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Hutt, Michael (1997) 'Being Nepali without Nepal: reflections on a South Asian diaspora.' In: Gellner, David N., Pfaff-Czarnecka, Joanna and Whelpton, John, (eds.), Nationalism and Ethnicity in a Hindu Kingdom: The Politics of Culture in Contemporary Nepal. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers, pp. 101-144. (Studies in Anthropology and History)

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The question of identity forms one of the key topics of South Asian history and culture. Debate often centres on issues of nationalism ("the desire of a nation to have a state of its own") and nationism ("the desire of a state to have a nation of its own")l and a variety of bases have been posited for contemporary political identity, among them religion, language, locality, caste, and ethnicity. Similar questions have also been pursued with regard to the development of the nation-state of Nepal-a phenomenon that accords more closely with Yapp's definition of nationism. One thinks immediately of the important and much-quoted article by Richard Burghart (1984). John Whelpton also examines the issue in considerable detail in an unpublished paper (1993b), and in his contribution to this volume. This discussion will attempt no more than to begin to establish a factual basis, primarily through a review of the relevant literature, and in some areas to identify a serious lack of reliable information. This lack of data has in recent years allowed distorted versions of history, or at least divergent readings of the past, to be used as justifications for controversial measures in the region concerned. The discussion is therefore pertinent to the concerns not only of scholars and students, but also to those of governments, rulers, and refugees.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia
ISBN: 9781138994355
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2007 13:28

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