Ethnic Activism and Civil Society in South Asia
Publication Year: 2009
This volume is the second in the Governance, Conflict, and Civic Action series. To discuss the state of civil society, the 10 articles in Ethnic Activism and Civil Society in South Asia present case studies of different kinds of ethnic (‘communal’) activism in South Asia covering countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India-with Darjeeling, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu, in particular. The articles examine Hindu nationalism, Dalit activism in India, Janjati movement in Nepal, and the transnational connections among them, and discuss common ideals such as emphasis on the involvement of youth, assertion of pride and masculinity, desire to resist injustice, importance of land and belonging, and so on.
The South Asian civil society is a site of constant struggle. In this volume, the focus is ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Introduction: How Civil are ‘Communal’ and Ethno-Nationalist Movements?
- Hindu Nationalism as a Form of Ethnic Activism
- Chapter 2: Young Men's Public Activities and Hindu Nationalism: Naviyuvak Mandals and the Sangh Parivar in a Western Indian Town
- Chapter 3: Activists and Adivasis: Hindu Nationalist Militants in Chhattisgarh, Central India
- The Rise of Transnational Connections
- Chapter 4: Reconstructing Jaffna: Transnational Tamil Activism at Local Interfaces
- Chapter 5: Ethnic (P)reservations: Comparing Thangmi Ethnic Activism in Nepal and India
- Dalit Movements
- Chapter 6: Becoming a Dalit Panther: Caste-Based Activism in South India
- Chapter 7: Dalit Christian Activism in Contemporary Tamil Nadu
- Chapter 8: Struggles against Domination: Forms of Nepali Dalit Activism
- Janajati Activism in a Multi-Ethnic Former Hindu Kingdom
- Chapter 9: Intellectuals and Ethnic Activism: Writings on the Tharu past
- Chapter 10: Tamang Activism, History, and Territorial Consciousness
- Chapter 11: Ruling Social Groups—From Species to Nations: Reflections on Changing Conceptualizations of Caste and Ethnicity in Nepal
Series Note[Page ii]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. GellnerVolumes 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 © David N. Gellner, 2009
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
First published in 2009 by
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Ethnic activism and civil society in South Asia/edited by David N. Gellner.
p. cm.—(Governance, conflict, and civic action; v. 2)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. Minorities—South Asia—Political activity. 2. Ethnicity—Political aspects—South Asia. 3. Civil society—South Asia. 4. South Asia—Ethnic relations—Political aspects. 5. South Asia—Politics and government—21st century. I. Gellner, David N.
ISBN: 978-81-321-0086-7 (HB)
The SAGE Team: Rekha Natarajan, Pranab Jyoti Sarma and Trinankur Banerjee
Cover Photo: Dalit activists protest outside the Laxmi Venkatesh temple at Bharatpur (Chitwan district), Nepal at being denied entry to perform worship (December 2004). Photo provided by Laurie Ann Vasily.
