prohibited from entering upper-caste Hindu temples. Picture: Corinna Lagerberg. There are many rules and practices which we must follow,” Mr Magar said. Their dominance is reflected in education, administration and economical activities of the nation. “In the villages the practice of untouchability is very much alive,” Mr Lamichhane says. “I think the best way to abolish the caste system in villages would be to make people understand that everyone is a human being. The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. “We try not to have any feelings towards the rules of the caste system, about not being able to go inside houses or touch water, it has been this way as we can remember and nothing has changed.”, When asked if they believe the caste system will ever be abolished, the Pariyar children answer in unison: “No.”, Untouchable: The life of Nepal’s lowest caste.
Despite the forceful integration by the state into the pan-Hindu social structure, the traditionally non-Hindu groups and tribes do not necessarily adhere to the customs and practices of the caste system. Monash Meets Minecraft: Now you can virtually go to uni. Living conditions like this are a common factor in the life of a Dalit and play a key role in the discrepancy of life expectancy between the lowest and highest caste, averaging at 10 years. There is an observable reaction to this among certain Khas Brahmin and Chhetri groups, seeking to prevent group-based rights from becoming an important factor in the country that earlier had a political system associated with group-based discrimination. The International Dalit Solidarity Network, a network of international human rights and development agencies that advocate for Dalit rights, is sceptical about the enforcement of the new constitution. Certain outside analysts have suggested that "seeking a balance in approach requires addressing both specific indigenous historical injustices while creating a common citizenship for all marginalised citizens regardless of identity, which remains a particularly challenging issue for Nepal". However, since the unification of Nepal in the 18th century, Nepal's various non-Hindu indigenous nationalities and tribes, previously called "Matwalis" (alcohol-drinkers) and now termed as "Adivasi/Janajati" (indigenous/nationalities), have been incorporated within the caste hierarchy to varying degrees of success.

Previous constitutions had barred discrimination based on sex, religion and race. According to section 24(1) of the constitution: No person shall be subjected to any form of untouchability or discrimination in any private and public places on grounds of his or her origin, caste, tribe, community, profession, occupation or physical condition. “Experience in caste-affected countries shows that guaranteeing rights on paper is not enough, and strong implementation and enforcement is critical.”. Stiller, L. F. (1993). The Nepalese government had also previously taken legislative action to prohibit discrimination against Dalits, including the the Civil Liberties Act of 1954, section 10A of the Civil Code, and the establishment of the National Dalit Commission in 2002. MOPE (2002). Neighours Rosni and Subin Magar are two of the villagers providing help, despite their middle caste ranking. Like many Dalit children, it is unlikely the Pariyars will complete their School Leaving Certificate or higher, with the most recent Nepal Living Standards Survey recording Dalit completion of the Certificate at 3.8 per cent compared to a national average of 17.6 per cent. The mother tongue of these groups is Nepali. penalised for marrying above their caste. Job hunt turns into nightmare for 21 Nepalese youths stranded in Bengal Kathayat, a resident of Nepal’s Dang region, and 20 of his friends came to Siliguri on March 23 to look for jobs. Thank you for subscribing to our daily newsletter. The caste system conjoints a structural class divide which persists, in which lower castes/ethnicities are generally socio-economically are not equal like those of higher castes/ethnicities. Much of the previously animist/tribal Khas population of the western Nepal region acquired the 'Chhetri' status in the 1850s with the proclamation by the Rana Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana, making Chhetris the most populous caste/tribe of Nepal.

Nepal Population Report, 2002. Jaipur, Today, at least on paper, Nepal’s legal protections against anti-Dalit discrimination appear strong.

Kathmandu: Ministry of Population and Environment, HMG, Nepal. “Because of these attitudes I think it will take a long time to abolish the caste system.”. While returning to India, however, the drivers have to use the Jogbani border point in Bihar. “We do not care about the caste system, for us it would not matter if the children touched the water or came inside the house, but society does care and we do not want to cause trouble,” Mr Magar said. Similarly, the Janajati has 36.0% of the total population of the country, has representation of 7.1%. “Why can’t we go inside the houses?”.

It's a precarious life, and one that should be changing faster than it is. Picture: Corinna Lagerberg.
Like many South-East Asian countries, Nepal has ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). The children explain they have experienced no difference in treatment since the introduction of the new constitution. However, according to Manoj Lamichhane, a member of the highest caste and a high school teacher at Shree Arniko Secondary School, located 300km west of Kathmandu, the new constitutional provisions have been even less effective in rural areas. Gurung, H. (2005). Nikesh Malla, another youth in the group, said, “We have not eaten anything since Saturday evening.”. There is no electricity, no bathroom and, due to a lack of insulation, even a fire at night is not enough to keep them warm. 46, No. 1 (Feb., 1987), pp. 15,630, Dalit Rs. In terms of earning/income generation, Newars have the highest per capita income of Rs. [4][5], Hierarchies of Major Caste/Ethnic Groups in Nepal according to Muluki Ain:[6][7], Terai – Brahmin (referred in the code as Indian Brahmin) (no mention of Terai Kshatriya groups), Gurkha tribes - Gurung, Magar, Rai and Limbu, Tamang people. Arjun, Deepika and Susmita Pariyar are siblings. A picture drawn by Deepika to decorate their home. Fearing for her life, she fled. According to the International Labour Organisation.


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