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

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Class Struggle, the Maoists and the Indigenous Question in Nepal and India

This article compares the Maoist movements in Nepal and India, with a focus on their respective relationship to indigenous politics. The unprecedented rise of indigeneity and ethnicity in post-war Nepal was, in large part, a consequence of the Maoists' People's War, which paid special attention to the case of Nepal's Janajatis through, what we call here, the "indigenous question." In comparison, the Indian Maoists have paid less attention to the indigenous question than their Nepali counterparts, though they have created their guerrilla zones in Adivasi-dominated areas. While the Indian Maoists' relative lack of attention to the indigenous question creates a situation in which class struggle can be presented primarily as an Adivasi movement, the danger in Nepal is that the sole focus on identity has undermined more radical demands for state restructuring. In both cases, a limited politics based on rights for particular groups has had the effect of replacing broader--even international--struggles, which have the potential to address more fundamental socio-economic inequalities by challenging the dominant politics of production, reproduction and redistribution.

The bias of balance: Politics and Constitution making in nepal".

Constitutional Nationalism and Legal Exclusion: Equality, Identity Politics and Democracy in Nepal by Mara Malagodi (Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2013; pp xxii + 316, Rs 895.
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