Ethnic Activism and Civil Society in South Asia

Books

Edited by: David N. Gellner

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Text Size

  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Series Note

    Governance, Conflict, and Civic Action Series
    Volume 1:Local Democracy in South Asia: Microprocesses of Democratization in Nepal and its Neighbours, eds David N. Gellner and Krishna Hachhethu
    Volume 2:Ethnic Activism and Civil Society in South Asia, ed. David N. Gellner
    Volumes in Preparation and Planned
    Volume 3:Varieties of Activist Experience in South Asia, ed. David N. Gellner
    Volume 4:The Politics of Belonging in the Himalayas: Local Attachments and Boundary Dynamics, eds J. Pfaff-Czarnecka and G. Toffin
    Volume 5:Governance and Development: The Postcolonial State and the Development Process in Sri Lanka and its Neighbours, ed. Siri Hettige
    Volume 6:Constitutionalism and Diversity in Nepal, eds David N. Gellner, K. Hachhethu, C. McDonaugh, and J. Pfaff-Czarnecka

    This volume has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of the book are the sole responsibility of the respective authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

    The Asia-Link Programme was launched at the beginning of 2002 as an initiative by the European Union (EU) to foster regional and multilateral networking among higher education institutions in EU Member States and South Asia, South-East Asia, and China. This five-year programme, which has a total budget of €42.8 million, aims to provide support to European and Asian higher education institutions in the areas of human resource development, curriculum development, and institutional and systems development.

    Copyright

    View Copyright Page

    Preface

    This book is the second in a new series on governance, conflict, and civic action in South Asia. The series grows out of the collaborations—and in particular the international workshops—made possible by the European Commission's support, 2004–07, under its Asia-Link programme, for the MIDEA project (see http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/midea). Originally conceptualized and subsequently led by Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka, MIDEA stands for ‘The (Micro)Politics of Democratisation: European-South Asian Exchanges on Governance, Conflict and Civic Action’. Based in four institutions—(a) Institute for World Society Studies (IWSS), Bielefeld University, Germany, (b) the Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS), Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal, (c) the Social Policy Analysis and Research Centre (SPARC), University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and (d) the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology (ISCA), University of Oxford, UK—the project brought together anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, development specialists, and others from South Asia and Europe (not merely from the four participating institutions and countries) for a series of workshops, training sessions, and conferences.

    A conference held at the Maison Française Oxford in June 2005 addressed in particular the ‘civic action’ part of MIDEA's brief. It grew from my long-standing interest and several years’ research on activism in Nepal, and sought to draw in a wide variety of scholars from different countries to address similar questions and focus on types of activists and their relations to civil society in diverse South Asian countries (mainly Nepal and Sri Lanka, but with several contributions on India, and one on Bangladesh). There were a large number of papers on variants of ethnic activism, and these comprise the present volume. There were also papers on social, developmental, political, and feminist activists, which will appear in the next volume in the series. As well as the paper sessions, those attending had the opportunity to view Helene Klodawsky's film ‘No More Tears Sister’ about the life and assassination of Dr Rajani Thiranagama, followed by a discussion with Sharika Thiranagama, who portrays her mother in the film. There was also a session in which Bela Bhatia and Om Gurung, both of whom combine activism and research, presented their reactions to the papers. In addition to the core EU–Asia-link funding, the conference benefited from the support of the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Sub-Faculty of South and Inner Asian Studies (University of Oxford), and the British Embassy in Kathmandu; all these bodies have my belated but nonetheless heartfelt gratitude. I would also like to thank Nadine Beckmann and Anastasia Norton-Piliavsky, doctoral students at ISCA and Chiara Letizia, Newton Fellow at ISCA, for their help with editing.