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 [Page viii]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.Oxford
Glossary and Abbreviations[Page 337]
Adivasi literally ‘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 AIADMK the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Tamil political party founded in 1972 by M.G. Ramachandran and now led by J. Jayalalitha akhara wrestlers' gymnasium; also a local branch of the Bajrang Dal Ambedkar, Dr Bhimrao 1891–1956. 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 ashram Hindu holy centre, usually associated with a specific teacher Ayodhya Masjid Ayodhya Mosque in the town of Ayodhya, also known as the Babri Masjid, which was destroyed by Hindu nationalists on 6 December 1992 Bajrang Dal the (male) youth branch of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (‘World Hindu Council’), Hindu nationalist organization [Page 338] BASE Backward Society Education, a very important Tharu NGO, Nepal BC Backward Class; often understood popularly to mean Backward Caste; see also OBC bhakta birta religious devotee land granted by the state in pre-1951 Nepal, often conditional on performing specified functions for the state BJP Bharatiya 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 Brahman see 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 BTWA Bharatiya 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 CFA ceasefire agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE in February 2002 CHRGJ Center for Human Rights and Global Justice cheri the 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-M Nepal 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 [Page 339]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-UML Nepal 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 DACA The Dr Ambedkar Cultural Academy in Madurai Dalit modern term for ex-untouchables, the lowest category in the caste system, outside and below the four varnas; literally ‘the oppressed’ DCLM Dalit Christian Liberation Movement, campaigning Catholic movement in Tamil Nadu going back to 1985 dharma originally Sanskrit term meaning religion, law, duty, even ultimate essence dharna fasting undertaken to achieve justice or payment of a debt DLM Dalit Liberation Movement, led by Daniel Gnanasekharan since 1990. It is an offshoot of the Protestant Christian Dalit Liberation Movement DNGO DPI Dalit 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 [Page 340]Panthers (Viduthalai Ciruthaigal) in 1999. Since entering electoral competition in 1999, they have become known as the Liberation Panther Party (VCK) FDNF Federal 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 Dance the festival of the Hindu god Ganesh a Gujarati circular dance typically performed during the Navaratra goddess festival Gorkhaland the 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 Gorkhali literally ‘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) [Page 341] Gram Panchayat Hindutva village 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 Holi Hindu spring festival involving the throwing of coloured powder held on the full moon of Phalgun (February-March) jagir category 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 Janajati originally 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 Janamashtami see 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) kipat caste; literally ‘birth’ or species communally held land (Nepal) Kshatriya warrior, ruler; the second of the four varnas lathi bamboo stick Limbu 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) LP Liberation Panthers, the largest Dalit liberation movement in Tamil Nadu (see DPI) LTTE Madhesi Liberation 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, [Page 342]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 Magar largest of the Janajati groups in Nepal with a population of 1,622,399 (7.2 per cent) according to the 2001 census mandal Mandal Commission circle, 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 mukhiya ward, neighbourhood (Hindi) old Nepali term for the headman of a village [Page 343] munshi clerk or record-keeper (Urdu) Nath Yogis Hindu 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/Navaratri the nine-day-long mother goddess (Durga) festival held in the month of Ashvin (Sept-Oct) naviyuvak mandal youth group NC Nepali 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 NEFIN Nepal 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) Newar ethnic 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) NTG Nepal Tamang Ghedung: The main national organization of Tamang in Nepal, which represents them in NEFIN NTS Nepal 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 OBC Other Backward Classes (Indian official term for those low castes who are neither [Page 344]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 PALMERA People'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 raj block 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) Parbatiya literally ‘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 [Page 345] PMK Paatali 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 PP the Tamil Nadu Paraiyar Peravai (Peraiyar Front) was founded in 1996 by Samuel Peraiyar Pradhan Panch village 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 PT Puthiya 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 Rajput high 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 Lila Ritual re-enactment of the story of Ram and Sita, based on the Ramayana by Tulsidas, usually in association with the Navaratri festival Rana surname 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 RSS Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or National Volunteers Association, founded in 1925 by K.B. Hedgewar as a national movement [Page 346]of Hindus for social welfare; RSS members were involved in the murder of Gandhi and the RSS was banned for a year thereafter sainik member of Shiv Sena sangh association Sangh Parivar association of Hindu nationalist organizations, including the RSS, BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal, etc. Sanskritization term 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 Shah service, 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 Sena literally ‘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 Shudra the 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 [Page 347] SMO Social Movement Organization ST Tamang see 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 Tharu large 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 TRO Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation, founded 1985. It has offices in several different countries and is accused of being a front for the LTTE (seehttp://trousa.org) TTS the 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 UML see CPN-UML vamsavali chronicle, local history VHP Vishwa 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 [Page 348]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 panch neighbourhood representative on town councils (India) Yatra festival, involving parading a god in a palanquin or chariot; pilgrimage; by extension, a political procession or protest yul-sa country or territory (Tamang) yuvak sangh youth association
About the Editor and Contributors[Page 349]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).
[Page 350]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 [Page 351]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 [Page 352]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).