Nepal Current Events and Historical Background
October 9, 2004 8:56 AM   Subscribe

What's it like to live in a war zone in Nepal? 'What happened to us happens to the people of Bajura every day, and they get it from both sides ' Some stories of the disappeared. From the consistently high quality Nepali Times, along with articles about Maoist radio and the human rights of the Kumari 'living goddess'.
Some background : Who are the Nepalese Maoists? (Q & A); the royal massacre of 2001; historical background to Nepal's democracy - the democratic revolution of 1989-91 and subsequent events; the kings of Nepal (note that dates are given using the local calendar); a potted history of Nepal referring to the role of the Rana family of hereditary ministers, who acted as a conservative 'shadow monarchy' over successive weak kings, from the Kot Massacre of 1846 which eliminated all rival claimants, until about 1950 (when King Tribhuvan famously famously took refuge in the Indian embassy - by a twist of fate, his infant grandson briefly crowned king by the Ranas - Gyanendra was again crowned king after his brother was killed in the 2001 royal massacre); a Nepal timeline; how ethnicity and caste fit into Nepalese society (discrimination in Nepal); Bhutanese refugees in Nepal; the Indian Naxalites and the Maoists.
posted by plep (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Magnificent post, plep. Thanks.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:15 AM on October 9, 2004

I haven't read all the links yet, but let me be the first second to salute it. Wow. There goes my Sunday.
posted by mr.marx at 9:18 AM on October 9, 2004

posted by rks404 at 10:02 AM on October 9, 2004

throws bouquets, joins acclaimers

hey isn't this polifilter? kidding!
posted by mwhybark at 11:46 AM on October 9, 2004

Just an additional point. Apart from the Maoist rebels there exist two large communist parties in Nepal within the political framework. Together they polled 36%+ in the 1999 elections.
Speaking of Nepal, but derailing the thread from the political aspects of the country, this online exhibition of Tibetan Buddhist wall paintings in Mustang Nepal, is certainly worth your while.
posted by talos at 11:59 AM on October 9, 2004

talos : Thanks.

The 'mainstream' Communist parties are a completely different type of beast from the Maoist insurgents. These parties have polled well since democracy, and at times the government has been Communist-led. The Communists were also part of the pro-democracy movement. So, perhaps somewhat incongruously for a Hindu monarchy, the Communists play a leading role in democracy (perhaps some kind of comparison could be drawn with the South African Communist Party, which played a key role in the liberation movement and in subsequent democracy government; Communist Parties have obviously also been part of democratic governments in Europe and India).

The Maoists have an entirely different type of ideology which is essentially based on force, and very different methods, even though both are 'communist'.
posted by plep at 1:29 PM on October 9, 2004

Excellent post, plep. Thank you.

Here's a previous post about those paintings in Mustang, btw.
posted by homunculus at 1:42 PM on October 9, 2004

(see also: the Wikipedia entry on Nepal, which is ok on the pro-democracy struggle after Indian independence, and the entry on the Nepalese People's War).
posted by plep at 1:52 PM on October 9, 2004

Of all the links the fabulous plep provided, I was most stirred by the "living goddess" one. Wow, plep! Just... wow. [*shakes head*]
posted by Lynsey at 5:42 PM on October 9, 2004

Excellent post, plep - thanks for providing so much depth on the topic. ;-)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:27 PM on October 9, 2004

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