truly advance and prosper, politics and policy has to focus on how to level the playing field as far as the 4 primary effector variables are concerned. For that, we need smart, honest, and committed leadership; accountability; and a well laid out national development plan. Nepal is rich in resources, and has the necessary raw materials to do this. Any takers?

14. Anuj B
going through all the comments, all are too emotional !! First, let us be rational and put forward our arguments from historical perspective. All are well educated and worked hard to achieve respectful position for themselves, must also respect aspiration of people from other communities and listen what they have to say. Other sides have suffered > 200 years and if you talk of Dalits (who occupies big chunk of pop.) only, then they have suffered the most and were oppressed for centuries and centuries physically and mentally. Animals are treated better than Dalits. No doubt Prithivi Narayan Shah and his descendants had an able leadership unifying Nepal geographically but going through history in depth, there was lapse in unifying Nepali people in their thoughts and mindsets. Nepali people especially those not belonging to Hindu caste system or did not believe in this system from east to west never felt their aspirations recognized by the state. Instead, they were treated harshly and tortured and harrassed mentally. On top of this, socio - cultural and religious hegemony were pounded and Hindu Sanskritization was forced upon them at the back force of army. And mainstream history does not states all these except the sweets words of Raja and Maharajas.  You guys who say, "Those who are asking for their rights are racist!!" We have ample histocal evidences to prove my assertions. And, to discuss further, first you put yourself in a position of Dalit (say you are a Dalit in Kalikot or Humla or Jumla or Jajarkot or Mugu) and see how they are treated and their living condition in absolute poverty. Why?  There are many reasons for this: we can argue for hours and hours from socio economic to political reasons. Putting these aside, what I think is the root cause for socio cultural evil of 21st century called DALITs (untouchable) is based on CASTE SYSTEM which is by - product of Hinduism (though there are creams of knowledge and wisdom in Hinduism, which I respect) and Manu was the wicked snake behind it. Without equity and equal participation from all spheres of life RESPECTING the people's aspiration to be recognized and to be listened, our country will not progress, however beautiful our words might be because Tharus are stil suffering and fighting for their survival, Badis are still excluded from the society and taken Christianity as new faith to heal their scarred faith, Botes still sleep hungry so on. So decentralization has to happen and local people have to play active role in the developmental activities and manage their affairs with local wise dom. Now, my question to all gentlepersons, "By what standard people with new aspiration are RACIST???" So, my friends CASTE system that has infested our every sphere of society and life and those who uphold that system must be given social justice.
This is where the root cause of problem lies so until and unless this mindset that still prevails as socio - cultural evil is not up rooted, no parameters can predict the future of this country. Lastly, Nepali people will solve imported social evil with local wisdom. I think, we need not to say we are heading toward brink. Instead, I suggest all to understand the grass root problem of Nepal. Nobody can deny the fact CASTE system  was always hindrance to equal opportunities and imagine, 'what happens to the country if you put > 90 % of people in dark from education and equal opportunities from centuries "  And let me stress here that nobody is defining social exclusion in Nepal only in terms of caste and ethnicity only. What it is being stressed so far is that SOCIAL EXCLUSION in terms of CASTE and ETHNICITY is at the root and others follows with that leading to epic socio economic deprivation, which is the greatest human rights violation by Nepali state to its people by any standard.

15. United Nepal
This is exactly the reason why Nepalese should stop asking White men for advice on what Nepal should do for its development. First of all, Seddon's understanding and interpretation of Nepali history, its demographic structure and causes of its poverty is flawed, incomplete and narrow. His understanding and interpretation of Nepal's history is exactly the way Bahun-Chetries want the dumb foreigners to understand and interpret. Nepal's communists, UML, Maoists, and all others are controlled by Bahun/Chetries, and their true intentions were never to create classless society in which all ethnic groups would be treated equal. These thieves have used and abused the indigenous peoples (Janajaties) and their resources in the pretext of all political parties or other excuses. The identity-based federalism was not a Maoist idea to begin with. The clever Bahuns in Maoist simply stole it from the ethnic groups, which become the lowest economic class. Never mind, indigenous peoples were doing well before the Khas migration to Nepal. Please read Dr. Lama's dissertation "Global Poverty--Local Problem: Institutional Determination of Poverty Among Indigenous Peoples in Nepal" to enlighten yourself on the intersection between poverty and caste/ethnic disparity in Nepal. Also visit following link:  

16. United Nepal
Seddon has been wrong about his prediction on failed state or environmental collapse in the past, as admits in this article. He will be wrong about his assessment of the identity-based federalism this time because he simply does not seem to understand the fact that class disparity in Nepal is primarily a function of caste hierarchy. This is how Maoist figured out that class could not be the basis for revolution. Ethnic and caste divisions are much deeper, and is a better issue on which to wage revolution. People like Nanda Bdr. Singh just does not get, or he is trying put it under the carpet. It is understandable why. Because Chetri like him benefited by dividing the people (Divide and Rule), a political tactic which he learned from his masters from England. The "unity' mantra is not going to sell that easily anymore-- not at least to the indigenous peoples.

17. S Lama
Prof Seddon hits the bull's eye. As a self-avowed Marxist he sees class as cutting across ethnic and caste lines. those who don't see that don't want to because they have hitched their wagons to identity politics. What a tragic cul de sac for Nepal. You supposedly liberate Nepal from ethnic domination by going back to Year Zero with the blood-thirsty Maoists, but there is no Nepal left at the end of it.

18. United Nepal
To S. Lama: no one denies that class division (inequality) cuts across ethnic and caste lines. There few Gurungs, Magars, Newars, Rai-Limbu, and few Tamangs who are doing well, often in the expense of Janatatis who are poor. Perhaps except for those Lahures, these few rich Janajaties, however, are simply puppets of the Khas Parbatiayas, who runs the whole Nepali show. It is naive to think that class alone will solve ethnic issues. If that as the case, there wouldn't be a Tibetan issue in China. Han Chinise, who control the political machine pretty much control all the economy. Even if there is pure Marxist rule in Nepal, Bahun/Chetries would control the whole show, and all other Janajatis would only be on the periphery. That's why identity is important. Human life is only meaningful when there is sense of significance and worthiness, which come with identity.

