Social Science Baha

‘We the Janajatis’: Activism of Inap Weekly for Newars and Other Janajatis during the Decade of the ‘Reformed Panchayat’, 1982-1990

Harshaman Maharjan

The dominant narrative about janajatis during the Panchyat period (1960-1990) focuses on the discriminations practiced by the Nepali state against them. Little has been said in the research literature about overt janajati resistance to such state discrimination during that era of Nepali history. Such resistance was possible from groups which had the social capital to question Panchayati oppression. One such group was the Newars, some of whom practiced such resistance through a weekly newspaper Inap, published during the 1980s. This paper focuses on the content and content makers of Inap, founded in 1982 and edited by Krishna Sundar Malla (alias Malla K Sundar) as a way to analyse the oppositional representations of janajati issues. It argues that this Newar weekly not only countered state policy related to the Newar community but it also promoted the culture and literature of Newars by delving into history and by inventing new community traditions such as celebrations of the anniversaries of neglected but distinguished Newar personalities. This paper further argues that Inap provided a platform for other janajati groups to express their grievances against the Panchayati state policies and promoted a pan-janajati movement during the last years of the Panchayat era.