Dalit Research: Democratic politics in Nepal- Dalit political inequality and representation

Deeply rooted caste hierarchy and discrimination practices are underlying detrimental factors for the depleted socio-economic, educational, and political status of Dalit in Nepal.

By: Mom Bishwakarma

University of Sydney Faculty, 6/88 Clissold Pde, Campsie, Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia. Email: mom.bishwakarma@gmail.com

Abstract

While recent political transformation has brought several inclusion policies and changes in Nepal, Dalit are still politically excluded. In order to trace out the political inequality of Dalit and to generalize the findings, both primary and secondary qualitative data have been interpreted and analyzed. The key informant interview method was employed to explore the experiences of Dalit on the current political inequality, identity debates, and representation. It was found that deeply rooted caste hierarchy and discrimination practices are underlying detrimental factors for the depleted socio-economic, educational, and political status of Dalit in Nepal. The conception of Dalit as a common identity, although contested among Dalit, is only a short-term strategy to unite them against all forms of injustice including caste based discrimination, and to achieve equality. It can be concluded that special political representation measures, such as proportional representation (PR), are one of the major institutional reforms for achieving social justice for Dalit in Nepal.

Source: Asian Journal of Comparative Politics, doi:10.1177/2057891116660633, August 31, 2016 http://acp.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/08/31/2057891116660633.abstract

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