19. Nirmal
I request Mr. Seddon to try to contribute regularly through columns or articles in Nepali Times. Dear sir, ours is a society which easily runs after the direction of the wind without taking into account whether the destination where we are headed towards is free of dangerous risks. Our current politics would be enlightened If you do so. You've more than enough political understanding of nepali society so you could suggest viable alternatives to peace and progress on your intellectual and academical capacity.

20. Gagan Kulung
I do not agree with David that dominance in Nepal is CLASS based, not the CASTE.  I you look into the Hindu Varnashram, there are four categories of caste namely : Brahmin, Chhetri, Baishya and Shudra.  Brahmins are supposed to be leaders, administrators, Chhetris are warriors, national force, Baishyas to do trade and Shudra are occupational caste groups.  In Shudra also there are two catogories: Chal Shudra (touchable) and Achal Shudra (untouchable).  All janajatis, Dalits and other marginalized people are fall under Shudra.  So this is how caste groups are divided according to the job they do.  So the dominance starts right from here.  You can see a distinct cleavage of inequalities in this Caste System.  You are assigned your job according to your caste not by your ability.

You mentioned that Nepal is mosaic of different people.  Its not true. You can see like mosaic from distance, but in reality its not mosaic. For example : Nepal was a Hindu State although there are many Buddhist, Muslims, Christians and followers of other religion and their own ethnic religions. But the state was Hindu.  Festivals of other religions people are not recognized by the state.  So if there is no recognition, no identity what will happen to the confidence of non Hindu population?  You might know the Pashupati Temple in Kathmandu, where only Hindus are allowed but if you go to Church or Monastery its not there.  So the discrimination starts from the Hindu Philosophy.

Another example: DALITS who are occupational caste groups and are blacksmith, tailor and cobblers are untouchable to the so called elite caste Brahmins and Chhetris.  They do not drink or eat anythings that are touched by these untouchable. But you see, they use tools made by blacksmiths, wears dresses and shoe mend by these untouchables.

Another example:  Women's are highly dominated in Hindu philosophy.  Couple of years back, girls are not sent to school because they are not to study, only to do households stuffs.

I you look into the history of Nepal, there is distinct dominance of Bahuns in Politics and Bureaucracy as well.  They are always in state operation, they are the rulers. So they are responsible for present situation of the country; the political stalemate, corruption culture, Impunity, non responsiveness, non-accountability.  So they are the culprits.

Language is another barrier.  Nepali can not be well spoken by indigenous  communities of Nepal.  They have their own mother tongue. How can I compete with you David if I am given a task to do in English?

In a nutshell, the inequalities in Nepal is because of Hindu Philosophy which is further complemented by the feudal mindset of rulers and elites of Nepal.  Therefore there is a dire need of recognition of identity of all the elements of 'Mosaic'.  And I am sure that the ethnicity based federalism not only devolve power and resources from the central government but also develops accountability and ownership among the local people in developing their provinces.

21. swami nath

As an Indian hindu I read the comments with some curiosity, I am sure a view from across the border will help throw light on the caste menace that is hurting fellow hindus. We have adopted what we call a caste based 'reservation system' to give the lower castes a jump start and help them  join the upper strata in the society. The system works with some solid percentage of  seats in governmental institutions, both central and at state level allocated to the downtrodden castes. The political consensus from the upper castes favored the implementation of the reservation system. Almost half of the seats are earmarked to underprivileged castes in educational institutions across the width and breadth of the Indian land. Quarter goes to the dalits the other quarter to the backward castes. It is a nice and somewhat assured maechanism that allows competition among only the said caste students for that particular block of positions. The forward and upper caste students will have to wrest it out from the open competition pool(dalits may also compete here but vice versa isn't permissible).

Next a similar reservation was applied to political syatem as well, ensuring entry of dalits into parliament and state assemblies alike. Reservation for Dalits becomes an unquestionable platform on which the entire dalit population bases its presence in the upper echelons of the society, including polity and governance. In govt jobs sector similar percentage is allotted. More importantly these students also get fee waiver and their boarding and lodging expences are taken care of by the govt. It means if a 17  or 18 year old student who happens to clear the entry level screening exam and joins an engineering  or medical school he is assured of a job in govt sector and he can become a shining example of success for the entire society. Tens of thousands of dalits and backward caste people have become doctors engineers, ministers, administrators as well as clerks, teachers etc etc, thanks to the reservation system.

Curent speaker , Meira kumar is a dalit woman. Immediate past chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state is also a dalit woman.  Home Minister Shinde is also a dalit. Thus reservation system brings a sense of justice to the aggrieved dalits and  other backward castes. Dalit atrocity act is strictly employed to arrest and try any offender and hence  everyone is careful not to say or do anything silly against dalits in India. The dalit status in India, as a result  has improved in the past 6 decades very significantly. Nepal should look into it closely..Namaste.

22. United Nepal
Just to be clear, I think many people including David, Kulung and Swami nath seem confused with caste system vs ethnicity. In Nepal there are two groups of peoples: (1) The indigenous peoples who are the native of Nepal, who have been living in Nepal for thousands of years. They do not belong to the Hindu caste system. They are Buddhists, or practice local religions, and have distinct cultures and languages.  (2) The caste peoples, or Khas Parbatia, who migrated to Nepal very recently from India (after Muslim invasion of India). These people practice caste system. These people are Nepali only by citizenship but their ancestral land is not Nepal. These people belong to the four caste hierarchy that people here talk about. They are monolithic group: they all speak same language (khas), practice same religion (Hindu) and look same in physical feature (pointed nose, deep eyes, hairy body).

So, don't confuse caste system with ethnicity. They are entirely two different things. Just because a Chetri (Mahendra Shah) declared Nepal a Hindu kingdom for a short period of time doesn't mean everyone in Nepal belongs to a caste system or practice Hinduism. That level of ignorance is just pathetic. Buddhist people do not belong to caste system, although the Bahun-Chetri regime uses its propaganda machine (media, history books, and other literature) to brainwash people to think so.

23. Armugam
Seddon & co have no  credibility as their extreme predictions have gone haywire.  Seddon does not deserve so much attention.     

24. Divided Nepal
So this is what we have come down to Hairy Nepalese vs Unhairy Nepalese. This is how civil wars start, when you start arguing about who settled here first.

25. swami nath

@United Nepal
True, I have a limited knowledge of the ethnic diversity in Nepal. What is the approximate percentage of Buddhist, hindu and other religions in Nepa? Also can Nepal accommodate the reservation system incorporating all the downtrodden groups along side the castes? Some tribals, called adivasis, are not clearly hindu but they enjoy the fruits of reservation system by sitting alongside dalits in that block. Whatever the name we can give these people's ethnicity this kind of block allottment of places in ALL governamental institutions will assure their entry into all spheres of society. Building bridges between various groups takes effort, on the contrary, building walls is much easier.This is what hapening in Indian scene, the walls are broken and bridges are being built now.

Another development. In India, intercaste marriage has dominated the social scene and is wiping out the casteism altogether. Lots of educated, employed and rich Indians alike marry outside their castes. Hope is ripe that caste becomes irrelevant in near future. Not trying to be preachy here but it is worth looking at other nations for some worthy examples. We love Nepalis and they are in large numbers in India living without any persecution for a longtime, in factc since Siddhartha Gautama days to be precise.

26. yam gurung

Especially,when the martial race from Nepal join the British army during the Brtish Raj,they were stamp as a Hindu Gurkhas.

And the Hindu Pandit was apponited in every Gurkha battalions and they were force to celeberate Hindu religion,and cultures etc.

Even the regimes sent their's "Bhardars"in the villages to check if the martila race is obeying the order like "Markat" sacrifice of animals during Dashain and printing their palms with blood in the walls.

Because of the domination of Hinduism in Nepal.The Gurkhas especially the martial race and others from Nepal,lost its genuine religion and culture and in verge of becoming "LIMBO"in the 21st century.

And also because of the Gurkha recruitment,we are unable to compete within the power of Nepal.


27. United Nepal
@swami nath
There's no authoritative data on the exact proportion of indigenous peoples vs. caste people. The Nepal Census has been hijacked by Bahun-Chetries to show Hindu majority. The falsification of data was done to justify Nepal as Hindu kingdom and to justify Shahs as Nepal's kings-- while in fact Shahs were only kings of Hindus. Until the 1990s, Nepal Census banned collection of demographic data -- because of fear that true data would show Hindus as minority, which would then invited revolution against their power grab. So the Nepal Census Bureau has lost credibility as a source of valid data. Various scientific surveys show that, given the ethnic composition (over 100 ethnic groups), about 72-80% of Nepali are either Buddhist or practice local religions, and less than 25% are caste peoples (Bahun, Chetri, Baishya, Dalits). There are few Baishyas in Nepal, mostly in Kathmandu. Baishya (a merchant group) are recent migrants from India- the Marwadis.

Unlike in India, indigenous peoples in Nepal are against or not interested in the reservation system. The reservation system was a Whitemen's idea--- to confine indigenous peoples like animals in Human Zoo and constrain indigenous people's aspiration for self-governance. What indigenous peoples want in Nepal is their inherent right to govern their own affairs, and not be controlled by outsiders, the caste people. Indigenous peoples have no problem if the caste people limit their caste system within themselves, and not impose or portray it as the country's system. Ultimately, the caste people will have to realize the human aspiration to become free, independent and prosperous. The caste people's (Bahun-Chetri) denial of the unjust system and their atrocity against the indigenous peoples and Dalits are going to bring a hell on them the longer they cling to power. The fuel is already there, only fire is needed to be ignited, which the Bahun-Chetris is heading to do.

Please read Dr. Lama's paper "Global Poverty--Local Problem: Institutional Determination of Poverty Among Indigenous Peoples in Nepal", which may help enlighten on this topic. There is a also a petition, that may shed light on this topic:

28. arun mardan bam malla

Swami Nath has a valid point. There are lots of things Nepal can learn from its neighbors, specifically, from India. If Nepal wants to develop, it cannot take India out of the equation. India is too important for us to ignore. Despite what people think, there are so many similarities between the two countries, and our experiences are also closely intertwined in many aspects. Unfortunately, Nepal is not learning from India, and here is why. Because of decades of failed educational systems in Nepal, we're producing people with half brains. The way we talk, write, or express our opinions, we can't tell apart who is educated and who is not. Additionally, our minds are full of anger and hatred. We can't debate with minimal respect and civility, and even if we agree to disagree, we sound unintelligent despite claiming to have a college degree. Hard to swallow but it's the truth. As long as we have a backward society, we are going to remain the way we are for decades to come. A country doesn't develop by itself, people do. Therefore, as people, it's our fault that our country has remained the pooret of the poor for so long. We may not like to acknowledge it but we are a failed nation, and it is evidenced by a "postcard from Hell" that we receive every year. To believe it, please visit the site yourself:, and it is not pretty at all. Frankly speaking, I'm tired of getting it, and I want it to stop. Above all, though, what is more dangerous is that our country has been moving toward becoming a breeding ground for violence and social unrest, because majority of us have developed a "herd mentality." We follow blindly our leaders who don't mind pushing us off the cliffs. We are indoctrinated to a level that we only think of hurting or killing our own people. Take "United Nepal" for an example; he wants to start a class war in the name of caste & ethnicity. He claims to be the only native of the land when we know that's not the case. History indicates people of Indian origins have been living in Nepal for several millennia, eg. Janak, Buddha, etc. Clearly, his mindset is appeared to have been polluted with poison of hatred, thanks to his political masters. Similarly, in Nepal, we don't take ownership or take responsibility for our actions. We blame everyone but ourselves. We blame our neighbors for our failures. We demand that our neighbors help us develop our country as if they are obligated to do so. As long as this type of mindset persists, we'll remain poor, eventually losing our collective identity, nationality, and everything associated with it. Last but not least, dear Swami Nath Ji, I truly appreciate your suggestions. We value your wisdom but whether we in Nepal can benefit from it is doubtful given the present state of the state. Thanks for being a good neighbor, nonetheless!   

29. United Nepal
@Divided Nepal:
The civil war started 250 years ago when the Khas Parbatiya began to destroy indigenous cultures and peoples, and confiscated indigenous palaces, lands, and resources. Millions of indigenous peoples have died in that civil war, and continue to die still today due to poverty, disease, illiteracy. Today, the people of the land are identified with derogatory terms such as Bhote, Jhyapu etc. in their own homeland while the creepy foreigners are called Nepali. You gotta be blind not see that.

30. United Nepal
Ah, finally here's one self-proclaimed educated man speaking on behalf of all Nepali: arun mardan bam malla. I wonder, as any genuine Nepali people would do, whether this Malla is really a Malla. If you were, you would get at least one thing right: that Buddha was born in his own Kingdom of Kapilbastu, the land which is now part of Nepal in Limbini. And that, there was no country called India until the 1950s. The whole swath of land in South Asia was a business district called East India company, out of which were born countries called India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. after the colonizers left. What an educated man, I would be ashamed!

And Janak, who conspired against the Buddhists and Mallas who turned the Buddhist Biharas of Newars into Hindu temples! It would do less harm to the cause of Nepal if you stop being brainwashed by Bahun-Chetri manifesto called Nepal's history. A learned man uses his brain to conduct independent analyses. Perhaps you could learn to be independent thinker from Foreign Policy piece. I am aware of the types of paper that comes out of this journal, and they have reasons why they want to portray Nepal the way they do.

Any man of justice will speak against the injustice and atrocity. Rome was not built overnight. Every country in the world, U.S., France, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, all have history of civil movements, which unfortunately was not peaceful because of oligarch like you, who self-describe as elite yet dumb enough to worship foreign masters.

31. Divided Nepal
I don't care either way, I'm not even a Nepalese citizen. go ahead, wreck your country if you want.

32. Bibhinna Raj Kirat

United Nepal,

Your views and opinions are one sided, incomplete, immature, confrontational, and biased. Do not judge any culture and practice of humanity merely looking at the features of biology and human topography. Try to get and explain the sub-himalayan and trans-himalayan human culture from Neolithic era. You may well aware of crumbling down of Sir Mortimer Wheeler's so called "Aryan Invasion Theory".  You may be mistakenly or knowingly believing that Lichchhavis are non-indogenous migrated later to the present day Nepal. How can you make sure they didn't roam around this region including many other places around like many other neolithic groups of people did early! What is the cut-off time line that divides from being indogenous to non-indogenous? You need to understand that this is the prominent grey area we need to work hard on. Do not believe in Dr. Bhattachan's series of biased articles, Durga Hang Yakhkha Rai's half truth twisted few books, some Indian writers' revenge loaded "high profile books". Try to analyse with relevent logic and practices. After all we need to live in present not in the past, in the hope of future.

33. a m b malla
Even though you're hiding under the disguise of "United Nepal," if my guess is right, I pretty much know your kind, so I am not surprised at all that you're holding so much grudges against Parbatiya Gorkhas. To put it mildly, you're a misguided (fill in the blank as you wish), and people like you can't see the bigger picture, no matter how hard one tries to convince you. As a matter fact, we really don't need your kind any more (we've got enough of them) at a time when our fragile nation is already divided. You should be ashamed of yourself for preaching hatred against fellow countrymen. At a time when you should be thinking of "Greater (complete) Nepal," you're thinking of dividing it into pieces. Are you saying you want your Katmandu back? Well, I have a news for you. It's not gonna happen. Ever! Over 250 years have gone by, you're still clinging to the thought of taking revenge. Let's be real here that had the brave Gorkhalis under their visionary leader, PNR, not united Nepal, just imagine what country's passport you would be carrying today. By the way, if you have any idea, Bhagwan Sri Ramchandra and Lord Buddha, both come from the same family of Ikshavaku, a Kshetriya Vamsha, so please don't splatter nonsense with your half-baked knowledge boosted by your 2 cents of monthly pay. You don't know geography nor history, so don't act academician when clearly you're not . Moreover, unless you're a Dongol or Maharjan, the farmers and the true natives of Kathmandu valley, you should have no qualms against anyone. Additionally, if you're thinking the Mallas of Katmandu valley were who you think they were, I seriously suggest you to go back to school to get re-educated on history.  Lastly, "Ailaa" is great but it needs to be taken in moderation. Just a suggestion!      

34. Limbu
United Nepal makes lot of sense, folks like Malla are just farting from their backside.

Malla? Really, "imagine what country's passport you would be carrying"? All those years of Mahendra mala has really stunted whatever intellectual ability you had (if you had any to begin with), hasn't it? You are nothing but a fanatic nationalist. 

What is wrong with having an Indian passport? 

At least they have got a much vibrant democracy and many accomplishments to be proud of. It's ironic that Nepalese people are proud of nonsensical things like Mt Everest and Buddha, which by the are not accomplishments of this nation.

35. shobhana

United Nepal,

You are absolutely wrong. Your premise that "indegenous people" are the natives of the land and the rest are outsiders hold no ground. The other side that you have termed as outsiders can easily say that we are "indegenous" and the rest are outsiders.

Now, your assertion that Nepal was a Buddhist country (apart from Bon and other ancestral spirit worship) holds no ground either. The geography of Nepal is in such a poisition that there is no escape from the Gangetic Plains. What happened there came here immediately. By here I mean the Nepal Valley and Western Nepal. 

36. United Nepal
Kirat, b. Malla, shobhana and the likes:
 Stop embarrassing yourself, and the country. Stop using your twisted logic and unfounded argument. Anyone who travels the hills and mountains of Nepal know who they belong to, and who the indigenous peoples are. And do Nepali people a favor: educate yourself on UN document on the definition of indigenous peoples. Stop, blaming people like Bhattachan et al. These are hero for those who seek justice, freedom, equality and modernity. They are the likes of Dr. King, Nelson Mandella.

People like you (I rather call rats) have raped mother Nepal and sucked its blood for hundreds of years. That's why you are fat like pig and clever like fox, while the country is the poorest in the world, and 95% Nepalese are poor and illiterate. This is the condition that invited Maoist. If not Maoist, someone else would. Just think that Maoists are just a preview. The hell fire is yet to come. You can fool some people for some time. But you can not fool all the people all the time. So stop inventing false history. Those who lost their land, language, institution know history by heart, not by feeble intellect like yours. 

37. Nepalese by Birth
United Nepal! 
You are funny man/woman. I actually took you seriously for long and you disappointed me. Keep in mind that you are not the only indigenous, even by your definition.

Please, don't yap your mouth just because you can on internet. I don't need a stupid person like you to destroy 'My Nation'. So, do me a favor and shot the hell up.

We definitely need conversation that way we can plan better for the future. But you a-hole is not capable of it, you already ending/destroying the conversation. Why don't you go to your home and lecture your dad/mom the unproductive hatred? Do me a favor please, don't reply to my post : I have no time to waste on your half-brain.

38. Shovana

United Nepal,
I think we have met sometime back on social site called Facebook. You sound familiar.

Recently, we saw in India backlash against Northeasterns. Facebook was partly blamed. We have seen it in our case too. Various people obviously using pseudonames have viciously attacked the supposed outsiders. "We want to cut that Bahun, we want to drink this Chettris blood, all of these people should be killed, they should be send to India" so on and so forth. All this points that genocide/ethnic cleansing whatever the term they use is coming to Nepal. 

Also, I want to make this clear - there is no scientific basis to claim that these Bahun and Chetris are outsiders. Aryan Invasion theory has already been proved to be a construct of Max Muller and the rest. The word "Aryan" does not mean some white guy coming on a horse back. I suggest you to read Romila Thapar's book on this.

The entire "Indo-European" people of the Subcontinent are progenies of European ancestors and South Indian ancestors. These are ancient people.

Lastly, I thank Seddon for speaking the Truth.

39. smart ass
i have a feeling that out of the 38 commentators, probably only two actually bothered to read the entire interview. the remaining 36 just saw the words "racism", "ethnicity", "caste" and hopped on different band wagons. this is how "intellectual" discussions happen in Nepal: between people who are too impatient to read other people's views (i.e. the actual interview) and think whatever they know is the  absolute truth. 

40. United Nepal
Nepalese by Birth:
FYI, Nepal is sorry that it gave births to people like you, who destroyed its native culture, languages, and institutions, and who imported stupid and inhumane culture like caste system to its heartlands. That's why Nepal mother is crying and revolting against thugs like you.

I only feel sorry for you. So, keep being brainwashed by Muller and the likes who writes history in favor of Aryan. These are the people who say Columbus discovered America, PNR unified Nepal etc. crap. So keep denying the fact that Drabya Shaha took over Ghale kings of Lumjung, and years letter Kathamndu valley, killing thousands of indigenous peoples. PN Shah even ordered 12 baskets of nose, 12 baskets of breast, 12 baskets of eyes, 12 baskets of ears of Newars as a trophy of victory. So, keep worshiping hell-being like him, and keep thinking that he was in KTM before Newars. That's the quickest way to arouse the sleeping tigers of Kathmandu-- the Newar.

41. Pushkal

We are actually dividing Nepal in the name of United Nepal. In the name of ethnicity-based federalism, few ethnic groups are seeking the license of ruling majority of people of Nepal. Let's rule Nepal by our common will, not by few ethnic will.

42. Shovana

United Nepal:

Read well what I wrote: I said "Aryan invasion theory" was a contruct of by that what I meant was it was a creation of Max Muller and westerners. So, the premise that Bahun Chettri are newcomers to the Indian Subcontinent does not hold true anymore...

Also, you want Nepal but you don't want Prithvi Narayan. I only know about nose-cutting by Prithvi. Some father who saw the treatment meted out on people of Kirtipur wrote that nose was cut and the Kirtipur was called Nak-kata-pur and he saw dead bodies hanging from trees. What happened was tragic I can't imagine anybody going through such brutal torture.

But, that was the norm. You read what used to happen in Tibet at that time. The punishment meted out to criminals was not less brutal although it was ruled by Lamas. Now we can see such harsh body mutilating punishment only in extreme places like Afganistan.

Before going off to sleep, I wanna ask you. What do you want? You want to cut basketful of nose of bramhins-chetris? Hang few hundreds of them from that salla ko tree near your house?

What kind of retribution you want to take? You tell me, please.





43. Raul Nepali
United Nepal

What an intellectual language you like to use to make you point....'People like you (I rather call rats) have raped mother Nepal and sucked its blood for hundreds of years. That's why you are fat like pig and clever like fox, while the country is the poorest in the world, and 95% Nepalese are poor and illiterate ... Nepal is sorry that it gave births to people like you ... 
Delusions of grandeur is what bothering you , obviously you are not worried about Nepal.
It is  you who is behaving like a rat trying to destroy fabric of our society  It is pathetic that you call yourself United Nepal.
Nelson Mandela will die of shame rather than old age if he finds you are using his name. Of course, you have not heard about the philosophy of reconciliation  in South Africa.
Your petty little ideas have no place in this globalised world.

44. Shovana

If you want retribution, I offer you my nose on behalf of all Nepali. If you want you can cut off my ears too. I am very serious. If that satisfies you and many others then so be it.

I will use a prosthetic to hide the disfiguring. Simple.


Compassion! Compassion! Compasssion!

I love you and I am ready to offer my body parts if it satisfies you.

Compassion! Compassion! Compasssion!



45. smart ass
wow this conversation is getting crazy out of hand. you want to get Nepalis riled up or talking through the night? just say three words: ethnicity, caste, federalism. and then boom! we come down to cutting each other's nose! what a sad country we have become.outsiders must be having a really good time laughing at our utter stupidity.

46. United Nepal
People can interpret my responses however they want. That won't change the reality. I only make statements of facts, which were systematically excluded in the history of Nepal. The fact is that Bahun-Chetries are the source of division in Nepal. Before Bahun-Chetries migrated to the Himalayas, all the ethnic groups were living peacefully, and they were living well off. Bahun-Chetri migration is the cause of poverty of the indigenous peoples. This fact has been documented.

In the West, White people have accepted the sins of their fathers and apologized for it. That's how reconciliation was achieved. In Nepal, Bahun-Chetries don't even understand it. If there is a bloodshed in Nepal, Bahun-Chetries will be responsible. People of Nepal are fed up.

47. Raul Nepali
United Nepal,

On one hand you try to potray yourself  like an intellectual with your twisted theories and on the other hand you use foul language to make your point. Now you talk violence. ' People of Nepal are fed up' Sir, who has given you authority to talk on behalf of people of Nepal. If you would let me enlighten you I would  say people of Nepal want equal opportunities, peace and development and certainly not the bloodshed that you are so obsessed with. If people of Nepal are fed up then they are fed up of pseudo politicians  like yourself who do not represent their views.

48. Sunita



In a poor country rules change look at Afghanistan and the Taliban, you do not change it into paradise just by serving cupcakes!

Best exile all castes leave the women to work the field and happiness returns sorry it is just 2 much blabla for my head. thank you dere dere dabyubad. People just come with maoism, old marxism, theories of the state, and i am cleaning floors that is all for 2 day.


49. United Nepal
Raul Nepali:
Since you asked, I will answer. However, I can't claim that I can enlighten. Only you can enlighten yourself. But these facts might help: Almost all the media is controlled by Bahun-Chetries, so there is no representation of the voices of the over 120 ethnic groups, almost all the political parties (communist to feudalist) are controlled by Bahun-Chetries, almost all the bureaucratic services are controlled by Bahun-Chetries. These Bahun-Chetries are not willing to give the control of the state structure to people who are intelligent, genuine and have more democratic values. I am not saying that all Bahun-Chetries are bad. There are young and educated Bahun-Chetries, who seem to hold more modern views. But they don't seem to have the ball to question their own caste give them advantage over other groups. As long as such a system remains, it will require radical approach (which may include bloodshed) to change the system.

50. Raul Nepali
United  Nepal

When you are intelligent,genuine and have more democratic values why are you obsessed with shedding blood. Can you not win an argument otherwise? 
My friend, tell me how many Bahuns and Chettris you want to kill to bring an equilibrium in the society? It is not enough to be a blatant racist to bring a positive change in the society. Give us a formula as to how we can reduce the representation of Bahun-Chettris in the media  and  politics and increase the representation  of other Nepalese in these field and I would respect you for that.

51. Tashi Lama
Gautama Buddha said at Bodhgaya in India: No one becomes Brahmin by birth it has to be achieved through rightful living with all righteous deeds and characters! such person is called Brahmin. Word Bahun or Brahmin is not the name of any high caste at all, it is blindly created by the old society. A person with a mentality of thinking themselves as high caste are actually called racist in this modern age.

Nepal is a Buddha's birth place and we would feel proud of ourselves if we could truly follow Buddha's teaching of non-violence and equanimity on all beings, this practice would really make sense rather then thinking of just birth place, practicing Buddha's wisdom makes true sense of humanity in Nepal and world at large! 

52. United Nepal
Raul Nepali:
I can understand your thinking: "pen is more powerful than weapon". However, this conventional wisdom has been tried in the past in many societies. But there are people, like Junga B. Rana,  still today, who are willing to kill people to stay in power (think Maoist's peoples' war). These fools will never be enlightened. They belong to the 4th class of people in Buddha's classification of humans.

One solution to this problem was Identity-based Federalism, a system that respects everyone's culture. But Bahun-Chetries are against that. That's why they dissolved Constitution Assembly.

Tashi Lama:
Yes, Buddha's teachings are the right path to follow. That's how Nepal's Buddhists have been doing for centuries. Look what have been done to them. They are the poorest in Nepal. They have been proselytized (converted into Christians). Their culture and languages are at the verge of extinct.

Just to give you an example, Bihar (the city of temples) was one of the most civilized country in Buddha and King Ashoka's time. Bihar = temples. Because they practiced non-violence and did not resist the onslaught by Hindus, the Hindus killed them all and destroyed all the temples. Today, Bihar has become the worst place in India, or even on Earth. Same is in Nepal, Hindus are turning Kathmandu into Bihar.

To protect Dharma is the responsibility of Buddhists. Buddha does not teach against self-defense. What Buddhist are doing in Nepal is defending themselves against the stealing and destruction of their properties, culture and institutions.

53. A Nepali
Let's not give importance to United Nepal's viewpoints. He already has 11 comments (and lengthy ones at that) among the 51 comments preceding this one. That is more than 20% of all comments (by count). The guy is irrational (probably deranged), and seems to be getting a high on the attention he is attracting. It is one thing to disagree with others, and quite another thing to behave like a rabid dog. Everyone should stop responding to the comments by United Nepal. I, for one, will do that from now onwards.

54. Lapen Detinu
Unfortunately ethnic and identity politics is here to stay. This means Nepalis will have to deal with crazies like United Nepal for a long time to come. I just hope crazies and male ethnic chauvinists whether Bahuns, Chhetris, or Janjatis don't resort to violence on the streets. The way hate speech is spreading on the internet, I am not too optimistic about the prospects for peace among Nepal's various ethnic groups. So, unless we challenge hateful messages we're fracked. Listen, United Nepal, you have the right to express your  grievances against historical discrimination against janjati groups. And you have right to ask for remedies against this historical discrimination, including identity based federalism and bureaucratic reform. What you don't have the right to is to openly incite violence against other groups. It is so easy to incite hatred sitting safely next to your computer screen. But, words have consequences. Hate in words can easily change to hate in action. And if and when that happens, it will not be good for bahuns & chhetris, or Janjatis, or Dalits, or Madhesis.

55. Anon
I wonder what would happen if you put United Nepal and diliprai in the same room.

Oh no, bad idea, they might start

56. abhishek
@united nepali,
keep up the good work. People are plain afraid that the janajatis are asking for the similar footage as the ruling class whoever they are..khaipai aayeko chodna ta mann lagdaina.kasailai pani..uniharulai ta matwali  durbaan kaam garne, kancha, bahadur, madhesilai marsya, kaam garne khalko matra dekhna chahanchan... anybody who stands against change will themselves get swept away. cheers bandhu...

57. United Nepal
Oh, look who is talking peace here? Bahun Cheties have lost any credibility of talking peace. People's war: the political fight between Bahun (Prachanda) and Chetri (Shaha, Deuba) has killed thousands of Janajaties. That's your kind of peace. We don't need that. If you are man enough, you would think of peace different way.

This Bahun (Dixit) controlled forum doesn't even have the ball to publish my responses. He did not publish many of my responses.

