The Issue Of Indian Nepalis
Awadesh Coomar Sinha
The Issue of Indian Nepalis
While Nepali citizens of Nepal are extremely conscious of matters of identity in relation to the various communities within Nepal, the view in relation to India tends to focus on the Nepali citizens who live and work south (and east and west) of the border. This concern is valid, given that the Nepali citizens in India face many challenges as do guest workers elsewhere. There seems to be less understanding in Kathmandu of the issues and challenges faced by Indian citizens of Nepali origin. What kind of identity-based challenges are faced by this category? Does the 1950 treaty and its equal treatment clause help or hinder in that aspect? Where does the open international border between Nepal and India figure in that respect. What has been the political response of Indians of Nepali origin in relation to these and other challenges?
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Awadhesh Coomar Sinha is former Dean, School of Social Sciences at the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, where he was professor of sociology. He has taught at a number of Indian and foreign universities over three decades. His academic interests include political sociology, Himalayan studies, and sociology, Himalayan studies, and sociology of environment, among others.
Among his major publications are Politics of Sikkim (1975), Bhutan: Ethnic Identity and National Dilemma(1991), Hill Cities in Eastern Himalayas (1993), Beyond the Trees, Tribes and Tigers: Historical Sociology of Eastern Himalayan Forests (1993), Bhutan: Tradition, Transition and Transformation (2001) and The Nepalis in Northeast India: A Community in Search of Indian Identity (2003) (co-edited).