ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

David N GellnerSubscribe to David N Gellner

Politics of Buddhism in Nepal

The Buddha was born in what is now the state of Nepal. Only about 10% of Nepal’s population is Buddhist, but many more feel an affinity for the religion and are outraged when outsiders claim that the Buddha was an Indian. Inside Nepal, however, the question of who has the right to speak for Buddhism is contested. Nepali Buddhists often see themselves as a discriminated minority; internally, they are divided by tradition, caste, region, and language.

Caste, Ethnicity and Inequality in Nepal

Nepal faces the danger of an all-out ethnic war breaking out in the Tarai between madhesis and parbatiyas. But, in most of the country there are so many complex and crosscutting ethnic allegiances which make a Sri Lankan-type polarisation unlikely. In the eastern Tarai, however, with its 30 per cent population of parbatiyas, there is a very real possibility that "two majorities with minority complexes" could confront each other in bloody vendettas.
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