Democratisation in the Himalayas: Interests, Conflicts, and Negotiations, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Democratisation in the Himalayas

Interests, Conflicts, and Negotiations, 1st Edition

Edited by Vibha Arora, N. Jayaram

Routledge India

210 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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Democratisation is a formidable task in the Himalayan region owing to its immense cultural heterogeneity. The process of democratisation has accentuated ethnic competition, assertion of identity, and demand for ethnic homelands to protect, safeguard, and promote political and development interests of various groups.

This volume discusses competing interests; identity politics that permeates political formations, the transformations in the traditional forms of governance and their adaption to democratic institutions; the genesis and periodic eruptions of ethnic assertions, and attempts to resolve ethnic conflict. It shows how recent efforts at deepening democratic values and implementing social justice have been resisted and contested. The book argues that the play of ethnicity, the creation of political parties and interest groups, the emergence of social movements, and the voice of protest and opposition do not indicate a crisis in democracy but comprise the instruments by which the state is pushed towards reform, welfare, and inclusive politics, and is obliged to listen to the people.

Rich in ethnographic research, this volume will be useful to scholars and researchers of social and political anthropology, political studies, South Asian studies, Nepal and Himalayan studies, sociology, and development studies.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations

Notes on contributors


Introduction: steering democratisation and negotiating identity in the Himalayas

Vibha Arora and N. Jayaram

PART I Shifting selves and competing identities

1 Seeking identities on the margins of democracy: Jad Bhotiyas of Uttarkashi

Subhadra Mitra Channa

2 The politics of census: fear of numbers and competing claims for representation in Naga society

Debojyoti Das

3 The making of the subaltern Lepcha and the Kalimpong stimulus

Vibha Arora

PART II Negotiating democracy

4 Monks, elections, and foreign travels: democracy and the monastic order in western Arunachal Pradesh, North-East India

Swargajyoti Gohain

5 ‘Pure democracy’ in ‘new Nepal’: conceptions, practices, and anxieties

Amanda Snellinger

PART III Territorial conflict and after

6 Demand for Kukiland and Kuki ethnic nationalism

Vibha Arora and Ngamjahao Kipgen

7 Displacement from Kashmir: gendered responses

Charu Sawhney and Nilika Mehrotra


About the Editors

Vibha Arora is Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India.

N. Jayaram is Visiting Professor at National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, India.

About the Series

Nepal and Himalayan Studies

This series brings the larger Nepal and the Himalayan region to the centre stage of academic analysis and explores critical questions that confront the region, ranging from society, culture and politics to economy and ecology. The books in the series examine key themes concerning religion, ethnicity, language, identity, history, tradition, community, polity, democracy, as well as emerging issues regarding environment and development of this unique region.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Asian American Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies