Government and Politics in South Asia

By Craig Baxter; Yogendra K. Malik et al. | Go to book overview

25
Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives

Nepal

The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal is a small country the size of the state of Illinois, with a population of about 22 million. Sandwiched between its two giant neighbors, the People's Republic of China and India, it is landlocked and thus has access to the sea only through Indian territory (see Map 25.1). Linked with both China and India by all-weather motorable roads, Nepal today occupies a strategic position in the South Asian subcontinent.

Nepal achieved its territorial consolidation in the eighteenth century under a dynamic Gurkha king, Prithvi Narayan Shah, who organized the Nepali army along Western lines. He also promulgated a new, uniform legal and administrative system for the efficient rule of his kingdom. In the 1814 war with the British rulers of India, Nepal not only suffered a defeat but also lost considerable territory to British India, although it gained British recognition of its sovereignty in return. Even though Nepal was never occupied by the British rulers of India, it was rarely in a position to assert its complete independence. When India became independent in 1947, however, Nepal, too, declared its independent status and sought relations with the outside world as a sovereign state. After 1947 Nepal emerged from its seclusion and became active in regional politics.


Ethnic and Religious Plurality

The ethnic composition of Nepal's population and its cultural heritage have been deeply influenced by India and Tibet, two of its immediate neighbors. Its population is divided into two predominant racial groups, Caucasoid and Mongoloid. 1 The Caucasoids possess predominantly Indo-Aryan traits, as their ancestors migrated to Nepal mainly from north India. More specifically, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries frequent

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Government and Politics in South Asia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Illustrations ix
  • Preface to the Fourth Edition xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 4
  • 1 - The Governance of South Asia Under the British 5
  • Suggested Readings 18
  • Part One - INDIA 19
  • 2 - Political Culture and Heritage 21
  • Suggested Readings 52
  • 3 - Political Institutions and Governmental Processes 55
  • Suggested Readings 90
  • 4 - Political Parties and Political Leaders 92
  • Suggested Readings 120
  • 5 - Groups and Multiple Demands on the System 122
  • Suggested Readings 139
  • 6 - Conflict Mediation 140
  • Suggested Readings 150
  • 7 - Modernization and Development: Prospects and Problems 151
  • Suggested Readings 159
  • Part Two - PAKISTAN 161
  • 8 - Political Culture and Heritage 163
  • Suggested Readings 174
  • 9 - Government Structure 175
  • Suggested Readings 183
  • 10 - Political Parties and Political Leaders 184
  • Suggested Readings 200
  • 11 - Conflict and Mediation 202
  • Suggested Readings 212
  • 12 - Policy Issues 213
  • Suggested Readings 223
  • 13: Modernization and Development 224
  • Part Three - BANGLADESH 231
  • 14 - Political Culture and Heritage 233
  • Suggested Readings 246
  • 15 - Government Institutions 247
  • Suggested Readings 257
  • 16 - Elections, Parties, and Interest Groups 259
  • Suggested Readings 279
  • 17 - Conflicts and Resolution 281
  • Suggested Readings 291
  • 18 - Modernization and Development: Prospects and Problems 292
  • Suggested Readings 299
  • Part Four - SRI LANKA 301
  • 19: Political Culture and Heritage 303
  • 20: Government Structure 316
  • 21: Political Parties and Interest Groups 331
  • 22: Conflict Mediation 346
  • 23: The Search for Prosperity 352
  • 24 - Modernization and Development: Prospects and Problems 358
  • Suggested Readings 362
  • Part Five - SOUTH ASIA 365
  • 25 - Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives 367
  • Suggested Readings 381
  • 26 - South Asia as a Region and in the World System 382
  • Suggested Readings 402
  • 27 - Conclusion: Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia 404
  • Suggested Readings 411
  • Statistical Appendix 413
  • Index 415
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