    David N.GellnerOxford

    June 2009

  • Glossary and Abbreviations

    Adivasiliterally ‘original dweller’, it is taken as equivalent to the English ‘indigenous’; in India some use it loosely as equivalent to Scheduled Tribe and in some places both ‘ST’ and ‘Adivasi’ designate the same people, but in fact usage is very varied: some STs either reject or are ignorant of the Adivasi label and, vice versa, some who claim to be Adivasis do not have ST status
    AIADMKthe All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Tamil political party founded in 1972 by M.G. Ramachandran and now led by J. Jayalalitha
    akharawrestlers' gymnasium; also a local branch of the Bajrang Dal
    Ambedkar, Dr Bhimrao1891–1956. Known as ‘Babasaheb’, he was leader of India's Dalits. As India's first law minister, he chaired the constitution-drafting committee. Believing that Hinduism could not be reformed, shortly before his death he led his followers into Buddhism in 1956 at a mass ceremony in Nagpur
    ashramHindu holy centre, usually associated with a specific teacher
    Ayodhya MasjidAyodhya Mosque in the town of Ayodhya, also known as the Babri Masjid, which was destroyed by Hindu nationalists on 6 December 1992
    Bajrang Dalthe (male) youth branch of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (‘World Hindu Council’), Hindu nationalist organization
    BASEBackward Society Education, a very important Tharu NGO, Nepal
    BCBackward Class; often understood popularly to mean Backward Caste; see also OBC
    bhakta birtareligious devotee land granted by the state in pre-1951 Nepal, often conditional on performing specified functions for the state
    BJPBharatiya Janata Party, founded in 1980 as a successor to the Bharatiya Sangh Party; the BJP led coalition governments and provided the Indian Prime Minister from 1998 to 2004
    BLTS Brahmansee BTWA highest of the four varnas, the priestly caste; known as ‘Bahun’ in Nepal where they make up approximately 13 per cent of the population
    BTWABharatiya Thami Welfare Association, founded in Darjeeling in 1943 under the name Bhai Larke Thami Samaj (BLTS), changing its name to Thami Welfare Association in the 1960s, and adding ‘Bharatiya’ in the 1990s
    CFAceasefire agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE in February 2002
    CHRGJCenter for Human Rights and Global Justice
    cherithe Tamil name for the traditional Dalit settlements on the outskirts of a village
    Chhetri (Chetri)the Nepali spelling of kshatriya; it refers in particular to the largest of the Parbatiya castes, comprising approximately 16 per cent of the total Nepali population
    CPN-MNepal Communist Party (Maoist), the name adopted in 1995 by one of the two factions into which the Communist Party of Nepal (Unity Centre) had split the previous year; it launched its ‘People's War’ in February 1996; following the Second People's Movement of April 2006, it entered mainstream politics and won the largest number of votes (nearly 30 per cent) in the elections of April 2008
    CPN-UMLNepal Communist Party (Unified Marxist-Leninist), the main parliamentary opposition party in Nepal between 1991 and 2002, which formed a minority government on its own for nine months from 1994 to 1995 and was later a partner in coalitions; despite the name and the communist history and affiliation, it is essentially a social democratic party; came third in the elections of April 2008
    DACAThe Dr Ambedkar Cultural Academy in Madurai
    Dalitmodern term for ex-untouchables, the lowest category in the caste system, outside and below the four varnas; literally ‘the oppressed’
    DCLMDalit Christian Liberation Movement, campaigning Catholic movement in Tamil Nadu going back to 1985
    dharmaoriginally Sanskrit term meaning religion, law, duty, even ultimate essence
    dharnafasting undertaken to achieve justice or payment of a debt
    DLMDalit Liberation Movement, led by Daniel Gnanasekharan since 1990. It is an offshoot of the Protestant Christian Dalit Liberation Movement
    DNGO DPIDalit non-governmental organization Dalit Panther Movement (Iyyakkam), Tamil Nadu; it originated in 1982 as the Tamil branch of the Dalit Panthers of India. Initially it was led by Malaichamy but Thirumavalavan became leader in 1990 and renamed the movement the Liberation Panthers (Viduthalai Ciruthaigal) in 1999. Since entering electoral competition in 1999, they have become known as the Liberation Panther Party (VCK)
    FDNFFederal Democratic National Forum (Nepal): a political party formed in 2005 by those who split from MS Thapa Magar's Rastriya Janamukti Party. It brings together Janajati activists who believe in ethnic federalism. The first ‘autonomous state councils’ to be set up were for Limbu, Rai, Tharu, and Tamang areas; others are in preparation
    Ganesh Utsav Garba Dancethe festival of the Hindu god Ganesh a Gujarati circular dance typically performed during the Navaratra goddess festival
    Gorkhalandthe name given to the area around Darjeeling in West Bengal, India, with a majority of ethnic Nepalis, and to the movement for autonomy for this area. Led by Subhas Ghising in the 1980s, the movement was characterized by considerable violence and ended with the setting up of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council in 1988
    Gorkhaliliterally ‘from Gorkha’, hence used for the dominant group in post-1769 Nepal, the Bahun and Chhetri Parbatiyas; also used as an epithet of the state, especially during the period immediately following ‘unification’ in 1769, as well as long afterwards when viewed from a subordinate perspective (see ch. 10); the ethnonym ‘Gorkhali’ is often preferred by Indians of Nepali descent in Darjeeling (see Gorkhaland)
    Gram Panchayat Hindutvavillage council (India) literally ‘Hindu-ness’, a term coined by V.D. Sarvarkar in 1923; it now refers to the ideology of Hindu nationalism animating the BJP and Sangh Pariwar
    HoliHindu spring festival involving the throwing of coloured powder held on the full moon of Phalgun (February-March)
    jagircategory of land tenure in pre-1951 Nepal: land held as payment for being a government office-holder; today the term has come to mean any salaried post
    Janajatioriginally Hindi neologism coined to translate ‘tribe’ in the 1930s, it was adopted in Nepali at the very end of the 1980s and gained currency after 1990 to refer to tribal groups in Nepal; often translated as ‘ethnic group’ in English, the preferred translation of NEFIN is ‘indigenous nationality’
    Janajati Mahasangh Janamashtamisee NEFIN (also known as Krishna Janmashtami or Krishna Ashtami) celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna, on the eighth day of the dark half of Bhadrapad (August-September)
    jati (in Nepal usually jat) kipatcaste; literally ‘birth’ or species communally held land (Nepal)
    Kshatriyawarrior, ruler; the second of the four varnas
    lathi bamboo stickLimbu Janajati group in far east Nepal, also found in India; according to the Nepal census of 2001 they number 359,255 in Nepal (1.6 per cent)
    LPLiberation Panthers, the largest Dalit liberation movement in Tamil Nadu (see DPI)
    LTTE MadhesiLiberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam literally ‘an inhabitant of Madhes/Madhyades’, it has become a highly contested new ethnic category within Nepal for inhabitants of the Nepalese Tarai who share language and cultural heritage with Indians on the other side of the border, principally castes such as Yadavs, Rajputs, and Brahmans. Other groups, such as Muslims and Tharus, have been listed as Madhesis by the Nepalese state and are claimed as Madhesis by Madhesi political parties and activists, but their own activists organized vociferously during 2009 to insist that they should be considered indigenous Tarai-dwellers and a religious minority respectively instead of Madhesis
    Magarlargest of the Janajati groups in Nepal with a population of 1,622,399 (7.2 per cent) according to the 2001 census
    mandal Mandal Commissioncircle, club, association led by B.P. Mandal, the Commission reported in 1980 that reservations for OBCs in India should be raised from 27 per cent to 49.5 per cent. When PM V.P. Singh tried to implement the recommendations in 1989 there were massive countrywide protests
    matwali‘alcohol-drinker’ (Nepali): a still common and much older term for Janajatis (tribals) in Nepal, which opposes them to the officially teetotal higher castes (Bahun and Chhetri)
    Muluki Ain‘national legal code’, title of the law code of Nepal. In 1854 Prime Minister Jang Bahadur Rana introduced a single Muluki Ain which attempted to provide for all cases of interaction between the different hill castes and tribes of the kingdom. There were many revisions and a new, non-caste-based Muluki Ain was introduced in 1963
    mohalla mukhiyaward, neighbourhood (Hindi) old Nepali term for the headman of a village
    munshiclerk or record-keeper (Urdu)
    Nath YogisHindu ascetic tradition, going back to the sages Machhendranath and Gorakhnath, and based in north India and Nepal. The Kings of Nepal gifted the sect land in the Tarai
    Navaratra/Navaratrithe nine-day-long mother goddess (Durga) festival held in the month of Ashvin (Sept-Oct)
    naviyuvak mandalyouth group
    NCNepali Congress, founded 1947; won landslide election victory in 1959; banned 1960–90; the largest Nepali political party 1990–2002; came second to Maoists in 2008
    NEFINNepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (Nepal Janajati Adivasi Mahasangh), a federal body with one representative organization for each Janajati group in Nepal (seehttp://nefin.org.np) (previously known as NEFEN, the Nepal Federation of Nationalities, the term ‘indigenous’ was added in 2003)
    Newarethnic group in Nepal, who are included in the Janajati category, despite being concentrated in the Kathmandu Valley and sub-divided by caste. According to the 2001 census they number 1,245,232 (5.5 per cent)
    NTGNepal Tamang Ghedung: The main national organization of Tamang in Nepal, which represents them in NEFIN
    NTSNepal Thami Samaj, founded in 1999. It brought together five politically based Thami organizations in a centralized manner for the first time, and is the Thami member organization in NEFIN
    OBCOther Backward Classes (Indian official term for those low castes who are neither Dalits nor Tribals but are classified as educationally and economically ‘backward’)
    Pahadia (Pahade)‘hill person’, the term used in the Nepalese Tarai to refer to migrants from the hills
    PALMERAPeople's Action Liberation Movement in East Ramnad
    Panchayat(i) literally and originally ‘rule of five [elders]’, i.e., supposedly ‘traditional’ local or caste councils widely found across South Asia; hence the name was adopted for (ii) democratically elected local councils, the new institutions of local self-government in India after Independence; it was also adopted as (iii) the name both of specific local (village, district) and national councils and the national legislature in the period of ‘partyless democracy’ (1960–1990) in Nepal; hence (iv) it is also used as the name of the regime and period in Nepal of that time
    panchayat samitis panchayati rajblock councils (India) literally ‘rule by panchayats’, it is the term used for Indian local government with elected bodies (panchayats) at the levels of village (gram), block (kshetra), and district (zilla)
    Parbatiyaliterally ‘hill person’ (cf. Pahadia), now an ethnic term; it can be used for anyone of hill provenance, but is often used more restrictively in the Nepalese context to refer to the high castes, Bahuns and Chhetris, and associated Dalit service castes, as opposed to Janajatis and Madhesis
    PMKPaatali Makkal Katchi or ‘Toiler's Party’, supported predominantly by Vanniyars in Tamil Nadu. Founded by S. Ramdoss in July 1989 as the political organization of the Vanniyar Union
    PPthe Tamil Nadu Paraiyar Peravai (Peraiyar Front) was founded in 1996 by Samuel Peraiyar
    Pradhan Panchvillage head (Nepal) during the Panchayat era (1962–1990)
    praja‘subject (of a king)’; in nineteenth-century Nepal it had the technical meaning of a caste group or tribe that was not entitled to be recruited into the military
    PTPuthiya Tamizhagam or New Tamil Nadu Party, formed in 1998 and led by Dr K. Krishnasamy. Its supporters are largely from the Dalit Pallar caste and it grew out of the Devendra Kullar Vellalar (an honorific title for Pallars) Federation
    Rajputhigh Hindu caste, usually assumed to be paradigmatic Kshatriyas and therefore to have as their ‘dharma’ the protection of the Hindu social order. Before 1947 they dominated western India as kings, aristocrats, and landlords
    Ramjanam Bhumi‘birthplace of [Lord] Ram’, supposedly the site in Ayodhya occupied by the Babri mosque, which was destroyed on 4th December 1992
    Ram LilaRitual re-enactment of the story of Ram and Sita, based on the Ramayana by Tulsidas, usually in association with the Navaratri festival
    Ranasurname assumed by the family (previously named Kunwar) who provided the hereditary Prime Ministers of Nepal from 1846–1951; hence the name of the period of Nepalese history when the Shah kings were reduced to figureheads without real power
    RSSRashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or National Volunteers Association, founded in 1925 by K.B. Hedgewar as a national movement of Hindus for social welfare; RSS members were involved in the murder of Gandhi and the RSS was banned for a year thereafter
    sainikmember of Shiv Sena
    sanghassociation
    Sangh Parivarassociation of Hindu nationalist organizations, including the RSS, BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal, etc.
    Sanskritizationterm introduced by Indian anthropologist M.N. Srinivas to label the process of attempted upward group mobility through imitation of the ‘purer’ Brahmanical customs (e.g. banning widow remarriage, alcohol, meat-eating, etc.) by ‘low’ castes or sub-castes
    Scheduled Castes(SC) official Indian term for those formerly untouchable castes placed on a schedule and entitled to ‘reservations’, i.e. positive discrimination
    Scheduled Tribes(ST) official Indian term for those tribal groups placed on a schedule and entitled to ‘reservations’, i.e. positive discrimination
    seva Shahservice, including religious devotion title of the kings of Nepal; before 1769 they were the kings of Gorkha
    shakha‘branch’, used of a local branch of the RSS
    Shiv Senaliterally ‘the army of Shiva (i.e. Shivaji)’: a political party founded by Bal Thackeray in 1966, it has ruled Mumbai for the last twenty years on a Mumbai for Maharashtrians platform; it is often in alliance with the BJP
    Shudrathe fourth varna category, the ‘servants’, usually applied to low but ‘clean’ castes, i.e. those just above the Dalits, but sometimes taken as denoting Dalits themselves
    SMOSocial Movement Organization
    ST Tamangsee Scheduled Tribes second largest of the hill Janajati groups in Nepal with a population of 1,282,304 (5.6 per cent) according to the 2001 census
    Tarai (Terai)strip of Gangetic plains territory belonging to Nepal and bordering India, now home to half the Nepalese population
    Thangmi (Thami)small Janajati group in Nepal numbering around 35,000
    Tharularge ethnic group found throughout the Nepalese Tarai and the neighbouring states of India; in Nepal it is classed as a Janajati group and is the second-largest such group, counting 1,533,879 people (6.7 per cent) according to the 2001 census
    tilak (Np. tika)spot of vermilion powder placed on the forehead as blessing after worship in Hinduism and Buddhism
    TROTamils Rehabilitation Organisation, founded 1985. It has offices in several different countries and is accused of being a front for the LTTE (seehttp://trousa.org)
    TTSthe Tamilnadu Theological Seminary was founded in 1969 and is based in Madurai. Since 1989 it has housed the Dalit Resource Centre which not only collects documents and conducts research relating to the Dalit struggle but also organizes seminars, cultural activities, and training sessions for cadres
    UMLsee CPN-UML
    vamsavalichronicle, local history
    VHPVishwa Hindu Parishad or World Hindu Council, founded in 1964, with the involvement of the RSS; ostensibly non-political, its aim is ‘to promote Hindu values’; it pressurizes the BJP and acts in concert with the RSS (e.g. over the Ramjanam Bhumi/Ayodhya mosque issue) and campaigns for the ‘re-conversion’ of Muslims and Christians
    ward panchneighbourhood representative on town councils (India)
    Yatrafestival, involving parading a god in a palanquin or chariot; pilgrimage; by extension, a political procession or protest
    yul-sacountry or territory (Tamang)
    yuvak sanghyouth association

    About the Editor and Contributors

    Editor

    David N. Gellner is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls College. He is the author of Monk, Householder, and Tantric Priest (1992) and The Anthropology of Buddhism and Hinduism: Weberian Themes (2001), and the co-author (with Sarah LeVine) of Rebuilding Buddhism: The Theravada Movement in Twentieth-Century Nepal (2005). His other edited volumes are Contested Hierarchies: A Collaborative Ethnography of Caste among the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal (with D. Quigley 1995) Nationalism and Ethnicity in a Hindu Kingdom (with J. Pfaff-Czarnecka and J. Whelpton, 1997), Inside Organizations: Anthropologists at Work (with E. Hirsch, 2001), Resistance and the State: Nepalese Experiences (2003; 2007), Nepalis Inside and Outside Nepal: Social Dynamics in Northern South Asia, Volume 1 and Political and Social Transformations in North India and Nepal: Social Dynamics in Northern South Asia, Volume 2 (both with H. Ishii and K. Nawa, 2007), and Local Democracy in South Asia (with K. Hachhethu, 2008).

    Contributors

    Peggy Froerer is Lecturer in Anthropology at Brunel University, West London. She has carried out extensive ethnographic research in Chhattisgarh, central India. Her research interests include nationalism, ethnicity and religious identity, illness causality, education, childhood, and learning. She is the author of Religious Division and Social Conflict: The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in Rural India (2007).

    Eva Gerharz teaches development sociology and social anthropology at the Transnationalization and Development Research Centre, University of Bielefeld. Her research focuses on development and reconstruction in peace and conflict, ethnicity, and transnationalization and globalization processes in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Her publications include Translocal Negotiation of Reconstruction and Development in Jaffna, Sri Lanka (2007, dissertation) and The Making of World Society: Perspectives from Transnational Research (with R. Gabriel Anghel, G. Rescher, and M. Salzbrunn, 2008; Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag).

    Hugo Gorringe is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests cluster around the broad themes of culture, power, and politics, especially the study of social movements, caste and civil society. He has authored Untouchable Citizens: The Dalit Panthers and the Democratisation of Tamilnadu (2005) and articles on identity politics, violence, and protest policing, including: ‘You Build Your House, We'll Build Ours: The Attractions and Pitfalls of Identity Politics’, Social Identities, 2005, 11(6); ‘Banal Violence? The Everyday Underpinnings of Collective Violence’, Identities, 2006, 13(2); ‘“Pants to Poverty”? Making Poverty History, Edinburgh 2005’ (with Michael Rosie), Sociological Research Online, 2006, 11(1); ‘The Embodiment of Caste’ (with Irene Rafanell), Sociology, 2007, 41(1); ‘The Caste of the Nation’, Contributions to Indian Sociology, 2008, 42(1); ‘It's a Long Way to Auchterarder’ (with M. Rosie), British Journal of Sociology, 2008, 59(2); and ‘The Polis of Global Protest’ (with M. Rosie), Current Sociology, 2008, 56(5).

    Gisèle Krauskopff is Directrice de Recherches at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) and a member of the Laboratoire d'Ethnologie et de Sociologie Comparative of the University of Nanterre-Paris X (France). She has carried out extensive research among the Tharus of the Nepal Tarai (see Maîtres et possedés: Les rites et l'ordre social chez les Tharu (Népal), 1989; The Kings of Nepal and the Tharu of the Tarai, in collobaration with P. Deuel, 2000–2001). She is the editor of Les Faiseurs d'histoires: Politiques de l'origine et écrits sur le passé (2008).

    Marie Lecomte-Tilouine is a social anthropologist and a member of the CNRS research team ‘Milieux, Sociétés et Cultures en Himalaya’, Villejuif, France. Her research focuses on religious strategies, mental representations, the ethno-history of the Magars and caste groups in central Nepal, and the Maoists' ‘People's War’. She has also carried out fieldwork in the Indian Himalayas. Her books include Les dieux du pouvoir: Les Magar et l'Hindouisme au Népal central (1993) Ethnic Revival and Religious Turmoil in the Himalayas (co-edited with P. Dollfus, 2003), Hindu Kingship, Ethnic Revival and Maoist Rebellion in Nepal (2008), and Bards and Mediums: History, Culture and Politics in the Central Himalayan Kingdoms (ed., forthcoming).

