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Ethnic Politics, Madheshi Uprisings and the Question of Citizenship in Nepal

Krishna Prasad Pandey

Millennial Asia, 2022, vol. 13, issue 1, 60-82

Abstract: Nepal, formerly the only Hindu kingdom in the world and now a federal republic in making, introduced citizenship law in 1952 for the first time at the dawn of the first municipal elections held in 1953. Nepal’s citizenship policy has passed through a number of controversies, debates and disagreements since then. The main dissidents are the Madheshis living in the Southern plains (popularly known as the Tarai) adjoined with the Indian border. The crux of the problem rests on the sociological basis of immigrant–native contestation. The Madheshis, due to their alleged ancestral and cultural connection with North Indian people, do not appear as true Nepalis to the non-Madheshis or hill-origin people, and at the same time, the Madheshis also allege that the hill-origin people of the Tarai are encroachers migrated from the hills. In this context, I inquire into the trajectory that the citizenship debate in Nepal and the concerns of the Madheshis has taken with reference to citizenship-related constitutional provisions and legal stipulations.

Keywords: Citizenship; Madheshis; immigrants; ethnicity; constitution; Nepal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1177/0976399620943525

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