58. SThapa

Writings of politics, economy, and social matters about Nepal by international experts have influenced by three broader things in last six decades.  First one is the politics like Monarchy, Maoist movement, and Democratic period in which they were writing more positive thing about the then powerful and powers. Second is the influence of Nepali friends (Nepali experts) of the expatriate (mostly Brahmin/Chhetris and Newars of Kathmandu). Third in the India factor. There are two types of expatriates and their friends in Nepal (Most of them are anti-India) blame that Nepal's under-development is the outcome of stagnation in India and hegemony of Indian policy makers. Very few of them are neutral on this matter. Majority of expatriate never write about the domestic problems ignorance of Nepal is by high caste Brahmin/Cheetri and Newars in leadership, jobs, jobs in foreign aid projects and Nepali jobs. More than 90% higher jobs are occupied by Brahmin/Chhetris and Newars. Therefore, it is wrong to Blame outsiders and international partners for Nepal's problems are the worst sort of scapegoating. Nepalis need to acknowledge it failure to Hindu caste system in which Brahmin.Chhetris by birth are superior to others. That's why more than 70% tribles, low caste and Madhesis have been marginalized by high caste Hindu rulers of Nepal. 

59. Lapen Detinu
For United Nepal [57.]
Prachanda isn't a bahun leader. He doesn't think about the interests of any community, his own party, or the country. He only thinks about his own interests. You can't blame his war on any ethnic or caste community. 
2. Nepalis from all communities were victimized by Prachanda, Deuba, and Gyanendra's war.You are insulting the war dead by trying to create a hierarchy based on ethnicity.
3. You can't argue properly and think that an ad hominem attack [ie. "if you are man enough"] is a counterargument. 
4. Tell me what your idea of peace is. 
5. Just because the editor's last name is Dixit doesn't make Nepalitimes a Bahun publication. You make the same logical fallacy that you made in 1.

Here's an ad hominem attack from my side: You are a pitiable man who repeatedly indulges in intellectual masturbation in the dirty basements of internet web pages and mistakes it for worthwhile activism. Do you feel a rush of guilt come on after each post, after you have closed the NT window and realized that this was probably the most "worthwhile" thing you did in your entire sorry day?

60. United Nepal
For Lapen Detinu,
I had sensed that you are a Bahun disguised under a pseudonym. I have a message for you. If you think my responses are hate crime, you haven't heard them yet. Given the historical and continued Bahun-Chetri crimes against indigenous peoples, if people like you were in places like Lybia or Iraq or even in America; you would have been tried in international court long ago. Whole Bahun_Chetri villages would be burnt to ashes.That would be the right type of justice. So consider yourself lucky, because fortunately indigenous peoples of Nepal are largely Buddhist, who practice non-violence.

Internet allows a place for freedom of expression. Just because you control this site doesn't mean you can control people's voice. So consider your days are over for monopoly and shutting down diverse views.

As for ad hominen attack, your twisted and perverted mind is no match to how I think about the world and how I change it. So don't even try. Your cowardice response proves that. Your wicked mind can not see the truth: that Bahun_Chetri media is spitting hate speech against indigenous pepoels everyday: in news reports, in movies, in songs, in televisions, government offices and records. You don't seem to have the intelligence to see how they are hate speech.

Oh, don't try to delete this response.

61. Raul Nepali
United Nepal
I feel sorry for you, it must be so difficult for you to live in the society with your mind so full of irrational thoughts, confusion,racial hatred and filth. Your petty mind only sees people as Bahun- Chettri  and as not human beings. And it is so constipated that it can not think of solutions
You shamelessly talk about Nelson Mandela,Martin Luther King and Budhha and then threaten to burn Bahun - Chettris alive or take them to international court (ha ha ) make up your mind. Yes, I agree indigenous people are largely Buddhist who practice non violence. But you .. you are just an ugly mind so do not insult them by  pretending to be one of them.

You accuse NT  of not having balls for not publishing anymore of your filth though one fifths of the comments are yours, spreading hate. Obviously you enjoy hanging onto their balls to spread hatred in our society.

Hope you can cleanse your heart and mind of hatred , then only you will be able to live in peace. 

62. TBsnet
With due respect to seddon's leftism and classical Marxism, I'd say that he, like many in Nepal, is stuck in Maexist economism of the 1970s.  Two pieces of advice for him--1. Why ignore the developments in Marxist theory since the 1970s?  Why not examine why and how classical Marxist approach, both in theory and practice, failed the non-White groups to achieve economic equality in the West, includingin the UK and the US? What are the conditions of possibility of class?  Taking a pure position in the academy is fine but it doesn't explain the unfolding realities on the ground. That's why, many purely classical Marxists failed about the former Soviet Union and Seddon failed in his predictions about Nepal.   So, approach the problem from the latest interdisciplinary approach and be worldly wise-and not always run after outdated experts who stopped learning about emerging theories long time ago. 

63. United Nepal
Raul Nepali:
Your responses are so full of compassion and brilliant ideas for solution that even a fool would laugh at it. Look yourself at the mirror before spitting out venom. 

64. i heart united
Mr United needs to get a life, big time. do you have a job? or do you live off your ama/baa and roam online forums all day spewing hatred and spreading 'gyaan' just to pass time? looking at how much you have already written maybe NT would be interested in publishing you?  

65. United Nepal
I heart united:
When you got nothing intelligent to say, you go personal. [comment moderated] I can surely enjoy that. You sucker.

This Bahun control site did not publish many of my responses, and I know you will not publish this one.

66. Lapen Detinu
United Nepal [60]
1. I didn't call you a hate criminal. I said you are inciting hate.  There is a difference. Just as you have your right to express your vile thoughts, I have my right to contend them. 
2. I support a federal Nepal based on ethnicity and identity. Your hatred delegitimizes people like me - such as when you imply that Bahun and Chhetri homes should burn to the ground. Disgusting. And that is why I have to call you out.
3. Using examples of Iraq or Libya to justify your claims about Nepal is a diversionary tactic and you know it, troll.
4. I called you a jerk-off in [59]. I stick to that claim.

67. Doctor who

Looks collapsed to me have a look in the mirror do you see a 16 year old girl?

