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

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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.

After two centuries of dictatorship by the Shah monarchs and the Rana prime ministers, a brief experimental period of democratic rule in the 1950s, followed by three decades of panchayat autocracy, a people’s movement in Nepal – effectively Nepal’s first democratic revolution – brought about a Westminster-style parliamentary democracy.

The 1990 Constitution, the fourth official constitution in Nepal’s history, was expected to give substance to this new democratic era, to guarantee fundamental rights that had been denied to the mass of the population. But in reality, Malagodi argues, it came to represent a compromise that ultimately reinforced historical patterns of exclusion.

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