    Minoru Mio is Associate Professor at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan. He has carried out extensive fieldwork in Rajasthan and Gujarat and has written several articles in Japanese and in English, including ‘National Discourse and Local Conflict: How Modernity Intervened in a Conflict over the Administration of a SufiSaint Mausoleum in Mewar, Rajasthan’, in Hiroyuki Kotani et al. (eds), Fussing Modernity: Appropriation of History and Political Mobilization in South Asia (2000); ‘Looking for Love and Miracles: Multivocal Composition and Conflicts among Believers in a SufiMausoleum Festival of Rajasthan, India’, Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology 29(1); and ‘Public Spaces, Voluntary Associations, and Hindu Nationalism: Changing Urban Festivals in Udaipur, Rajasthan’, in H. Ishii, D.N. Gellner, and K. Nawa (eds), Political and Social Transformations in North India and Nepal (2007).

    David Mosse is Professor of Social Anthropology at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London. He is the author of The Rule of Water: Statecraft, Ecology and Collective Action in South India (2003) and Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice (2005). Recent edited collections include The Aid Effect: Giving and Governing in International Development (with D. Lewis, 2005), Development Brokers and Translators: The Ethnography of Aid and Agencies (with D. Lewis, 2006), and ‘Travelling Rationalities’: The Anthropology of Expert Knowledge and Professionals in International Development (forthcoming).

    Sara Shneiderman is a Junior Research Fellow at St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge. Her current research explores the relationships among political discourse, ritual practice, cultural performance, and cross-border migration in producing identities in the Himalayas. She has conducted fieldwork in Nepal, India, and China's Tibetan Autonomous Region on the themes of ethnicity, religion, gender, and political consciousness. Her recent articles include ‘Reservations, Federalism and the Politics of Recognition in Nepal’, Economic and Political Weekly, 43(19); ‘Revisiting Ethnography, Recognizing a Forgotten People: The Thangmi of Nepal and India’, Studies in Nepali History and Society, 11(1); ‘Agency and Resist-ance in the Thangmi-Newar Ritual Relationship: An Analysis of Devikot-Khadga Jatra in Dolakha, Nepal’, The European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 28; ‘Living Practical Dharma: A Tribute to Chomo Khandru and the Bonpo Women of Lubra Village, Mustang, Nepal’, in M. Khandelwal, S. Hausner, and A. Gold (eds), Women's Renunciation in South Asia; and ‘The Path to Janasarkar in Dolakha District: Towards an Ethnography of the Maoist Movement’, in M. Hutt (ed.), Himalayan People's War: Nepal's Maoist Rebellion.

    Mukta S. Tamang, also known as Mukta S. Lama-Tamang, is an anthropologist affiliated with the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Tribhuvan University. His recent publications include ‘Cultural Diversity and Democracy in Nepal’, Himalayan Research Bulletin, 2002, 21(2); ‘The Working of Democracy in Nepal’, Seminar, April 2005; ‘Emotional Aspects of Peer Relations among Children in Rural Nepal’ (with Pamela Cole and Alice Walker), in X. Chen, D.C. French, and B.H. Schneider (eds), Peer Relationships in Cultural Context (2006); and ‘Culture, Caste and Ethnicity in the Maoist Movement’, Studies in Nepali History and Society, 11(2), 2006. In 2008, he completed his PhD in anthropology from Cornell University entitled ‘Himalayan Indigeneity: Histories, Memory, and Identity among Tamang in Nepal’.

    Laurie Ann Vasily completed her doctorate from Cornell University on Nepali Dalit social justice and adult education in 2006. She has lived in Nepal for 10 years, working among others for Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), Jagaran Media Center, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR), and United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal for four years in the early 1990s. She has also translated from Nepali to English Yam Bahadur Kisan's The Nepali Dalit Social Movement (available through Mandala Book Point in Kathmandu).

    Name Index


    • Loading...
Back to Top