The disconnection with reality is a fact, good interview. There are many more failed states, instead predictions I like solutions. When 1 third goes abroad failed is failed and the negative prediction is easy. People suffocate in violence there is no justice, at this stage all know but do not know. Ethics is important, as is spirituality but there are no prisons to work with prisoners as buddhists do in America...the peace process stagnates as we remain in wishful dreaming. Life is such but there are too many criminals out there when the institutions collapse both government and justice and schools and no jobs are created where is future?

68. Anuj B

over the years of observation, i am certain that political leadership in Nepal by nature has failed to empathatize on people's grievances. Now it is too much, I pray Lord that good senses come to their mind as early as possible. Otherwise, people may justify if Adivasi janajati and especially Dalits revolts (in present political climate) for their rights. Remember, 15,000  Nepalese brother and sisters have died for freedom and equity (ending of Hindu caste system, language rights and federal states..) So, TIME is running out guys. Let us be rationale. Let me ask the folks living in luxury or those shading "crocodile tears from USA / EU / AUS" commenting on this forum, how can you expect our country to prosper if the state excludes their > 50 % of citizen from the maintream society and treat them 2nd class and how do you expect the country industry / engineering sector to develop if Hindu state treats your own citizen like black smith as UNTOUCHABLE? How do you think our garment sectors will prosper when our traditionals tailors and cobblers, who have the potentials to be world famous designers as UNTOUCHABLES and treat them all like animals? Lastly you all guys get you  a** out of that comfortable couch and visit interior parts of Far west and mid west in Dalit villages, then only can we discuss further, otherwise all these arguement means nothing. And those who still want tostick tocancerous system of gov. as per old practices, please wake up and time has changed. People are now conscious and do not under - estimate them. Everbody wants change that accomodate everyone and not of that  repeats exclusion.

Keep on writing your critical comments: UNITED NEPAL

Jaya Adivasi Janajati

69. shanti

United Nepal Thank you. With the global community and new communications, maybe I am not the only one who is still happy in neia Nepal than in the west.

Seeing both worlds materialism has not give happiness, just cleaner sinks. Injustice is also in the west some old people will be good, others die alone without proper care And foods, with the ongoing crisis. All political parties fight over immigration, immigrants became racist out of fear for more eaters of the pie. The american dream? Not mine. They can keep their disney. My secret? Happiness is in sharing, sharing is never with the selfish, this is our happiness.

70. Don't feed the troll.
As the title suddests, "A dangerous racism" is brewing up in Nepal and people like United Nepal only validate this fact... and as for Anuj B, I agree with the problems that she has stated. But, i don't think that it will be solved by inciting hate against Bahun-Chetrys as United Nepal suggests.

71. United Nepal
Well well well. I have been out of this site for a while, and I am glad to see that people are still continuing comments. Regardless of one's views (i.e. whether you agree or disagree), the conversation of this kind is definitely needed for Nepal. For too long Nepal's media has shut down the dissenting voices-- particularly those that are not in favor of the ruling elites, which happen to be the Bahun-Chetries. If I were are a Bahun (which I could be?), I would speak against the ills they commit against others. But I am very sad that Bahun-Chetries, who call themselves educated are actually defending these atrocities. That sort of attitudes and behaviors are not going to be helpful for the peace they speak of. Peace should not be taken for pacifying people by force or threat. If that's the kind  of peace Bahun-Chetries want in Nepal, as was under Jung B. Rana and recent feudalist, consider those days are over, and nobody wants them back. 

My comments have been clear. I only made statements of facts. But I am pleasantly surprised how many people have completely misinterpreted them as inciting violence. If that's the level of peoples' understanding, it is in deed very sad for Nepal. I only made an example of Libya and Iraq or even USA (e.g. Rodney King ordeal) what could have happened. I did not say that they should happen in Nepal. Perhaps now think of it, may be that should. But people have completely mistook it. All I can say to my Nepali brothers and sisters is educate yourself and be open minded. Read comments carefully. Don't get brainwashed by Bahun-Chetri controlled media and text books unless the facts presented there are empirically validated. We know the history of Nepal for last 200+ years is a dark history of criminals running the whole country: Kot Massacre, Palace massacre, Maoist massacre-- all committed by Bahun Chetries. Anyone who defends such history should really examine their head first. 

72. Raul Nepali
Well well well United Nepal, you have been away for a while and have forgotten what you have written above which is not a bad thing either.
If you have read comments above you would notice that nobody was defending Kot Massacre, Palace Massacre,Maoist Massacre or any other massacre. So my friend let us talk about building villages and not burning villages. I am so glad that you did not mean to incite racial violence you were only  misinterpreted.

73. United Nepal
Raul Nepali:
Not sure what else can open your eyes but you don't seem to understand basic principles of implication: that when you defend the criminals (Bahun-Chetries) who perpetrated crimes against the indigenous peoples during Khas invasion (PN Shah killing Tamangs, Newars, Gales, Magars, Gurungs), Maoist masscare etc. you are defending these massacres. These criminal Bahun-Chetries are making poor Bahun-Chetries look bad. Unless poor Bahun-Chetries rise against criminal Bahun-Chetries, the indigenous peoples are going to kick all Bahun-Chetries ass someday. That is going to happen sooner than later. So, stop defending criminal Bahun-Chetries. They should be ashamed, humiliated and brought to justice. Because justice system (prison and police) are controlled by Bahun-Chetries, indigenous people's are not going to trust that such system can ever bring justice.

74. Raul Nepali
 I give up on you United Nepal. You are just a confused, irrational racist thug obsessed with burning villages, massacres, ass etc. You are incapable of seeing people as human beings because your vision is obscured by a racial curtain. 
Good bye

75. United Neapl
To Rauli Nepali:
Racist thugs see others as racist thugs. Just because you stand on two legs that doesn't make you a human. Criminals are criminals, they are not same as other human. So don't try to mix criminals with good human. If speaking against criminals give you a headache, that proves what kind of human you are.

76. Anuj B

To Raul Nepali

Racism in Nepal started after PNS. He might have geopolitically played important part in unification but his successors have failed to recognize the diversity of people, language, culture and religion (which consitute the way of life different commnity). Some of the commentator like UNITED NEPAL are demanding a just NEPAL and What's wrong with that you?? SO, I find your comments are laughable and carry less meaning, when we understand the root problem of racism in NEPAL.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)